📝 Spells8 Book Club III - Readers' Reviews!

Wishing a very warm welcome to all of the Witchy Readers! :open_book:

The current reading period for Book Club[December 18th - January 15th] has now ended - well done to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

  • The Curious Lore of Precious Stones by George Frederick Kunz

  • Year of the Witch by Temperance Alden

  • The Witch’s Book of Self Care by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

  • Magical Self-Care For Everyday Life by Leah Vanderveldt
    and Rituals for Every Day by Nadia Narain & Katia Narain Phillips

  • The Spirit of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses

  • To Light A Sacred Flame by Silver Ravenwolf

  • Appalachian Folklore: Omens, Signs, and Superstitions by Nancy Richmond and Misty Murry Walkup

  • Happiness in Your Life: Forgiveness &
    Happiness in Your Life: Trust by Doe Zantamata

  • Drawing Down the Moon

If you are not listed above but read a book during this reading period or you decided to read a different book than listed- you are very welcome to share and discuss here too!

Time to share your thoughts with your coven! :star_struck:

This discussion post will serve as a place to share your thoughts and opinions on the book you chose.

  • If you loved your book and think everyone should read it- awesome! Talk about your favorite points or something you learned.

  • If you didn’t connect with the book- consider explaining why it wasn’t for you.

  • Absolutely hated your book of choice? Warn others to stay away!

This is a great place to share your love for books and find recommendations for new books to read :+1:

Your book review can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like :writing_hand:

If you’re not sure what to talk about, here is a suggested format you can use. Feel free to write as little or as much as you’d like!

Book Title and Author:

Status? : Finished / Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : ???/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:

My personal thoughts/opinions:

An interesting quote from the book: " "

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes / No

Remember that your review is uniquely yours- this is a chance to let your opinions and voice be heard! :raised_hands:

Please keep in mind that others may have opinions that differ from yours- when responding to the thoughts of others please always show respect! Remember that 100 people will read 1 book and have 100 different experiences. That’s what makes sharing interesting! :hugs:

What if I didn’t finish my book / joined late? :raised_hand:

No worries at all!

You are welcome to share your thoughts about the part you have read so far. If you joined the session late and have just started, feel free to talk about your expectations for your book. You can continue reading it into the next reading period.

And always, whether you read or not - you are very welcome to jump in and discuss what others share about their books! :handshake:

Deadlines and Dates :spiral_calendar:

You have 5 weeks to share your thoughts and discuss- until the next Readers’ Review Post appears in the forums!

Deadline for Reviews for this Session: Friday, February 19th

While you have plenty of time for reviews, know that the next and 4th Reading Period for Book Club will begin in one week:

The Next Reading Session will Begin: Friday, January 22nd

On this day a post will appear where you can announce your next book (or continue with your current reading!). Until then, you can find more info about the club in the Book Club FAQ.


It can be hard to find the time and motivation to read on your own- hopefully book club helped you to find time for reading and that it led to some wonderful new knowledge and discoveries.

And as always, hooray for more book recommendations! :raised_hands:

Thanks again for joining in and being a part of Book Club! I am so excited to read your thoughts and learn more about the book you spent time with :blush::open_book:

Blessed be! :sparkling_heart:


Book Review:

Book Title: The Curious Lore of Precious Stones

Author: George Frederick Kunz

[From Project Gutenberg]

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : 9/10 for crystal enthusiasts

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book delves deep into crystal history, meanings, significance, and so much more. As someone looking to learn more about crystals for their many uses in magickal and healing arts- this book is a wonderful resource full of interesting tips and curiosities! :gem:

An interesting quote from the book: From the section on one of my favorite stones, Carnelian:

“The wearing of carnelians is recommended by the Lapidario of Alfonso X to those who have a weak voice or are timid in speech, for the warm-colored stone will give them the courage they lack, so that they will speak both boldly and well. This is in accord with the general belief in the stimulating and animating effects produced by red stones.” (Page 63)

My personal thoughts/opinions: I had a lot of distractions this reading period (blaming the holiday hecticness), so I still have a ways to go with this book! :sweat_smile: While there are some sections meant for a sit-down read, most of the book is designed to be a list of common stones- a wonderful resource for checking individual stones :scroll:

Most of the stones mentioned in the book have a variety of historical tips, famous examples, cultural information, legends, and (most important in my personal opinion)- their healing/spiritual uses :sparkles:

However, a lot of the information and tips are out of balance- some stones have multiple pages of information, while others have just a few sentences.

