Living Magic

“Living Magic: Contemporary Insights and Experiences from Practicing Magicians” by Frater U∴D∴ is a collection of essays about magic from the founding members of the Bonn Workshop for Experimental Magic in Germany. Although anticipating discussions about magic, I wasn’t prepared from the biographical angle of the book. You’ll find interviews and personal recollections. I didn’t mind because I’m nosey by nature and love to learn about the practitioners as much as the practice, but it is something to keep in mind.

“Living Magic” is well-written, and I found many of the essays provided food for thought. If you’re interested in magic, particularly from the Western occult tradition, I’d recommend giving this book a try.

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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Think Before You Pink 2021

As most of you know, one of my favorite activist/charity groups is Breast Cancer Action. So, each year I promote their Think Before You Pink campaign. This is an annual event to bring attention to the Pinkwashing centered around October, aka breast cancer awareness month. Pinkwasher is a term coined by Breast Cancer Action in 2002. It is a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products containing chemicals that are linked to the disease. (Text from the BCA website.)

Susan G. Komen®, one of the largest breast cancer organizations in the world, has a history of minimizing the environmental harms linked to breast cancer — and their pinkwashing partners like Bank of America are fueling the problem.

Breast Cancer Action’s 2021 Think Before You Pink® campaign is calling out Komen’s partnership with Bank of America and the Susan G. Komen® Pink Ribbon Banking Program, which is comprised of both a credit and debit card. These cards use the goodwill of the breast cancer community to increase Bank of America’s profits, which fund the cancer-causing fossil fuel industry.

A Line of Credit or Pipeline to Cancer?

Every purchase made through the Pink Ribbon Banking Program goes toward the $1.5 million that Bank of America has pledged to Susan G. Komen® between 2021 and 2023.

Here’s the problem: These banking cards emblazoned with the notorious pink ribbon are a blatant example of pinkwashing.

Bank of America is a top financial contributor to the fossil fuel industry, an industry that increases our risk for breast cancer through environmental exposures produced all along the fossil fuel continuum. We are exposed to chemicals such as benzene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins, and PFAS along the continuum, from extraction to processing, to exposure to fossil fuel products and byproducts.

Susan G. Komen® is pinkwashing by accepting money from a Pink Ribbon Banking Program that also grows the profits of Bank of America, an institution that funds the cancer-causing fossil fuel industry. Susan G. Komen® cannot claim to care about ending breast cancer while pocketing MILLIONS from an industry that causes the disease.

Fossil fuel infrastructure disproportionately harms BIPOC and low-income communities. This is due to decades of racist urban planning practices, industrial zoning, and lending practices that lead to communities of color being disproportionately exposed to high levels of air, water, and soil pollution.

Bank of America currently finances a tar sands pipeline, commonly known as Line 3, which runs through Anishinaabe land in Minnesota and violates the treaty rights of many Indigenous folx. The pipeline, and the spills it has already caused in production, expose Indigenous communities, and all of us, to high levels of hazardous air and water pollution. Additionally, we cannot ignore the human rights violations that occur in erecting pipeline infrastructure.

Water protectors are over-policed, criminalized, and subject to state-sanctioned violence for protesting pipeline construction. Furthermore, under the oil boom, Indigenous communities have reported increased rates of human trafficking and missing and murdered Indigenous women in their communities.

Bank of America claims to care about the environment yet they continue to invest in this outdated, profit-driven energy source that is rapidly destroying our planet and our health. A recent report from Rainforest Action Network found Bank of America was one of the top three financial institutions to fund worldwide fossil fuel expansion between 2016 and 2020. In 2020 alone, Bank of America invested over $42.1 billion in fossil fuel projects.

The financial industry’s continued support of fossil fuel projects proliferates a legacy of climate destruction, environmental racism, and public health negligence. The Pink Ribbon Banking Program’s pink ribbon cards not only distract from the catastrophic devastation that is being caused; the program also exploits breast cancer for good publicity. But as always, we see right through it!

