Book Review: Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation by Mat Auryn


Blurb: Discover how to be a powerful psychic witch with this book on wielding energy and awakening your psychic senses. Psychic Witch explores the relationship between psychic ability and magick, interweaving them to create a strong foundation for accessing the full potential of your mind, body, and spirit.

Mat Auryn reveals some of his most closely guarded tips, secrets, practices, and meditations so that you can master the perception and manipulation of energy. Featuring over ninety exercises and the inner tools you need to perform magick anywhere and at any time, Psychic Witch helps you tune in to yourself and the subtle energies of the world.

Psychic Witch is one of the best witchcraft books I’ve read in a while. The author asks you to put aside your trappings and equipment and work with energy and your own power. This book is filled with useful meditations and visualisations, taking you through developing your abilities. Even experienced witches in my opinion could find useful exercises throughout this book. I actually plan to buy it to put on book shelf when it is released in February 2020 so I can have it as a reference book. I plan to work my way through to develop my energy work because it’s always good to refresh your skills. This would be a good book for anybody who works with energy.

5/5 Best witchy book I’ve read in a while, some excellent exercises and accessible to dip into.

Thank you to NetGalley and Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd for this eArc in exchange for an honest review.

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Movie Review: The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

The Curse of La Llorona exists in The Conjuring universe. It’s based on Mexican folklore of La Llorona or the weeping woman. Her husband abandoned her for a younger women, out of grief she murdered their two young children and killed herself in the river. She is condemned to search for her children and kidnaps children to drown, replaying the murder of her own children. I’ve read various books featuring the legend so was curious how the movie fared.

It’s based in the 70’s and a social worker is struggling with her own family after her police officer husbands death. She takes on a case where two children haven’t been attending school and have a background with social services. When she gets there she finds the mother is hiding them and seems unhinged so she takes them for their safety, however the mother was hiding them from La Llorona and this means they can now be abducted by the spirit. La Llorona soon turns her gaze on the social workers children and she has to turn to the church and a disillusioned priest.

I enjoyed this movie. I thought it was atmospheric and as a parent I felt the desperation of the risk of something happening to your children. I thought Linda Cardellini was good and we shouted “Scooby Doo” when we realised where we’d seen her before (we also noted Scooby Doo was playing on the TV in one scene…on purpose?). I’m not a huge fan of The Conjuring franchise (especially Annabelle etc) but I thought this was average to good. It wasn’t super scary but we enjoyed it. My hubby says he thought it was a good use of mythology from a different background other than the usual European/Church based background. I also liked it better than The Nun.

7/10 from me and 7.5/10 from hubby (he said the only scare he felt was for the children). The boy refuses to watch it because he says it looks baaaad.

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Happy Halloween, Merry Samhain!

I made it to the end of blogtober! Happy Halloween and a blessed Samhain to everyone!

Today we’ve been trying to get a few bits ticked off the bucket list. At least we watched Hocus Pocus and we have a copy of 3 from Hell to watch tonight.

I’ve baked a bonfire cake with sugar glass flames. I’ve also needle felted a little ghost and a pumpkin house and mouse.

The first of the trick or treaters are starting to arrive and we’re sitting down to hot dogs (vegan).

I’ve put my offerings outside and lit my candles to guide the ancestors home. These are my traditions for Halloween.

Hope you have a wonderful evening/day and I am going to get back to my family 🙂

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Book Review: The Devil’s Equinox by John Everson

The Devil’s Equinox is the second book I’ve read by John Everson. Previously, I’ve read The House by the Cemetery. In The Devil’s Equinox, Austin is a new father, having difficulties in his relationship with his wife. One night, he meets an attractive stranger in a bar and unthinkingly wishes his wife dead. Then the stranger (Regina) appears in his house as his new next door neighbour. Soon she becomes close to his wife and begins babysitting for the couple. But what appears to be an awful accident, his wife is found dead and suddenly Austin is left a widower with a small baby. Regina is on hand to help look after the baby and support Austin. Their relationship develops and she introduces him to a new, darker world of sex, blood and rituals. What was at first some kinky fun turns into a world of peril for Austin and his baby.

I enjoy John Everson’s writing and this goes for The Devil’s Equinox. While The House by the Cemetery was a homage to horror movies and gave a nod to some of his favourite directors, I feel The Devil’s Equinox pays homage to Dennis Wheatley and the satanic hammer horror style movies from the 60’s and 70’s. There is even a line of dialogue, “To the devil, a daughter”. I love this about his books. This is obviously an up to date version with a sex club, lots of kink and EBM going on. Having been to these kinds of events (not so much the sex but the scene!) I’m in familiar territory but obviously was never taken into the satanic sub dungeon if there was one. The book had a good pace, maybe it slowed down in the middle, where I felt the main character was going around in circles but on the whole I felt for him and felt his panic. I feel his books would make good B movie horrors, they are very visual. Expect blood, sex and violence rather than anything meaningful and that’s the fun of this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for this eArc copy for an honest review.

3.5/5 B movie horror fun.

