Friendship Signs - Your Perfect Match(es) Are in the Stars - A Review

Today I'm reviewing  Friendship Signs - Your Perfect Match(es) are in the Starts by Brianne Hogan.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page

Release date - May 14, 2019

Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.


I'm going to start with a review of the physical book.  Overall this is a nice sized book.  I like that I could easily toss this into a purse or backpack. I received a hard cover to review.  It did not have a dust jacket but the cover is vibrant and had a formed spine and raised lettering for the title.  The book is printed with blue ink and the pages are smooth to the touch.  Over all a great book to hold in your hands.  The book includes a friendship compatibility test at the beginning and and offers a decent sized index in the back.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Each sign is listed in the book with a sign by sign comparison. I noticed quickly how the author switched pronouns based on which sign they were discussing.  Pisces and Virgo was female for example and Leo and Libra are male.  While this is a small thing, I quickly went to the release date on the book and saw that it was this year.  I would love to see authors start using gender-less pronouns when possible.  Because we know that signs apply across the board to all people, using they and them would be perfectly acceptable in this book.  That being said over all it is a really well written book.

Each chapter is divided by the signs with a brief description of each sign.  Virgo as the perfectionist and the doer and Pisces as the dreamer and the healer, for example.  The author describes each signs quirks and preferences before offering a compatibility chart that outlines how each sign directly interacts.  I found the piece on Aquarius and Pisces to be quite accurate.

Pisces and AquariusEach sign's inherent uniqueness and love for deep spiritual discussions will help cement the friends ship between Pisces and Aquarius.  The both admin and accept the others' eccentricities and the joy working together on charity projects.


In comparing the descriptions for Pisces and Virgo vs. the one for Virgo and Pisces the author could have just copied them over however there is a subtle difference for each sign.  The descriptions are on point, in my opinion and offer a unique insight into not only revealing what you already knew about your best friend, but also a look at opening doors and becoming more compatible with our celestial counterparts.



Overall this is a great book for the beginner and the seasoned HUMAN, yes, I said human here as we already know that non-magical people are the biggest consumers of this type of content.  Its an easy read and a great way to spend the afternoon with a friend, comparing and contrasting what the stars have to say about our BFFs.







10 Minute Crystal Ball - Tips for your Inner Powers - A Review

Today I'm reviewing 10 Minute Crystal Ball - Easy Tips for Developing Harness Your Inner  Wisdom and Psychic Powers by Skye Alexander.

Cover



Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page

Release Date: May 14, 2019
ISBN: 9781592338825


Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.


Starting with a review of the physical book, I will say this is a well bound book. I received a hard copy to review without a dust jacket.  The images are more like clip art in the book vs. illustrations and have a lean towards the color gold.  I like the simplicity and the directness of the images and appreciate the color scheme.  It includes a short but directed index as well as a list of resources at the end which in my opinion are key to any decent reference book.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - 10 Minute Crystal Ball


The Author begins with a brief introduction into what the reader can glean from the text and direction on the exact process for attaining the most benefit from the book.  The book is divided into sections that address intuition, divination and examining the psychic tool box. One of favorite chapters is the section on our toolbox.  While touching base on the most common divination tools in modern magic, this book added a new one that I have not encountered until now.  Graphology is the art of examining handwriting for a look into the writers temperament, intellectual capacity, vocational potential, heal, relationship needs and more according to the author.   How intriguing!  I was sad to see such a short piece on it but it certainly gave me something to jot down and look up later.  I love it when a book does that!

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - 10 Minute Crystal Ball
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - 10 Minute Crystal Ball



My next favorite section was the part covering mental telepathy. I have often felt things before they happened or knew someone was going to call before they did.  And yes, I've picked a few good lotto numbers, LOL.  But I digress. Naysayers like to be the first to taunt us and say that if we were "real psychics" we would do X.  I'm quite happy with my current station in life, but back to the book.  The section from pages 136-163, in my opinion, are a great way to work on your psychic abilities. I love this addition to the book and think that others might pay attention here and offer a bit more in the teaching than the preaching.  :)

Overall, I was surprised by the content of the book. I expected a bit more fluff and was pleasantly surprised. I think that novice witches and even seasoned crones will benefit from adding this piece to their magical library.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - 10 Minute Crystal Ball


10 Minute Magic Spells to Harness Your Inner Power - A Review

Today I'm reviewing 10 Minute Magic Spells - Simple Spells & Self-Care Practices to Harness Your Inner Power by Skye Alexander.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page

Release Date: May 9, 2019
ISBN: 9781592338818


Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.

