Metaphysical Book Reviews
The following reviews are books on metaphysical topics. These books may be of interest to Wiccans, Witches, and Pagans, but aren't written specifically about or for them. Books are listed alphabetically by author's last name.
Chakra Healing - A Beginner's Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras
Sold as a bargain book, the two appendices for crystals and yoga positions complete with clear images alone make this book worth its price. It's short, but filled with gems of information as related to Chakras and health. Whether you're looking for a practical introduction on what are and how to work with Chakras, or just need a quick reference book for associations, then I recommend this book.
I wasn't totally in love with the layout (the Chakra break-down section is basically a repeating template, which is annoying when reading from cover-to-cover). That said, I'd still recommend it.
The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need
Skye Alexander and Mary Shannon
If you are the super passionate and interested Tarot-lover type, the title certainly dishes out a bigger promise than the book delivers. That said, as an introductory or just bare-bones book on the subject, Alexander & Shannon have done wonderfully.
It's simple and easy to read, beautifully laid out, and definitely fits its description of being a modern guide. This is a much appreciated addition to this Tarot-lover's library, so even the experienced and already knowledgeable readers are likely to enjoy.
Catherine Athans, Ph.D.
Short, sweet, and adorable, this mini-book quickly covers the topic of imagination and visualization. With a nice mix of science and metaphysical thought, this is a perfect little reminder to use your visualization skills during affirmations or spells (though certainly not the implied use by the author!).
For anyone working on their visualizations skills, Athans provides some different ideas that we may not be introduced to in Witchcraft-related books.
Psychic Dreamwalking: Explorations at the Edge of Self
Although she sometimes touches on Vampirism and Paganism, Belanger's discussion of and exercises for the practice of dreamwalking are left open to anyone of any path. As long as you can dream (spoiler: everyone does whether they realize that they do or not), you can learn dreamwalking.
I'd have preferred a slightly different layout, particularly as a contextual person (Belanger begins with personal history, but leaves the history of dreaming and dream research as an afterthought in Appendix I).
And I still can't quite understand the need to claim lucid dreaming and astral travel as distinctly separate from dreamwalking when it seems to me those and other practices are clearly intertwined to the point that I would put them all under the category of dreamwalking. (Yes, I'm that person who stands alone in group discussions arguing that astral travel is an inward process, which Belanger's experience with astral traveling seems to support--an inward focus turning toward the dream realm only to end up on the astral.)
Semantics aside, though, Belanger does a great job breaking down the science of dreaming (with new discoveries in recent years, a second edition would totally be called for) and linking that knowledge to the practice of dreamwalking. There's plenty of information, guidance, and personal stories and anecdotes that work well as an introduction to the topic for those brand new to it.
Emotional Detox: 7 Steps to Release Toxicity and Energize Joy
Sherianna Boyle, MED, CAGS
You'll likely find this book in the Self-Help section rather than anywhere near the Metaphysical books, but I include it here because it contains information and strategies that have long been staples of all things Metaphysical. Boyle has crafted a method of helping us understand exactly what the opposite of "bottling up" our emotions are and helping to sooth and reconnect after emotional trauma(s) have left us beyond just frayed.
At first, I was a bit annoyed when Boyle revealed her big "trauma" event that led her to developing this method as her husband cheating on her. As someone who has endured more than her fair share of traumatic experiences, that sharp twinge of offense hitting me was instinctual and instant. In the grand scheme of possible events in one's life, a cheating spouse is hardly what I would categorize as a trauma experience, no matter how devastating the betrayal might feel in the moment.
That said, this is a book and a method specifically addressing one's emotional states and Boyle's experience--as she little-by-little reveals the details throughout the book--certainly mirrors the emotional states and the subsequent mental, physical, and spiritual tolls those of us who've endured other traumas are all too familiar with.
Even if you find you need different words than the ones Boyle chose (she calls it the CLEASE method, so the terms of each step correspond with a letter from "cleanse") to help you remember what each step is for and entails, I highly recommend giving this book a read and actively engaging in the steps she offers.
