📝 Spells8 Book Club VIII - Readers' Reviews!

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

The current reading period for Book Club [Jun 18 - Jul 16 ] has now ended - well done to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

  • Cooling Herbs for Hot Summer Days by the Herbal Academy
    @TheTravelWitch
    @wade

  • The Horned God of the Witches by Jason Mankey.
    @Amethyst

  • The House Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
    @Siofra

  • Wicca - A Modern Practitioner’s Guide by Arin Murphy Hiscock
    @Saulamay

  • Life Beyond Death by Swami Abhedananda
    @anneshakargupta

  • The Modern Witch’s Guide to Happiness by Luna Bailey
    @IrisW

  • Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson
    @Francisco

  • Magical Midlife Madness by K.F. Breene
    @Mamabear

  • Herb magic for beginners by Ellen Dugan
    @wasantha

  • Spell Caster ( A look at the world of spell casting) by Anonymous
    @NickWick

  • Wicca - A guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
    @elvira
    @WhiteFox

  • Badass Ancestors: Finding Your Power with Ancestral Guides by Patti Wigington
    @wade

  • Entering Hekate’s Garden: The Magick, Medicine & Mystery of Plant Spirit Witchcraft by Cyndi Brannen
    @pedros10

  • Keeping Her Keys * An Introduction To HEKATE’S MODERN WITCHCRAFT by Cyndi Brannen
    @Jeannie

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 whether you read a book 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, August 20th

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, July 23rd

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.

Witch reading
[Gif from MyLovelySecret]

It can be hard to find the time and motivation to read on your own- hopefully book club helped provide a bit of motivation and that it led to some wonderful new knowledge and discoveries in your Craft :books:

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! :sparkles:

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Sorry that this post is super early – I wanted to get it done while I was thinking about it so I can also (hopefully!) have time to read the other book (The House Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock) and still have plenty of time to focus on my schoolwork >.< Here’s my review of Cooling Herbs for Hot Summer Days!

Book title and author: Cooling Herbs for Hot Summer Days by Herbal Academy (no specific author listed)

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 7/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice? This book is a good source of inspiration to encourage me to explore herbalism more. I keep getting signs that are pointing me in the direction of learning more about herbs, and I very much identify as a Kitchen Witch so this topic is a great one for me to learn more about. Learning the chemical/medical properties of herbs in addition to the spiritual/metaphysical properties will allow me to incorporate more “stuff” into my cooking, baking, and magickal practice in general. To me, the scientific and metaphysical properties of things are very closely linked, so any information I got from this book will help me in my pursuit of magickal knowledge.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting, and – in case I haven’t said it enough already – has provided me with lots of inspiration to study herbalism further. I’m even considering taking an herbalism class or two!

I learned a lot from this book, and I feel like it had lots of information for how short it is. However, as a beginner in the study of herbs, it was almost a little overwhelming. It threw a bunch of herbalism jargon out there, but didn’t provide any information about what the terms meant, and I had to do a lot of Googling. I know that this was a freebie from an herbalism school, so it’s obviously not going to contain all the information because then people wouldn’t pay for the courses they offer, but that’s just something to keep in mind if you’re a beginner like I am.

An interesting quote from the book (or two :sweat_smile:)

Many cooling herbs have a demulcent or moistening property, which helps to ward off the dehydration that can occur in the heat of summer. Cooling demulcents include marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) root and hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyx. Some astringent herbs also cool the body in this way— this may seem counterintuitive, as we often think about astringent herbs as drying, but as astringents work to tighten and tone tissues, they also help to preserve water inside the tissues. Thus, astringent herbs can also help to offset heat by keeping the body hydrated. Cooling astringents include rose (Rosa spp.) petal, raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaf, and linden (Tillia spp.) bract and flower. (page 6)

I found the above quote interesting because it helps to explain why green tea is one of the suggested ingredients in the Bath Spell to Beat the Heat in a recent Spells8 email newsletter. Green tea has astringent properties, so because it “tightens and tones,” physically, it helps us seal in water, so we stay cool; by extension into the metaphysical, that property makes it an herb that has the potential to protect us from heating energies. :nerd_face: Here is a brief article that talks about the concept of heat/cold as it relates to bodily health in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

One way to spot cooling herbs and foods is by their flavor. While cooling herbs can vary in flavor, many of them have a sour taste. Sour-flavored herbs that are cooling include lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf, rose (Rosa spp.) hip, hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyx, and sour fruits like lemon, lime, blueberry, and more. (page 6)

This a neat little tip to help us find more ways to beat the heat and to find more ingredients for our spellwork!

