The Bavarian Illuminati

In a world of sexy book porn, today we’re looking at some of the sexiest of sexy, “The Bavarian Illuminati: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Secret Society” by Rene Le Forestier and translated by Jon E. Graham. 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. Until now!

Inner Traditions spared no expense in bringing “The Bavarian Illuminati” to English speaking audiences. The text is presented in hard cover, with a built-in ribbon bookmark. This book is informative, but could also be brandished as a weapon if necessary. But enough foreplay, let’s get into it.

Le Forestier utilized as much primary source material in researching this book as he could find. Bavarian academic Adam Weishaupt founded the short-lived Bavarian Order of the Illuminati in 1776, mainly as a reaction to the Jesuit stranglehold on education in Bavaria at the time and his disappointment in his attempts to join the Freemasons. An intelligent, but vain individual, Weishaupt’s grand design would have floundered and died quickly, but fortunately for him, Adolph, Baron von Knigge came along and helped organize the Illuminati first by applying his Freemason knowledge to the order and then creating the strategy of taking over Freemasonry from the inside out. Even with this, the order didn’t quite last 10 years.

Yet the idea of the Illuminati and their efforts to sabotage the Church and subvert the German Freemasons planted seeds that still bear fruit today of a global organization with its tendrils in everything from the government to the stock market. In reading “The Bavarian Illuminati” Le Forestier clearly presents the flaw in this conspiracy in the fact that the Weishaupt’s Illuminati couldn’t keep itself secret for a decade, let alone imagining this bickering hive of egos could keep a secret for hundreds of years.

“The Bavarian Illuminati” by Rene Le Forestier is not an inexpensive book. However, if you’re looking for a deep dive into the origins of the infamous Bavarian Illuminati and the assorted other secret societies of the era, this would be money well spent.

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.)

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The Crystal Fix

It is no secret that I love crystals, so yes, I’ll be reviewing another book about crystals. Now obviously I requested a review copy of “The Crystal Fix: Healing Crystals for the Modern Home” by Juliette Thornbury because, duh, crystals. Honestly, I was not prepared by for how truly wonderful this book turned out to be.

I’m not going to say that Thornbury has written a major breakthrough for the crystal market, much of the contents of “The Crystal Fix” is fairly standard fair. However, there a few things that make this book special, and really a must own for those of us addicted to our crystals. First, the photography of crystals throughout the book is absolutely stunning. I’m talking, stopping you mid-page turn gasping at the beauty level of photos. Next, in all the crystal books I’ve read, and yes there has been a lot, never has a book on the subject shown so thoroughly how to fully integrate them into your daily life. From special crystal rituals, to your skincare routine, to jewelry or just sitting on a window sill, you cannot read “The Crystal Fix” and not be inspired to incorporate more crystals into your life.

If you love crystals, you really should get a copy of “The Crystal Fix” by Juliette Thornbury. You’ll come away with a better understanding of all the ways crystals can be utilized daily.

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.)

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Full Bloom

As most of you know, I’m a lady that loves to eat, and a lady that loves being given an excuse to eat. So here we are, now discussing “Full Bloom: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes for Your Summer Table” by Virpi Mikkonen.

Flipping through “Full Bloom” is like scrolling through one of those aspirational lifestyle wellness Instagram accounts. Everything looks beautiful, delicious, and maybe you don’t want to think about everything that goes into making it that way. While “Full Bloom” touts its simple recipes and easy to accommodate ingredients, I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a book for beginners. Although, if you’re willing to do a little extra shopping and put in a bit of effort, you’ll find this book is loaded with amazing summer dishes you can truly feel good about.

And don’t you worry, there are some STUPIDLY easy recipes nestled in “Full Bloom” and I made one! “3-Ingredient Brownies” is truth in advertising. Bananas, almond butter, and cacao powder go into a blender and then into the oven. Mikkonen suggests serving them with vanilla ice cream, and she is right. The brownies have a good taste to them, but are a bit dry and grainy in texture. I ate mine with plain yogurt and it made of world of difference.

