I’ve long known of Sekhmet, that lion-headed, powerful Goddess of healing and rage, but I have never really known much about her. Olivia Church’s book has definitely changed that.
Heavy with the weight of history, Church’s slim book clearly arose from a deep academic understanding of the sources and research surrounding the vengeful Lady of Flame and Pestilence, but the depth of direct experience also shines through. This is not a dry, dusty, text. Although it is dense the language is graced with rich and poetic illumination, and a bright passion for both the Goddess and her culture.
I now know much more than I expected to find out about this ancient Egyptian power, and would certainly use this as a reference book, and for inspiration if I ever choose to work with this multifaceted deity.
Despite the concise nature of the Pagan Portals books, Church has succeeded in including a both breadth and depth of information, and has in no way diminished the Eye of Ra, Sekhmet herself.
The short version: beautifully written, research heavy, introduction to a multifaceted Goddess, crafted with obviously personal, passionate, devotion.
Pagan Portals – Sekhmet, by Olivia Church (Moon Books, 2022)
This is a sweet book with lots of thoughts about intuition and examples from the author’s own practice and life. It is very much a sharing from the heart of a personal practice, with a lot of vulnerability and plenty of inspiration. And I love how it weaves the elements so deeply through all of the chapters, and makes intuitive magic so accessible.
This is the kind of book that you really need a highlighter app for (or those little translucent sticky notes!) to mark the things that jump out at you so you can go back and try them, as it is filled with examples and ideas throughout the prose, and they’re sometimes easy to miss. Little gems in a hoard of treasure!
Clarke has faith in her readers to already apply their intuitive understanding of the world, leading to the potential for people to improve their intuition by handing the details over to their spirit/deep self. For example, the expectation that readers can just “raise that vibration” in themselves, without explanation, assumes a lot of skills, but since these are natural skills that we can all do, if the reader simply places their trust in the author and does without thinking, there’s a good chance they’ll do well.
I don’t agree with everything in this book, and the gendering of intuition does not sit well with me personally. In the introduction Clarke says her primary audience is women, and explicitly writes her material for women in chapter 15, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you’re, well, not. That’s not to say there isn’t beautiful, useful material in the chapter though. Personally it seems weird to me to gender a human ability that everyone has, but as the author is writing from her perspective and personal practice with intuition and the divine feminine it makes sense, and there is still a need for space for women to heal that piece of themselves so it is an important chapter for that.
So in short: “Intuitive Magical Practice” by Natalia Clarke is a sweet, open hearted sharing of intuitive practices within a pagan perspective, primarily aimed at women, working particularly with the elements and the divine feminine. It is packed with inspiration and personal experiences, to really show how intuition can be integrated into one’s pagan practice.
Now my PhD is winding down, I’ve finally started reading books again and I want to start sharing the gems I find.
Enter; The Bird Atlas by Anna McKerrow.
Firstly, I want to talk about this as a magical text. While you could read this as pure fantasy, if you’re magically inclined this book could be used to learn the basics of spirit flight, aka astral travel. Within its deceptively simple lyricism is guidance in several magical techniques which one could explore. I’ll definitely be recommending this to people on that basis.
And then, there’s the story itself…
I started this at bedtime and that was a mistake… I was so enchanted that I read the whole book in one sitting!
Read this if you want to dream while wide awake, to drift into an otherworld alongside ours, to touch mysteries that open your spirit to wondering, or if you want a primer on what it is like to journey between the worlds and be a part of the magic.
This book may be listed as fantasy, but there are real lessons in magic, and life, contained within its sweet and haunting pages. The whole tale has a dreamlike quality to it, the atmosphere of a faery tale which weaves a legend both timeless and for our time.
Oh, and to top it off, the concept is great!
Magical realism done so beautifully I am still under its spell.
(Please Note: I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy to review, but every word is true.)
If you like haunting, touching, fantasy, with real magic… find Anna here, and order your copy of The Bird Atlas from your local bookseller.
Oh books! You glorious creatures of paper and print and pixels, light and shadow dancing before our eyes in invocation of mind to mind, heart to heart, spirit to spirit communication!
The chanting of audio books summoning otherworlds and deep knowing. The arcane sigils of the alpha-bet holding fast the hard won wisdom and wit of moments past.
Until we open you, oh wells of wisdom, and allow you to weave your spells upon us, losing time to your enchantments, and finally returning, forever changed.
All of which is to say ; I’m glad I’m reading more widely again, and I’ve got some book reviews lined up for you all soon!
PS: if you too like books you can buy mine here, and support me to write more here!
Spring arrived, and with it went my focus. It’s always an inspirational time of year for me, the rush of energy bringing so many new ideas, so much potential, that I find myself led astray by beautiful new possibilities… And some things get dropped in the whirlwind romance of life. Like consistency.
Once upon a time I’d have felt guilty for that.
Coming to honour my cycles is a really important step in not beating myself up, and I don’t think I’m alone there. Each of us has cycles and seasons, and for some of us the effects are more pronounced than for others… Have you noticed that? Have you noticed your energy and attention fluctuating with the moon, or the sun?
I definitely go with the seasons, the kiss of the sun on the land… Each season feeding into the other, a circle that repeats every year.
And each year I know a little more, recognise it a little sooner, so the circles become spirals, the same shape but a little further ahead, building a little higher than last time.
At least, that’s my goal.
And so far it seems to be working. I’ve noticed myself wanting to chase all the gorgeous idea-bunnies and remembered to pull myself back to centre. Those inspirations are wonderful, and if I follow them all I’ll forget the garden one been tending.
Do you find this? Do you find you cycle through patterns each day, month, year? Do you tend to overdo it in the summer, like me? Or do you let it go and take a holiday when the sun shines?