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

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That’s awesome @wade- thanks for the very thorough review! :heart_eyes: I’m glad you enjoyed the book and were able to find some interesting herbal tips and knowledge :herb:

I’m still making my way through the book, but it’s a short one with plenty of pictures so I think that even with my big move this week I should be able to finish it. I’ve read a few of the Herbal Academy free ebooks before and they always have some good knowledge in an easy-to-digest way, although I agree that the terminology they use isn’t always beginner-friendly :sweat_smile: Thank goodness for Google to the rescue! :laughing:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and also for all those helpful resource links! I hope your medical studies and herbal studies continue to go well- enjoy and blessed be! :sparkles:

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Oof, the process of moving is always exciting but never fun! :confounded: I hope your move goes smoothly! :slight_smile:

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That is a great review @wade & it definitely piqued my interest. I have hibiscus & lemon balm in my yard, so it’s good to know that there is also another use for them. Side note: I plan on working in my garden today. I like learning about the herbs that I have & how to use them also. I think I may look into this reading.

I am also reading the House Witch! I have found it very interesting & resonating with who I am. I’ve only gotten through the first few chapters, but so far I like. it.

@Iris you can post your review of the first book if you have finished it also! That would be great!

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Book title and author: The Modern Witch’s Guide to Happiness by Luna Bailey

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?

I’m fast coming to realise that I’m fairly eclectic in my approach to witchcraft. Whilst at present I do consider myself Wiccan, I don’t feel the need to pigeonhole myself into a particular way of practicing Wicca, which is part of what I love about it, being able to craft our own path.

This book focuses on positivity and happiness, obviously given the title, and touches on many different areas of the craft. It’s probably more geared towards beginners as it doesn’t go in depth into any of the areas it covers, but it gives a good taste of the potential for further study.

Topics covered are:

  • Chapter 1 - Getting Spiritual
  • Chapter 2 - Finding Your Rituals
  • Chapter 3 - Harnessing Your Cosmic Energy
  • Chapter 4 - Cleaning Crystals and Dispelling Toxic Energy
  • Chapter 5 - Embrace Your Psychic Power with Tarot
  • Chapter 6 - The Magick of Nature
  • Chapter 7 - Everyday Spellcraft

My personal thoughts/opinions:

This really is a beautiful book, both visually and spiritually. As it’s not text heavy, there’s plenty of room for lovely illustrations, tips, and spells ideas, and it just feels like a pleasure to hold and read. Whilst it is fairly simplistic, I can see myself returning to it time and time again because it makes me happy reading it.

I zipped through it in only a couple of nights and actually felt more positive having just read it. I can’t wait to put some of it into practice, which I’m hoping will be helpful in tackling my addiction issue.

An interesting quote from the book

There is nothing better than fresh air, sunshine and the sea to clear away the negative energy that has built up inside you - it can feel like an uncomfortable fullness. It needs to be released, and the best way to do it is to be outside, letting Mother Nature’s energies flow through you.

This quote really resonated with me. There’s nothing I love more than to go for a walk in the woods to clear my head. And being by the sea in Cornwall last week made me realise how much I miss sea air. Part of what I’m hoping to work into our potential move to Ireland.

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

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Wade,

Blockquote
I remember when I was in college they would have a book and it would have alot of short videos and websites and pictures. I know what you mean by being a little overwhelming when you need to search google for information. I see that they wouldn’t give you that information till you paid for a class. That seems like a really good book if you could invest the time and money to work it!
Thanks a whole lot wade your book seems like a winner! I am tempted some day to get into Herbalism!
Jeannie

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From what you’ve said about The Modern Witch’s Guide to Happiness I love everything about it @IrisW- I’m so glad you discovered such a treasure! :open_book: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: It sounds very friendly to beginners and an inspiring read :sparkles: As someone else who feels a pull towards an eclectic practice, it sounds like this book has lots of helpful tips on the pursuit of magickal happiness and fulfillment :blush:

Thanks for sharing your review, @IrisW! :heart:

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Book review by @anneshakargupta

My book name: Life Beyond Death by Swami Abhedananda

I intended to study “Introduction-To-Vedic-Knowledge by Parama Karuna Devi”, but in the middle, I changed my mind.