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Book Review: The Axe & Grindstone by Paul Phipps-Williams

Just spent the afternoon curled up on the sofa binge reading “The Axe & Grindstone” by Paul Phipps-Williams.

Blurb: “Have you ever fancied running a pub? What about two pubs? And what if they were in different dimensions?Enter Mark Adams who is in serious need of a pint. Now the fabled landlord of Peacebattle, he’s the only person who can stop the world from screaming for the rest of time.

But why chose a loser to save the world? What is the truth at the heart of the Binding Brothers’ dark religion and the monsters who thrive in its heart? And will Mark survive long enough to remember the most important advice of his entire career: Don’t scream. Whatever you do. Don’t scream.”

Immersive fantasy with horror themes, reminding me of Terry Brooks in style. I found the characters well developed and engaging from the outset and it kept me binge reading. There were some genuinely creepy moments. Slipping through dimensions, I’d love to read more from this universe.

Thank you for Bad Ink Press for this eArc copy, out on the 31st of October. Amazon link

5/5 Imaginative and creepy but with characters you care about.

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Movie Review: American Fright Fest (2018)

I watched Fright Fest (which is the title I watched it by but it’s American Fright Fest on IMBD) alone as the boy went out to a Halloween party.

A small town hires Spencer Crowe, a legendary horror movie director whose fallen on hard times to produce a fright fest for the town in the abandoned asylum. A bus load of insane criminals crashes due to Spencer’s drinking and drug taking and two escape, making their way to the asylum to join in the fun.

It’s not a film to be taken too seriously. I’m not entirely sure it’s supposed to be a horror comedy, Spencer Crowe (Dylan Walsh) hams it up like it is. It has Pancho Moler in it, who was in Rob Zombie’s 31 as Sick Head. Everyone gets trapped inside. One inmate tries to help the people inside against another inmate who is trying to kill everybody. I enjoyed the line “Who are you, the psycho whisperer?”. However, little gems like this are few and far between. It was kind of chaotic and easy to lose track (and care) about what’s happening. It’s good for a laugh, maybe with alcohol and friends but not a memorable movie. There was vague attempts at filling in a back story to the criminals on the loose but it wasn’t  clear what was going on or maybe I just lost interest.

4/10….Cheeseball horror but not in a good way.

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Movie Review: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Not my usual fare, I’ll give you that but since the boy is too old for kid stuff and the littlest doesn’t watch movies, me and hubby have been missing some of the Halloween kids stuff. So one rainy afternoon, we cuddled under blankets and popped on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Is American really like this? Are your Halloween displays as amazing and intricate as we see in the movies…because I have serious Halloween envy!

Two boys accidentally release Slappy the dummy from an old book when they are clearing an old house. At first he seems helpful but soon his true colours become apparent, so with the help of one of the boys sister they take on Slappy and all his friends as they try to take over Halloween.

Things we liked: The fact the bully loved his gran. The neighbour wasn’t a grumpy old man/woman but was fully engaged in the Halloween season (Ken Jeong), nice and lots of fun. Good monster effects. The IT easter egg as Jeremy Ray Taylor starred in both (as noted by the boy).

Things we didn’t like: The monsters were not as funny and engaging as the first (not enough gnome action). Not enough Jack Black and then over the top acting when Jack Black arrives.

The boy arrived half way through and joined us even though he didn’t want to watch it. He says no film is bad if Jack Black is in it (as much as I love Jack Black not sure I agree!).

5/10…Fun Halloween movie for kids, not a classic in my opinion but easy Halloween watching. Not as good as the first. Definitely not as good as the TV show was the opinion of the boy but he said it was decent.

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Weekly thoughts…26/10/19

Another week over. It’s half term here and the littlest has 2 weeks off. The eldest is annoyed he is at school on Halloween as he believes he should have it as a religious holiday. I can’t help but agree.

I haven’t been able to get out much due to the holidays and littlest not wanting to leave the house. But I baked a very successful Fortnite cake for my nephew and I’m apparently the best auntie ever. This also means I’ve been booked to do my nieces Harry Potter cake.

We managed to get into town today and was first in line to get the black Phantom frappucino from Starbucks. It’s coconutty, mango and lime. However, it’s so cold and heavy rain so as refreshing as it is I quite fancied a nice hot coffee but the sacrifices I make for the Halloween season. We hardly ever get Halloween limited editions in our little town so got to show willing when we do.

We’re all up to date with AHS: 1984. I’m loving it and not knowing the twists and turns it is taking and now wondering if we will see Billy Idol…considering we’ve had Stevie Nicks in Coven….

Needle felted a little owl beast and a larger pumpkin than normal. I haven’t needle felted much this week and it felt good to get a couple of bits done. It’s another rainy day so will probably make some more little owls today.

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Thoughts on an autistic Halloween.

I love Halloween. I’m autistic and I love Halloween. My youngest son is autistic (he’s 8) and hates Halloween. It’s given me an insight on some of the good and the bad of the season for some people on the spectrum. It’s very important to highlight that as with neurotypicals, we are all individuals and influenced by our autism in different ways.