Starting with a review of the physical book, I will say this is a well bound book. I received a hard copy to review without a dust jacket.  The images are more like clip art in the book vs. illustrations and have a lean towards the color gold.  I like the simplicity and the directness of the images and appreciate the color scheme.  It includes a short but directed index as well as a list of resources at the end which in my opinion are key to any decent reference book.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Src - 10 Minute Magic Spells
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Src - 10 Minute Magic Spells





This book is broken up into sections on not only the tools of the trade but also on specific spells for love, luck and happiness as well as health and well-being.  One of my favorite topics being health and well-being.  The first few chapters, on the surface appear to be quite elementary but I can say that once getting into them, I found them to be be quite deliberate and full of amazing information.  It is rare today to find a book that will try to not only share a spell or two but also provide a look inside the mind of the mystic and show just how magic is created.  Then the cursed references to "dark magic" begin.  Ah well, it can't be all the things, now can it?

I really enjoyed the sections on Mind Over Matter and found the tables provided within quite useful. Even the part on magical ethics was written well and provided a very basic understanding of the ole what goes around comes around take on life.   Part one of the book continues with information on casting circles, working with deities and the like.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Src - 10 Minute Magic Spells



Section two gets into the main part of the book, the magic spells! From using Tarot cards for love to or a talisman for success, this book offers the reader a nice list of spells to choose from.  Personally I like to add my own bit to making magic, but there is nothing wrong with using the words of another witch to get the job done. One way or another, your intention is what finishes that spell work.

Overall a really great book for a beginner and I feel the seasoned witch may like to have this on hand to pass down when the time comes. 


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Src - 10 Minute Magic Spells

What Does May Bring Now?

So why do I hate May?  I don't even know.  The minute May 1 rolls in I start to feel dreary and annoyed at the world in general. I start to cry for no reason and become so testy it isn't even funny.  I'm not sure why it happens.  I look back at my past and try to figure it out but still nothing solid comes to mind.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


I know its the month of Mother's Day. Which is a challenge on two fronts.  My strained relationship with my own mother and my adult child.

I spent the day today looking over old posts and see how my partner and I are still being used as fodder for the various anecdotes and stories associated with their childhood.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised at some of the tall tales that I'm reading over there since they are a fiction writer. I think about what could I have done differently.  What, if anything, should I be doing now. It all comes back to a single question.  Does it bring you joy?   The answer is no.  Battling for a relationship isn't where I flourish. I don't do well with having to demand attention from someone. I prefer that someone wants to communicate with me.  They want to hang out or chat.  They want to share their life with me.  I don't want to be an accessory.  To me, I would rather not be included at all than to be tolerated. And at this point, basically I am just that.  A tolerated accessory, to claim the LGBT family title.  I'm worn like a sash in a pageant while the story line is told slightly differently each year depending on the current victimization.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Then there's my mother. My last discussion with her was being told that I stole money from her account after I did all I could to get her out of dept and healthy. I was shamed into hugging her and try to be a "good girl" a "good daughter" by my aunts. I was doing all the work while she sat in her denial with junk food as a partner and death on her lips. I struggle to even think about what I could say at this point in my life that would be anything other than nasty.  There is nothing left there and I don't think it could ever be salvaged.  While I know that she was a victim of the abuse just as we children were, she was the adult. As her adult child here and now, she still continued to be abusive. Stealing from me. Lying on me.  Being just as vile as he ever was.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I think the only relationship I really regret not having is the one with one of my younger sisters. I could certainly reach out and of course she like so many other members of my estranged family would welcome me back with open arms.  I just have to leave the past in the past. I have to accept them for being self centered and bigoted and I can come to the picnic.  I have to quiet down my voice and stop calling out relatives who vote Republican or those who clasp their pearls and their bible while their president takes away my families access to care.  I think I miss most of all, having someone to share things with outside my marriage.  I would love to go get my hair done, or have a girls day out.  It is deeply saddening to realize that even if I would suck up my pride and engage again, I would be faking the entire thing and find myself empty.  The fact is they just don't accept me and they don't want to give up the view they have on the world today.  I think that's why it makes me so sad.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
I have a wonderful job and I love my husband who is absolutely amazing.  I recently splurged and bought myself a new (to me) car that I adore. I'm cutting back on quite a few commitments that I have had over the years to help me be able to focus on some new things in my life.  I'm going to try my hand at painting.  Though the very thought terrifies me.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


May reminds me of festivals and vending like I did a few years ago.  It reminds me of the hustle and bustle of  packing boxes and greeting campers deep in the woods of eastern North Carolina.  A place now, where I am no longer welcome.  It surprises me to see the friendships that have grown since I removed myself from that venue. I think the emptiness comes from my own head trying to fully understand my part in this old place while being this new person that I am.

Photo Credit - Elijah Olson

I watch the wind blow through the trees and feel the fresh rain on my face and know that I am not part of that world anymore. I am separate from it and while it is of my own making, it is still has painful as a dagger through my heart.

Each door that has closed around me, has indeed opened another avenue of expression but still I sit at the end of the hall and see those doors.  I see them for what they are. A closed off area of my heart that can no longer open.  The hinges, rusted and the lock nailed shut.  I can see a light just through the keyhole.  I can press my eye against the lock but only see the clouded figures that dance in the distance in this world that I cannot access.



This is my May.  A time of reflection and rehashing.  A time of fires and fury.  A time when I sit apart from so many places I once frequented only to have the door firmly slammed in my face.