This book has a lot of information, but will work best when cross-checked with another source- especially if the stone you are looking into only has a small mention in the book.

[Napoleon’s Carnelian Seal from The Curious Lore]

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes! If you want information about crystals in general or are looking for details about a specific stone- this book is a great place to look. It may not have everything you need, but it’s a good place to get extra information and even some history about certain stones and crystals.

And after all, the book is free and available online- so I recommend it to anyone interested! :grin:


“A Witch above all the Triple Goddess and her Consort, The Horned God, in one form or another. A Witch works Magick within a definite code of ethics. A Witch acknowledges and uses the male-female polarity in his/her rites. A Witch takes TOTALL responsibility for her actions, herself, and her future”

Drawing Down The Moon, bye Margot Adler

This is a history book that helps you with paganism and being a witch. It has different traditions in terms of groups that have lots of influence. It empowers you to know your lineage and where you belong.

Status? :revolving_hearts: Still Reading Chapter 5.5

  1. Paganism and Prejudice
    2.A Religon without convets
    3.The Pagan World View
    5.The Wiccan Revival
    6.The Craft Today

My overall rating of the book :+1: :+1:
Two Thumbs up it is vary informative and educational for beginners who are starting off in the craft, or who just want’s to know more about the craft.

How does this book relate to my practice?:
This book is helping me be able to form my own opinions on the subject of witchcraft. Which I think It is fact based, and helps me analyze what other witches have done in the past. It is history. It gives me different distinctions that I didn’t have from before. I read the book and also have the book on audio. She talks about different umbrellas in witchcraft, for example Wiccans, Alexandrians, Gardnerians, Neo Pagan, Georgian, Dianic, and modern witchcraft.

Raymond Buckland is someone that I am familiar with and he was the one who started the Gardnerian coven. I am a eclectic witch who likes to practice ritual. There is alot of talk about being naked in the rite. I think it would be okay with me. So I guess you have to decide for yourself. I have decided in the right time and place I could. I think it is important to find the right coven. And reading this book will help me find out who I am.

Margot shared her own experiences, she said when she got naked she took her clothes off in the bathroom, and there was a girl who had a hard time because she was really big. She said that it gave her a boost of confidence because the girl could not see her feet. to anyone just saying this is how it goes. She went to an initiation and talked about how things don’t always go exactly how it is supposed to be. The high-priestess was not there. Also, she was just visiting and she was from Alexandrian coven. With totally different set of rules and rituals.

I tried to put myself in her shoes. I thought of myself and how being naked would be so embarrassing. I wondered what it would be like for me. She said that the girl was blind folded naked and waiting for ritual to be done and they were arguing over who was going to be high-priestess. In the initiation, there was not a high priestess, which normally they would have not gone through with the initiation but they still did since Margot filled inn. There are different laws or things to follow. According to that coven they normally they wouldn’t go through with the initiation, however in this case they did anyway. For the girl who was being initiated it was a big deal. What if it was me or you? Would you want to stick with the rules of the coven for ritual? I think there are times where you have to make hard core decisions for everyone. I can appreciate that just because one person didn’t show up that one person didn’t mess it up for everyone!

My personal thoughts/opinions
I think having this book is a really important book to have in your library.
Margot has a lot of resources in the back that help me discover who I am in this world. And this is just the beginning of my journey!
Some people think that a witch is born after the initiation and some believe the witch is made. Well, I believe the witch is in us, all along.

All in all, would I recommend this book? Yes

Status?: Still Reading This is a serious book and has a lot of dialogue!

