Celtic Tree Mysteries: Secrets of the Ogham – Book Review

Most authors approach the subject of Ogham either as a complex language or a set of mathematical features, but Steve Blamires gears this book more towards the magical and ritual history and use of these Celtic symbols. The book aims to cover the subject on both a physical and spiritual level, offering more practical advice to those seeking the meanings within Celtic myth and folklore.

The author analyses the ancient Celtic poems and legends, in order to offer a practical system of ritual and divination. He teaches reader how to create their own set of Ogham sticks, how to locate and identify each of the 20 trees and how to prepare themselves and their sticks for use. Furthermore, they are taught how to align themselves with the natural aspects of the Green World. Balmire demonstrates how to look at the trees on physical, mental and spiritual levels.

Other reviewers have said that this is a book that you can read again and again and always find something new, and I agree. If you are interested in the Ogham, or Celtic mythology, or divination, or just in the natural world, this is a book you can enjoy.

Celtic Tree Mysteries: Secrets of the Ogham is available for only £9.99 from Play.com



Jay-Z Master of the Occult?

According to Mitch Horowitz, author of American Occult,  Rapper Jay-Z regularly uses specialist Occult knowledge and symbolism, especially in the music video for his new single, “Run this Town.”

When interviewed, Horowitz pointed out Jay-z’s use of the phrase “Peace God”.  “Peace God” is a typical Five Percenter greeting.  Also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths, Five Percenters teach that the original black man is God and that all men are potentially God.
A phrase like ‘Peace God’ does not find its way into someone’s vernacular by accident,” Horowitz says. “He’s making a very definite statement.”

Sorry, but at Upon Reflection, we need a little more convincing – after all, Jay-Z was brought up in New York, home of the Five Percenters.   Horowitz adds fuel to his fire, mentioning that in the video, Jay-Z is wearing a top emblazoned with the phrase “do what thou wilt”.
“That has very deep roots in modern occult culture. The full expression is ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ That was one of the key maxims of the British occultist Aleister Crowley.” says Horowitz

Rocawear, Jay-Z’s clothing line uses masonic symbols in their design – and while Horowitz stresses that he is not suggesting the rapper is a Mason, he says that Jay-Z is simply “a master at using subversive imagery.”

What are your thoughts? A master of the Occult, or a product of his environment?




The Tarot Bible: The Definitive Guide to the Cards and Spreads – Book Review

No one should claim that their book is the ‘definitive guide’ unless they want to lay themselves wide open to critics – but don’t let the title put you off.  There is a lot of information packed into this pocket-sized guide, and beginners and Grand masters alike have sung its praises.

It’s certainly brightly coloured, and full of illustrations to help even the most timid novice find their way around a spread.  There is the usual background content on the History of Tarot, but it’s clear and easy to read.  Along side that there is information on how Tarot works and the symbolism behind Tarot – again, all useful and appreciated.  Each card in both the  Major and Minor Arcana is listed with elemental qualities and keywords, and details of the different kinds of Tarot decks available is covered.  The section on reading spreads is all-encompassing and split down into categories to make it even easier to use.

I have been reading Tarot since I was very young, and taught by an experienced reader – but I found the book interesting and insightful.  There is great discussion on the potential of Tarot, and the pitfalls too, but what I enjoyed most was the exercises for getting to know the cards, shuffling techniques, and drawing cards. There is even a step by step guide to performing a reading.

The book is just £9.99 from Play.com and really is a must have for any Tarot Enthusiast.

If you have a favourite Tarot book, or would like to offer your own review, comment below and we’ll contact you.




New Witch for Wookey Hole

Of all the people we expected Wookey Hole to pick for a new Witch…an estate agent was not one of them. The lucrative job opening made headlines across the world, and was finally awarded to Carole Bohanan from Shepton Mallet. The Wookey Hole site in Somerset saw 300 applicants for the role, but Carole secured it through what she calls her ‘witchy charisma’.

From the site’s caves, the new witch will have to teach magic and witchcraft in the site’s caves. The role also requires her to be able to cackle and not be allergic to cats. Under the witch name of Carla Calamity, Ms Bohanan will receive an annual salary of £50,000 pro rata, based on work mostly in the summer holidays, but also at Halloween and at Christmas. When interviewed by the BBC she believed it was a logical step from estate agent to witch:

“I think it’s a natural progression. You need to perform a little bit of magic to sell houses in the current market,” she said.



Reading the Runes: A Beginner’s Guide – Book Review

This is an excellent book on Runes in an easy to read format. Originally designed to be a BAPS (British Astrological & Psychic Society) course book, the book is ideal for people wanting to learn all about runes. It covers the history and mythology of each rune as well as how to read them.

There are lots of helpful illustrations and sample spreads and layouts, which is especially helpful if your main goal is learning how to read Runes. The occult and magical use of runes are also explained without bias which makes this an ideal book whatever your interest in Runes.

To find out more or to buy a copy for yourself, visit Amazon.