The book is a virtual smorgasbord of non-related divination methods. Some are very loose-knit and don't give much direction at all. The author is fond of telling you to develop your own way and there's not much advice on how to do it.  A bit discomforting for those who need a little structure or direction. it's like you're put out in the middle of the lake with a paddle but no boat.

At first I thought perhaps the author was writing for 12-year-olds, then it dawned on me that she has a freewheeling writing style which probably appeals to a younger, more open crowd. The book doesn't hem you in at all. Maybe it should a little. Kissing it, keeping it simple, is the name of the game.

At the same time, all the methods are supposed to be yours alone. This is more of a DIY (do it yourself) kit than one designed to let you give readings for others. In that way, it fulfills its purpose very well. The author wants you to use things that speak to you, not to other people. The tools you use during your psychic sessions can represent whatever you want them to be, just stay consistent, advises the author.

There's help on getting started, preparing your method, checking it over, and then doing it. You can use gemstones and crystals, shells, coins, charms. bones. . . whatever appeals to you. Howard encourages us to be eclectic and creative. The author gives you some nudges when she gives you the meaning of common, easy-to-obtain stones. There's advice on how to select, cleanse, store and maintain your stones and other personal tools. How to charge them with your intent. One piece of advice is to always choose one particular stone to represent yourself.

You'll learn to work with the elements of fire, earth, air and water, about candles and their colors, how to cast a circle, and do basic ritual. You'll learn about chakras, the invisible energy centers in your body. There are widely divergent types of tools to keep for your personal use. You can make your own sets for whatever purpose you please.

There are little hints along the way, like purple candles being associated with divination and psychic matters. You don't throw gemstones or runes or dice. You cast them. One annoying thing was, the author is always going to "talk about it" or "explain it" later. Why not now?

If you're an independent, rebel sort who'd rather do-it-myself-thank-you, this book wants to go home with you. Even if you aren't wildly self-sufficient, making your own set of divination tools can be fun.

~review by Judy Blackstone

Author: Jessica Howard
John Hunt Publ., 2022
104 pp., $