The Shadowlands Tarot

As time goes on, more and more people view, and use, the tarot as tool for self-discovery as opposed to telling the future. With this progression, we’re seeing more decks that are designed to facilitate with that process. Monica Bodirsky has created just that sort of deck with “The Shadowland Tarot”.

Bodirsky’s “Shadowland Tarot” can operate as a more traditional tarot deck, stemming from its roots in the Rider Waite deck. However, with her focus on the shadow aspects of our psyches, you have the potential to discover things about yourself that perhaps you weren’t ready to acknowledge. Then, you can continue to acclimate and integrate those discoveries.

In another creator’s hands, “The Shadowland Tarot” could be an alarming, or frightening experience. Fortunately, Bodirsky’s (who also illustrated the deck) shadows are playful, charming, and nothing to be feared. Her “Shadowlands” are populated by a colorful cast of characters that you’ll want to get to know better.

If you’re looking for a tarot deck with wonderful art and penchant to encourage introspection, “The Shadowland Tarot” by Monica Bodirsky is for you!

You can learn more here.

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Magical Symbols and Alphabets

I’m 99% sure that I’ve stated this repeatedly on my site, and on social media, and in interviews, and I may have grabbed random people on the street to share this, but when it comes to compilation style books (encyclopedia, complete book of, compendium) there are two people I adore for it: Judika Illes and Sandra Kynes. And although it isn’t titled as an encyclopedia or compendium, there was no way I was not going to review “Magical Symbols and Alphabets: A Practitioner’s Guide to Spells, Rites, and History” by Sandra Kynes.

“Magical Symbols and Alphabets” is truth in advertising. This 260ish page book is PACKED, just stuffed, with information. Kynes doesn’t just tell you what a symbol or letter stands for, she puts it into context by providing histories and purpose. She does not just give you the tool, she tells you why it may be right tool for the task. “Magical Symbols and Alphabets” has 6 parts: Astrological Symbols, The Elements, The Fifteen Fixed Stars, The Ogham, The Runes, Sigils, and The Witches’ Alphabet and Other Magical Scripts. It’s everything you could want.

Let me be blunt, if you’re interested in magic, you need this reference book. It won’t be a treasured keepsake; it will be an invaluable resource that you will turn to again and again for as long as it holds together.

You can learn more here.

Want a shot at winning your own copy? Well, thanks to Sandra Kynes you have that chance! She was generous enough to provide a signed copy of “Magical Symbols and Alphabets” for my readers! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! The contest is open now until 11:59PM Eastern on 05/29/2020! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Practical Introduction to Numerology

I’ve been avoiding numerology for an awfully long time. I always talk about how astrology is hard work. I thought numerology was like astrology, but worse because it involved math. And I know it’s cliché, but math is hard. However, Watkins Publishing offered me the opportunity to read “A Practical Introduction to Numerology” by Sonia Ducie and it was a nice, compact little book and I decided, “What the heck!”

I am so glad I did! I feel silly for having avoided numerology for so long. Ducie’s book is so straight forward and well-written. She progresses through the topic in a logical order, making it easy to follow. And as to my concerns about math, I should not have had any! It is simply basic math. Even I can handle it! It is all based on the numbers 1-9.

Ducie explains that her book is based on Esoteric Numerology, which “encourages us to open our minds to intuition so we can contact our inner self or soul and see the bigger picture.” Although she does give a brief description of other forms of numerology such as Chinese Numerology, Vedic Numerology, divinatory, and more.

“A Practical Introduction to Numerology” by Sonia Ducie is the perfect introduction to Esoteric Numerology. This well-written, no nonsense guide, has sparked my excitement for the subject matter.

You can learn more here.

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Wizards Tarot

If you’re a regular reader of The Magical Buffet, odds are, you like wizards. You may even identify as one! What I’m getting at is, no one into magic would ever NOT be interested in a wizard themed tarot deck. Which brings us to today’s review of “Wizards Tarot” by Barbara Moore and illustrated by Mieke Janssens.

Moore’s affection for wizards, spellcasters, and magic users is on full display with this deck. As you thumb through the deck you may find some of the cards remind you of characters or scenarios from your favorite magical books, movies, or television series. In reading the “Wizards Tarot Companion” for the deck, it is as much a lover letter to wizards, as it is a guide to how to use the deck. It is, in fact, one of the better tarot companion books that I’ve read. Offering new insights into learning the cards, along side suggested spreads and detailed card meanings. Any ideas on the inspiration for this card?

