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.

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Moon, Magic, Mythology

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.


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10 Questions with Heather Greene

Today we’re talking with editor, author, and journalist Heather Greene about her latest book, “Lights, Camera, Witchcraft: A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television.”

1. Your latest book is “Lights, Camera, Witchcraft: A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television.” I guess the most obvious question here is, why explore this particular facet of history?

Stories of witches and witchcraft permeate so much of our culture across time and space. It is a fascination that is made of both adoration and fear, it would seem. In this study, I examined how American pop culture, specifically Hollywood and television, told these age-old stories and defined the character of the witch.

2. Your book discusses a dizzying volume of movies and television shows. Do you have any idea how much time you spent watching movies as research?

I could do some math based on the average length of shows and movies, but no, I do not have a number. In fact, in some cases, I watched the films or shows multiple times for analysis, and I also watched a good number of films not listed or mentioned. So basically, the answer is “a whole lot.”

3. How has the role of women in American culture been reflected by the role of the witch in film?

This is actually one of the main threads in the book. In short, witchcraft is more often than not an allegory for a woman’s or girl’s power. Therefore, the witch character reflects mainstream society’s relationship with that power at any given point in time. When her innate power is feared as in mid-century, the witch is an example of what not to be. When it’s celebrated as in the 1990s, witchcraft is a symbol of feminist expression or so called ‘girl power’. This is just a taste of a complex social history.

4. Overall, how has the witch in cinema evolved?

Again, this is the main thrust of the book itself. A quick answer: the witch began as a copy of stories and lore that had come before and expanded over time with a changing society. Her stories became more involved, more focused on her as a central character, and more nuanced in the definition of magic itself. The witch evolved into a uniquely Hollywood creation and a true reflection of American society’s negotiation of religion, gender, race, ethnicity, and power.

5. Has the portrayal of men as witches been a part of your research?

Yes. While women make up most of Hollywood’s witches, there are some standout male figures, and that needs to be discussed as well. Given that witches have long been associated with women within Western society in general, it is important to examine male representations and the roles that they play. There is a distinct difference and I discuss that point in the book.

6. Do you remember the first witch you saw in American film or television?

I would guess it would be Glinda and The Wicked Witch of the West. I loved The Wizard of Oz. However, it may have been Sabrina the Teenage Witch in her cartoon form or a Disney animated witch.

7. Who’s your favorite fictional witch?

The Wicked Witch of the West, although I’m partial to Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel and Disney’s Maleficent.

8. Now that you’re done with this book, what are you watching on television?

I’ve been watching some wonderful British films that have absolutely nothing to do with witchcraft. British filmmakers have a wonderful way of telling compelling slice of life stories. The Beautiful Fantastic is one example. However, I did just start watching The Wheel of Time, which is in fact a great addition to the story of the witch on screen.

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

As an acquisition’s editor at Llewellyn, I’m currently spending most of my time working with other authors on their books, which is something that I deeply enjoy. Helping authors go from idea to book-in-hand is fantastic. We like to call ourselves “book midwives.” I do post the books that I work on publicly in my photo library on Facebook. It is called My Llewellyn Book Shelf. https://www.facebook.com/heather.greene.165

I am also a religion journalist, covering predominantly witchcraft and pagan related stories. Readers can follow my work through my Twitter account @miraselena01.

For all my antics in one place, www.heathergreene.net.

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

What is your favorite witch movie and why?

That is a really tough question. When I was young, I went through a pretty hardcore “Bell, Book, and Candle” phase. Then I had the prerequisite “The Craft” love affair. My last witch movie obsession was “Practical Magic”, and I think that may be my favorite. It’s a mature take on magic and witchcraft, with a fantastic cast (Stockard Channing for life yo!), and a Stevie Nicks heavy soundtrack.