For my son, there’s a lot to take in. He likes rules and things to be in their place so can’t understand why we are doing Halloweeny things on the run up to Halloween. For him, it should be on the day not before or after. We took him trick or treating once. Although he is verbal, he didn’t “get” trick or treating”. It didn’t help that he is very limited on what he eats so people were offering things he didn’t like. He was very polite but it went “Trick or Treat” and then he would look at the offering and say “No, thank you” and walk off, very confusing for the houses we went to. He also hates costumes and masks. So on the one night he decided to try trick or treating, we agreed on a costume. He wanted to be a pokeball. I made a giant pokemon in the style of a sandwich board, so it hung around his neck and he could wear normal clothes underneath. This was acceptable (I was so proud of the pokeball idea!). He was also in control of the costume and could remove it at any time. He doesn’t understand why people would want to be scared on purpose. He hates the touch of messy things so we can’t do baking or pumpkin carving together. But there are things we like doing together, handing out the candy for example. He likes the Halloween celebrations in computer games. We have a little tea party, with a couple of cousins around. It’s all about compromise and finding ways to celebrate it together. We make sure he is able to escape to a quiet area when we have visitors so he can de-stress if things become too much. We went to Flamingo Land one year and that was fun. He enjoyed most of it but the Halloween show was too loud and bright for him but he particularly loved the singing, dancing pumpkins projected onto a wall in one of the areas for the little ones.

I like lots of the sensory things about this time of year…the scent of candles burning in a pumpkin, the taste and smell of pumpkin spice, flicker of candles, spooky music, collecting things for my special interest collection, sticking my hands in pumpkin guts…..there are lots of things I find stimmy, which helps me find some calm. I have Halloween themed stress balls, balls that light up, snow globes…

We both struggle with the loud sound effects and music.

Horror movies, Halloween and the supernatural are some of my special interests so I have free reign to throw myself into these things for a month without seeming a little strange….

I enjoy being able to hide my face behind a mask….

We have heard of the blue bucket…the blue bucket was something another mum did for her son in her neighbourhood to explain that he may react differently, look older etc than the other trick or treaters. While it’s a nice idea to make the season more accessible to children with disabilities…there are some issues with this being taken up as a movement. Many autistic people feel it should be accessible to all anyway not needing a special way of highlighting children’s additional needs. The colour blue is often associated with Autism Speaks, which in autism circles is bad news…wanting to cure us, fix us….not celebrate us. Also it can get confused with the teal bucket/pumpkin for children with food allergies.

I think the most important thing is to go with the flow (which rankles against my need for order and routine) but we just enjoy the things we can…movies at home, popcorn, trick or treaters, some decorations and letting him lead on what he can manage so we can still enjoy the season but not force anybody into anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or distressed.

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Witchcraft Books on my shelves (Non fiction)

Looking at my shelves, there are staple non-fiction witchcraft books that I have kept me after many moves and many bookshelves. These are the ones I go to again and again for reference, sometimes for comfort and guidance (because witches need this too). So here comes another list in no particular order:

  • Ronald Hutton – Triumph of the Moon. This is a more academic history of modern witchcraft and it’s beginnings. It’s always important to have the foundations and history of your spiritual movement or path. I’ve been to a couple of talks by Ronald Hutton and have always been impressed with his knowledge but then he is a professor at the University of Bristol.

The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

  • Doreen Valiente – Witchcraft for Tomorrow – a good book to get started with by the “mother of modern witchcraft”.

Witchcraft for Tomorrow

  • Kate West – “Real Witches” series from garden magic to kitchen magic to advanced skills, this series has something for everyone. I like her accessible writing style and I’ve seen her at a talk in real life and she seems lovely, this translates into her books.

The Real Witches' Handbook: A Complete Introduction to the Craft

  • Rae Beth – Hedge Witch: A guide to solitary witchcraft – I think I found this beautiful lyrical book particularly fulfilling as a solitary witch and it was the first time I found the term “hedge witch”, which resonated with me. It’s written in the form of letters to her apprentices.

Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft

  • Ann Moura – Green Witchcraft series. Informative and I go back to again and again.


Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore and Herb Craft

  • Scott Cunningham – All! – Scott Cunningham’s books have been the source of information for many of my spells and pouches, especially the “Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs”.

Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs (Llewellyn's Sourcebook Series)

  • Edain McCoy – Sabbats – I enjoyed the practical ideas for celebrating the Sabbats not just in ritual but in day to day activities.

Sabbats: A Witch's Approach to Living the Old Ways (Llewellyn's World Religion and Magick)

  • Judika Illes -The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells: The Ultimate Reference Book for the Magical Arts – It’s a massive collection of spells! You can usually find inspiration for anything!

Are there any non fiction witchcraft titles that have pride of place on your shelves? Who would you recommend?

I’m currently reading an eArc copy of “The Psychic Witch” by Matt Auryn due out in Feb 2020.

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