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.

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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.

 

Nefer’s Witchy Tips # 2: Bay Leaves

02 - bay leavesHerbs have many uses. Bay is one of my favorite herbs. I always used bay leaves for banishing negative energy.

For example, steep them in hot water, then add to your mop water. As you clean the floors with it you not only clean up the negative energy, you also set up protection to keep new negative energy out of your home or place of business.

If you have a troublesome neighbor, take a large bay leaf & with a red Sharpie marker write their name on it. Burn the leaf. As it burns imagine their influence in your life decreasing. They will then go bother someone else.

Place crushed bay leaves along the threshold of the entrances to your home to act as a protective perimeter. Leave in place for about 30 minutes, then sweep or vacuum it up. The energy signature of the herb will remain in place for approximately 30 days (i.e., one lunar cycle). At that point renew as needed.

If you’re having difficulties in the workplace, place 2 leaves in an equal-armed cross formation somewhere in your desk. If you move around a lot at work so that you’re not spending most of  your day at your desk then try the following.

  • At home (not at work as this may look weird to others) choose 2 bay leaves that are as identical in size as you can manage.  Have a white envelope handy. Next, write your name on one bay leaf and the name of your employer or troublesome coworker on the other bay leaf. Sharpie markers work the best as they will not cause the bay leaves to crack if you’re careful and don’t use too much pressure.
  • Place the bay leaf with their name on it as the horizontal arm of the equal armed cross.
  • Place the bay leaf with your name as the vertical arm of the equal armed cross.
  • Tape or glue two bay leaves together in the shape of an equal arm cross.
  • Visualize yourself happy at work and at the top of your game.  As you hold that image in your imagination open the envelope and place the bay leaf cross in your power hand (your dominant hand) and crush them together. Allow the fragments to fall into the envelope.
  • When you are next at work discreetly open the envelope and sprinkle the crushed bay leaves in an inconspicuous place. Leave it there and know it will do its work. As with the threshold spell you may need to renew this every 30 days depending upon the severity of your situation.

Money troubles? Place a dried bay leaf in your wallet or purse. You may want to wrap it in a plastic baggie  or foil because it will eventually break. Switch it out for a new leaf every 30 days.

Relationship issues? Follow the instructions for creating an equal-armed bay leaf cross. No need to write your names on it. Place it under your bed on the floor as close to the center of the headboard as you can get it. Visual the relationship healing as you set the bay leaf cross in place. Leave in place and change it out every 30 days.

Burn bay leaves to alleviate stress & anxiety. The scent of bay has also been used for insomnia & muscle tension.

Bay leaves are inexpensive, simple to store, extremely useful, & no  witch should ever be without bay leaves within handy reach.

Magical education never ends. It’s basically a bottomless pit of age old wisdom 

~ Nefer Khepri

Wishing you many blessings!

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

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How to Perform a Spell: Supermoon 8/29/15

Supermoon!!! Saturday, August 29, 2015.

IMG_7883-1This is the main reason for today’s post.

The Supermoon (all one word) occurs when the moon is the closest to the earth in its orbit. Last year we had three Supermoons. As the moon is closest to the earth tides react more strongly along with our emotions. Emotions usually start to run high as long as one week prior to the Supermoon so if people around you have been acting a bit, well, crazy-nutso, now you know why. It will all blow over by September 1st as the last of the Supermoon’s energy wears off.

How you can best take advantage of the Supermoon is to light a candle for yourself. The Supermoon is also the full moon so that part of the lunar cycle can be used for any purpose. Just be sure to include only one purpose per candle. You can light multiple candles for yourself, if you wish.

The main things people are interested in manifesting for themselves or improving are:

  • Love and relationships of all kinds
  • career, and finances
  • Health
  • Spiritual growth
  • Banishing

Here are some basic tips on candle magic and then I’ll cover ideas you can use for each of the aforementioned magical desires.

First thing you do with a candle is you have to cleanse it. You don’t know what sort of vibes or energy it picked up in its manufacturing process, shipping, or while on the shelf of the store in which you purchased it.

You simply cleanse a candle by rubbing from the middle out to both ends; and, don’t forget to include the wick. Imagine gray or black smoke leaving the candle. The candle will grow warm due to the heat of your hands, but you may feel the candle grow lighter in weight. This is because you’re removing excess energy.

Once you feel the candle is cleansed (use your intuition!) it’s ready to be charged, but before that, be sure you have gathered all the supplies you intend to use. You never want to be in a position where you’ve calling on Deity and realize you forgot to set aside the herbs you want to use with your candle. Gather all materials, and the you’re ready to charge and use your candle.

Charging a candle is the opposite of cleansing it. Focus on what you wish to manifest. Let’s say you hope for a new and better job. You can focus on the thought, “A new and better job than the one I have now comes to me in the perfect time.” Keep that thought in mind as you rub your candle from either end toward the middle. Again, don’t forget to include the wick and imagine your desire entering the candle and moving down the length of the wick. This way as the candle burns and the wick and wax are consumed that will release your wish out into the universe.

Note: if your intention is to cleanse or banish something out of your life when you charge your candle you do so in the same direction you used to cleanse it. You imagine your intention leaving the candle, beginning at the middle and working out to either end, including the wick.

If your mind wanders at any time during the process, don’t worry. Just bring your thoughts back to the task at hand. If you have never performed candle magic before and you do not practice meditation it’s perfectly normal for your mind to wander. Don’t give up. Just refocus on your wish and keep going.

