Preparing Yourself for Spellcasting

by Leanna Greenaway

Some people love the idea of meditating, others think that it will be boring or a waste of time. The fact is that you won’t get anywhere with your spellcasting if you can’t attune your­self, so the following easy meditation techniques will begin to turn your mind, your psyche, and your aura in the right direction for the work that you wish to do.

Before you begin to cast spells, you must try to clear your mind and thoughts and rid yourself of any negative vibrations. Now let us take a look at meditation and visualization. It is impor­tant to focus when you perform ritualistic tasks, because you need to master the art of tuning in to your inner self so that the spells that you use will be effective.

When someone begins to learn the art of meditation, they usually follow the guidelines written in certain books or teach­ings. This is fine as a beginner’s guide, but as you progress, you will form your own methods and exercise your own techniques. There are many different ways to meditate, and I am sure that you will eventually discover the system that suits you best. What suits you may not work for another person, but as long as you practice regularly, you will find you can really can tap into your subcon­scious and become at one with yourself.

Meditation and visualization are not only useful for putting yourself into the right frame of mind for performing rituals, but they are also a fantastic sleep aid. I read somewhere that ten min­utes of good meditation is equivalent to four hours sleep, so it really is worth giving it a try. I usually advise my students to spend a couple of weeks working on their meditation before starting to cast spells.

How to Meditate

Find a quiet place in your home. It is probably best to lie down on your bed, but relaxing in a scented tub can create the perfect setting. Take care, because meditation can make you sleepy; so for goodness sake don’t drown! Surround yourself with scented candles. Ensure that you have complete peace and quiet and that your family and pets are unlikely to disturb you.

Take three deep breaths and clear your thoughts as you do so. In your mind, recite your protection prayer for whatever day of the week it happens to be and imagine that you are looking out through your inner eye. Keep your breathing steady as you do this. In your mind, count down from thirty to zero. Your body should start to feel light, floaty, and relaxed at this point.

Next, take ten deep breaths, but this time, imagine that with every inward breath you are inhaling all the magical energies of the universe. As you exhale, imagine that you are ejecting the negativity that is within you. This is called spirit purification, and if performed properly, it can give you a wonderful sense of well­being. The next stage is to take a further ten deep breaths, letting the magic that you have allowed in to envelope your spirit. It takes practice to perfect this, so don’t be too disappointed if you fall asleep; enjoy the rest and try again the following night.

Excerpted from Practical Spellcraft by Leanna Greenaway9781571747549


For the past 11 years, Leanna Greenaway has had her own monthly column in Take a Break’s Fate and Fortune magazine. As their resident witch, she answers reader’s questions and offers quick and easy spells to combat problems. She is the co-founder of The Psychic Study Centre and lives in the south of England.

Introducing The Weiser Books Radio Hour!

We’re thrilled to introduce our new radio show, The Weiser Books Radio Hour! Stay tuned for more episodes from some of your favorite authors.

Our first interview with with our host, Mike Conlon and Judika Illes!

Listen to “Weiser Books Radio Hour's show” on Spreaker.

Our June Titles Are Here!

Our June Titles are now available! Happy Reading!

The Big Book of Practical Spells

Judika Illes

“What a fascinating book! From theory to practice, it’s all here. . . . This book will be a treasured addition to any magickal library.” —Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, author of Grimoire for the Apprentice

“Judika Illes underscores the fact that magic is real and available to everyone. As she says: ‘Magic is your birthright.’ And there is no negative magic included—nothing harmful to you or anyone else. Now you have no excuse not to use it.” —Raymond Buckland, author of Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

9781578635979Practical, inspirational, and comprehensive, The Big Book of Practical Spells is a useful tool and resource for beginners and experienced devotees of the magical arts. Here in one majestic volume is a basic introduction to magic; a psychic glossary; a primer on the four elements, colors, and magical supplies (including minerals and botanicals); and a compendium of spells for any situation you may face.

With Judika Illes as your guide, you will learn how to enhance your psychic power, cleanse your aura, protect yourself from malevolent powers, and create and use a wide variety of spells. There are spells for marriage, fertility, pregnancy prevention, babies and children, money, healing, and transitioning to the next life. These are spells that will help make life easier, more productive, and stress free.

Previously published as Pure Magic.

