📝 Spells8 Book Club XVIII - Readers' Reviews!

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

The latest reading period for Book Club [Jun 3 - Jul 1 ] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

  • The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
    @TheTravelWitch_Bry

  • Witchcraft for Beginners: Magical Energy Manipulation and Techniques by Tania Jenson
    @Amethyst

  • A Broom at Midnight: 13 Gates of Witchcraft by Spirit Flight by Roger J. Horne
    @MeganB
    @WitchAngel111

  • The Root Chakra: Understanding, Balancing, & Healing the 1st Chakra 2nd Edition By: Barbara Hunt M.E./CFS
    @Siofra_Strega

  • Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope by Sue Tompkins
    @Amaris_Bane

  • Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft by Veronica Cummer
    @August_Wandering

  • Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary by Brianna Saussy
    @AileyGrey

  • Ocean Magick: Connecting with the Ocean’s Energy by Sandra Kynes
    @AileyGrey

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:


Picture from Pixabay

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:


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 forum!

Deadline for Reviews for this Session: Friday, August 5

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 8

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:

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I’m still reading mine :blush:

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Book Title and Author:

Ocean Magick: Connecting with the Ocean’s Energy** by Sandra Kynes

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:

I started this book after we finished the sea magick challenge because the topic really interested me and because I saw it posted on the challenge comments. I read everything that catches my eye, so a quick trip to kindle had me on my way!

My personal thoughts/opinions:

This was definitely a fun book to read! If you love the ocean, this book is for you. Each chapter focuses on something different - waves, salt, water, seashells, sand, deities, etc. Kline gives a great deal of scientific and historical background (from many, many cultures) on each topic and then discusses the magickal properties of the topic and how it can be incorporated into your practice. She then gives “homework” and offers a meditation, exercise, and/or journal entry for you to try on your own.

I am still absolutely delighted with the fact that I can encounter magick everywhere I go and in everything I do. The beach and ocean have always enthralled me and I knew the place was magickal even be for I started the craft, so this book really brought my attention to why I feel b the way I feel. It was a fun summer read!

An interesting quote from the book: " "

Magic is an attitude toward the world and an awareness of its natural rhythms.



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

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Book Title and Author: Magical Energy Manipulation and Techniques by Tania Jensen

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great little book if you’re wanting to learn how to direct your energy into spells. There are some really basic exercises that I loved, that really helped me. In fact, the only reason this book is getting a Nine instead of a Ten rating is that it was so short, I think they could have gone into charging spell items more with this. Still, it’s a great book!

An interesting quote from the book: “The ancient alchemists discovered the following teaching: “Energy follows thought.” By controlling and directing thoughts, you can control magical energy. Again, the best way is with the use of the imagination.”

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

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August Wanderingthought
Book Title and Author: Sorgitzak Old Forest Craft by Veronica Cummer

Status?: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I’ve been searching for the old gods and more information on the Old Religion. This book contains exactly that and more! The writer is a member of a coven that has been working together on this subject.

She writes of an origin story for witches that I’ve never heard before AND she writes about an ancient connection between The Fair Folk and Witches in which they are meant to work together. And she speaks of a current “awakening of The Blood” in the descendants of the old ones as we move from the Piscean Age to the Age of Aquarius. Absolutely fascinating!

My personal thoughts/opinions: The electronic version of this author’s books don’t work very well as the she uses a lot of specialized fonts. But the paperback is wonderful. This book got me to thinking about my own ancestry in the Craft and sent me back to my genealogy to search out the witches in my family line…and I found them in Wales!

The book’s take on The Fair Folk was so interesting it led me to read another book by the same author called “Elfhame’s Children: The Covenant of Witch and Faery”…also a very good book.

Some of the language they use in their spellwork is a bit off-putting as they use chants that aren’t in any particular language. But that’s no reason to ditch the entire book. I used her incantations for Litha this year and found them to be quite delightful.

The interest it sparked in my ancestry also led me to another book called “Welsh Witchcraft: A Guide to the Spirits, Lore, and Magic of Wales by Mhara Starling”. ALSO a very good book…especially if you’d like to learn to cast in Welsh, which I do. I am now studying Welsh for just that purpose.

An interesting quote from the book: Sorgitzak Old Forest Craft:

"Long, long ago, those who would become the Witches fell to earth. They were not driven from heaven, they did not come tumbling down from grace in despair or in fear and agony most dreadful. They came out of love and they stayed out of love.

There is no greater pain and no greater love than that.

Long, long ago, those who eventually came to be called Witches tended to the children of man. They did so out of love and for need, for making was most in need of guidance.