This book “Life Beyond Death” is a very nice book on occult, written by Swami Abhedananda. It mainly focus on soul and what happen when it depart from the body. 5 out of 5 to this book.

Detailed Review: Life beyond death by Swami Abhedananda explains this more elaborately that spiritism is not good, but higher-spiritism is good which deals with acquiring knowledge through soul that materialist or communist do not follow. There are 2 types of death, ie one is organism death and the other is death of soul. Soul or universal germs transform to living being through genes. It is divided into culture & un-culture classes according to level of quality education. So it is evident that cell-biology cannot cure all the diseases because defect in germs that is coming down through genes for lack of quality education cannot be detected by cell-biology. We need to focus on our life, current or present time, we need to enjoy it, we must thank the God for it and we must try to fulfil our soul with knowledge to leave something for our future generation and to cross the universe through peaceful astral travel.

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You’re very welcome @WhiteFox! :blush::open_book:

It sounds like you really enjoyed Life Beyond Death, @anneshakargupta - from your review, it looks like an interesting book for anyone who is exploring their personal beliefs of death. I like the messages of enjoying the present moment and to never stop learning- I agree with these valuable lessons! :pray::sparkles: Thanks for sharing your review!

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Book title and author: *Spell Caster (ebook): Author Anonymous

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?

So… in my practice there are many types of spells and chants one may use from time to time, on his or her path, this book is an app ebook based book that can be accessed at any given time when neccessary. There is even a section based on the history of the craft, meditation, correspondences and so much cool stuff pertaining to magic. Spell caster as the name suggest gives you many options on spells needed for your everyday use of interest and also provides you with the tool or items that can be used in your craft.

My personal thoughts:

I do find this book interesting because of the fact there are so many spells on the app ebook that are simple to use and can be easily accessed, even on the go without the use of your BOS at hand. This really is a cool ebook app. There us a spell here for everything, and i really love :heart: that!
There are even spells that a person can even use if they may or may not follow this path.

Some interesting spell from the ebook

I recommend this ebook app

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I’m very interested in this ebook!!! The rituals and everything about it is fascinating to me!! Thanks for your review!!!

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The astral travel piqued my interest. Thank you for your review :relaxed:

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I love the quote from the book!!! That’s amazing :heart_eyes: I hope reading will help you tackle your addiction :heartbeat::purple_heart::muscle:

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Thanks for your review!!! Anything dealing with herbs has always been an interest of mine. :herb::seedling::chestnut::blossom::rosette::tomato::shamrock:

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Book Title and Author: The House Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Status? Still Reading

My overall rating of the book 9

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Most of my practice is at the home & has to do with my family

My personal thoughts/opinions: I really like this book & how it relates to the home & using fire. Every weekend I have a fire & there’s always an intention or I connect with my Deity.

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

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Nick Wick,
Thank you for this lovely :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: info!
Jeannie

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Book Title and Author: Swami Abhedananda
Status? : Finished
My overall rating of the book : 10/10
How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book speaks about occult and how this weak the soul.
My personal thoughts/opinions: Mainly this book speaks about soul and death. Soul means knowledge and death means occult when soul depart form the body, but that can be voluntary. A Hindu Yogi in America stopped his organs from working and that was considered as clinical death, but suddenly after 48 hours he started his organs to work. Just like we are dead when sleeping. On the contrary, there are instances where soul came to the body of medium and tell them that they are in difficulty to hearing & communicate.
An interesting quote from the book: “If we possess wisdom and knowledge which we gathered in our previous lives, then it matters very little. Now study your own present life and you will see that in this life you have gained some experience.”
All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes. Here is the link: http://www.spiritualbee.com/media/life-beyond-death-swami-abhedananda.pdf

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Book Title and Author: The House Witch / Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Status? Still Reading…

My overall rating of the book: 10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I practice my craft at home and I practice spells, chants, and acts of protection and abundance daily.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book is proving to be a great read and is full of great info.

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

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Book Title and Author: Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner by Scott Cunningham

Status? : Still reading

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Relates to everything. lol

My personal thoughts/opinions: Sometimes I feel like there’s a lot of info and practices out there, I feel like to I want to learn everything and practice it the best way I can asap, but one thing that all this have taught me so far is… patience.

An interesting quote from the book: “Saving the earth from utter destruction by our own hands. The Goddes and God still exist, as they have always existed, and to honor them we honor and preserve our precious planet”

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Absolutely, especially if you’re new to all this.

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