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Content by merrymousies
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Reviews Written by
merrymousies (Waterford, VA USA)

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Stokes Beginner's Guide to Bats
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Bats
by Kim Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.85
25 used & new from CDN$ 4.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Bat Book!, Nov. 27 2003
Last Christmas I got a Bat Detector (from Bat Conservation International). The instructions with it were very poor so I asked a local naturalist if she knew of any good bat books and specifically any that would indicate what frequency to tune the bat detector in to for our local bats. She recommended this book and its terrific! There's a short section up front that talks about bats and how they echolocate as well as the frequencies that they do it at so this was perfect for me and my bat detector (boy is it cool!). The real meat of the book is an id guide with great pictures and interesting information about each ofthe different species of bats - similar to a bird id book. Since bats are genenerally out at dusk and they fly so fast I haven't been able to make use of the pictures and actually id the bats but I've narrowed it down by where we live and what we're likely to see so its fun to have a reference to read about them more specifically. Excellent excellent book and a must have if you've just gotten a bat detector and need to know what frequency to tune into. Highly recommended!

Egg Decoration
Egg Decoration
by Susan Byrd
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.00
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars excellent beginner book, Nov. 27 2003
This review is from: Egg Decoration (Paperback)
This book is all you need to get started with egg decorating - at least it was for me. Its short (less than 50 pgs)but jamm-packed with what you need to know to get going. The chapters are as follows:
- History (1/2 pg)
- Points to consider (these are just 9 points to kind of encourage you - since eggs will break when youdon't want them to)
- The Egg itself (discusses different types of eggs and shows their sizes)
- Tools (good photographs albeit B/W showing the different tool, describing what each one is - separated into beginners tools and more advanced tools)
- Glues & decorative finishes (talks about all sorts of neat ideas like crackle finishes, powders, stains, epoxy etc)
- Emptying the Egg (talks to two methods - blowing and using an egg blower if you have one and cutting)
- Marking the Egg (using templates, freehand, etc)
- Cutting (using dremel tools, razor blades etc)
- Hinging (for making eggs that open)
- Lining the Egg
- Miscellaneous tips (this is a collection of tips/solutions to issues you might encounter - ex:"Emptying Holes - What to do with them")
- Projects (the last 25 pgs or so covers different sample projects- 8 of them ranging from the single opening egg on a stand to the toothpick holder to the beaded jewel box, I haven't tried the projects - I'm still plaing around with just making decorated eggs that don't open - so I can't comment on the projects per se but the instructions look pretty clear & step-wise)
Overall great book, very straight forward. I wish there were a few more pictures in it and some in color would be nice but its a good book.

by Silver RavenWolf
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.32
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.06

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great look at the feastival!, Nov. 26 2003
This review is from: Halloween! (Paperback)
I thought this was a great book - especially for someone just learning about this like me. The writing is easy to get into (in some cases a bit too cutsy I'm afraid but I looked past that). I enjoyed the section on the history of halloween across cultures although in some ways it seemed like too much of a high level synopsis but it was an ok introduction. The section on halloween symbols was excellent since we see all these things typically at halloween (black cats, witch hats etc). There are some fun divinations which include runes. And there are of course blessings and recipes etc. I think this would be a great family book - to give kids (all of us really) a bit more meaning to the day rather than just getting a stash of candy from the neighbors. Definitely a great introduction and fun stuff to do. I'm giving it 4 stars rather than 5 since I was expecting a bit more substance but its fun nonetheless.

by Anna Franklin
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 81.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Another good book although not as good as Mabon or others, Nov. 26 2003
This review is from: Lammas (Paperback)
Like the other Llewellyn books, this one is a great introduction to this particular Sabbat. It starts out with some history of Lammas, and then goes on to comparing similar festivals across cultures. The story of Lugh is a chapter in itself. Then there are all sorts of neat crafts (Lughnasa Magic) to make. Spells and such are throughout a few chapters. There's a section on Bird Auspices and another on totems - I don't agree with all the "meanings" but its a start. Jamie Sams and her medicine cards are better. There are some nice hand drawings throughout the book. This book is good and I'm glad to have it - would buy it again but I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because I would have liked more of the history, more of the goddess discussion, more of the connection to mother earth and the symbolism of the season.

The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween: Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year
The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween: Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year
by Jean Markale
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.76
23 used & new from CDN$ 10.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not an easy read, Nov. 26 2003
Ok, this book (I think) has lots of really neat info in it but I must say, I feel a bit like I've been reading a text book in college and the professor is trying to make this extra hard. Here's a sentence as an example: "The magical incantation, a geis, is as constraining as the argument that posits that one night and one day during the period of Samhain is the erquivalent of eternity." Yea, I didn't make that up either - that's on p. 74. The whole book is like that. It takes me 10 minutes to read 2 pages (ok, that's a liitle bit of an exaggeration but not much - you have to really chew on the words to get the meaning). In any case, if you can get past the writing style there seems to be a lot of reserach done here and there's probably a real depth of information - there are subsections on interesting topics such as the interconnection with the other world, the prfound meaning of samhain, etc. I was successful in getting through the chapter on the festival of all saints and it has some interesting facts around the dating of samhain, the role of christianity, etc. Ok, I need to go look up the word "appurtenance" (p.101). Bottom line - this book is not a "light read" probably due to the writing style and use of anachronistic words. I don't recommmend it because its so hard to read but am giving it 3 stars because if you can take the time to decode it there's probably some interesting info here. I would not buy it again.

Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice
Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice
by Anna Franklin
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another fun book!, Nov. 26 2003
Lots of great ideas and history on midsummer customs - drawing from ancient times. There's a whole chapter on divination (tarrot, runes etc) - fairy contact too. Crystals and their properties are discussed as is making a wand, and working with herbs to make special oils and teas etc. There are a number of recipes. There's a section on animal totems for midsummer but I've found better books on totems (check out Jamie Sams). Of the differnt Sabbat books, this one seems to have more spells, potions, divination and magic. It a really fun book and I'm glad I bought it - I'll certainly be doing some crafting from it but I'm only giving it 4 stars because I think the whole relationship/connection to mother earth is too light.

Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox
Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox
by Kristin Madden
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 11.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and eye opening, Nov. 26 2003
Well tomorrow is thanksgiving so I pulled out this book to get some ideas and I ended up just sitting here reading chapter after chapter so I thought I'd write a review. Theres such a wealth of information contained in this book - all sorts of interesting things about Thanksgiving and its origins, some wonderful stories from the old myths and oh, just a super section on animals within the chapter on Symbols of the Season. We have Turkey Vultures that migrate in each year within a day or so of the equinox each year and they stay for a bit. There's a wonderful section on the Turkey Vulture and honoring them. (The native americans called them Peace Eagles. There's a super chapter on rituals with poems honoring mother earth, and even a feast (menu and recipes as well as a blessing). I'm vegetarian and I was so pleased to see a recipe for vegetarian chili. There are some fun crafts like making amulets and other fun activities for connecting with the earth. Simply wonderful! My favorite of the Llewellyn series so far!

Ostara: Customs, Spells & Rituals for the Rites of Spring
Ostara: Customs, Spells & Rituals for the Rites of Spring
by Edain McCoy
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 20.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for just learning, Nov. 26 2003
I'm just learning about the Sabbats and this was the first one I came across on Ostara so I really enjoyed it. There are lots of stories of history, celebrations, discussion of things like the easter bunny, the birds & the bees etc - oh, and fairies. The parts I enjoyed the most were in The Goddesses of the Awakening Earth chapter - it has all sorts of neat goddess stories, things to do like burning incense to honor the godess of spring. There are some great riruals for Ostara like the balancing and centering ritual - made up of rhythmic breathing.

Candlemas: Feast of Flames
Candlemas: Feast of Flames
by Amber K
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.95
17 used & new from CDN$ 13.04

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, Nov. 26 2003
This was the first pagan book I ever bought and its served as a great reference for me. It provides great stories, and history of the holiday and background on the Goddess (the first 60 pages or so are all wonderful stories, history and lore). Its written in an easy relaxed way so its enjoyable to read. There's a good solid chapter (30 pgs) on customs, traditions and symbols. I've started to do seasonal decorating and this chapter had some neat items to make that I've added to my decorating. There are also some great blessings included here which are nice to welcome the season, hobor the transitions of the year. There's a chapter on divination that provides a number of differnt methds ranging from tarrot cards to melted wax in water. I haven't tried these yet so I can't really comment on them but the instructions and relevancy/interpretations all seem very straightforward. There's a section on cleansing which I love - it feels so good to clean things out, and cleansing the home and your self are wonderful to take time in. A number of activities ranging from baths to spring cleaning are provided here. There's a chapter on celebrations and Rituals - here there is a collection of things such as music, and candlemas rites (for one or for small or lage groups). I love the rite for one - its a nice soothing bath with candles and such. Quite peaceful. There's also a wonderful meditation at the end of winter - a wonderful nature meditation. There's a chapter on candles (how to make them - very fun)And then there's a chapter of recipes. I'm vegetarian so many of these did not appeal to me. There's a short section on resources at the back - I wish they had included some recommendations for music cds. Overall great book that is down to earth, and seems to really provide the basics in understanding the history of this celebration and great ways to honor/mark the day. Highly recommended especially for those new to paganism.

The Soul's Palette: Drawing on Art's Transformative Powers
The Soul's Palette: Drawing on Art's Transformative Powers
by Cathy A. Malchiodi
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 26.08
33 used & new from CDN$ 13.78

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great!, Nov. 26 2003
This is a great book for tapping into that inner voice, taking some time to be quiet with ourselves and just plain have some artsy-craftsy fun. The book sarts with some intro chapters that provide short stories/examples of the healing power of art through the ages - from Buddah to present day folks. From there it talks about "being mindful" - here there's discussion of drawing things from your dreams, using your imagination, etc. I love the section that talks about the difference between "curing" (where you remove all evidence of the disease) and "healing" (a more spiritual transformation of repairing and connecting, gaining a peace.) Again, there are lots of stories andexamples within the text which makes it interesting reading. The next few chapters go into getting in touch with your soul's palette - rediscovering what you see as "art", remembering your own personal history as an artist,paying attention to symbols. Next there's a whole chapter on different mediums to play around with (water color, clay, pen & ink, chalk, etc. Then she gets into playing around with art, being creative, letting ourselves free to create. There are short exercises throughout to help get you rolling and there are great discussions on things like howe to talk to your images/embrace them and create meaning around them. Then there's the healing aspect - one excerise is "paint or draw your emotional response to illness" another is "use color to sooth your symptom." There's also a section that talks about keeping a journal. Overall a really excellent book that I've enjoyed. Its fun, and there are so many interesting ideas/information woven in. Symbols have always been of interest to me and there's some interesting info on that in here too.
The chapters in the book are as follows:
- Rediscovering the Soul's Palette
- Creativity as a Healing force
- Knowing materials and creating space
- Visual symbols as messengers, guides and friends
- Letting your images tell their stories
- Images as a path to physical well-being
- Art as reparation and restoration
- Nuturing the sacred
- Sharing the Artist within
I definitely recommend this book for someone looking to open up/get in touch with that quiet voice. I have a clay cup that has a saying written on it - "When in doubt, listen quietly to yourself." This book helps you listen to that quiet voice.

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