Welcome to Magickal-Musings!

Greetings All ~

I thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll make yourself comfortable & stay a while. I have a great many things to share that I believe are interesting & I hope that you will find them interesting as well. Please friend me also on Facebook. I'm there under "Nefer Khepri" & I hope you will also visit my site, Magickal-Musings.com. I wish you all many blessings.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Candle Magick Class!

taught by me, been practicing Wicca since 1980, professional since 1997. 

I am for the first time ever making my method available over the internet to all who care to learn the proper & most successful manner to perform candle work. My method is based upon years of book reading, learning from other practitioners, plus trial & error that has resulted in a method that works well for myself & for clients around the world.

I believe in empowering others & this is why I'm offering the class.   I feel that everyone, if they are so inclined, ought to have access to easily understandble information in order to help them to perform candle magick for themselves & their loved ones. 

You will receive my information on how to cleanse, charge the candle & all materials used with it (herbs & oils), information on properly wording your intention so you are more likely to receive what you ask for, plus more. 

I shall also be creating a group on Facebook for all those who join the class. You will be added into the closed group automatically by me where we can freely discuss candle magick. You will be able to ask myself & others questions, and have all of your concerns addressed at any time. 

You will receive all this for a one-time payment of $45. The class will begin in a week, but if you can't make it, never fear. Once you send payment I'll send you the materials & add you to the group. You can then catch up & everyone will help you.

In order to participate in the group you will need to have a Facebook account.  You can easily create one at Facebook.com if you do not yet have one. 

Here is a secure PayPal payment link for the class, and again, this is a ONE-TIME fee to cover my time. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Z3M7A7WJXV3WW

I hope you'll join us :)

Many Blessings, & wishing you all a Most Blessed Samhain/Halloween tomorrow,

Nefer Khepri, Ph. D., R. M-T.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Contact Your Spirit Guides, by Asandra

Contact Your Spirit Guides
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN #: 978-0-7643-3719-2
Paperback, 8 ½” X 11”, 132 pp.

In a nutshell,  Contact Your Spirit Guides provides you with all the information a person would need in order to establish and maintain contact with their spirit guides.  I should know.  I’ve been channeling and working with my spirit guides since 1980.  Back then books on metaphysical/new age subjects were not as numerous as they are today, nor as easily available.  I grew up in Waukegan, Illinois and back in 1980 there were no new age bookstores near me.  Amazon and ordering over the internet did not exist.  My method for contacting my own spirit guides was slowly and painstakingly developed over a period of approximately 3 years through the process of trial and error – mostly error.  How I wish I had this book back then!  Life would have been so much easier.
Now, all within the pages of a single book is all you need to help you contact your own spirit guides.  Asandra is a respected professional medium who shares her personal approach with us.  Many books exist that offer a particular approach to a goal and I never give them my endorsement unless I’ve tried the author’s approach and found it to work for me.  This is the first such book I can fully endorse because the method that Asandra discusses is pretty much the same method I use.  I have received many emails over the years from a wide variety of people asking me if I’ve read a certain book and asking me what I think of the author’s approach or method.  Most of the time I have to suggest to the person that they use their own best judgment.  Just because one author’s method doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.  The method outlined by Asandra is simple, it’s direct, and I believe it has universal appeal no matter what your preconceived notions or walk of faith may be.  You will find this book to be highly useful.

