📝 Spells8 Book Club XII - Readers' Reviews!

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

The current reading period for Book Club [Nov 5 - Dec 3 ] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

  • Witchcraft Therapy by Mandi Em
    @Rowan

  • The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick & Might by Courtney Weber
    @Siofra

  • Hekate: Goddess of Witches by Courtney Weber
    @IrisW

  • Pagan Portals - Persephone: Practicing the Art of Personal Power by Robin Corak
    @IrisW

  • Wicca Made Easy: Awaken the Divine Magic Within You by Phyllis Curott
    @jessica72

  • The Witch’s Path by Thorn Mooney
    @MeganB

  • The Witch at the Forest’s Edge by Christine Grace
    @MeganB

  • Rediscover the Magick of the Gods and Goddesses - Revealing the Mysteries of Theurgy by Jean-Louis de Biasi
    @Temujin_Calidius

  • Evolutionary Herbalism - Science, Spirituality, and Medicine from the Heart of Nature by Sajah Popham foreword by Matthew Wood
    @Velle

  • Raven Goddess: Going Deeper with the Morrigan by Morgan Daimler
    @Siofra

  • The Inner Mysteries by Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone
    @Valen

  • Year of the Magickal Dragon by Virginia Chandler
    @Valen

  • The Crooked Path by Kelden
    @Valen

  • The Beginner’s Guide to Runes by: Josh Simonds
    @Siofra

  • The Witches Almanac; The Sun: Rays of Hope Issue 40
    @christina4

  • Intuitive Witchcraft by Astrea Taylor
    @christine13

  • The Complete Guide to Incense, Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
    @Undomeher

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!


Art by Coryn MacPherson on ArtStation

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:


Art by Vacuumchan: Young Witches in Training

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 :heart:


Picture from Vice: Esoteric Books for Your Occult Library

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:


Picture from Pixabay

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, January 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, December 10th

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.


Picture from Pixabay

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:

:books: :heart: :infinite_roots:

4 Likes

Book Title and Author: The Morrigan Celtic Goddess of Magick & Might by: Courtney Weber

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9 /10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I have been learning about the Morrigan because I feel a strong pull towards Her. & the more I learn the more I feel connected to Her.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a good 2nd book to learn about who Morrigan was & her sisters. How to Honor Her & interpretations that leave you to draw your own conclusions based on the information & research that has been done & understanding the time period.

An interesting quote from the book: "The Morrigan may not solve the issues or defend us from trouble, but the Morrigan may show us the path to defending or rescuing ourselves. "

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

8 Likes

Book Title and Author: The Witch at the Forest’s Edge by Christine Grace

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

My personal thoughts/opinions: The Witch at the Forest’s Edge was written, at first, as teaching material for the Forest’s Edge tradition co-founded by the author, Christine Grace. This book relates back to my own practice because it is animistic and spirit-centered. The book leaves plenty of theological wiggle room and approaches deity and spirit in a non-dogmatic way.

I very much appreciated the way the book was written and laid out. The author makes it clear from the beginning that while this book is based on her tradition, it will not be for everyone and that’s okay. There were some very interesting parts in this book that I will be going back and reading again. One part in particular I appreciated was the idea of spiritual ancestors. This is the connection we have as magical people to the magical people that have come before us. In everything we do, we are connected with them. One way I see this is through crochet. I am connected to my grandmother who crocheted, but also to her ancestors that crocheted and any other fiber artist around the world. We are connected through our common interests and skills.

This is applied throughout witchcraft, too. Do you practice divination and tarot? You have spiritual ancestors through diviners and tarot readers of the past. The same is said for everything else! It really opened my eyes to just how connected everything is in that respect.

There was another interesting section on hedgeriding, also called Spirit Flight. This is something I am really, really interested in but have never been able to accomplish. With the guidance in this book, I am now more confident in my ability to get it done. It just takes practice!

