Review of Pagan Portal Candle Magic.

Pagan Portals - Candle Magic: A Witch's Guide to Spells and Rituals

What an amazing book!

In the thirty odd years I have been  involved in this subject never have I read a book as in-depth as this one.  A reader who had no knowledge of this particular subject could buy this book and after reading it have a good understanding of what candle magic is all about.

The book is split into four parts and each part has a wealth of information that is clear and concise, beginners and adepts alike will find plenty for them in this book.  Part one deals with the correspondences for candles, colour and type etc.  Then it deals with everything from scents and oils to ethics and curses, plus everything in between.  The author really has covered all bases.  There are so many tips, even an old hat like me picked up a few.  One in particular that I really liked was to use a wax crayon to roll or dribble over a candle to add colour – what a fantastic tip.

The author tells us that it is OK not to have shelves and cupboards full of magical paraphernalia and items for use during spellwork and ritual.  Not many authors, I have found, will tell you this, and for me it was a refreshing change.  The author encourages us to be inventive when it comes to using items that you don’t have for a spell, using our imagination rather than shelling out for unnecessary items.

Part Two of this book covers the basics of ritual. from altars and altar candles, to circle casting, to sending healing.  The topic of outdoor candles is covered here, as is candles for seasonal celebrations.  Plus, there are plenty of suggestions for candle use during the sabbats.

In part three the topic is meditation, divination, and psychic sight.  There are plenty of examples of how candles can be used to aid meditation.  The author also discusses how candles can be used as a divination tool.  There are also plenty of suggestions on how to increase or improve your psychic sight.

Part Four covers the history of candles, chandlery – which means candle making – and safety whilst using candles, quite a comprehensive list on this subject.  The history of candle making section discusses candles in witchcraft history.

At the end of the book, there are plenty of references and a bibliography, well worth checking out too.

I found this book to be a comprehensive guide to candle magic and wish it had been around back when I was first learning about such things.  The information is just what novices need, with all of the information held in one book rather than several books.  I feel this area of the market has been crying out for such a book for quite some time, and now, thanks to Lucya Starza such a book exists.  This book is a delight and a must for anyone who has an interest in candle magic.

5 stars *****  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

 

 

 

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Review of Forever Living Products

imageRecently I was asked to review some products from the Forever Living range.  There was quite a selection of products for me to sample and that was a positive for me right away.  There was no one particular product pushed to the forefront, it was a case of sampling what I wanted and giving my honest review.

Before this opportunity came up I had no clue as to who or what Forever Living is.  As always when reviewing a product I research the product, the company and what people are saying online.

Here is a link to Forever Living’s website.

As with a lot of products that are sold both online and via people setting up their own work from home business there are always people who will tell you that such things are pyramid schemes.  No, Forever Living is not a pyramid scheme – I’m fairly certain pyramid schemes are illegal anyway.  In situations like this, I prefer to form my own opinion and usually what I find when I have done the research is that people form an opinion based on what other people have said.  I think that is unfair, because unless you go and do the research yourself you cannot really give an honest opinion.  What I have found is that some products are quite pricey and this puts a lot of people off.  That, of course, is their prerogative, if they choose not to use Forever Living because they do not want to pay out a certain amount of money then that is totally up to them.  I am not going to lie, the product range is quite expensive, but if you research each product and compare it to something else that is similar in make you often find that the price is comparable.  For instance, they have a gel product that is used for soothing joint and muscle pain.  I have yet to try this product – I have ordered a tube – but I am willing to pay a couple of quid more than the nearest comparable product because nothing else has worked for me.

I have an allergy to salicyclic acid – found in anti-inflammatory medications and gels and creams, as well as aspirin.  I have tried several creams and gels that work to soothe joint and muscular pain but they have not worked.  I don’t know if this product will work – I will review it once it arrives and I have used it – but I decided to try it out because nothing else has so far.  That is the point here, I have tried cheaper products and not yielded any results, so if you read this review and think to yourself that a cheaper product is out there, chances are I have tried it and it has failed.

Anyway, onto the product reviews.

Forever Living products are all aloe vera based products.  Aloe vera has healing properties that soothe and calm, meaning a kind and gentle product that won’t irritate your skin.

//gallery.foreverliving.com/gallery/GBR/image/products/AloeHandFaceSoap200x200.gifI have to admit I used this product as a shower gel.  Using a blob about the size of a 50p I washed my entire body – a little goes a long way.  The product lathered up into a rich, creamy lather and my skin felt lovely and soft afterwards.  When I first used it in the shower I hadn’t realised it was not a complete body wash – I was in a rush and had just grabbed it – so I had wondered if there would be any skin irritation.  There was no burning or irritation at all.  The smell was quite subtle, which was a plus for me as I hate overbearing smells.  Aloe Vera products can often have a strong odour to them but this is not the case with this product.