(Weiser Books)

Chinese Alchemy

Jean Cooper

9781578635771Here in one slender volume is a basic introduction to Chinese alchemy—a tradition that dates back 5,000 years.

Chinese alchemy, largely associated with Taoism, has a recorded history of more than 2,000 years, but traditionally it goes back even further to nearly 3000 BC and the time of the Yellow Emperor. While Western alchemy was concerned with the search for spiritual and material gold, classic Taoist alchemy was a mystical quest for immortality with its aim being union with the Absolute.

Jean Cooper describes the history and development of Taoist alchemy, compares it to similar traditions in India and Turkistan, and gives it context by contrasting it with the rationale of the Western hermetic tradition. As she writes in her concluding chapter: The whole work of alchemy is summed up in the phrase “To make of the body a spirit and of the spirit a body”. . . . The goal of the Taoist alchemist-mystic was transformation, or perhaps more correctly, transfiguration, of the whole body until it ceases to “be” and is absorbed into and becomes the Tao. This is an essential guide for anyone interested in Chinese legend and lore, Chinese magic and medicine, and Taoism.

(Weiser Books)

Rumi’s Little Book of the Heart

Edited by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin

9781571747426In this slender volume, Rumi explores the joy of friendship and the agony of loss. These poetic meditations on the most profound of human relationships are like crystals: they sparkle with the many hues of the rainbow and contain worlds within, capturing us with their mystery.

Here are poems that cause us to reflect on our own relationships, to experience again the intensity of friendship, the ache of loss, and the profundity of immersion. This is a book for poetry lovers, Rumi fans, and all gift-giving occasions; a book to treasure and to share.

Previously published in hardcover as Whispers of the Beloved.

(Hampton Roads)

Runes, Plain & Simple

Kim Farnell

9781571747495Runes are alphabet letters or characters that have been used for thousands of years
as a form of communication and divination. This book, written by an authority on divination systems, shows readers how to make their own set of runes and how to interpret them.

Included in this primer are:

  1. A brief overview of the runes, from Etruscan times to the present
  2. A summary of the myths and lore that inform runic wisdom
  3. Definitions of the basic rune symbols
  4. Instructions on how to read the runes and rune spreads
  5. An introduction to runic magic

In the past 25 years using runes as a divination tool has become increasingly popular. This most accessible guide presents each letter of the runic alphabet in detail with its origins and magical uses and helps seekers tap into their energy. From making your own runes (and a bag to protect them) to reading the ancient alphabet, casting the runes, and interpreting the spread, all the basics are laid out in a clear, easy-to-follow, and superbly illustrated fashion, perfect for beginners.

This is a new edition of the author’s Simply Runes that was published by Sterling in 2006.

(Hampton Roads)

Red Wheel Weiser Staff Picks: Holiday Gift Guide

Publishers love books, but we also love to read them! And it’s not just the editors who do all the reading. We’ve scoured our library shelves to bring you staff picks from our back and front list, from the people who make them!

Pick 1: Death Poems

death poems

Death Poems
Classic, Contemporary, Witty, Serious, Tear-Jerking, Wise, Profound, Angry, Funny, Spiritual, Atheistic, Uncertain, Personal, Political, Mythic, Earthy, and Only Occasionally Morbid
Edited by Russ Kick
Disinformation Books. Paperback, $21.95.

Death Poems seems an odd choice for a holiday gift, eh?  Not really.  Though it offers a vast survey of death (320 poems by 200 poets) including the death of children, funeral rites for serial killers, war, elegies for famous people, and more death-ish-ness, it is actually life affirming!  Readers will find Walt Whitman celebrating death as an important part of the richness of life.  Lord Byron pens a beautiful epitaph for his beloved dog.  Emily Dickinson goes for a carriage ride with Death, and Dylan Thomas pleads with his father to go gentle into that good night.  Kick offers a “finely wrought kaleidoscope of ideas, attitudes, and experiences.” Celebrate the season (and life) with Death Poems!

~ Bonni Hamilton, Director of Marketing & Digital Content

Pick 2:  The Showings of Julian of Norwichthe showings julian of norwich

The Showings of Julian of Norwich
A New Translation

Mirabai Starr
Hampton Roads. Paperback, $18.95

Julian was a fourteenth century mystic who was an anchoress at the church of St. Julian in Norwich, England.  She is called Julian after the church where she served; her real name is lost to us.  An anchoress literally lived in a very small addition to the church she served at.  Her function was to pray, and the only human contact she had was through a small window to the outside world.  Her only other point of contact was either with the priest  assigned to the church or her cat, which she kept with her.