My grandmother used to tell me, April Showers bring May Flowers.  My question to the world, and to her if she were still here to hear my plea, what does May bring now?  The flowers are here. Now what?  I don't think I'll ever have an answer to that question.  I do believe it will get better. After all look where I am now. I can write about this and still keep a dry eye.

This May is much different than my previous Mays.  This May seems fresh and raw.  This May is about learning who I am and where I fit in the fabric of life. I do long for those relationships, but I also have to put myself in a position of growth. Where do I want to be in the future.  Who do I want to be?  I'm getting there.  Slowly, but still moving forward at a pace that is steady and comfortable.

Sometimes, simply running in the race is winning.




Spring Giveaway!!

Good Morning my witchy family.  I'm extending an offer for you all to enter to win this amazing Tarot deck gift back from Hardie Grant Books.  The giveaway will start tonight at midnight and you can enter everyday through May 1st! 


If you're interesting in buying the deck, here's a link to it on Amazon.
Learn about the creator here.





Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing & Empowerment: Jerico Mandybur, Daiana Ruiz: 9781784882372: Amazon.com: Books

Photo Credit - Amazon




Photo Credit - Amazon

Photo Credit - Amazon





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The Hidden Meaning of Birds - A Review

Today I'm reviewing The Hidden meaning of Birds: a spiritual field Guide by Arin Murphy-Hiscock.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Cover



Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page


Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.


I was a little surprised that this was a soft cover book.  I started flipping through and quickly realized how fantastic this book would be rolled up and stuck in a back pocket or tossed in a back pack for a quick trip to the park.  There is a short index in the back and a small list of resources.  The cover is beautifully colored and was a delight to actually hold.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - The Hidden Meaning of Birds

The author was quick to provide us with a "how to use this book" section at the onset. I like the fact she referenced to very reliable sources for bird identification and stated emphatically this was not a complete resource for birds in general.  Too often authors like to use titles like "the complete book of..." or "the complete reference..." only to leave out very valid voices on the topic.  This was nice to see.  The author further explains that the myths and folklore associated are not the ONLY interpretations. Again, well done to the author.  I loved the suggestion for the reader to keep a journal. In all sorts of magic the best thing to do is WRITE IT DOWN. You'll be happy you did that later.  How much mugwort did I use?  Was then done on the Full Moon?  Where is that totem??   Trust an old witch when I say, write it down.  :)

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - The Hidden Meaning of Birds


I loved the chapter on working with the Birds spiritually.  This section offer insight into what you're seeing what you're seeing and what guides or totems may await you crediting our tribal kin from all countries with these types of traditional magical practices.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - The Hidden Meaning of Birds

Now, on to the birds.  The second half of the book takes individual birds and gives us a photo, the genus, popular variants, where the birds live, what their environment is like and the physical description.  The author further provides facts, myths, omens and associations for each of the birds listed in the book.  One of my favorite sections was the one for the Ibis. I adore the long neck birds and the grace and elegance. The omens associated are knowledge and writing. Perhaps because I've been putting off these book reviews for a bit and the Ibis wants me to get cracking!  LOL

The book goes on for over 200 pages of birds and their assorted correspondences. I am in love.  I have already decided to take this book with me next time I head out to the Bird Park and try to connect with some of these amazing creatures.

Overall this is a really good book. I had not thought of working with birds in this manner before but I certainly intend on trying now. I highly recommend this book for new witches and crones alike.








Crystal Lore, Legend & Myths - A Review

Today I'm reviewing Crystal Lore, legend and Myths by Athena Perrakis, PH.D.


Book Cover




Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page


Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Crystal: Lore, Legends & Myths

As with all my reviews I'm starting with a review of the physical book.  It's a great size book to toss in a bag to read on the go.  The hardcover is fantastic for protecting the pages and the cover is made well.  The index is quite thorough which I like to see in this type of book.  I will see that on several of the crystals not all correspondences are listed. While there are references to Inanna and Dionysus; Hecate was not mentioned.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Crystal: Lore, Legends & Myths

The photos of the crystals are large and full color and the book has several tables that show their properties and place of origin. There are several chapters dedicated to the location of each and gives a brief history of the area and the crystals as well as their modern counterparts.  Chapter 8 provides a list of the crystals of the zodiac with a brief nod to each sign and how the crystal embodies the characteristics of the sign.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Crystal: Lore, Legends & Myths

Overall this is a great book for the beginner and the seasoned witch alike. It offers a great deal of historic information as well as the basics you're looking for in a crystal handbook.  I highly recommend this book.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Crystal: Lore, Legends & Myths




Everyday Offerings - A Review

Today I'm reviewing Everyday Offerings by Lea Redmond




Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page

Release Date 3/12/2019

Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.



I decided to take a different approach to this book.  For the next seven days I'll follow the direction of this book and select a page.  I'll post what the image is and we can have a quick chat about it.  The entire week will be in one post.  I'll close with a final review.

Day 1

Receive - The card shows a snowflake in the right hand and the word receive in the left.