Once you feel your intention has been set into your candle it’s time to use it.

Items you will want to have on-hand for candle magic are as follows. You can include all or just some of these items. That’s up to you.

  • Paper plate (a MUST if you are using oils and/or herbs)
  • Either olive oil or an oil specific to your magical intention
  • Herbs specific to your magical intention
  • Favorite crystals or stones as an item to focus on (totally optional)
  • Incense for atmosphere (totally optional)

If you are placing herbs onto your candle, but you don’t have any scented oil on hand that matches your magical intention, use olive oil. Olive oil is excellent at absorbing energy. Put a bit in a small dish or bottle and hold it in your hands. Focus on your intention and “see” your intention enter the oil. Your olive oil is now charged for your magical purpose.

In order to place herbs on your candle, first with your fingers rub the oil into the candle the same way you charged the candle. Start from the bottom and rub the oil up to the middle, then go to the top of the candle and rub the oil from the top to the middle. I do NOT recommend you place any oil on the wick. That can cause a huge flaring flame when you first light the candle and those can be dangerous. You don’t want to singe your eyebrows!

If you are using herbs your candle is now ready to be coated in herbs. Simply sprinkle the herbal mixture onto the paper plate. Hold both your hands palms downward over the herbs with your fingers together as though you’re wearing mittens. Focus on your magical intention again and visualize it entering the herbs. The herbs are now charged for magical use for your particular intention.

Lay the oil-coated candle on its side onto the area of the paper plate closest to you and slowly roll it TOWARD you across the paper plate if your intention is to manifest something into your life or bring something to you. If you are focusing on getting rid of something (banishing), then place the candle on the side of the paper plate nearest you and roll it away from you.

Once some of the herbs have adhered to the candle’s surface it’s ready to be focused upon and lit. You do not have to get all the herbs to stick to the candle. Just some is fine. If there are empty patches on your candle, don’t worry. The important thing is that at least a few crumbs of each herb you used are somewhere on your candle.

Always be sure you have a candle holder appropriate for the size of candle you are using and burn it in a safe place away from drafts, small children and animals who might knock it over. Sparks can fly off of candles burned for magical intentions and they can be large sparks so also be sure your candle is far from curtains, books, papers, and other highly flammable objects.

Focus on your intention, repeat it either in your mind or out loud 9 times, also remember to call on whatever aspect of Deity you wish to work with, then light the candle. Thank deitiy and know that your intention is going out to the universe and that when the time is right the universe will manifest your intention into your reality.

The final step is very important. Just LET IT GO. Forget about your spell. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t wonder if and when it’s going to work. Trust in the universal forces you called upon to know when the time is right for you and go about your life. Those who dwell on spell work and wonder if it’s working or if it will work at all are introducing doubt into the equation, and that is the last thing you want because doubt will undermine all your work and your desired result may never manifest. Also, be careful if you tell anyone about what you’ve done. Many are not as open-minded as you are and they will also doubt you, perhaps even ridicule you; and, this can cause your spell to fail. So let it go and trust that your desire will manifest at the time and in a way that is for your highest good.

You may be wondering what herbs or oils you should use. I’m including a brief and simple list of supplies that most of you can easily find in your kitchen for the herbs. I’m also including the most popularly used oils for each type of magical intention. Again, oils are extra and not 100% necessary, but they do add a nice touch.

Note: herbs can be fresh or dried. Personally, I find it easier to work with dried herbs, but the choice is yours.

  • Love and relationships of all kinds
    • Herbs: rose petals, cinnamon, basil, nutmeg
    • Oils: rose, jasmine, patchouli
  • career, and finances
    • Herbs: basil, cloves (whole or crushed), cinnamon
    • Oils: frankincense & myrrh (this comes as a blend & you can also find them individually), Abundance oil (available as a blend from many retailers)
  • Health
    • Herbs: rosemary, bay leaves (whole or crushed, but if placing them on a candle be sure to crush them first), garlic (to drive illness out of the body)
    • Oils: rose, rosemary, bay
  • Spiritual growth
    • Herbs: frankincense (in the form of a resin) & myrrh (raw form is in bits of twig & bark), white rose petals, jasmine
    • Oils: frankincense & myrrh blend, sandalwood
  • Banishing
    • Herbs: garlic, black pepper, salt (though not an herb, it really works), bay leaves (whole or crushed), rosemary, dragon’s blood resin (this can be found in powdered or resin form)
    • Oils: frankincense & myrrh, rose, vetivert, dragon’s blood

Remember, the Supermoon is THIS Saturday, so you don’t have much time. Supermoon energy lasts for 1 week prior and 1 week after the actual date of the Supermoon so if you miss out on Saturday you still have varying degrees of energy to work with over the coming week, but the moon will be waning, so focus on removing obstacles to the things you wish to manifest and perform your spell as if it were a banishing. You will be focused on banishing the obstacles from your life that stand between you and your desires if you perform this spell after the actual date of the Supermoon.

Most of all have fun with this. Shoot me an email or post to my timeline on Facebook or tweet at me as to what you did and how you think it went. I’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you many blessings!

Nefer Khepri, PhD, R. M-T.

Author of The Egyptian Lenormand (Schiffer Books, 2015)

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Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

Text copyright Nefer Khepri, 2015.