What makes Julian remarkable to me are her visions of Christ, set at a very patriarchal time, which fairly sing with love, peace, optimism, compassion, and most of all, of motherhood.  Julian proclaimed the motherhood of God at a time when doing so could result in a quick trip to the nearest stake with a match.

She was insistent in proclaiming God’s tender love for all people; she looked deep into God and said there was no punishment, only understanding and love.  She identified “sins” as mistakes and urged all to simply get up, not waste time on guilt, but throw themselves into the arms of a God who loves with a tender mother’s love for healing and grace.

If that’s not an appropriate holiday message, I don’t know what is.

~Meg Richardson, Sales Manager

Pick 3: Everyday Energy Boosters

365 energy boostersEveryday Energy Boosters
365 Tips and Tricks to Help You Feel Like a Million Bucks
Sondra Kornblatt and Susannah Seton
Conari. Paperback. $17.95

With the constant running around, over-scheduling, overworking, and undersleeping who couldn’t use an energy boost? This book offers easy ways to make the most of your day and find that second wind. There are far too many things to see and do and not enough time to waste.

~Kimberly Ehart, Publishing Associate

Pick 4: The Museum of Lost Wonder

J030023 Jacket.pdf, page 1 @ NormalizeThe Museum of Lost Wonder
Jeff Hoke
Weiser. Hardcover w/ paper model kits, full color throughout. $49.95

This book is a real trip. A trip in the sense that it takes visitors through a series of mysteries for which there can be no absolute answers, but leaves them understanding more than when they set out. It’s an adventure through various wonder-full ideas which reside at the base of human questioning. The Museum of Lost Wonder is one of those rare books which provides a lesson as an object, not just within the text. This lovely, oversize, full-color illustrated and illuminated book is perfect for delving into, parts at a time. Pull-out card stock models provide activity which stimulates the hands as much as the mind. It doesn’t so much explain what Wonder is as directly engage readers in Wonder, inviting us to re-experience and treasure Wonder in our lives.

Careful readers of this recommendation will note that there are not too many specifics given. This is a difficult book to summarize in a pithy gift-book review, but an easy pick to recommend as a gift book. It’s a Big-Picture (and illustrated!) kind of book, exploring eternal questions of humanity through a lens of mystery and awe. This is one of those gifts where a recipient will look at it–and you–quizzically, but may very well launch late night discussions about Big Issues months down the road, or remain a true coffee table curiosity object for visitors to peruse.

Over-the-top production values, truly unique and thought-provoking content, and a presentation which makes this a book which can be read at any point for however long a visitor wishes to remain in The Museum make it a perfect gift, especially for those who have everything: who couldn’t stand a bit more Wonder in their lives…?

~Mike Conlon, Production Manager

Pick 5: The Upgrade

the upgrade coverThe Upgrade
A Cautionary Tale of Life Without Reservations
Disinformation. Paperback, $18.95

The holidays can be a busy time, although the commercials lead you to believe that it will be a time filled with sweaters and hot chocolate, in all reality it is filled with stress and frustration. So what is the best way to relax after the most reeling time of the year? Well to laugh of course. The Upgrade by Paul Carr will make you do just that. Paul Carr takes you through his self entitled “ridiculous adventure” of living out of luxury hotels and giving up all commitments. Working out that it is actually cheaper to live this way, then in his small London apartment Carr takes his readers on a hilarious adventure across the world. Although this book will make the reader laugh, Carr’s behavior tends to escalate towards the destructive, teaching a valuable lesson on what is really important in this life. This is the perfect gift to give anyone on your list, especially someone who has had an especially stressful time hanging the stockings.

~Grace Goodman, Editorial Intern

Pick 6: Darkside Zodiac

darkside zodiac coverDarkside Zodiac
Stella Hyde
Weiser. Paperback, $24.95.

Sometimes, in a world where everyone is posting adorable little memes on facebook telling you to “shine bright” it’s refreshing to have someone tell you like it is: you suck. I laughed out loud, like LOL, when I read this line about my own sign, Taurus,  “Alright, being soul-sappingly boring isn’t the most stygian you can get on the Darkside (although tell that to your desperate family, mouthing ‘kill me now’ through the windowpane at passersby as you get out the Monopoly board for your biweekly game.)” You may not like what you read about your own Zodiac sign, but you’ll get a real good laugh to see what this book has to say about the signs of your family and friends.

~Hillary Peacock, Operations Manager

Pick 7: Steampunk Magic

Steampunk magic

Steampunk Magic
Working Magic Aboard the Airship
Gypsey Elaine Teague
Weiser. Paperback. $16.95

Even for the Scroogiest of us all, the holidays are the most Victorian season of the year, from Yule logs to plum puddings. Why not revel in the mood with Steampunk Magic, the only book that tells you how to invoke Queen Victoria for good fortune, celebrate your coming of age among the crew of your very own airship, and gaze into the Aether through consecrated brass goggles? It’s a little pagan, a little Dickensian, completely adorable, and the only magick system that’s just as at home with Ada Lovelace as it is with tarot divination.

~Michael Alexander, Assistant Production Editor

Pick 8: Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night

banshees, werewolves, vampires

Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night
Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts
Varla Ventura
Weiser. Flapped paperback. $16.95

Ventura’s little book is packed with vintage charm, full of stories of olden days, modern-day horror stories, true and terrifying tales. It’s just creepy enough to please any fan of horror, magical creatures, vampires, werewolves, monsters, fairies, and odd history. It’s good for tweens and as well as the decrepit, and holds a special charm for anyone who feels most comfortable at midnight. The package itself is perfect for a stocking-stuffer, it’s 5 x 7 with lots of charming spot art. Fans of Ventura’s other works will appreciate her inside-jokes and puns, and those new to this author will surely be charmed into wanting more. It’s one part Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, one part Bram Stoker, and three parts “sh*t, did I remember to lock the door?”

~Amber Guetebier, Editor

Pick 9: The Good Stuff from Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family

the good stuff

The Good Stuff from Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family
How to Survive and Then Thrive Karen Casey
Conari. Paperback. $16.95

I’m thinking people might like to check out Karen Casey’s latest, The Good Stuff from Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family, because pretty much, no matter how old you are and how much “work” you’ve done, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, things can get pretty hairy at the holiday time. This book will help restore balance and peace. So maybe multiple copies are in order—one for everybody.

~Jan Johnson, Publisher

Pick 10: 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women

12 secrets of creative women

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women
A Portable Mentor
Gail McMeekin
Conari. Paperback. $17.95

My pick is an oldie but a really, really goodie. Every time I open the book I get another shot of inspiration, whether I read just a few lines or curl up on the sofa with it for a rejuvenating break (we have this wonderful red leather sofa in the office, and when I’ve had enough computer time I sometimes change the scenery and sit there for reading and contemplation). Sometimes I just like to open the book to a random page and see what’s in store for me at that moment. Today’s “random” hit was this quote from poet Minnie Richard Smith: Diamonds are only chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs, you see.” Perfect for writers and editors and publishers and, well, pretty much everyone else who is trying to leave the world a bit better, a bit more beautiful, than they way they found it. I love how Gail draws wisdom from women from so many different fields and creative endeavors and finds these 12 themes—from Following Your Fascinations to Conquering Saboteurs to Surrendering to Cycles. We originally published the book back in 2000, which just goes to show that most good reads never go out of style. The book continues to touch so many creative women, and I just love that. And the new cover we added last year is so pretty to look at, too.

~Caroline Pincus, Associate Publisher

What’s on your holiday must-read/must-buy list?

Tune in TONIGHT to Coast to Coast AM!

Werewolves, banshees, and vampires (oh my)!

Author and connoisseur of the bizarre and the paranormal, Varla Ventura, will be chatting with George Noory on Coast to Coast AM on Friday, September 21st, 10pm-12pm PST. You can tune in live on the web or your local AM radio station, or subscribe (for a small fee) to listen to it later.

Click this link and find out what local station the show will be on.

COAST TO COAST AM

She’ll be discussing the Magical Creatures e-book collection and other spooky, ookie, freaky fun! Can’t wait until 10? Check out her blog of the bizarre.