In my mailbox: The Witch’s Guide to Wands

Picture 25

I drove Mom to the store today and the mailman dropped off this book while I was away. I think that I’ll read and review this title if for no other reason than the Harry Potter section.

The wand is the most important component of the witch’s toolbox. Serving as an ultimate big book of wands, here is:

The clearest exposition of the names, spirits, and attributes of

woods for wands
The clearest explanation of wand anatomy
The most complete explanation of how to access, shape, and channel magical forces from wands
A fresh and useful approach to wands for specific magical practices
A useful guide for a witch to form a partnership with her wand
Based on her deep knowledge of plant science and ethnobotany and years of magical practice, the author examines the uses and benefits of each wand component (primarily woods, shrubs, grasses, vines, and some metals). She also explores their associations to various gods and goddesses, relationships to specific types of magic, and the results a practitioner can expect to achieve. She also includes tips and resources for finding materials, handcrafting, and correspondence charts for easy reference. The final section focuses on the wands used in the “Harry Potter” series.

This is the ultimate guide for witches and pagans everywhere.

Hold the blue strawberries

I think that I will stick to the red ones if you don’t mind. What’s next generally modifying strawberries with birds so they’ll fly into your mouth?


Scientists are genetically modifying strawberries in order to allow
them to resist freezing temperatures better. They’re doing it by
artificial transfer of genes from a species of fish called the Arctic
Flounder Fish. The Arctic Flounder Fish produces an anti-freeze that
allows it to protect himself in freezing waters.


Review: Between Now and When

Between Now and When: How My Death Made My Life Worth Living
by Richard House. MD

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: New Page Books; 1 edition (May 18, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1601633750
ISBN-13: 978-1601633750

Product description:

Between Now and When relates a transcendent journey from earthly suffering and addiction into the rarely glimpsed supra-reality of higher dimensions.

The author first experienced the oneness of existence at age seven. As a teen, he heard a mystical voice that foretold his death at age 33, a prophecy that left him on death’s doorstep at exactly that age. His surrender complete, he was propelled into the fourth dimension, where his body was miraculously healed.

Thus began a redemptive and transformational journey of discovery, as Dr. House was led by the hand and heart on a magical journey around the world–Hawaii, Fiji, Australia, India, London, and, eventually, New York City.

Dr. House describes the wonders he encountered along the way as his expanding consciousness revealed the metaphysical underpinnings of the visible world and why we are in it.

Between Now and When will:

  • Take you on a metaphysical journey around the world
  • Open your eyes to the energetic grid that organizes earthly life
  • Help you understand human suffering and why it is an important part of God’s life on earth
  • Open your heart to the unlimited power of divine and human love

My thoughts:

There are a great many stories like Richard’s floating around. Each story weaves a tale of struggle and triumph with only the names and faces altering the narrative.

Dr. House begins the book in Hawaii (as a fellow haole I understand) and by chapter 2 we move into the background of his story. It is a dark time of alcohol, divorce, and death (near death).

While I may not have followed the same path as the good Doctor (and I have nothing against Meher Baba), I was nonetheless inspired by his story of travel and spiritual questing. When I got to the end of the book I said, “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done.” If you read the book, you’ll get that quote.

Yes, I liked the book, but I came away liking the man more. I give Between Now and When: How My Death Made My Life Worth Living 4 stars out of 5 and I recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Page Books and Warwick Associates 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 Flame in the Cauldron

Picture 6The Flame in the Cauldron: A Book of Old-Style Witchery
by Orion Foxwood
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Weiser Books (March 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1578635365
ISBN-13: 978-1578635368

Barry’s score 4 stars out of 5.

Product description:
Few words entice and incite like the word witchery. Thousands of self-identified witches, pagans, and magical practitioners embrace the word, but seldom go beyond the practice of the well-accepted and learned forms of “traditional” witchcraft to explore the path of old-witchery. Orion Foxwood invites readers to walk on the path of old-style witchery, a nature-based practice that is as old as the swamps and as wild as the woods.

For the first time, Foxwood reveals some of his own deeply personal rituals and spells directly from his own grimoire of witchery; he highlights the differences (and similarities) between Wicca, “traditional” witchcraft, and old style witchery. By weaving his own path to witchery throughout the book, he gives readers examples of how to identify the way toward this path.

