📝 Spells8 Book Club VIII - Readers' Reviews!

Thank you Rowan!
Jeannie

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Book Title and Author: Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson

Status: Not finished yet but I have a general impression so far.

My overall rating of the book: 8/10

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a practical book for intermediate-level witches. While it is an older book and sometimes feels outdated, it is filled with useful and actionable advice for Non-Wiccan witches from the very first pages. The author approaches witchcraft from a Western Esoteric perspective and includes lots of content regarding divinatory and talismanic work.

There are some things I would change about the way it’s written but considering it was first published in 1970 I don’t mind it. I don’t think this book is for everyone today. But I can see why it was so influential back in its day and I think it was the first book of its kind so it reads like a classic.

How does this book relate to my magickal practice? The book includes a section of spells and rituals. I found some to be questionable by modern standards, for example non-consensual potion drinking ideas. However in the other ones, the steps and the divinatory work are very inspiring. I think I will adapt and incorporate some the author’s ideas in my personal work.

An interesting quote from the book:

On the topic of invoking deities and spirits:

“Do not despair if the operation is not an immediate apparent success. The door of vision is one which opens slowly but yields to persistence. Remember the advice of the Chaldean oracles: “Invoke often!” As long as the intent is a serious one…”

All-in-all, would I recommend this book? Yes :+1:

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The House Witch sounds like a very cozy book- and that’s neat how it draws on fire (hearth) magick as well! :fire: Thanks for the review, @Siofra!

Another powerful message about living in the moment and treasuring the current life we are blessed with- thanks for sharing, @anneshakargupta! :pray:

It sounds like you enjoyed The House Witch too, @Rowan :blush: Glad you found it to be full of useful things- thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Glad you enjoyed A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, @WhiteFox :open_book: It really does cover a lot of information- that’s a beautiful quote about practicing with the earth in mind :earth_americas:

There’s something powerful about old books- while some information does become outdated, other bits of wisdom can be forgotten but still retain their value. It sounds like Mastering Witchcraft is an interesting read- glad you enjoyed it, @Francisco! :books:

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I just about forgot to post my review! Oops. LOL!

Book Title and Author: The Horned God by Jason Mankey

Status : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I wanted to get to know the Horned God as more than just a partner for the Goddess. This book helped me with that.

My personal thoughts/opinions: From the ancient cave paintings to the modern return of Pan, this book covers the Horned God in all His glory! It’s a pretty easy read too, making history interesting. I really liked it! It also has some lovely rituals.

An interesting quote from the book: "In a world filled of misogynists, racists, bigots, and other assholes, the Horned God is a figure to aspire to. He is a father, a lover, a nurturer and a protector. He represents the best of what we can be. In a world where we too often feel let down by those around us, the Horned God is a figure who always rises to the occasion.”

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

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Thanks for the review, @Amethyst- it looks like The Horned God was a really great read! :open_book::blush: And from the quote you shared, it looks like the author has a knack for writing in an approachable and even perhaps funny way.

So glad you enjoyed it and it helped you to connect with the Horned God! :deer::green_heart:

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Thanks to @Amethyst for jumping my memory- I hadn’t written up my book review yet either! :laughing:

Like @Wade, I enjoyed Cooling Herbs for Hot Summer Days. It was a quick read, but will maintain a lasting place in my (digital) herbal library as a go-to herbal reference book :open_book: :herb:


Book Title: Cooling Herbs for Hot Summer Days

Author: The Herbal Academy

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: As a Green Witch, I was interested in how this book covers several medicinal herbs in-depth. Special attention is given to their properties for beating the summer heat. The seven herbs covered are:

-Bee Balm
-Calendula
-Hibiscus
-Plantain
-Rose
-Spearmint
-St John’s Wort

The book also has tips for foraging and seven herbal recipes that use the herbs that were explored.

My personal thoughts/opinions: The Herbal Academy has a lot of content that I’ve enjoyed over the years- and this book did not let me down either! Considering it’s available to download for free, it’s a surprisingly good reference book. Seven herbs are examined in detail, plus additional tips for gathering, and a boon of summer herbal recipes.

The book is nicely designed, uses modern and approachable language (very welcome after some of the older books I’ve read recently :sweat_smile: ), and is actually pretty fun to read. After reading, it is a wonderful reference book that can be stored in your digital library.

Like Wade mentioned, it’s not the most thorough dive into herbalism and shouldn’t be anyone’s sole herbal reference book. But for a free eBook to be downloaded and read instantly, plus its fun recipes, I was really pleased with it! :grin::+1:

An interesting quote recipe from the book:

I burn very easily and I’ve always used aloe vera in various forms to treat sunburn. But after seeing this recipe I think I’d like to give St. John’s Wort a try to compare and contrast how the two herbs treat sunburn :herb::balance_scale:

Recipe : After Sun Oil

To be used to soothe sunburns/ sun-damaged skin or as part of a more complex after sun cream or balm.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup fresh St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) aerial parts
  • 2 cups (16 fl oz) olive oil
  • Quart-sized glass canning jar
  • Natural waxed paper

Directions

• Place fresh St. John’s wort on a drying screen and let it wilt for at least 24 hours to release some of the moisture before adding oil.
• Place wilted plant material in a sterilized, dry, quart-sized glass canning jar.
• Pour room-temperature oil over plant material, making sure herbs are
completely covered and oil is at least 1 inch above the top of the herb.
Use a sterilized, dry spoon or chopstick to mix thoroughly so that all
surfaces of the herb are coated and no air bubbles remain.
• Place a square piece of natural waxed paper on top of the jar, then seal jar with a lid (this protects oil from any chemical coating that may be on the lid).
• Place the jar in a dark, warm spot, and let the mixture sit for 4-6
weeks. Every 1-3 days, roll the jar in your hands to help mix the
contents and release the herbal constituents into the oil.
• When time is up, strain the herbs through layered cheesecloth and
reserve the oil.
• Label and store oil in a cool, dark place.

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

If you have any interest in Green Witchery, Herbalism, Kitchen Witchery, or even just DIY natural cosmetics and remedies- this book is worth checking out.

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Thanks @TheTravelWitch

Indeed I enjoyed reading the book throughout. I really got a clear view about life.

Annesha

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I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the book so much, @anneshakargupta! It’s truly a wonderful thing to find a great book :open_book: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I hope your next book for the current Book Club Session is just as enjoyable! :heart:

Blessed be!

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Indeed, @TheTravelWitch

I am enjoying the current book a lot because this answered my many question already.

@anneshakargupta

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I really liked that quote from your book that you included. As a new practitioner, I believe it is important for me to be persistent and feel sure that if I persist, I will succeed. I also need to keep in mind that no one is an expert at the beginning. As a former public school teacxher, I’m so used to having expertise in my subject, that it’s taking me a minute to realize I’m starting from scratch again. I am determined! Thanks again form your review!

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Well said! The real magic occurs in the child’s mind. If we can enter that state, that beginner’s mind, we open the door to so many possibilities. Kudos to you for embarking in the task of learning from scratch!


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