And so great temples were raised and men leaned to lift their prayers to the heavens, where the eternal stars yet reside. Not out of fear or out of despair or out of the pain of the separation from the Divine, for in those days such things were not know, but in joy for the beauty of the heavens, in happiness for the pleasures that ran in the blood and made themselves known in flesh, and in adoration of the knowledge that they themselves were made of such divinity that they could never be extinguished.

This was the lesson that those who had come from the heavens had taught. This was the lesson that the Witches had brought.

But men forgot. And, in forgetting, took pain to their beds and fear to their hearts and so learned a darker lesson indeed.

A Legend from the Fey."

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

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Book Title and Author: Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10 - tons of great information but it is a tad overwhelming for a beginner.

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I’ve been wanting to expand my exploration into astrology beyond my basic understanding of the 12 western signs. This book is divided into three parts: a review of the principles of aspect interpretations, including a discussion of all the planets; a “planetary cookbook” that gives information about various planetary aspects; and a discussion of the angles and planetary aspects with them.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Overall I thought this was an excellent book, but not a beginners book, more of an early intermediate level. The section giving a recap of the planets does a great job of reminding you what each planet represents and the energy they bring. Throughout the book there is a heavy emphasis on using the houses and signs to fully interpret the aspects between planets but it is assumed that the reader knows the qualities of these and not much detail to these areas.

The book does do a great job of talking about how each aspect is created and their meanings - how the energies of the planets in aspect would interact, whether the aspect is considered a hard (difficult) or soft (easy) aspect. It also gives a discussion about weighing the aspects and reiterates many times that it is important to interpret a particular aspect in terms of the entire chart, i.e., you cannot look at one aspect in isolation as they are all really influencing each other.

What I found particularly interesting was how eerily accurate the descriptions of the aspects are! I have 10 aspects in my chart between planets: 6 conjunctions, and 4 sextiles. I’ll discuss a few below.

An interesting quote from the book: I don’t have a direct quote but more of some interesting facts regarding some of my aspects that spook me (bold and italic).

  • :astrology_sun: Sun ☌ :astrology_mercury: Mercury: identify more strongly with the rational mind; identifies with their thoughts, ideas, and with what they actually say; "I am what I say, I am what I think" philosophy. Knowledge is important. May come from large families (I have 3 siblings, which is fairly large for today’s US standards). Curious about everything, anxious to know and keen to learn. Chatty, expressive (i.e., talk with their hands), and inquisitive
  • :astrology_moon: Moon ⚹ :astrology_neptune: Neptune: sensitive to everything and quite capable of taking everyone’s emotions and feelings on board - psychic sponge; sensitivity to suffering of any kind; challenge is to do something about this suffering. Often say they don’t daydream or fantasize but it can be found that the individual fantasizes so automatically and so easily that they are not aware of it.
  • :astrology_venus: Venus ☌ :astrology_saturn: Saturn: strong issues with self-validation, especially with respect to one’s beauty and femininity (if female). History of childhood with little affection, more to the point of no affection from the father-figure. Mother may have been more loving but there were strings attached. Demonstration of affection becomes a big deal. Almost expect rejection - constantly listening for clues that may indicate other’s love has waned; needs constant proof of affection; "I’m Sorry" is their phrase
  • :astrology_jupiter: Jupiter ☌ :astrology_saturn: Saturn: Prudent, careful, and capable; wise in adapting means to ends. Commonly educated in a strict moralistic/religious code (fire and brimstone kind) that conveyed as a threat. Craves real meaning in life (both personal and religious) - finding this meaning can be a major life quest. Whatever the faith, it needs to be clearly defined with distinct rites and rituals. Doesn’t like doubt - journey is about finding out what they believe for themselves.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, once you have an understanding of the planets, houses, and signs.

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@MeganB I hope it’s turning out to be a fun read for you, Megan! :blush: Happy reading! :books:

@AileyGrey Hooray that it was such a fun read for you, Ailey! And I can imagine that you enjoyed the science side of things too. The quote about salt → salarium → salary is very interesting! Salt sure was important throughout history :salt: :moneybag: Thanks so much for sharing and I’m happy you enjoyed Ocean Magick :grinning:

@Amethyst It sounds like they were off to a great start and there was still lots to explore- you know you’ve got something good when you get to the last page and instantly want more to read! :smile: :+1: I’m glad you found a great resource and got some new exercise to help you enhance your energy work. Congrats to you, Amethyst, and thanks for sharing your thoughts about Magical Energy Manipulation :raised_hands:

@August_Wandering Congrats on your three books- you were on a roll this month, August! :partying_face: It sounds like Sorgitzak was exactly what you were hoping for- and how cool about the origin story for witches! It sounds like she has lots of interesting ideas and what a bonus that it lead you to your ancestors in the Craft :heart:

I wonder what language the spellwork was based on in Elfhame- or perhaps it was the author’s own language? :thinking: Regardless, it’s how it works in practice that is what really matters, and it sounds like it was great for your Litha work! :sunflower:

Welsh Witchcraft looks really cool- look at that cover! :heart_eyes: Wishing you all the best with your Welsh language studies too- good luck and have fun with it! :two_hearts:

Thanks so much for sharing your insightful reviews, August!

