Book of Interest—The Sacred Herbs of Samhain

How do you celebrate the deceased?

The natural world connects us to the Otherworld/Higher Realms/Invisible Realms. Through the earth, the air, and the waters we draw energy from on high and create openings to realms of wisdom beyond the physical plane. Plants, especially herbs, draw spirits from those worlds and enable us to capture the higher energies that they bring with them. While Hopman has focused on using herbs to contact the spirits of those who have died, she also offers readers a very comprehensive overview of using plants and their essences to generally draw in the energies of the higher levels of awareness.

The first part of the book includes instructions for using plants to make teas, salves, poultices, fomentations, tinctures, homeopathic dilutions, and flower essences. The next section contains detailed documentation for dozens of herbs (primarily those which are associated with communication with spirits), citing their history in spiritual/metaphysical use, suggesting uses for the modern practitioner, and cautioning about negative side effects and misuse. The last part of the book focuses specifically on the rituals surrounding Samhain. There are intriguing, simple recipes throughout the book.

Beginners will find many entry points that make this work accessible to them. Experienced practitioners will find interesting details and insights throughout that will pique their interest. Whether you regularly speak with the discarnate (as I do) or have a garden that seems to be bustling with life forms you can’t quite bring into focus, this is a reference book that you will find helpful over and over again. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Beneath the Surface

Can you hear them?

We watch young people, like the survivors of the Parkland shooting, mobilize in an attempt to turn that tragedy into action that makes the world a better place. Many of us wonder where they find the will and how they got so savvy about the global world that is watching. Those of us who came of age during the transformative Sixties understand that their message—so clearly constructed, so well communicated, so completely energized—hits a wall that didn’t exist when the call for change went out over fifty years ago. As a society, we are becoming numb to the legitimate out cries of others. There is so much social “noise” now, and many of us seek refuge from the suffering of others because we have reached injustice burn out.

In a lot of ways the younger generations today are on their own. (More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.) I don’t mean any disrespect for parents and parental authority figures who are in the trenches doing everything they know to do to help. But the truth is that Millennials and Gen Z’ers are charting new territory and, past a certain point, the best we can do is cheer them on. When these young people hit a personal wall and feel like they can’t go on, however, there is a lot that we can do and Kristi Hugstad has delineated those things as well as anybody ever has.

It was the suicide of her husband that led Hugstad into the darkness of despair that is severe depression. Her personal experience infuses every sentence she writes in this book. She also includes the voices of teens telling their own stories. The end product is clear, bare bones communication regarding the why and how of overwhelming mental anguish. While she asks readers to look at the truth of what is going on, she offers substantial, real-world actions that anyone can take to make things better. This is a book that can help teens find their way out of the deep woods and help the adults who care about them learn compassionate listening that contributes rather than shuts down. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Start Finishing

Can you make goal setting work for you?

Decades ago, I learned about the importance of setting goals and then working backwards to create manageable steps to accomplish the goal. I was even successful at using the technique to help make a major career change. And while I believe that there is magic in writing down goals and reviewing them, I also realize that without further instruction, most people don’t get further than the writing-down part. This book is about further instruction and it is state-of-the-art further instruction.

In 258 enlightening pages, Gilkey gives us they information we need to stop sabotaging our best-laid plans and begin doing our best work according to plan. Lowering the dread-to-work ration, habit stacking, after-action reviews, the gift of failure, the Five Project Rule, no-win scenarios, derailers versus naysayers, listening with your feet, and momentum planning are just a few of the topics that Gilkey covers in-depth.

My suggestion is that readers give the book a relatively quick first-read and highlight the things that stand out to them on that initial perusal. Then go back to the beginning and spend one week with each chapter, thoroughly digesting its content. Pay careful attention to the things that weren’t noticed on the initial read through. Those are probably the things that are blocking completion/success.

Gilkey tells readers that their best work takes a lot of effort. Seriously working with this book will be a very valuable first step for many readers. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—ADHD

Could you survive in the wild?

“Farming is stable.” Thus says Thom Hartmann as he explains why the specialization of function became the dominating force in most of the world, as least as far back as Mesopotamia. Once associated with religion, it was a force that rolled over most of the human-occupied realm. Ironically, specialization of function eventually led to the development of weapons and technologies of destruction. Did the Hunter Gene, when repressed, adapt to the “Farming Society” and resurface in a socially acceptable mega-form? But that’s not the point that Thom Hartmann is trying to make in this book. He’s telling us that those with predominantly Hunter Genes, while not well suited to success as defined by the current societal norms, are very well suited to become successful entrepreneurs, inventors, consultants, and visionaries.

He takes us back through the scientific history of ADD and ADHD, as well as the psychology that predates it. It’s all about the short attention span (or mostly about that). He calls on Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, and Ernest Hemingway as examples of Hunter Types who would now be classified as dysfunctional according to most educational facilities.

This is not a superficial treatise. Hartmann looks at this issue in-depth and from a 360° perspective. He weighs and measures the use of drugs like Ritalin in agonizing detail. He tries to make sense of why some people can learn to navigate around short attention spans and other can’t. He asks how far successful Hunter Types could have gone if there had been up-to-date support services available to them.

The neuroscience insight that this book contains is worth the purchase price. The degree of compassionate and socially responsible ruminating that it also contains makes it invaluable. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Blossoms and Bones


Have you made the descent?

The earliest written record of a heroine’s journey to the netherworld is the Sumerian myth of Inanna. The existing versions of her story are framed by the patriarchy (history is written by the winners) but every woman who has made any part of the inner journey to reclaim her soul will recognize that journey in whatever form it appears. And it seems as if the time to tell these tales out loud has come around again. A few weeks ago I reviewed Seane Corn’s powerful narrative of her descent and return. Now Melinda Mullen of Harper Collins has sent me this incredible graphic memoir by Kim Krans, creator of The Wild Unknown Oracle, to review. Both of these books are 100% woman-told and it is the raw truth that they are telling, no punches pulled, hair and makeup be damned. (Gentlemen are, of course, welcome but remember that you’ve been warned.)

In Kim’s version of the heroine’s quest, she is spending a month in an ashram in Pennsylvania to deal with a post-divorce eating disorder that is threatening to take over her life. After traditional avenues of healing fail to stop the invasion, she turns and faces the disorder head on by “drawing the feelings” that fuel the disorder. What the reader sees are the original, first-draft pages, as she drew and journaled to reclaim her life. The minor edits that she made are right there on those pages for all to see.

The end of the tale is the beginning as, after having added ten days to her journey, she begins the ascent to return to the land of the living, buoyed by hope. The book contains seven prayers that literally vibrate off the page when the reader comes across them. Thank you, Kim, for this special gift. PRE-ORDER THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Intuitive Intelligence

How well do you hear your inner voice?

This is the best left-brain analysis of right-brain functioning I have ever read. It will make sense to analytical and creative types alike. O’Brien has walked both sides of the fence successfully and he understands the value of everything he discovered along the way.

When he talks about making life-changing decisions, it’s not an intellectual exercise. In the late 80’s, he left a lucrative career as a software marketing specialist to create Synchronicity, a multimedia version of the I Ching for use on early graphical computers like the Macintosh. Eventually, despite a bumpy road, he ended up with a very successful ecommerce divination business. Then it was time for O’Brien to roll the dice again and that’s what he did. He sold the business and dedicated his life to sharing his Visionary Decision Making approach to success.

The VDM system is founded on Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity. Timing is everything and knowing when the timing is right (intuitive intelligence) can be learned. Creative powers can be accessed consciously and O’Brien details the skills that help us do that. Creativity, however, needs to be managed, and O’Brien tells us how to do that as well.

Drawing on ideas as seemingly diverse as The Law of Attraction and Chaos Theory, he demonstrates again and again that everything is interconnected and logical, albeit it in a non-linear way. The key to success is doing your homework then letting go. Easier said than done—until you’ve read Intuitive Intelligence. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—REVOLUTION of the SOUL

Where does your dharma take you?

In the twenty-five years I’ve been reviewing new consciousness books, I’ve used the word amazing more than a few times. This time, however, Seane Corn has raised the bar on amazing. I will never use that word the same way again.

Seane takes us on a wild ride (she defines the Seeker archetype) from Chapter One to Chapter Twelve. It was while bartending in a gay men’s sex club in 80’s Manhattan that she met her first angel, Billy, a gay man who would shortly die of AIDS. When he asked if she believed in God, she replied, “I reject the fantasy that there’s a puppeteer controlling our actions.” After an intense discussion, he placed his hand on her heart and said, “God is right there…It’s inside us, and it’s what connects us to one another.” She tells us that she awakened that night to the simple truth of seeing God within in a way that altered the course of her life.

