Review: Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans

practical-astrologyPractical Astrology for Witches and Pagans: Using the Planets and the Stars for Effective Spellwork, Rituals, and Magickal Work

by Ivo Dominguez Jr.
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Weiser Books
ISBN-10: 1578635756
ISBN-13: 978-1578635757

Product description:

Learn How to Use the Planets and Stars in Your Magickal Work

More often than not, people think of astrology as a tool for divination or the exploration of one’s personality. Astrology is considerably more than that. It is a sacred science, a highly descriptive symbolic language, and it is also a technology that can be applied to ritual, herbalism, the use of crystals, and much more.

But it can be daunting to take on the study of Astrology. After all, it’s a field so huge it would take several lifetimes to master it. And that’s why Ivo Dominguez, Jr., wrote this book–to provide practitioners of magick with a Pagan perspective on Astrology and the core concepts of Astrology that are most useful to building rituals and creating effective magick.

When we look at an astrological chart, what we are actually looking at is a map of the multiple planes of existence summarized and flattened into an understandable diagram–a kind of magickal cartogram. Now, what to do with this map? How can we best use it in our magickal work? That’s precisely what you’ll discover in the pages of this concise, focused, and expertly presented book.

My thoughts:

All in all, Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans comes in at slightly less than two hundred pages. It sports several charts in it’s six Appendixes. You’ll find a number of charts throughout the 17 chapters of the book.

While I found some of it to be very interesting, I found much of the book to be dull, dull, dull, and did I mention that it is dull? That wasn’t my biggest problem with the book. I don’t  remember one footnote in the book. No footnotes, no Bibliography, no Index, no suggested reading.

With the lack of footnotes, I had to wonder about the accuracy of almost everything that was written. If I want to do my own research where do I start? Who made the Astrology charts? Did Dominguez draw them? Did he get them from a Google search? How do these charts compare to other charts? Where is the work? Where did HE get this information?

No Index? Really? Make sure that you have plenty of bookmarks if you want to return to this book to glean something.

The man has a good reputation in the Pagan community, but I really can’t recommend this book. It comes off as dry and unfinished. I’m giving Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans 2 stars out of 5. I’d give this one a pass and I suggest Planets for Pagans: Sacred Sites, Ancient Lore, and Magical Stargazing instead…


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Weiser Books I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: The Taker

The Taker
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (September 6, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1439197059
ISBN-13: 978-1439197059

Product Description

True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price. . . .

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.

Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.

Part historical novel, part supernatural page-turner, The Taker is an unforgettable tale about the power of unrequited love not only to elevate and sustain, but also to blind and ultimately destroy, and how each of us is responsible for finding our own path to redemption.

My thoughts:

On the plus side, the the author’s writing style is excellent. The characters and the premise of the story were interesting. Magic and alchemy rather than vampires and werewolves — nice.

On the downside, I’m not a big fan of romance novels. I’ve enjoyed a few, but they really have to bring something special to the table. I really didn’t see that something special in this novel. It seems a little bloated and I couldn’t help but think that it could have been better with some heavy editing.

I’m not a prude but … I felt like I needed a shower after reading some portions of this book. Rape, bondage — really did you need that? Really?

I can only recommend this book for major paranormal romance fans. I give it a 2 out of 5.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received book free from Gallery Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: 1,000 Steampunk Creations: Neo-Victorian Fashion, Gear, and Art

1,000 Steampunk Creations: Neo-Victorian Fashion, Gear, and Art
by Grymm and Barbe Saint John
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Quarry Books (July 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1592536913
ISBN-13: 978-1592536917

Product Description:

Steampunk is a burgeoning counter-cultural movement; a genre, community, and artform. The Steampunk movement seeks to recapture the spirit of invention, adventure, and craftsmanship reminiscent of early-nineteenth century industrialization, in part, to restore a sense of wonder to a technology-jaded world.

Packed with 1,000 color photographs, 1,000 Steampunk Creations features a showcase of stunning jewelry, fashion, accessories, headgear, artwork, home decorations, and curious contraptions.

My Thoughts:

Joey Marsocci, aka Dr. Grymm, is a very talented artist and designer. Check out his website at http://www.drgrymmlaboratories.net for a feel of what he does. Dr. Grymm has collected a thousand steampunk creations in a whopping 320 page tome.

I’ve often been asked, “what is steampunk?” Now, I have an easy answer. I just hand them a copy of Grymm’s book with a simple answer —THAT. Simply put, the book is stunning! I have returned to it over and over.

I’ve enjoyed other books of steampunk art, but this book blows the others out of the water. If 1000 Steampunk Creations does not inspire you, I don’t know what will. I have to say that I was amazed by the artist contact information in the back of the book. Got a favorite steampunk artist? You will probably find his email and website address listed.

This book is a “must-have” for anyone interested in steampunk. I highly recommend it, and I give it a solid 5 stars out of 5.