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Author Archives: Erin

ErinAll about Erin - who has written 738 posts on Erin's Journal.

An author, a Wiccan, a Druid, a Priestess, a member of the ULC, Owner of Erin's Journal, mystic, magickian, DragonKin, Guardian and Transsexual. All these and more describe Erin.

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The Housewives Tarot

by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
Headcase Design, 2004 $14.95
ISBN 1-931686-99-8
Available from Quirk Books

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Once upon a time, there were the 1950’s. During that decade, all women were told they had to be super moms, had to care about waxy buildup on their floors and had to wear pearls for their husbands at all times.

Men had to take care of the family, including their parents and the parents of their wife by working themselves into an early grave. They were supposed to wear smoking jackets to have that after dinner drink. This was the newly created middle class and everyone wanted to be a part of the single family Levittown tract housing suburbia. And thus, the nuclear family was born. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, watch “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” for a few days straight since these were held up as the paragon of all that is “The American Family ™”.

Coven Initiation

(Note from Daven: This is the ceremony that a initiate should go through when being initiated into a coven. Not all initiates do go through this however.

This is somewhat changed from the ceremony in Buckland’s The Tree. I added a “respect of others” clause due to some problems that may occur when in a coven situation. It does not detract from the ceremony, and adds to it, in my opinion. Plus, there is no oath of secrecy in here. That is good, as it does not scare the new practitioner.)

This ceremony is being written as though the initiate is female. If the reverse is true, the props and person speaking some parts should be changed. It is believed that a male (meaning Priest) should initiate a female and the Priestess initiate a male. Make the appropriate substitutions to this ceremony.

[Erecting the Temple is performed in the normal manner. The Horned Helm rests beside the Altar.

Innate stands outside the Circle awaiting the summons. The innate is nude and wears no jewelry. (Note from Daven: if the Coven normally works robed, or if the innate is uncomfortable with ritual nudity, this should be dispensed with.)]

REVIEW: Northern Wisdom : the Hávamál, Tao of the North

By Eoghan Odinsson
Asgard Studios, 2012  $17.95 US
ISBN 978-0-9878394-0-4
Review by Erin

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Well, a new year and a new review.  This one is interesting, a modernization of the Hávamál, the poems of the Vikings that most use these days as the starting point for a reconstruction of their religion.

I’m not going to address the Hávamál directly since I don’t study, it in a scholarly manner. It takes the archaic language in many sections of the poem and reconstructs it in such a way that it’s easier to understand.

The author did not do this alone however, he had help of others in this rewriting.  He acknowledges the “crowd-sourcing” as part of the overall contribution to the book.

Some of it does strike me as somewhat, interesting.  For instance, substituting a car and the tires on the car for a reindeer when talking about moving over ice, is an interesting choice, and a relevant one.  Many readers will relate more easily to a car with snow tires than a reindeer with unshod hooves.  So that advice is more accessible to someone from the 21st century.

Runes, Theory and Practice

by Galina Krasskova
New Page Books, 2010, $14.99 US
ISBN 978-1-60163-085-8

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I have to admit it, I solicited this book. See, I’m starting to really study the Elder Futhark Runes, and I wanted something more than Blum’s book. I have a book called “The Practical Guide to Runes” that I’ve been using as my “default” text, my go-to book, but now I think that book has been supplanted by this one.

Originally posted 2010-09-19 09:37:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Witches Pyramid, To Know

This corner of the Witches Pyramid1 is not only what it appears to be on the surface. It is not solely “book learning.” It is also knowing that you possess the skills to put what you have learned into a practical application, using the knowledge you have garnered to put your magic into practice, knowing the means to cast spells, and doing inner alchemy.

For example, there is the classic Greek admonition “gnothi seauton“, or know thyself. Carved at the entrance to the temple in Delphi, the Greeks inculcated this belief in their society, believing that each individual must know himself before he could dream of approaching the oracle. Otherwise, what he might learn on the journey of oracular discovery could well be catastrophic to the psyche.

Originally posted 2013-01-06 23:39:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Green Witchcraft

by Ann Moura (Aoumiel)
Llewellyn Publications, 2000
ISBN 1-56718-690-4

Rating: ★★★★½ 

When I first received this trilogy (I also received Green Witchcraft II and Green Witchcraft III in the same package) I was excited. Here was a beginner’s volume that promised to be as good as Buckland’s or Cunningham’s books. In many respects, I was correct.

