📝 Spells8 Book Club XXII - Readers' Reviews!

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

The latest reading period for Book Club [Oct 21 - Nov 18] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Books & Members This Reading Period:

  • Wicca Book of Herbal Spells by Lisa Chamberlain
    @TheTravelWitch_Bry

  • The Wild Woman’s Book of Shadows by Melissa Kim Corter and 22 Wild Women from Across the Globe.
    @Amethyst

  • Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland
    @Wysteria_Norn Free book link

  • Herbal Magic by Aurora Kane
    @catherine11

  • Aos Sidhe by Morgan Daimler
    @MeganB

  • Irish Country Cures by Patrick Logan
    @jan_TheGreenWitch

  • Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement by Matthew Todd
    @IrisW

  • The Book of Shadows by Migene Gonzalez Wippler
    @SpanishWitchy

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, December 23

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, November 25

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 Giphy

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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READER REVIEW @jan_TheGreenWitch

Irish Country Cures - copyright 1994
by Patrick Logan

Irish Country Cures is a book about folk medicine in Ireland, and distinguishes itself from ‘official medicine’ in that today as big as one quarter (1/4) of the medical practice in Ireland is done by people who are not on the Medical Register - are not ‘qualified’ doctors with degrees. As medicine has advanced folk medicine has declined therefore the author hopes that in writing this book that some will take a renewed interest in folk medicine and continue to record the practices before they are forgotten. He has ensured he took practices from every part of Ireland for the documentation in this book.

This book aligns itself with many western and global studies where the placebo effect, along with the ability to reassure a patient is often a cure unto itself. In addition, many folk cures are indeed less toxic and better suited to the cure of day to day illnesses. This book posits that

BOOK QUOTE:
“almost all physical illnesses — over 80% of them — will get better no matter what treatment is given….with over one third (1/3) of the people who seek medical advice cannot be found to have any physical cause for their complaints.”

The book does not imply nor does the author believe that these patients are dishonest, but but that they may be either tired, over-worried, or in need of telling all their worries to a sympathetic listener who can help out by offering common-sense advice, and medicine of some kind coupled with a few days’ rest.

Two remedies as example:

Hospital superstitions:
- relatives should accompany a patient upon admission to hospital
- unlucky for patient to go home from hospital on a Saturday
- wheel patient into operating room head first only (in coffins, feet go first)
- red and white flowers must never be put in a vase together for hospital patient or if this is done one of the patients will die (red means bleeding and white represents anemia)
- two black crows need to be chased away if they appear perched together at a hospital balcony as they forebode a death.

An Fiolun
-fiolun means harm or injury
- means enlarged and often suppurating glands which occurred in some cases of plague
- or possibly some form of chronic ulcer
- the patient needs to be completely buried in the earth - no harm will come to patient since the patient will only be buried entirely only for a moment;
- the disease is a pagan magic where the disease is transferred to the earth; the earth is a great healer and purifier;
- this is a transference cure.

I only recommend this book if you want to read all about Ireland and historical folk and magickal cures in history and some have survived in to today’s time. It’s interesting and many could be used in conjunction with typical medicinal cures.

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That is a beautiful intention that I wholeheartedly support- I’m so grateful to the authors who put in the time, effort, and care to help preserve and pass on traditions so that future generations can enjoy and learn from them too! :raised_hands: :heart:

This makes me think immediately of @Siofra_Strega and @MeganB among others in the forum (apologies I can’t tag everyone!)- there are quite a few folks around here who enjoy reading about Irish traditions!

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on Irish Country Cures, @jan_TheGreenWitch! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I already added it to my TBR list based on this review :rofl:

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Hahaha nice! :grin: :+1: It does sound like something you would enjoy- happy reading! :books::sparkles:

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Well, this is right up my alley! Ooo… love new book recommendations for Ireland & Celtic Culture or both!

I thought the same thing! I know there are others aside from the lovely @MeganB & I but it was definitely one of my first thoughts.

Ooo… samesies! That list is forever growing… much like my deck list :rofl:

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It’s a very quick read @Siofra_Strega - and interesting!

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Ooo… maybe I can get the paperback route with this one… I honestly love paperback over e-reading… I don’t know something about holding the book, pages turning, bookmarks… it just feels better. :revolving_hearts:

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…the transition from the worship of Diana to that of the Madonna was made comparatively simple.

Is This Book Applicable to Your Practice? I would sincerely recommend that anyone starting along the path of Wicca (any form) or Traditional Witchcraft read this little book. It is an exceptionally quick read, only about 77 pages, but those pages are loaded with information. There are numerous chants and spells from centuries ago, each thoroughly explained, albeit somewhat archaic.

Synopsis This book was designed to be a compilation of spells used for working with Diana, her brother Lucifer and their associate/daughter Herodias or Aradia. This book describes how Aradia was born through vignettes, came down to earth, established witchcraft amongst the populace, then returned to heaven. Each chapter reveals interesting, or to me at least, tidbits of information that keep the reader engaged. For example, pg 52 describes why the ancient Egyptians dedicated the onion to the moon-goddess Isis, & considered it to be almost a deity itself. Hence, the peeling onion corresponded to the waning moon.