Societies today have us so focused on mental & physical health, and we're so focused on rational sides and have a million or so avenues of emotional avoidance (thank you, ever-rapidly-expanding technology), that many of us are missing the basic framework of understanding and addressing our emotional health. (People with "anger management issues" and who are "emotionally distant" aren't the only ones who need remedial lessons in this area!).
So if you are a human being with a pulse and still breathing, be sure to check this book out.
Divination for Beginners
A good introduction to over 100 different forms of divination. I'm not entirely sure of the historic accuracy. This book doesn't go into detail so much as it merely gives enough information for the practitioner to decide whether they are interested or not.
Existential Kink: Unmask Your Shadow and Embrace Your Power
Carolyn Elliott, PhD
Not typically being one for kinks, I hesitated on reading this book, but was too intrigued by the promise of deeper Shadow-work to stay away. Thankfully, Dr. Elliott delivered! On the negative end, this book could easily have been half the size. There's a considerable amount of redundancy (I'm talking straight up copy and pasting entire pages from one chapter to another, and repeating the same quotes over and over and over... with very little changes). On the positive side, Dr. Elliott does a fantastic job of taking the work of the forefathers of psychoanalytic psychology and modernizing it so that we can better our lives today, quickly and efficiently.
Again, I'm not one for kink, so the EK practice itself is not entirely for me. But the basic premise behind it is certainly in alignment with my views and many of the exercises from Part II are fantastic for Shadow-work even without the kink approach explicitly applied. I'm also happy to report that this book has introduced me to the practice of the Tonglen Meditation which is a godsend as someone dealing with chronic pain conditions. Tonglen may well be the practice I need more than EK, but reading Existential Kink will be the book I credit for my getting there.
Everyday Tarot: Using the Cards to Make Better Life Decisions
Easily among my favorite beginner guides for the Tarot. Makes it fair clearer what the purpose of Tarot is and how/when to use it for those purposes (a major stumbling point I've noticed among novice readers). Although I don't necessarily agree with the specific meanings assigned to individual cards, Fairfield does a fantastic job of explaining the Minor Arcana, breaking down by number in a way that's easy to understand and provides a better approach to applying the meanings to readings. There's also a better explanation of reversals than I've seen in other sources, which I find far more valid than the typically explained "reversals = opposite/negative of upright" that boggles my mind. Highly recommend for those interested in studying and/or practicing the Tarot.
The Meaning of Trees
Beautiful book. Hageneder provides lovely photographs of various trees in addition to plenty of information. He goes over practical uses, cultural and mythological information, healing, and correspondences.
The pictures make identification easy, but the book itself isn't practical for carrying around on hikes. Definitely a valuable resources for those who study and are interested in building relationships with trees.
The Crystal Bible
A wonderful reference for the use of crystals for use in healing, energy work, feng shui, etc. Not meant to be read cover-to-cover, Hall includes information on how and why crystals are used and various correspondence information.
The Crystal Bible Volume 2
Another useful reference book on crystals. Not as dynamic as in the first as most of the crystals included are generally rare and more of interest to the dedicated collector. That said, Hall includes more information on crystal uses and correspondence worth reading.
The Tao of Pooh
An awesome introduction to Tao if you are even the least bit familiar with Winnie-the-Pooh characters. Hoff does an excellent job of explaining the basic principles of Tao by connecting to the classic Winnie-the-Pooh stories and providing examples in the form of conversations with the classic characters from those stories. If you're fan of classic Winnie-the-Pooh, Tao, or just looking for an introduction to the subject, I recommend reading this one, for sure.
Worth it for the humor alone! Most astrology books that focus on the sun signs tend to be all about the positive characteristics and habits. The Darkside is all about those bad habits, unattractive qualities, and annoying characteristics.
If you can't poke fun at yourself (especially if you aren't capable of brutally honest self-analysis) this book will aggravate you at best. But if you know how to laugh and are ready to hear the less-than-tactful way of describing the signs, you'll love this one!