An interesting quote from the book

What does it mean that magic workers are outsiders? It positions us nicely in the liminal space between the nucleus of mass culture and the realms beyond. We’ve always straddled this line between being admired and needed and feared and disowned. The language of witch places our magic even more firmly at the margins – even among magic workers that term stands out. With that word, we reclaim the power of doing magical work that is not socially sanctioned by dominant powers. Chapter 11: The Practical Use of Magical Theory; Page 158

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

8 Likes

Book Title and Author:

Pagan Portals: Raven Goddess, Going Deeper with the Morrigan by: Morgan Daimler

Status? Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10 /10 :star2:

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I have been learning about the Morrigan because I feel a strong pull towards Her. I have recently realized, that the pull is stronger when I need strength for something. I kind of wonder if it’s related to all of the losses I have had since July. :thinking:

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great book to learn more about who the Morrigan was & her relation to being a Triple Moon Goddess, Maiden Mother Crone, Waxing, Full, Waning & Her sisters. The additional & more thorough interpretations that leave you to draw your own conclusions based on the information & some great research that has been done. Plus understanding the time period & then bringing Her to a modern context.

An interesting quote from the book: "The Morrigan stands before us & says: Who rules your life? Dare to be your own sovereign, dare to rule over your own flesh, dare to be in control of your own self. "

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes absolutely :100:

9 Likes

You’re amazing, @Siofra- I wish I could read like you! :blush: Great job and I’m so glad that you enjoyed Pagan Portals! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I hope the great streak of books continues and your next book is just as enjoyable for you :heart:

5 Likes

I really like the Pagan Portals series. I actually just recommended Pagan Portals to my family member that is just starting out!

5 Likes

I like the sounds of this book!!

6 Likes

Book Title and Author: Beginner’s Guide To Runes by: Josh Simonds

Status? : Finished – the rest of the book is the basic spreads layout & additional resources.

My overall rating of the book : 10 /10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I have gained interest since learning about the Morrigan, Celtic Paganism, & helping my family member with the Norse Pantheon. Then when I found out that you can use them for so many different facets of magic, my interest got stronger.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I love the way that the book is written from the author’s point of view & his experiences. Almost like he is sitting with you & teaching you about the runes. It gives examples for other uses & runes that would be complimentary in a bindrune or other talisman.

An interesting quote from the book: “Runic magic is far more than divination & inscribing on talismans or amulets. You can create & maintain a rune altar, you can meditate with runes, and you can even intone them or ingest them on food. Runic magic can be a solitary practice, or it can be a form of magic to use as a complement to other types of magic.”

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

I may start another book, but I’m not going to enter it until the next book club. I have a busy couple of weeks starting tomorrow, & I don’t know that I will finish the book.

8 Likes

Look at you go, @Siofra- you’re amazing! :star_struck: :books: You’ve been reading so much about your passions and it sounds like you’re learning a ton of new information about the Morrigan and runes, good for you! :raised_hands:

It sounds like Beginner’s Guide to Runes is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in working with runes- thanks so much for sharing your review! :sparkles: I’ll move it over into the Reader’s Review post as soon as it goes live next Friday :blush:

7 Likes

**Book Title and Author: Witchcraft Therapy: Your Guide to Banishing Bullsh*t and Invoking Your Inner Power By Mandi Em

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: For me it was that sit down hash through the clutter of my life, the mundane routines, and connect with the witch within me.

My personal thoughts/opinions: It has heightened my belief in my own power I hold within myself. It confronted monotone repeated statements that looped in my thoughts sometimes, and instilled a confidence that I can build upon. Any resource that heightens our belief in ourselves and our own power or capability is a great thing in my eyes.

An interesting quote from the book: There were so many good statements and spells/rituals in this book, but a strong one was in the very beginning:
" The cornerstones of witchcraft aren’t Mason jars and splattered bits of wax: They are personal growth, healing, and a respectful reverence for the natural world and your unique place within it."
Em, Mandi. Witchcraft Therapy: Your Guide to Banishing Bullsh*t and Invoking Your Inner Power (p. 8). Adams Media. Kindle Edition.

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

8 Likes

Book Title and Author: Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook by Mark Ryan and John Matthews.

Status? : Finished.

My overall rating of the book: 7/10.

How does this book relate to my magickal practice? : It goes with my Wildwood Tarot cards to help me learn them.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Sad to say this book went over my head a lot. There is a whole chapter on quantum physics and psychology and how it applies to the tarot. But what I understood of it, I liked. There are several different spreads, and guided meditations that go with them. An interesting book.

An Interesting quote from the book: “A wise man once said, ‘People hate in others what they fear most in themselves,’ and not all aspects of the denizens of The Wildwood Tarot are immediately welcoming or comfortable. Some are daunting, assertive, or cunning. By their very nature some are challenging, raw, and primal. Whether we engage in these energies is, in the final analysis, a personal choice. But if we are aware of their true nature, strength, and qualities, we can recognize these traits in others, even if we choose not to connect or harness them for our individual goals or needs.”

All in all, would I recommend this book? : Yes, if you have the tarot deck. Without the deck, you’ll be lost.

6 Likes

Book Title and Author: The Inner Mysteries - Progressive Witchcraft and Connection With The Divine by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book is one of the most informative and influential books for me especially concerning the visualization of a Wiccan cosmology and working with deity as well the wheel of the year and energy work.

My personal thoughts/opinions: While some books by Janet and Stewart Farrar can be a rather challenging but informative read, this book by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone is still highly informative but I didn’t need to keep the dictionary nearby to get through it. There are also several helpful illustrations and photos.

An interesting quote from the book: “We are not separate from the divine, or from the dynamic, ongoing process of creation. The saying “Thou art God/Goddess” is often used by Neo Pagans. This is not to say we are deities in our own right (we find this to be a very egotistical concept). It simply means the divine is in us, just as it is in every aspect and part of creation.”

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

I found this visualization and its explanation very helpful.

The idea of seasonal power tides in this illustration feels right to me.

6 Likes

Book Title and Author: Intuitive Witchcraft by Astrea Taylor

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book relates to my practice because I’m intuitive but still learning to trust the messages I receive.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book was helpful because it has journaling exercises that help you watch for the triggers that make you step in and out of your intuition. It had information on societal conditioning which I think we all have dealt with from time to time. It had a chapter on energy flips which is basically when a negative instance happens you find the positive in it, because there are always positives in a negative. We can’t have one without the other. Also a part on Cosmic Downloads which I believe in totally because it has happened to me. Many ancient cultures believe that ideas and creative ideas of all kinds are floating in the ether. These ideas are for anyone to grab, so it’s important to know that when you have a great idea for something you should act on it or it will end up being someone else’s.
It reminded me of a story I read about this man who was a composer. He was composing this beautiful piece of music. He would work to make money to buy the resources he needed to concentrate on this beautiful piece. So one day his friend comes over and he listened to what this man composed. To his friend it was perfect. His friend told him he should record it. But the man felt it wasn’t quite right yet. One day his friend was listening to the radio and he heard his friends music. So he called him to congratulate him for his success, but his friend didn’t understand what he was talking about because he wasn’t finished with his music yet. So basically, the music was composed by someone else and they in turn received the credit for it. I thought it was very interesting.

An interesting quote from the book: “Everyone was born with intuition. There’s something inside of us that feels energy and spirituality, and we can use that to create positive change in our lives.”

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes.
[/quote]

6 Likes

Book Title and Author: Year of the Magickal Dragon by Virginia Chandler

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I have only just started to explore working with Dragon magic, this book was a first look into the subject matter for me.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I most enjoyed the meditations. I would have liked a more in depth look at the practice but it’s an enjoyable read and was a good place to start thinking about dragons. The descriptions of different cultural sites related to dragons would have benefited from a few photos. There is also a bit of repetition of the same info throughout the book and the rituals are somewhat dry and minimal in their writing. A fun book but maybe needs a little more meat on the bones?

