Archive for Gypsey Elaine Teague

My review of The Witch’s Guide to Wands by Gypsey Elaine Teague

Posted in Magick with tags , on June 22, 2015 by Occult Detective


I’ve had a lifelong fascination with wands, staves, and walking sticks. Having grown up in the midst of a small ash woods and a short walk to an even large woodland, I never lacked for any of that hallowed trinity.

While the majority of the wands that I’ve been attached to have been of the “found” variety, I’ve also turned a few, on the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club lathe, with some valuable assistance from my father and the late Chuck Leming.

I’ve fond memories of those turnings, a few winters back now, when Brent and I were crafting Ollivander-styled wands as Christmas presents for our kids.

We took it quite serious, and I’m happy to say, that same sort of seriousness is found in Gypsey Elaine Teague’s new book,  The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand.

If, like me, you have any sort of interest in wands and the crafting of them, I believe you’ll be delighted by this book. One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Teague’s writings is her whimsy and embrace of pop culture.

Look, no book on wands would be complete without addressing Jo Rowling’s magical universe, and Teague does so with style.

More importantly, however, The Witch’s Guide to Wands is a pretty inclusive text and of particular interest is the section on Organic Wands which is authoritative and insightful. With personal anecdotes strung throughout, the narrative is elevated from a dry, scholarly work to a more intimate examination of the materials and the mindset behind them.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that Weiser Books’ design team did a fantastic job on this one, as well. Good, bright paper stock goes a long way with me, but the font choices and graphic design really sold the book, especially the illustrations which elevated the work tremendously.

I really enjoyed the time I spent with The Witch’s Guide to Wands and expect I will revisit it often as an invaluable resource. As such, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague is available wherever books are sold. You can order directly from the publisher by clicking, well, HERE ;)

Two Reviews: Steampunk Magic & Make Magic of Your Life

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , on March 11, 2013 by Occult Detective

I’ve two books to discuss today, each quite different from the other, but both an unexpected delight.

The first is one that I had more than a few misgivings about going in, but found that I was both quickly and easily won over by the author’s whimsical and ecstatic passion for the wonders of all things steampunk. Steampunk Magic: Working Magic Aboard the Airship is fun. Capital F. Capital U. Capital N. Make no mistake. If you have any interest in the genre at all, you will fall in love with this book, I suspect. It embraces the genre and all it entails and Gypsey Elaine Teague is a worthy ambassador.

steampunkWithin its pages you get a quick rundown of what steampunk is before it dives headlong into the business of working magic within its boundaries. From utilizing the tools of the trade, to invoking the pantheon of deities that make steampunk sizzle — can anything be more thrilling than calling upon Nickolai Tesla himself to raise metaphysical energies? — to spellcasting and ritual bedecked in goggles and Victorian finery.

Sure, you laugh. But you shouldn’t. If steampunk is your thing, this is where you throw caution to the wind and embrace it for all it’s worth. This is pop magick at work, no different than calling upon Kirby’s New Gods and evoking Lovecraft’s Old Ones. Who knows, you probably laugh about that too. But again… you shouldn’t. Magic is in the eye of the beholder. Passion and firm belief, coupled with the power of imagination and creative visualization, are the most potent tools in a wizard’s bag of tricks. Steampunk Magic embraces this and Gypsey Teague has crafted a wondrous treatise for fans of the genre who are looking for just wee bit more… and it delivers.

The second book I had the pleasure of reading this past week comes from T. Thorn Coyle. Make Magic of Your Life is a perfect companion to Steampunk Magic as it serves as a guide toward identifying what our deep desires are, with insightful and constructive instruction on how we might move toward those desires and manifest them in our lives. Coyle does this through what she calls the Four Powers of the Sphinx — to Know, to Will, to Dare, and to Keep Silence.

makemagicClever lady, our Ms. Coyle. Make Magic of Your Life: Passion, Purpose, and the Power of Desire dances effortlessly between the spiritual and the practical, with intriguing and transformative exercises fitting for the novice and adept alike.

T. Thorn Coyle cuts to the heart of the matter and delivers a powerful and evocative book that is a complement to your spiritual journey, no matter the path you’ve chosen.

Make Magic of Your Life is a book for everyone, while Steampunk Magic scratches an itch for a specific crowd. Both are worthy additions to your metaphysical library.

Both books can be purchased through the good folks at RedWheel/Weiser. Feed the beast and the beast will feed you.

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