If you’re looking for some inspired summertime, plant-based food and beverage ideas, I highly recommend “Full Bloom” by Virpi Mikkonen.

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.)

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Paganism for Prisoners

Author and High Priestess Awyn Dawn discovered Paganism while incarcerated, and with her book “Paganism for Prisoners: Connecting to the Magic Within” she seeks to help those who are currently incarcerated start their journey.

Dawn espouses that magic comes within yourself, and there is nothing like being in jail to put a fine point on that. “Paganism for Prisoners” touches on the ways you may be restricted from access to traditional tools, etc. Dawn also offers wonderful DIY ideas for substitutes. You’ll find a thoughtful discussion on ethics and personal responsibility, rituals for one or more, divination, holidays, and more.

However, the common thread is that all you really need is you. It’s for this reason that I find “Paganism for Prisoners” a compelling introduction to Paganism and witchcraft for anyone. This is absolutely, 100%, hands down one of the best Paganism/Witchcraft 101 style books I have ever read.

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

Goddess Magic

It is pretty well-known that I am a sucker for goddesses. That is why I didn’t’ bother looking into the details when offer the opportunity to read “Goddess Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Rituals Divine in Origin” by Aurora Kane.

If you’re a more cautious sort and want to know more than that the word “Goddess” is in the title, I can help you out. Now I’m not going to sit here and claim that Kane invented a whole new system of magic, however she does an excellent job explaining the best way to incorporate magical basics into working with goddesses. Where “Goddess Magic” truly excels is in the curated selection of goddesses and Kane’s great ideas to work with them. I can hear you now, “What goddesses are in the book?” I’m glad you asked!

Eos/Aurora/Tesana, Freya, Hebe/Juventas, Inanna, Venus/Aphrodite, Corn Mother, Cybele, Danu, Demeter/Ceres, Hera/Juno, Isis, Mawu, Ninhursag, Oshun, Selene, Yemaya, Amaterasu, Clementia/Eleos, Iris, Kuan Yin, Ma’at, Rhiannon, Veritas/Aletheia, Airmid, Bao Gu, Brigid, Cerridwen, Nidra, Hestia/Vesta, Gabija, Frigg, Epione, Berchta, Fortuna/Tyche, Lakshmi, Pachamama, Rosmerta, Bastet/Bast, Artemis/Diana, Durga, Lady Xian, Nike/Victoria, Tara/Sgrol-ma, Athena/Minerva, Hathor, Baubo/Iambe, Ixchel, Laetitia, and yes, there are more that I didn’t list here!

Seriously, if you are into goddesses, like I am, you NEED “Goddess Magic.” If you’re interested in incorporating goddesses into your practice, you NEED “Goddess Magic.” If you think there isn’t a goddess out there for you, you’re wrong, and you NEED “Goddess Magic.” I guess what I’m saying is that you really need “Goddess Magic” by Aurora Kane.

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

Thrifty Witch’s Book of Simple Spells

Today we’re talking about “The Thrifty Witch’s Book of Simple Spells: Potions, Charms, and Incantations for the Modern Witch” by Wren Maple. This is certainly not the first book about affordable witchcraft practices. I’m quite the fan of “Witchcraft on a Shoestring” by Deborah Blake. Many view these sorts of books as “beginner.” However, I find there is always something to take away from books like these, and “The Thrifty Witch’s Book of Simple Spells” is no exception.

Obviously, Maple covers some basics, you have to cover the bases. But from there she offers a variety of spells in the classic categories: protection, abundance, healing/health, banishing/binding, sleep/relaxation, and psychic. Not only are they easy to understand spells, but the necessary components are simple to acquire or things you may already have. Better still, Maple reminds you that YOU are the most important component to your magic. And it all comes in a package whimsically illustrated by Tanya Jacobson.

“The Thrifty Witch’s Book of Simple Spells” by Wren Maple is a fantastic book for beginners or advanced magic practitioners. It inspires readers, or at least inspired THIS reader, to rethink the way you make magic.