About Heather Greene:
Heather Greene is an editor, author, and journalist living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently an acquisitions editor with Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd and a freelance religion journalist. She has a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA from Emory University both in Film Studies. Her work can be found at Religion News Service, Religion Unplugged, The Washington Post, Circle Magazine, and The Wild Hunt. Her book “Lights Camera Witchcraft,” tracing witches in American film and television, was released October 2021. She is a member of Covenant of the Goddess, Religion Newswriters Association, and Circle Sanctuary.

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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.

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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.

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The Peaceful Protectors

I haven’t heard a lot about coloring books lately. Remember when the marketplace seemed to be flooded with them? Personally, I was sad to see the trend die down. Coloring is a wonderful creative outlet for people like me that love visual arts and are not good at creating them. Which is a polite way to say I can’t draw, okay?

It’s why I was delighted when a publicist reached out to me about “The Peaceful Protectors: Coloring Collection” by Real Weng. She is a freelance artist originally from Taiwan and she has created a beautiful coloring book based on Asian mythology. “The Peaceful Protectors” is 64 pages and features 15 mythical characters turned into 30 floral integrated unique coloring pages and an additional introduction page of the specific character with each image hand drawn by Real Weng.

The artwork is beautiful, and more importantly, done in a way conducive to an enjoyable coloring experience. Hopefully, you’ve never experienced the annoyance of a coloring book that doesn’t accommodate for a person trying to color in the picture. I have, it sucks.

There is no denying that this would be a fantastic holiday gift. You can learn more here.

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31 Subway Drawings

I already wrote my love letter to Keith Haring when I reviewed “Haring-isms” edited by Larry Warsh back in 2020, so I won’t rehash it here. Let’s just say Haring and his art has a special place in my heart. It’s all why I was thrilled when Princeton University Press reached out to me again with a Keith Haring book.

“Keith Haring: 31 Subway Drawings” features a handful (31 to be exact) of examples of Haring’s prolific New York subway graffiti era. The contributions of several authors (Jeffrey Deitch, Henry Geldzahler, Carlo McCormick, and Larry Warsh), including a reprinting of “The Subway is Still My Favorite Place to Draw” by Keith Haring that originally appeared in “Art in Transit: Subway Drawings”, “31 Subway Drawings” re-examines this important era in Haring’s art and public art of the era in general.

Thanks to Larry Warsh’s efforts to collect Haring’s subway chalk drawings (an act he knew Haring wasn’t necessarily a fan of) and photographer Tseng Kwong Chi’s work photographing Haring and his subway art out in the wild, “31 Subway Drawings” does an excellent job showcasing the work.

Here you can see the fruits of Warsh’s and Chi’s labors.


“Keith Haring: 31 Subway Drawings” is sure to be treasured by fans of Haring and the subway graffiti movement of the 1980s. 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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Favorite Things 2021

It is here again. That magical time of the year where I pretend Oprah and I are somehow on the same level and rivals by doing my annual “Favorite Things” list. As always, my list is superior to hers in every way.

If this is your first time here, “Welcome, where the hell have you been?” Also, you should know that I pick my top 10 favorite things that were featured on The Magical Buffet website since the previous year’s list was published. Every year it is a nerve-wracking task, but I always love bringing attention to some of the best stuff out there early enough in the gift giving season that you can do some shopping based off of my recommendations. So now, presented in no particular order, are my 10 “Favorite Things” for 2021.

1. The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic by S. Elizabeth
With over 175 full color reproductions of art from the 15th century and earlier right up to modern times, this is an eye-opening look at the relationship between art, artist, and the occult.
You can read my original review here.

2. Witch Hunt: A Traveler’s Guide to the Power & Persecution of the Witch by Kristen J. Sollée
A wonderfully feminist, witch-ocentric travelogue.
You can read my original review here.

3. Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
This is the first of two tarot decks to make this year’s list. Both celebrate the divine feminine, I guess I have a type.
You can read my original review here.

4. The Divine Feminine Tao Te Ching by Rosemarie Anderson
2021 was the year I found my preferred translation of the Tao.
You can read my original review here.

5. The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots: Folk Magic in Witchcraft and Religion by Nigel Pennick
I was already a Pennick fan, however as a person who makes talismans this book was destined to be a favorite.
You can read my original review here.