In addition to the book there are 24 cards that are attached at the back of the book on perforated card stock.  They consist of simple, but colorful geometric shapes and each has a number and a title.  The interpretation can be found at the back of the book.  These cards are to be used in order to receive a message from your spirit guides through these cards.  So, even if you are unable to establish contact with your spirit guides right away using the method outlined here, you can at least begin using the cards.  I found them to be very insightful.  In fact, the first reading I did for myself really surprised me, but not until three days later, as I received the exact same message from a friend who had no idea I was seeking guidance regarding that topic.  Her words were literally the same as the interpretations to one of the cards in the book.  I doubt I shall ever forget that experience.  It not only validated to me what I’ve always known – that spirit guides often speak to us through the mouths of others if we’re unable to directly tune into them; but, the experience also validated the cards to me as being a viable tool for connecting with spirit guides and receiving higher guidance.
The book contains a set of 24 cards.  The cards measure 4 1/8” X 5 ½”.  They are perforated and rectangular so be sure to bend the cards along the perforations prior to carefully pulling them apart or you could tear them.  What I did to mine was to give them a slight trim with a paper trimmer.  I trimmed off the very edge of every card, along each side to eliminate the tiny ridges created by the perforations.  Then I took a corner rounder (I’m a scrapbooker so I have these tools just laying around my house, for those who don’t, I ***highly*** recommend the Personal Trimmer and the Corner Rounder by Creative Memories) and used it to round the corners, which really helps in shuffling.  Card images are reminiscent of mandalas, are multi-colored, presented against a white background.  The images are not near the edge of the cards so trimming is easy.  You don’t run the risk of trimming off part of the image.  The card number and title appear on each.  The card back is a geometric pattern against a purple background. 

Asandra discusses establishing sacred space from which to conduct your spirit guide session, methods of tuning in and focusing, but what I really appreciated about her approach was that throughout her book she reiterates the importance of calling upon spiritual protection first, before attempting to establish contact.  I have a page at my site on how to contact spirit guides (if you google “contact spirit guides” my page comes up as Number 1) that attracts a lot of people.  I have been contacted by quite a few who attempted to contact their spirit guides without first calling upon some form of spiritual protection.  BIG mistake!  They end up attracting something that isn’t a spirit guide and then have a difficult time sending it back.   If you take NOTHING ELSE from this book, do come away with this:  ALWAYS invoke spiritual protection FIRST, and this is even if you are in regular contact with your spirit guides and have a session every day.  I cannot stress the importance of spiritual protection enough.
For those of you who are interested in channeling, each chapter concludes with a channeling session with Asandra’s spirit guides.  I found these sections to be quite interesting and for many, I believe, the channeling sessions will answer a lot of questions people have about spirituality in general. 

Contact Your Spirit Guides is very well-written and is easy to read.  The information within each chapter is presented in a clear and organized manner that makes reading the book very fast.  The author does suggest you read the entire book before attempting to contact your spirit guides and this is because important information is contained throughout the book.  There is no fast, easy, or short-hand way to contact your spirit guides.  Just like anything else worth having you need to work for it. 
One more thing – contacting spirit guides requires two things:  repetition and patience.  You simply cannot rush the process, mainly for two reasons.  Spirit guides were once people just like you and I.  They often retain some of their personality they had while living.  Therefore, some spirit guides, like mine, are chatty, while others may be shy and reserved.  Depending on the personality of your spirit guides, they may start communicating immediately, or it may take quite a few attempts before you sense anything.  Also, do not be surprised if one or more of your spirit guides turn out to be animals.  That’s really an animal totem spirit, not exactly the same thing as a spirit guide, but when you open yourself up for spiritual communication and if you have one, they often do come forward with a message or just to let you know that they are with you.  In the end, just like with any other skill, practice makes perfect.  Even if you do not sense, feel, see, or hear anything during your sessions, please do not give up.  The payoff is tremendous and is well worth the wait.

Contact Your Spirit Guides is a wonderful contribution by an expert in the field of mediumship who has been generous enough to share her expertise with the general public. I do hope you take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and purchase this book for yourself.  You may even end up purchasing a few copies for like-minded friends, as well.

Nefer Khepri, Ph. D., R. M-T.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book & Deck Review: The Alchemy of Tarot book and The Kingdom Within Tarot deck.

The Alchemy of Tarot
Juno Lucina
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN #:  978-0-7643-3710-9
USD $34.99
Paperback, 174 pages, 8 1/2" X 11" X 1/2"

 ~ also ~

The Kingdom Within Tarot                                                                
Juno Lucina: guide book
Shannon ThornFeather: cards
ISBN #: 978-0-7643-3711-6
USD: $34.99
6" X 11 3/4" X 1 1/2" hinged box, magentic closure

 I chose to review these two titles together because they are firstly, by the same author, and secondly, the book, The Alchemy of Tarot, is fully illustrated with all the cards from The Kingdom Within Tarot. 

