RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Your Simple Path
Five stars! A Simple book, beautifully written. ~ J Mexson, Amazon UK
Your Simple Path
I went to Ian's talk and it was fabulous - the book is great, easy to read and understand. It truly changed my life …I hope it changes yours too. ~ Jane Griffiths
How I Left The National Grid
How I Left The National Grid captures the heart of post-punk Manchester and successfully depicts the struggle between wanting to be somebody and the fear of losing yourself along the way. Anyone with a keen interest in Manchester’s music scene or celebrity culture should read this book; you will not be disappointed. How I Left The National Grid leaves you with a sharp taste in your mouth and a beat in your step. ~ We Love Books, http://www.welovethisbook.com/reviews/how-i-left-the-national-grid
Realignment Case, The
...‘The Realignment Case’ is a terrific novel placing time manipulation in the dock with morals being scrutinised or ignored if it’s your own and you are on the legal team. There’s yet one more surprising twist as the story reaches the conclusion. This nicely brings together the loose threads and quirks in the previous chapters.
I think this is a real winner and strongly recommend it. ~ Andy Whitaker, http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/the-realignment-case-by-r-j-dearden-book-review/
Toxic World, Toxic People
Anna Victoria Rodgers
This is a bible for anyone wanting to live a healthy lifestyle, reduce toxic exposure through foods, home, environment, cosmetics, build immunity, and create a loving relationship with your children through attachment parenting. She's a thought-leader and really walks her talk. Anna I am so proud of this book. Everyone should have a copy. ~ Lathan Thomas, Mama Glow
Toxic World, Toxic People
Anna Victoria Rodgers
Anna's book Toxic World Toxic People opens your eyes to the madness of what we are doing to ourselves and the planet. Essential For Every Mother and Woman to read. ~ Jo Wood - organic pioneer and author, email
Your Simple Path
Five stars. A little treasure! ~ Mrs A Williams, Amazon UK
Story of Light, The
when I started to read “The Story of Light” - straight in at the beginning of the story. I didn’t read the prologue or even the “blurb” as I wanted the story to unfold before me and it did,
So I met the sceptical main character Bridget as she started telling me
about the dream she had one night, of a far away (from her waking life) place, a land where she felt at ease, at home and part of. The dream stayed with her, and when Simon, her boss called her into his office to tell her that “times were hard and cuts had to be made” she accepted redundancy and got on a train, and began a new journey, learning to trust her intuition instead of listening to her doubting mind set.
I travelled on the journey with her, learning things about ancient writings and theories on the way. Science, myth and legend all supporting each other as she walked her path, and as a not very academic person, the way that the scientific things were explained through the conversations of the characters, actually helped a lot! (I don’t really do text books!)
The Story of Light, kept me reading, I believe they are called “page turners”.
The first of the two nights that it took me to read it, was only halted by the fact that my body was telling me I needed to sleep.
~ Suzanne Thomas, editor of Tooth and Claw, British Druidry Order, Tooth and Claw issue21
Deep Heart of Witchcraft, The
Author David Salisbury assumes that you already know something about being a witch, that you’ve read a few books and know the basics. If you don’t know the basics, have no idea what to do with an athame, have never worked through the wheel of the year... this is not the place to start. Get a copy and stash it for later, because if you’re seriously interested in witchcraft, you’re going to want to read this.
The majority of books are aimed at the beginner. As a consequence there’s a lot of material that will allow you to set up a basic practice and do some witchy things, but moving on from there into work of greater depth, power and significance, can be a bit of a mystery. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, the whole thing can be a bit perplexing. There’s no shame in not being able to do this in a big intuitive leap because so many things in our culture lead us away from the spiritual and magical. Many of us have a lot of assumptions and habits to overcome as part of our path into Paganism.
David’s book will lead you through the familiar territory of the elements and the wheel of the year, but rather than showing you yet another surface, he takes readers deeply into questions of why, and how, and to what purpose we work with these things. This is enriching. Coming to this as a Druid who has read a lot of witchcraft books, I thought it was an absolute gem. There’s a lot of wisdom here that has relevance for wider Paganism as well as witchcraft, and more eclectic practitioners may well benefit from reading it.
