📝 Spells8 Book Club VI - Readers' Reviews!

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

The current reading period for Book Club [April 5- May 7] has now ended - well done to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

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, June 11th

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, May 14th

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:

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Book title and author: Year of the Witch: Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magick by Temperance Alden. Kindle version, so, unfortunately, I can’t give exact page numbers.

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 1/10 (only because the author deserves credit for writing the book – I can’t begin to imagine how much effort goes into writing a book!)

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?

  • I heard it suggested as a great book for beginners somewhere (I don’t remember where), so I figured it would be a good book for me to read since I’m still very much a beginner. As such, I don’t really know much about the Wheel of the Year in general, so I was hoping it would enlighten me a bit.

  • So far, I haven’t really felt much connection to the “official” Wheel of the Year, other than Samhain because Halloween was my late grandma’s favorite holiday. I was hoping this book would give me insight into the “traditional” Wheel of the Year that would help me feel a bit more connected to it, or at least provide inspiration to help me design my own.

My personal thoughts and opinions:

  • Meh.

  • I didn’t really care all that much for this book.

  • There was a lot of stuff that for one reason or another didn’t sit well with me, and I just haven’t been able to figure out why.

  • After reading the entire book, I felt like it was pointless for me to read it. There wasn’t any new information that I hadn’t already read somewhere else. There were a few parts that I felt should have been expanded on much more (I can’t remember what they are though, and honestly, I don’t care enough about the book to waste my time going back to look for them), and other parts that seemed to carry on forever with details that didn’t contribute anything other than more words.

  • As others have pointed out, there are parts that just seem out of place or like they shouldn’t be there in the first place (the section on climate issues, for example). One example of this that stuck out to me was the following quote: “…[M]any sources would have you think that most modern religious holidays were directly and viciously stolen from pagans as the Catholic Church converted the folk religions of Europe” (from the Introduction). Sorry, Temperance, but that’s actually EXACTLY what happened. The Catholic Church did steal and appropriate pagan holidays and celebrations to try to get more pagans to convert to Christianity. Eventually, the Christian Church claimed these holidays and celebrations, which were derived from groups that were oppressed, discriminated against, and forced into converting, as their own – the literal definition of cultural appropriation. Which, in my opinion, could be argued as being “directly and viciously stolen” from oppressed groups, i.e., pagans. (Not that I have anything against the Christian faith.) To me, personally, this was enough to pretty much discredit the rest of whatever Temperance had to say in the rest of the book.

  • The more I think about my thoughts and opinions on this book, the more I realize how strongly I disliked this book.

Interesting quote from the book:

  • “At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover there will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” -Alan Alda (Introductory quote to Chapter 1)

This quote resonated with me because my main goal of exploring the Craft is to help me discover more about myself and to embrace all aspects of myself in a healthy, balanced way.

This isn’t even a quote from the author of Year of the Witch. I tried my damnedest to try to find a quote from the author that resonated with me, but after finishing the book and reflecting on my thoughts on it, all the quotes that I initially wrote down in my notes all ended up falling flat and no longer worth quoting.

All-in-all, would I recommend this book? Nope. I genuinely tried so hard to enjoy this book and to find positive aspects of it, but after reading it, I just can’t do that.

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Very good Review, I feel the same way about pretty much all of it. It’s disappointing because it started out nicely, but then just tanked!

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I completely agree :confused:

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I agree with your review, Wade. :+1:

Altohugh I enjoyed some parts, overall it felt like one of those books written by influencers who end up cramming a lot of information without properly editing it before the deadline. Someone made a video on the topic.

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Book title and author : Year of the Witch: Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magick Author: Temperance Alden
Kindle Edition
Status : Finished/Quit

My overall rating of the book : 1/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?
The content it mentioned felt as though it would be good to get more acquainted with the Wheel of the Year and the Sabbats/Esbats.

My personal thoughts and opinions : This book started out like a first date, much hope and pre-conceived ideas. Only to pull me in and drop me flat. There were parts of this book that I felt “okay, this will be where it picks up,” and then I’d read on and just be totally disappointed.
There were too many parts that I felt were inappropriately added in this book, not that I expect to agree with every word or point in a book, I actually like books that give me the chance to consider new things or beliefs. But for this book, there were just too many things not to like. It was hard to figure out if some points the author included were those she agreed with or just added in to help the word count.

Interesting quote from the book : From the authors words, really there wasn’t any.

All-in-all, would I recommend this book? No, not to people I like or respect anyway.

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This made me chuckle – thank you for that :joy_cat:

I also like your comparison of Year of the Witch to a first date - that’s exactly what it was like for me too. Hopefully the next books we all choose are more enjoyable :sweat_smile:

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Book - Year of the Witch: Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magick
Author - Temperance Aldren
Status - Finished (grudgingly)

I did go on to finish the book cause id made it halfway and I thought like most of you that it might get a bit better down the line. It really didn’t though. I didn’t hate it but I did disagree with a few points. Not that that’s uncommon among humans, we disagree all the time. It wasn’t the best planned out non-fiction book I’ve read and it made it very hard to stay focused and to take the information seriously. Others have said it and I found my experience to be the same, the Author was very inconsistent in what her views on any matter were and some of the claims were a little inaccurate. I didn’t learn anything I consider new, for me anyway, so I wouldn’t recommend it to a fellow Practioner. And i don’t think I’d recommend it to a beginner in the Craft either because of the inconsistencies.

