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.

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Divination

There are loads of different ways to practice divination. I should know, I profiled several for my Patrons on Patreon. (shameless plug for my Patreon) However, for evidence to this fact you need to look no further than “In Focus: Divination: Your Personal Guide” by Steven Bright. Bright is a full-time tarot reader that has created a tarot deck, oracle deck, and a kipper deck. He’s written a book about tarot and one about deck design. I’m not saying Bright is the only person who could write this type of book, but he’s certainly more than qualified.

This book, “Divination: Your Personal Guide,” offers an amazing variety of information about styles of divination: Lenormand cards, Kipper cards, playing cards, Elder Futhark Runes, Witches’ Runes, casting charms, diving with crystals, reading colors, reading buttons, reading tea leaves, reading flowers, reading shells, the I Ching, and dice divination. Several of these I hadn’t even considered as divination methods! And Bright does an excellent job of providing enough information that you can start experimenting with the types of divinations outlined in the book immediately. “Divination” is helpfully illustrated and includes an instructional poster.

“Divination: Your Personal Guide” by Steven Bright is a wellspring of inspiration for anyone interested in divination.

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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Qabalah for Wiccans

Anyone who has had any interest in magic has stumbled across Qabalah. Unlike Jewish Kabbalah (a closed tradition to those of the Jewish faith), hermetic Qabalah is an appropriation of the tradition that blends Jewish theology, astrology, Hermeticism, and Neo-Platonic philosophy. It serves as the roots from which many initiatory lodge systems, such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, arose. It can come across as overly complex, difficult to learn, and perhaps not entirely practical for those not interested in a formal ceremonial magic practice. However, in saunters Jack Chanek with his book “Qabalah for Wiccans: Ceremonial Magic on the Pagan Path,” and believe me, it changes EVERYTHING.

Trust me, I’m a lady that has looked into Qabalah. I’m an Israel Regardie fangirl (he founded the Golden Dawn). I’ve read the comic “Promethea” from Alan Moore (a ceremonial magician who wrote this comic centered around the Qabalah). Heck, I’m from a Jewish family, the Kabbalah should be in my DNA! Yet, the Qabalah has always remained foreign, alien, out of my grasp. But Chanek made Qabalah readily accessible. I’ve never been so exhilarated from a text. I get it! I got it! AMAZING!

Now, imagine finally getting Qabalah, and then finding out you can easily apply it to your Wiccan/Pagan practice! Chanek’s purpose in this book is to “show that Wicca and Qabalah are already compatible with each other,” and he succeeds. He writes from the perspective of British Traditional Wicca, but don’t worry, I’m decidedly not Wiccan and everything made sense. “Qabalah for Wiccans” has meditations, exercises, and rituals that will feel familiar to Wiccans, but help meld Qabalah with your practice.

To sum up, if you are ANYONE EVEN REMOTELY INTERESTED IN MAGIC, get “Qabalah for Wiccans” by Jack Chanek NOW!

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

Winterseer Animal Oracle

Why are animals such a popular subject for tarot and oracle decks? The most obvious reason is that animals are adorable, however Siolo Thompson, author and artist of “Winterseer Animal Oracle”, points out that animals have always been used as archetypes and personifications of the gods. Siolo Thompson took inspiration from Celtic, druid, and Norse belief systems to create the 54 card “Winter Seer Animal Oracle.” Thompson is a wonderful artist and illustrated all the cards herself. The “Winterseer Animal Companion” book is beautifully written and full of personal reflections and observations as well as folklore and legends.

According to Thompson, “The primary job of the oracle is to offer insights and focal points to meditate on or to consider, rather than predict the future or reveal your ‘destiny.’” She suggests a three-card spread, or using the deck in addition to a traditional tarot reading. The options are really only limited by your imagination.

The “Winterseer Animal Oracle” is a useful addition to anyone’s collection.

You can learn more here.

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Yemaya

If you know me, or follow The Magical Buffet on social media, you know I am a lady, who loves worshipping ladies. Aka, I worship the divine feminine in a multitude of her aspects. Knowing this, you’d know why I was thrilled to get a review copy of “Yemaya: Orisha, Goddess, and Queen of the Sea” by Raven Morgaine.

At the core of an outsiders understanding, Yemaya is a goddess of the ocean in Caribbean and African spiritualities. However, anyone familiar with deities know that there is always more to them than what you see at first glance, and Morgaine does an excellent job weaving research and personal experience to flesh out a deity still unknown to many. Depending on her aspect, Yemaya can be a kind giver of life, maternal, a magician, a diviner, or vengeance. Morgaine carefully explains all of this, along with sharing myths and legends of the deity. The author concludes with the ways to include Yemaya in your spiritual practices. Throughout the text you’ll see beautiful artwork done by the author.