My overall rating of the book :10


Book Review:

Book Title: To Light a Sacred Flame

Author: Silver Ravenwolf

To Light a Sacred Flame Review

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : I’m halfway through and I don’t think I can accurately rate it so far.

How does this book relate to my magickal practice? This book has very interesting rituals, prayers and spells. It is inspiring in many ways because the author shares many personal anecdotes (an opinions too). I can see myself using the practical advice and I have learned a few new concepts.

An interesting quote from the book: On the topic of self-fascinations as a tool of the Witch:

“When we meditate, we produce a self-induced alpha or theta state (…) In theta, many people experience divine revelations, see divinity and angels, and experience astral projection. From theta, your mind moves to delta, which manifests as deep sleep.”

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book covers lots of different topics that are relevant to Wiccans and other Witches. It does feel a bit dogmatic at times and that doesn’t make the reading easy for me. However, Silver Ravenwolf does give lots of useful advice and tips.

Would I recommend this book?: It’s a good book for beginners when it comes to mindset and personal power, in a practical way. I would take some of the assertions with a pinch of salt. Her writing style is very easy to follow and she does have a sense of humor.


Book Title and Author: Appalachian Folklore Omens, Signs, and Superstitions.

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 5

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Sadly it doesn’t.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I was hoping this book would have information on the local Fae and magical practices. Sadly I got a book that mostly just had lists of weird superstitions.

An interesting quote from the book: “To cure whooping cough in a child, he should be breathed on by a sheep, and then rolled in the grass where the sheep has been lying.” I can just imagine people rolling their kids downhill or something. Odd.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, if you’re just looking for a list of superstitions and to get some laughs at what the old timers in this region used to believe. No, if you’re looking for information on the area’s Fae, magic sights, and regional magic.


It takes a very strong and smart reader to be able to analyze a book and use it to form their own opinions- it sounds like a really great recourse for you, @Jeannie1! The history sounds fascinating as well :star_struck:

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the book so far- I hope it continues to be a rewarding and insightful read for you! Enjoy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

It sounds like it has its ups and downs- but I’m glad you are finding some inspirational tips along the way! :open_book::grin: And it’s always fun when the author has a good sense of humor!

I hope the book has many more good things in store- happy reading! :books::blush:

I… don’t even know what to say to this one :face_with_hand_over_mouth: It makes me wonder where along the line sheep became associated with the cure for whooping cough? :sheep: Perhaps there’s some fascinating history behind it! Or perhaps you’re right and the superstitions in the book are just fuel for small talk and a few chuckles :grin:

But a shame about the lack of fae and magic! If there a book about Appalachian local fae folk I bet it would be delightful to read- maybe someday! :smiley:


I couldn’t find it to quote it, but somewhere in the book is said that if a man looked a menstruating woman in the eyes, he’d drop dead.

Drop dead.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if that was true, they’re would have been a whole heck of a lot less men in the world. LOL.


That’s wild, @Amethyst! :laughing: It’s amazing to look back on these superstitions and question the logic- how could something like this possibly survive long enough to be written down!? I think your book may have earned a place in the comedy section :joy: :blue_book:


I have no idea how it survived long enough to be written. I sometimes think they made half that stuff up, it was so outlandish! It was a hoot!


It seems that although the book didn’t have the magick you were hoping for, it gave you a good laugh- and I certainly got a chuckle from it too! :grin:

Books are fun when they surprise us- and now I’m in the mood for something light and happy this time around! Gotta choose what book to read next :thinking::books:


Travel Witch,I can’t wait to do my next book report. I really like Margot Alder. There was so much information. Can’t wait for the next one
Blessed be


And I can’t wait to read your next book report- you did a great job summing up Drawing Down the Moon, Jeannie! :open_book::star_struck:

Do you think you’ll read another book by Margot Alder? It seems like you enjoyed the first book and that her writing really resonates with you! :grin:


Book Title and Author
Happiness in Your Life: Forgiveness
by Doe Zantamata


My Overall Rating of the Book

How does this book relate to my magical practice?