 Printed on glossy paper throughout and containing full color, full sized images of all cards from The Kingdom Within Tarot, The Alchemy of Tarot is a real treat for the senses.  The book not only is gorgeous, but the feel of it is very rich.  It’s heavy due to the glossy paper and a book lover’s delight.  The Alchemy of Tarot is also packed with useful and helpful information regarding Qabalah, astrology, and the connections they have to tarot.

The Alchemy of Tarot reads like a thorough introductory course on the subjects of tarot, qabalah, and astrology.  Through a discussion of archetypes, the Elements, natural cycles, and the cosmology of the fallen savior, Juno Lucina constructs a foundation from which the study of tarot can be taken to a deeper and more profound level by anyone with a sincere interest in the subject matter.

The cards of the major arcana of The Kingdom Within Tarot contain the actual image of the planet with which each card is associated. The planet is always depicted somewhere within the card’s imagery.  The symbol of each card’s astrological association is also included within the card’s imagery.  The images of each have been very well designed and thought out in order for the image to portray the energies of the associated planet and astrological sign.  Every card has colored spheres in the upper left and lower right-hand corners that convey in color the path associated with each card on the Qabalahistic Tree of Life.   This deck was obviously quite an undertaking for both author and artist.

The Alchemy of Tarot includes a thorough discussion of every card in The Kingdom Within Tarot deck.  The categories of information about each card include the following:

  •  Name of card & corresponding astrological sign and/or planet
  • Qabalistic path on the restored Tree of Life
  • Qabalistic letter:  the meaning & the English translation
  •  Astrological interpretation
  •  Elemental information, including ruling planet & associated minor arcana card
  •  Key phrases for easy reference
  • Key phrases for easy reference
  • Qabalistic symbology
 The entire discussion of the Qabalistic Tree of Life follows the work of Charles Stansfield Jones (pen name: Frater Achad), who was the star pupil and initiate of Aleister Crowley.   Juno Lucina provides good background information on his reworking of the Tree of life and discusses its basis in Egyptian mythology.  All major arcana cards are located on their individual paths of the Tree of Life and the coding system of the colored spheres that identifies each card’s placement on the Tree of Life is discussed.  A full color page image of all the major arcana cards and their placement upon the Tree of Life is included for easy reference. 

There is an extra card of the major arcana included, so the majors total 79 cards.  The extra card is entitled, “The Kingdom Within All”, which represents change and infinite possibilities (see right). 

 Court cards (see left) are the next section of The Alchemy of Tarot.  They consist of Pages (the Daughter archetype), Princes (the Son archetype), Queens (the Mother archetype), and Kings (the Father archetype).  Three methods of interpreting court cards are provided.  At first this may seem daunting to read through it all, but for any of you who have had any trouble reading court cards prior to this book, I urge you to read this section carefully.  You’ll be very glad that you did.  Personally, the manner in which Juno Lucina provides the information helped to clarity some issues for me and now I find I no longer have any difficulty with court cards since I now use this system for all of my tarot decks and I find it works for them all.   Each court card is interpreted in terms of the level of power or ability to manifest change that it represents, its associated zodiac sign and their energies, and finally as representing actual individuals and the sixteen basic motivations that drive a person to take action based upon the Meyers-Briggs personality types that is in turn based upon the work of Carl Jung. 

In The Alchemy of Tarot each suit of court cards conveys the mythic cycle of a fallen savior archetype.  The Pentacles present the story of the Oak and Holly King with Father Time as the King, the Virgin Mary as the Queen, The Oak King as the Prince, and the Newborn King as the Page.  The suit of Wands presents the story of Jesus Christ as the King, the goddess Eostre as Queen, Dionysus as the Prince, and Mary Magdalene as the Page.  Cups are represented by the Green Man (King), Gaia (Queen), Sir Galahad (Prince), and Faerie Puck (Page).  The Sword court cards consist of the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecutli (King), Hecate (Queen), Lord of Misrule (Prince), and Persephone (Page). 

