Spiritual Places

I just read the most beautiful book, “Spiritual Places” by Sarah Baxter. Baxter is a travel journalist that has compiled an impressive list of spiritual places to visit. Some are seen as spiritual by their very nature, and other locations are spiritual because of the places of worship built there. 25 places are discussed, ranging from Easter Island to Wittenberg Castle Church. Baxter discusses the location’s history, interesting facts about, suggestions for when visiting and more!

This alone would make “Spiritual Places” a great read, but instead of stock photos for these locations someone (author, publisher, not sure who) decided to have illustrations by Harry and Zanna Goldhawk used in their place. The art is wonderful. It takes an interesting, but potentially stale, book and transports it to another level. Suddenly it feels like you’re reading a whimsical storybook or fairy tale, except the stories are true!

Camino de Santiago

The writing, the art, and the hardcover format makes “Spiritual Places” an excellent gift idea for just about anyone, including yourself.

To learn more, visit here.

Favorite Things 2017

If you’re new to reading this site, you may not know that at the end of every year I do a post about 10 of my favorite things that year. I try to publish in time for you to acquire said things for gift giving purposes, whether it’s a gift for yourself or someone else. Every year I also point out that my list is WAY better than Oprah’s because all of my favorite things are affordable. Particularly when compared to some of her picks. That’s when I point out that I should just be the next Oprah. Consider this paragraph, my annual “I’m better than/or the next Oprah” rant.

The list is presented in no particular order, and everything is new to me this year, not necessarily something that came out this year. I think that covers everything, so let’s get to the list.

“Everyday Witch Tarot” by Deborah Blake with art by Elisabeth Alba. It’s no secret that I love me some Deborah Blake, but trust me when I say she really hit it out of the park with her first tarot deck. Blake’s witchy interpretation of the traditional Rider-Waite deck combined with Alba’s whimsical art created an instant tarot classic that hopefully Llewellyn will keep in print for many years to come. Learn more here.

“The Art and Science of Hand Reading” by Ellen Goldberg and Dorian Bergen. This book is the real deal. If you purchase this book you truly may never need another book about hand reading. It’s a massive text book full of more information than you may have ever thought available. For those looking to get serious with their hand reading work in the new year, look no further. Learn more here.

“The Tarot of Bones” by Lupa. Lupa is a well established Pagan author of works focusing on nature and her first self-published tarot deck is the culmination of her work as a scholar of nature and as an artist. Lupa’s use of animal bone and elements of nature create a whole new approach to the tarot and makes it a must own for tarot collectors and lovers of the natural world. Learn more here.

“Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans” by Sandra Kynes. “Plant Magic” is a reminder that one of Kynes strengths is her ability to catalog the connections between things. In this book the focus is entirely on plants including a plant’s relationship to a particular holiday, what plants grow best each month, and what plants can be found in the wild each month. And of course the magical correspondences of all those plants! Learn more here.

“Drug Wars: How Big Pharma Raises Prices and Keeps Generics Off the Market” by Robin Feldman and Even Frondorf. Not a light, easy read, but an important one for those of us interested in how prescription drugs work in America. Learn more here.

“Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality & Magic” by Ellen Evert Hopman. Reading “Secret Medicines from Your Garden” makes you feel like the author is personally leading you on a wilderness adventure. Hopman regales you with anecdotes from her spiritual journey and herbalism training. This is easily the most engaging book about plants ever. Learn more here.

“Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm” by Varla Ventura. This book is fantastic. The author’s enthusiasm for the subject matter is obvious as she relates assorted tales from folklore. I always love how she unearths the more obscure creatures for these books. In this one you’ll find fairies, pookas, and changelings (of course). You’ll also read about bonga, trolls, coblyns, brownies, and even Rumpelstiltskin! Learn more here.

“The Book of Thoth: Egyptian Tarot” by Aleister Crowley. If you’re an occult book nerd like myself, this new edition of “The Book of Thoth” is some hot book porn. This new facsimile edition of “The Book of Thoth” is a faithful reproduction of the Samuel Weiser Inc. 1969 edition, which in turn was a facsimile of the original O.T.O. edition printed in 1944. The text is digitally restored, printed on a heavy, coated stock, and features revised color plates and black and white illustrations of the Thoth Tarot based on new photography of the original art, courtesy of the O.T.O. and The Warburg Institute. The book text block is smyth sewn, with a rounded back, and headbands. Printed endpaper reproduces the Egyptian motif from the board covers of the 1944 edition. The cover is quality cloth over boards with gold stamping on the spine, and is wrapped with a jacket which again features updated art while matching the original design. Learn more here.

