📝 Spells8 Book Club V - Readers' Reviews!

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

The current reading period for Book Club [February 26 - March 26] has now ended - well done to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

  • Studies in Astrology: Volume I by Elman Bacher
    @TheTravelWitch

  • The Year we Disappeared by Peter Manso
    @Siofra

  • Utterly Wicked: Hexes, Curses, and Other Unsavory Notions by Dorothy Morrison
    @Amethyst

  • Ogam Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie
    @MeganB

  • Candle Magic for Beginners by
    Mystic Dylan
    @Rowan

  • Wiccapedia A Modern-Day White Witch’s Guide by Shawn Robbins and Leanna Greenway
    @colin

  • Six Ways: Approaces & Entries for Practical Magic by Aidan Wachter
    @wade

  • Either A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine or
    Brave Surrender by Kim-Walker Smith
    @praecog29

  • Toil and Trouble by Augusten Buroughs
    @stephanie28

Even if you are not listed above but you read a book during this reading period/ 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.

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

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

  • :angry: 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, May 7th

While you have plenty of time for reviews, know that the next reading period will begin in one week:

The Next Reading Session will Begin: Friday, April 2nd Monday, April 5th

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.

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[Gif from Pintrest]

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:

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Sorry if this post is a little early — I’ve been extra forgetful lately and I wanted to make sure I got this posted before I forgot :sweat_smile:

Book title and author: Six Ways: Approaches & Entries for Practical Magic by Aidan Wachter

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book was recommended by Chaotic Witch Aunt on YouTube video titled “The 10 Best Books for Beginner Witches!” I decided it sounded like an interesting book to read because I’m still very new to this path, and I’m in the process of reading as many books as possible so I can expose myself to as many different ideas as possible. I’m still working on figuring out what I believe and why, and what I want to get out of my studies in this area.

My personal thoughts/opinions:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. However, there were a few parts that were a few parts where more abstract concepts were being discussed, and it was a little hard for me to follow. I’m not sure whether it was because of the writing style or if — like I’ve said — I don’t have enough experience and knowledge of magickal concepts/beliefs/etc. to be able to easily understand the specific portions I found hard to read. Time will tell because I plan on using this as a reference book moving forward, and I can see myself coming back to it time and time again as I progress in my studies.

For as thin as this book appears to be, it is PACKED with tons of excellent information — at least in my opinion as someone who still has a lot to learn. There was lots of practical information about things such as meditation, making petitions, raising power, entering a trance state, etc.

Although there is so much great content, some of the sections felt like they weren’t as thorough as they could be. I appreciated that everything was written to be as brief and concise as possible because it didn’t feel too “ramble-y”, but there were a few sections that definitely could have been more detailed or that could have been expanded on, even just a little. For some beginners, this lack of thoroughness could be a bit off-putting.

One of my favorite parts about this book was that the author did a great job of giving examples of how each thing he talked about could be applied in a practical way. For example, Chapter 3 discusses further clarifying your intention (after discussing intention in Chapter 2). The author gives an example of a Road Opener spell using an example intention. He gives an example of a possible invocation and a possible evocation to ask for awareness of different options one has. He goes on to provide more examples, which I appreciated because it allowed me to see connections between different methods of working:

“I could sigilize the intention …, or create a petition for it …, either or both of which could be used in an invocation or evocation. I could use the intention, sigil, or petition for a candle spell …. I could take them into the Dreaming…. I could carry them into trance or meditation…, or bring them to the pendulum … for further inquiry.

All of these methods are viable…. They can be used singly or in combination.” (page 18)

Interesting quotes from the book:

“You are what you do. So choose what you do carefully. Choose who you engage with. Choose what stories you tell yourself about why things are the way they are for you. Choose to believe that you can change what needs to be changed. Act from this position. Make it true.” (page 102)

“Magic is the act of falling in love with the Field and its inhabitants.” (page 120)

Note: “the Field” as Aidan Wachter defines it on page 11 is the “the world itself and its visible and invisible structures and inhabitants” collectively. This quoted definition is my definition I used for the Field throughout my reading of Six Ways . The concept of the Field as the author views and defines it was one of the parts that was a bit hard for me to grasp for my initial reading of this book.]