When I see the snowflake, I immediately think limited or losing. As a snowflake melts away when the sun shines upon it. It says to me that the things we receive, the gifts from our hard work or twists of fate. My mind says, be thankful; be appreciative.


Day 2

Harvest - The card shows two carrots on the right hand and the word harvest on the left.

To me the opened hands show grace, or thanks, giving to others. When I see the word harvest I think of plenty, the time of the year when we bring in the fruits of our labor and then prepare for the winter time or the time of loss.

My mind says, be thankful, be appreciative.


Day 3

Begin - The card shows an opened seed pod and a seedling on the right hand and the word begin on the left.  Looking at the card I see the message hope.  To me seedlings are  the ultimate beginning. It makes me courageous for the path I'm walking today.  I feel independent and strong.

My mind says, be hopeful, be positive.


Day 4

Pick a Good One - The card shows a ripe peach in the right hand and the words - pick a good one - on the left.  When I look at this card I see the full ripeness and readiness of the peach. It is nourishment. Our lives are full of choices. we can pick the a good road or a bad. I see this as a push to do the right thing.

My mind says, do good things and good things will return.


Day 5
Indulge - The right hand is holding what looks like a chocolate and the left has the word indulge.

When I see this representation, my first thought is of course poor eating, but then I understand the world next to it. Indulge. This is when you partake of something decadent on a rare occasion. For that I can certainly agree. Take some time for yourself and reward yourself with behaviors that make you feel indulgent.

My mind says, Celebrate life occasionally. We are here so briefly.


Day 6

Make Connections - The right hand is holding two bolts and four nuts and the left has the word make connections.

Looking at the pages makes me think of putting together the small things that make you happy into a spot that makes you happy.  You can connect the pieces in assorted aspects.  We pull together our lives into sections that make us better.

My mind says, reach out and bring together what you can.  I'm using this as a way to look at my current learning experiences.

Day 7

Be Sweet - Right hand shows a strawberry and the left the words - be sweet.

I try to look past the obvious submissiveness of the term be sweet based on where I have grown and the experience I have been through.  Setting that aside I can see how I could replace the word sweet with polite or understanding.

My Mind says, share your message with those who are interested in hearing it. Step aside and share the stage with those who have a message to share. Devote your life to equality of all lives, and take part in the steps to make that change a reality.

Overall, this was a really interesting way to present a daily card reading or oracle deck. Binding in book form makes this so much easier than pulling out the deck everyday. (Which I'm not above doing, so deck creators, I'm happy to review) The art is simple and fresh, the words, though generally positive are simplistic and if you're looking for deeper meanings, as with any deck, you'll need to dig within to find them.

I think this is a great edition to your bedside table or maybe in the bathroom as a quick peek before you're out the door for the day.

Sosanna's Birthday Giveaway 3

This month I'm celebrating my birthday with three big giveaways. One lucky winner (in each) will receive four of the books that I have reviewed over the last year along with a small token of my appreciation for being loyal fans over the years.



You can see the books in today's giveaway listed below.  Please remember that these are books that have been sent to me by the publishing companies and in some cases they have stickers or lack dust jackets and so on.  I hope that the winners are able to enjoy these books and actively go and post reviews on Amazon and Good Reads as these authors rarely get feedback.

The books will be shipped USPS and of course due to the cost of shipping I cannot make this available outside of the United States.

So enough of this - what are we giving away?

Set 3 Includes:
Star Power - My Review
The Chakra Handbook - My Review
The House Witch  - My Review
Key to Your Dreams - My Review


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Sosanna's Birthday Giveaway 2

This month I'm celebrating my birthday with three big giveaways. One lucky winner (in each) will receive four of the books that I have reviewed over the last year along with a small token of my appreciation for being loyal fans over the years.



You can see the books in today's giveaway listed below.  Please remember that these are books that have been sent to me by the publishing companies and in some cases they have stickers or lack dust jackets and so on.  I hope that the winners are able to enjoy these books and actively go and post reviews on Amazon and Good Reads as these authors rarely get feedback.

The books will be shipped USPS and of course due to the cost of shipping I cannot make this available outside of the United States.

So enough of this - what are we giving away?

Set 2 Includes:

Everyday Magic - My Review
Sex Signs - My Review
Herbal Remedies Made Simple - My Review
The Witch's Book of Self Care - My Review

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Crystals - A Guide to Using the Crystal Compass

Today I'm reviewing Crystals - A Guide to Using the Crystal Compass for Energy, Healing, and Reclaiming Your Power by Aisha Amarfio.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Source - Cover


Author Links - Link
Amazon Book Link
Amazon Author Link
Good Reads Book Link
Good Reads Author Link
My Good Reads Profile
My Facebook Page

Release date - February 19 2019

Generally I like to start out with a disclaimer. I am an contemporary witch.  I look for the connection between magic and science without the need to search for a creator. I receive no compensation for these reviews and all my links are standard Amazon links and not affiliate links. I am a practicing photo reader and have spent the last 16 years honing my craft.  I offer personal readings by request and have a strong online history that boasts nearly 400,000 views.


