Thea Prothero writes: “The book is brimming with wisdom and exceptionally well researched; this in turn guides the would-be diviner to access the natural world form a uniquely well-grounded and refreshing perspective.”
Indie Shaman is always a recommended read. The theme of this issue of Indie Shaman is “Shamanic Lands: The Otherworld,” and there are many in-depth articles about the worlds of the ancestors, from a breadth of perspectives and modalities. I have an article in this issue titled “The Weasel Underground.”
The author, Hearth Moon Rising, is very attuned to the natural world and brings a clarity and dignity to the animals she writes about, that only comes from many years of observation, magical practice and a deep love of all beings, whether four-footed, winged, swimming, crawling or slithering.
The review is on page 13. Also of interest in this issue are articles about the goddesses Hestia and Sedna and an article about ley lines.
In one month, my long awaited second book on animal magic, Divining with Animal Guides, will be available. I am giving away one free copy to USA residents before the publication date. If you would like to become eligible for the drawing of a free, signed copy, sign up for my mailing list! Click here. Even if you’ve signed up for my mailing list in the past, you may need to sign up again because some names got lost when I switched mail companies (long story). I average less than one email a month, so you won’t be inundated. The winner will be notified by email. Here is an excerpt from the book:
Isis was the deity Egyptians invoked most for scorpion protection, particularly as her cult gained prominence. Although many have categorized her as wife/sister to Osiris and mother to Horus, her popular veneration, then and now, relates more to her powers as Divine Physician. She was originally a raptor goddess, probably a Black Kite, a bird that prefers to hunt in marshy areas. The aggressive kite preys on fish, small animals, and arthropods, including scorpions and Water Scorpions.
Isis was especially valued for her ability to protect and heal children. This geographic region suffered from a high degree of child mortality that exceeded even what other urbanized societies of the time experienced. Children were in danger far beyond their first year and were usually not named until their fourth or fifth year of life. Isis was venerated as the deity that not only gave children but also helped ensure their survival.
The American Alligator is cherished because we almost lost her. In the twentieth century the country was horrified to learn she had been driven nearly to extinction by unregulated hunting,but after decades of conservation this key swamp predator is no longer endangered. Continued conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation rather than hunting, which is now better controlled. The alligator hunting traditions of the Seminole Indians inspired the American sport of alligator wrestling. The moves originated in techniques for capturing large alligators, which would then be penned until ready to grill.
You may think crocodilian symbology has no relevance to you if you cannot reasonably expect to encounter an alligator in a parking lot or on a golf course, but if you cultivate a gator mind you will observe that this creature is all around you. It is common in advertising. You may have a tiny crocodile emblem on your shirts, and you may wear Crocs on your feet. Words referring to the crocodilian family arise frequently in conversation, and noticing this, and other animal signs around you, is the starting place for animal divination.
You can now pre-order my next book Divining With Animal Guides: Answers From the World at Hand through Amazon US or Amazon UK. Pre-ordering the book generates interest and helps the publisher with promotional decisions, so if you want to read this book, please consider pre-ordering. You don’t have to pay until the book is shipped. Publication date is February 23rd.
Here is another excerpt:
No matter how much research is funded and how many papers published, ravens and crows will always understand us better than we understand them. Their survival depends on becoming familiar with our behavior, exploiting our weaknesses and avoiding our traps. They are now so attuned to our ways that they are aware of variations in speed limit along the roads they scavenge and have learned the basics of picnic etiquette.
Though our interactions with crows and ravens have changed as we have changed, the symbiotic relationship between us is ancient. Since they know so darn much about what is going on, it would be surprising if they had not been designated creatures of prophecy. Are they truly omniscient? Do they really know that you will have unexpected guests for dinner, and that the light on your answering machine is blinking? This seems like a bit of a stretch, even for me. The thing of it is, in divination it does not matter what the raven knows; what matters is what we know when we encounter the raven.
When Alexander of Macedon saw ravens quarreling at the gates of Babylon, the emperor knew this was an evil sign, though he continued into the city. A few weeks later he was on his deathbed. Ravens portended calamity to this man in this place at this time in his life. The association of ravens with death and ill fortune is the most widespread and pervasive in Western cultures. In folklore of southern Spain, for example, one croak of the raven means misfortune and three croaks means death.
But is disaster necessarily the message of the raven? When Alexander was lost in the deserts west of Egypt, after torrential rains wiped out the road, two ravens appeared, and the emperor understood they had appeared to guide his party. Soon the conquerors had found the oasis at Siwa. Ravens portended salvation to this same man in this other place at this other time in his life. Whether Classical historians were embellishing or accurately reporting is not important here: the contradictory interpretations show a nuanced view of raven symbolism, dependent on circumstantial variables.