“Magic is taking responsibility for all aspects fo your life, and the ability to make a decision to change it is the most basic freedom of all.” (page 129)

All-in-all, would I recommend this book?: Yes!

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Beautiful entry, @wade! Thanks for sharing your review- you are so on top of your reading, you’re amazing! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :open_book: The review thread will appear in the forums on Friday, so I’ll move this excellent review into there when the thread is available :+1: I’m glad you enjoyed the book and were able to learn some valuable invocations and information, even if some parts of the book were hard to follow! It sounds like a good read- I especially liked reading the quotes you shared :raised_hands:

Edit: I’ve moved your lovely review here into the new Readers’ Review thread, @wade! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and feedback about Six Ways :blush::heart:

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That’s a solid definition! Great review @wade! I really like the work of Aidan Wachter (the talismans) so I look forward to getting this book.

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Book Title: Studies in Astrology: Volume I

Author: by Elman Bacher

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[Picture from Amazon]
(Couldn’t find a good picture of Volume I, but all the covers seem to have the same design)

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : 6/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book (and the other volumes in the series) offer a “deep dive” into astrology- looking at horoscopes and how the stars and planets can be read and interpreted to find clues into human nature.

As someone who is fascinated with astrology (albeit very basic astrology at the moment)- I think this is a fascinating aspect of magick to learn about! :blush:

A bit about the book and its contents: This the first book of nine volumes (plus one extra) written by astrologist Elman Bacher and available to the public for free through the Rosicrucian Library.

This book covers astrological accuracy, astro-dynamics, and the following planets: Sun, Moon, Venus, and Mercury. Other planets and topics are explored in the following books.

An interesting quote from the book:

"As you, to a greater and greater degree express the positive possibilities indicated in your chart, you make of yourself a magnet to draw into expression the good that is latent in others. "

[Chapter III - Planets are People]

" Astrology is an exact science because: Every factor in a correctly calculated horoscope is a symbolic representation of an exact and impartial effect of a specific cause. It represents the cosmic and immutable law of cause and effect operating in the conditions and experiences of a human being on his progress of many incarnations. "

[Chapter I- The Accuracy of Astrology]

My personal thoughts/opinions: I admit following along was a struggle- there is a lot of interesting information, but it can be confusing how Mr. Bacher presents it. He bounces around a lot and I found things to suffer from a lack of clarity. I should also point out that a lot of the material was over my head- there is some advanced astrology in here! Probably not the best book for beginners :sweat_smile:

While I love astrology and think it is fascinating, I personally don’t agree with how the books present astrology as an infallible science. I’ve always found the beauty of astrology to be like tarot cards- it’s all open to situational interpretation and there may be times where there aren’t ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers.

It must be said that Mr. Bacher passed away 70 years ago, so it makes sense that some of his stances come off a bit “dated”. There’s also the fact that this book- and all the others in the series- are available online for no cost. Can’t complain too much about a free resource! :laughing:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes… (it depends)

I recommend these books to those with an interest in astrology who can read these books subjectively. A lot of the information presented is based on Bacher’s personal beliefs- that may or may not align with your own beliefs of astrology. While some of the statements may not resonate with you, there is a lot of great information and interesting ways to read the planets in your star charts! :milky_way:

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They sound like a good place to go, maybe after you have learned the basics of astrology? I could be wrong though too. That’s the feeling I get from the synopsis. I think I will find another resource before I start reading those & have a better feel for the sun, moon, rising signs before I dive in, but it sounds like a great resource to have! I’m a little excited about getting to the point that I can read them & learn more about the alignments of the sun, moon, planets and how they relate to people!