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

10 Questions with Cairelle Crow & Laura Louella (Giveaway)

What happens when you interview two different authors separately about the same thing? In this case, you find out that they really do work well together. Please enjoy this interview with Cairelle Crow and Laura Louella as we discuss the anthology book they edited, “Brigid’s Light”, and everything that entailed.

1. I’m guessing most of my readers are familiar with Brigid, but for those who are not, can you explain who she is?

Cairelle Crow: Brigid is first documented in the folklore, mythology, and spiritual traditions of the Celtic nations of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany, as well as in England, where she is revered at numerous sacred sites. As a pre-Christian triple goddess of Ireland, she is an object of reverence over a wide expanse of northwestern Europe. She is also well-known as St. Brigid of Kildare. It is debated whether the saint is a continuation of the goddess, or whether the goddess and saint are completely different. Either way, many of her followers accept that the goddess and saint are inextricably entwined and it’s not unusual to see a mix of both traditions within one path.

Laura Louella: Brigid is multi-faceted. She is a mother, a daughter, a goddess and a saint. Her hearth fires blaze, she is the center. She has love and cares for the less fortunate. Brigid is a healer.

2. Why out of all the deities did you choose to devote an anthology to Brigid?

Cairelle Crow: While I work with a multitude of goddesses, Brigid is my matroness goddess and I wanted to honor her.

Laura Louella: I love her, she is at the heart of my home. She is a protectress, a humanitarian, lover of animals and she knows loss and grief. She is an example of how to live life.

3. Do you find there are any prevalent misconceptions about Brigid?

Cairelle Crow: Too many people mistakenly see Brigid as a “beginner” goddess, suitable only for those who need a gentle introduction to goddess spirituality and/or paganism. Brigid is multi-faceted and stands firmly within her boundaries and sovereignty. Her stories, myths, and legends reflect strength and determination. Practitioners of any level can learn from Brigid’s example.

Laura Louella: That she is a beginner goddess and only gentle. Some fail to see her many attributes, she stood up to power, she wasn’t afraid to face the hard things. She was not concerned about being popular when caring for the needs of others. And she showed her emotions and taught us how to as well.

4. Why an anthology, or compilation, instead of an entire book authored by yourself on the subject?

Cairelle Crow: There are so many perspectives on Brigid. I thought it would be great to highlight the many ways she is experienced by others. I was also interested in how she’s made her way around the world, traveling along with immigrants and through modern technology.

Laura Louella: There are so many people who love her, we wanted all the voices to shine their light on her.

5. How did you go about soliciting contributions for “Brigid’s Light”?

Cairelle Crow: We created a detailed request for submissions on our website and shared it on social media. We also asked others that we know are devotees and we asked them to write about their experiences.

Laura Louella: We reached out to people via social media, we contacted people we have studied with, and friends.

6. “Bridgid’s Light” was edited by both of you. How did that partnership come about and how did you divide the labor?

Cairelle Crow: We met when Laura picked me up from the airport. We were attending the same event and I needed a ride! We’d known each other online previously, and a close friendship developed after a discussion of our mutual devotion to Brigid. The anthology, from start to finish, was done together over Zoom sessions with a shared screen. We work well together, we shared a lot of laughs, and thoroughly enjoyed the process!

Laura Louella: We met when I picked up Cairelle at an airport in Oregon. We had met online but never in person. As we traveled back to California, we began sharing our stories, one conversation led to another and we began speaking of our devotion to Brigid. I believe Brigid brought us together and gave us the spark of inspiration we needed for Brigid’s Light.
We worked together, since we live in different time zones, we spent a lot of time on zoom! We wrote together, we edited together, and as the submissions came in, we rejoiced together. I will tell you that Cairelle is the tech person. Without that I would have struggled greatly. She walked me through some of the IT stuff with great patience.

7. There are loads of prayers, essays, and more in “Brigid’s Light.” Do you have a few personal favorites?

Cairelle Crow: Ohhh, this is hard! I love them all so much! Some that come to mind right in this moment are the poem by NiDara, Laura’s essay about her family’s quilting tradition, and Raven Morgaine’s beautiful portrayal of Maman Brijit. I also love Maria Jones’ essay about Brigid and astrology.

