📝 Spells8 Book Club XXIV - Readers' Reviews!

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

The latest reading period for Book Club [Dec 30 - Jan 27] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Members & Their Books This Reading Period:

  • The Essential Guide to Women’s Herbal Medicine by Cyndi Gilbert, ND

  • Irish Witchcraft by Lora O’Brien

  • The Spell Book for New Witches by Ambrosia Hawthorne

  • By Rust of Nail & Prick of Thorn by Althaea Sebastiani

  • The Complete Grimoire by Lidia Pradas

  • The Little Book of Cat Magic by Deborah Blake
    Entering Hecate’s Caveby Cyndi Brannen

  • Brighid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess by Courtney Weber

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!

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, March 3

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, February 3

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.

magic reading

Gif from Gfycat

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:


Spells8 Book Club XXIV Review

  • Book Review: By Rust of Nail & Prick of Thorn by Althaea Sebastiani

Book Summary
There is a lot to love about this small little book (67 pages) of protection magic. Sebastiani neither minces words nor charm when she, stepwise, describes quick and easy protection methods and the need for each. Her writing style is natural and compelling
Rating 10/10 without a doubt. A fast read that is comprehensive and can easily be used as a god-to ‘brush-up’ on the most useful information.
Memorable Quotes
“Remember, it’s called witchcraft not witchthink: the magick you work will always be more effective than the magick you don’t work.”
Like that one?
There’s tons more!
“…witchcraft aims to make your life better.”
Practical Application to the Craft
Ms. Sebastiani provides countless magickal pearls for direct practical use in the craft. There are truly too many to list here and that’s impressive given the fact that the book is quite short, yet it never makes you feel as if it is. Once completed, the reader feels as if she/he has read a full-sized abbreviated compendium as it includes chimes and mobiles, sigils and activation, plants, powders, metals, and the like.

Another example - “…iron, in particular, that is of the most use to the witch, as it has a long history of use protecting the home from spirits - especially the fey. It can also work to serve as an energy sink, much like a lightning rod, gathering undesired energy to it and dissipating it into the earth.” Hence, if one wishes to work **with the fey, consider removing the iron from the vicinity.

Highly recommended


Hooray! I’m thrilled you found such a great book, @Wysteria_Norn- and who couldn’t use a little extra protection magick? :grinning: :+1: It sounds like the author loaded the book with useful tips and knowledge that are helpful not only within protective workings, but for use in the Craft in general.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and review- this one sounds great! :open_book: :heart::blush:


Book Review

  • The Complete Grimoire by Lidia Pradas

I read this I’m the hospital after my surgery and it’s a great beginner book! It had just about everything a beginner Wiccan would need to start their journey. It has chapters from witchcraft basics to rituals and spells, 9 chapters of very useful information. I used a highlighter and highlighted important notes/area I need more practice in, like divination and herbs. One chapter I didn’t expect to be in there is chapter 8 working with Deities and Spirits. It was the first book I’ve came across that has this chapter. I give it 10/10 since I am new to this journey and it was a great read.


Hooray! :tada: It sounds like The Complete Grimoire was a really awesome read for you, Brandy- I’m so glad you enjoyed it! :blush:

I think it’s safe to say posts about deities and spirit work are some of the most common questions here in the forum- there is a lot of mystery about them, so it’s great when a beginner book dedicates time to introducing and exploring these topics :+1:

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful review! :pray::books: Blessed be! :sparkles:


Travel Witch
Hi travel Witch I just wanted to let you know seaweed with white rice is really good and has great benefits! You can buy seaweed in a package seasoned in the retail store. I do have a acquired taste to this particular dish!:yum:
Also I am reading Entering Hecates Cave it’s a great book everyone should have it in the coven!
I give this book a 10/10 :milky_way:
Here is a link to Hecates Cave that just came out! It is an strong textamazing book strong textwith all sorts of wonderful information that is used to my practice!
[The book on Amazon you can buy finally! ](Entering Hekate’s Cave: The Journey Through Darkness to Wholeness https://a.co/d/d3Bu0Mc)

She talks about Hecates epithets and has a guide with them! Each month one can work with an epithet that can help you with your journey to the world soul ! Call to Hecate each New Moon for diepnon with a sigil and a meaning that is connected to her! Hekate is anima Mundi, and represents the primordial force of the feminine the soul of the cosmos. Animus balances Aenima, and we are all comprised of those two archetypes in various combinations.
The intro to the book is

Whispers said “Follow Me”
So I have been reading this book since I got it a week ago this month and which is the first month it has been published! I really love all of Cyndi’s poems so I will be sharing with you many beautiful incantations to help others guide you to her!
I am going to go over some of Hecates Epithets! Anima Mundi World Soul
First chapter

Hecate has many faces and is connected to different archetypes which are symbolic of the deeper world! C. J Jung is explored these archetypes and she has connected the epithets to many of her keys :key:and deep depth psychology! In her book she states “ when connecting with an archetype archetype we often use these characteristics to call upon them, which is what we do when we create alters” So you can imagine right!:wink:
I am confident Hecate will help me attain her many keys. It is helping me in my life and helping me to bring about transformation. The gates our evocative because she is the gatekeeper and guide. She can help activate the Archetype of the high priestess, and is a value to the archetype of the Queen herself!