There is a revolution among the Pagan and Witchcraft communities, a movement away from prescribed ritual and neopagan practices and a reaching back toward what Foxwood says is in the heart of any true witch: a thundering call deep within their very blood to become a healer, a reckoner, a protector of magical arts, and a guardian of the wild woods.

My thoughts:

I really enjoy reading about how someone, in this case Orion Foxwood, integrates his/her spirituality into his everyday life. He hooked me rather quickly with his inclusion of Gnois and I blew through the book in no time. Having said that, it is a book that I have returned to several times. I’ve also used it in discussions with esoterically minded friends.

One the downside, I wish that there was more. The book really only touches on topics and it really begs for a more indepth treatment.

Raven Grimassi’s Foreword was spot on perfect and summed up my thoughts of Foxwood’s book. I give The Flame in the Cauldron: A Book of Old-Style Witchery 4 stars out of 5 and strongly suggest adding this title to your home spiritual library.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Red Wheel/ 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.”

Robb Demarest to head up Syfy’s “Haunting: Australia”


With the future of Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters in doubt, the Syfy channel is picking up an eight part show titled “Haunting:Australia”. Fans of paranormal shows will recognize the team leader, Robb Demarest, from his time on Ghost Hunters International.

So far, there is no news of when or if Ghost Hunters will return for another season. Having said that,”Haunting:Australia” will start on Syfy March 24 at 10 p.m..

Here is the Australian teaser…

Review: The Science of Ghosts

science of ghostsThe Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead

by Joe Nickell
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN-10: 1616145854
ISBN-13: 978-1616145859

Barry’s score 2 stars out of 5…

Product description:
Are ghosts real? Are there truly haunted places, only haunted people, or both? And how can we know? Taking neither a credulous nor a dismissive approach, this first-of-its-kind book solves those perplexing mysteries and more–even answering the question of why we care so very much.

Putting aside purely romantic tales, this book examines the actual evidence for ghosts–from eyewitness accounts to mediumistic productions (such as diaphanous forms materializing in dim light), spirit photographs, ghost-detection phenomena, and even CSI-type trace evidence. Offering numerous exciting case studies, this book engages in serious investigation rather than breathless mystifying. Pseudoscience, folk legends, and outright hoaxes are challenged and exposed, while the historical, cultural, and scientific aspects of ghost experiences and haunting reports are carefully explored.

The author–the world’s only professional paranormal investigator–brings his skills as a stage magician, private detective, folklorist, and forensic science writer to bear on a topic that demands serious study.

My thoughts:
Usually, I love a solid skeptical investigation of the paranormal. I really want on honest, non-biased, approach to an investigation. Sadly, Joe Nickell is so biased against paranormal phenomena that he can not give a fair, unbiased, evaluation of data gathered in his investigations. Almost everything has an over-simplified explanation, dreams, hallucinations, daydreams, etc..

Nickell repetitively quotes himself which comes off as an exercise in both ego and a desire to sell his other books. He cherry picks historically debunked cases and covers them as if he had solved some great enigma. Nickell’s intellectual dishonesty is that of a stage magician ( btw he is a stage magician ). He struts, poses, and waves his magic wand producing nothing.

While there is some good material in the book, I can not recommend The Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead unless you are the most hardcore of skeptics. In the end, I give this book 2 stars out of 5.

Review: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: Vintage Movie Classics

ghostmuirThe Ghost and Mrs. Muir: Vintage Movie Classics

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Mti edition
ISBN-10: 0804173486
ISBN-13: 978-0804173483

Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5

Product description:
Burdened by debt after her husband’s death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain’s story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted.

Originally published in 1945, made into a movie in 1947, and later adapted into a television sitcom in 1968, this romantic tale explores how love can develop without boundaries, both in this life and beyond.

With a new foreword by Adriana Trigiani.

My thoughts:
Captain Greg wasn’t the only one who fell in love with Lucy Muir. I fell in love with her too.

Yes, I am one of those people who reads books retelling the story of a movie or a TV episode… I admit it. It may sound strange to most people but I enjoy the feel of a book in my hands and the comfort of a delightful story. I have loved the story The Ghost and Mrs. Muir since childhood, it is probably my favorite paranormal tale.

Captain Gregg and Atticus Finch had a great influence on me as a young boy and became my role models. I highly recommend The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: Vintage Movie Classics and give it 5 stars out of 5. That being said, if you are a movie person, try The Ghost and Mrs. Muir my favorite version of the movie.

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