Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The June New Moon Is Out--Check Your Inbox!

For those of you who currently subscribe to our email newsletter for booksellers, The Moon, you may have noticed a few changes.

We've streamlined the look, included new features, and christened it with a new moniker: The New Moon. As with this blog, our goal is to really connect with you, our selling partners, each month and offer support, guidance, and resources with the aim of helping you grow and thrive in this ever-changing market.

Our June 2013 issue of the New Moon was mailed yesterday morning. This issue includes:
-Craft: Celebrate the Summer Solstice by Creating a Solar Talisman
-Shelftalkers (Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Calendar; Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot; Your Essential Self; and Rituals of Celebration)
-July New Releases
-Llewellyn's Fall 2013 Catalog
-Indie Stores' Top Five Picks
-And Much More!

If you did not receive a copy in your email inbox, you can also view it here: The New Moon, June 2013 Issue.

You can also visit our website to subscribe to The New Moon, ensuring that it reaches you each month (please note that you will need to log in/register to be able to join our mailing list).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Craft: Celebrate the Summer Solstice by Creating a Solar Talisman

The Summer Solstice is right around the corner, so now is the time to start planning store events, home altars, rituals, and get-togethers. Looking for inspirational recipes, crafts, or rituals to help you celebrate? Llewellyn's 2014 Sabbats Almanac has everything you need to celebrate the entire Wheel of the Year. We've included instructions for creating a solar talisman for the Summer Solstice, which appears in Llewellyn's 2014 Sabbats Almanac. This makes a great craft project, whether you plan to make just one for yourself, enjoy some Sabbat time as a family, or put together a store event.

Written by Black Octavian Blair, Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2014 Sabbats Almanac

The Sabbat of Litha, also called Midsummer, marks the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year. This is a time to celebrate the Sun at the height of its power and the divine masculine whose energies are so closely tied to it. All of us, no matter what our gender, possess both the divine masculine and feminine within us. So when we celebrate the powers of the Sun, we celebrate as well as invoke and evoke that part of the divine within ourselves. In addition to masculinity there are many qualities associated with the planetary energies of the Sun, including creation, manifestation, health, protection, vitality, strength, and motivation, to name just a few.

This sabbat's craft will help you to honor and call upon these qualities through your own act of creation. It is no secret that Pagans love their jewelry, and when you complete this craft, you will have your own handcrafted solar talisman to wear during your Midsummer rites!  

Solar Talisman Necklace
Wearing a talisman is like keeping a battery charged with a specific magickal energy with you at all times and serves as a physical reminder of its corresponding goals and properties. This easy-to-make, oven-bake clay talisman features the inscription of a solar symbol and utilizes colors and herbal ingredients with solar correspondences to provide a sunny, energetic boost for the Litha season.

  • 1 (2 ounce) package oven bake-polymer clay
  • Bamboo skewer or a nail
  • Loose herbs of your choice
  • Necklace cord (hemp, nylon, cotton, or other material of choice)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clay tools (optional)
  • Rolling pin (optional)

Before you begin your project, you will need to select a nonporous work surface such as a cookie sheet, a sheet of acrylic, or a glazed ceramic tile. An inexpensive option is to simply cover your work surface with aluminum foil. Polymer clays are nontoxic; however, if you choose to use any kitchen implements in the process such as a rolling pin or a cookie sheet, you still do not want to use it for food use after it has been used for clay work. I suggest obtaining them inexpensively from your local dollar store.

Choose a clay of a solar corresponding color. Shades of yellow and gold are excellent choices and are easy to find. Upon opening your package of clay, the first thing you will need to do is to condition the clay by kneading it. Clay straight from the package will be stiff and difficult to work with, and kneading the clay and working it in your hands will make it warmer and softer. Some people like to use a rolling pin for this. However, it can be just as effective to shape it into a ball, flatten it, and otherwise knead it like bread dough. At this time, you can also simply knead any herbs you wish to include into the clay. Focus on your magickal goals as you knead the clay to further imbue it with your intention. A thorough kneading will integrate the herbs and their properties into the clay as well as assure that all air pockets are removed. The following popular magickal herbs all have the Sun as their planetary ruler in addition to their other properties: chamomile, cedar, juniper, marigold, sunflower, copal, frankincense, and bay. Use a mortal and pestle or an electric spice or coffee grinder to reduce the herbs into very small pieces so that they integrate smoothly into the clay. Resins will need to be powdered. Once integrated, the clay should still be smooth to work with. Stop kneading when your clay becomes warm and is soft enough to work with.

