Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Non-Fiction/Spirituality Review

Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration
by Raven Grimassi
ISBN-10: 1567182836
Review by Heather Froeschl

May brings thoughts of celebration and embracing the power of nature. Many cultures today continue to hold May Day festivals that include a Maypole. We see it as a symbol of spring, but what does this tradition mean? Where did it originate and what is the purpose? Raven Grimassi explains it all, and so much more in Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore & Celebration.

Today's society is one that often shies away from coexisting with nature. Many are not even aware of the glory mid spring, blooming in its entire splendor, because they work in offices all day, or dwell in cities where little is seen of the signs. As a whole, we have gotten off track from our synchronicity with nature, and we can all benefit from trying to remedy this.

May Day celebrations, today, are a way of putting that honor for Mother Nature back into our lives. But it all began in ancient fertility festivals. May Day has a wonderfully rich history and this book explains it all, from the Maypole to the Beltane fire. So who were these festivals for, originally? In honor of many! The Green Man, a symbol of life, fertility and growth, is just one of the many spirits of May that are brought into the light here.

A spring evening bonfire wouldn't be complete without stories of little people, and Raven shares many for you to pass on. Hikes through ever greening forests just wouldn't be the same if we didn't imagine the faeries peeking from behind woodland blooms. The warmer weather turns our thoughts to Mother Nature's helpers, since ancient times. Here you will find many stories and legends that are delightful to read and reflect on. For those with green thumbs, the book includes lists of flowers and their meanings, trees and their associations to faeries and plants associated with goddesses. You will be well learned in the meanings behind your greenery and will be able to plant special gardens that are rich with lore.

What festival or even a quiet celebration would be complete without spells and recipes to try? Attracting love in spring is a tradition we cannot deny. "In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love," Tennyson tells us. Why not try it? A serenity spell might be just what is needed to face final exams. Recipes for custard and May wine are just the things to begin your own personal celebration. If you are new to the old rituals, complete instructions are provided to help you honor Mother Nature, either on your own or in a group, even including directions for decorations.

Beltane, or May Day, is celebrated around the world. There are many traditions to choose from. However you celebrate, Raven Grimassi's book can help you understand and enjoy the holiday, and embrace the warmer weather that everyone welcomes.

Thursday, May 9, 2002

Fiction Review

Beneath A Mountain Moon
by Silver Ravenwolf
ISBN-10: 1567187226
Review by Heather Froeschl

In a classic battle between good and evil, I found "Beneath a Mountain Moon" to be a breath of fresh air in it's encompassing an exciting bit of fiction with a realistic use of positive witchcraft. Typically, fiction that involves the craft tends to run long on the dramatic, feeding on the media hype of green skinned witches and brewing cauldrons. This book, however, shatters the myths of media and while it does involve the spirit of a blue-faced hag, she does not cater to the typical by any means.

Elizabeyta is a modern heroin, who happens to be the destined savior of her covenstead. Blessed with the magickal heritage of her Scotch-Irish family, she returns to Whiskey Springs in search of the one who killed her grandmother. She knows it is not safe for her there, but discovers that she has inherited a dangerous, generations-old, battle between her family and one of dark powers.

With an interesting bit of past life influence, the characters are intertwined and lead a fateful existence as they struggle to discover who they are and how they can help each other. With the help of a local healer, a few family spirits and a deity or two, the reader is brought through many an exciting chapter and turn of events.

Silver Ravenwolf most certainly knows her facts, being the author of 16 other titles on, or about, witchcraft, not to mention being the Clan Head of the Black Forest Family that includes 15 covens in the United States. It is no wonder that this book demonstrates so many aspects of the craft, but is also very professionally written. The drama, horror and depth of feeling throughout the book make it a wonderful work of fiction.

For anyone looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, and positively bone-chilling at times, "Beneath a Mountain Moon" is the book for you.

Friday, February 15, 2002

Non-Fiction/Paranormal Review

True Mystic Experiences: Fascinating Real Life Stories of Spirits, Other Dimensions & Strange Phenomena
by Jennifer Spees
ISBN-10: 1567182623
Review by Heather Froeschl

From the files of FATE Magazine, the oldest of paranormal publications, comes this collection of True Mystic Experiences to set your mind aflame. I have personally always loved the "Believe it or Not" types of tales but have been on the skeptical side until recent years, and taken the stories with a grain of salt. However, this book, being from my favorite paranormal publisher, leaves no room for doubt in my mind. I know the practices of this publisher, being a writer who has submitted to them, and can attest to the fact that every story, such as these, is published only after the author has signed a sworn affidavit of its truth.

What a well-rounded collection is this! From guardian angels and premonitions of death, to psychic dreams and out of body experiences, there is something here to suit every curiosity. The stories come from everyday folks: soldiers at war, daughters in mourning, newlywed couples and more. Some are written in detailed prose, while others are more like a letter from home. But all exude a feeling of "Something wonderful and awesome has happened, and I was a witness to it."

Jennifer Spees has compiled a wonderful collection into chapters of the unexplainable. Whether you sit and read through it all on a rainy, snuggly weekend or savor it bit by bit in moments of peace, True Mystic Experiences will be a book you won't forget. The stories will haunt you and inspire you to look about for signs of your own mystic encounters. And what a wonderful thing to have happen!

Non-Fiction/Spirituality Review

Practical Guide To Past-Life Memories: Twelve Proven Methods
by Richard Webster
ISBN-10: 0738700770
Review by Heather Froeschl

Many people believe in reincarnation, myself included, but also, many are skeptics. Here is a chance for everyone to understand better those moments of dTja vu. Believers will have an easier time of it, but skeptics may just learn a little something along the way too, if not more so.

Richard Webster is a hypnotherapist and lecturer on many psychic topics. He is the author of over thirty books and is seen in many circles as a guru of the paranormal. In "Past-Life Memories" Richard gives us twelve proven methods of accessing the memories that are hidden in our brains.

By way of explanation of past life memories, the soul is a continuing energy that enters life again and again. We are here to learn lessons and to grow, but are usually without our memories of past lives so that these images do not interfere with what we are here to do. Certainly you may feel compelled to do certain things, such as staying far away from high places; perhaps in a past life you had fallen to your death from a cliff. But you may not understand your current fear of heights. By exploring your past life memories, you may be able to put those fears to rest and live happier in this life.

There are numerous methods of uncovering these memories, from dreaming of your past lives to scrying, hypnotherapy to spirit guide assistance, but since all of us are individuals, one method may work for some while it doesn't for others. Much like finding a comfortable position in which to sleep, you will need to try different things to see what works best for you, hence, Richard's twelve methods.

Mr. Webster has a wonderful voice in his works. He is knowledgeable and respected in his understanding of these topics; authoritative, yet he is gentle and convincing, a true teacher and guiding spirit. If you are interested in learning how to uncover your past life memories, this is the man you will want to learn from. The text is easy to understand and the lessons clearly written. I enjoyed reading the case histories that accompany each method of regression.

For anyone yearning to uncover the meaning behind an irrational fear, looking to see if their soulmate is involved in their current life, or wonders why they are drawn to certain places, this is the book to help you through it.