As with all my reviews I'll start with a review of the physical book.  It is a small book, in that it can easily fit into a backpack or purse for reading on the go.  I received a hard copy w/o a dust jacket to review. The outside is smooth and has color images of the author on the back as well as two large crystal compass on the front and back inner cover. The index is very small. Only two pages provided, both front and back one for the Symptoms Index and one for the Results Index.  

The introduction is quite lengthy and the author gives us her background on using crystals and the history of the crystal compass.  I enjoyed the section on how crystals work and their relationship to using their elemental qualities for wholeness.  This fits directly into several certifications I recently completed related to crystal healing.  This compass is a great way to bring those elements together in one place for ease of use and clarity. 


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Credit - Crystals

This book limits illustrations but the text is well written and easy to read.  The book contains a plethora of information and each chapter expands on the next in a linear but expansive thinking mindset.  The chapter on using crystals takes us through cleansing and creating a sacred space as well as defining earth, water, fire and air crystals and how each should be cleansed.  The energy exercises included are extremely helpful and I highly recommend taking the time to complete each in these initial chapters.

The remaining chapters of the book are separated by elements. Each chapter defines the area of life, symptoms of imbalances, how to nourish the physical energy body as well as exercises to "check in" on your current vibration state.  It is then followed by a chapter on that particular element's crystals and what they work with.  


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Credit - Crystals


The author tells us that the earth crystal related to earth is Jade.  It is for good health and vitality.  I won't give away all the tips on it but I will say that each chapter on the elemental crystals provide the original source location, history of the crystal as well as the qualities, what its good for, issues and a mantra in a quick reference section at the each of each description.

One of my favorites was the section on the Air Crystal - Purple Fluorite -  the qualities are mental clarity, psychic clarity, order and harmony.  Its good for clearing energy fields and problem solving.  It will help with confusion, or poor concentration.  The mantra provided is amazing.

I am clear, I think clearly, I see clearly, I perceive clearly, and I make my decision.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Credit - Crystals

Overall what I approached as "Just another crystal book" actually turned into something that I will refer to time and time again.  The author provides a great introduction as a beginner book, but then challenges the reader to rethink some of the old jargon around crystal healing and crystal work. This is a fantastic addition to any metaphysical or crystal healing library.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Credit - Crystals









Sosanna's Birthday Giveaway 1

This month I'm celebrating my birthday with three big giveaways. One lucky winner (in each) will receive four of the books that I have reviewed over the last year along with a small token of my appreciation for being loyal fans over the years.



You can see the books in today's giveaway listed below.  Please remember that these are books that have been sent to me by the publishing companies and in some cases they have stickers or lack dust jackets and so on.  I hope that the winners are able to enjoy these books and actively go and post reviews on Amazon and Good Reads as these authors rarely get feedback.

The books will be shipped USPS and of course due to the cost of shipping I cannot make this available outside of the United States.

So enough of this - what are we giving away?

Set 1 Includes:

The Divination Handbook - My Review
Astrology for Happiness and Success - My Review
Tarot Made Simple - My Review
Celtic Myth and Magic



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Empathetic Eating - Is WFPB Right for Empaths

For the majority of my life I have had a connection with the energy of both humans and animals alike. I have been able to "feel" the pain of those around me and even been able to sense what is going to happen before it happens.  As a child as I would eat meat I would feel pain in my body and soul.  I couldn't touch raw meat and had to wear gloves to work with it in the kitchen.  When I would cut a piece of meat my brain would flash images of me cutting my own hands and fingers while the blade sliced through the meat.



I always thought there was something wrong with me.  As I matured in witchcraft I watched those around me who practiced.  I watched their magic and their lives. I took note of what their skin looked like, what their hands looked like and what their aura looked like.  I slowly began to think that perhaps there was much more happening here that meets the eye.

For the majority of my life I have been obese. Recently I changed over to a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle (WFPB). You can read about my journey here.  As I switched over to a plant based diet I found that my senses were changing. I am now able to focus on things I could not before.

Photo Credit - Elijah Olson


I completed my Holistic Wellness Coach Certification and completed an International Yogi Certification.  I'm currently working on a Mediation Coach Certification.  All things that were always just outside my ability to focus on in order to complete.  I am amazed at the way the fog has lifted off my brain and now I no longer require a stack of sticky notes to remind me of things.  I no longer write down every single thing in order to remember it.  My mind is now here in the present with my body and working to achieve my goals as I lay them out as opposed to the broken, struggled life I was experiencing before.

I quickly began researching what empathetic people tend to eat and I found some pretty interesting information around it.  I'm sure there are just as many on the other side, so please understand I am not knocking the abilities of those who do not follow a WFPB lifestyle. I am simply showing what I and others like me have found by switching.   I'll be adding a few links at the end for you to review.