 Within the pages of The Alchemy of Tarot the minor arcana is discussed in terms of its Qabalistic associations with the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life that corresponds to their number, so all tens are associated with Malkuth the tenth Sephiroth upon the Tree of life, nines are associated with Yesod the ninth Sephiroth, and so on.  The stories of the characters that comprise the court cards unfolds in the imagery of the Ace – ten and images of the characters upon the court cards also occur within other cards of their associated suits.  Astrological associations of the minor arcana cards are also discussed.

The Alchemy of Tarot concludes with sections on the associations between each card and each astrological house including several tables of key phrases identifying planet and sign correspondences.  Spreads include the Key Spread, Triangle Spread (also in the guidebook to the deck), a 10-card Cross Spread (also in the guidebook), and an astrological-based 13-card Kingdom Within Spread.  Health questions and health associations of signs and planets are included.  Timing and the tarot is also discussed.  Using the tarot in order to find lost items and regarding world events are also covered.  A method is included for using this tarot deck for personal spiritual development based upon the story of the sacrificial savior and The Fool’s journey through the major arcana.  Pathworking spreads include:  Single Seed Spread, ‘Till We Have Faces Spread, Death & Resurrection Spread, Hero’s Journey Spread, and of course The Alchemy of Tarot naturally concludes with a Tree of Life Spread.

Well-written and thorough, The Alchemy of Tarot presents the reader with a real education in Qabalah, Astrology, ancient mythic cycles and, of course, tarot.  The Alchemy of Tarot contains a great deal of information and once I was finished reading the book cover to cover I felt as though I had been through an intense course on tarot, astrology, and Qabalah.  I also found that I had a much better understanding of astrology and Qabalah than ever before so I came away from this book having learned some valuable new information.

Now, on to the tarot deck ~

The Kingdom Within Tarot comes with its own guidebook that is also written by Juno Lucina.  The included guidebook includes reversed card interpretations while the larger and much more expansive The Alchemy of Tarot does not.  The guidebook is a compilation of just the basic card interpretations.  Qabalah and astrology are not discussed.  Clearly, the guidebook is designed for ease of use intended for users who wish to start using the cards quickly.  Spreads include the Triangle Spread, The cross Spread, and concludes with a brief summary of yes/no questions and timing in tarot.  The guidebook is concise, to the point, and designed to make the deck immediately useful.

The cards measure 3 1/2" X 5" and are printed on sturdy card stock that is well laminated so they will withstand years of shuffling.  The artwork is characterized by the use of bright, vibrant colors throughout and the cards are borderless.  The minor arcana cards are all fully illustrated and depict scenes from the lives of the characters depicted on the court cards.  The card back is completely reversible and contains an image of the Tree of Life, Sephiorth, planets, and an anthropomorphic sun.  The interpretations of the cards are traditional.

Users of The Kingdom of Tarot deck do not need the book, The Alchemy of Tarot, in order for the deck to be useful to them.  However, I do strongly urge users of The Kingdom Within Tarot to also purchase The Alchemy of Tarot because it presents a more complete and thorough analysis of the cards and contains helpful information on the Tree of Life, Astrology, and how this all works together with tarot as a coherent system. 

Packaging of The Kingdom Within Tarot consists of a 6" X 11 3/4" X 1 1/2" box with magnetic hinged lid and recessed storage areas for the deck and guidebook.  The cards themselves may be a bit unwieldy at first due to the amount of lamination and their size, but after a few uses they do loosen up and become much easier to shuffle.   The guide book measures 7 3/4" X 5 1/2" and contains 176 pages and places where you can write your own notes, something I always very much appreciate in a tarot book. 

Together, The Alchemy of Tarot and The Kingdom Within Tarot are an outstanding contribution to the field of tarot and I found both the book and deck to be enlightening and enjoyable.   Both the book and deck have a permanent place in my collection. 

Many Blessings,

Nefer Khepri, Ph. D., R. M-T.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning How to Perform Candle Magic

"The two most powerful tools in a witch's arsenal are:  the mind and candles" ~
   Mena Aleman, curandera. 


