Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Some Brief Reviews.

Pagan Prayer Beads
John Michael Greer and Clare Vaughn
Weiser Books, 2007
190 pages, $16.95

Over all this isn't a bad book for someone interested in starting on creating prayer beads for the purposes of meditation or as a votive. The upside of this book is that it explains the physical process of making beaded strands and discusses what materials are suitable, or which work better in certain applications. It also addresses approaching the buying experience as meditation and ritual. Unfortunately, it's downside is that it is primarily a practical instruction manual and does not really discuss how to use them, why you might want to, or really give much meat on the obvious links to rosaries, mala, etc. Given that I already know how to string beads, and how to select them for spiritual purposes, it didn't have a lot to offer me personally, but for those who do NOT know the processes involved, it should actually be quite helpful.

Wiccan Warrior
Kerr Cuhulain
Llewellyn Publications 2000.
192 pages, $18.95.

Wiccan Warrior -is- valuable for those interested in the warrior archetype as presented within the "harm-none" framework of ecclectic wicca, however, one must push past a rather large amount of Mr. Cuhulain's personal , extremely heavy-handed, politics in regard to the nature of Wicca to extract that value. His assault against the wellspring of his own tradition starts early in the book, and follows through to the last page.

Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals
Earth Love Pub House 1995,
726 pages, $22.95.

The Phonebook of Rocks, as I lovingly call it, isn't a book you can really do a weighty review of. It's a reference book filled with the descriptions and metaphysical uses of a thoroughly exhaustive list of rocks, crystals, minerals, fossils and "stonelike" organics. Each entry discusses the forms in which the mineral can be found, what astrological sign, numerological vibration (etc) that it associates with, and it's uses in physical healing or spiritual applications.
The largest downside of the book is that it utterly lacks illustrations. So, unless you know what a stone looks like, or your local store labels very carefully - good luck. The revised editions also seem to have had their indexes neglected, as they direct to page numbers which are incorrect a lot of the time. Another small bump in the road is the book's use of "Extra-terrestrial masters", "Atlantean records", "Lemurian Seed Souls" and other newagey kinda BS buzzwords.

Since the release (and my purchase of) "Kaleidoscope" Melody has (reportedly) accumulated all of the Love Is In The Earth series into a single volume "LIITE: The Crystal and Mineral Encyclopedia"/Last Testament. I have not had the pleasure of reading this one yet, as it costs about $100 ($60-$70 more regularly), comprises almost 1000 pages, and weights almost ten pounds.

Wylundt's Book of Incense.
Wylundt (Steven R. Smith)
Red Wheel / Weiser 2007
312 pages, $14.95.

I like this book. It's a fairly decent guide to making your own incenses, be they loose or formed cones. I used it as the jumping-off-point for a whole slew of handmade incense cones for stinking up the house and doing Work. There is a section about creating cone/stick incenses, discusses the various types of incense, gives handling and storing information, recipes and a small "herbal" geared toward incense making. Yes, it does include recipes which involve saltpetre, and binders - but what do you think is in the stick-incense you store buy?


  1. I definitely don't want to read Wiccan Warrior, you say? Thanks for the warnin'. Hee.

  2. Ironic that someone with a "Harm None" philosophy would choose a pen name so clearly evocative of one of the most singularly violent, angry and impulsive heroes in Celtic legend. Does he comment on that at all?

  3. @V.V.F. Er... from what I recall, not really. Mostly he rags on BTW at great length for "promoting violence towards initiates" - and then counters by having about half a dozen warrior gods challenge the initiate with brandished weapons.

  4. Hahaha, oh wow. I don't even know where to start.