Book Review: Color & Conjure

Color and Conjure: Rituals & Magic Spells to Color

Text: Natalie Zaman

Art: Wendy Martin

Llewellyn Books, 2017

$14.99 PB, 176 pages

 

Just in time for Halloween/Samhain is a lovely witchy coloring book, Color & Conjure with spells and commentary by Natalie Zaman and line drawings by Wendy Martin. If you’re a witch, pagan, or are interested in spells AND you enjoy coloring, then this is the PERFECT coloring book for you.

Containing 176 pages, Color & Conjure consists of 13 sections:

  • How to use this book
  • Money
  • Love
  • Family
  • Protection
  • Health
  • Creativity
  • Personal Power
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Magic & Nature
  • Awaken the Chakras
  • Coloring pages
  • Resources for adapting & enhancing your spells

In the section entitled, “How to use this book,” Natalie Zaman points out that intention and focus are of primary importance when performing spells & that coloring can be a valuable tool that helps to increase focus upon magical intentions. When you combine your intention, focus, a few well-thought-out words and perhaps some magical correspondences suddenly your coloring page becomes a powerful magical tool.

Color & Conjure is not simply a magical-themed coloring book. There are other titles that fit that description. Color & Conjure combines coloring with actual spells so that your own coloring can be used in combination with candles, oils, herbs, and other tools in order to set energies into motion that help to manifest positive change in your life.

Each chapter consists of 3 – 5 (mostly 5) spells with the chapter on the chakras containing seven, one spell for each of the seven main chakras. Instructions on how to perform the spell are included that cover wording, the use of candles & easily available kitchen herbs, and also suggestions as to which colors to use to color in the images based upon the meaning and magical correspondences of the colors. Instructions are very simple so even if you have no experience with spells you will be able to easily put Color & Conjure to good use.

What I particularly like about Color & Conjure, other than the wonderful idea of combining spells with coloring, is that the pages on which the spells are printed always include a small version of the corresponding coloring page, which is located in full size in the latter half of the book. You can follow the author’s coloring suggestions on that smaller version of the coloring page or make up your own just to see what it would look like and then color in the main coloring page. That smaller version of the coloring page is a great place to experiment with color and artistic mediums. The type of paper used in the coloring book is the same throughout so you will know how your artistic mediums will respond on the large coloring pages by practicing on their smaller counterparts. Each chapter’s lead page also has an image you can color.

Each spell includes the page number of the corresponding coloring page. For example, on page 38 the spell, “Mirror, Mirror,” which is a spell for self-love and self-appreciation has a smaller version of its corresponding coloring page on the lower left-hand side, along with a ribbon that includes a hand pointing to the words, “see coloring page 121 where you will find a large version of the same coloring image on page 38.

color & conjure color pageThe page numbers of the coloring pages are 1/3” from the bottom edge of the page next to the binding of the book. Each coloring page is completely perforated for easy removal for coloring and you can then set the page with your candles and other magical tools when performing the spell. Coloring pages are all printed single-sided.

After the spell is completed you can bury the coloring page, burn it, or keep it in your Book of Shadows as a remembrance of the spell you performed. I really like how the page numbers are so close to the binding. When you pull the coloring page out of the book the page number remains within the book so all you have on your coloring page is the image itself.

Coloring images have a ¾” border on all four sides so you can even frame these if you so desire. Wendy Martin’s use of line is quite pleasing to the eye. Line thickness varies ever so slightly throughout each coloring page that helps to emphasize some symbols over others. Many adult coloring books have highly intricate images for which you need to use something with a very fine point like gel pens. Wendy’s images have large enough areas to color that you can easily use crayons with Color & Conjure. Many adult coloring books do not work well with crayons due to the intricacy of the images. The drawings have an overall open and friendly energy to them and the compositions are all pleasing to the eye.

Color & Conjure will appeal to any magically minded person who also enjoys to color, but even if you don’t, this coloring book is a great resource of very simple and easy to perform spells. I recommend it to any artistically inclined witch, but also to anyone who would like a resource of quick and simple spells.

The remainder of this review is intended for artists and colorists who wish to know the technical details regarding how this paper accepts various artistic mediums:

  • Overall size: 9 x 9 x 1/2″
  • Paperback
  • Page total: 176
  • Main coloring pages: 50
  • Smaller versions of main coloring pages: 50
  • Images of chapter headings: 11
  • Title page coloring image: 1
  • Concluding page image: 1
  • Perforation: yes
  • Protective sheet: none
  • Paper weight: 60 lbs (my best estimate)
  • Recommended artistic mediums:
    • colored pencils ~ layering & burnishing up to 4 layers of colors works well on this paper weight. I have not tried more than 4 layers of color.
    • crayons
    • water-based markers ~ I used Tomball, Zig, and a generic no-name store brand. This paper holds up well to 4 layers of blended water-based markers. As you add a fourth layer be careful because at this point the color will begin to bleed through the page.
    • Gel, glitter, and milk pens

Color & Conjure derwentI did attempt to use Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. I layered 3 colors and then applied water somewhat sparingly. The paper did buckle on the colored surface as well as the reverse side of the page. Most of the buckling disappeared once the page was completely dry, but I can still feel the buckling if I run my fingers over the page; as a result, I do not recommend watercolor pencils or watercolors.

