The Druidic Art of Divination

“The Druidic Art of Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the Future” by Jon G. Hughes explores something I had never pondered, how did/do Druids practice divination? Of course, once I saw this book it was the big question.

Hughes follows a pre-Celtic Druid tradition that has been passed down as an oral tradition. As such, he spends some time giving you background. He explains the three types of Druid; Craft Druid, Elemental Druid, and Intuitive Druid, which is the rarest. Hughes discusses the morality and belief system that he, and others of his tradition share. It is an interesting read, particularly since I have read a lot of books most would consider Druid-adjacent, but not focused on the whole of pre-Celtic Druid spiritual life.

All that said, a considerable part of “The Druidic Art of Divination” IS devoted to divination. Hughes opted for three different styles of divination: interpretative, inductive, and intuitive, and the progressive sequence that is common to all of them: defining the intention, physical, spiritual, and mental preparation, preparing the work environment, potentializing the portal, the meditation, interpretation, scattering the work environment, and reflection. He discusses reading the Sevens, a pre-cursor to what many would consider reading Runes. Next is scrying: water, slate, and cupstone. Hughes includes how to instructions for making your own tools and workspaces.

“The Druidic Art of Divination” by Jon G. Hughes does a great service making his pre-Celtic Druid oral tradition available to those of us who are unlikely to find someone to teach it to us in person. I highly recommend it to those interested in some new divination techniques and/or learning more about Druidism.

You can learn more here.

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The Vanishing Trial

Do you have Netflix? I do, and lately I have been ALL about the courts. I watched “Trial by Media” followed by “How to Fix a Drug Scandal.” (Both were excellent and eye-opening.) So, my pump was primed when a publicist asked if I was interested in reading “The Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performances & the Perils of its Passing” by Robert Katzberg.

At its heart, “The Vanishing Trial” is about Robert Katzberg’s life and times as a law student, clerk, federal prosecutor, and ultimately, a defense attorney for those accused of white-collar crimes. However, in telling his story, we learn a lot of the nuts and bolts of being an attorney, particularly a defense attorney. A cast of colorful characters populate “The Vanishing Trial” because we learn that a trial lawyer is not only intelligent, but also a showman. Katzberg’s recollections reveal the strengths, and flaws, in the federal legal system. It is a fast, fun read.

However, “The Vanishing Trial” ends with a serious discussion on the diminishing of cases going to trial in the United States. Federal sentencing guidelines can create unreasonable sentences due to a formula outside of a judge’s control. This leads to defense attorneys, regardless of how strong of a case they have, advising their clients to cooperate and/or accept plea deals for a guaranteed reduced sentence. Pleading guilty can decrease the sentencing as well. While there has been little change on the State level, this is creating a vacuum of defense experience on the Federal level. Overall, the domain of the State courts and Federal courts are two different universes.

Forget legal thrillers, “The Vanishing Trial” by Robert Katzberg is better version. Just as entertaining, and for better or worse, real.

Learn more here.

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Horse Magick

Full disclosure, I am not a fan of horses. It’s not like I actively hate them, I just don’t have that gushing adoration that so many people have for them. As a little girl, I never went through a “horse phase”. I didn’t even go crazy for unicorns until my late teens/early twenties when I learned more about them. (Specifically, that they could be beautiful killers. The murdering unicorns are the ONLY reason to watch the movie “Cabin in the Woods”.)

So, why on earth did I agree to read “Horse Magick: Spells and Rituals for Self-Empowerment, Protection, and Prosperity” by Lawren Leo with Domenic Leo? Honestly, I could not tell you why. What I can tell you is that I am glad I did!

Each chapter features a horse drawn from a wonderfully curated collection of examples in religion, folklore, and history. After the example you will find a spell or ritual associated with or inspired by the example. The spells are clearly written and well thought out, being sure to list supplies at the start. And, if you’re a nerd like me, the BEST part is at the end of each chapter there is a list of additional resources! I don’t if it was the authors or the publisher who made the decision to do this, but I hope to see more books going forward contain this feature.

Along with the spells and rituals, “Horse Magick” also has a chapter devoted to “Equine Dreams”. This is essentially a horse-based dream dictionary. If you dream of horses in any scenario, you will probably find a meaning for it in there.

Did Lawren and Domenic Leo convert me into a horse lover? No. Did they create a compelling collection of folklore and magic that I basically read straight through in a day because it was so interesting? Yes.

You can learn more here.

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The Green Witch’s Grimoire

There is a joke about grimoires in the magical community, it goes something like, “I bought this gorgeous book to be my grimoire, but it’s too beautiful to write in.” It is funny because it is just about universally true. I have multiple BEAUTIFUL blank journals that have been untouched for years because I could never write anything worthy enough for its pristine gold gilded edges. Today’s book has made me reexamine everything I thought I wanted from a grimoire.

“The Green Witch’s Grimoire: Your Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Book of Natural Magic” by Arin Murphy-Hiscock delivers. It. Is. Complete. Try as I might, and I’ve given it a LOT of thought, I cannot come up with any angle or component of grimoires that Murphy-Hiscock might have missed. The title says, “Green Witch” but let me say, unless you are a magic practitioner that actively hates nature, anyone can use this book.

The first part of “The Green Witch’s Grimoire” is a journey to try to decide what your grimoire is going to be. What kind of paper will you use? How will the pages be held together? What will you use to write in it? Will you want to carry it with you? Do you want multiple volumes? Will it have sections? Templates? An index? Do you plan on incorporating samples of natural things? Will it be decorative, functional, both? There is a dizzying number of things to consider, and I’m fairly sure Murphy-Hiscock things of every last one.

The second part of the book discusses options for how to use your grimoire: journaling, writing spells, copying important information from research, cataloging the results of divination, as a mission statement, and obviously more.

I obviously love how thorough Murphy-Hiscock is in this book, but what I love the most is how she emphasizes there is no right way to create and use a grimoire, and that there’s nothing wrong with deciding you don’t like what you created and start over again.

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.

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What is Cinemastrology?

We have got a fun book to discuss today! “Cinemastrology: The Movie-Lover’s Guide to the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars” by Stella Wonderly. In a world of overwhelming movie choices, thanks in no small part to the abundance of streaming services, “Cinemastrology” is here to help you use your Sun sign in deciding what to watch! See? I told you it was going to be fun!

Equal parts astrology, trivia, and movie outlines, each Sun sign is given quite a bit of information. First, Wonderly gives a rough outline of the characteristics of the sign, throughout which she makes film suggestions. Then you’re presented with some top picks, date movie suggestions, comedies, and classics. Better still, there is a section of suggestions for films for each Sun sign to watch with different Sun signs! For example, a suggested film for a Gemini and Scorpio to watch together is “Sin City” (a movie I love). Each section concludes with a list of film stars that are of that Sun sign (Ian McKellen and I are both Geminis with our birthdays only days apart! Apparently, I have the same birthday as Annette Bening.)

“Cinemastrology” by Stella Wonderly is a great book for film fans and astrology lovers alike! A fun pick me up for these shut in days!

You can learn more here.

To up the fun quotient, I am giving away a copy of “Cinemastrology”! As per usual, we are doing the giveaway using Rafflecopter! This contest is open internationally and ends on June 12, 2020 at 11:59PM eastern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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.

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

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