When your clay becomes workable, you can begin shaping your talisman. One block of clay will be enough to make two or three talismans, so you can tear off a piece of clay the size you want to work with. I would start with a little less than half and adjust from there. Because it will ultimately take the form of a necklace pendant, I like to make a round, flat oval shape. To easily accomplish this, roll the clay into a ball, and press down on the center of the ball with your thumb. This will roughly smoosh the clay into the desired shape. A good thickness to aim for is approximately ⅜ of an inch. I find this to be a durable happy medium between too thin and frail and too thick and chunky. Continue to adjust the pendant by shaping it with your fingers until you reach the desired shape.

The next step is to inscribe the front of the talismanic pendant with the solar symbol of your choice. Research various sun symbols and choose one that resonates with you or create your own! A simple stylized sun works just fine. There are a few different ways to inscribe this into the clay. One is to use wooden clay tools (available at craft stores), many of which have a flat edge, to press and indent into the clay. However, an effective and inexpensive version of such a tool is a Popsicle stick. The other option is to scratch it into the soft clay with a bamboo skewer or a nail.

The final step before baking the talisman is to make a hole in which to string the cord through when it is finished. A bamboo skewer or nail works well for this task also. Be sure you choose a tool that will make a hole the proper size to accommodate the diameter of the cord you have chosen. Take the bamboo skewer or nail and carefully insert into the side of the pendant, about one-third of the way down from the top. Continue to push it through until it pokes out the other side. Stop and back the skewer out of the clay from where you initially pierced it. Do not try to push or pull the entire length of the skewer through the pendant as that much handling can distort the talisman's shape. Once this small tunnel is made for threading the cord, gently clean up any rough bits round the holes with your fingers.

At this point, your pendant is ready to bake! Cover your baking sheet with tinfoil and then place your talisman face up onto the sheet. Now simply follow the baking instructions on the clay package. Each brand can vary slightly. When it is finished baking, allow the pendant to cool completely. The pendant will have hardened during baking and will be fairly durable. The pendant is now ready to have the cord threaded through. Insert a long length of your cord and adjust to the desired length. Trim and knot the cord.

Congratulations! Your solar talisman necklace is complete! My favorite way to consecrate this pendant is to place it on my Litha altar after its creation to soak up the energy of the workings and blessings that take place there and then to wear the pendant during my sabbat ritual itself. Enjoy your handcrafted talisman, as it is of your own sacred creation. May you be blessed by the powers of the Sun this Litha and all year long!

Time to complete: About 75 minutes with baking and cooling time.
Cost: $10.00 to $20.00 (makes 3 or 4 talismans).

Llewellyn's 2014 Calendars, Almanacs, and Datebooks

It's almost that time again--time for Llewellyn's 2014 calendars and almanacs to appear in our warehouse! Each and every June, it is always so wonderful to see the product that results after another year of hard work on our calendars, datebooks, and almanacs.

A look at Llewellyn's 2014 calendars and almanacs:

Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar: Llewellyn's Astrological Calendar is the best-known, most trusted astrological calendar sold today. Everyone, even beginners, can use this beautiful and practical calendar to plan the year wisely. There are monthly horoscopes, best days for planting and fishing, rewarding and challenging days, travel forecasts, and an astrology primer. Advanced astrologers will find major daily aspects and a wealth of other essential astrological information. This edition features Julie Dillon's gorgeous and inspiring artwork.