The writing style is friendly and accessible, and there’s a lot of passion underpinning the work. It’s clear David lives his path and writes from a place of knowing, not from hypothesising. He’s beautifully non-dogmatic, making it easy to work with his ideas without being restricted by them. A fine book, and a worthy addition to any esoteric bookshelf.
~ Nimue Brown, goodreads
Where is Lonely?
Where is Lonely? is an illustrated story for young children, telling of Chelsea, a restless outdoor-loving tomboy who sneaks out of the house and goes exploring in the countryside. She meets an ogre who does his best to frighten her, with radical consequences.
The tale has many hooks for teaching, and indeed good ideas with resource references are included for a variety of activities with Reception and KS1 children. These range from drawing spiders to discussing the nature of friendships.
Where is Lonely? uses just two main characters and describes their initial reactions on meeting unexpectedly. Starting in familiar settings, there will be a girl recognisable as Chelsea-like in many school classes. Her adventure moves smoothly into more fantastic territory, where readers can be prompted to think about how to respond to unfamiliar situations, and to reflect on how they might behave or feel. There is great potential in this simple story for material to help open up discussion about relationships and the value of every individual.
Matt Sendorek - Primary Teacher ~ Matt Sendorek, Primary Teacher
I have been healed by great shamans from many cultures and by great Reiki masters. I have felt the magical power of the two combined through personal healings from Llyn Roberts. Now, this incredible book, Shamanic Reiki, opens the door for all of us. Llyn and Robert guide us on a journey into healing and self-discovery that integrates ancient techniques with the needs of our modern world.
~ John M. Perkins, New York Times best selling author of Confessions of An Economic Hit Man, Shapeshifting and The World Is As You Dream It.
Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Herbs & Plants, A
Firstly, this is a kitchen witch’s book rather than a medicinal reference book, so you won’t find herbs to ease an achy tummy but you will find a very comprehensive list of easy to find plants, their correspondences, and some teas and ritual ideas to use them in, which takes up the bulk of the book.
However Ms Patterson doesn’t stop there. I had to fight the urge to add ideas to my Book of Shadows (herbal firelighters anyone?) and her instructions are really easy to follow. I must confess, I have always bought smudge sticks from shops but it is so easy to make them, now I know how, that I feel a fool and I’m inspired to try some of these ideas out.
There is a fantastic section that covers herbal code names, which makes eye of newt and sparrow tongue a little less revolting, as well as an explanation of the Victorian flower language. There are chapters on intent correspondences, elemental correspondences, gender and planet correspondences, herbs for dark magick…
Basically this book has everything you need to know about plants and herbs for all your spellworking and magickal needs, and I think it is a really good addition to the shelves of anybody who wants to widen their knowledge of this field. ~ Susanne Warnett, http://lifescaperadio.com/
How I Left The National Grid
'It's fascinating what you've done with the book, you've taken it into areas I'd have never thought about. Respect for that.' ~ Alan Robson, Metro Radio
Breaking the Mother Goose Code
Review from Pagan Square (by Lia Hunter)
Imagine... What if Mother Goose was the ancient European Mother Goddess in disguise, hidden from the patriarchal, monotheistic church that took over Europe, appearing in print just as the Inquisition and Witch-hunts drove anything non-Christian underground? What if the Mother Goose “nursery rhymes” taught to children over the last few centuries were a way to pass on an encoded pre-Christian worldview? Are fairy tales the carriers of the Pagan values of ancestors who had to disguise them as “peasant imbecilities” to keep them in cultural memory in a stratified society, of which the hierarchical authorities wanted to eradicate their egalitarian, animistic, and earthy worldview?
These questions are explored in Jeri Studebaker’s new book, “Breaking the Mother Goose Code: How a Fairy-Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years” published by Moon Books. I was excited to read the advance copy I asked for, since folklore and fairy tales have always fascinated me, and I really love reading about history - especially Pagan history. I know I’m not alone in these interests, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the book after reading it.