Agreed! I like to get the dried seaweed sheets and cut them up into little strips- they are very tasty on rice or even over soups. And you’re so right- seaweed is loaded with health benefits too! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Woohoo! I’m so glad you enjoyed Entering Hecate’s Cave so much, Jeannie- it sounds like it was loaded with helpful information about Her and how to forge a bond. Hecate is a very popular deities among witches, so this sounds like a great book for anyone interested in working with Her! :old_key: :sparkles:

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, the quotes, and also the pictures! And look at the wheel! :star_struck: I looked at the book on Amazon (thank you for the link!) but I didn’t see the wheel there- did you make it yourself, Jeannie? If so, that is amazing! :clap::wheel_of_dharma: :two_hearts:

Much love and blessed be!


I don’t want to give a full rating on my book yet as I am about 70% done with it, but this is how I feel so far!

Brighid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess by Courtney Weber


I arrived late to the party so I’m only about 70% of the way through! I also make the mistake of reading at night… and then falling asleep lol :laughing:

My overall rating of the book

So far I would say maybe 9/10 only because of one issue I had with the book, but I’m not done reading it so it’s a loose rating!

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:

I recently found Brighid and so I wanted to do research. I am a solitary Wiccan and was praying to the Lord and Lady for some very specific help, and she showed up out of the blue. It was actually surprising. I’d known about her before but never felt this strongly. So I appreciate being able to dive deeper with this book.

My personal thoughts/opinions:

I love this book, she shares history, connections between cultures, very detailed visualizations, prayers, and rituals. She gives variations for working with Brighid in nature and at home, which I think is neat.

The only thing I get stuck on is that she put the rituals in the sections that they connect with, which makes sense… but as I am trying to read cover to cover it was a little clunky to read through a ritual I wasn’t going to perform. I would have done better with them in the back grouped by the type of ritual or the aspect of Brighid that it connects with. But that’s really only my personal preference… it doesn’t really take away from the book!

An interesting quote from the book:

I actually have a couple so far! I find myself highlighting quite often.

“Let her be your guide in discovering your own path to healing. It won’t be tidy or easy, but it will be complete and you will not be alone on any step of the way.”

“Lady of the Well, the Forge, and the Green Earth, I seek you. Warm my heart with your perpetual flame, Heal my wounds with your gentle waters, Cradle me in your mantle when I can walk no more, Brigid, I seek you.”

And I shared this one earlier:

“In reading through the myths and stories, allow yourself to be led with the heart rather than the head.”

All in all, would I recommend this book?

So far? YES! If someone is interested in Brighid at all, I think this book is a treasure. Even if you don’t do the rituals, the stories and visualizations are powerful.


Melora Fae,
Thank you :blush: I really appreciate your recommendation
I really want to work more in nature that is one of my goals this year!


Mine too. I got out of habit of taking my walks as much when the pandemic closures happened, then the mosquitos went CRAZY due to less people being out, then we had forest fires (that’s normal in Alaska) with bad smoke. I’m hoping I can get out a few times this weekend for a walk while we still have snow and the temperatures go up a bit. Before the mosquitos arrive LOL :laughing: :skull:


I’m still reading my book and I’m about halfway done :heart:


Melora Fae,
Really nice to meet you and thank you for responding to my post.
I thought I would do good in Alaska cause I am good at staying home but then when I stay home I feel so disconnected from the world. I live in Citrus Heights California we just got done with all the stormy :cloud_with_lightning_and_rain: weather! We finally got some sun :sunny:! I have been wearing sweaters everyday!
Hers one of them

I got a couple really nice things to keep me warm!
I bet when you do go for a walk your going to get really bundled up! I really could only imagine but with my minds eye I see you you have a really beautiful coat.
I really Hope you stay safe out there! It’s so dangerous, and I was wondering :thought_balloon: I’d you you could take a couple pics of your environment sometime on your walk! I am glad to know someone from Alaska! I used to live right next-door to a woman who goes to Alaska frequently and she says she loves it! She is very nice as well. Sorry if I got off topic I have a picture of Brighid and I think what I’ll do is print it and put it in a frame to remind me of her! Thank you for your book review! I adore her rituals and I will willingly buy a book to help with my journey and others too!