Darkside Zodiac in Love
Disappointing considering how awesome the first book was. Mostly just a rehash of the information from Darkside Astology, there's very little new material to make it worth it if you already have the first.
Gift from the Sea (20th Anniversary Edition)
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I picked this book up at a local event sale out of curiosity and hope for some hidden gems of wisdom wrapped in ocean metaphors. For a book written in 1955 by a housewife and mother of five children, I'm amazed how extraordinarily relevant this book still is today. Sure, the mending of skirt seams might not be at the top of our lists of distractions were this written today. But the struggle of finding balance in our lives that demands so much of our time, energy, and attention and the resulting overwhelm that has an effect opposite from the connections we so desire is totally relatable. I suspect Anne was writing a beautiful blend of the world as it was then with revelations for us today and beyond.
Channeling the Mothership
A short read, this wonderful book is filled with reminders that we are all connected (no matter how different and polarized we may seem to be) and pushes us to better ourselves by simply asking questions in various aspects of spirituality and human existence. Jerry has a great way with taking concepts that can be difficult to wrap our heads around or digest and bringing them down-to-earth, and his humor really brings the points home.
This book is for absolutely anyone, no matter your personal path in life. Whether you're a seasoned psychic or swear you don’t have an intuitive bone in your body, religious or not, easily persuaded or possess a heavy dose of skepticism, you'll find that Channeling the Mothership will challenge you to think outside your box. Because even if you're great at thinking outside “the” box, we all have boxes of our own.
For some, everything in this book will be new, but for those of us already familiar with the presented topics or have even asked (and answered) these very questions, you’ll find they're worth asking again, because nothing is static in our great Universe. And if you meet resistance along the way, don’t worry! Jerry touches on that, too. Well worth the money, time, and energy.
You're Not Going Crazy... You're Just Waking Up!
An absolutely great book! It's short, but just what many of us need to hear. The book goes over "the five stages of the soul transformation process" and explains why we go through phases or periods of our lives in which we question our sanity as everything around us seems to be falling apart. Mirdad provides helpful tips to get you through each of the stages with loving reminders that everything is okay and there is nothing wrong with you.
The Dynamic Laws of Healing
This book has nothing to do with Wicca or witchcraft. Ponder is a member of the Unity Faith (a Christian denomination). An excellent book about healing. Although it uses quotes and ideas from the Bible and explains things from a Christian point of view, it gives wonderful standpoints on practices of healing that can prove useful to any Wiccan or witch, or to anyone of any religious belief. (Only pet peeve is the last chapter about giving. While it is good to give, especially to those who have helped you and those in need, the chapter seems almost brainwashing.)
The Abundance Book
John Randolph Price
A small collection of his writings, Price provides a short but valuable book full of information to help us transform our view of money, prosperity, abundance, and our worthiness. This book is especially useful to those of us who walk paths that have taught us we should feel guilty for seeking personal abundance or that money corrupts. I recommend giving it a try to anyone who has ever doubted they deserved riches or felt bad for ever wishing for it.
The Wellness Book
John Randolph Price
I had trouble relating to this one. Although there are some interesting points to ponder, I disagree with the mind-over-matter teaching that illness can easily be overcome by changing our thoughts.
Yes, there are times when I get sick overworking myself because I have the ingrained belief that if I push my limits for too long, my body will do whatever necessary to ensure I get needed rest. That's a belief I choose to hold onto and I'm sure if I take Price's lessons from this book and let go of it, that I won't get sick when I push too hard.
That said, my real problem with this concept is that we live in a day and age when people are born with diseases, illnesses, disorders, vulnerabilities, etc. already ingrained before they have a chance to be conditioned with an illness consciousness. This book puts the individual at blame for all his/her poor health or lack of wellness.
Tell that to the autistic kid down the street, the girl with down syndrome, the boy diagnosed with cancer before he even learned to speak, or the child born with HIV. Go ahead and tell them their thinking is to blame. Because of this stance, I simply can't recommend this book.