—A guide to the planets, signs, houses, aspects, and transits
—Travel forecasts by Bruce Scofield
—Best days for planting and fishing
—The Moon's sign, phase, and void-of-course dates
—Graphic planetary retrograde table
—Major daily aspects, monthly ephemerides, and 2013 eclipses

Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Pocket Planner:
Plan your future according to the stars. Essential astrological information is at your fingertips with Llewellyn’s Astrological Pocket Planner. Both beginners and advanced astrologers can use this award-winning datebook—the only one to offer three years of ephemeris and aspectarian data. Set the best dates for job interviews, weddings, business meetings, and other important occasions. Choose the ideal times to plant a garden, begin new projects, conduct self-reflection, go fishing, and more. Avoid planetary pitfalls by following the easy-to-read retrograde and Moon void-of-course tables. Comprehensive and compact, Llewellyn's 2013 Astrological Pocket Planner also contains a world map of time zones, a time zone conversion chart, and space to jot down your daily appointments.

—Daily signs, Moon phases, and aspects
—2014 week-at-a-glance
—Planetary stations chart
—Moon void-of-course table
—Word time-zone map and conversion table
—Best days for planting and fishing

Llewellyn's 2014 Daily Planetary Guide: Empower your life with the most trusted and detailed astrological guide available. Take advantage of cosmic forces on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis with Llewellyn’s Daily Planetary Guide. With exact times down to the minute, this astrological planner lists ideal times to do anything. Before setting up a job interview, signing a contract, or scheduling anything important, consult the weekly forecasts and Opportunity Periods—times when the positive flow of energy is at its peak. Plan your year wisely according to aspects, ephemeris, retrograde planets, eclipses for 2014, and more astrological information. Even beginners can use this powerful planner, which explains the planets, signs, houses, and how to use this guide.

—Planet and Moon aspects and ingress times
—Moon sign, phase, and void-of-course periods
—Planet retrograde and direct station times
—Ephemeris tables that include Chiron and four asteroids
—Sunrise and sunset timetables
—Planetary hours with complete instructions
—A stargazer's guide to planetary sightings and eclipses in 2014
—Weekly forecasts by Pam Ciampi
-Bonus: Find out the best times to undertake any activity with "Opportunity Periods"

Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac: Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa night. Throw a nontraditional tea party with zesty flair. Add a spicy twist to your beer, wine, and liquor. There are hundreds of ways to benefit from nature's versatile plants inside Llewellyn’s Herbal Almanac. This treasury of innovative herbal ideas spans gardening, cooking, crafts, health, beauty, and myth/lore. Learn how to improve indoor air quality, create a "golden years" herb garden for seniors, keep invasive herbs in check, and soak up vibrational healing from roses, daisies, and other flowers. Discover how to use herbs as preservatives, and make your own homemade vinaigrettes and low-carb vegetarian dishes. Create herbal dyes and beautiful handcrafted paper speckled with seeds or flowers. From enchanting primroses to the many faces of avocado, this practical almanac is your gateway to the herbal kingdom.

Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac: Llewellyn's Magical Almanac has been inspiring all levels of magical practitioners for over twenty years. Filled with practical spells, rituals, and fresh ideas, you’ll find new ways to deepen your craft and enhance everyday life.

This edition features compelling articles, grouped by element, on solar power and the home, carnival magic, recycling and refurbishing, enlightened eats, emergency healing, faery offerings and shrines, folk clothing, alcohol and the gods, soap magic, animism, transforming negativity, and other magical topics. Also included is a handy calendar section—shaded for easy "flip to" reference—featuring world festivals, holidays, and 2014 Sabbats. You'll also find astrological info, plus incense and color correspondences, to empower your magical work.

Published annually for over twenty years.

Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book: Since 1905, Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book has helped millions take advantage of the Moon's dynamic energies. This essential planning tool can help you choose the best time to do almost anything: buy stock, get married, buy or sell your home, start a new job, travel, have surgery, and much more. With lunar timing tips on planting and harvesting and a guide to companion plants, this book is a gardener's best friend. In addition to New and Full Moon forecasts for the year, you'll find insightful articles on growing a tea garden, cultivating roses, organic and natural food labeling, the Moon and earthquakes, outer planets in water signs, and Greek lunar folklore.

—A monthly lunar aspectarian with Moon tables
—Detailed weather predictions for each region by renowned astrometeorologist Kris Brandt Riske
—New and Full Moon forecasts for 2014 by Sally Cragin
—A companion planting guide that features over one hundred plants
—Electional rules and dates for ventures in love, relationships, business, finances, and other areas

The number one lunar guide to natural living since 1905.

