A friend of mine, whom I mentioned in my last blog entry, has put out a very cool book. Josephine McCarthy (Littlejohn) has a number of books out on magic that are definitely no b.s. That is refreshing in this world of BNP’s or Big Name Pagans who like to put out a lot of double speak and less than well-researched material
This book is Josephine’s latest and I am sharing a link to it here because even though it is not necessarily Kemetic, I think some of you who are reading this blog might definitely benefit from it. If you can afford it, please consider throwing Josephine some cash for her efforts, eh? Artists, writers, etc. do deserve to have some compensation for what they give to us. For myself, Josephine has given much and I consider her a valuable mentor and friend. Please follow the link.
A bit ago, I decided I was going to actually publish the work and research I have spent the last ten years doing on Sekhmet. Right now, I am in the final editing process. I am tweaking the formatting and images, getting the cover to look more professional.
As for the work itself, it will be a combination of both scholarly and what I ever-so-affectionately term as “Mystic Woo-Woo”. You see, Kemetic religion draws two distinct groups of people. Those who are into the strictly scholarly and reconstructionist aspects of it, and those who are a little more eclectic and far less precise in the ways which they choose to honour the Netjeru. While it is impossible to be all things to all people, especially when you are a writer, I have divided the book into two sections. There will be citations of ancient work, and the other portion will contain hymns, invocations, rituals etc. that are based off of those in antiquity but are clearly either my creation or those which have come from others.
Sekhmet: The Beauty and the Terror is a labor of love. It is rooted in both ancient and modern practices of both myself and of others who count themselves as Sekhmet’s children. If this labor of love can help someone or give them insight to what Sekhmet is all about, then I am happy. If it does what many other books and projects within the Kemetic community do and sparks dialogue, incites debate or even ignites jealousy – all of which have this wonderful tendency to place a flame thrower to the arse of others who believes they can do it better, then I will definitely have done my job!
I am publishing this book myself as an independent publisher with my own publishing company. Ma’at Publishing, which was officially founded in 1994, but I had been using the name long before that. This work will be exclusive to Amazon for the first 90 days, after which I will release in other forms including on sites such as Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, and the like. The cover price is projected to be $9.99 USD regardless of platform.
NON-FICTION : “Plants of Love: The History of Aphrodisiacs, and A Guide to Their Identification and Use“, by Christian Ratsch, 1997 10 Speed Press, ISBN 089815-928-8 $19.95 (US)
CONTENT: Christian Ratsch has done it again with his wonderfully illustrated guide to yet another aspect of all things herbal. He pulls together the appropriate amounts of history, monographs including pictures that would help someone identify the plant in the wild. There are over a thousand plants that through history have been or are still being used as aphrodisiacs, and Ratsch rarely shies away from the frank discussion of any of them. He presents the information both interesting and shares enough knowledge to be of interest to the layperson, the Witch, as well as the scholar or the practising herbalist.
As far as books on the topic of Aphrodisiacs and their uses, Ratsch does the best job of any that I have seen. Far too many either get into debunking as to why these plants have been or are still useful, or they throw alot of urban legend into the mix without qualifying the information. Such practices cause plants (and even some animals) to be used in the process of trying to induce an erotic state or increase virility or fertility; some to the point of endangerment. Thankfully Ratsch is very conscious of this problem.
There are recipes for infusions, ointments, incenses and brews that are sure to entice. I was disappointed that Nymphaea caerulea or Blue “Lotus” (which is actually a blue water lily) was not included. I have tinctured and worked with this plant extensively and was very surprised, especially with its symbology and history that there was no discussion of it. There is a small bit of information about Nelumbo nucifera or ‘true’ Lotus, which is native to India and Asia that was very inclusive – as were most of all of the other entries.
RATING: B+ My only disappointment is that there is not even more in this book. There is a frank and extended discussion of even more plants in his latest book, including the ones that I was disappointed not seeing in this one, “Psychoactive Plants” which I am currently reading and will most probably be reviewing next. I definitely recommend “Plants of Love” as a great addition to any herbal library, however.