Card Declined: Stop Pink Ribbon Banking

Komen has partnered with the Bank of America for over a decade and has received more than $10.8 million since 2009. The bank is a National Presenting Partner of Komen’s 3-Day Walk®, Race for the Cure®, and More Than Pink Walk®. Komen’s continued partnership with a top fossil fuel investor exposes us to toxic chemicals, props up fossil fuel industries, violates human rights, and validates pinkwashing.

It’s safe to say that making money from an industry that puts profit before people and funds fossil fuels is fundamental to how Komen meets their budget goals, and it’s time for that to come to an end.

Komen has a new bold goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the United States by the year 2026. This is a meaningless goal if they continue to allow industries to CAUSE the very disease they claim to care about ending.

Susan G. Komen® claims to be “where the end of breast cancer begins.” If this is true, they must stop banking on breast cancer and divest from pinkwashing! Phase-out the Pink Ribbon Banking Program with Bank of America, a primary funder of the fossil fuel industry—an industry that’s fueling the climate and breast cancer crises!

Learn more about Think Before You Pink here.

Banned Books Week 2021

As you may or not know, yesterday was the start of Banned Books Week! We always celebrate here at The Magical Buffet. The American Library Association, along with assorted schools, stores, authors, and more, come together for one week to bring attention to continued attempts to limit what people can read.

This year’s theme is, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. – from the ALA website.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. And just like in year’s past, I’m here today to make you aware of the top 10 challenged books of 2020. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020. Of the 273 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

George by Alex Gino

Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

If you want to support these authors, independent bookstores, and myself, consider visiting my online bookshop where for your convenience you can shop all these titles. (You’ll also find the beginnings of other book lists. I add to the shop as time allows.)

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

Traditional Brazilian Black Magic

Let’s give a round of applause to Destiny Books (an imprint of Inner Traditions) for shepherding Diego De Oxóssi’s book, “Traditional Brazilian Black Magic: The Secrets of the Kimbanda Magicians” to the American marketplace. I obviously don’t know every book that has ever been published, but it seems like Africa meets Brazil isn’t too prevalent.

De Oxóssi offers a history of Kimbanda that starts in the 17th century with the arrival of African slaves that were brought to Brazil up to modern times. Already having minimal knowledge of African magical practices and none of Brazil’s, Kimbanda was a fascinating first look at the spiritual and magical practices. Kimbanda encourages working with deities and embracing the dualistic nature of life. Light and dark, virtue and vice, male and female, etc. It is a rich tradition featuring seven realms with nine dominions, each with their own entities that reside within them and govern them. What I found of particular interest is that there is a branch of Kimbanda that is a synthesis of Western high magic and Luciferian traditions. This came about from the association of Goetian daemons with Kimbanda’s Eshus. It feels like a unique evolution.

“Traditional Brazilian Black Magic” by Diego De Oxóssi packs quite a punch in its slender 100ish pages. I picked it up expecting a quick read and instead found myself slowly reviewing each section due to the volume of information packed into each page. Not only is the book a great read if you’re interested in learning about this practice, but it will make a fantastic re-read when inevitably you’re pulled back in to learn more.

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

International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2021

Start your preparations and consider yourself warned, this Sunday is INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! A day sacred to rum drinkers, Pastafarians, and lovers of annoying accents!

If you keep up to date on ITLAPD, as I do, you probably saw the resharing of the video “Talk Like a Pirate Day: The Five A’s” created by the holiday’s founders.

What are the 5 As? They’re the basic building blocks of your pirate lingo! Be sure you’re ready to go with these bad boys on Sunday:

Ahoy
Avast
Aye
Aye Aye
Aaaarrrrrrr

You can experience them all first hand with this handy two minute video.

However you choose to celebrate, drink responsibly and respect all covid guidelines.

Tree Magic Review and Giveaway

It’s time for a heart to heart. Sandra Kynes is way under appreciated. Why is that? Is it because while other authors are curating their Instagram grids, she has had her nose to grindstone, steadily and consistently authoring dozens of books about everything ranging from crystals to plants to symbols and more? This isn’t meant to be a slam on the social media savvy authors out there, many of whom I enjoy following greatly, but what I’m trying to say is that Kynes has been doing the work. I can’t help but feel like for her it has been thankless job.