On a side note, I did get a kick out of Price's explanation that one of his exercises wasn't magic. Any magickal practitioner would have recognized several exercises in this book as spells. Ignorance of magick? Or a dire "need" to mask the truth from his mainstream readers to sell more books?
Journey to the Afterlife: Comforting Messages & Lessons from Loved Ones in Spirit
Robinett does a fantastic job of taking her case studies and organizing and sharing them in a way that reads like good story-telling. Using mainstream terms "Heaven" and "Hell" and other Christian-based terminology, she provides insight into the reality of these "places" where spirits may reside after death between incarnations. Throughout, the cases presented along with Robinett's insights, you find words of encouragement and hope. You'll also find reminders that we can choose to make those things within our control during our time on Earth as our personal Heaven or Hell.
Moon Tides, Soul Passages
Maria Kay Simms
This book is a wonderful introduction to lunar astrology. It is written so that even those with no prior knowledge of astrology can understand the material. The author presents and explains this form of astrology using Wiccan and Pagan theology and mythology to better understand the meanings behind and the importance of the different aspects of astrology.
The book comes with a software disc that has a program designed specifically for lunar astrology as presented by Simms. By using the software to map out your chart, you can apply what you are reading and learning through the book to your own chart and others'.
Past-Life Therapy In Action
Dick Sutphen & Lauren Leigh Taylor
I was hoping more for information on the techniques used in past life therapy, but a decent, quick read nonetheless. It features 28 case studies of past life regressions of varying degrees and how they brought insight to current life issues. The last case, recorded in detail, is astonishing and is a great example of how our higher selves may choose to provide difficult trials in this life for unresolved issues of our past lives.
Communicating with the Archangel Gabriel for Inspiration & Reconciliation
Although this book (and many others by this author) are clearly written to appeal to non-Pagans as well as regular magickal practitioners, still a good read for anyone interested in working with angels (and Archangel Gabriel in particular) who is new to it. Webster starts off with brief explanations of angels and Archangel Gabriel and providing background on the historical mentions of Archangel Gabriel.
He delicately explains the reasons for contacting and working with Archangel Gabriel and various techniques and forms of magick to do so. At times, the book seems to repeat quite a few points. In a larger volume, this would not be a big deal, but for a little book (less than 200 pages) the repetition almost feels like Webster was trying to stretch the material.
The New Chinese Astrology
Easily my favorite go-to book on Chinese astrology. White provides information on this form of astrology and in-depth looks at each of the signs. She covers general information before breaking it down to the differences between males and females, the elemental aspects (ex: Fire Tigers vs. Wood Horses), and health considerations.
Each sign section ends with forecasts for years ahead with revised copies containing newer forecasts (the edition I have goes to 2020). At the end, White includes very simplified compatibility information specific to romantic relationships.
The only point of confusion is the sign the average American knows as the Rabbit is instead the Cat. However, White explains where the confusion arose and why she maintains use of the image of the cat over that of the rabbit.
Enhancing Your Mind, Body, Spirit Collection
Various (currently owned by DeAgostini)
I was first introduced to this collection as a teenager when I received a "sample" of random pages in the mail with the promise of so much more for reoccurring payments. Of course I was totally interested in more, but, sadly for their marketing strategy, I was already all-too-familiar with how these scams work (basically, you are going to spend upwards of several hundreds of dollars on binders and the pages by snail-mail over time when you could just buy a book or two with the same information for around $25-50 and have the info at your disposal immediately).
I was lucky to score the collection at a Pagan festival one year and was like "Yay!"
Only, I'd say it's still not worth the effort trying to hunt down. Now the collection I got my hands on was only two of the three binders worth, so it was missing a lot of pages. But it took less than that to realize this is just all watered down information.
The herbal section was probably the most informative. But a lot of pages are just general introduction with the more detailed pages rehashing the info from the intro pages.
If you're a proud hipster, then I highly recommend this to you for your money-wasting pleasure. Otherwise, just don't bother.
Go buy a book on the subjects you're interested in instead. And if you love the idea of something coming by snail-mail that you can look forward to, I suggest magazines.
© 2004-2022 by Evylyn Rose