The key take away for me from this book is forgiveness is for me, not for those I forgive. It’s for my healing and my being made whole. While not specifically about my magical practice, healing from trauma helps with my intentions, my focus, and so many other aspects of my life.

An Interesting Quote from the Book

People who don’t forgive say,
“I cannot accomplish something BECAUSE OF that person.”

People who forgive say,
“I can accomplish something REGARDLESS of that person.”

A full and real apology contains five things:

  1. A realization of what they did wrong
  2. Taking responsibility for their words and actions
  3. Expressing sincere remorse
  4. An effort to make amends
  5. Assurance that it won’t happen again in the future
    The more you have of these, the less likely it is to happen again. The fewer you have these, the more likely it will happen again.

The above quotes are from chapters 6 and 8, respectively.

Would I recommend this book?
Yes, if you have been through a bad relationship or had a falling out with a best friend or family member. I thought this was the weakest of her 4 books but overall I would still recommend it as it ties into the other books nicely. It covers things like the process of forgiveness, using meditation to help, and the benefits of forgiveness. She also has a section discussing the differences between revenge, punishment, and justice and how forgiveness works within those frameworks.


Book Title and Author
Happiness in Your Life: Trust
by Doe Zantamata


My Overall Rating of the Book

How does this book relate to my magical practice?

We only have a certain amount of time here on earth, and we never know just how much that will be. If we truly value our own time and the time of others, we can navigate away from situations that waste it and towards those deep, meaningful connections that make the most beautiful and worthwhile experiences in life come true. - Chapter 5, TRUST AND CONNECTION

While, again, not specifically about magic, these are the kinds of books I need at this stage in my life. The quote above is a perfect example from this book and it is easy to see how one could apply that to anything else from their lives, including interactions in a coven. :wink:

Interesting Quotes from the Book

Trust is like air to our relationship. Without it, the relationship not survive. It must be valued and prioritized because with it, you have a mountain of confidence, but if it is broken, that mountain crumbles to dust.

When a person says, “trust is something that needs to be earned,” it’s a big sign that this person’s trust was broken one too many times and they got fed up."
…but people who go by the trust has to be earned philosophy are already convicting every single person in the world for their crimes that don’t even exist and think that’s a good way to go. It’s not. No honest, good person with a healthy self-esteem will sign up for this. Why would they? Even if they like someone, being convicted and jailed mentally and emotionally is unfair punishment and it’s hurtful to someone who has done nothing wrong. -Chapter 1, THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUST

You are not a fool for trusting someone who lied to you. They are the fool for lying to someone who trusted them. -Chapter 1, THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUST

(The second half of the book is harder for people who are not ready to accept it so I won’t quote from it.)

Would I recommend this book?
Yes. :star_struck: This is not a book for people that are still hurting, still need to forgive and release things. They won’t be ready for the second half of the book. But for people that have been in the process of healing from trauma of all kinds, this book is necessary when they are ready for it.



A really powerful lesson- accepting this is a key towards taking control of your own life :old_key:. It’s a great concept, but it is certainly easier said than done! This is a lesson I am still working on for myself :relieved:

It sounds like this book is an important stepping stone on the path towards recovery- but it looks like it may not be the first step. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and advice, Benjamin! :blush:

These books sound lovely- from your feedback and the quotes you shared, they look well-written. And more than being good reads, they sound like very powerful tools for healing! :pray:

Thanks again for sharing your reviews on these- perhaps someone who needs the guidance they offer, will now be able to enjoy these books! :open_book: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hi All,

I am still reading my book, so I am not ready to post my review yet. :nerd_face:


No rush at all, @Rowan! :blush: I’ve gone ahead and re-added you to the list for the next session of book club.

Relax, take your time, and enjoy your book! :open_book: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Thank you!:grin:


The third session of the Spells8 Book Club and its review period have closed. But no worries! Visit Activities to jump in on the current reading session.