Raven Morgaine should write every book about individual deities from here on out. His attention to the nuances of Yemaya is a testament to his skills as a writer, but also his relationship with Yemaya as a devotee. Would he be able to pull this off examining a different deity? I wouldn’t mind finding out. This is a must read for anyone interested in goddesses.

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

Top Whatever’s of 2021

Way back in 2011 I attended the grand opening of Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie, NY. Since then, they moved to a new, larger location in Poughkeepsie, added tons of new products to their selection, host loads of events, and just overall have become everything good about music retail. Obviously, I follow them on social media, and each January the staff share their top albums of the previous year. They also encourage their customers to share their top picks and then they share them on Darkside’s social media accounts.

For the past few years I’ve wanted to participate, but when I sit down to consider the best albums of the previous year, I realize I hadn’t even listened to 10 new albums, let alone enough new music to proclaim some of them my favorites. So, when 2021 started, I vowed to make listening to new albums a priority and it worked. I listened to 25 new albums in 2021, and picked my favorite ten. And here they are in no particular order:

Stunna GirlStunna This, Stunna That – Essential Track – “Still Smoke”

As soon as I heard “Still Smoke” I was hooked. I still listen to this song nearly daily. “Axel F” by Harold Faltermeyer/”Rockit” by Herbie Hancock has never sounded so bad ass.

Dropkick Murphys Turn Up That Dial – Essential Track – “Queen of Suffolk County”

I’m not going to claim that the Dropkick Murphys did something revolutionary on Turn Up That Dial, however if you like what they do, their 2021 album keeps it going.

WeezerVan Weezer – Essential Track – “Hero”

Can Weezer ever top their debut album? It’s been a much-debated topic in coffee houses everywhere, or at least where I get coffee. The fact is, Weezer is at their best when they keep the touchstone of their debut sound with fun tweaks. The Van Weezer album does that. No, it still isn’t better than the blue album.

Paul WellerFat Pop Vol. 1 – Essential Track – “Shades of Blue”

If you’ve never heard of Paul Weller, get on it. He has a prestigious legacy as being a man who can write a song.

St. VincentDaddy’s Home – Essential Track – “Pay Your Way in Pain”

St. Vincent is a talented and versatile artist. Her 2021 album Daddy’s Home continues her catalog of wickedly impressive work.

AshnikkoDemidevil – Essential Track – “Daisy”

I wish I had saved the tweet to share because shortly after Demidevil released someone on Twitter said they loved how Ashnikko basically released an album saying she wanted to get laid, and um, no lies detected. The album is a trip, and although “Daisy” is what roped me in, I would remiss if I didn’t mention her biting, reimaging of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” as “L8r Boi” or her humorous ode to men not being able to locate a clitoris with “Clitoris! The Musical.”

Liz PhairSobberish – Essential Track – “The Game”

Real talk people, I didn’t anticipate enjoying Liz Phair’s latest album, but damn if I didn’t listen to it repeatedly after taking it for a spin. If you want to recapture the Lilith Fair vibe without feeling dated, this is the album to check out.

Richard ThompsonLive from London – Essential Track “Turning of the Tide”

Richard Thompson is a legend and to be fully transparent I should tell you that he could probably release an album of him singing tax codes and I would rate it as a top album. If you know, you know.

Sleigh BellsTexis – Essential Track – “Locust Laced”

I cannot articulate how much I loved the Sleigh Bells 2010 album Treats, other than to say, a lot. Every album they’ve released since then never really recaptured that magic I felt from their debut album, until Texis. And although I’ll readily admit that it isn’t as good as Treats, the fact that it’s closer than the others makes it a noteworthy release to me.

Lil’ Nas X Montero – Essential Track – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name”)

I suspect Montero will be on a lot of top albums of 2021 lists, and it’s not because of his courage for being an openly gay man in hip-hop, and not because of his amazing music videos, it’s because Montero is just a really good album.

I would be remiss if I didn’t bring to your attention a few artists I’ve fallen in love with in 2021 who didn’t release full albums, but did drop great singles.

Carolesdaughter – “Please Put Me in a Medically Induced Coma” – they also released a great cover of “Creep” and a super catchy tune called “Trailer Trash”.

