Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review: 365 Tarot Spreads by Sasha Graham



Book Review: 365 Tarot Spreads by Sasha Graham
Review by Dawn Thomas

408 Pages
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

Tarot, Divination, Ritual, Magic, Spirituality

Ms. Graham begins the book with a short introduction in which she explains tarot and the art of asking a question. All questions come down to the same themes: love, money, career, and life path. She discusses what it means to be human along with the challenges she faced while writing this book. There is also a brief section on the importance of calendars and time.

The book is divided into months with a different theme every day and each entry has a bit of trivia. The daily themes run from financial to health concerns. I love the concept of a different tarot spread for each day. In the past, I used to pull a card a day and then ask what was in store for me. Using spreads gives me more information than a single card. One day, I created an eight-card spread. The information I received from the cards was illuminating. I do not think I could have received so much information with a single or even a three-card pull.

The spreads are not difficult and are easy to do for yourself or others. Another nice aspect is the ability to use any deck of cards for these spreads. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys working with tarot and learning new spreads.

Book Review: 365 Tarot Spells by Sasha Graham



Book Review: 365 Tarot Spells by Sasha Graham
Review by Dawn Thomas

408 Pages
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

Tarot, Divination, Ritual, Magic, Spirituality


Ms. Graham begins this book with a homage to Janina Renee’s Tarot Spells. She describes her first experience using Janina’s book. During her reading, the author realized the question she asked was not what she needed to know. There were more ways to connect to nature and create sacred space. This prompted her to create this book.

Sasha believes magic is understood in a threefold process using desire (thoughts and ideas), feelings (align yourself and visualize) and action (the spell). She explains the importance of magic and shows readers how they can connect with it.

The author realized her first book, 365 Tarot Spreads, was a great starting point for a spell book. As in her pervious book, a bit of trivia is at the beginning of each daily spell. Reader can pick any tarot deck they feel comfortable using. Ms. Graham suggests reading each spell in advance and any tools needed gathered before the reader begins a spell. It is important to follow her guidelines to create sacred space and the three steps to responsible magic.

Each daily spell includes a method, visualization and meditation. The spells are easy to follow and do not require special ingredients. One spell from the book is the Caramel Lace for Grace and Elegance. All that is needed is the Three of Cups card, a small saucepan, spoon, parchment paper, water, sugar and salt. I looked at the tarot card and visualized the future while I was stirring the ingredients in the saucepan. Once the caramel was formed, I poured it onto the parchment paper. Later I will be able to eat the caramel when I need to be delicate.

I recommend this book to anyone that has a closeness with tarot. This would be a wonderful way to enhance your connection.


Book Review: The elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian



Book Review: The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian
Review by Dawn Thomas

336 Pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink

Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Alchemy, Women Sleuths, Culinary

Zoe Faust is an alchemist trained by Nicholas Flamel. Dorian, her gargoyle friend, is turning back to stone. In an effort to reverse the action, she travels to Paris, France in search of a backwards alchemist. The owner of a bookstore, Lucien, tells her about a book created by backwards alchemists. He promises to ship it to her as soon as he locates it. While visiting Notre Dame Cathedral to investigate a missing gargoyle, a woman from her past spots her. Madame LeBlanc accuses her of murder and has her police officer nephew interrogate her. Zoe flees Paris and returns to her home in Portland, Oregon.

Upon her arrival, Zoe finds Dorian in worse shape and confides in him about the encounter. He agrees she was right in leaving France. Brixton, a teenage friend, tells her about a spy he found peeking in windows. Zoe is afraid the man is the French police officer looking for her. When the mummified remains of a man are found in an abandoned shed, Zoe fears Brixton may be in danger. She tells him to stay close to home and not to look for the spy. Zoe is shocked when she sees Percy, the son of a long ago lover. Percy was supposed to have died in the 1930s so how could he be standing in front of her at the teashop. If Zoe is going to protect Brixton and help Dorian, she must return to Paris and face her past.

This is the third book in the Accidental Alchemist book series. I have not read the first two books but was able to follow the story with the information the author provides throughout the story. The story is written in first person point of view in the present tense. Since Dorian is a chef in the story, the author kindly provides several of the recipes used in the book. If you enjoy the Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, you will probably like this series too.