The Magian Tarok

“Why aren’t more people talking about this book? Are people talking about this book? Did I miss people talking about this book?” These questions continually raced through my mind while reading “The Magian Tarok: The Origins of the Tarot in the Mithraic and Hermetic Traditions” by Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D.

Over the years I’ve heard many stories about the origin of the tarot. Perhaps I’m not well read, or maybe I never dug far enough, but I don’t recall ever hearing about Mithraic origins. Not until “Magian Tarok”. Flowers explores the Major Arcana through the prism of Mithraic symbolism. Mithraism is a mystery cult that’s roots run through most of the ancient world. “Magian Tarok” does a great job explaining and exploring the subject.

As he gets into the spread of Mithraism to the Greco-Roman empire, Flowers explores how the magical alphabet, Stoeicheia, also relates to the tarot. Curious about Stoeicheia? Don’t worry, the book goes into the subject as well.

Flowers doesn’t discuss how to use the tarot, but I can’t help but feel like anyone interested in the tarot would benefit from reading “Magian Tarok”. Understanding the roots and evolution of the tarot can help bring a fresh perspective and new appreciation of the modern tarot deck.

You can learn more here.

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Favorite Things 2019

It’s that time again folks! That time when I look back at a year of articles and remind you about the best of the best things I wrote about this year. Looking at the list you’ll realize that not every item came out in 2019. My favorite things list is a recap of what I read or used in 2019, not necessarily a thing that released in 2019. So why now? Why not the end of December, or the beginning of January? Because I like to share my favorites while you still have time to buy them as gifts for people, or yourself.

And speaking of shopping, this year I’m including purchasing links (when I can) for IndieBound. IndieBound 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. I encourage you to shop local, independent bookstores when you can. If you can’t, I ask you to consider IndieBound.

Now, with no further ado, and presented in particular order…..

FAVORITE THINGS 2019

The Little Book of Cat Magic: Spells, Charms, and Tales by Deborah Blake
It’s hard not to be enchanted by this little book of cats. It’s written by Deborah Blake, a crazy cat lady in the best of ways. The book is filled with delightful kitty-centric illustrations. “The Little Book of Cat Magic” is great for anyone who loves cats.

You can read my original review here.

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Magical Dogs Tarot by Daniel Mueller and Mickie Mueller
From cats, to dogs. It’s hard not to love dogs, and thusly, it’s hard not to love “Magical Dogs Tarot”. Mickie Mueller is a fantastic artist, and her dogs are endearing and whimsical. Daniel Mueller wrote a wonderful companion book, thoughtfully capturing the spirit of canines and merging it with tarot. A great addition to any tarot collection, and obviously it’s fantastic for dog lovers.

You can read my original review here.

Crystals: A Guide to Using the Crystal Compass for Energy, Healing, and Reclaiming Your Power by Aisha Amarfio
This book is ALL about its Crystal Compass. Sure, Amarfio provides loads of information about crystals: uses, care of, properties, etc. However, what sets “Crystals” apart is the super convenient chart she created to go with the book. This colorful graph, aka, Crystal Compass, is an easy to use guide to incorporating crystals into all kinds of work. In a year that saw many great books on crystals, Amarfio’s creation of the Crystal Compass made her book a favorite of this past year.

You can read my original review here.

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Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance by David Salisbury
Written by a long-time activist, David Salisbury does a wonderful job of inspiring the reader to take action, mundane and/or magical. If you want to take action, this is the book to read.

You can read my original review here.

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Witchbody by Sabrina Scott
This year saw SO MANY fantastic releases. However, there was no other book like “Witchbody”. Scott created a graphic novel, filled with fantastic art that explores ecology, magic, spirituality, and more. It’s a journey unlike any other you’ll ever take with a book. In my opinion, “Witchbody” is a classic.

You can read my original review here.

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One Truth and One Spirit: Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy by Keith Readdy
An amazing work exploring Crowley’s Thelema legacy following his death. Thelema’s fractures, power struggles, and ultimately, its staying power makes “One Truth and One Spirit” a worthwhile endeavor.

You can read my original review here
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The Ark Animal Tarot & Oracle Deck by Bernadette King
Some of you may remember that back in April I backed, and promoted, a Kickstarter for this deck. Well, now it is out and I have my copy. It is just as good, if not better, than promised. A beautiful, sturdy box with a magnetic closer. Gorgeous, full color cards. It’s designed to be used as a traditional tarot deck and/or oracle!

You can read my original post about it here.

Witchcraft & Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen by Nigel Pennick
Pennick has created a book that is a highly readable blend of scholarly work and fantastical folklore. Trade unions that operate as secret societies is a trend that might be cool to bring back.

Read my original review here.

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The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead by Ellen Evert Hopman
I feel like this from my original review says it all, “And no one tells a plant’s story better than Ellen Evert Hopman.”

Read my original review here.

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Letters to a Dead Friend about Zen by Brad Warner
Brad Warner does Buddhism 101. Need I say more?

Read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

Since this is my favorite things, but also a shopping list, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that The Magical Buffet has a bunch of fun merchandise, as well as a vintage witch collection of merchandise for sale now! The witchy collection goes away December 31, 2019.

Shop The Magical Buffet store here!

Chibi Anime Angel Cards

Let’s be real, I wanted to review “Chibi Anime Angel Cards” because they’re freakin’ adorable. Illustrator Julia Sayegh Ezarani Guimaraes does a fantastic job of capturing the short, round, chibi anime style! You just want to reach through the card and pinch those cute angelic cheeks! That said, I honestly figured these cards were all flash and no substance. Or maybe more like all cute and no substance. Guess what? I was wrong.

Author Dawn Brown chose to work with the chibi anime style, not just because it’s adorable, but to have it resonate and connect with your inner child. Surprisingly, these sweet looking cards hold planetary alignments, the Tree of Life, of course angels, and whatever else the seeker can find. As expected, the deck comes with a nice booklet outlining ways to use the deck, and interpretations for each of the cards.


If you’re looking for a playful oracle deck that can potentially pack a wallop, “Chibi Anime Angel Cards” are not be missed.

Learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstoreThis 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.