As my body began to change, my mind began to clear. The further away I was from the clutter of TV news and media the better I felt.  The more I removed animal products from my diet the happier I felt. I know longer had the hurt of the cows crying for their calves or the images of the slaughterhouses in my mind.  They drifted away like a bad dream.  My mind raced back to a class I took years ago that referenced the fact that all things are related. The table came from the earth, because it came from a tree, just as I came from the earth.  All things are related.

I made a mad dash to my science literature to find out what early man ate. If we think about this logically, do we really believe that early man ate a pound of bacon every morning? Anyone who has ever hunted understands that if they get one large deer they make that one animal last for their family for the season. They never loaded their plates with  more than they could use.  They all joined together and ate as one.  Looking at life today we can see how much we have changed. We can see just how far we have removed ourselves from the natural world.

I think the word Vegan has become a dirty word. I think that people associate PETA (who I detest) with veganism.  They also don't understand how much the meat and dairy industry pay in lobby money to our government to endorse their products. We forget that if we look at our bodies and the bodies of those animals that we eat today, we can see harm we're doing.  I'm not huge on showing images of baby cows being pulled from their mothers or the screams these mother cows make in the days and weeks that follow calling out for their missing young.  I can't share those.  All I can do is use my words to try to show the emotion that is involved in that milk.

If I walk across a cemetery, I can feel the energy there. If I walk into a room, or shake someone's hand, I can feel the energy they present. Why is it that big of a leap to feel the energy of the suffering of that mother in each glass of cow's milk? People think, Oh, milk and butter, they don't hurt anyone.  You just milk the cow, the cow lives. Yeah, that cow lives.  But the baby she had to feed that milk to is taken away from her immediately.  Males are tossed into small boxes to become veal and females are put back into the factory to continue to produce milk.  If a person wants milk we should be drinking human milk.  Cow's milk is made to nourish baby cows. They need more fat and calories because they're bigger. There is really no reason for a weaned person to consume milk. We are convinced that we need this through all the money coming in from the dairy industry.

As part of my Yogi certification, part of my assignments were to study the differing types of Yoga.  The first yama of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is Ahimsa.  The word ahimsa literally means not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or any person in any way whatsoever. Ahimsa is, however, more than just lack of violence as adapted in yoga. Ahimsa can be practiced as vegetarianism or veganism. In my case, while not feeling completely comfortable with the the baggage that appears to follow the word Vegan, I opt for the WFPB label instead.  To me, this cross connection with my Yogi certification, the Holistic Wellness Coach Certification led me directly to this place I am today.

I know that not everyone is going to agree here.  I mean we have been convinced by the powers that be, that Milk, Does a Body Good, after all.  We have be asked, Where are you getting your protein? There are burger joints on every corner, certainly our government wouldn't allow money to influence their opinions on what is and is not healthy.

All I can say is I sit here before you, weighing less than I have ever weighed while eating normally. I have removed all medications from my diet.  I have little to no manias associated with my BiPolar 2 diagnosis. I can walk and breathe at the same time. I can feel my energy increasing both physically and spiritually. For me, this works. Elijah has stopped all his medications as well, he's lost 100 pounds just as I have.  We're spending more time on yoga and mediation. We're cooking our meals together and not rushing around trying to check things off a list.  So while naysayers may contend that "we must eat meat" "we are meat eaters" I say, just try it.  Take a month and remove the meat and see what happens?  I mean if you're right, nothing will happen.

I think something will happen though. I think you will find that you are indeed what you eat. And if you eat fear, you are fear.  If you eat terror or sorrow, you will be those. I encourage you to go through the list of info below.  Look up the Doctors I follow and judge for yourself.

While I continue this journey just like anything else I do, I'll continue to research and share my progress. I know for me this is the right way to move forward.  In harmony with the natural world and the spiritual world. I know that my choice to remove these products from my life have had a huge impact on my abilities.

Resources:

Doctors:

Joel Fuhrman M.D
John A. McDougall M.D.
Neal D. Barnard M.D.
Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D.
Michael Greger M.D
Michael Klaper M.D.
Dean Ornish M.D.
Joel Kahn M.D.
Anthony Lim M.D., J.D.


Articles
Should the Empath Become a Vegetarian
Compassionate Eating for Highly Sensitive People
Intuitive Medicine for Empaths
Laura Bruno - What to Eat if You're an Empath


Books

https://nutritionstudies.org/plant-based-books/
https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/wfpb
https://www.wholefoodsplantbasedhealth.com.au/resources/books/

Caldwell Esselstyn
Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

Rip Esselstyn
The Engine 2 Diet
My Beef with Meat

Colin Campbell
The China Study

Doug Lisle
The Pleasure Trap

Neal Barnard MD
Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes
Breaking the Food Seduction
21 Day Weight-loss Kick start

John McDougall MD
The Starch Solution
Dr. McDougall’s Digestive Tune-Up
The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook
Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution for the 21st Century
The McDougall Program: Twelve Days to Dynamic Health
The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss
The New McDougall Cookbook

DVDs

Caldwell Esselstyn
Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

Rip Esselstyn
Forks Over Knives Presents The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn

John McDougall MD
Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution for the 21st Century DVD

The Jeff Novick Series
Lighten Up
Calorie Density
Should I Eat That
From Oil To Nuts
Nuts & Health
Fast Food Vol 1 The Basics
Fast Food Vol 2 Burgers & Fries
Fast Food Vol 3 Shopping School

Neal Barnard MD
Tackling Diabetes DVD
Kick Start Your Health DVD

Douglas Lisle
The Continuum of Evil
Losing weight without losing your mind
The Pleasure Trap

Michael Klaper
Digestion Made Easy

More Movies/Documentaries

Forks Over Knives
Processed People
Immersions and Programs

Dr Esselstyn - 5-hour intensive counseling seminar at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute
Farms To Forks Immersions
The McDougall Program

MORE BOOKS

John Abramson MD
Overdosed America

Gilbert H. Welch MD
Should I be tested for Cancer?
Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health
Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics

Nortin Hadler MD
Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America

Lists of Documentaries
https://nutriciously.com/best-vegan-documentaries/
https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/10-best-food-and-health-documentaries/


YouTube:

Why do empaths over eat?



Let's Talk Nutrition






Your Vegan Brain on Empathy



Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds



10 Plant Based Documentaries You should Watch



Standard American Diet to Whole Food Plant Based

I'd like to start this post out by saying, I don't expect anyone to follow what I have done. I'm also not asking you to change your diet in any way. I'm simply going to share with you what worked for me. This isn't a a judgement nor is it a challenge to ask you to tell me how you can eat meat and dairy and you're fine. I know some believe that they must eat meat to live. They believe the whole bit about cave men eating dinosaurs. If you want to believe that, it isn't my job nor my desire to change your mind. Frankly, if you don't change your diet it doesn't impact anyone else directly (me included) in the slightest. Now that I have cleared that up, here's my story.


I was raised in a household that was basically white trash.  We were lower income. We were on food stamps and WIC and we also got surplus foods when the government used to distribute food commodities to the poor for free. To show you how limited our food was, my mother would buy a whole chicken (fryer) for dinner. She would cut up the chicken in pieces.  She got two breasts.  My stepfather got 2 thighs. I got a drumstick along with my middle sister and our youngest sister got 2 wings.  She would add stove top stuffing and green beans or some other canned veg.  That was it. This was typical. If there were hot dogs we would have 2 hot dogs on loaf bread with cold pork n beans.  We rarely had salad.  I never saw fresh fruit unless my mother was making a banana pudding for a family event.  I got two oranges at Christmas time and a few nuts in my stocking.  I didn't have a nut cracker so we would go outside and crack them with bricks. All the while the emotional, physical and sexual abused compounded my lack of food and nutrition into a full fledged eating disorder.



I remember stealing food stamps from my mother's purse and walking to the store to by food. I sat in the field behind the grocery store and gorged myself on frozen pies. Yes, I ate it frozen. I was 12.  I knew I was fat, and I hated myself.

By the time I was 18, I had already ran away from home and was on my second pregnancy. This one all I ate was McDonald's because the child's father worked there and we could eat for free.  I ate double quarter pounders (my own creation at the time) and tons of chicken nuggets.  Never salad or anything at all resembling healthy food.


The father would do things like make me get out of the car and pronounce my dedication to Jesus.  He would then walk off from he like he didn't know me when we saw people he knew in public.  I realized it was because he was lying to his wife and didn't tell her about me. I ballooned in size.  I starting working for a computer bbs company and became a new personal to hide the sadness and utter self hatred I had inside.



One year his mother took us to Walt Disney World and my child said to me as we waited in line to get in the Tea Cup Ride -  she whispered, "Mommy, can you fit in there?"  I was humiliated. I knew that being over weight "ran in my family" and was pretty much convinced by my doctors and my family that it was only a matter of time for heart disease and diabetes for me as well.

Faces blocked by their request


I finally found a doctor that would help me.  Dr. Brewer in Virginia Beach told me that he could help me lose weight. I was knocking on 300lbs and needed someone to help me.  He told me about the Roux n Y gastric bypass that would change my life he said.  He never one time mentioned whole food, never asked me what I was eating.  He never one time said to me, You can change this yourself by eating vegetables.  Yes, we all know that eating veggies is the way to go, but while we're there seeing what WIC gives us and what SNAP tells us to buy it is setting us up for obesity and health issues.  Just before he put me under, I heard him say, "You'll never be this fat again."

  


And I did lose weight. I was thrilled! I got all the way down to 108 lbs after being a a completely liquid diet for nearly a year.  During this time I also got kicked out of my house and moved into my first full time lesbian relationship. I could only eat 1/4 of a sandwich or one chicken nugget due to the size of my stomach pouch.




The doctor had also removed the majority of my small intestines as well as my gall bladder. He mentioned a support group, but I didn't go. I didn't think I needed it. After all, I just needed to get skinny.  It was my body that betrayed me after all, right?  It wasn't anything I was doing. It couldn't be. Look at all the skinny people drinking soda and eating pizza.  They were fine.

