Recommended Books

Some of my favourite books and my rambling unedited reviews...

"EatPrayLove" and my experience with asking for guidance


Astrology Books

American Ephemeris
Neil F. Michelsen

When you're away from your computer (and's free chart generating program) you will need this ephemeris. It shows the whereabouts of each of the planets from 1900 to 2000. It's very handy if you see that, ahhhhh, you must have had a significant Pluto transit in the past when Pluto was in Scorpio - so you just flip through the book to see when Pluto was in Scorpio at the degree you're looking for. Much easier than using a computer program! People will be in awe when they see that you can understand this book - it is made up of small numbers and symbols only. (the symbols for the planets and signs & numbers for the degree)

American Ephemeris
Neil F. Michelsen

You'll need this ephemeris so you can see what transits are coming and when. Very handy for what's happening now and into the future. Shows planetary movement from 2000 to 2050. Did you know that Astronomy grew out of Astrology? The Astrologers needed to know the exact placement of the planets and so the Astronomer was born! Astrology was taught in Universities too - ah the understanding that we would all have of our differences if we were taught this in school...

Planets in Transit
Robert Hand

This was the first astrology book that I bought. Robert Hand is a Sagittarius with a Scorpio Mercury (same as me!) so I really resonate with his words. This is a smart, psychological look at transits. Armed with an ephemeris and this book you'll be well on your way to understanding the houses, aspects and the energies associated with each planet. I have even used the book to describe my natal chart - so instead of reading: transiting Neptune conjunct my Mercury - I read: my natal Neptune conjunct my Mercury. Highly recommended. Every single Transit is listed in this book 'cookbook' style.

Astrology Karma & Transformation - The Inner Dimension of the Birth Chart
By Stephen Arroyo

"This insightful and original book focuses on the understanding and use of astrology as a tool for spiritual and psychological growth." Transformational aspects within one's natal chart and transformational transits are discussed in depth. This is a great book for all interested in growth.

Astrology, Psychology & the Four Elements
Stephen Arroyo

Excellent book that really goes into the Four Elements in depth - you come away from this book really feeeeling what each of the elements feels like and understanding how they interact within one's chart and in relationship.

Planets in Composite
Robert Hand

A 'cookbook' style book for Composite Charts. Go to - Extended Chart Selection and generate your Composite Chart. (mid-point method - Koch house system) Then, with this book, you can read what each of the aspects within your Composite chart mean. Your relationship actually creates a third 'entity' - The Relationship - which is embodied in the Composite chart. Once you really get into it you can compare your individual chart with the Composite/Relationship chart to see how you actually feel about the relationship!

Numerology and the Divine Triangle
Dusty Bunker

Absolutely the best Numerology book on the market. I'm always referring to this book. It corresponds numbers to tarot cards (the rider-waite deck) to astrology. You can find out what personal year you're in right now and read what the 'temporary vibration' of that number is. The interpretations are detailed and deep.

For example: To find out what year you're in right now reduce the numbers of the last birthday you had. My last birthday was Dec 2, 2004 - which reduces to 12 + 2 + 6 - (don't reduce your month) which reduces again to 20 and again to 2 - but in the book you will read the vibration for 20/2. This will be my vibration for my year starting at my birthday 2004 until my birthday 2005.

Also, if you have a Rider-Waite Tarot deck (the little ones are sweet and inexpensive) this is really a great book to use for your readings - much better than the awful little book that comes with the deck. The interpretations in this book are as they were meant to be: an alchemical journey through life, growth, cycles, transformation - not the superstitious creepy stuff that is in some tarot card books. This book is amazing!!

For those of you that like to work out diagrams - they also include instructions on how to make your own 'Divine Triangle' that shows you what main energies are available to you in 9 year cycles. Great book!

Miniature Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

I love this little deck - you can keep them wrapped up in a small hankerchief. The colour and symbols are simple and the more you look at them the more you see. Coupled with the Divine Triangle above, your readings will be more meaningful. Remember that when you do a reading for yourself you are making the present moment/intention manifest. There is a 'probable' outcome that issues from the present moment you are in right now - but you can always change your mind and thus change your future. Experiment with the cards. I remember once I was in a terribly negative mood and the reading I did for myself reflected that - and showed me where this attitude would get me (I didn't like it). Well, I shook myself out of my stupor and felt positivity radiating into me and out of me (just this helped of course! Ah...sometimes we are just soooo slow eh?) and then did the reading again. Well! I knew that it was 'accurate' (I'm always testing the tarot this way!) because, synchronistically enough, the very first card I lay down was the same card as my earlier reading! But from there the likeness stopped - my new, taken-from-the-positive-moment reading showed a much more positive outcome! I don't over-do the readings. I usually do a 13-card reading every 6 months or so - so as not to overload and dilute the significance. If you write down your reading and come back to check on it as the months go by you will be amazed to see how it has played out - and it becomes much more meaningful.