Ki Storii – “Whole ‘Nother Level”

CupcaKKe – “Huhhhhh”

So, what did you listen to in 2021? Let’s talk about it on The Magical Buffet’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Also, check out Darkside Records!

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 Inner Compass Deck

I was intrigued when Watkins Publishing reached out to me about reviewing “The Inner Compass Deck” by Teal Swan. According to their press release “The Inner Compass Deck” is part of a “new, upcoming trend” of values decks. Decks like these are more about introspection than divination. However, even knowing this I was not mentally prepared for the deck, which is over 200 cards.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to shuffle this deck! Seriously, it’s the first thing people think and ask. What you do need to do, is set aside ample time to work with the deck. “The Inner Compass Deck”, at its heart, is about prioritization. To that end, most of the layouts center around the compass cards: North (The Very Most Important to Me), East (Important to Me), West (Somewhat Important to Me), and South (Not Important to Me). That big ol’ stack contains cards like charisma, fame, determination, gratitude, etc. that you can sort by personal values/priorities.

Most tarot/oracle decks talk about being used for introspection, however “The Inner Compass Deck” by Teal Swan is totally about introspection. If you’re ready to take a long look inside yourself, I HIGHLY recommend this deck.

You can learn more 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

Moon, Magic, Mixology

Some of you may remember that I reviewed a wonderful book back in 2020 titled “Witchcraft Cocktails: 70 Seasonal Drinks Infused with Magic & Ritual” by Julia Halina Hadas. If you missed that review, you can check it out here. I enjoyed that book so much, I was thrilled to learn she wrote a follow up, “Moon, Magic, Mixology: From Lunar Love Spell Sangria to the Solar Eclipse Sour, 70 Celestial Drinks Infused with Cosmic Power.”

Hadas does a wonderful job acquainting the reader with the importance of the moon, particularly with regards to a magic or spiritual lifestyle. And much like in “Witchcraft Cocktails”, she provides an excellent overview of the tools and ingredients of the bartender, magical or otherwise. “Moon, Magic, Mixology” offers over 70 cocktail recipes tied not only to season, but moon phase. Each recipe also features “More Moon Magic”, which is a section that offers up even more ways to amp up the magical nature of the cocktail.


“Moon, Magic, Mixology” by Julia Halina Hadas offers a unique approach to creating and consuming cocktails. The recipes range from familiar to unusual and from simple mixes to elaborate creations. This would be a fun book for someone looking to jazz up their magical practices, or home bartenders looking to up their game.

You can learn more here.


This is an affiliate widget for my Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase a 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

Enchanted Crystal Magic

Anyone who has read The Magical Buffet for a while knows a few things about me: I love eating and drinking, I love pretty much anything written by Claude Lecouteux and Deborah Blake, and lastly, that I LOVE anything crystals. Thusly, I had to check out “Enchanted Crystal Magic: Spells, Grids & Potions to Manifest Your Desires” by Pamela Chen.

Before we dive into the book, I must address the obvious, which is Pamela Chen’s hair is magical af. Seriously. Here is a photo of the author taken by Teresa Torres and do you see what I mean? Words cannot express the level of hair envy I have, and I may never recover. Send help.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s discuss “Enchanted Crystal Magic”. Chen has a boundless enthusiasm for the topic, and it comes through in her writing. The book is upbeat and conversational. Books about crystals can approach the subject from different angles. Chen offers plenty on the fundamentals of crystals and from there expands into her style of crystal magic, which leans into new thought traditions.

If you’re looking for a fun book about crystals and all the versatile ways they can be used with a new age flavor, “Enchanted Crystal Magic” is the book for you!

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

Tales of Witchcraft and Wonder

It is no secret that I love Claude Lecouteux. So, let’s not pretend that there’s a chance I won’t like one of his books. The real question is, why is THIS book just as worth reading as his other books?

Today we’re talking about “Tale of Witchcraft and Wonder: The Venomous Maiden and Other Stories of the Supernatural” by Claude and Corinne Lecouteux. This is another fascinating exploration of the evolution of lore from the Middle Ages. The format is wonderful because they share the oldest version of the story, and then they share iteration after iteration of the tale so you can read firsthand how they change. My description may come across as tedious, but to the contrary, it makes for a brisk, entertaining read. You’ll read tales of transformation, devilry, and magic.

If you’ve never tried a Lecouteux book, this is a wonderful place to start. “Tales of Witchcraft and Wonder” delivers on the title and maintains the level of accessible scholarship that we’ve come to associate with Lecouteux.

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