Laura Louella: It is so hard to choose a favorite. The one that made me cry is the submission from Bernadette Montana entitled My Personal Relationship with Brid. The one that reminded me that Brigid is always with us, by Tara Anura, Brigid of the Ozarks gave me a sense of knowing Brigid walks with us through great challenges. Love and Honey Baked Apples by Cairelle, I can feel the love in her grandma’s kitchen. Also, Jenne Micale’s, A Prayer to Brighid in Times of Violence, so profound and right now! I cannot choose one because everyone, all of the submissions shine a beautiful light on my beloved Brigid.

8. What do you think are some of the most basic ways to honor Brigid?

Cairelle Crow: The number one most basic way that I honor Brigid is to be of service to others, in whatever way is possible. Even offering a smile to another person on the street can be uplifting. Little things really matter! Other ways are keeping a flame, tending an altar that honors her, cooking a meal for loved ones. The possibilities are near-endless. People will know best what resonates within themselves.

Laura Louella: Watching the sun rise, sitting by a river or stream, lighting a candle and saying a prayer, tending my altar where I place my sacred items honoring her, and caring for others.

9. What’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects that my readers should be aware of?

Cairelle Crow: We are currently writing a book, we are planning retreats to Ireland and Glastonbury in 2023, and we continue to work on expanding our Elements of Philanthropy and Threads of Connection projects. Details about all of this can be found on our website, www.sanctuaryofbrigid.com.

Laura Louella: So much!! We are currently writing a book proposal that we are very excited about. We are planning on taking a group of women on a retreat to Ireland and Glastonbury, details are on www.sanctuaryofbrigid.com , where people that are interested can get on a list to be contacted about details. Also, on our website there is a page called Elements of Philanthropy where we encourage acts of service to honor Brigid.

10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Cairelle Crow: Do you have a matroness goddess? If so, who?

Not a particular individual goddess. I worship the divine feminine in many aspects. My altar pays homage to Quan Yin, Kali, Santa Muerte, Medusa, and Pandora.

Laura Louella: How do you see Brigid; do you have a story or recipe or poem that honors her?

I suspect many will find it surprising that I’ve never devoted much time to Brigid. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to read “Brigid’s Light.”

About Cairelle Crow:
Cairelle Crow has walked a goddess path for more than thirty years, exploring, learning, and growing. She is a priestess, genealogist, wanderess of wild and holy places, and co-foundress of the Sanctuary of Brigid and its flame-keeping circle, Sisters of the Flame. She lectures locally, nationally, and internationally on the blending of genealogy with magic and is dedicated to connecting magical people to their ancestral truths. When she’s not roaming the world in search of grandmothers, quirky art, and stone circles, Cairelle is home in New Orleans, where she lives joyfully, loves intensely, and laughs frequently with beloved family and friends. You can find her online at www.cairellecrow.com.

About Laura Louella:
Laura Louella is a priestess, certified Pilates instructor committed to teaching the strength that lies within, and the owner of Goddess Pilates, where she blends the art of sacred movement with the beauty of the goddess. She is also the co-foundress of the Sanctuary of Brigid and its flame-keeping circle, Sisters of the Flame. Many days, you can find her tending her garden, taking long walks through the forest, sitting by the river, or creating a quilt on her 1936 Featherweight Singer sewing machine. Laura lives in the Cascade Mountains of northern California.

You can learn more here.

Guess what? I accidentally received two copies of “Brigid’s Light”. You know what that means? GIVEAWAY! As usual, we’re using Rafflecopter. The giveaway is open to United States residents 18 years of age and old. Giveaway ends Monday 03/28/2022 at 11:59pm eastern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop your local indie bookstore <---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

The Book of Celtic Verse

If you’re followed The Magical Buffet for a while, you know that I don’t really do poetry on here. Everyone has a different idea as to what constitutes “good” poetry and that opinion becomes even more disparate the more modern the poetry is, at least it appears that way to me. So, when I received an email inquiring as to whether I wished to review “The Book of Celtic Verse: A Treasury of Poetry, Dreams & Visions” edited by John Matthews, I nearly automatically hit delete. Fortunately, I took a second look because John Matthews has put together something special, particularly for those who interests lie with Celtic traditions.

