Author: Cassandra Eason
Trade Paperback, 329 pages
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication date: 2004
Price & More Info: Click Here
The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer, since the subject is actually
about using innate psychic abilities in the workplace, and not about alchemy
per se. Of course, if you perceive alchemy as being about personal
transformation, it is a valid allusion, but the average reader would not be
expected to be aware of that.
If you are interested in turning lead into gold in a literal sense, I'm
afraid you will be disappointed with this current work. If, on the other
hand you want to change your leaden existence into a shining, more beautiful
and fulfilling one, you might well benefit from reading this book.
The author lives in the real world, and recognizes the problems inherent in
it. So, she has designed this book with chapters which stand alone. You
don't need to read it sequentially to get the full benefit.
In an unconventional move, Ms. Eason starts the book with an active lesson
before teaching relaxation techniques. This is, in my opinion, one of the
strong points of this book. Too many "self-help" books lose readers by
boring them with theory before showing how the techniques will help. By
devoting the first chapter to a technique which can show positive results
from the start, she "sets the hook," as it were.
It does seem that I am starting to see more books on the subject of using
magick in the workplace which, when I first began my studies was a concept
which began my studies would have been taboo. Of course, there is no reason
that the ethical use of magick to advance your career should be looked down
Ms. Eason writes in a friendly tone, without any of the condescension which
is so easy to encounter in the writings of many authors today. There is,
however, a down-side to this in that she makes things so commonplace that
there is no sense of awe left.. Granted, that sense of awe isn't necessary
for the experienced worker, but it does help those who aren't so confident
Another problem is not restricted to the writer of this book. I have read
dozens of books recently which advocate the use of smudging with cedar
and/or sage wands. While I am aware of the Native American background for
smudging, I am also aware that many Native Americans frown on its use by
non-natives. Censing with various incenses has been in common usage in the
Western magickal community for decades, and is (in fact) the way I was
trained. The use of smudge sticks in a non-Native American setting can be
perceived as cultural theft, however, and should not, in my opinion, be
The same holds true for the use of feng shui which is prevalent today. Ms.
Eason gives a simplified method of understanding and using it, but my
feeling is that more than a simplified understanding is necessary before
putting it to use. I have been told by some folks that an understanding of
why something works isn't required - just use what works.
That reminds me of a story I have heard several times of a mother preparing
a ham dinner for her family. Before placing the ham in the oven she cut the
ends off the ham. Her daughter asked why she did it. She explains that it
was the way her mother did it. When the older woman is questioned, she
explains that her mother did it that way. When she is questioned about the
origin of the custom, she explains "The ham wouldn't fit into the pan
otherwise." Knowing why something is done is important.
This book contains various forms of divination in general outlines (the
author has also written The Complete Guide to Divination), several forms of
psychic protection, as well as lists of crystals, basic universal meanings
of symbols (although she is quick to remind the reader that there are also
very personal meanings to be found for these symbols)., herbs, oils, incense
and smudge sticks, as well as color meanings. All of this indicates that
the real focus of this work is on using one's innate, untapped abilities to
expand your capabilities.
Perhaps the subtitle of this book would have been more appropriate as the
title: "Using the Ancient Arts to Enhance Your Work Life."
Reviewed by Mike Gleason