For example, with what seems like zero fanfare, Kynes latest book “Tree Magic: Connecting with the Spirit & Wisdom of Trees” released. Do magical folks no longer care about trees? Seems unlikely. But if for some reason you’ve been lacking enthusiasm for trees, “Tree Magic” will fix that! The core, or perhaps roots is a better term, of the book come from Kyne’s 2006 book “Whispers from the Woods.” However, “Tree Magic” is thoroughly revised and greatly expanded with a focus on magical practices. Kynes profiles over 60 trees including scientific information, astrological correspondences, deities associated with certain trees, elemental correspondences, wildlife and magical creatures that favor each tree, powers and attributes of the tree, and even more! The extensive information provided allows you to use the tree as a focus of your magic, or as an enhancement to your already existent magical practices.

Sandra Kyne’s “Tree Magic” is filled with so many new ideas I found myself, a non-nature-oriented gal, inspired to look for new ways to use them in my personal practice.

You can learn more here.

Are you looking for tree inspiration? Tree-spiration? The good news is, Sandra Kynes was kind enough to give us a signed copy of her latest book to giveaway! As per usual, we’ll be using Rafflecopter! Giveaway ends at 11:59pm eastern on 09/11/2021. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

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.

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

Passport to the Paranormal

I love books that give me excuses. Books about magical cocktails as an excuse to drink. Books about food magic as an excuse to eat. Books about magical places as an excuse to travel. I’m an enabler who loves to be enabled herself. Therefore, I read “Passport to the Paranormal: Your Guide to Haunted Spots in America” by Rich Newman. (“200 Terrifying Places You Can Visit!” the cover touts.)

There is no shortage of ways to learn about creepy locales, in America or internationally, particularly if you have access to the Discovery Channel. Even the book’s author refers to visiting many of the locations mentioned in the book while filming for a Japanese television show about the paranormal. I’m not going to lie; the paranormal location marketplace is crowded. Bordering on, too crowded? Yet here I am, writing about Newman’s latest. Why?

“Passport to the Paranormal” narrows the focus to the United States and given the lockdown way we’re living our lives these days closer to home is good. Also, I don’t know the author personally, but in writing he’s far more entertaining than many hosts of paranormal television shows. And in even more enabling, “Passport to the Paranormal” also includes tourism tips.

Rich Newman’s “Passport to the Paranormal” is a thorough and entertaining entry in the paranormal places’ genre. If you’re looking for an excuse to travel, you’ll find it here!

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

Iconic Tarot Decks

Today we have an AMAZING book to discuss. It’s both #bookporn and #tarotporn. It is a sexy hunk of book titled, “Iconic Tarot Decks: The History, Symbolism and Design of over 50 Decks” by Sarah Bartlett.

One of the amazing, impressive, and sexy things about “Iconic Tarot Decks” is the sheer volume of full color images of tarot cards. Contrary to what you may think from the way things are on the internet, images of tarot cards, including “Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot”, are copyrighted images and not to be used on resale items without permission. I don’t know if it’s the publisher, Bartlett or both who deserve a hearty pat on the back for securing the rights to such a variety of decks, from so many different companies. But from those of us who know, thank you, it is greatly appreciated.

Although not a book about learning to use tarot cards, “Iconic Tarot Decks” opens with a basic overview of how to use tarot decks. It’s a nice, tidy guide that includes a few all-purpose spreads. Bartlett follows with a broad strokes history of tarot cards and decks, exploring the most academically accepted origins of the cards. However, “Iconic Tarot Decks” isn’t about generalized tarot history, but about specific decks.

Bartlett discusses 50 different tarot decks. How did she settle on these 50? I wouldn’t even know how to decide which decks to profile! Is it just me, or would you like to know too? She divides the decks into five categories: influential decks, beginner’s divination decks, art and collector’s decks, esoteric and occult decks, and contemporary decks. Each deck features its unique history as well as where it fits in with regards to the history of tarot. You learn about the art, design, inspiration, and more. And of course, plenty of full-color examples of the cards!