From Matthews introduction, “This collection of Celtic poetry and versecraft spans some 15 centuries and refers to the linguistic group that includes Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany. These areas are deemed Celtic from the fact that the Celts settled in these lands and have remained there, despite several conquests, ever since.” I don’t envy the enormous task Matthews undertook in compiling this book.

In his research Matthews realized the unifying themes in the prose he read and thus compiled “The Book of Celtic Verse” into five parts: Part One: Spells and Incantations (The Poetry of Magic), Part Two: The High Dream of Nature (The Poetry of the Natural World), Part Three: Lovers Under Leaf (The Poetry of Love), Part Four: Warrior and Warlords (War Songs and Praise Poems), and Part Five: Voice of the Spirit (The Poetry of Vision).

“The Book Celtic Verse” is a wonderful book for lovers of Celtic history, poetry, and magic.

Silences by Iolo Aneurin Williams

We glide and are still on the river
In quiet that drugs the wit,
The sun has charmed our hearts
As the day is charmed with it.

And the little owl in the willow –
So passionless, still, we seem –
As little fears our passing
As he fears the passing stream.

The sun has charmed our hearts,
Our sense, to tranquility –
Quiet as weeds in the river
Or the little owl in the tree.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---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.

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The Watkins Tarot Handbook

There are plenty of book out there devoted to tarot. Some our devoted to using tarot to divine the future, and many more discuss using the tarot as a tool for self-reflection. When I was offered the opportunity to review “The Watkins Tarot Handbook: A Practical System of Self-Discovery” by Naomi Ozaniec, I was expecting a vaguely new age, self-help book that utilized tarot. What I got was a jaw dropping, initiatory experience.

Ozaniec’s reading of tarot is that, “The language of the Tarot is that of the symbol in many forms: numerical, mythical, elemental, zodiacal, alchemical and Hermetic,” and that it’s, “a visual representation of the Western Esoteric Tradition.” This certainly isn’t the first book about tarot that I’ve seen make these observations, however “The Watkins Tarot Handbook” exceeds expectations when it comes to proving its point. Sure, like many books about tarot, you’ll find images of classic tarot cards, but in this book, you’ll also see the Wheel of Correspondences (as produced by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki), Strephon Kaplan Williams model of The Seven Archetypes, a table of Hebrew letters, the Tree of Life, the Psychosynthesis Egg, and so much more. Ozaniec’s version of tarot is a full-on initiation in the Western magical traditions.

“The Watkins Tarot Handbook” by Naomi Ozaniec is an amazing resource for any interested in anything occult. This book teaches you tarot and just so much more.

You can learn more here.

Get your 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.

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Witch, Please

When I agreed to review “Witch, Please: Empowerment and Enlightenment for the Modern Mystic” by Victoria Maxwell I was expecting a blunt, slightly crass, book of advice. And to me, that isn’t a bad thing. However, Maxwell isn’t the sassy straight-talker I was expecting. Instead, she’s you’re supportive, spiritual seeker sister. And that, is always nice.

Not to make this weird, but Maxwell is definitely a spiritual sister of The Magical Buffet. In her introduction Maxwell states, “I’ve always been a big believer in the ‘take what resonates and leave the rest approach’.” Old school Magical Buffet readers may recognize that as a more eloquent version of my original website’s theme, “Take what you want and leave the rest.” So obviously by page 5 I was sold on this book.

With that said, what are you interested in? “Witch, Please” gives you a veritable plethora of options to explore: relationship magic, meditation, cleansing, money magic, working with energies, creating a grimoire/journal, warding, tarot cards, and much more. Everything is presented clearly, with enough information to get you started and find if it’s something you wish to pursue.

People who have an established spiritual and/or magical practice may want to pass on “Witch, Please.” On the other hand, if you’re like me and always looking for new magical bits to add to your daily life, Victoria Maxwell wrote a great place to start.

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