Seane bids us farewell at the end of the book, by introducing us to an angel that came to her in a garbage dump in Cambodia. As she was touring the area, which had become a village for displaced people, she asked to be shown evidence of Billy’s God Within in “this horrific place”. “Where the f*** is God?” Almost instantly she feels a small hand in her hand and discovers that a young boy has given her a red and silver, heart-shaped medallion — and thus she brings us full circle, back to the beginning and her first spiritual teacher.

Many of you might read this book because she is known as a yoga teacher to the rich and famous. She gives that power back to readers over and over again as she weaves an enlightened thread through her narrative about the illusion of privilege and the true source of power. Whatever you are looking for, Seane has something of interest to say to you. Don’t miss this one. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Slavic Witchcraft

Are you ready for real conjure?

This author is a fifth-generation hereditary witch who was born and raised in the Soviet state. The ancient secrets of magic, healing, and fortune-telling were a part of everyday life when she was growing up. It was a world where metaphysics was woven into the culture and where the belief was that, if you empowered yourself, you could change the world.

The book is an original mix of history, mysticism, and practical spellworking. Helvin explains the combining of paganism with Christianity in Russia, relating it to the same “dual faith” in the Caribbean broadly known as Voodoo. She introduces us to the rites and pagan gods of the ancient Slavs. Throughout the book she traces the path from ancient nature-based spirituality into modern pagan practices.

The bulk of the book is comprised of spells and she doesn’t water them down for novice sensibilities. In addition to sprinkling salt and collecting morning dew, there are more than few that require things like anthills, graveyard dirt, and chicken feet. She is recording real world (mostly peasant) practices, not creating palatable derivatives. My favorite chapter is Chapter Two. It is a thorough, yet readable, overview of the way energy can be collected and focused to achieve shifts in the material world. Also in this chapter, she covers many of the basics of initiate work that exist in any true path of metaphysical unfoldment.

I’m not sure how many of you will be taking picnic baskets to cemeteries at midnight to summon the spirits of the deceased but I am sure that, whatever your inclinations, you will find more than a few things of interest in these well-thought-out pages. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Beyond the Known: REALIZATION

How high are you ready to go?

As I began reading this book, I got flashes of memories going back to when I first read A Course in Miracles and the writings of Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey. I soon became aware that, while this is also a channeled text (unedited) with implanted spiritual energy links, it is definitely a channeled text for the 21st century. The language and explanations are less obtuse (and less sexist) and, in my opinion, the lessons shared are intended to move those of us incarnate on the Physical Plane now to a new level of comprehension of the higher wisdom. Gen X’s and Millenials will probably connect with it much more easily than those of us who have been studying esoteric, spiritual principles for decades. It is written for the world they were born into.

Paul’s (I take the liberty of referring to him as his guides do) guides use the metaphor of visiting an Upper Room to communicate the experience of moving up to a higher vibrational awareness. I interpret the Upper Room, correctly or incorrectly, as representing the higher level of the Mental Plane, the level of Sacred Geometry and the Higher Self. This is the level of consciousness where union with the Divine becomes an experience and not an intellectual idea. Paul’s guides go to great lengths to inform readers of what that means and how it works.

I admit I haven’t read Paul’s earlier channeled texts. I tend to avoid modern writings which claim to be channeled. Once I started reading REALIZATION, however, I couldn’t put it down. If you have any awareness of shifts in your spiritual awareness, I think you will be as grateful as I am that Paul has shared this compassionate and loving instruction with us. If none of the above makes sense to you, maybe you will want to give the book a try anyway. Paul’s guides might be much better at informing you than I am. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Set the Page on Fire

How do you write?

Whether you’re already writing professionally, working towards writing professionally, or just want to write more interesting emails, this book will prove immensely helpful. O’Keefe bypasses all the standard structure and form advice. In fact, he tells readers that focusing on writing “correctly” will undermine the quality of their writing. This is a book aimed at helping readers find their own voice and the thoughts that are best expressed with that voice. As an indication of the kind of maverick he is, he highly recommends Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write, originally published in 1938.

He offers his own, effective and time-tested strategy for getting published (The Four-Part Pitch) for those who are focused on getting their writing published, but the greater value of this book is its careful exploration of the creative process when applied to the art of writing.

I’m adding some of my favorite soundbite quotes from the book to give you an idea of what awaits you between these thoughtful pages.

“The best way to call on the muse is to write a little every day.”
“If you lose the voice, the pace, the sense of discovery, you lose the reader.”
“When you write quickly and clean it up later, your writing will be stronger and more exciting…”
“Good writers write well, and great writers listen well.”
“Writer’s block may be holding you back for good reason.”
“The act of trying to put your thoughts into alphabet will change your thoughts.”


© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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