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I think this is one of the things that I didn’t like that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Thinking back on it now, I think the author was probably trying to take a neutral stance on things. I feel like it’s a pretty normal thing to want to try to keep a non-fiction book as unbiased as possible, but (1) writing anything in an unbiased way is nearly impossible, and (2) the way the author of this book did it, as you said, was inconsistent and a little inaccurate. I might be interpreting the author’s intentions wrong, but if I’m not, I’d rather her straight-up say “I believe ABC because XYZ. However, other people believe QRS because EFG.”

In my opinion, as an author, if you don’t make your biases clear and then try to present other views as neutrally as possible, it comes across as not-genuine, wishy-washy, sketchy, and inconsistent. Not admitting one’s biases can cause more issues than it solves, especially when it comes to one’s credibility as a non-fiction writer.

I could go on and on about this sort of thing, but for anyone who’s interested in writing, especially non-fiction, I’d VERY highly recommend the book They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing* by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein!

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That looks interesting it’s been added to the list thank you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I know what you mean, it’s ok to have certain views on certain things as long as you aren’t being downright horrible or condemning others for theirs. I also feel that if all views are given on matter then it’s more likely that resolutions in the prejudices we have today would happen quicker, views that are based on stereotypes are less likely to be when the light is shone on them regularly :heartpulse:

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Thanks to @wade, @Rowan, @Liisa for your insightful reviews on Year of the Witch! :clap: :star_struck:

Now that this Book Club review post is live in the forums, I’ve gone ahead and moved your reviews originally shared in the Year of The Witch Thread to this main discussion. This is just so your helpful reviews are easier to find and can be enjoyed by those who read other books this session!

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on the book- it sounds like it wasn’t anything like what you all were expecting! :astonished:

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Book Title and Author: Year of the Witch by Temperance Alden

Status? : Still Reading / paused for the time being

My overall rating of the book : 5/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:

I’m relatively new to Witchcraft and Wicca and was keen to learn more about the wheel of the year and how it will affect my practice.

My personal thoughts/opinions:

There are some parts of the book that I’ve enjoyed and have resonated with me. It started well and got me thinking about how my spiritual journey is a process that will take time. And how science and religion can be blended. But other parts that have just rubbed me up the wrong way, just a sense of unease that hasn’t made me want to finish it.

I skipped ahead to the chapter on Beltane and it was time appropriate but don’t feel I really learned much of anything, I put the book down feeling a bit “blah”.

I will try to finish it, reading each chapter at the appropriate time during the year but want to focus my efforts on something else that interests me more at the moment. And I think the universe has decided it wasn’t for me as I’ve spilt a glass on wine on it… I read a lot into what wine tries to tell me :rofl:

An interesting quote from the book:

“Witches don’t become skilled in their practice overnight, just as they don’t become masters by reading one book. Spiritual skills are akin to a special muscle group; one cannot go to the gym, look at the equipment, walk away, and somehow get in shape without ever touching a single machine. Spiritual growth is the same. It requires time and effort.”

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Maybe - I realise that isn’t desperately helpful!

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Book Title and Author: Reasonable Doubt by Peter Manso

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: It doesn’t except that it’s recent history of my area

My personal thoughts/opinions: I liked the book & reading about the criminal justice system in my state, or how it was operating at the time.

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

The book is about the murder of Christa Worthington & the investigation into it. They had the mentality that someone is responsible & went for the easiest target regardless of the evidence they had on the case. The DA was chasing skirts & the man that wound up having to prosecute the case was getting tripped up by the evidence presented in the courtroom that pointed away from the defendant. Or just didn’t make any sense at all. There was family interference because Christa’s family was so prominent in the area. It’s an awful thing to have to happen & my heart breaks for her daughter that was 2 at the time of the murder.

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I’ll have to join the next book club :blue_book:. I’m ordering some books soon. I need to add to my book collection. Badly!! In the meantime, I enjoy reading everyone’s input so I can use that to choose some books to buy. :grin::heartbeat:

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The next book that I am reading is going to be on Astrology. I’m excited to start that one. :partying_face:

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Ooh, that sounds good! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

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I’ve just had this arrive so this will be next on my list.

Witta book

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This gave me a laugh :joy_cat: This made me think of a quote I saw recently (maybe even on this forum? I can’t remember where I saw it :thinking:): “In wine there is truth.” :joy_cat: Cheers! :clinking_glasses:

Update: Ope, found the quote quoted by @Francisco here on another post about Year of the Witch

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Book Title and Author: The Ultimate Book of Spells by Pamela J. Ball.

Status: Finished

My Overall Rating of the Book: 7/10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?: I wanted to get some spell ideas from the book and spell techniques.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a big book and it got a bit confusing. Lots of different systems and beliefs all mixed into one. Everything from Hoodoo to Norse Paganism to the Kabbalah. Unfortunately that means there was a lot of little bits of information instead of a good bit of one kind of spell casting. Still, it had many interesting spells, incenses and oils. All in all I’m glad I read it. But unless I’m looking for a particular spell I probably won’t read it again.

An interesting quote from the book: “There are three important aspects when reciting a spell. This first is that words spoken with intensity and passion do have a power all of their own. The next is that the speaker also has a power and an energy which, with practice, he or she may learn to use effectively. The third component, the forces and powers belonging to that which is ‘beyond the human being’ also have a tremendous power and are called upon, used or directed for a specific purpose. The use of all three of these aspects give a very powerful spell indeed.”

All in all, would I recommend this book: Yes-ish.

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LOL good catch :laughing: Here’s another one: “Life is too short to drink bad wine.”

@Siofra Looks like you read the best book so far!! Onto the next!

@Amethyst I have that book! It’s easy to read and has lots of spells. I couldn’t agree more with your review :+1:

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