Pluto - The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul
Jeff Green

This is an in-depth book about Pluto and how it's placement in our chart represents our Evolutionary Path. Everyone that reads the chapter on what house Pluto is in in their chart is just blow away by it's accuracy. It's an intense book (not all light and Venus-y by any means - remember this is about intense, deep and sometimes dark Pluto!) and will really shed light on where you came from and what you hope to transmute in this lifetime. See the 'Evolutionary Astrology' website here.

The Mountain Astrologer - Magazine

The astrology magazine. The articles run the gamut from beginners to advanced. This magazine is thick with articles and interviews - I learn so much from this magazine! Check out their website.



Fiction and Poetry

Remembrance of Things Past
Marcel Proust

My all-time favourite book. Poetic, psychological - I am at a loss for words. Read the reviews - they will say it better than I!

The Man Without Qualities
Robert Musil

I discovered this book when I was going through my Saturn Return - just about to turn 30. I'm not exactly sure why but it seems the perfect turning-30-trying-to-mature-but-failing-miserably book. It's very dense and takes a while to read - but it contains many gems....

Witold Gombrowicz

This is another book I discovered during my Saturn Return (unfortunately I didn't know what a Saturn Return was back then - I could have saved myself alot of torturous feelings if I'd known, I tell you!). The character in this book is somewhere between 30 and 32 and is having a hard time adjusting as well. He's inbetween childhood and manhood and it's pretty absurd. There are lots of 'borders' in this book: city/country youth/age - and transitions between the two. It is probably the most unusual novel I've ever read - but somehow it felt comfortable - hmmm.... Witold was Polish but he lived in South America for 24 years of his life after the outbreak of WW2. He was a Leo and his books are about Identity (a very Leo and 5th house concern - ah-ha! That's where my Saturn is - so, of course, reading this during my Saturn Return really hit the spot!). Read more about Gombrowicz here...

Life is Elsewhere
Milan Kundera

All of Milan Kundera's books are good in my opinion, but this one stands out: the life of a Neptunian...

Auto da Fe
Elias Canetti

I loved this book about a very anal book-collector - fascinating story! Elias Canetti won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981 for this book.

Talking to my Body
Anna Swir

I discovered this poet when I lived in Prague from 1993 to 1995. She was published in English for the first time in a literary magazine called 'Trafika' in Prague. When I spoke to the American editor of Trafika about how much I loved Anna Swir he said that he had been besieged by many young ex-pat women that felt the same way! Anna Swir was born in 1909 in Poland and is just like no other poet I've read. It doesn't feel like 'poetry' for one thing - it feels like she is simply expressing what it feels like to be alive, stripped of superfluities, bared to the the essentials. It's a little metaphysical and a little existential and humourous in parts too!

Read one of her poems here.

Ivan Goncharov

O Oblomov! Published in 1859 (yes 1859!) - it will resonate with anyone who feels that they don't belong in this go go go do do do society. Oblomov lazed around while others 'did'. I love this book. Somehow seems apt for the generation born in the 60's.

Hidden Faces
Salvador Dali

Yes, this is a real novel by Salvador Dali! He paints amazingly vivid pictures with his words - I was really blown away by this book - it was fascinating, surreal and there was even a story to follow...something I wasn't expecting at all.

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
Mark Twain

My all time favourite Mark Twain book (he's a fellow Sagittarius) - the first half of the book is sooo inspiring, beautiful and idealistic. The second half of the book is almost unreadable it is so tragic. Mark Twain said that this was his favourite book - it took him 12 years or research to write it. If you don't know the story of Joan of Arc this is the way to discover her.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Mark Twain

This is a fun book and very clever - about a modern man who wakes up to find himself in the era of King Arthur - he astounds the local folk with what appears to be his unearthly knowledge...super-enjoyable!

All Men are Mortal
Simone de Beauvoir

The main character in this novel is immortal...interesting psychological-existential point of view...

100 Love Sonnets
Pablo Neruda
Translated by Gustavo Escobedo

My friend translated this book of poetry!

The Globe & Mail review says:
Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) dedicated these lusty, non-traditional "sonnets" to his wife, Matilde Urrutia, when they were privately printed in 1959. This handsome, bilingual edition is being published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Neruda's birth. It is a worthy tribute and a rollicking good read, staying true to the poet's expansive, idiosyncratic style.