6. New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic by Cory Thomas Hutcheson
Is this the North American Claude Lecouteux we’ve been waiting for? Or at least I’VE been waiting for? By all indications, yes!
You can read my original review here.

7. Iconic Tarot Decks: The History, Symbolism and Design of over 50 Decks by Sarah Bartlett
The next best thing to playing with tarot cards is reading about tarot cards.
You can read my original review here.

8. Mysteries of the Werewolf: Shapeshifting, Magic & Protection by Claude Lecouteux
Just when you thought you knew everything about werewolves, Lecouteux comes out with a new book.
You can read my original review here.

9. Intuitive Night Goddess Tarot by Linzi Silverman
Divine feminine tarot deck two!
You can read my original review here.

10. The Eclectic Witch’s Books of Shadows: Witchy Wisdom at Your Fingertips by Deborah Blake
It’s no secret that I love me some Deborah Blake, but trust me, this book is good.
You can read my original review here.

Inspired to take care of some shopping? For your convenience I created a Favorite Things 2021 on The Magical Buffet’s bookshop. Shopping through the bookshop not only supports The Magical Buffet, but independent bookstores throughout the United States!

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you will receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows Review AND Giveaway

There was a lot of excitement leading up to the release of Deborah Blake’s latest book, “The Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows: Witchy Wisdom at Your Fingertips,” and it was well deserved. I do not know who pitched this book idea and its format, but a hearty round of applause to everyone involved.

As always, Deborah Blake has written a charming and accessible book for anyone interested in the witchy world. She provides excellent guidance on what a Book of Shadows is and what it has to offer a practitioner of magic. Basics of divination, rituals, candle magic, herbs, stones, celebrations, and more are covered throughout the book. However, what takes this solid text and propels it to the level of modern classic, is the pairing of Deborah Blake’s writing with the artwork of artist Mickie Mueller. Every page features Mueller’s playful artwork in full color. Lastly, there are beautifully illustrated blank, lined pages for the owner to add their own notes and reflections.

The combination of Blake’s timeless wisdom, Mueller’s whimsical art, the sturdy hardcover format, and the owner’s personal reflections, gives “The Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows” the potential to become a cherished heirloom for magical families. In a marketplace flooded with books on the topic, Llewellyn put together the perfect team to create a standout.

You can learn more here.

Excited? You should be, because thanks to Llewellyn and Deborah Blake I have an EPIC giveaway to offer. I not only have a copy of “The Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows,” but also a copy of Blake’s “Everyday Witch Oracle” with a cute bag for it. Interested? Just direct your eyes to the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends on Friday, December 3, 2021, at 11:59pm eastern, is eligible for residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kitchen Witchery

I like food. Duh, right? Unless you’re new here, in which case, hello, I like food. Thusly, I am always on the lookout for books that can offer me new and exciting reasons to enjoy the foods I like. Enter “Kitchen Witchery: Unlocking the Magick in Everyday Ingredients” by Laurel Woodward.


Personally, I’m loving this renaissance of food and cocktail books infused with witchery, and “Kitchen Witchery” is a wonderful addition to this growing niche. Woodward includes plenty of recipes. However, what I truly loved was the extensive list of ingredients and their potential for adding magic to your cooking. I liked looking at the ingredients that go into some of my favorite dishes and reimaging the dish as this new, magical thing. And thanks to Woodward’s thorough writing including oils, nuts, vegetables, fruits, beans, gluten-free flours, spices, and more, you’re sure to find magic in everything!

For example, tonight for dinner I made chicken with black beans, corn and bell peppers. The side has corn, which is associated with abundance, fertility, life, luck, protection, resurrection, and spirituality, black beans for healing, love, prosperity, and wisdom, and green, red, and yellow peppers which are associated with growth and prosperity, vitality and strength, and creativity respectively. Suddenly that pile of veggies is a lot more impressive, right?

“Kitchen Witchery” by Laurel Woodward is for anyone looking for a little more in their meals.

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