Crayons and colored pencils GLIDE over this paper. I had to be careful to not run out of the lines because the crayons and pencils glide so easily and quickly. This paper also helps crayons and colored pencils to present a very level color coverage. I did not see any streaking as I applied color. Gel, glitter, and milk pens all present even coverage on this paper so I highly recommend their use for smaller areas of the line drawings.

Color & Conjure pageNote: If you are like me you may be hesitant to mar your coloring book with color. There is a simple fix. This is what I do with my coloring books. I basically very carefully take them apart. This is the method I use and so far I have not ruined a single image:

  • I carefully cut or tear the front and back covers from the spine of the coloring book.
  • Next, I begin with the first image (or title page) and carefully bend the page back and forth against the binding. Bend the page along where the paper actually meets the glue of the binding.
  • As you see the page begin to give slightly, VERY carefully pull or rip the page from the book. Do this slowly with patience.
  • Do the same to the last page of the coloring book.
  • Return and repeat the process with the remaining front page, then the remaining back page, and so on until you have pulled all the pages free from the spine.

I keep my coloring page originals in a manila file folder with the book cover for reference. When I wish to color an image I make a copy. Keep in mind that copies made on a printer can bleed based upon what type of ink you use in your printer. I copy the images onto 110 lb light cardstock. That takes any artistic medium fairly well, but again, be careful how much water you use if using watercolors or watercolor pencils as the cardstock can “pill up.”

Blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies

Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

Twitter: @NeferKhepri

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neferkhepri/

Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in order to consider it for review. I only review those decks that are of interest to me & which I feel would also be of interest to my followers.

 

Book Review: Tarot Interactions

Tarot Interactions, by Deborah Lipp.  Llewellyn Publications, 2015. Paperback $16.99 Kindle $9.99

How many of us wished we had someone to tutor us when we first began learning to read tarot cards? I learned on my own with the massive help of Eden Gray’s classic text, The Complete Guide to the Tarot (Bantam Books). It was the only tarot book I could find in my home town in the late 1970s even after much searching and asking (plus dealing with weird looks!).

These days there is a wide variety of tarot books easily available and the task of choosing just 1 – 3 for a beginner can be quite daunting and overwhelming. As a tarot instructor myself I appreciate books that read like a course on tarot rather than start off with a dry (and often incorrect) “historical” overview of how the Tarot came from Atlantis, Egypt, or gypsies, then goes into a discussion of the symbolism and meaning of each card, and finally concludes with the classic Celtic Cross spread & perhaps a few others.

Tarot Interactions does not follow the conventional tarot book mold. In fact, it breaks it, and quite spectacularly. When it comes to tarot books I am very difficult to impress. I’ve been reading and studying tarot since 1976 and have basically read them all. Yet I always go back to Eden Gray, and another wonderful classic no one should be without, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack (Weiser Books). I have been recommending these two books to my students for nearly 20 years. Now I can finally add a third, Tarot Interactions.

Tarot Interactions is quite different from the old formula we’re all accustomed to reading in a “how-to-read-tarot” book. What I really liked from the start is the personable method of writing Deborah Lipp has. As you read the book it sounds as though you’re sitting with her at your dining room table with a deck of tarot cards spread out before you. She is seated next to you sharing her method of reading the tarot while you sit there trying to soak it all up like a sponge. I love it when authors take the time to construct their writing style so that they are speaking WITH a reader as opposed to speaking AT a reader. Deborah Lipp is clearly well-informed about the Tarot, but she does not come across as a know-it-all. She comes across as a teacher who takes the reader by the hand in order to guide them through the material.

The title, Tarot Interactions, refers to how as readers we can relate to and use the Tarot. Furthermore, within a reading the cards interact with one another. Every two-card combination means something and also the meaning of a card changes based upon its position within a spread. In this manner the Tarot cards themselves also interact with each other. As a reader it is important to pick up on all of these nuances. Deborah Lipp explains how these interactions work and she offers a wide variety of exercises to take the reader through a learning process. Meanings of the cards are included, but she goes far beyond that and teaches through her book how the cards interact with each other and how meanings can change based upon a card’s position within a spread.

Meditation and keeping a journal are both encouraged, and I highly recommend at least keeping a journal as you work through this book. You will want to keep a record of the exercises you do and the results you get so as you work more with Tarot Interactions and time passes you can go back to check your progress. Meditation will help to open your psychic centers and heighten your intuition as well, so that is also a recommended practice while reading this book and beyond. Even as a seasoned reader myself I found the exercises to be useful. People who are new to Tarot will find the exercises not only useful but also great guideposts for their journey.

As I read Tarot Interactions I envisioned Deborah Lipp as a kindly teacher who only wishes for her students to understand the material at hand and is all too happy to share her own experiences with reading the cards. I wish this book had been written in the seventies when I was learning. It would have made my progress much easier.

I highly recommend this book to beginners, but seasoned readers will also find it to be quite useful as well.

Thank you for reading & I welcome you to share this post with your friends using the share buttons below.

Wishing you many blessings,

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells & Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies available ONLY HERE

The Turtle Lenormand: my most recent self-published deck. 28 copies out of 50 remain

Twitter ~ Nefer Khepri (all tweets are my own)

Facebook ~ Nefer Khepri

Twitter ~ Egyptian Lenormand (all tweets are my own)

Twitter ~ Archangel Saint Michael (I channel AA Michael who does all the talking, then I do all the typing. He will also be receiving his own section at my website soon)