Forever Aloe Scrub®I absolutely adored the Aloe face scrub. I have used many face scrubs in my life and have found that quite a lot of them are too harsh, too abrasive.  It can be difficult to find one to suit my sensitive skin.  This product left my skin feeling amazing after I used it.  I am not one prone to gushing over beauty products, but I really would buy this product over and over again.  I have never been so impressed with a face product.  I have really sensitive skin and even the best of products can irritate it so I was a little worried this product might too.  My skin felt soft and fresh afterwards and this was a huge plus for me.  I even asked my daughter to try it out, she also has sensitive skin.  Her verdict was that the product had a lovely smell and that she did not experience any stinging or burning whilst using the product either.

 

The Forever Aloe Moisturizing lotion was another product that both myself and my daughter tried out.  Again, the smell was very subtle and left our skin feeling soft for quite a long time afterwards.  The lotion was light and did not leave a greasy feeling on our skin afterwards, some moisturisers can leave your skin feeling greasy and oily but this one did not do that.

 

 

//gallery.foreverliving.com/gallery/GBR/image/products/061_large.jpgI absolutely loved the Aloe Vera Gelly.  This is a product that I am definitely going to be buying over and over again.  Again, the smell was quite pleasant and subtle.  The product left my skin feeling lovely and soft and there was no residual stickiness or greasiness.

 

All in all I would recommend quite a lot of the products that Forever Living offer, sure, some things are expensive and that is bound to put some people off, but if you are looking for quality natural products then that is what you will get with Forever Living products.

 

 

 

 

Review of Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore: A Rebellious Romantic Comedy

Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore: A Rebellious Romantic Comedy

 

 

This novel has been dubbed “The Princess Bride meets Jane Austen”.

Antonia Barclay is a headstrong nineteen-year-old who lives in the Scottish Borders with her family.  The novel is set in 1586 but the author has added a modern twist to the tale by allowing her characters to use vocabulary that is more in keeping with this era.  This lends a lighter feel to the prose – quite often the narrative can be quite heavy when the story is set in this era and that can be quite off-putting for many readers.  The author has mixed the old with the new here and allowed the two to intermingle wonderfully.  At the very start of the novel the author makes a lighthearted pact with the reader, giving a gentle warning that all forms of social, political and fashion correctness will be overlooked in favour of frolic and adventure.

The novel is fun and unconventional, it really isn’t supposed to be taken seriously, so you really need to suspend your belief and just let the author’s words entertain you.  Antonia is quite a character, headstrong, determined, adventurous, she is an empowered young woman.  She is at an age where she is expected to be concentrating her time and efforts on activities such as harp playing, embroidery and finding a suitable husband.  Antonia would rather be riding her horse and spending time alone, but between her three brothers, her mother and her best friend she is cajoled into what they term as more womanly activities.  Antonia is a likeable character because she does not let society define her.  She knows her own mind and she’s not afraid to voice her opinion.

Antonia’s mother convinces her that she must attend an upcoming ball at a neighbouring estate and tells her she must also attend a dinner at their own home that evening.  The dinner is being held in honour of Sir Basil Throckmorton.  Just before dinner that evening, Antonia bumps into Sir Basil’s son, Rex, an overweight, overbearing, obnoxious oaf and he leers at her, makes lewd comments about her womanly shape and all but gropes her in the hallway.  This onslaught is interrupted by Breck Claymore, another guest at dinner that evening.  Breck saves Antonia from the disgusting Rex, and when their eyes meet it is love at first sight.  The action comes thick and fast from this point on.  Antonia and Breck begin officially courting after Breck has secured Lord and Lady Barclay’s permission to court their daughter.

Antonia discovers that her parents are not actually her real parents, but that she is the secret daughter of Mary Queen Of Scots who is imprisoned over the border in England.  The Throckmortons have also discovered this and Sir Basil plots to use Antonia against both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, thus overthrowing King James of Scotland and Queen Elizabeth of England.  Sir Basil plans to prove Antonia is Queen Mary’s daughter and then marry her so that he can execute his plan to overthrow the Monarchs.

Once Antonia discovers that Queen Mary is her mother she takes off to find her, enlisting the help of a man named Gus.  Gus is the brother of Minne, Antonia’s nanny, both Gus and Minnie know the truth about Antonia’s parentage and have kept the secret for nineteen years.  But once the Throckmortons arrived on the scene Minnie knew Antonia’s life was in danger.

The novel is lighthearted and jolly.  Even when Antonia is kidnapped by the Throckmortons the author keeps the tone light and jolly.  This helps the story move along at a really good pace and adds a touch of humour to what could be an otherwise dark novel.

The book is very well written and the language the author uses is superb.  This book is for anyone who loves historical romances.  It may not be to everyone’s taste, maybe not even those who would normally read historical romance, because of the lighthearted comedy element that the book has.

This is not my usual read but I think it was a really enjoyable book and such a fun read.

 

5 stars *****