A Mystical Practical Guide to Magic by Aliza Einhorn
Reviewed by Rachel Sahaidachny
When something is mystical, it is mysterious. When something is practical, it can be mastered with practice. In Aliza Einhorn’s book, she takes some very mystical topics (tarot, astrology, mediumship, spells, rituals, and more) and peels away a bit of that mystery, making them more approachable.
The book is about the size of a diary, the right size to carry around. The smooth cover and full color pages remind me of a textbook but a magical textbook!
Some questions this beautiful little book might answer for you: How do I learn to trust myself and my intuition? How do I open up to mystery and possibility? Can I really read tarot, learn the stars, talk with guides? Personally, I have always loved the concept of these things and have studied, taken year long classes, learned a lot, and met some very mystical people! But I still held fast to a lingering intimidation when it came to any of these methods of divination… am I doing it right? And what if I don’t like what I find out? There seemed a million types of doubt to cloud my intentions. I would hang on for a while, then drift off from the practice.
In Aliza’s book I found a friend and a guide who spoke to me LOUD and clear at times! (and seriously, it felt like it was directly to me.) Is that because this is a guide for writers? Something there that taps into that writing practice part of myself? I know that it can take hours and hours of work to get that line or sentence written. Or it can go smoothly and in flow. But it always takes a regular practice to get any writing done. And if one day of writing sucks, I don’t give up. It’s a journey.
Aliza approached mystical topics by using the metaphor of the road map for a journey of curious stops. She took me to “Tarot Town,” “Star Road,” and “The Invisible World.” Aliza, my tour guide, is genuine, friendly, encouraging and helpful as I visit each unusual destination, but something else is happening along this journey. Peppered with Aliza’s personal stories, homework assignments, and writing exercises – she is creating a practical path and she is telling me that it is OKAY to feel uncertain and to be unsure. The way through is just to do! And then do it again.
Throughout the book are tarot spreads, writing exercises, spells, places for notes, and recommendations for books to go deeper into any topics. I found the homework exercises helped me to create a more personal connection with tarot cards and other methods in the book. As I read the book and did the homework, some of the “mystery” of these mystical topics began to dissolve. I found myself feeling playful, brave, and engaged with the practices rather than intimidated. Much like developing my own writing practice, this book gave me permission not to take everything so seriously! The LOUD voice inside this book said, “Be more open and less critical. Don’t overthink it!”
I especially appreciated the chapter dedicated to writing , “Writing as Spiritual Practice,” which is full of writing prompts, “Instructions for Poem Road,” homework assignments, and questions about life and writing practice.
To me, Aliza’s book is one of transformation. She took me down a road, on a journey, and to a different place than where I was before, and gave me more reasons to get a lot of writing done along the way!