“The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don’t you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The choice of Mieke Janssens for the illustrations was an excellent one because her style feels like a modernized version of classic fantasy art. The art for the back of the cards screams “classic wizard”! It reminds me of old Dungeons and Dragons and air brushed t-shirts in the best way possible.


It is hard for me to imagine someone not wanting “Wizards Tarot” by Barbara Moore. Honestly, the only reasons I could see someone passing is a shortage of funds or a shortage of storage space for more decks.

You learn more here.

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Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars

Astrology is hard. It’s a heavy lift and doesn’t come with the pretty art that tarot does. That said, I still enjoy reading the occasional book on the subject, and with today’s book I found a great fit. Today we’re discussing “Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars: Astrology, Our Icons, and Our Selves” by Claire Comstock-Gay.

I’m inclined to say Comstock-Gay’s book is written for beginners. She focuses on sun signs, which is the most basic astrological determination. When you read your horoscope in the newspaper (or these days it is more likely on websites or magazines), they are using your sun sign. “Madame Clairevoyant” explains how that is only one piece of your astrological puzzle, but it is a good place to start.

What comes next is a chapter by chapter breakdown of each of the signs, and here is where the book truly shines. Throughout “Madame Clairevoyant’s” Comstock-Gay comes off a bit self-deprecating in the fact that she uses popular culture to describe the astrological signs. However, and the author knows this, her use of people we are familiar with makes each sign more relatable and memorable.

Comstock-Gay adeptly references people and characters ranging from Celine Dion (Aries), Cardi B (Libra), Susan Sontag (Capricorn), Ferdinand the Bull from the children’s story by Munro Leaf and Fezzik from “The Princess Bride (Taurus), Donald Trump (Gemini), Nina Simone (Pisces), Pablo Neruda (Cancer), Christopher Nolan (Leo), David Wojnarowicz (Virgo), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Scorpio), Miley Cyrus (Sagittarius), Jackson Pollock (Aquarius), and so many more. By giving us an intimate look at the work, and many times their work’s relationship with Comstock-Gay, she offers a nuanced look at each sign’s characteristics.

The new level of understanding I feel I gained by reading this book makes “Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars” by Claire Comstock-Gay a must read for anyone interested in astrology. Whether it is your first book on the topic, or your one hundredth, you will want to own it.

You can learn more here.

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Divination Conjure Style

Today we’re talking about “Divination Conjure Style: Reading Cards, Throwing Bones, and Other Forms of Household Fortune-Telling” by Starr Casas. Or as I’ve come to think of it, “a love letter to a deck of playing cards”. Seriously, do you own a deck of playing cards? Then you should already own this book.

It is no secret to anyone that a regular, ordinary deck of playing cards can be used for divination, but not until reading “Divination Conjure Style” did I realize there were so many ways to accomplish it. Casas discusses conjure as the everyman’s tradition of divination, and what does every family have rattling around in a drawer in the house? A deck of cards. The book includes a detailed, card by card, look at playing cards featuring beautiful illustrations from Josef Bailey. Weiser Books would be wise to considering doing a companion deck featuring Bailey’s work. I cannot emphasize enough how this book opened my eyes to the versatility of a deck cards.

Besides playing cards, Casas discusses throwing bones, reading candles, bibliomancy, divination with eggs, and more. All of this is thoroughly explained in a plain-spoken way that reflects the oral tradition in which Casas learned these skills.

“Divination Conjure Style” by Starr Casas is a fascinating look at divination for anyone interested in the topic or looking to branch out in their practice.

You can learn more here.

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The Midnight Gospel

If you know me, or follow me on social media, you know that I am a lady that loves herself some “Adventure Time”. What is there not to love? A cast of loveable characters, having quirky adventures, and underneath the humor, topics like love, loss, friendship, family, and the nature of evil are examined. So, obviously when I heard the creator of “Adventure Time”, Pendleton Ward, had a new animated series for adults coming to Netflix, I was all in.

I knew nothing about the series, “The Midnight Gospel”, before I watched it, other than it was animated and Pendleton Ward was a part of it. This show did not just meet expectations, it blew any expectations right out of the water. Buckle up, it’s an amazing ride!

What is “The Midnight Gospel”? A question more easily asked than answered. It follows spacecaster Clancy, as he drops into various alternative Earth simulations via an illegal multiverse simulator, to interview beings he finds. It turns out the show is based off Duncan Trussell’s podcast “Duncan Trussell Family Hour”. Ward is a fan of the podcast and thought of the idea of animating it. What happens when you smoosh Ward and Trussell together? A mind blowing, psyche changing, legitimately magical experience.

