Dumars has an easy, conversational writing style.  She offers ironic asides which are amusing and fit the style and tone of the writing.  Dumars expresses her belief that “many of us are turning into seasonal pagans celebrating the major sabbats but not practicing our religion actively throughout they year on a regular basis.” (page 11)  This is the entire premise of the book.  If you only practice the major sabbats she offers you ways to incorporate pagan beliefs into your daily life.  She talks about meditating for 15 to 30 minutes for certain activities.  This may be great for beginners who are still working on building their meditation times but for experienced meditators this seems too short.  If she is writing for a beginner she leaves out key instructions on the practices and meditations.  If her intention is to write for the more experienced practitioner she is a bit too simplistic.

Dumars encourages morning martins with a pagan twist and giving over problems to the deities.  These are very Christian ideas and practices.  To simply use pagan words and deities may make some beginners more comfortable; however, it is unoriginal and unimaginative particularly for the more advanced pagan.

Dumars has some interesting guided meditations but instead of organizing instructions and then the guided meditation she has the instructions interspersed throughout the meditation.  This interrupts the flow of the meditation. 

Dumars also promotes mixing spiritual beliefs with professional life.  In a time when spiritual freedoms are being severely restricted this can be hazardous and unprofessional, depending on the individual's profession.

In the latter part of the book, Dumars expresses surprise at people choosing to practice magic but refraining from having a relationship with deity.  This demonstrates at worst an intolerance for those with differing beliefs and at the best a lack of understanding of the wide array of beliefs systems her readers may have. 

Conversely Dumars has an interesting section on magic for the whole family.  She has some simple ways to involve the whole family in performing magic from shielding to raising energy to scrying.  She goes in depth on how to assist a child in selecting and becoming comfortable with tarot cards and using cards, crystal balls and scrying mirrors.  This section of the book was wonderful in that it gives great ways to gently introduce these topics to children. 

Overall Dumars has a sardonic quirky sense of humor which makes for fun and easy reading.  However her insistence of affirmations and magic involving deities in one form or another may discourage someone who does not follow that path.  While she has some affirmations and guided meditations, the meditations are poorly organized; therefore, lack a cohesive rhythm.  Both affirmations and meditations are generally deity focused.  If you follow a similar path to Dumars this book will be highly useful.  However, to those who follow a different path it is an interesting ironic take on life but lacks depth and consideration for others beliefs.

~review by Eileen Troemel

Author: Denise Dumars
New Page Books, 2006
pp. 224, $16.99

Note: For a very different review of this book, please see our review, here.

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