Maybe the most provocative concept in the book is the most easily understood. It’s almost circular logic but is logical nonetheless. It states that the general populace was more wretched and miserable when they learned that they had certain rights, as before this, they were more accepting of their treatment. Once they learned that they had the right to rebel, they did so en masse. “The result of it al was a vast development of rebels, outcasts, and all the discontented, who adopted witchcraft or sorcery for a religion, and wizards as their priests…in this Gospel of Witches we have a trustworthy outline at least of the doctrine and rites observed at these meetings. They adored forbidden deities and practised forbidden deeds, inspired as much by rebellion against Society as by their own passions” (pg 60-1).
This next quote is heavily supported by orthodox research now, but at the time this book was translated, roughly 1899, it must have been quite shocking. “That is to say, purely diabolical witchcraft did not find general acceptance till the end of the fifteenth century, when it was, one may almost say, invented in Rome to supply means wherewith to destroy the threatening heresy of Germany” (Pg 60).
Key Points With so many lush and exciting witchcraft books available, I found this one to be a dry read. But I have to admit that it was fascinating and a worthwhile read. I would highly recommend it for any one practicing Italian witchcraft, or Worshippers of Diana.

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Have to love a quick but worthwhile read- from what you’ve said, it sounds like Leland packed the pages with information! I’m particularly interested in the ancient spells and chants- they must be very cool to see :star_struck:

I’m familiar with Diana/Artemis the Moon and Huntress Deity, but not Diana in association with Lucifer- is this perhaps the same deity, or am I getting confused with a different Diana? (apologies if so!)

I’m really glad that you enjoyed it, @Wysteria_Norn- thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights about Aradia: Gospel of the Witches :books::sparkles::blush:

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I just finished reading - How to Become a Witch by Amber K & Azrael Arynn K.

Review - This book dives into a little bit of everything. It goes over the History of Witches along with how to set up your altar. I wish they put some of the topics at the beginning like how to handle questions and being quiet about your choice to be a witch. It does go over being a solitary witch which I found interesting. It definitely made me feel comfortable about my choice.

Blessed Be!

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I’ve seen this book around in a few different places and have thought about getting it to review. :open_book: The cover itself is enough to make me pick it up and read it! I’m glad you found it helpful :blush: and thank you for posting your review!

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Greetings @christinastillion!

I hope you don’t mind that I rehomed your awesome book review into the current book reviewers’ discussion- keeping the reviews together will hopefully make it easy for anyone looking for new witchy books to read! :mage: :books:

That’s really awesome- a book I am very slowly working my way through has a lot of great witchy tips and spellwork, but all of the rituals are group rituals. Which is great, for those who cast in groups, but is not inclusive of those of us who are solitary. It sounds like How to Become a Witch is perfect for solo casters and practitioners :grinning:

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the book, Christina- I really enjoyed reading your review! :heart::books:

Blessed be! :sparkles:

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Book Title and Author: The Wild Woman’s Book of Shadows by Melissa Kim Corter and 22 Wild Witchy Women from Across the Globe.

Status: Not Finished.

My overall rating of this book: 2/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Sadly, it doesn’t.

My personal thoughts and opinions: I was hoping this book would connect me to my inner wild woman and help me be more confident. It started off okay but kept leading me into long meditations and talking to bees. I just can’t get into it.

An interesting quote from the book: I’m halfway through and I haven’t found a good one yet.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Nope, sad to say I wouldn’t. I should read that book that @marsha recommended.

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According to this book, which is a translation of a truly ancient manuscript, Diana birthed…I’m wary to say it…the universe and the worship of her in this form predates all known religions.
“Diana greatly loved her brother Lucifer, the god of the Sun and of the Moon, the god of light (Splendor), who was so proud of his beauty, and who for his pride was driven from Paradise.” It even discusses Cain (here I’d refer anyone interested to read the “Book of Nod” a really wonderful read). My wariness is due to a major (for me, at least) contradiction centered on that major premise paragraph because Eden and Lucifer’s fall is predominantly a monotheistic idea, which cannot predate itself.

The idea is rather like a twist on the Gnostic pleroma and Sophia. For those aware of Gnosticism, the first eminent being created the pleroma (Chaos & the Universe) and Sophia, an entity of many, who resided with ‘The Word’ (Logos = Translated after Jesus to refer to him) withdrew and found herself ‘lost’. She then created the demiurge without authorization from the first eminent being, and the demiurge created the earth (As above so below). Many have translated Lucifer to be Jesus the Morning Star, & here Diana would be conflated with the first eminent and Sophia.

“Diana was the first created before all creation; in her were all things; out of herself, the first darkness, she divided herself; into darkness and light she was divided. Lucifer, her brother and son, herself and her other half, was the light.”
“And when Diana saw that the light was so beautiful, the light which was her other half, her brother Lucifer, she yearned for it with exceeding great desire. Wishing to receive the light again into her darkness, to swallow it up in rapture, in delight, she trembled with desire. This desire was the Dawn.”

It goes on to say that after chasing Lucifer fruitlessly, she asked for guidance from the first eminent powers. They told her that to obtain her desire, she would have to fall to earth. “…to become the chief of goddesses she must become a mortal…Diana went on earth, as did Lucifer, who had fallen, and Diana taught magic and sorcery, whence came witches and fairies and goblins…” (Pgs 13-4). This seems to be an attempt to explain the belief that witches ‘chased after’ satanic or Luciferian forces, which is specifically Biblical. Ironically, the text also states that witchcraft predates monotheism…so, yes. Numerous seeming contradictions exist.

For me, this was definitely a necessary read as it provides more context to already existing stories. That it’s also a faithful translation of an ancient text is without question. But, I have to state that the mere mention of Eden, Cain and Lucifer ‘dates’ the original and sets it in a Biblical context, even though this does not have to be the case. Honestly, the Lucifer character may have been taken up by monotheism from a pagan origin which has since been lost to us.

By the way, a lemon with pins in it is a ‘good luck’ gift…yes, things like that and the reasoning behind it are in this book :wink:

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Herbal Magic by Aurora Kane

Status? : Finished

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I’m still quite new, and I’ve wanted to explore different areas to see what clicks. Sometimes something sounds good on paper but doesn’t click, and sometimes something doesn’t sound good but does click.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I really enjoyed it. It does talk about this herb does this, but it also goes further in suggesting practical applications. Rather than saying apple does this, it suggests make apple butter to promote this. Good for those who are new and sometimes (more often than not are) stuck. It also talks about the growing and drying so you know how to do so.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, looking forward to reading the other ones in the bundle.

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Wild Witchcraft by Rebecca Beyer

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : 7/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: It is excellent if you want a fresh perspective on the craft from a more diverse onlook. The author relates to my craft as she is talking about foraging which is what i am focused on at the moment

My personal thoughts/opinions: Love this book and that she takes a different perspective which is nice for a change as most books i read on witchcraft have a very similar foundation and can be repetitive

An interesting quote from the book: “Having a relationship with plants through gardening and foraging supports and can even help increase biological and cultural diversity”.

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

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Oh noooo! :scream: I’m so sorry this book didn’t end up being what you were hoping for, Amethyst. Talking to bees, huh? Can’t say I’m not intrigued about that… is it the bees who hold the secrets to unlocking the inner wild woman? Curious~ :honeybee: :laughing:

It sounds like the book is looking through a more Biblical interpretation of these deities- which, as a witch who doesn’t follow Biblical traditions at all, would then make sense that it’s a bit hard for me to wrap my head around. That being said, for any witches who do worship Diana or Lucifer, this sounds like it might be a very interesting read for them! :open_book: :sparkles:

Thank you again for sharing your great review and also for the helpful notes you made about the book’s context- they really help connect the book with those who will find it most useful! :pray::blush:

It sounds like this was a great read for you, Catherine- I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the book and found the content to be useful! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Herbs especially can be overwhelming at the start, so it’s great to find a welcoming and beginner-friendly resource to help explore each herb. And bonus points that it has growing and drying tips too- that’s awesome! :green_heart: :herb: Thank you so much for sharing your review!

Foraging and magick go hand-in-hand, this sounds like a great book for anyone who wants to connect with and potentially use the treasures of nature! I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far- I hope it continues to be a nice read for you, @TheMuslimWitch! :blush::books:

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Book Title and Author: Wicca Book of Herbal Spells by Lisa Chamberlain

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I have been studying herbs in a more medicinal context for a while now and have become pretty confident with herbal medicine (or at least, I have reliable resources to learn more about medicinal herbs that I still don’t know), but I’ve struggled with the magickal side of things.

There’s a lot of contradictory and unclear information out there about magickal properties of herbs, so I’ve been trying to build up quality resources that I can reference herbal magickal properties.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I love this book- it’s short, but it goes pretty deep into 13 different herbs and how to use them in magick. Each herb is explored in a general context (sometimes with some medicinal information and traditional uses or lore) and then put to use in a variety of beginner-friendly spells. I particularly enjoy how the focus in each spell is on the herb we are exploring, helping the caster to really hone in and experience the benefits of the herb in question.

An interesting quote from the book: There are a lot of quotes I considered taking- Chamberlain has a particularly good passage about the ethics of love spells that I thought was extremely well-written, but in the end I wanted to share this little note on Dandelions because I thought it was super cute:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes! If you have any interest in herbs or even just spellwork that uses herbs, I definitely recommend this book.

My only possible complaint would be that it is short- but liking a book so much that you want more of it seems more like a compliment than a complaint! :laughing: Chamberlain has a longer herbal book with likely more of the same, so that one is going on my to-read list :books::blush:

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Thank you. I wish i could spend more time reading it but i am caught up in this other fictional book called Gild By raven Kennedy which is giving me mixed emotions… It is addictive. Guess it is a nice change as i was so obsessed with House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas it made me a little book worm. For anyone wanting a sick read i suggest this last one. To me it has been life changing in the book world:


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