@Amaris_Bane I appreciate your note about the amount of info being overwhelming for beginners- when it comes to the deeper aspects of astrology I often get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of what it is out there :joy: It does sound like a great resource for more intermediate astrologers and I’m glad you enjoyed your read! It sounds like the book has lots of guidance for applying astrology in helpful ways- a real treasure! :sparkles: Thanks so much for sharing, Amaris!

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Book Title and Author:

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This is not a spellbook or magickal resource- it’s actually a fantasy book! But while I didn’t learn any spells, the book was about sea witches and reprecussions of dealing dark magick with the seas.

It gave me a very interesting new perspective on ocean and sea magick (and blood magick too)- especially some of the potential risks of dealing with such a vast entity.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I loved it :blush: It got a bit dark at times, but the writing was very poetic and beautiful. This one goes in the inspiration pile- not only for my magickal practice, but for my journaling and writing as well :writing_hand: :open_book:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes- if you like sea witches, dark ocean magick, blood magick, pondering potential spellwork reprecussions on nature, and an interesting LGBT+ romance, this will likely be a good read for you :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed: :closed_book: :grin:

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Thanks, love! You’re right, it’s always a good book when you’re wanting more!

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Welsh Witchcraft is REALLY cool! On dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg! What a great language!!! But now it’s sparked a desire in me to visit Cymru myself.

And I don’t know what language the author of Elfhame is using. Languages are a hobby for me in general, but I cannot find anything that even resembles the words she uses…so I doubt I’ll use them again. I like to know exactly what it is I’m saying when I cast. I’m guessing we all do though! :joy:

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That is so cool! :heart_eyes: I’ve found it takes a mind that is open, creative, and very clever to pick up new languages :sparkles: I’ve tried a few myself, but most have faded away- if you don’t use it, you lose it! they said and they were very right lol :sweat_smile:

That’s a really great point! It reminds me of a discussion in the forum from a while back about languages and casting here: Does it matter what language I cast in?. Casting in different languages opens up lots of new possibilities, but yes- knowing and feeling what you are saying will always be the heart of spellwork in my opinion! :grinning:

I’m wishing you all the best with your Welsh studies, August- and I hope you’re able to Cymru someday! :heart::blush:

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@TheTravelWitch_Bry Don’t mind me… just adding this one to the TBR pile! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I know you were excited to read it!

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Hahaha you’re very right- I was thrilled about this one, and it didn’t disappoint! :grinning: If you decide to give it a read someday, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it! :blush::books:

Blessed reading, Ailey! :two_hearts:

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You know I read all the things, Bry! I just started the Mistborn series at the urging of a librarian friend and it has me totally sucked in. I may pick Dark Tides up after this one!

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All the Meme
Meme from KnowYourMeme

:rofl::heart::books:

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@TheTravelWitch_Bry and @AileyGrey (and anyone else that loves fiction with a magic twist) another fiction book about magic that I just finished and loved was The Raven Spell by Luanne G. Smith. It is the first book of A Conspiracy of Magic series, with The Raven Song coming out 11/11/22 - and already pre-ordered by me, lol.

It is a quick read but I loved it. It discusses how even within the magic world there are outcasts because their natural powers are different or scary because people don’t understand them. Highly recommend it!

The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack is another really good fiction book. It tells the story of how tarot was created and the mysterious link to the main character who is drawn to the missing “first” deck.

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They both sound amazing! I just started reading the Mistborn series, which isn’t really witchy, but definitely magic and so good!

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I love that series!! I need to pick it up again. Its one of the few I’ll re-read.

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Ohhhhh!!! :heart_eyes: Don’t mind me just forever adding to my endless to-read list :joy: They both look amazing, but there’s something about The Fortune Teller that really calls to me- the mystery of tarot is such a great theme for a book! :raised_hands: :tarot_card: Thanks for the recommendation, @Amaris_Bane! :heart:


I’m reading Mindfulness this month, but when I finish I think I’ll jump to witchy fiction again because I got a copy of The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea - because pirates and mermaids and more sea magick!?! I couldn’t resist :laughing:

Ahhhh so many fun books out there! :blush::books::sparkles:

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You had me at pirates!! Along it to my to-read list as well. :rofl:

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