Trussell interviews a who’s who of people Buffet readers know, or should know: Caitlin Doughty, Ram Dass, Damien Echols, Anne Lamott, and more. They discuss topics such as magic, forgiveness, death, drugs, and yes, more. Every episode is magic, but it is hard to deny the power of the episode “Mouse of Silver”, that features an interview Trussell did with his mother, Deneen Fendig, as she was dying of cancer. All of this is paired with Ward’s dreamy, psychedelic art that is so rich with symbolism that you’ll want to watch it again and again.

I know all of this may sound like a downer, but to the contrary, it is seeded with humor and overall, a life affirming experience. I am definitely not an expert on magical media, so this is just my personal, limited experience, opinion. “The Midnight Gospel” is one of the most magical, and magickal, things you can view on a television screen. Watch it now. Then watch is again.

“The Midnight Gospel” is available on Netflix.

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Herbal Magick

When you consider books about herbs and/or herbalism you might see a vast ocean of books that appear to be the same. However, when you’ve received or purchased as many as I have, you learn there can be subtle or vast differences between texts. Some books are very much treatment based, as in they discuss how to use herbs to treat illness and promote health. Others, like the one we’re going to discuss today are filled with folklore, histories, and historical treatments.

“Herbal Magick: A guide to herbal enchantments, folklore, and divination” by Gerina Dunwich is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the magical folklore of herbs. The book is beautifully bound with lovely illustrations. Dunwich pulls on a variety resources to display the use of herbs from cultures around the world and throughout history. Given the diversity of content, “Herbal Magick” is a great book for anyone with any sort of magical interest in herbs, be they a beginner or an experienced user.

You can learn more here.

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Cosmic Botany

You feeling the cabin fever? Looking for a household refresh? Need a gift for a plant and/or crystal lover? I have the book for you, “Crystal Botany: A Guide to Crystal and Plant Soul Mates for Peace, Happiness, and Abundance” by Tanya Lichtenstein.

This is just the most charming book you could ever hope to see. Lichtenstein takes plants and their properties and pairs them with their crystal soulmates to create a “vibe”. Her book is divided into 4 parts: Fractals of Love, You’ve Got This, No Bad Days, and The Plant & Crystal Diet. Within them you’ll find pairings like “I Feel Pretty” (pink opal and a hibiscus plant), “Your Daily Podcast” (emerald quartz and a jade plant), “Bloom Where You Are” (rose quartz and a sweetheart hoya), and “Supercharged You” (rainbow aura quartz and a monstera). I’ve spent a lot of time Googling plants after reading this book!

Better still, Lichtenstein is a gifted artist and her book is full of her illustrations. The whole thing is very much in the whole white on white Instagram vein, but cuter (if that makes sense). “Cosmic Botany” is an inspired book with equally inspirational artwork.


You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore
This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

The Art of Kipper Reading

What the heck is Kipper? I had never heard of it until I was offered the opportunity to “The Art of Kipper Reading: Decoding Powerful Messages” by Alexandre Musruck and its accompanying oracle deck.

So, what is it? According to Musruck, “In 1890, in Germany, appeared the ‘Kipper Fortune-Telling Cards’, a deck that clearly reflects the founding period, an era in which Germany was in the economic boom. The illustration clearly shows that the deck is from Bavaria, a state in the southeast of Germany. The deck, like Lenormand, bears the name of famous fortune teller Madame Susanne Kipper, but here again there is no evidence that it was created by her or simply a marketing strategy. In 1920, the publishing rights went to the company FX Schmid and in 1996 on to the Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik.”

The art is delightful, depicting all kinds of situations, emotions, and events. And what’s truly interesting it that the cards are read by direction, like an actual story! In many ways, this makes the Kipper more intuitive right out of the box, on the other hand, the accompanying book is VERY thick because each card has a different interpretation depending on what cards around it. There are 3 card readings, 5 card readings, 9 card readings, and most impressively, the Grand Tableau which utilizes the entire deck of 36 cards.

Alexandre Musruck did an excellent job of introducing me to the divination method of Kipper. He, with Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit packaged up a beautiful deck, and he wrote an easy to comprehend accompanying book. If you want to learn about Kipper, you’ll want to check this out!

You can learn more here. Deck.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet