The Witch’s Spellbook for Beginners

I do not need another spellbook. I do not need another spellbook. I kept telling myself that over and over again as I looked at the email asking if I wanted a review copy of “The Witch’s Spellbook for Beginners: Enchantments, Incantations, and Rituals from Around the World” by Sarah Bartlett. However, the name Sarah Bartlett rang a bell, and that’s because she’s the author of “Iconic Tarot Decks: The History, Symbolism and Design of over 50 Decks”, a book I enjoyed so much that it made my Favorite Things list in 2021. And then there was the phrase, “from around the world.” I do love seeing how things are done in other countries. Yep, I got the review copy.

And yep, I’m a fan. “The Witch’s Spellbook for Beginners” is a no frills, easy to understand book of spells that features mostly easily accessible ingredients/tools. There’s easily over 100 spells that cover the usual suspects, such as love, money, protection with particular attention to the best times and dates to perform the spells for optimal results.

Yes, there many books of spells are available, but Sarah Bartlett provides a balanced selection of spells from a variety of places that creates an excellent base of knowledge for beginners, and experienced spell casters alike.

You can learn more here.

Get your own copy here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, 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

Hagitude and Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States. Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health.” In spite of the fact that menopause can be triggered for a variety of reasons and that the whole journey can last 20 years or so, Western society at best treats menopause as a joke, and at worst, as some sort of disease that shouldn’t be acknowledged or discussed.

Perhaps that is why I’ve stumbled across not one, but two different books that recently released that discuss the menopausal years. Today we’re looking at “Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life” by Sharon Blackie and “Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging: Finding Your Power through the Changing Seasons” by Cait Johnson. Both authors work to reframe the discussion of feminine aging with a perspective towards transformation and cycles, not endings.

Sharon Blackie’s “Hagitude” is equal parts personal memoir and mythological meditations on aging. Menopause is an alchemical process that forges and transforms. Blackie shares her story, but pairs it with stories of female figures from history and legend.

Cait Johnson’s “Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging” is divided into four parts, reflecting the four seasons. Each season is represented by a witch to offer guidance and regale you with tales of iconic females. “Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging” features spells, rituals, and DIY projects to help the reader.

So, what book is right for you? Both attempt the momentous task of trying to undue the cultural dominance of youth, and for that alone both deserve praise. “Hagitude” is the more thoughtful book. Sharon Blackie writes with a literary flare that makes for inspired reading. “Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging” strength lies in action. Cait Johnson has conveys a great personality in her writing, but her book differs in that it features things to do, not just reflect on.

You can learn more about “Hagitude” here.

You can learn more about “Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging” here.

You can get your own copy of “Hagitude” here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, 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.)

You can get your own copy of “Witch Wisdom for Magical Aging” here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, 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

Favorite Things 2022

If this is your first time checking out The Magical Buffet’s Favorite Things list, welcome! I started doing the list as a response to the overwhelming popularity of Oprah’s Favorite Things that she does each year. I started with the argument that I’m far more relatable than Oprah, with the whole me being broke as opposed to a multi-millionaire. That evolved into The List as you see it today, which is 10 things that have been featured on The Magical Buffet website since the previous year’s list was published. So, although many of these items were published this year, you’ll find slightly older ones too.

Every year the list gets harder to make because each year I seem to gain access to more publishers, authors, and publicists, and all of them keep getting better at curating wonderful works. As I typed up last year’s list, I was already dreading the 2022 list, and this time is no different. I already have books in my “to read” pile that I feel certain are Favorite Things worthy.

With no further explainers or excuses, I present to you (in no particular order) The Magical Buffet’s Favorite Things 2022.

1. Lights, Camera, Witchcraft: A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television by Heather Greene.
I started the year with a fun interview with Heather Greene about this book. The intersection of popular culture with witchcraft has always been a subject of interest to me and her work definitely did the work. It’s one part academic study, one part witchy media guide. Almost anyone would enjoy this book. You can read the interview here.

2. Qabalah for Wiccans: Ceremonial Magic on the Pagan Path by Jack Chanek. I cannot stress how envious I am of Chanek. His intelligence, his insights, and his ability to just explain things in a way that I can understand are all what makes him one of my new favorite authors. Not only does Qabalah for Wiccans show pagans ways to incorporate ceremonial magic traditions into their spirituality, but it also finally explained Qabalah in a way that I fully understood. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I also reviewed and loved his next book, Tarot for Real Life: Use the Cards to Find Answers to Everyday Questions, that was also featured on my site this year. You can see my review of Qabalah for Wiccans here and Tarot for Real Life here.

3. King Solomon the Magus: Master of the Djinns and Occult Traditions of East & West by Claude Lecouteux. Anyone who has read The Magical Buffet for any length of time knows that I love Lecouteux, and when I found out he wrote about Solomon, I may have actually yelped out loud. You can read my review here.

4. The Weiser Tarot. Weiser took on the challenge of updating the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot, keeping it as true to its original form while attempting to update the representation. It could have been a lazy cash grab, but instead Weiser created the new traditional tarot deck. Read my review here.

5. Secrets of Santa Muerte: A Guide to the Prayers, Spells, Rituals, and Hexes” by Cressida Stone. Stone discusses a frequently misrepresented deity that is experiencing rapid growth. Her book does an excellent job highlighting the diversity and versatility of the goddess and the ways She is worshipped. You can read my review here.

6. The Other Side of Nothing: The Zen Ethics of Time, Space, and Being by Brad Warner. Magical Buffet readers know that Warner is one of my favorite authors on the subject of Zen Buddhism. The Other Side of Nothing is the book I had been waiting for, where Warner takes his informal voice to explain the formal intricacies of Zen Buddhist ethics. It just might overtake Sit Down and Shut Up as the most essential Zen Buddhist text. You can read my review here.

7. The Bavarian Illuminati: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Secret Society by Rene Le Forestier and translated by Jon E. Graham. From my review, “This is 912 pages of pulse pounding intrigue and yawn inducing bureaucracy that was originally published in 1915 and hasn’t been available in English until now.” Yes, it is a pricey spend, but if you’re interested in occult societies, this is an interesting look at the OG of societies. You can read my full review here.

8. Paganism for Prisoners: Connecting to the Magic Within by Awyn Dawn. This is an important work that is well past due. Frequently, Pagan authors tell me that inmates reach out to them for resources and they don’t know what to say or do. Awyn Dawn’s book is an excellent resource. If I had the funds, I’d try to get a copy into every prison in the United States. Until then, get a copy and examine Pagan practice from a new perspective. You can read the review here.

9. Goddess Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Rituals Divine in Origin by Aurora Kane. I like goddesses. This book has goddesses. Honestly, sometimes it doesn’t take more than that for me to get excited about a book, however, Kane’s curation of goddesses and the litany of ideas offered to work with them makes this a stand out in the collection of goddesses genre. You can read my review here.

10. The Watkins Tarot Handbook: A Practical System of Self-Discovery” by Naomi Ozaniec. I’m no stranger to books about tarot, but I’ll be damned if this one did not exceed all expectations. As I said in my review, “I was expecting a vaguely new age, self-help book that utilized tarot. What I got was a jaw dropping, initiatory experience.” This book is not to be missed. You can read my review here.

Shop my Favorite Things 2022 Here! (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, 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

Small Business Saturday

It’s happening, the holiday shopping season. Don’t worry, I’ll soon be publishing my Favorite Things list to help you select the best of the best for yourself or others, but today I want to highlight Small Business Saturday. I feel like it’s a tradition that was started by American Express Small Business, but for whatever reason, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is highlighted as a good time to hopefully support smaller businesses in your community. However, what if the small businesses in your area don’t carry that much in the way of witchy magical products? Don’t despair because I happen to spend some time on Etsy, and I have a handful of great Etsy shops for you to consider.

Obviously, it would be silly to not mention MY Etsy shop, TheMagicalBuffet. I am the smallest of the small businesses I’ll be highlighting in this article. I mainly craft talismans, but there’s other fun stuff to be found there.

Next up is probably the largest of the small businesses I’ll be writing about today, and that is SpookyDoodleClub. I love this shop! The artist has a spooky cute aesthetic that ends up as jewelry, hats, lighters, and more! I own multiple pairs of earrings from here!

If you want a little Jewish mysticism this holiday season, I’d direct you to Devotaj. The owner crafts adorable golems and cute stickers. One of her Nazar (Evil Eye) stickers is on my cell phone right now!

Here comes a one, two, three punch of talented professional artists who have set up Etsy stores to sell their art in a wide array of gift ideas.

First is albaillustration, home of Elisabeth Alba. Are you familiar with the “Everyday Witch Oracle” or “Everyday Witch Tarot”? Alba did all the artwork for those decks, along with a myriad of other witchy publications. You can purchase original artworks and even the paintings that became cards in those well-known decks!

JaneStarrWeils is a fantasy artist that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at a few events. Her beautiful artwork is on mugs, totes, stickers, and more.

The last artist is MickieMuellerStudio, the Etsy shop for Mickie Mueller. I feel like I don’t need to say anything more, but I will. Mueller has done the artwork for multiple tarot decks and illustrations for Llewellyn. She’s kind of a big deal. Buckle up because her Etsy shop has a nearly overwhelming variety of inventory.

And if you know anything about me, you know I’m going to make sure you know that my friend and author Deborah Blake has an Etsy shop! Go to deborahblake for signed copies of books and decks, adorable gift sets, and handmade jewelry. That’s right, she also makes jewelry.

I’m going to close this out with one shop that doesn’t do anything “witchy”, but I love his work. MichaelJoJewelry handmakes amazing jewelry by using parts from broken and/or unwanted jewelry. Some of his work is straightforward, however, you’ll also find some jaw dropping works of funky, chunky, awesomeness.

I try to shop more intentionally than I used to. To that end, I try to support my local independent businesses, after that, I’ll try to find independent crafters, and you know what? Sometimes you just buy someone a gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts. Do your best. Stay hydrated. Exhale.

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

Celebrate Samhain 2022

If you follow The Magical Buffet on social media, you might have saw that I attended the event, Celebrate Samhain in Nashua, NH at the end of October. Not only did I attend, I got to moderate a panel discussion about Witchcraft in the Age of Social Media. If you’re a Patron, you got to read about my experience moderating the panel. Due to the event’s change of day of the weekend and covid, it has been far too long since I’ve been able to attend, so I figure I should bring you all up to speed on what the event is like in 2022.

Celebrate Samhain’s new home is at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Nashua, NH. It is a great venue that provides a large vendor room, with a main stage that featured musical acts, dance acts, and my panel discussion. There is an extra wide hallway that featured booths for all the presenters and authors at the event. I had a tiny table to sell my crafts that I normally sell exclusively on Etsy. The psychic readers had their own room off of the hallway, and at the very end of the hall was a room for workshops.

The vendor room and its overflow booths were amazing! I nearly wept from the warm nostalgia of seeing Jeena Greene. Her beautiful harp and voice have been at every Celebrate Samhain that I’ve attended and it did my heart good to see her, and hear her again. I got to meet the owner of The Robin’s Nest who kindly posed next to their display of Cucina Aurora products. Kyri’s Magickal Creations had these adorable poppets! I bought a Marie Laveau one that I’m still trying to decide where it’s going to live. Mystic Arcana’s booth was right across from mine. The owner Gee-Gee sells crystals so yes, your girl bought another crystal. I also got to purchase a signed copy of “New Hampshire Book of the Dead” by Roxie Zwicker (who was on my panel and so much fun) and a signed copy of “Reading the Leaves” by Sandra Mariah Wright and Leanne Marrama. Author Deborah Blake was my booth buddy and road trip companion. It was fun to see so many of her fans. It was also fun to have many attendees ask if I was Deborah Blake (tempting to say yes). When I said no, they would immediately ask if I was Elisabeth Alba (again, tempting to say yes).


Please admire my phat loot!