Not only does the book address the specific history of the publishing of the Mother Goose tales (Charles Perrault, etc.) and the rhyme about Mother Goose, herself (Old Mother Goose When She Wanted To Wander) and the imagery in the illustrations over the centuries, but it explores the specific goddesses she resembles (Hulda/Helle/Hel, Aphrodite, the neolithic bird goddess…), and the symbolism surrounding her that matches with ancient mythology (spinning, the world egg, ducks/geese/swans…), and it looks into the tales and rhymes for what values and lessons might be encoded in them, and how they differ from the prevailing Christian cultural attitudes of the times. All of these aspects of the book were interesting in their own way. I could have read more about each subject, but I was also satisfied with the book-length presentation. There are even appendices in the back with a few relevant synopses of fairy tales, the full Grimm’s “Mother Holle” tale, and a set of discussion questions for reading the book with a group.
One weakness in the presentation was the lack of illustrations. There was much talk of book covers and illustrations, analyzing their imagery, but I had to look them up myself on the Internet as I was reading about them. The book could have really used pictures if it was going to talk about specific images so much. I would hope there will be illustrations in future editions. Perhaps if the book does well, that will happen.
It was a pleasant, transporting (to childhood, to ancient Europe, to the middle ages and more recent centuries), magical read, and I find myself hungry to go look up more about these symbols and goddesses and read even more fairy tales with an eye to what gems might be hidden within them, though I’ve long known there are lessons in them, having been a reader of the Journal of Mythic Arts’ Folkroots columns and Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ “Women Who Run With The Wolves.” Now I can look even deeper into time (before Indo-European patriarchy as well as pre-Christianity) and keep the Pagan ancestors in mind as I read the tales. I’ve also been collecting Mother Goose images on Pinterest, because now they’re full of meaning for me.
As a Pagan, I feel grateful to the ancestors for preserving what they could and sending these messages to us through time. My fascination with fairy tales does seem to be what guided me onto the path I walk now. Magic and kindness and laughter and egalitarian values did seep into my soul from my immersion in the tales and rhymes I loved so much as a child. They also seem to have made it into the contemporary fantasy being written today, and that also helped me find my way back to where I belong. I’m also grateful to the scholar and author of this book, Jeri Studebaker, for reconnecting the dots so more of us can get the message and find our way back to our heritage, which had to be hidden during a long and brutal oppression. The time has come for the knowledge to blossom again, and for us to reclaim the cultural heritage of peace, equality, and joy that was suppressed.
Have a gander (hehe) into this book if you'd like to do some reclaiming, or if you enjoy history and fairy tales. It may touch you as deeply as it did me. ~ Pagan Square, http://www.witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/the-tangled-hedge/breaking-the-mother-goose-code.html
Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore
“The majority of books I encounter on the subject of witchcraft and Wicca fall into one of two categories: they are written for rural witches, or for urban witches, as though those are the only two options. If you believe the stories of how things were in the “bad old days,” witches were seldom found in either of those two settings. They were most often found in the transitional (or “liminal”) areas – the last house in the village just before you entered the countryside, or the first house after such a point. They weren’t living in the wilds, but they weren’t comfortable in the daily to-do of the village centre either.
This book addresses another transitional space: the seashore. If you live on the coast, you are aware of that particular space between high- and low-tide: it isn’t always land and it isn’t always water, but it shares the characteristics of both. You know the effects the tides have on daily life (even though you probably are only concerned with the tides of the water not with atmospheric and terrestrial tides), as well as how they help to sculpt the environment in which you live. You are undoubtedly aware of the winds and their potential benefits and hazards.
This is not a book for those who are new to witchcraft. In fact, even some folks who have spend years in the Craft may find themselves wondering what they have stumbled into. Within the first dozen pages of the book I found myself exposed to ideas I hadn’t considered in years (even though I had been exposed to them in theory during my early involvement with the Craft) ...” Mike Gleason - Spiral Nature online magazine.
