Book

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Book review time!  I've finished Book the Second, and have had time to catch up on my reading. Here are some short reviews of the lovelies I've just finished: The first and third books were sent to me by Red Wheel/Weiser, and the 2nd one was from my friend, Leeza. 

Tarot: Plain & Simple - Leanna Greenaway

It is what it says it is. Very simple. It's got card meanings, reversals, key points about each card and exercises for you to do. This is a beginner book. It also says it's the only tarot book you'll ever need, and I'm not sure about that bit. For a beginner, to learn the cards though? Solid.

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Tarot Reversals - Leeza Robertson

I love this book and really wish I'd had it when I was learning. This isn't just "what is it when your card is upside down". It's never ever that black and white, which is why reversals are tricky to learn. Leeza has these five different ways to interpret the cards. 

Blocked, Protection, Mirror, Shadow, Retrograde

One of the only books I've seen that has such depth in looking at reversals. Gotta pick this one up.

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Crystal Gridwork - Kiera Fogg

This book is just lovely. I found out about crystal grids because my son started making them under his bed without knowing what they were. He just said that putting the rocks there made him feel better and sleep well. That's pretty much the job of a crystal grid. It's placing your intentions into the crystals to be a battery/power grid for you. 

There is an explanation of how to use the grids, and a ton of samples of Love, Romance, Protection, Motherhood - so many different ways to use this lovely tool. 

K is for Kitchen Table Tarot #atozchallenge

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Kitchen Table Tarot, published by Llewellyn in 2017 and written by Me, is currently in its fourth printing and is selling pretty darn well. Seen as a sassy, yet practical modern guide to tarot, this handy-dandy-purse-sized book has been touted as, "Pretty good" by its author, and "Shut up, you WROTE that?" by one of her friends.  Also, Maggie Stiefvater liked it. So. You know. That's fucking cool as hell.

I am not good at writing about myself, but I'm pretty good at writing, i think, and my Book the First makes me proud. I'm heading to Dallas next month to do a book signing, and will be posting details soon. The best thing about writing this book is knowing that I can do it. The second best part is getting emails from people who dig it. That just makes me rise like the Sun.

Thanks to everyone who's picked it up or gotten it from the library. I appreciate you more than you know.  

xo Lis

"Gertrude is a spider, weaving a web of funhouse mirrors" - Taisia Kitaiskaia

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I found Taisia Kitaiskaia in the Hall of Fame for amazing names, but also in my friend Sara's instagram feed. Literary Witches - what an amazing title and concept. The book is a beautiful little hardcover with a subtitle of "A celebration of magical women writers". That's like all of my favorite things in one title. 

Each woman is featured in the book with a small drawing, a magical portrait, a small fairy tale and a short bio. They're just beautiful - the artwork alone would make this a great book, but the playfulness and warmth that the author feels for each woman is palpable. 

Some of those listed are Forugh Farrokhzad, Audre Lorde, Virginia woolf, Marabai. Some of the stories you've heard, and some you've need to hear for a long, long, time.

The OTHER book is "Ask Baba Yaga". Amazon was all, "Bitch, you know you need this book" and I was all, "Duh." If I'm honest, I'll get anything that appeals to my witchiness, and I love the fierceness of Baba Yaga. It's like Ann Landers, sucking the marrow out of a bone before shaking it at you and telling you to stop asking questions that have already been answered before she tells you to beat it so she can take a nap and her house ejects you and wanders off on chicken feet.  I've posted some of my favorites here, but honestly the whole book is a treasure. 

xo!

Lis

Madam Pamita's Magical Tarot - Book Review

Thanks to Weiser for the great book!

Thanks to Weiser for the great book!

I have to admit, I was a little put off by the cover of this book. We readers get a lot of shit because of the whole "gypsy" fortunteller trope, and I was under the impression that Madame Pamita was a conjured name with some theater attached. I was bolstered by the fact that Rachel Pollack and Mary Greer both wrote a blurb on it, and checked it out.

I'm glad that I did. Turns out, Madame Pamita is the actual name under which the author works and practices (and plays ukulele to boot). She is the owner of a spiritualists shop in Los Angeles (so cool), and honestly, I would love to read HER story sometime.

This book is a great intro to tarot book, with a storytelling description of each card, symbolism, signifiers and affirmations for each. My favorite part were the journal questions that accompany each card. I think that this is a rich way to study the card and is often overlooked.

Another thing that will be SO valuable to new readers is the glossary in the back of the book. I think that we (long time tarot readers) take for granted that everyone knows our terminology, and it was well done to include a glossary here.

Did I like it? Yes. Should you buy it? Yes. It's for beginners, but has bits that everyone can use.

xo!