Expansive & idiosyncratic - just like my friend Gus - no wonder he was drawn towards Pablo Nerduda. When he was translating the poetry he showed me the only other translation on the market (left side in the original Spanish and the right side in English) - I didn't have to know Spanish to see that the other translation wasn't true to Neruda! One thing that seemed glaringly wrong was that where Neruda used the same word several times in one poem (for emphasis, tone, atmosphere) the other translator used different words for each one! Gus showed me what the poem really meant - and, I have to say, Gus' translation is much truer to the original.

Only available through - Canada.





Poetics of Space
Gaston Bachelard

To get a taste of this book and the Poetics of Reverie read some of the quotes here...

Gaston writes about the poetics of Space - from the Cellar to the Garret. He started out a Physics professor at the Sorbonne - then, suddenly, startled his colleagues by coming out with a book called, "The Psychoanalysis of Fire" - the scientists thought it was strange to say the least. I love that Gaston explored the Left brain rational side of life fully...and then he realized that he was missing the other half - Right brain poetic/imaginative side - and so he delved into that just as passionately. This book satisfies both sides of the brain.

Poetics of Reverie
Gaston Bachelard

I probably enjoyed this book even more than Poetics of Space - as it really introduced me to poetry that I could actually relate to!! Before this book I had only experienced the odd North American poet - which always seemed to have some social or political intent - not up my alley. Well! Through Gaston's selection of French poets my poetic world just opened right up - these poets portrayed what it was like to actually be alive! (not alive in a certain society in a certain age - but to simply be alive looking out of your own two eyes...)  These poets express their timelessness...

Memories, Dreams & Reflections
Carl Jung

This is a wonderful book that is partly an autobiography and partly biography by Jung's main student, Marie-Louse von Franz. If you're interested in Jung and his ideas this is a great place to start - you may realize that you aren't as crazy as you thought you were! I loved that Jung said that he gauged his life by his inner experiences - not by his outer experiences - yesssss....Life is a string of inner experiences... Jung was so ahead of his time!

Carl Jung

I knew I had to read this book when I picked it up, flipped through the pages and saw....a dream image that I had had a few years earlier but did not know what in the world it was. It turned out that my dream image was what is called a 'Philosophers Egg' in Alchemy....a large, bulbous glass vessel with a funny neck that hold transformative energies - let's them 'cook' until they are transformed. Perfect!! Synchronistically, I was going through a huge Pluto Transformation transit at the time...of course...This book introduced me to real Alchemy. Before this book I thought Alchemy was all dark and witchy - this book opened my eyes. I'm in awe of be delving into alchemy, discovering the 'collective unconscious', being into Astrology (he was! he said it helped him understand his patients - which, of course, it would) - he was a maverick...

Jung and the Alchemical Imagination
Jeffrey Raff

This is the perfect book if you are just beginning to understand Alchemy. This book delves into the symbolism of a whole 'emblem' - which is a visual story in alchemy - in this case 13 emblems. The symbolism in each 16th Century woodcut is interpreted....and it's the story of transformation and conscious awareness. Really great book for those of you undergoing your own Pluto transits!

Alchemical Active Imagination
Marie-Louise von Franz

Jung's student writes about alchemy and psychology.

James Gleick

This book was published in the 80's and is all about fractals, non-linear science...and the Oneness of all things...excellent.

Edgar Cayce - An American Prophet
Sidney Kirkpatrick

This book is the newest biography of Edgar Cayce and it will inspire you! You will wonder why people don't know more about him - his psychicness is phenomenal and he has proof! Thousands of his readings were written down by his secretary over the many years he was doing long-distance health readings for people that needed his help - and they were catalogued and filed away with responses from and back to his patients. It's all documented. His life was fascinating too - a Pisces with 4 planets and his North Node in Pisces he did, indeed, have access to the 'other world', the big library/akashic record out there where everything is recorded and can be accessed if you just tune yourself into it...

Here is a post with two links to all of his thousands of health readings.

The Golden Game - Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century
Stanislas Klossowiski de Rola

This big beautiful book is a wonderful introduction to alchemy - and contains biographies on the most prominent alchemists as well as big, good-quality reproductions of the 17thC woodcuts. Each emblem is a mix of astrological and elemental symbolism, sacred geometry and archetypal figures that tell a story. Test your interpretation skills!

Visit the best Alchemy website here and peruse some of the woodcuts. Adam McLean also has an Alchemy Study Course for only 25 pounds which I wanted to take, but couldn't because the files couldn't be sent to Mac computers.

Secrets in the Field
Freddy Silva

Check out Freddy's site to get an idea of what his book will be like. In my opinion it's the best book on the crop circle phenomenon around. He examines the scientific data (elongated nodes, crystalline changes within the soil, electro-magnetic readings etc), the symbolism, the politics, the magic - yet he's never carried away by his belief in crop circles. His belief is firmly grounded in reality - he agrees with other top cc researchers that many of the cc's found in England right now are, indeed, man-made - yet he knows the real thing when he sees it.

I became a researcher for the Canadian Crop Circle Research team in 2002 when I discovered crop circles (late bloomer!). Read about my direct experience with a crop circle here.

Witold Rybczynski

Interesting book about the History of personal space. Even though it's not explicit you can see how our the consciousness of individuals has grown and changed over hundreds of years - as reflected by the Homes they built around themselves.

Twenty Prose Poems
Charles Baudelaire

Drift into Baudelaire's hazy dream-world through his easy-to-feel prose poems...

Testaments Betrayed
Milan Kundera

Great non-fiction by Milan Kundera.

"Testaments Betrayed is a book rich in ideas about the time in which we live and how we have become who we are, about Western culture in general. It is also a personal essay, in which Kunder discusses the experience of exile - and an impassioned attack on the shifting moral judgements and persecutions of art and artist."

Christian Bok

This is a really cool book that is part poetry, part prose. It took Christian 7 years to write this book. Basically, there is a chapter for each of the Vowels: A, E, I, O & U. It's hard to believe, but each lengthy chapter contains no other vowel than the one allowed! Once you start reading, say, the Chapter on A you really start to feel what 'A' is all about - it definitely has a character! The back of the book says this about each of the vowels' characters: "A is courtly, E is elegiac, I is lyrical, O is jocular, U is obscene."

Letters to Olga
Vaclav Havel

I have long-admired Vaclav Havel with his Balanced Libra Sun/Mercury, Idealistic, integrity-filled Jupiter in Sagittarius and Desire to delve beneath the surface values of Venus in Scorpio. Oh to have an artist/humanist politician like this here!

This was the first book I read by Vaclav Havel - it is a compilation of his philosophical writings to his wife, Olga, while he was in prison for being a 'dissenter' against the communist regime. As he was only allowed to write a letter once a week - he composed the letters in his head during the week then laid them down in paper in the hour or so given for letter-writing...

The Long Walk - The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
Slavomir Rawicz

I could not put this book down.

This is highly recommended reading for anyone undergoing a Pluto transit (challenging death/rebirth and survival issues) - but I'm sure it will enthrall anyone and everyone.

This is the autobiography of a man who endured the seemingly unendurable. Slavomir endured a year in a Soviet prison, a horrific 2 month journey to a labour camp in Siberia (that would have killed most of us), then a year long trek to freedom from Siberia to India - through the Gobi desert and over the Himalayan mountains! This story is almost unbearable to read at times. My mouth hung open the whole time...




Helpful Books

Seth Speaks
Jane Roberts

I discovered this book in 2000 when Pluto was conjoining my Sun/Venus in Sagittarius (total transformation of my being) and when Uranus was squaring my Mercury (new, unexpected ideas challenging the way I see the world). It kind of jumped off the shelf at me and it took me many many minutes to get over my embarassment at buying such a book and actually go up to the counter and buy it! I had taken Philosophy at University and didn't find what I was looking for until....Seth Speaks. Seth, as channeled by Jane Roberts, is intelligent, original and reeally makes sense! The main tenet is: "You get what you concentrate upon - there is no other main rule"

The Nature of Personal Reality
Jane Roberts

After Seth Speaks was published people wanted to know how they could put his ideas into practical practice in their lives - so he wrote The Nature of Personal Reality. This book is filled with simple consciousness exercises that you can do to improve your life. He talks about Karma, Hate/Love, War...If you buy one Seth book it should be this one.

Dreams & Projection of Consciousness
Jane Roberts

For all you dream-lovers out there - this is the book for you!

Meredith Young-Sowers

This is a great book that is partially channeled. There are many exercises, meditations, visualization exercises given to improve your health and keep you healthy.

The Mayan Oracle
Ariel Spillsbury

If you have had a Mayan Signature Reading then you have read some of what is contained in The Mayan Oracle. This is the book to help you understand what each of the Daykeepers symbolize in mayan astrology. This book also comes with a deck of cards so you can give yourself readings. I don't know how they wrote this book in 2 months - it is soooooo packed with information and psychological gems - it had to have been divinely inspired. I keep referring to this book - at the back of this book they also suggest further reading for each of the Daykeepers - there is a wealth of helpful information contained within this book.

Click on the book to read reviews - but please order your signed book through Ariel herself at:

The way of Chinese Herbs
Michael Tierra

You don't have to know alot about Traditional Chinese Medicine to get a lot out of this book. He explains the basics of TCM - you can find out if your qi is deficient in any of the realms (speen, liver, heart, lungs, kidneys) - but the most helpful part of this book is the food listings. What to eat and what not to eat - listed alphabetically by food - according to what your symptoms are (soft stool, full abdomen, high blood pressure, dizziness, constipation, colds, fatigue etc etc...). Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies food according to it's action and taste: warm/cooling/hot & sweet/sour/bitter etc - and what organs they are good for. It is verrrry helpful!

See my page on the 24-Hour Organ Qi Cycle (more details coming on that page soon!)

The Holographic Universe
Michael Talbot

This book explains quantum physics and how it relates to all the unusual, paranormal things that we experience and know to exist but 'science' refuses to look at! This is the book to get on this subject. I am constantly referring back to it - as there are so many case-studies mentioned in this book that I want to share with others. Fantastic book! Read an excerpt here on being 'in-between lives'.

The Secret Life of Plants
Tompkins & Bird

If you know that your thoughts affect your plants then this book is for you! Great case studies and lots of interesting bits of information that back up that, yes, we are all One.

The Magic of Findhorn
Paul Hawken

My enjoyment of The Secret Life of Plants brought me to The Magic of Findhorn. This is a fascinating story (true) of a small group of people that created a beautiful, lush garden in the barren landscape of Scotland by the communicating with nature spirits, putting their own positive conscious energy into the soil....essentially effecting their environment with the power of their thoughts - totally inspiring!

The Transformation Game

The Findhorn people created this amazing 'game'. Apparently it took them two years to develop it. It's not really a game - I mean, it's not fluff - it's as serious and as light as Life itself. Tears may flow! It can take hours to play a game (only play with your best friends!). You play with a Game Board that has individula Life Paths on it. Each person is playing their own game within the larger setting. Each person chooses Guides, Life Setbacks & Insights at the very beginning and puts them, unseen, into their 'Unconcious Envelope' (oooh it's so cleverly created). Throughout the game you're asked to remove a card from your Unconscious Envelope - and, of course, each card is uniquely significant and appropriate for you at that moment in your life. As you move around your Life Path you may encounter Miracles, Blessings, Pain (which you have to carry around with you until you gain enough Awareness to shed the pain), Insights, Setbacks, - it is a truly life-altering Transformative game! I highly recommend it.




Cookbooks (why not!?)

The French Recipe Cookbook
Carole Clements

This is absolutely, by far the best French cookbook out there! I don't understand why it was out of print for a while. I have many french cookbooks, but I use this one the most because these recipes were actually tested by the authors! I have probably made 80% of the recipes in this 200+ recipe book with photos for each recipe. I have seen two versions of this book - I have the 250 page book - but I have seen an edition that is half the size.

Their Chicken Fricassee is beautiful as is their Chicken, shallots and red wine vinegar, Chicken & Prawn stew (food cooked in wine tastes amazing!), Roquefort, apple salad...and the French Chocolate Cake is to die for - super-simple, verrry moist (only 1/4 cup of flour) and just dusted with icing sugar....mmm mmmm!

If you buy one French Cookbook it's gotta be this one...

Bistro Cooking
Patricia Wells

This is my second favourite French cookbook - Patricia knows what she is talking about! The best Potato Gratin dishes are in this book. I have perfected the Potato Gratin...the key is to cover it for the first 40 minutes (with tinfoil in the oven) and then uncover it for the last 40 minutes. Made with some cream and Gruyere - mmmmm!! Tasty!

A Good Day for Soup
Jeannette Ferrary

Soups in the Fall and Winter make sense. Make a big pot, dip a hunk of good spelt bread in it and you have a healthy, warming, easily digestible dinner for a few nights at least. Recommended!

Re-Bar Modern Food Cookbook
Alsterberg & Urbano

If you've got a lot of time on your hands and you love to cook then this book is for you! Re-bar is an excellent restaurant here in Victoria, BC that serves healthy mostly vegetarian food in a bright warm-modern atmosphere. The recipes are pretty complex and include lots of foreign ingredients but it's worth it - the recipes are filled with new tastes and it's clean-tasting too. A standard for me is the Quesadillas with roasted chipotle sauce, monterey jack, roasted yam & toasted pumpkin seeds - yum! This one's quick and easy to make (once you make the sauce and store it in the fridge). Oh and the Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla with balsamic vinegar, fresh basil and fontina cheese - mmmm mmm...

Only available through - Canada.

See their website here and take a look at their deeee-licious fresh juice-bar recipes here.