Book Review Monday – The Druid Shaman

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This is a slim volume, but I cannot think of anything else I would want to be added – this is a useful and concise look at Shamanistic Druidry, and answers a ton of questions about the subject.

A small historical background, a detailed look at tools and useful working practices preface a series of journeying exercises, focusing on finding several guides, including ancestor and site/plane -specific guides.

There is lots of emphasis on safety, which I am glad to see – not wandering off into Otherland without a guide, making sure you converse and question your guide at every opportunity and don’t let them through into your home until you’ve spent plenty of time with them and trust them.

This could be the only book you read on this subject, and you’d be fine and ready to explore on your own, with your guides.

Book Review Monday: Wild Earth, Wild Soul by Bill Pfeiffer

Wild Earth, Wild Soul by Bill Pfeiffer is an introduction and a manual to teaching a workshop he calls a Wild Earth Intensive.

 

This book is a useful read even if you never intend to teach a WEI – as I mentioned in an earlier post, this book has wisdom useful for any teacher, instructor or mentor, teaching any subject.

 

The purpose of WEI is to re-teach people how to connect with the land and with the community in a way beyond consuming. It teaches you how to teach other people in the arts of listening, of feeling, of play, of story and ritual and art and all other kinds of connections.

 

These lessons are important to any community and any teacher, not just the Indigenous inspired WEI.  The emphasis on giving people the skills to satisfy their own curiosity, in giving them ways and means and outlets to express creativity and build relationships with no defined point to them.


It also focuses on healing the wounds we gain from watching our world burn, which was interesting and not a point I have seen raised. We do feel despondent and unable to change things, and it is important to express, accept and heal those feelings before they fester and become even worse. The book also explains, confronts and teaches you how to heal the separation of self from nature, and this false idea that human survival is based upon competition, not cooperation.

Varieties of Witch Bottles

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A traditional witch bottle is a glass bottle buried in the chimney, wall or under the hearthstone or doorstep of a door. There can be many components, but all usually contain two ingredients: urine, and nails or pins.

Witch bottles now come in all kinds of purposes and ingredients, and I will show you a few below.

Protection Bottle

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This is the one that is closest to a traditional bottle. I have used a rusty nail but used rum and water instead of urine. This choice was practical based – we’re moving house, and it’d be well awkward should it spill. It’s also not really practical to bury them anymore – glass bottles can shatter under the ground, and the shards of glass can work their way back up and injure someone, and most plastics aren’t biodegradable. You can brick up your chimney, but I normally keep mine in a dark drawer.

I have added mugwort, juniper berries and some of my Basic Banishing blend to the mixture of rum and water. Around the edge I have wrapped some copper wire and strung an onyx bead and two bells. Bells are a traditional way to ward off evil.

Love Bottle

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This is a bottle used for drawing in affection and admiration, rather than to ensnare anyone in particular, which is, y’know, creepy. With a love or beauty bottle, you must consider the way the bottle looks as well as what you put in it. I’ve used a pretty blue bottle, and in it are rose petals, hibiscus flows, raspberry leaves, and ginger, used as a catalyst for change.

Self-confidence/Power

These are two very different bottles, but for the same purpose. The bottle on your left is made from the literal crap I had in a drawer. It has frankincense bath salts for inner power, an orange rag motivation, a coin to represent financial independence. It also has a plastic spider inside, for luck.

The one of the right has the ashes of a spell, a rose quartz bead, and is sealed with green wax underneath the influence of Venus.

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This one is a Just In Case binding spell, which is detailed here.

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There are as many witch bottles as there are types of spell. I hope this inspires you to create your own variations!