The 10 books that pushed me forward (for good or bad)

This is a top 10 list of sorts – Not of great reads or of books that I think everyone should own, but of books that pushed me forward religiously speaking.  Some weren’t good, and some I would suggest to stay far away from, but nonetheless here they are.

I thought it would be fun to revisit some of these and riff a little about them. The first 5:



1. Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway

This book was the first book that I ever picked up regarding Magic(k).  It had a great cover, and went over some Wicca basics. At the time I really liked it, and it gave some things to try and think about.  It didn’t take long however, as I read more books and myths, to realize that most of the book is hogwash and very poorly researched.  The cover is still nice, though.

2. Circles, Groves and Sanctuaries: Sacred Spaces of Today’s Pagans by the Campanellis

A book which showed me that what I was interested in and experimenting with wasn’t odd or fanciful, there were actually “normal” people involved.  When this book hit the shelves, I realized it would be part of my collection for a long time, and there it sits.  This was a remarkable book when it was published.  Included are pictures of sacred spaces along with narration by those who use the spaces.

3.  Earth, Air, Fire & Water by Cunningham

This is a spell book.  Though I never considered myself a witch or a Wiccan, it gave me an insight as to how to manipulate reality by using simple natural configurations.  Not that I used it too much, I found it more useful as a reference for how magic(k) could be a simple act with limited tools and lots of intention.  I’ve actually purchased this book twice.  I think however it was given away a few years ago.  I might get another copy someday.  It’s companion is Earth Power and is just as good.

4.  Way of Wyrd by Brian Bates

Though this book is a little dated now, back nearly 20 years ago it really opened my eyes.  It was more or a less an Anglo-Saxon answer to Carlos Casteneda’s Don Juan books, but in it’s pages was wisdom about my ancestors and maybe how they saw things.  It is fiction based on historical dosuments, but it’s honest about it, which is more than I can say for Carlos’ works.  I’ve been meaning to read this again…soon.

5.  Druids by Ellis

What a surprise.  I’ve always been interested in Druids and this book fed my curiosity.  Still a great read on the topic and one that I cherish, bent pages and highlights throughout.  It is little skewed toward the Druids as humble and truth loving, and the author tries his best to ignore the human sacrifice issue, but overall full of good stuff.


The next 5 coming soon….

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With a single Breathe: A ritual in 9

Ritual of 9 breaths (more or less)

This practice was developed as an easy way to align with the “Gates” and the Kindred.  Inspired by the words of Kirk Thomas in his article Make Offerings, Dammit. “I like to compare my relationships with the Kindreds to the process of breathing. As I breathe in, the Gods breathe out. As I breathe out, the Gods breathe in.”

This is nothing extraordinarily new in my opinion, just done in a way that I like.

Light a candle.  My preference is to be at or seated near my Harrow (Altar), but this can be done anywhere as long as the environment provides you the time.

Achieve your calm – that is prepare your meditation state by getting into a rhythm of breathing, sit comfortably.

We are attempting to utilize the concept put forward by Kirk Thomas toward the end of the article provided.  Unlike Kirk, who I believe meant for the reciprocity of breath to be a non-ritualized technique, our focus is going to be more defined and visualized.

Begin by focusing on the Well, once the Waters are visualized properly breathe in and feel the waters being drawn into yourself, don’t rush, but allow the Waters of the Well to slowly creep up into your spine and your legs.  The out breathe is going to feed the Waters and strengthen the Well with your images of what the Well is, and what the Water symbolizes, or perhaps your admiration.  Each breath in strengthens the Waters presence within, and each breath out reciprocates it’s reality.

Do the same with the Tree which surrounds and grows within.

Do the same with the Fire above.

Each should be a pattern of three breaths.  But do more if you wish, for me three is enough unless I’m focusing more on a specific “Gate” and it’s power/symbolism.

The Kindred are done the same way.  Three breaths in and out  for each. Be fed with each breath as you feed them with each exhale.

The Ancestors are all that has come before, the power of your kin, family, and tradition.

The Nature Spirits or LandVaettir are the entities that inhabit Midgard alongside us, both seen and unseen, and perhaps even the land itself.

The Shining ones, the power of the gods/esses.

Take a few minutes when finished to contemplate your actions, emotions, and experiences.  Note down any insights.  Thank the Kindred for their gifts, be thankful for the wisdom of the Fire, Well, and Tree.


Achieve calm:

3 breathes (inhale and exhale) for each “Gate”: Fire, Well, Tree

(added contemplation as needed)

3 Breathes (inhale and exhale) for each Kindred: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, gods/godesses

Be thankful.

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