I have one that I’m sewing! Your coat is beautiful. I’ll be sure to post photos of Alaska sometime. It’s still very covered in snow here… by May it’s usually mostly melted and then starts to snow again in September / October. Mid summer, the sun doesn’t set fully! It’s very wild and mystical here.

I am happy to inspire! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I bought her book on audible thank you :blush:
Tomorrow I will post more on my book I am reading :open_book:


Jeannie1 I am going to get this book now. Thank you for the great review.


Huh. I thought I signed up for the review. Oh well, I’ll leave my book report here anyhow! LOL!

Book Title and Author: Protection Spells of a Wicked Witch by Thalia Thorne.

Status: Finished.

My overall rating of this book: 8/10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?: I wanted to learn a few new tricks for protecting my home.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This was an interesting book but nothing new in it that wasn’t covered in Dorothy Morrison’s Utterly Wicked. Still, it was a good beginner book for people looking to protect themselves or their homes.

An interesting quote from this book: “I think by refusing to work with baneful magic or hexes when they are called for, you are positioning yourself to be unable to protect the vulnerable or oppressed. Sometimes, we can’t just sit back and believe that the Universe will deal out justice. As witches, we have a responsibility to act up against injustices.”

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



I do agree with you Amethyst I just let the Universe deal with the baneful magic and I have her book :books: as well. I don’t have the hard copy but I do have her book on audible! I’ll have to revisit this book it’s been awhile!


Oh my! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these books! They look awesome! I always try to read 52 books a year and I am off to a great start. I just finished book #10.

With that said, I stumbled across a series that sucked me in harder than anything has in a really long time! There are four books and they are part of the Raven Cycle by Maggie Steivater. The first is called The Raven Boys. It is technically a young adult series, but it didn’t read like one. Though there are no witches, per se, there is plenty of magic: dead Norse Kings, lay lines, psychics, ghosts, murder, a smattering of forbidden romance… it was SO good.

Bonus points: if you listen to the audio book, the narrator has the lovliest southern drawl! I have a thing for voices! Anyway, you should check them out! I enjoyed them immensely!


It really sounds like a great read so far- and what a perfect time of year to be learning about Brigid! I think of Imbolc as Her holiday so this seems like such a fantastic way to honor and appreciate Her :candle::fire:

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts (and those beautiful quotes!) so far- may the final 30% be just as good and enjoyable for you as the rest of the book was! :blush::two_hearts:

Go, Megan, go! You’ve got this! :partying_face: :heart::raised_hands:

8/10 is not bad, not bad at all! :grinning: Sounds like a good read for someone interested in protection spells, especially if this is their first book on the subject.

Thank you for sharing your review and your thoughts on it, Amethyst! I always love your reviews. Do you have a book already picked out to read next? :blush::books:

Woohoo!!! :partying_face: Look at you go, Ailey- that’s amazing! I would love to be able to get through 52 books in a year. I’ve only been able to get to about 12 or so a year thanks to the book club here. Before we started it I wasn’t reading much at all lol. Life does like to get in the way and I need a little boost to keep me reading haha :sweat_smile: :open_book:

Also you’ve got me intrigued with that description- it sounds like there is a whole lot of excitement in those books! :star_struck: Thank you for the book/audiobook recommendation! :heart:


Book Title and Author: The Essential Guide to Women’s Herbal Medicine by Cyndi Gilbert, ND

Status? : Finished (will keep as a reference book)

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book explores herbs and plants specific to women’s health and walks the reader through how they can be used in safe herbal medicine. It even has some tips for growing and gardening!

My personal thoughts/opinions: I found this book at Ollie’s for a few bucks so I didn’t have very high hopes for it, but ended up being pleasantly surprised. The author does a really good job at making each herb feel well-explored and accessible to the reader. A variety of herbs are covered, and in addition to each herb, an entire section of the book is dedicated to common health concerns that women experience (and which herbs could be used to aid the condition).

I’ll be honest that I didn’t read the entire thing from cover to back, but rather stopped and read through the concerns and herbs that were related to me or people I know. The case studies and tips were particularly interesting!

Quotes/pictures from the book:

(From the section on common health concerns- everything from heartburn to weaning, low milk supply to depression and breast cancer, etc)

(From one of the case studies)

(From the compendium of herbs: their properties, uses, and safety warnings)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes! If you are green witch or herbalist and want to learn more about herbs recommended specifically for women’s health concerns, this is a great book to have in your herbal collection :herb::books: