Recent Product Reviews

Laser-cut Sphere Stand

Technician of the Sacred Sphere Stand

One of the most unique items at INATS this year were the stunning mandalas, sphere stands, and multi-layer art from Adrian Rasmussen. All are true showstoppers that bring sacred geometry to vibrant, three-dimensional life. Each piece is laser cut and then hand painted by Technician of the Sacred artists. Mandalas (4" or 5.5") can be used for crystal grids or gorgeous altar décor, while rock lovers can upgrade their sphere collections with elaborate stands (4 sizes). Adrian’s multi-level designs are also available as wall art and stickers 2", 4" and 6").

Red Thread Collection Scraggle Bear

Red Thread Collection Scraggle Bear

This soft, huggable keepsake bear is sure to be an instant customer favorite! Plus, with every purchase of Scraggle Bear (there are cat and bunny versions, too) Bunnies by the Bay donates a portion of the proceeds to charities for kids. A win-win!

Waves of Love

Waves of Love

Waves of Love is a stunningly serene and lovely album from pianist/keyboard artist Nadama, even by the high standards of the Malimba Records label. While the 10 tracks are rooted in sublime piano melodies, Nadama’s use of an assortment of digital and sampled instruments is absolutely textbook in execution, and they help fashion these songs into relaxation masterpieces. There are some moments of gentle playfulness, but even then, the overall mood is blissfully mellow.

Henna-Mehndi Designs Coloring Postcard Book

Lark Crafts Henna-Mehndi Designs Coloring Postcard Book

Coloring books are still all the rage, and Sterling Publication has one for every age. They also sell coloring notecards, posters, journals, and, one of our favorites, postcards. The smaller size (4" x 6") makes each postcard easy and fun to complete in a short amount of time and then mail to someone special. The postcard book (ISBN 9781454709688) contains 30 postcards and retails for $9.95.

Zia

Zia

It’s more than a little staggering to this music critic to encounter a pianist like Alexi Musnitsky, who is one third of my age yet plays with the emotional depth and maturity of someone much closer to my years. However, it’s true—Alexi Musnitsky has only now entered his twenties. When you and your customers (in-store play!) hear this extremely gifted artist, I believe you will be as impressed as I was on my first playing of Zia.

Vibe Bottles

Vibe Bottles by Soulwurx

Created by Reiki practitioners and infused with love, Vibe Bottles ($19.97 suggested retail, 16-oz. jar; $34.97 suggested retail, 64-oz. growler) combine sacred-geometry designs with the power of intention. Beautiful, stylized artwork (hamsa, lotus, flower of life, Metatron’s Cube) produced in limited editions makes these glass bottles instant collectors’ items. Also available are waterproof vinyl decals, which allow customers to personalize their intentions with additional words and designs. Perfect for individual, spa, and festival use.

Cosmic Connections Live

Cosmic Connections Live

Cosmic Connections Live is the polar opposite in style of the other live album reviewed this issue (Yanni’s The Dream Concert), but is its equal in every other way: superb musicianship, wonderful (as usual) vocals, outstanding instrumental performances. My assessment is, of course, no surprise to anyone who has followed the recording career of Deva Premal (vocals, tempura, keyboards), Miten (vocals. guitar) and Manose (bansuri, vocals). These three are among the best chant artists recording today.

Guardian Grandmother

Guardian Grandmother

Stoned Parrot’s newest creation, the Guardian Grandmother (approx. 20" to 30" tall), is a beautiful work of art. A unique combination of natural feathers, wood, stones, and crystals bring into fruition this spirit totem. Guardian Grandmother reminds us to connect to our ancestors for guidance and protection. She can be placed on an altar or a bedside table to assist in a peaceful night’s rest. Each is a one-of-a-kind special piece of art.

Joyful Living: 101 Ways to Transform Your Spirit and Revitalize Your Life

Joyful Living

Amy Leigh Mercree, Renaissance Woman of our time, is a medical intuitive, spiritual healer, coach, and motivator pushing JOY. And push joy she does, with the hope of fostering an attitude that "life is an adventure meant to be enjoyed.”

Joyful Living is a portable and inspiring compact handbook of living joyfully that is filled with messages of love, bliss, relaxation, turning fear into love, letting go, meeting spirit guides, ancestral healing, animated adventures, and much, much more.

Sacred Rebel Oracle Deck

Sacred Rebel Oracle Deck

The Sacred Rebel Oracle ($23.95 retail, ISBN 9780738745770) is a truly unique blend of transcendent artwork and earthly wisdom. Cards feature images of resplendent, ethnically diverse women and symbols paired with relatable messages such as “Bring It Into Form,” and “Listening for Truth.” With practical clues to your biggest questions printed right on the card, interpretation is a breeze for the beginning or advanced practitioner.

The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic, Complete and Comprehensive

The Ramayana

The Ramayana, the ancient Hindu literary work dating back to the 4th century, has been reincarnated in its most current version. The authors of this contemporary version are two accomplished women ensconced in Ayurvedic practices and Transcendental Meditation on professional levels. This version is a story told partially in flowery poetry balanced with dialogued descriptions.

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions embodies a traditional Jewish spiritual practice of transformation. The author of this auspicious book, Greg Marcus, Ph.D., is a recovering workaholic, driven to overproduce and now attempting to save other chronically overworked employees from a life of corporate drudgery, one soul at a time.

Spirit Traveler: Unlocking Ancient Mysteries and Secrets of Eight of the World’s Great Historic Sites

Spirit Traveler

Traveling non-physically to eight of the worlds most famous ancient sacred sites, Sonja Grace offers us information scientists and historians are unable to provide. She believes the small group of humans who created these sacred sites had gifts of sensory perception the current human race is only now beginning to recognize. She describes it as people being aided by star beings. Readers may prefer to think of it as access to intuitive, universal wisdom from what Jung called "the collective unconscious." However it is defined, the insight she provides is fascinating

Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have

Dropping the Struggle

The author of the Ten Poems series, has now turned his attention to the idea of surrender as the path to true happiness. The idea that attachment is the cause of all suffering is a key concept of Buddhist teachings, at least in the West. It’s also something that is often difficult for Westerners to understand. Housden is offering readers an in-depth discussion of the subject in terms of surrendering to the moment rather than detachment.

Let Your Spirit Guides Speak: A Simple Guide for a Life of Purpose, Abundance, and Joy

Let Your Spirit Guides Speak

Debra Landwehr Engle, author, inspirational speaker, teacher, and blogger of faith, takes a leap forward with her newest project Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. In her previous book, The Only Little Prayer You Need, she merely hints at the subject of spirit guides. She has now fully embraced the topic and shares boldly about it.

Sell With a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale

Sell With a Story

According to Paul Smith, storytelling can be used at every stage of the sales process. Successful salespeople, he tells us, use it every time they make contact with their customers. BUT, you have to know what story to tell and how to tell it.

Eat Your Peas Books

Eat Your Peas Books

Author Cheryl Karpen has sold over one million of these sentimental gift books that offer “words from the heart, wisdom for the journey” with the simple premise of being there for a loved one through good and bad. There are 12 themes to suit different recipients, from sons and daughters to new moms.

The Abandonment Recovery Workbook

The Abandonment Recovery Workbook

There are all kinds of abandonment wounds, some carried from childhood, some happening in the current moment. Drawing from her 30 years in the field of abandonment recovery, in addition to the experience of her own devastating loss, Anderson has created a step-by-step protocol to help people work through the five stages of healing from abandonment and reclaim their lives and their emotional well-being.

National Park Soundscapes

National Park Soundscapes

For her fourth National Park-inspired recording, Jill Haley (piano, oboe, and English horn) switched her attention from one park to many, composing/performing musical portraits of 12, including Acadia (Maine), Everglades (Florida), and Yosemite (California), thereby sampling from the entire country. Joined by her husband David Cullen (guitars and bass) and children Graham and Dana (cello and horn, respectively), as well as percussionist Tony Deangelis, Haley shows once more she is so much more than a sought-after guest artist for Imaginary Road Studio recordings.

On Eagle Mountain

On Eagle Mountain

Owing to the presence of his imrat guitar, as well as a unique compositional approach, Todd Mosby’s On Eagle Mountain is distinctly different from most of Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios’ recordings. The imrat guitar has a decidedly Indian sound (at times sounding like a sitar), and Mosby uses it to instill a sense of mysticism, further enhanced with Indian percussion and tamboura drone on some songs.

Transmigration

Transmigration

To paraphrase a famous line from the James Bond film Casino Royale, “There is fusion music, and there is fusion music. This is the latter.” Al Jewer and Andy Mitran, both true multi-instrumentalists, invited 22 (!) artists to join them for Transmigration, which is subtitled “… a journey with friends.” No matter what type of music you like—jazz, world, ambient, New Age—you will find it here.

Dreamwalker

Dreamwalker

Native flutist Mark Holland’s long career spans many years and many styles of music. Dreamwalker is yet another addition to his illustrious discography. Sound-healing artist Pati Pellerito, who performs on a variety of tuned instruments (bowls, gongs, chimes, bells, and Kaizen drum), fuses her mystical tones and textures with Holland’s assorted flutes, including not just Native but also bansuri, Anasazi, and Buffalo Horn flute. The result is soothing, meditative music of the highest order.

Inner Passion

Inner Passion

Pianist Peter Kater and cellist Tina Guo met over lunch one day and decided to record an album together. However, what’s unique about Inner Passion is that it is a wholly improvised recording. The two had no prior rehearsals—they walked into the studio, had the engineer hit “record” on the board, and musical magic happened. Of course, there have been dozens of albums featuring piano and cello over the years, but seldom do you hear music as soulful and selfless as this, as if it sprang from one person.

Moksha: The Path to Inner Peace

Moksha: The Path to Inner Peace

Bansuri maestro Rajendra Teredesai’s latest release on Real Music features the supremely talented artist pared down to just his trademark instrument (and tamboura drone), performing six Indian ragas aimed at providing meditative backdrops for specific times of the day (“Dawn Ritual,” “Sunset Ritual,” and “Twilight Ritual”). The album is subtitled “… the path to inner peace,” and truthfully, I think these words capture the mood of the music perfectly.

A Bridge Between

A Bridge Between

I don’t often describe a CD as “fun” in my column, so it was enjoyable to listen to (Liza) Carbe and (JP) Durand’s A Bridge Between and feel a big grin break across my face. It’s not just the duo’s great guitar playing (they both play acoustic guitar on the album—and that’s it). It’s the obvious joy they experience as they cover a wide variety of classic tunes: “Time After Time,” “Classical Gas,” “Paint It Black” (!), and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” among others, as well as some nicely done originals.

Altered States: Music for the Journey Within

Altered States

Uma has been recording New Age music since 1982—wow! Her new release, Altered States, is a stunning display of virtuoso minimalism co-existing in the middle ground between ambient and New Age, suffused with a haunting quality borne of space-between-notes lyricism, as well as a pervasive sense of calm even amidst the atypical sparse piano melodies.

Foaming Sugar Scrub

Southern Hospitality Foaming Sugar Scrub

SoHo Feet’s product line is rustic, simple, and elegant. Founded by a podiatrist, this three-step regimen is designed to soak, scrub, and moisturize the most neglected part of our body! I love the bright colors of the Foaming Sugar Scrub (6 oz. or 16 oz.), with suitably southern flavors like Mint Julep and Magnolia. As a retailer, I am particularly impressed with the accessories, signage, and merchandising options that help identify the brand.

Everything in Between

Everything in Between

Everything in Between may be the most uncharacteristic recording I have heard come from Imaginary Road Studios, helmed by the production team of Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton. Guitarist Jeffrey Seeman unleashes an energetic and energizing salvo of slide guitar (and regular acoustic, too) that will grab your customers’ attention from the outset. The opening track, “5 Days Old,” is a precursor of the musical delights to come later.

Moravian Star Ornaments

Moravian Star Ornaments

These beautiful, leaded-glass ornaments have a history dating back to the mid-1800s. Originally used in Moravian churches in Germany, they are now a staple, year-round decoration. A husband-and-wife team creates these beautiful stars by hand in the USA. Available in all colors of the rainbow, they are constructed of 12 equal points, each measuring four inches. A decorative ribbon for hanging is tied to a small hoop soldered to the top point, and they come gift boxed.

Where Butterflies Dance

Where Butterflies Dance

I have written it time and time again, but it still bears repeating: Ann Sweeten has one of the most instantly recognizable piano “voices” in contemporary instrumental music, characterized by a fluid melodicism wedded to a discernible melancholic/tragic romanticism. Where Butterflies Dance, her latest effort, co-produced by Sweeten and Will Ackerman, features terrific contributions from folks such as violinist Charlie Bisharat, cellist Eugene Friesen, and flutist Trisha Craig.

Mind & Body Pillar Candles

Mind & Body Pillar Candles

Finally, a stand-alone pillar candle from a company that has always celebrated a natural way of living with botanical-inspired fragrances. The scents were chosen to help you discover your inner joy, peace, tranquility, and balance, each using three distinct essential oils. The Mind & Body lifestyle brand pillars come in eight different blends and are available in three sizes (4", 6", and 8").

Winter Symphony

Winter Symphony

If you seek music to fit the lively, joyous, and celebratory nature of holiday gatherings, reach for Jennifer Thomas’ terrific Winter Symphony, one of the most ambitious Christmas albums I have heard. Playing piano and violin, and featuring three different orchestras and The Ensign Chorus, Thomas pours her heart and soul into these 12 selections, which include traditional carols, originals, “seasonal” music (“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”), and even the John Williams’ penned “Somewhere In My Memory” from Home Alone.

Raku Potteryworks Heart Stones

Raku Potteryworks Heart Stones

These beautiful two-inch raku “stones” are the perfect gift from the heart for friends, teachers, co-workers, healing arts practitioners—just about anyone on your customers’ lists. Each features one of 16 inspirational designs (the lotus is my favorite) and comes gift ready with an organza bag and story card. The initial 48-pack wholesale order comes with a free raku display bowl and engraved wood sign.

When Awareness Becomes Natural: A Guide to Cultivating Mindfulness in Everyday Life

What is our relationship to reality? This profound and very sensible question gets the conversation rolling along another very powerful spiritual path in Buddhist monk Sayadaw U Tejaniya’s book. When Awareness Becomes Natural is an excellent introduction to his spiritual teachings, mainly, the awareness of attachment and aversion all humans wrestle with in everyday life.

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Pianist Doug Hammer’s second holiday release is a beaut! Seventeen carols and one wintry/seasonal original performed on piano in a relaxed manner make Christmas Lights a fantastic backdrop for quiet relaxing during this ultra-busy time of year. While his arrangements of these time-tested classics sometimes spin off into original improvisation, he does so with style and grace. Some carols get an energetic treatment.

Herban Garden Candles

Herban Garden Candles

These attractive candles smell as if they came straight from the Herb Garden—a great way to bring the outdoors in! Available in four fragrances in a ceramic pot, each comes with a disc of herb seeds to plant later, a creative way to extend candle season into the warmer months. I also love their seasonal Firestarters in Citronella and S’mores scents. We brought in their Cinnamon, Bacon, and Pine scents last fall, and customers loved them!

The Path of Modern Yoga: The History of an Embodied Spiritual Practice

The Path of Modern Yoga

This decade-long labor of love approaches yoga from the historical perspective beginning with the classic Guru-Disciple relationship and documenting the first "yoga class," which took place in 1917. Goldberg’s style leans toward academia, rather than self-help, as he tracks the progress of yoga—and the gurus who made it happen—as it evolved in India as a way of life and a system of health.

I Heard It Was Christmas Day

I Heard It Was Christmas Day

In a field dominated by piano and piano-based releases, it’s refreshing to hear a holiday music album from a guitarist. Tom Caufield’s I Heard It Was Christmas Day is a real treasure. Ten carols, including one original, get enjoyable and interesting treatment without losing their trademark “feel.” Besides his guitar, Caufield also plays bass and keyboards, but it’s his stellar guitar playing that shines brightest on this album.

Labradorite Moon Necklace

Labradorite Moon Necklace

Fun and colorful are the words that best describe this handmade-in-the-USA resin jewelry line. These one-of-a-kind pieces are meticulously crafted in handmade molds from resin combined with pigments; inlaid gemstones; eco-friendly wood; flecks of copper, gold, and silver; and more. The Labradorite Moon Necklace comes on an antique-brass chain with fancy-cut labradorite beads in the chain.

What If This Is Heaven? How Our Cultural Myths Prevent Us From Experiencing Heaven on Earth

What If This Is Heaven?

Moorjani is best known for her insightful and fascinating account of her battle with cancer and subsequent near-death experience. When she finished that book, she felt she had said everything there was to say about near-death and the lessons it brings. She was surprised to find out the lessons were just beginning.

Seed of Life Blossom Earrings

Seed of Life Blossom Earrings

www.greentreejewelry.com
These statement earrings have a lot to say: They’re made in the USA from sustainably harvested wood; they’re a great impulse purchase; their intricate laser-cut design and smaller size (under 1") is very fashion forward; and they are part of a whole collection of cool designs, so there’s something to suit many styles and tastes. Consider these the perfect stocking stuffer!

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience

Growing Up Mindful

American school-age children and teens are "the most stressed-out age group in the country" according to a 2014 American Psychological Association survey of stress ... and they aren’t even paying the bills or voting for the next president!

Enter Growing Up Mindful, which centers around helping the parents of over-stressed children teach them the simple skills of being present.

The Little Book of Healthy Beauty: Simple Daily Habits to Get You Glowing

The Little Book of Healthy Beauty

Naturuopath and acupuncturist Pina LoGuidice's new book on complete health, The Little Book of Healthy Beauty has a decidedly feminine touch, but any reader will benefit from this easy-to-carry volume of wellness, which covers every topic—from the broad subject of sleep to the guts of healthy digestion, or inner peace of mind to inner strength of supplements.

A Plant-Based Life: Your Complete Guide to Great Food, Radiant Health, Boundless Energy, and a Better Body

A Plant-Based Life

Hungering for change? Then consider a diet of whole foods that are plant based. In her new book, A Plant-Based Life, Miceaela Cook Karlsen will take you there, step by step.

Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

Whose Mind Is It Anyway?

This is a book about Universal Truth, or, rather, it’s a book of Universal Truths turned into usable information. (Are you ready?)

Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment

Tears to Triumph

Every few years, Williamson steps forward with her finger on the pulse of an emerging trend. Rather than predict, however, she defines, finding a new perspective from which to present the ideas that are blossoming in her mind. Tears to Triumph is an exceptional example of her skill.

Sensuous Chill

Sensuous Chill

It would seem a natural fit to set Yanni’s gorgeous piano/keyboard melodies against a backdrop of chilled beats and shuffling rhythms, yet this is the first time it has been done (to my memory)—and done very well. Seventeen tracks that infuse romantic piano melodies (with some subtle world music influences now and then) are mixed with a healthy dose of smooth sensuality, courtesy of midtempo/downtempo beats and a scattering of electronic textures and synth effects.

Subcontinental Drift

Subcontinental Drift

Subcontinental Drift embodies three “Rs”—rambunctious, rowdy, and rousing. The five members of Sultans of String, joined by sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid, play their collective tails off throughout this album’s 10 tracks, and boy, do they cook up a storm! The recording blends Indian influence with folk, blues, jazz, and, especially, country swing (play “Enter the Gate” in your store and watch your customers start to grin like crazy). Every now and then the guys take a break and slow things down, but for most of the album, it’s full speed ahead!

Manifestation Tattoos

Manifestation Tattoos

These beautifully designed, contemporary Manifestation Tattoos are socially, spiritually, and eco conscious. Featuring affirmational words and phrases, they are a constant reminder of the intention each tattoo message conveys. They may even inspire you or your customers to get a real tattoo! Available individually, as themed packs, and (my favorite) in a greeting card to send to a loved one who needs a little inspiration. They are nontoxic and made in the USA.

Celtic Fairy Lullaby

Celtic Fairy Lullaby

2002 (originally Pamela and Randy Copus) have had a long and highly acclaimed career, going back to 1992’s Wings. With the addition of daughter Sarah (now all of 12 years old!) on lead and backing vocals (first heard on 2014’s Trail of Dreams), the trio has reached a height that eclipses all their previous accolades. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is a magnificent recording, rife with deep mysticism, heartbreaking beauty, and many moments likely to have you catching your breath in wonder.

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