Review: Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween

Review: Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween

https://shop.eyeofhorus.biz/Llewellyn-s-Little-Book-of-Halloween-Book-p/9780738758213.htmBy Josiah Mosqueda

We were fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of Mickie Mueller’s new book Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween. I immediately jumped on the opportunity to delve into Mueller’s tips and (dare I say) tricks for spicing up the Halloween season. Mueller’s 219-page book is sensibly divided into five chapters: A brief history of the holiday, creating a Halloween atmosphere in your home, recipes, a section on spellwork, and a chapter dedicated to spirit communication.

One of my concerns starting this book was a fear that it would cover the information gleaned in the Llewellyn sabbat series on Samhain and not go further into Halloween’s traditions. Mueller excelled at smashing my concerns by describing Halloween’s origins in Samhain and taking it further into how the holiday has been shaped by American culture. For example, the first jack-o-lantern was actually made from turnips and had origins in Ireland and Scotland. When the Scots and Irish immigrated into the United States, they brought this tradition with them, and began carving pumpkins, which was a much more common autumnal crop than the turnip. This Halloween I will definitely be trying my hand at carving a turnip!

Mueller also shares some of her favorite ways to decorate and cook for Halloween. One simple idea that she discusses is putting your cooking herbs into “witchy” bottles and labeling them with their folk names. What a great, cost-effective idea! Another favorite that Mueller shares is the soul cake, a small medieval cake that was traditionally handed out on Halloween night. The flavors are classics of the season, such as cloves, allspice, cinnamon and cranberries.

The last two sections of the book outline some of Mueller’s favorite spells and divination techniques for the Halloween season. My favorite among these was definitely the Halloween prosperity spell, which put a whole new spin on the magick of the season for me. Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of the entire book is Mueller giving instructions on holding a seance. She gives practical advice on who to invite, how to open the Seance, and how to do damage control if something goes awry.

Overall, this book is fantastic. After finishing my readthrough, I feel Mueller was successful in highlighting how unique the traditions of Halloween can be compared to Samhain. Mueller’s love for and attention to the uniqueness of this holiday is well communicated on every page. I would highly recommend to any Halloween lovers out there! 10/10

Pick up your own copy in person at the Eye of Horus or order it through our online store!

Witches Tarot Deck by Ellen Dugan – Inside the Box

Witches Tarot Deck by Ellen Dugan – Inside the Box

Back of the Witches Tarot Cards - Triple moon in stars

Witches Tarot Back

Review by Jane R Hansen

How do you make a Tarot Deck for Witches: No, not the pointy-hat halloween kind of witches, but Wiccans and others who practice the Craft of the Wise?  Well, I suppose it’s like stirring a good spell. You bring everything you know to the table and select just the right ingredients to get the job done, and you work with nature, make room for the magick, and create a clear image to manifest. This seems to be what Ellen Dugan has done in her Witches Tarot, as she worked with award-winning illustrator Mark Evans to take the traditional symbols of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and brought in a supporting cast of plant, animal and otherworld folk. She also renamed four of the major arcana cards with slightly different names. But more on that later in this review.

Her companion guide spells it all out in detail. You can definitely read with the deck right out of the box, if you are adept with the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) type deck. The renamed Major Arcana make sense, and the rest of the art is mostly a variation on the “standard” art of the RWS deck.

Queen of Wands with cat on lap from Witches Tarot Deck

Queen of Wands

Flora and Fauna

For you herbalists and gardeners out there, pay attention to the plants in the cards. Ellen put some serious thought into the meanings… she isn’t known as “The Garden Witch” for nothing, you know. The Monkshood in the Ten of Swords. Not only is the plant poisonous, but in the language of flowers, monkshood says a foe is near.  This gives double weight to heed the warning of the card to pay attention to your instincts and keep your back to the wall! Throughout Witches Tarot, the flowers and plants have meaning and they are explained in the companion book.

Seven of Cups Witches Tarot Deck

Seven of Cups

What is a witch without her familiar? For you cat-lovers, our favorite familiars do show up in expected and unexpected places.  The Queen of wands has a friend on her lap, but the seven of cups also has a the kitty in a cup. Awe, isn’t that cute! But you’ll also find our feline friends on the High Priestess, Page of Wands, Two of Wands and the Three of pentacles. That’s not even counting the Lion in strength or on the World Card.

But wait, there’s more! Yes, as you wander through the world of Witches Tarot you’ll see a rabbit, stags, ravens, an eagle, hawks, lions, horses, an ibis, wolves, a dolphin, butterflies, dragonflies, a white hind and I’m sure there’s more I didn’t spot when compiling this listing. Best of all, with everything that’s in there, it never seems out of place. [Read more…]

Beneath the Below is a River – Wendy Rule Dives Deep

Beneath the Below CD Cover

Beneath the Below CD:

Here’s how it begins . . . a movie soundtrack and two musicians reaching for deep and ethereal, an otherworldly fantasy about a Moth Boy; a film which lent itself to dark and dreamy audio visions. Beneath the Below is a River began life as a collaborative soundtrack to the short film ‘Hugo’, directed by Nicholas Verso. Wendy and collaborator Craig Patterson were so pleased with the outcome of the soundtrack that they expanded it into a full length album.

This is not the first time Wendy has created ambient music. Although all of her CDs have some of that soundtrack quality, she worked to create almost theatrically faerie atmosphere in Deep Within the Faerie Forest–a collaboration with Gary Stadler. But that does not make these CDs twins, like so many of the ambient titles out there. Where the Faerie Forest is light and uplifting, Beneath the Below resonates like a waking dream and draws you back down into the underworld to explore further.

In fact, any artist or writer would find this music makes a great background for the creative process. It would probably also be amazing to have in the background of a Tarot Reading.  Imagine a room with dark velvet drapery, red wine and frankincense and add Beneath the Below is a River, and you have a modern, sophisticated Goth Salon…  Listen to mp3 samples