An interesting quote from the book: “Since dragons can (and do) resonate with all of the elements, including and especially spirit, working with dragon energy requires a very specific practice.”

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

I love the cover art by Anne Stokes!

6 Likes

Book Title and Author: Rediscover the Magick of the Gods and Goddesses - Revealing the Mysteries of Theurgy - (a tour-de-force study of the history and modern practice of ritual magick) by Jean-Louis de Biasi

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book fits right into my own beliefs and practices. Although the majority of the gods and goddesses portrayed in this book are of Greek nature, where I follow a more Egyptian practice, most of the gods and goddesses can be traced back further to Egyptian deities. This is the same when it comes to Roman and even Norse gods and others.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I thought this book was fascinating to read. It is not wicca/witchcraft but more theurgic/pagan in nature which is traced to the Aurum Solis (a western mystery tradition) and Hermeticism.

The book contains good historical information about these mystery traditions, astrology and gods and goddesses. It is a really good book to initiate yourself in the knowledge required to be more pagan in nature with ritualistic practices and exercises you can follow in your daily life to connect with the divine externally and internally.

This book also goes through all the planetary days and hours in detail (though more detail is available in another of his books by the Aurum Solis) - and it also touches on other traditions, such as Levi’s work, the Golden Dawn and Freemasonry.

This book also discusses the pentagram and how to Invoke/Activate as well as Banish/Deactivate all the elements using the pentagram symbol and touches on the wheel of the year and the corresponding zodiac along with their elements so you know which elements you might need less of, or more of during a ritual.

The book also goes through Birth and Reincarnation and the path of return, which is the real goal of Theurgy. To be able to prepare for death, and perhaps return in another life with memories and skills from prior lives.

An interesting quote from the book:I believe that the universe is eternal. It did not begin at some point in the past and it will never end. It is composed of many parts that are organised together and harmonised into a unique whole. It was created to be the most perfect it can be and there is nothing to add that would make it more perfect. It always remains steadily the same - in its original state - and it continues to be eternally immutable.

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

3 Likes

Sorry @TheTravelWitch

I failed to participate this month for my work pressure. I will participate at nect month. When it will be started?

2 Likes

@Princess_Tara No worries at all- I know it is a very busy time of year! Hope your work is going well :blush:

As for the next session:



Wow! So many amazing reviews! :heart_eyes: Many thanks to @Rowan, @Amethyst, @Valen, @Christine13, and @Temujin_Calidius for sharing your books and thoughts! :clap:

It looks like all of the books (aside from the one still being read- I hope The Crooked Path gets better for you, Valen!) were a pretty good read with all ratings being 7 and up! Looks like everyone was able to find some wonderful new resources for their magickal paths :sparkles::blush:

These reviews are a blessing for all those looking for good witchy books to read- thanks again for sharing! :heart::books:

5 Likes

I’ve got another book I’ve just about finished for this month! I hope to finish it today actually. I’m almost done! LOL!

4 Likes

Yes, end is well, so all is well. November gone means stress gone. Now recaptutation time with books. :joy:

3 Likes

Book Title and Author: Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation by Stephanie Woodfield.

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I want to work on my shadow this winter and I figured this was a wonderful book to start out with.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great book if you work with the Dark Goddesses or if you just want to catch a glimpse at your own shadow. There are several guided meditations in this book that makes me wish it came with the audio for them. All in all though, a great book!

An interesting quote from the book: “There is no such thing as a happy ever after, because we are constantly growing and changing. More than likely the person you were five years ago is not the same person you are now, nor will you be the same five years in the future. The changes aren’t always dramatic, but they are there nonetheless.”

And:
“When working with the dark goddess, it’s important to recognize you will be afraid. When we understand our fears and learn to control our reactions to it, we can master this emotion.”

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

3 Likes