Tarot Deck: Hello Kitty Major Arcana Tarot

I’m a Hello Kitty junkie, so this mini review of the Hello Kitty major arcana tarot deck is going to be biased by my undying love of all things HK. Last year I was on an intense divination deck buying kick: tarot, oracle cards, indie, well known, I needed them all! Happily I’ve chilled out a tiny bit since, but I have some pretty neat decks in my little collection, including two Sanrio major arcana decks: Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars.

Hello Kitty Tarot Cards

I think the Hello Kitty tarot might make a perfect starter deck for a witchling who you don’t want to overwhelm with a  full deck. It’s cute, kid-friendly, and even the ‘scary’ cards have been made somehow adorable.

There are multiple Sanrio and Hello Kitty Tarot Decks, but this one – to the best of my knowledge – is the only official deck. It was made in 2009 and it comes in a slipcase that includes a full color book on one side and the cards on the other. The cards are a slightly different size than standard tarot cards, just a touch shorter, but the same width. The deck also comes with two blank cards, which I thought was a neat touch. A gallery of the cards can be found at the bottom of the post.

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Grandma’s Cottage Witch Ear Medicine

Some of my favorite witchy tips and tricks come from old world grandparents, who seemed to live more magickal lives filled with garden tending and home cooking. This is my grandma’s super simple recipe for ear medicine. I have no idea where she got it from, for all I know it was a 1950s homemaker’s book, but we’ve used it our whole lives, and you know what? I’ve never had an ear infection. Not one, ever, in my whole life. Plus, this recipe makes years and year’s worth of ear medicine for about $5.

As kids we would use this formula when we got out of the pool to prevent swimmer’s ear. To this day, if I start getting a twinge in one of my ears, I use a few drops (once or twice a day, depending on the severity of the earache) and within a few days it’s all better. I think I have to say that this old school formula isn’t a substitute for medical advice, so this is not a substitute for medical advice.

Supplies:

– Brown glass bottle with dropper
– Rubbing alcohol
– White vinegar

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Book Review: The Witch’s Broom by Deborah Blake

The Witch's Broom by Deborah BlakeLlewellyn’s Witch’s Tools series contains six small books, one for each of the major tools in witchcraft (athame, book of shadows, broom, cauldron, mirror, and wand) though I hope more are forthcoming. The author varies by the book with no author having more than two books in the series at the moment, similar to the Sabbat Essentials series. The Witch’s Broom: The Craft, Lore and Magick of Broomsticks is first book in the series and was written by Deborah Blake. While I enjoyed this book more than The Witch’s Book of Shadows, I didn’t think it was nearly as good as The Witch’s Cauldron. This is the third book I’ve read in the series; three down, three to go! Something interesting that I just noticed is that the praise for the book including on the inside cover is all from Llewellyn authors, seems like they would have a lot of motivation to provide positive reviews, and smacks of quid pro quo.

The book has also had its cover changed as the series is being revamped, I am happy to have a first edition (third printing) copy, so I have the original cover (above). The current cover can be seen below. The books in this series are presented as a guide to the major tools in witchcraft, including uses, history, folklore, notable references in myth, a craft section, and various spells. The Witch’s Broom is broken into nine sections to cover these topics, with guest blurbs and “broom lore” interspersed throughout. In the other two books in the series that I’ve read, I noted that the guest author sections were somewhat disruptive because the author wasn’t credited until the end of their article. Happily, in this book, the author is credited at the beginning of their section, which I found much easier to read. The chapters are number on the index, but not on the chapter pages, so if I mislabel any, forgive me now.

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Book Review: The History of Witchcraft by Lois Martin

The History of Witchcraft by Lois MartinOriginally published in 2002 as part of the Pocket Essentials series, I recently finished reading the 2016 edition of Lois Martin’s The History of Witchcraft. More appropriately, this book could be called A Brief History of Witchcraft Persecution by Christians Mostly in Europe and Great Britain. I believe it’s very important for modern witches to try and understand our history, and not only rely on pagan writers to inform us of our past. This is because writing history and writing spirituality are rather different pursuits. While I am extremely interested in learning about the history of witchcraft, this book is very much focused on people, who probably weren’t witches, being killed by Christians. The introduction – the first words of the book are “Harry Potter” – mentions that this is not a book about Wicca, and the author uses Wicca as synonymous with “modern pagan witchcraft,” which is mostly because the book is written by a historian. It’s not really an issue because the book focuses primarily on persecution.

One of the important things that modern witchcraft writers have not helped with is perpetuating the myth of ‘the burning times’ when millions of witches were alleged to have been killed. I’m also reading Silver Ravenwolf’s book Halloween right now, and she throws out that very same, inaccurate statistic. I believe that Martin’s book, and others like it, give more accurate counts because this was something of which the people involved were likely to keep track. Christian (lumping Catholics in here) ‘judges’ who sentences alleged witches to die were not ashamed, and records were usually kept of the charges, tortures, confessions, and punishments.

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Book Review: The Witch’s Mirror by Mickie Mueller

The Witch's Mirror by Mickie MuellerLlewellyn’s Witch’s Tools series contains six small books, one for each of the major tools in witchcraft (athame, book of shadows, broom, cauldron, mirror, and wand) though I hope more are forthcoming. The author varies by the book with no author having more than two books in the series at the moment, similar to the Sabbat Essentials series. The Witch’s Mirror: The Craft, Lore and Magick of the Looking Glass is third book in the series and was written by Mickie Mueller. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book very much, maybe even as much as my other favorite from the series: The Witch’s Cauldron.

The books in this series are presented as a guide to the major tools in witchcraft, including uses, history, folklore, notable references in myth, a craft section, and various spells. The Witch’s Mirror is broken into nine sections to cover these topics, with guest blurbs interspersed throughout. This book has my absolute favorite cover of all the books in the series: a tattered looking crow peering into a magickal mirror, wherein the reflection of a beautiful, witchy crow appears! Talk about life goals. I’m sure you remember my complaints about the changed covers, but in all honestly, the cover of “The Witch’s Mirror” was why I bought the entire series.

As for the book itself, it starts strong with Chapter 1 “Mirrors in History, Tradition, and Lore” which explores where mirrors came from, how they’ve changed through time, and deities associated with the mirror. There’s also “mirror lore” in this chapter and sprinkled throughout, almost all of which revolves around concerns about spirits of people getting trapped. Maybe it’s my renewed interested in history, but I found this chapter really interesting. Chapter 3 “Which Mirrors for Witch’s Mirrors?” was another standout; I wouldn’t have thought there was that much to say about mirrors, but there really is. Shapes, concavity, backings, and traditions are all covered in detail. I appreciate that Mueller goes into which shapes are best for which type of magick, it’s a helpful touch and it doesn’t feel like filler. Mirror washes are also discussed here, as well as in other chapters where specific recipes are given.

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