Llewellyn's 2014 Sun Sign Book: Prepare for what's coming in the near future. Take advantage of huge opportunities and dodge potential pitfalls with Llewellyn's Sun Sign Book.

Filled with practical planetary wisdom, this easy-to-use guide will answer your questions about money, success,career, relationships, and more—for the whole year. In addition to horoscopes for every sign by popular astrologer Kim Rogers-Gallagher, you'll discover which areas in your life have potential for great success, and which require extra attention. Included are rewarding/challenging days for each month and a guide to the best dates to find a job, begin a romance, take a vacation, move, and plan other important endeavors.

Published annually since 1984.

Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Calendar: Captivating, original artwork and a rich array of content have made Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar the top-selling calendar of its kind. New for this edition are enchanting scratchboard illustrations by award-winning artist Kathleen Edwards. Each month also offers an inspiring article, plus a spell or ritual. Connect with nature in May, work hummingbird magic in August, and treat yourself to healing balms in September. Astrological data and magical correspondences are also included.

Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Companion: Live your craft every day with Llewellyn's Witches' Companion. This indispensable guide will keep you one step ahead of the latest Witchy trends, Craft practices, Pagan issues, and ideas in green living.

This year's edition is filled with wry and thought provoking essays—the madness of "Witch Wars," Gaia and the permaculture movement, magical de-stressing, finding community, magical vessels, essential stones for Witches, the art of dedication, bringing ancestors into magical practice, working with healing deities, and much more. Also featured is a sixteen-month calendar and lunar information to fuel your spellwork and rituals.

Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook: Today’s busy Witches can stay on top of it all—the magical and the mundane—with Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook, now featuring enchanting illustrations from award-winning artist Kathleen Edwards. Add a little magic to each day and keep pace with the ever-turning Wheel of the Year with this indispensable, on-the-go tool.

You'll find fun, fresh ways to celebrate the sacred seasons and enhance your practice—inspiring Sabbat musings (Elizabeth Barrette), tasty Sabbat recipes (Magenta Griffith), Moon rituals (James Kambos), and animal magic (Lupa). For spellwork, there's astrological information and daily colors. Also included are in-depth articles on charming jewelry (Ellen Dugan), a Witch's mini herb garden (Deborah Blake), spontaneous divining (Autumn Damiana), spellcraft on the fly (Marion Sipe), and more.

Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac: Make every day magical with a spell from Llewellyn's Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac. Spellcasters of all levels can enhance their daily life with these easy bewitchments, recipes, rituals, and meditations.

Deborah Lipp, Elizabeth Barrette, Thuri Calafia, and other experienced magic practitioners offer simple spells for every occasion that require minimal supplies. For convenience, the 365 spells are cross-referenced by purpose, including love, health, money, protection, home and garden, travel, and communication. Beginners will find advice on the best time, place, and tools for performing each spell. With space to jot down notes, this unique spellbook can be used as a Book of Shadows. There are also daily color and incense recommendations and astrological data to enhance each day's magic.

Llewellyn's 2014 Woodland Faeries Calendar: A year of faerie magic and beauty awaits you. Vividly illustrated by renowned fantasy artist Linda Ravenscroft, this gorgeous faerie calendar captures the whimsy and grace of achingly beautiful nature spirits. Evocative portraits and scenes—alive in sensuous detail—bring us oh so close to alluring nymphs, charming pixies, rapturous sprites, and other secretive, ethereal beings. Llewellyn's 2014 Woodland Faeries Calendar also includes holidays and moon phase information.

Llewellyn's 2014 Sabbats Almanac: From Samhain 2013 - Mabon 2014: Make the most of each season of the Witches' year with Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac. Packed with rituals, rites, recipes, and crafts, this essential guide offers fun and fresh ways to celebrate the eight sacred Wiccan holidays—and enrich your spiritual life throughout the year.

Get a unique perspective on honoring the Wheel of the Year from your favorite Wiccan and Pagan authors. Plan spiritually uplifting celebrations and family activities. Perform Sabbat-specific rituals and world folk rites. Whip up tasty treats and crafts as reminders of the season's gifts and lessons. Also featured are astrological influences to help you plan rituals according to cosmic energies.