An Occult Memoir of New York: A Review of James Wasserman’s “In The Center Of The Fire”

in the center of the fire

My feelings regarding books sent to me for review are mixed. I don't have a lot of free time for reading. Reading a book and then reviewing it requires a significant time and energy commitment on my part. So although I feel obligated to review the books sent to me for that purpose, most of them sit in what I term "the stack of good intentions." It sits there boring a hole into my conscience. I feel a sense of relief upon being able to successfully remove a book from that stack, and a sense of … [Read more...]

Pagan Soup: Gay Founding Fathers, Ivo Dominguez Jr. and Paganish Movies

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The Founder of the US Army was Gay?Cara Schulz brought this fantastic bit of trivia to my attention: Von Steuben was an able field commander and was Chief of Staff to Washington. His efforts during, and after the war, were of such value that Congress gave him a yearly pension of $2500 a year, which was a large sum of money in those days. When he died, he left everything to General Benjamin Walker and Captain William North, who had served as his aides-de-camp during the war, both of … [Read more...]

A Few of My Favorite Things (13 To Be Precise)

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It would be disingenuous of me to write a holiday gift guide since I have sworn off gifts this year. It also feels wrong to write a "Best of 2011" list when my "liturgical year" has already ended, and shouldn't we focus more on Pagan culture than overculture?So my compromise is this: I'm going to write about a few of my favorite things. Some of these you can buy. Some represent what I've loved about the past year. Some, well, some defy categorization. 13. Good Music Two of my favorite … [Read more...]

Book Review: Christian Day’s The Witches’ Book of the Dead

I don't generally bother to review books I don't think I'll care for, especially with a stack of books I actually want to read waiting on me. Not being Christian Day's biggest fan, I was reluctant to read The Witches' Book of the Dead but I was intrigued by some of the reviews as much as I was repelled by others. So I read it, and here's my opinion of it. Make of it what you will.The GoodOverall, the book is good. Day has compiled an impressive amount of lore regarding necromancy and … [Read more...]

Book Review: Raven Grimassi’s Old World Witchcraft

This book is bold, and not at all what I expected. Although he's been one of the author's on my "to-read" list for years, I actually met Raven Grimassi before I read one of his books. At the urging of one of my teachers, I sought out a copy of The Book of Ways I & II, and then wished I'd spoken with him more when I met him at Pagan Spirit Gathering. Having picked up Old World Witchcraft, I wish I'd spent the entire week engaging Raven and Stephanie in conversation. Hindsight is always … [Read more...]

My Love Affair with Bookstores

The saddest fact of my life is that I live in a county without a bookstore. True, we have a place that specializes in antique books, but particular editions of Gone With the Wind or bejeweled Victorian Jewish prayer books don't fill the craving I get for the literary arts.I can drive 45 minutes north, up Blood Mtn and over the Appalachian Trail, to the amazing Book Nook in Blairsville. A small store owned by really amazing people, it carries titles that always tempt me and I generally leave … [Read more...]

Grumpy Star and The Lovers’ Tarot Deck

When the Universe wants you to learn a lesson, it will ask nicely at first, and then it pulls out the cosmic baseball bat to knock the lesson into you. Since Beltaine I've been pushed out of my comfort zone regarding all that "mushy, touchy-feely love stuff" and I'm not happy about it. I find myself shaking my fist at Bette Midler, Tina Turner, and those sappy Supremes more often of late.Love, in all it's forms, is demanding my attention lately, and like a naughty puppy, I keep pretending if I … [Read more...]


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