“Iconic Tarot Decks” by Sarah Bartlett is a beautiful artbook meets tarot history. An interesting resource for those who love tarot, and just as wonderful as a coffee table artbook. I sincerely hope to see more books like this!

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

Mysteries of the Werewolf

I LOVE CLAUDE LECOUTEUX.

Honestly, I should skip writing reviews of his books and just tell you when a new one comes out. I mean, at this point you know what I’m going to say. Lecouteux’s field of study is medieval literature, which at first, I thought was weird but then realized made perfect sense. His ability to suss through medieval literature lends itself to making insightful connections between various texts. And now, I love each of his books. Of course, today I’m discussing a new one, “Mysteries of the Werewolf: Shapeshifting, Magic & Protection.”

Where to begin with werewolves? Where CAN’T you? Lecouteux explores historical texts from EVERYWHERE: medieval Europe (of course), early Greece, 20th century Romania, 10th century China, 19th century Russia, 1st century Rome, and I think you’re starting to get the point. There are so many ways one becomes a werewolf or were-creature. Sometimes it’s a blessing, many times it’s a curse. Sometimes it can be undone, or controlled, other times, it’s a lifetime. “Mysteries of the Werewolf” explores it all.

What can I say? Lecouteux does it again. If you’re interested in werewolves, this is a great resource!

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

The Most Valuable Fan Collectibles

Everybody collects something. You might not consider yourself a “collector” because perhaps the thing you collect has a practical use, or won’t increase in value, or you just don’t. Nobody gets to define you except you, right? I refer to myself and my husband as “eccentric collectors” because it sounds classier than pack rat or hoarder.

Knowing that everyone collects SOMETHING, I was intrigued by a press release sent to me about what fandom has the most valuable collectibles. Even though most of us don’t acquire and hold onto things with the intention of it appreciating in value (I take my Funkos out of the box!), it’s still interesting, right? You want to know, don’t you?

The list was put together by FandomSpot.com, a website devoted to, you guessed it, assorted fandoms. Sadly, FandomSpot didn’t include their methodology. The list was put together by, “pop culture memorabilia experts to compile this list, which includes general memorabilia, props, cards, and figures from a variety of fandoms including anime, fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero.” And I certainly cannot imagine encompassing EVERY fandom, and all sorts of other disclaimers, but with that said, here’s the list:

1. Pokémon – Pikachu Illustrator card – $233,000
2. One Piece – Solid Gold Monkey D Luffy – $200,000
3. Gundam – Solid Gold Gundam Converge – $200,000
4. Gundam – Solid Gold RX-78-2 Gundam – $200,000
5. Star Wars – Rocket Launcher Boba Fett – $150,000
6. Star Wars – Obi-Wan Kenobi With Double Telescoping Lightsaber (1977) – $76,700
7. Harry Potter – First edition book of Philosopher’s Stone – $51,680
8. Pokémon – First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard card – $50,000
9. Star Wars – Brazilian Glasslite Vlix Figure (1988) – $45,000
10. Game of Thrones – The Iron Throne Official TV Prop – $30,000
11. Pokemon – Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card – $27,000
12. Dr Who – 50th Anniversary 9ct Gold Doctor Who Ingot – $15,357
13. GOT – Game Of Thrones Pinball Machines – $9,000
14. Harry Potter – Wax sealed prop envelope – $6,500
15. Dr Who – Full Size Giant Robot figure – $3,841
16. Dr Who – Limited Edition Sevens Movie Dalek – $3,494
17. Game of Thrones – Full set of 1st edition books – $3,000
18. Marvel – 32 inch Sentinel figure – $2,800
19. Marvel – 1976 Marvelmania Ghost Rider figure – $2,595
20. Supernatural – Dual Wardrobe Card OM21 – $1,290

Most of the big fandoms are represented. I’m surprised to not see DC Comics, Disney, or maybe Lord of the Rings in the top 20, but it’s hard to argue with what’s there.

FandomSpot seems like a fun site too. I also learned that they’re offering $4,000 to binge watch Studio Ghibli films. You can learn about that here.

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