Book Review – The Learn by Tony Halker

Today we’re doing something new – I’ve been very kindly asked to take part in a blog tour organised by Authoright. Please follow along the tour and visit the other great blogs taking part!

Buy it here: The Learn

(I don’t usually do novel reviews here, so if you like this be sure to let me know in the comments below and I’ll dig up some similar novels.)

The problem with Druidic historical fiction is that so little is known about our Ancestors that one has to fill in the gaps much more than with other historical areas. This means that one Druid/Bronze Age book will be completely different from the next, so it’s hard to say ‘Oh, this one is like that one’.

Tony Halker has a lyrical voice that will appeal much more to lovers of poetry and visions than people who like a tight novel structure, which this book doesn’t have.

More About the Book:

The Learn by Tony Halker

Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.
A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior.  Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.
Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.
At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.
A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.



I Did a Thing

patreon-graphicSo, after much wrangling, I re-started my Patreon.

If you’re unfamiliar with Patreon, this is how it works:

You pledge an amount per month to the creator

Then you get special rewards as well as helping the creator create more stuff

Who said win-win situations don’t exist? My pledges and reward tiers start at just $1 a month, because a little really does mean a lot.

Thanks for all the support you guys have been giving me just by being readers, by the way. It means a lot.

Spell Saturday #7 – Theatre Charm for Performers, Crew and FoH

Theatre Charm SpellTheatre Charm/Knot spell

You will need:

– the thinnest fishing line, preferably the stuff they’re actually using in the show


– bee charm – ant charm – gold, silver, purple and yellow beads -spiral/labyrinth charm -transparent or pale purple or yellow flowers


Make as much of this as you can in a theatre. Not an abandoned one.

1. Say: ‘Knot of one, spell’s begun.’ Make as many knots and loops as you can with the fishing line. When you’re done, it should be short enough to safety pin to the inside of a costume.

2. Say: ‘Knot of two, it will come true’ Add optional items. Try and stay away from any negative energies, before you close the spell with:

3. ‘Knot of three, so shall it be.’


(As always, please note that I can take no responsibility for any of these spells due to legal reasons, please use caution and common sense when doing, well, anything.)

Crystal Healing One: What Is Crystal Healing?


crystal-healing-basics-pinCrystal Therapy One: What Is Crystal Therapy?


Crystal Therapy or Healing is, put simply, creating a physical change in the body by using crystals/minerals/gems/sparkly stones.


Crystal Healing has been around since the year dot, probably ever since a human found a shiny thing and carried it around, gaining a particular effects as they did so.


The limits of crystal healing are being pushed and explored constantly. You can also, of course, use crystal to do magic with, but that’s a topic for later. In this series we’ll be focusing purely on healing the mind, body and soul with crystals. Ooky spooky stuff comes later.


What Will Be in This Series?


Later in this post, we’ll cover a few of the ways you can use crystals to heal in the general sense. In this series, we’ll cover a number of topics:


  • Purchase lists for particular stones, for example the best budget stones
  • How to treat particular ailments that I’ve had experience with
  • How to use crystal grids, mazes and other structures
  • The shapes of stones and why they’re useful
  • Crystal healing book and blog club
  • And we’ll end with a live Q and A where you can ask me any questions you might have about crystal healing that I didn’t cover.

How to Use Crystals


  • Meditative


The first step to working with any crystal. Simply sitting with the stone and asking a particular thing of it is the simplest, clearest and easiest form of crystal healing. This is sometimes called ‘programming’ a stone, but to be more correct you’re actually asking a favour of it. Crystals are a higher life form than us, so thinking you can tell it to do something it doesn’t do is a fool’s errand.


Sitting and ‘talking’ to the crystal is also the next step up from working solely with books. Books are a great starting point, especially for identifying crystals, but every crystal is different, even ones of the same type. Let the crystal tell you what it does.


When you work with more than one crystal, let the crystals tell you if they are going to play nicely or not. Some cancel each other out, some pollute the purpose, and some overpower each other.


Once you’ve selected a crystal to work with, you can either lay it over the afflicted area, or utilize some form of energy centers or energy line system, like chakras or reflexology. You can also dowse for the right spot to lay it using a pendulum. I’ll post of video of how you can do that at a later date.


  • Directing Energy


Everything in the world has and emits a thing we’ll call ‘energy’ for simplicity’s sake. It’s not precise to label an energy as good or bad – bad to who? But there are times where the energy of a thing or a place isn’t the kind of energy you’d like to cultivate.


You can use crystals and crystal grids to redirect and change the energy of the space, including helping the Earth to heal. Energetic problems can range from angry spirits, to geopathic stress, to pollution, to miasma, to a ton of other things. We’ll cover this more deeply in a later post.


  • Jewelry

Jewelry is a great way to utilize crystal healing. You can get many, many, beautiful jewelry items containing all sorts of crystals which you can wear when you need to healing, but can’t sit down for a healing session, or have a chronic condition which would benefit for more intensive use of crystals.


  • Crystal Grids

We’ll cover crystal grids in more detail in another post, as whole books have been written on the subject.


Basically, arranging crystals in certain formations amplifies and blends their power, creating more powerful and complex effects.

  • Distance Healing


You can use crystals on a poppet or other representation of a person to effect healing from a distance. Obviously, not as successful as in person healing, but  perfectly decent effects can be had. I’ve had distance energy healing done before and been very pleased with the effects I’ve had.
In next week’s post, we’ll be looking at the best cheap stones you can get to start off your collection.