I ended up getting very ill from the surgery and nearly died.  I had to have several blood transfusions and was ordered to eat a high protein and iron diet.

Fast forward to around 2005 and guess what?  Here I was again. Closing in very quickly on 300 lbs yet again.  I knew I was big and I hated myself. Again.



I joined a gym (like we all do).  A 24 hour fitness club and went to work out sometimes 3 times a day. 45 minutes at a time. I lost down to about 170 lbs. I was eating a low fat diet with 2 jamba juices a day (with the weight loss boost of course) and baked salmon for dinner.  I thought I was doing the right thing to get myself healthy again.  The photo below was taken at LGBT Pride in San Diego.  I was so excited to be able to fit into this XL Leather Pride shirt that I changed in a porta-potty.  My face says thrilled and I was.  But still in the back of my head working out sometimes 3 hours a day, I still couldn't eat just fish and have a smoothie and get below 170 lbs.


We then moved from San Diego back to my home town. Goldsboro NC.  It was a tragic mistake. As I was confronted daily with the demons of my childhood my weight grew and grew and grew.

My family sabotaged me when I would try to eat well. I recall, after telling my mother I was vegetarian, she shoved a slice of bacon in my mouth. They all (all of them but my grandmother) made fun of me as an adult. They would say, don't show Rhonda (they call me Rhonda) the poor chickens and so on.  It was the one of the most difficult times of my life. So I ballooned.


I became so fat I could barely get around. My feet and ankles swelled and were so painful. I had Fibromyalgia,  Heart Disease, Pre-Diabetes and the start of sleep apnea. I was making scratch made biscuits everyday.  I was making bacon and pork. I was eating everything except for red meat.  Because you know - red meat is bad for you, right?

I went to visit my adopted sister, Kallan in Maryland and Eli and I walked around DC on 4th of July. We were exhausted. I could barely move the next day.  We couldn't get in and out of the car when Kallan took us site seeings. It was horrible and I was so embarrassed. I couldn't believe I had done this again.

   


Eli and I both decided that day that we were taking all meat back off our plates.  No meat at all, but we would leave dairy. I started losing some weight. I was walking every morning with my fit-bit trying desperately to get back a more healthy lifestyle.  As we were getting better, I finally realized I needed to get out of North Carolina.



By the time we had set up to leave NC I had lost quite a bit of weight and fully understood that all meat products were bad for me.  I didn't know why. And I didn't know if everyone was like me, but I knew that I couldn't eat it.  We updated our house, got it set up to rent out and headed back west.  I left all the negativity and tragedy that was my existence in NC behind.

I fell off the wagon and began eating cheese again. Just here there, as we went out to places and slowly we began to creep up again.  This time I noticed it and I suggested we try Hungryroot. A vegan food delivery service to help us get control over our inability to feed ourselves. As we began to do that, Eli completed more classes in his nutrition class and found many of the doctors we follow today.  I look back over the last 49 years of my life and decided that I need to be healthy. I cannot continue to put poison in my body and expect it to live.  As I cut out the sugar and the saturated fat of coconut milk (my replacement for cow's milk) I learned that I really didn't need those things. They contributed to my pain.

I'm still not where I want to be.  My goal is to have a kick-boxer body by my 51st birthday.  This morning I did five push-ups. I know, it's only five, but a trip around the world starts with a single step, and this is my step.  I need to be gentle with myself and not rush things.  I have lost to date 105 lbs. I no longer have any of the illnesses I had before. I am wearing a size 10 pant and a medium shirt. I am able to walk without losing my breath. Because of our wonderful results Eli and I started Real Rations.  A way to share what we have learned with others. Folks may not be able to afford the books or attend the lectures. So we're sharing that information free.  We want everyone to be able to be healthy.  We want them to know that this way of life isn't expensive. It isn't a gimmick. There's no quick fix.  It has taken me 2 years to get here.  I still have about 45 lbs to lose.  It is a process.



I wrote this because I have had several comments on my posts regarding how I don't know what its like and I'm just a skinny person fat shaming.

No honey, I'm not. I'm coming at this from a food addicted, abuse survivor. I was berated and attacked my entire life for being fat.  When I was 10 my step father told me I was too fat to be a cheer leader.  I was told I was too fat and stupid to do just about everything. I am coming at this as someone who spent an entire year (just three years ago) planning my elder living because I knew I would need diabetes treatment and probably cancer treatment.  I had accepted that my DNA had sentenced me to this.  But I was wrong.  I have taken my power back and changed my diet.  I don't exercise, I don't go to the gym, I even got rid of the fit-bit and started to become more present in my actual life.

I slowed down, I studied yoga, and mindful mediation. I got my wellness coach certification and studied aromatherapy and crystal healing. I changed all these things just by starting with my diet. Whole Food, Plant Based.  That's it.  No pills.  No powders.  Only the magic of  fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. I feel amazing.  I want you to feel that way too.