If you're interested in learning a tried and true method of how to perform candle magic for yourself, then by all means, read on.

As many of you know, I have been in business at my site, http://www.magickal-musings.com/ for over 10 years, since 1997, in fact.  I began by offering tarot readings and expanded into performing candle magic for people around the world from all walks of life. 

My knowledge of candle magic comes from a variety of sources.  My paternal great-grandmother was a well known curandera (white witch & healer) in Michoacan, Mexico.  I never knew her, unfortunately, but one of my aunts taught me what my great-grandmother had taught her.  This part of my knowledge consists mainly of methods for cleansing a person or location of negative energy and then healing that person's energy so they are closed to further psychic attacks and demonic exorcism.  

In 1981 I began to read books on Wicca and I gathered more knowledge, mainly from the books of Scott Cunningham and Silver Ravenwolf.  I began practicing candle magic for myself and found that eventually, through trial and error (and believe me, there were LOTS of errors!) my candle magic began to get me positive results. 

I went through a huge learning process that began in 1979 with my aunt and continued well into the mid-90s.  During that time I met other magical practitioners who were kind enough to share valuable information and also their own personal methods of candle magic with me.  From every source over the years I took what resonated or felt "right" to me, and worked towards combining it into the coherent system that I use today for myself and clients around the world.

I am often asked in email to recommend books on candle magic or I'm asked to tell someone how to do it for themselves.  It's an involved topic and no one can cover it in a single email.  I explain this and then I always recommend two books, that in my opinion are still to this day the best on the subject of introductory magic and Wicca in particular.  I have used these books as textbooks for my 9-part Wicca 101 course that I used to teach out of my home.  

These books are:

To Ride a Silver BroomstickWicca:  A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham 
 ~ and ~  
To Ride a Silver Broomstick, by Silver Ravenwolf.  

Both are still widely available. You can even find them in used bookstores if you enjoy a good book hunt.  The cover design is new so used copies will have a different cover, but the content is the same.


Candle magic is expansive in that you can add to it by using it along with various other methods and tools.  For example, were you aware that you can quite successfully combine tarot cards with candle magic?  The use of particular tarot cards that contain the energies of the changes you are attempting to manifest add a tremendous amount of energy to your candle work, plus they also help you focus on your desires while you're preparing your candles and performing the spell, or what I prefer to call, enchantment.  The best book I have ever come across on combining tarot cards with candle magic is by Janina Renee, Tarot Spells.  It is also still widely available and can be found used, as well. 
For someone who wants to start learning how to perform candle magic for themselves and is also interested in Wicca, I highly recommend these three books far above any others.

There have been more people than ever before emailing me for information on how to perform candle magic for themselves.  I have always striven to empower my clients to do things for themselves, even if that often results in less business for me.  An empowered client is a happy client, and if my clients are happy, then I'm happy and I consider it a job well done.  I'm not one of those practitioners who treats all this information like a big, dark, arcane secret known only to an handful of initiates.  In fact, I abhor that type of behavior in others.  The information is out there, but it's separated into many different sources.  I have never found a book about magic that I consider to be absolutely complete.  Whether that is intentional or not by the authors, I have no idea, but it has proven to me to be frustrating over the years and without a personal mentor other than my aunt, that's why it took me so many years to perfect my method of candle magic before I could begin to offer it to the public through my web site.

For the first time since 1998 I am making my method available to all who are interested.  I plan to begin a candle magic course online.  Participants will have access to me in email at AOL and also if you are on Facebook you will have access to a group I will be creating specifically for those who have enrolled in the course.  There will be a one-time enrollment fee to cover my time and energy I'll be expending for this endeavor and I shall keep it very economical - under $50 per person.  The group will be a place where questions & ideas can be shared & discussed, that will add a whole other dimension to your learning experience.  If you are interested, please email me so I can get a list going.  Also, if you do plan on joining us and you're not on Facebook already, please establish an account for yourself so when the time comes I can add you to the group I'll be creating.  Set up is easy at Facebook.com, and once you are set up there don't forget to send me a friend request.  I'm on Facebook as Nefer Khepri.