Spell Saturday #6 Money Money Money Spell

New Job SpellNew Job Spell ( sort of)

For when things are pretty desperate in the money situation.

You will need:

– paper

– pen

If you have access to particular colours, you will need gold and silver pens and the paper should be the colour of your country’s money. I am in the UK, so I would use either a silver page or a violet page, as that’s the colour of a £20 note.

1. Write something on the paper. Here are some suggestions*:

Proverbs 10:22 – The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Psalms 112:3 – Wealth and riches [shall be] in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Philippians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

(Use of Bible verse is very common in older English magic. If you’re not into mixing Christianity and witchcraft, try something like the ones below)

2 Chainz – ‘I been getting money, where the fuck you been?’

Hail Mary Mallon – ‘Money on my motherfucking mind/ Cop five haircuts at the same time White gold pants, Jet Ski made of Yuan /Foie gras bust of Albert Einstein /Get money

2. Fold the paper nine times

3. Place it under your pillow and sleep on it for nine days.


(All spells here are written as curios only, I’m not responsible for results although you do get bonus points if you play the Temmie version of the Hail Mary Mallon song whilst performing this spell. Video proof required.)

PBuP: 05 On Resting, Generosity and Pinterest

Today I’m talking to Samantha, from This Crooked Crown.
1) Why did you choose to start your business? Why choose witchcraft and divination as a base? What drew you to it?
Because I love it! I love witchcraft and divination; it’s one of my major passions and something I could never grow bored of. Starting my own business came about when I was unable to work in the mainstream workforce anymore due to medical reasons. Once I hit on the idea of starting my own business, I went with two of my major passions – divination and witchcraft. It just evolved from there.
I’ve been practicing witchcraft and divination for over twenty years now and never really experienced a time where I didn’t believe in magic. For me, discovering that witchcraft didn’t exist in the realm of fantasy and people still practiced it was really eye-opening. It meant that there was so much more to the world than what I’d been taught and there’s so much possibility! I love sharing that awe with my clients.
This Crooked Crown At Work 01 (1).jpg
2) How do you balance what you give away for free (in terms of tutorials and spells, free readings etc) with what you charge for? 
I like to make generosity part of my business. I offer free advice and consultation on my blogs and to clients. I love offering resources like free spells and tutorials. I do free readings each Tuesday on my twitter, public meet-and-greets on Sundays, and give away readings for charity. I like to give back and help out as much as I can.
Balancing what’s given away and how much time I spend on non-paying work can be difficult but I try to break up the amount of daily work I do as 2/3 paying work versus 1/3 non-pay (donations, free spells, etc.). Monthly number crunching helps keep things real and makes sure that I stay on track.
3) How much time do you spend on blogs and social media, and how do you make that pay off, so to speak? What’s your social media strategy?
I’m a lurker! I’m always on social media but I like to sit back and see how people interact with each other. I find that really fun and really fascinating. I spend roughly two to three hours a day on various social media and sometimes twice that much when I’m setting up things like my daily tips on facebook. I try to update at least one social media platform a day. If I’m not on tumblr then I’m posting to boards on pinterest, tweeting on the go, or updating my instagram. I have a posting schedule of what to post and when but I like to keep it flexible. If I make it too rigid, it’s no fun anymore. Social media’s really great to get more people interested and drive more business to your doors but it’s really just a lot of fun to interact with the people that are reading my work.
This Crooked Crown At Work 02.jpg
4) What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is starting a Pagan business, or hoping to improve their existing one? 
Take time off! It’s very easy as small business owners, especially in a niche like ours, to work all the time. You put in more time then you get more money, right? But it weighs on you until you begin to grow bitter or resentful. Taking time off seems counterproductive at first but it’s healthier, gives you a chance to have a life outside of work, and boosts your motivation and inspiration. It gives you a chance to reset your spirit and recharge your batteries which is critical when you a lot of energy-based work. It’s absolutely my number one tip to being happy, having a successful business, and following your dreams.
Siobhan’s Advice
You need to take time off, and actually take in blocks of time worth a damn. Don’t take loads of ten minute breaks instead of a day off. Doesn’t count, doesn’t work, and you spend more time messing around instead of working OR relaxing.
If you can’t work out where the time goes, try RescueTime. It’s free, and tracks exactly what you’re doing on your computer. The paid version also tracks what you are doing off the computer, too. You can also set goals with it, both the ‘Do this’ and ‘Don’t do that’ kind. You can get alerts, block distracting websites, and so much more. It basically does the work of about eight different apps all in one.
I’ve managed to get back about eight hours of working time last week without really trying. It’s amazing, I don’t know how I worked without it.
(It is an affiliate link, which means is you buy the paid version I get a commission, at no extra cost to you.)

Spell Saturday #5 – Gainful Employment

Gainful Employment Spell

You’ll need:

-a piece of paper

– a pen

– scissors

– to have got through to interview stage of the job application process for a job you really want

– some kind of adhesive


Draw the place of work. If it were a deli, for example, I’d draw a quick sketch of a deli counter.

Draw a small figure, and cut it out. Make it look like you, and write your name on it. Make sure it has a huuuge smile.

Adhere the figure to the counter.

Go to your interview and ace it. You can do it!

If you ever want to leave your job and find you can’t, make sure you have disposed of this.