However, the title and the introduction state that this series and this particular book is a “Beginner’s Guide” which I would have to take some exception to. I will explain this further in my review.

Upon first getting the book, I must say that the artwork is excellent. The simple line drawings that decorate the chapters evoke a quiet sense of beauty, reminiscent of the minimalist styles of artwork of Asia. I wish the artist were credited on their drawings. (The interior artist, I later found out is Nyease Sommerset.)

Within the first five pages, I started getting confused. The author is extremely familiar with Wicca, the Craft, Religions and many other areas of study relating to this arena, and the writing was clear, but I was expecting the book to start with something like “Welcome to Wicca, I will be your guide” or another form of hand-holding that many of the authors of beginning Wicca books do. Ann does none of these.

A Year of Ritual

by Sandra Kynes
Llewellyn, 2004 $14.95 US
ISBN 0-7387-0583-7

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Every once in a while you come across a book that stands out as a shining example of what all good books are and could be.

This is not that book.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not on the level of, say, 21 Lessons of Merlyn, but it’s not stellar either. It’s average. That’s the best I can say about it.

I can’t even say that it’s good to use as a Wicca 101 text, since it has many factual errors in it in addition to totally de-emphasizing the God in favor of Vaginamancy. Examples of factual errors include the “myth” of Persephone and Demeter. According to this author, Persephone willingly went into Hades to comfort the souls there. This was news to me since the way *I* learned the myth was that Hades kidnapped and raped Persephone and Demeter basically shut down the world until she returned. The author even states that this is the original myth and says, “Happily, this gentler version is gaining popularity.” (p 29)

Midsummer Magickal Celebrations of the Summer Solstice

by Anna Franklin
Llewellyn Publications, 2002
ISBN 0-7387-0052-5

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Anna Franklin should be an old hand at this, since she worked on Lammas with Paul Mason previously. This is her opportunity to shine, and shine she does with this book.

As with the other books in this series, there is a lot of information that the reader will have to assimilate. It is a reference work, not designed to be a book that is read once and sold to the used bookstore.

To that end, it has quite a bit of good information in it, from the origins of Midsummer and resultant celebrations, to Craft how-tos.

Those pagans who do not follow a European/Wiccan path will find this book of use also, since there are references to Chinese and African midsummer celebrations, as well as the standard European rites.

Ms. Franklin also includes footnotes for those of us who crave more information on a fact she cites. They are usually referencing works from the time she is researching, such as citing a passage in The Golden Bough for a declaration she made about the Roman Midsummer Celebrations. I find this in and of it self, extremely helpful.

Hola Drama

Oh my goddess….

Norm is back. It’s one of those situations that is just too stupid for words.

As many may know, I’m a regular (and one of the admins) at Obsidian’s Mirror Forum. In the past we have had problems with Norm Vogel (and if you want to find his site, do a Google Search, I’m not giving him free publicity). Mainly because he’s got chronic and terminal Fluffyitis. I have done an expose’ on his site a while back (which is available here) and he had a fit. I have no clue why, probably because I tended to say that his site was spreading disinformation.

Sad thing is that most of the current crop of Wiccans and witches would agree that his site stinks. Now mind you, I did not say that his entire site stinks, just one page. It’s an important distinction that apprently “Mr.” Norm does not see.

Well, he has a cronie, by the name of “Dragon Goddess”. (Once again, do a Google Search) She is one of those brainless people who don’t critically evaluate information they read, she simply regurgitates whatever she’s fed, without thinking it through. It’s sad really.

For Mary

A poem

Each laugh line
around her beautiful eyes
is more precious to me than emeralds.
Each is a time she smiled
that smile that stole my heart
Each one means I did something
that made her enjoy life.

Each tear she shed
broke my heart.
They are symbols that I failed
to ease her sorrow.
They represent times
when the stress of living
made her hate life.

Each grey hair
that crowns her intelligent head
I cherrish as the silver they are colored.
They are war-wounds
badges of honor.
They are the the hair pulling episodes
that tempered her life.

Each stretch mark
surrounding her stomache
is a map of the life she helped bear.
She has given me the
supreme gift of my daughter,
the girl who I get to raise
and teach to live her life.

Watching her live
with me and in my life
makes my life a thing of beauty.
There are scars on her soul
that none will ever see
but which I know are there
and which completes her life.