Lis

 

"I'm not telling anyone what to believe. I simply present the evidence so people can draw their own conclusions." Jenniffer Weigel

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About a year ago, I got to interview a trio of siblings who are all psychic. Terry Iacuzzo, Rosemary Wise, and Frank Andrews. I've always been fascinated with stories about folks who grew up having the "Shinnin", as the Simpsons call it, and even more with families who do. I suspect most people in my family have very strong, honed intuition, because there are family stories about "remember when Uncle Richard passed and we all woke up at 3am and started calling each other?" 

In reading "Psychics, Healers & Mediums by Jenniffer Weigel, I found an entire group of people who grew up with this gift. Thomas John, Caroline Myss, Rebecca Rosen, Paul Selig, Concetta Bertoldi and three siblings from the Bodine family - Echo, Nikki and Michael.

As someone who grew up as a strange kid (and a weird adult), it's so refreshing to hear stories of other people like me, that aren't presented as scams or as unrealistic fantasy. So, Jen scheduled a road trip with a friend to get a reading from each person in the book. She schedules a reading with each person for a friend of hers of whom they know nothing. The friend then gets a reading and then they evaluate the experience. It's a pretty fun read.

Although the approach to each experience starts journalistic, you can tell that Jen is a huge fan of this process - and honestly, thank god. Spiritual experiences should be fun and enlightening, and I feel that if you approach this field with dry, superstitious or VERY SERIOUS attitudes, you're going to miss the fun of it all. Also, having that kind of mysterious, mystical shroud around the experiences makes it easier for assholes to rip people off.

That said, this book is awesome. I immediately followed all of the readers on social media and schedule an interview with Michael Bodine (who is a hoot, btw).  If you wonder what it's like to get a reading, if you want to know how other's readings differ from yours, or if you just want a fun read about some Woo, this is a fantastic book. Thanks to Weiser for the book, and to Jen for filling out my little questionnaire. 

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

 Honesty. Loyalty matters too, but honesty is most important. 

2.  Your idea of happiness.

 Laughing with my son.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Doing my taxes

4.  Where would you like to live?

Anywhere by water

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Roses and Lily's. I'm a fan of pastels lately.

6.  Your favorite poets.

Shakespeare

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

I know this is odd for me to admit, but I don't much care for fiction. 

I like the real stuff. After all, truth is stranger than fiction. 

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

I don't practice any organized religion. I think churches divide people. God should unite us. 

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Anyone who fights for something they believe in without getting recognition. The unsung heroes who don't need to be famous for their service.

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Calm and trusting. For now.. 

11.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

Wisdom of the Oracle cards by Colette Baron Reed. 

12.  Your favorite songs?

I like classical music to write... dance music to exercise. Tibetan bowls to calm my mind.

13.  What is your favorite word?

changes often, but today, it's "perplexed"

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Fart. 

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

The chirp of a cardinal.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Sirens of any kind. 

17.  What turns you on?

Someone with integrity.

18.  What turns you off?

Lies. White lies or big lies. Anything that isn't in alignment with the truth.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

Shit

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

The all you can eat buffet is down the hall and to your left....

You can find Jen and her book here

 

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

Leeza sent me this book because she's my friend and I would still give it 5 stars if she weren't.

Leeza sent me this book because she's my friend and I would still give it 5 stars if she weren't.

Tarot Court Cards For Beginners taught this reader some new tricks. I learned tarot mostly by intuition and inferring knowledge from the cards. So, I never really took time to look up the history of the cards. I LOVED this book and learned so much about those damned court cards.

When I first learned, i was convinced that the card I chose had to align with a person. Just like the books said - there was a dark haired man in the future. Even if there really wasn't. I had to give myself permission to stray away from these absolutes and it took forever. 

My favorite part of this book (besides the conversational tone that Leeza writes with) is the breakdown of the different ways you can apply the cards. "As a person", "As an archetypal influence", "As a spiritual influence", and "As a messenger". For someone just starting out, knowing HOW to use the cards in different types of readings is priceless. I love this book, and I wish I'd had it 29 years ago.

I received this book from Weiser Books. Thanks, guys!

I received this book from Weiser Books. Thanks, guys!

I've been interested in learning about Santa Muerte for a long time. I've always been fascinated with different aspects of the goddess and with Mary. Also, my husband is Mexican, and I love learning about his heritage.  Also, it's cool.

This is a well written, easy to follow book that delves into the history of Santa Muerte, different communities perspectives of her, and how to honor her. I loved folk magic and the intertwining of religion and spirit that happens sometimes. Usually when white people shove their religions on indigenous folks, but that's none of my business. (sips tea)

Rollin teaches about each aspect of Santa Muerte, what their favorite offerings are, and rituals and prayers specific to each. 

Although I don't pray to Santa Muerte, I appreciate the beauty and badassery of this lady, and so enjoyed getting to know her better. 

xo Lis