~ Mike Gleason, Spiral Nature - online magazine
Briar Blackwood's Grimmest of Fairytales
In Briar Blackwood's Grimmest of Fairytales author Timothy Roderick has fashioned an imaginative mashup of plots and characters from the beloved stories we all grew up with. Breathing new life into those old tales, Roderick drops characters such as Sleeping Beauty and the Big Bad Wolf (or even a whole pack of them) right into the middle of modern America, then draws us back into his own magical and amusingly inverted version of the fairy tale world along with them. This is exactly the kind of story I would love to wake up in, full of wit and irony and with nary a damsel-in-distress in sight. ~ Laura Perry, author of Ariadne's Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern Lives
Pagan Portals - By Spellbook & Candle
Customer reviews from amazon.com (11) and amazon.co.uk (9) as at 19/02 SR ~ Customer reviews, amazon.com and co.uk
Breaking the Mother Goose Code
Almost a Terrific Book
By Diana in Chicago on February 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-researched book tracing (and speculating about) the origins of Mother Goose and the symbolism contained in these familiar tales and nursery rhymes is an impressive piece of literary detective work. Although scholarly, it is written in a warm, witty, conversational style, and is a highly enjoyable read--with one glaring omission that kept me from giving it five stars. Just a few pages into the book, the author refers to "mysterious statues found in certain old French churches. . . these puzzling statues have one human foot, but a second foot that is webbed--like the foot of a goose." I eagerly flipped through the next few pages, then the entire book, looking for pictures of the statues and quickly discovered there were none--in fact, THIS BOOK, WHICH FREQUENTLY CITES SPECIFIC ARTWORK AND CRIES OUT FOR ILLUSTRATIONS, CONTAINS NOT A SINGLE ONE! Instead, the reader is directed to several websites that offer related art, and an entire chapter is devoted to verbal descriptions of illustrations appearing in other books! I wound up doing a lot of Googling--with limited success--but never did find pictures of the goose-footed church statues. Still, this book contains a wealth of information and an excellent bibliography, and deserves a place in the library of anyone interested in folklore, literature, or mythology. ~
Breaking the Mother Goose Code
By Yvonne on February 19, 2015
This is a fascinating book involving detection, ancient practices, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, our ancestors and goddesses all based around the tale of Mother Goose.
Basing her ideas around two main theories 1) that Mother Goose was a European goddess in disguise and 2) that Mother Goose appeared from nowhere at the time that European Pre Christians were being dealt a final blow with inquisitions and witch burnings, Studebaker sets out to prove that hidden within Mother Goose was in fact a goddess, a way of disguising the evidence until it was safe to reveal it. Holda-Perchta , Aphrodite and Brigid are amongst those considered to be the goddess depicted by Mother Goose. Painstaking research and a creative and delving mind are put to task in teasing out links however tenuous at first in order to support her hypothesis and then the wider field of the purpose of fairy tales.
The author looks at the secrets that are hidden in nursery rhymes of the time and in the second part of the book, at other early or Pre-patriarchal fairy tales and the various theories over their purpose in society as well as their common characteristics and proposing her own 'secret code theory'. Finally, over several chapters she looks at specific European fairy tales and the information they provide about our goddess centred ancestors.
I have no memory of the Mother Goose tale as set out in this book, nor have I more than a passing knowledge of goddesses, this however did nothing to lessen my interest, particularly in the second part of the book where I found myself totally caught up in the world of my ancestors as disguised in fairy tales. ~ Jeri, Amazon.com (US)
Reggie & Me
I have already recommended Reggie and Me to a brave young woman and her mother who were both in need of support and understanding. I can imagine recommending it many more times. The book is written in an engaging style for young readers who need to know that they’re not weird and they’re not alone. Useful resources are sewn into the narrative of the book providing tools that readers can use, but doing so in a gentle way as we follow Dani on her journey. Reggie and Me manages to do that very difficult thing of being compassionate and caring but also realistic and useful. We see the highs and the lows of life after sexual abuse, and by creating a trilogy Marie Yates helps us to understand that recovery from abuse is a long journey, not a quick fix. I look forward to reading more about Dani and Reggie in the remaining books. I would encourage both professionals and parents who are supporting young people living with the impact of sexual abuse to introduce them to the Dani Moore Trilogy. ~ Dr Nina Burrowes - Psychologist, Speaker, Author