Written by Sandra Kynes, Star Magic; The Wisdom of the Constellations for Pagans and Wiccans is a lovely book detailing both the astrological and astronomical side to constellations.  In the first chapter Kynes gives the reader a basic overview of the history of astronomy, discussing Greek influences as well as Roman, other European, Chinese and Egyptian influences into the science of astronomy.  In this chapter there is also basic information on astronomy including what constellations are versus asterisms, discussion on Earth's orbit, the ecliptic, etc.  This first chapter is very information heavy and technical, and to me felt like there was a small assumption that the reader would already have a very basic level of astronomical knowledge.  That being said however, anyone can read it and pick up the information given; Kynes wrote it very well and very basically. 

The next chapter, titled "Getting Started with Stargazing" is also quite technical.  Kynes goes into detail with the celestial sphere, how stars are named, how what we think is a star might not actually be one, and so on.  This chapter does also include a great discussion on where to go to view the night sky as well as information on the affects of light pollution on star viewing.  I highly recommend that you read and understand chapter one before delving into chapter two. 

In chapter three we begin the discussion of energy work regarding stars.  There are meditations included for accessing star energy as well as information on the chakras and incorporating chakra work with basic energy work as well as star energy.  In this chapter Kynes also includes information on astral traveling, dream work and the use of color and candle magic when working with the magic and energy of the stars and constellations.  My favorite part of this chapter is the discussion of ritual and of using specific stars and their unique energies in calling the cardinal directions.  Including things like this can really allow the reader to incorporate this work into their personal practice.

Beginning with chapter four Kynes separates the chapters into sections of the night sky.  The first set is for the Northern Hemisphere and they are separated into the four major seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  The information given for each constellation includes it's common names, latitude and longitude it's typically visible in, a description of the constellation as well as myths associated with it.  Also included are magical correspondences for the constellation, for example for the constellation Sagittarius there are correspondences for centaurs as well as notable stars located in each constellation. 

The last chapter is dedicated to the Southern Hemisphere and is broken up into four sections for each of the seasons.  The same information is given for these constellations; how to find them, descriptions and so forth.  I have to say I was very happy and impressed to see this included as so often books like this are very Northern Hemisphere-centric.  Star Magic ends with three appendices.  The first includes latitude and longitude for major cities around the world, both Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  The second includes correspondences for color magic.  This one is organized by constellation and then has the stars in each listed with the color which corresponds to it.  The last appendix includes a list and correspondences for the fixed Behenian stars discussed by medical author Agrippa.  These are followed by a glossary and bibliography.

All in all this is an extraordinarily worthwhile book to have for anyone interested in energy work with stars.  The book is very detailed yet can be understood by the average layperson.  Additionally this book is suitable for anyone, regardless of their level of knowledge in terms of witchcraft or Paganism, and does not require the reader to be someone heavily into working with deities.  I highly, highly recommend this book.

~Review by: Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Sandra Kynes
Llewellyn Publications; 315ppg
$19.99; 2015

 

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