I will add my book to the end of this post.

Book Title and Author: Reasonable Doubt, Peter Manso

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: It gives me a history of the Cape

My personal thoughts/opinions: I love the book because it really happened in close proximity to me. I’m always interested the real life things that happen.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: If you are interested in Cape Cod history then yes I would recommend this book or if you know who Christa Worthington was as a writer. I would absolutely recommend this book.

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Book Title and Author: Utterly Wicked: Hexes, Curses, and Other Unsavory Notions By Dorothy Morrison.

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Learning the ways and means of hexing is useful if you’re going to avoid doing so.

An interesting quote from the book: “Yes, I do subscribe to the version of the Wiccan Rede that says “… ever mind the law of three unless in self-defense it be …” “

My personal thoughts/opinions: In reference to the quote from Chapter One: “Yes, I do subscribe to the version of the Wiccan Rede that says “… ever mind the law of three unless in self-defense it be …” “ I had not heard of this version so I had to go looking for it. I looked for a good couple of days before finally hunting down the author’s email and asking her, which she so graciously replied to. Here is what I got back from her:

There are many versions of the Rede - and even though there’s much debate about this, I was taught that the long version was written by Doreen Valiente and published in 1964. I do not know whether the version to which I subscribe was written by Doreen or someone else. All I do know is that it’s often called the “Celtic version” or "rhyming version; the latter of which is ridiculous because all the versions are written in rhyming couplets! LOL!

At any rate, a short internet search turned up several places you can find the version you’re looking for. I highly recommend the first link, as it lists several versions. :wink:
jesterbear.com/Wicca/Rede.html
www.virtualavalon.com/TheWakingDragon/
https://silvercircle.org/wicca-hekserij/lest-self-defence
Wicca and Self Defense? | Yahoo Answers

Sending much love and wishing you a glorious day!

So now I have several Redes that are a bit different with self-defense clauses in them. Which I like myself. If I’m getting mugged I’m not going to worry about harming none, I’m gonna be kicking and screaming. I think that is a lot of what this book is about.

This book goes into how no one can really lay a good curse for someone else, because no one but the one wanting the curse to be done is mad enough to do it. You’ve got to really feel it and be angry to the point of choking someone to death to really lay a curse on well.

Then with this book there are not only, curses, hexes, and jinx, but there are uncrossing baths and how to avoid getting hexed as well.

There is also a detailed portion on how to turn bath recipes into showers and how to do it.

There is also some serious spells, like the Serial Rapist Go To Hell Spell, the Get Out of My Life Hex, and the Empty Wallet Hex. There are even hexes that keep your lover faithful to you, not matter if they’re male of female. Spells to stop sexual harassment looked interesting.

There are recipes for Goofer Dust, how to get Graveyard Dirt safely, and other oils and powders. There are hexes to keep vermin out of the home in the same part of the book that getting rid of a nasty boss is.

There is even ideas on how to make your standard fashion doll ::coughbarbiecough:: into a poppet for hexing if you’re not up to sewing too much.

All in all, this is a fun book to read but I doubt if I’ll ever use any of the spells in it. I’m just not a naturally angry person. Usually.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes!

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Book Title and Author: Candle Magic for Beginners

Status? : Finished / Still Reading…Both :smiley:

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Candle Magic is a staple in my craft.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Okay so this book is amazing! First I have to say that the connection I feel from this book was new to me, I don’t know if anyone can relate but we all have that one book that we just love right? But this feeling is as if I have a silent little guide in the pages and I just felt such a link with it as soon as I read the first couple of pages. So much so, I carry it in my purse now… :rofl: It had a nice getaway as well… :joy:
I have read through it, jotted down notes, and ear marked pages. but it is one that I honestly can say is not a one read through and done kind of book. There is so much valuable information inside it that I just feel more confident having it handy.