This Spring I’ve been nurturing a few writing seedlings which are strengthening day by day. The Enchanted Academy (TEA) with my courses on magic is one, the Crimson Coven is another, and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen today that I’ve just signed contracts for two new books!
I decided years ago that I wanted to write books and teach, and that’s the spiral staircase I’m climbing each year… Each revolution, a little further along the path of doing what I love, even when my energy waxes and wanes with the seasons.
Whatever the sun is doing, I keep my dream in mind. If you hold true to who you choose to be then, every season, every revolution, you’ll have spent a little longer doing what feeds your heart’s garden. Don’t let the down times make you forget that.
Oh and learning your cycles and patterns, recognising the flow of the world around you, and learning to work in tune with both, is part of the craft of the witch, too.
In an attempt to get better at this while “making a living writing” thing, may I just remind you that I have books for sale! You can find them in my new online bookshop, Quin’s Books, or at your local bookshop. Or, if you’d like, you can support me on Patreon and unlock bonus audio content and early access to magical writings…
It’s here!!! Midsummer 2019 has completed a piece of devotion for me…
Pagan Portals: Gods and Goddesses of Wales is out!!!
I’m really excited to announce the manifestation of my newest book, a practical introduction of Welsh deities and their stories, through their stories. It’s designed as a primer to get started on your journey with beings such as Rhiannon, Blodeuwedd, Taliesin, Gwydion, and more. There’s even a pronounciation guide at the back (thanks Sarah!)
Here’s the official blurb:
An introduction to Welsh deities through traditional myths and practical exercises. Written by a practising witch, living in the heart of Wales and working with the deities woven into the land, this book contains the major stories and backgrounds for the Gods and Goddesses of the heartland of the Druids. Within its pages you will find information on the major deities and where their stories can be found, alongside suggestions on how to connect with them and weave relationships with them into a modern pagan practice.
You can order this through your favourite bookstore, they’ll find it under author “Halo Quin” (publisher: Moon Books) or through amazon.
Looks like I’m living the dream… a published author 😀 Thanks to everyone who supports me, who encourages, proofreads, inspires, shares, buys, reviews and generally cheers me on. Couldn’t do it without you (In fact, without you all, there’d be no point.) This last year has been a wild ride and in amongst it all the gods of this land have been woven…I’m glad to do my part in sharing their stories. What is remembered, lives.
Halo Quin x
Overlooking a sunny Ceredigion Bay in wild, West, Wales.
This is a book for beginners on the Faery path, it is for those of us who loved the tales of flower fairies but felt more at home with the goblins and dryads, carving our own wands and brewing up our own potions. This is a book for finding your way towards a faery path of your very own. It is the book I wish I had found when I began in paganism, and I hope it will help guide many feet towards uncovering their own relationship to the spirits of nature.
It has been described as gentle and mature, non-prescriptive and fascinating.
This is the official blurb:
“Have you ever felt that you were ‘different’? That the Otherworld was closer for you than it is for other folk? Have you ever wondered how you can tap into the wild, untamed magic of your own faery heart? Then this book is for you. Once upon a time ‘Fey’ meant both the spirits of the natural world and the nature of those humans that were in touch with that magic in themselves; the seers, the spirit workers, the ones who walked between. This is your guide to finding that Fey magic which sings in your heart. Through this book you will meet your guide, visit faeryland, learn about the beings of the faery worlds and develop your own faery craft to work in harmony with the power and cycles of the earth by unlocking the nature of your Fey spirit. Time for you to become the Fey you truly are.”
I’m SOOOOO excited!!!
*I’ve been offline since moving house… and the release date, book cover and advance copies all arrived whilst we were offline! So technically this news is a little late, sorry!
If you’ve been following this blog and the Feyhearted project for the past few months, you’ll have seen the Pixie Kisses – weekly posts of suggestions for inviting enchantment into your life…
I am delighted to announce that these posts have been collected into a book, alongside the letters to my mailing list which accompanied them, paintings and photos from my own feyhearted explorations, and some extra material written especially for the project.
And it is up on Lulu now! Here it is:
Enchantment in little kisses...
Do you long for enchantment?
Do you revel in delight?
Are you drawn to the Fey?
Choose, now, to walk in a world of beauty, of delight. Choose, now, to be enchanted by life!
Suggestions, musings and explorations of enchantment in bite-sized kisses in a dainty book, ready to wing its way into your life and guide you through play to the magic that surrounds you every day.
I have some pictures to share… since the books arrived here I’ve been working on making them even more special than simply the 13 hardcovers. This has taken much longer than I expected it to, but I’m finally getting these lovely creatures out to their new homes! Please enjoy this sneaky preview of the special edition books, soon to be winging their way to the Sponsors!
I thank every one of you that has commented, looked and asked me for a copy of my book.
Especially those of you who want to own a copy.
I am, as I say, overwhelmed.
I am overflowing with gratitude. Gratitude for my friends, for the people around me who have and continue to support me, for the people who give me funny looks when I talk about Faeries and love me anyway (or even because of it). Gratitude for the excitement other people are sharing with me over this.
It is a wonderful thing to build bridges of joy, and I can see them growing up with every digital connection we make.
The worlds we build online are as real as those that we walk in, sleep in, love in. The worlds we can touch and feel and hear and see and smell, extend through our bodies, through the wires of the interconnecting-web, through our hearts and our words.
We build worlds of love and joy, we weave the worlds of Fey closer with every choice made in love and in alignment with our hearts.
I have seven people who have ordered one of the 13.
6 remain to find homes.
Email me if you would like to be part of this adventure as it takes to the skies!
Haloquin at googlemail dot com
And thank you. Thank you all very very much.
Watch here for further posts keeping you updated and sharing the joy!