“The Yogi Diet: Spirituality and the Question of Vegetarianism” by James Morgante. I love food. I love learning about religions. This book talks about both, in depth. I loved it. Learn more here.

“Botanical Inspirations Deck and Book Set” by Lynn Araujo with art by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. This deck shares folklore, symbolism, and more for each flower or plant. It features absolutely beautiful artwork by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. This is the perfect deck for lovers of oracle style decks and/or fans of flowers. Learn more here.

Assuming the comments on the site are working, tell me some of your favorites of this year! Or tell me on The Magical Buffet’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts!

Crystal Healing for the Heart

I’m here to tell you that author Nicholas Pearson has done it again with his latest book “Crystal Healing for the Heart: Gemstone Therapy for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being”.

You may recall that back in April I reviewed Pearson’s “Crystals for Karmic Healing”. What he did for karma in that book, he does again for the heart in this one. What started as a workshop Pearson offered has evolved into a book that instructs you on how to use crystals to help with your heart. If you’re like me you probably assumed that it was going to be a big pile of love magic, but obviously (since I’m writing about it) it has so much more going on.

You can follow the workshop style of the book starting at “Exploring the Heart” and “Strengthening the Heart” all the way to the with “The Awakened Heart”. You can also pick and choose your focus, although Pearson makes a strong argument for taking the systematic approach.

Let me tell you what you REALLY want to know, if you’re like me. “Crystal Healing for the Heart” is loaded with beautiful, full color photos of gemstones and minerals. There are also photos of the author doing some of the exercises from the book.

Whether you have an a distinct interest in the heart or not, Pearson’s book does what he does best, makes you look at crystals in new and intriguing ways.

You can learn more about “Crystal Healing for the Heart” here.

Witches & Wizards

You may remember when I wrote about “Human Tribe” I suggested that perhaps it’s my nosy nature but I’m always curious about people. Let me add that I’m particularly interested in the lives of historic magical practitioners, which is why when offered the chance to read “Witches and Wizards: The Real-life Stories Behind the Occult’s Greatest Legends” by Lucy Cavendish I jumped at the chance.

Let me start with, any of the subjects in “Witches and Wizards” is worthy of a whole book unto themselves. Many of them do have whole books dedicated to them! However something about the mix of types and eras makes for an interesting “big picture” look at magical practitioners that shaped our world. Inside you’ll read about Merlin, Aleister Crowley, Doreen Valiente, John Dee, the witches (or not witches) of Salem, Massachusetts and of course more.

I hate to sound like a total book nerd, but I also love the physical format of the book too. It’s small, hardcover with no slip cover, just a cover with beautiful cover art on it. This book is going to last, and better still it says, “The Supernatural Series Book One” at the top. This hopefully means I can look forward to a shelf full of these attractive and interesting books.

You can learn more about “Witches and Wizards” here.

Buddhism 101

When it comes to religion, I’m quite the fan of Buddhism. And believe me when I say I have read more than my fair share of intro to Buddhism type books. That’s why I’m excited to tell you I recently read my new favorite book of the genre, “Buddhism 101” by Arnie Kozak, PhD.

The cover describes “Buddhism 101” as a “Crash Course in Buddhism”, and what an amazing crash course it is! Despite its diminutive size, perfect for carrying in a purse (ask me how I know), “Buddhism 101” leaves no stone unturned. Kozak covers everything Buddhism, not just separating schools, but discussing the subtleties of the religion as they vary by country. He starts at the very beginning, before Buddha was Buddha, and leads you through a time line that eventually spans the globe to today.

“Buddhism 101” does more than just describe the religion, it addresses many questions that a specifically Western audience might ask, and discusses Buddhist practices in the modern Western world. Want to know enough about Buddhism to discuss it intelligently? Want to see if Buddhism is right for you? “Buddhism 101” will handily address both those questions.

Learn more about “Buddhism 101” here.

Human Tribe

I love art books, particularly photography ones featuring people. Maybe it’s because I’m nosy by nature, but I like seeing other people and their lives. If you’re like me, keep reading because “Human Tribe” by photographer Alison Wright just released.

Wright’s career has been as a documentary photographer for National Geographic publications, and her latest book, “Human Tribe”, contains 160 portraits taken of people on every continent. Her goal was to show the diversity of life and features men, women, toddlers, essentially everyone from every walk of life.

It’s never too soon to consider the approaching holiday season, and “Human Tribe” seems like a beautiful gift.

Here’s a few examples of what’s inside!

There is this.

There is this.
And this.
And even this.

You can learn more about “Human Tribe” here.