An interesting quote from the book:

“Lighting the wick of a candle is not a mundane act; you are unleashing the primordial essence of the flame itself. The candle becomes more than just the physical representation of your desire; it also houses and attracts the spirit, or the energy, that will assist you in achieving your goal. The candle has the power to purge your fears, eliminate negativity, and transform you into the divine being you’re meant to be.”
“Candle Magic for Beginners”
By:Mystic Dylan
pg: 8
Rock Ridge Press ~ 2020

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, definitely!

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As someone who spent a lot of time on the Cape this books sounds like it could be a great read! I’m so glad you are enjoying the book so far, Krissie. I hope it has a great ending! Have fun :blush:

It sounds like hexes in this book are kind of last-defense mechanism to protect yourself. It sounded a bit dark at first, but after reading your review I can see that this book is a treasure trove of information (of all types and kinds! :laughing: )! The ability to switch bath recipes into shower rituals sounds particularly useful :bathtub: :+1:

A really great resource- thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on it, @Amethyst! :raised_hands: :heart:

I love hearing how much you enjoyed this book, @Rowan- sounds like a great find! It seems like one of those books you want to read once a year because it just has so much valuable information :open_book: :two_hearts:

Thanks for sharing your review! I’ll have to look into reading this book for myself :blush::candle:

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You’re welcome! It was a good book, and easy to read. I really enjoyed it!

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Hi :raising_hand_woman: Witchy Witches,
I have been reading this book by Timothy Rodrick it is good for 366 days of spiritual practice in the craft of the Wise. Wicca one year and a day!
He also has another one for you which is that are advanced.
Advanced Wicca One Year and a Day!

I love this book expecailly great for people who are just starting! It is really good because each chapter will give you a list of things that you will need for your spell work. It’s good skim ahead of the book so you have an idea of the magical items in advance. It really helps me to gain prospective on each of the Sabbats and even esbates! He explained everything! For Beltane there is a summary about it being a joyous open hearted celebration of life and as might be suggested by it’s balancing counter placement in the wheel cycle to that of Samhain. Focusing on life it explains what the celts did and the druids to celebrate bel fires!there are many examples with a word to the wise! The meaning of Beltane, the great rite!
Beltane Attracting love bell :bellhop_bell: teen sexuality and spirit build teen traditional flower charm bell team blessing with a priatic wand, Beltane flower :rose: traditional flower charm!
Most of the time you can go over a god that pertains to an subject. We have gone over hand gestures. There are different invocations and there are also many different recipes for example there will be a recipe at the end for Beltane.
I have been reading this book since October! And it helps me gain a lot of experience with spells because it’s all thought out for you! I feel more comfortable with them expeacially cause I get hands on training in my book and on spells 8. :grinning:So if there’s some thing you don’t understand you can always rely on it as a guide!
I think it is awsome I’ve done meditations and worked with different herbs and it will even tell you why your useing the herb for example myrrh is for the maiden energie.Sometimes there will even be a prayer.


I love the spells they are easy and inexpensive too! But be prepared to spend a little for some supplies!
Jeannie
Blessed be
Witches!

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Wow, it looks like an amazing read @Jeannie1! :star_struck: I agree- it does sound like a great book for beginners that covers a lot of helpful information. I’m glad you found it to be a good guide with plenty of spells and advice- may it continue to be a great recourse for you!

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the book. This review was a pleasure to read! :open_book: :blush:

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This book has been added to my list :slight_smile: Thank you < Blessed Be <3

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This book is on my wish list I think but it just got bumped up.

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Sweet! Ive been looking forward to seeing your review over this :slight_smile: Im definitely going to get this book

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Thanks Kasie for helping out with all the links! I really need to get the paperback!
Thanks again!
Blessed be

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You’re welcome! :hugs:

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Thank you. You definitely will enjoy this book.
When you get it and start going through it, let me know what you think.
:grin:
Blessed Be

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@Rowan Yay! I ordered it on Amazon. Should get it by tomorrow!

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:star_struck: Yay!!

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