📝 Spells8 Book Club XXIX - Readers' Reviews!

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

The latest reading period for Book Club [Jun 23 - Jul 21] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Members & Their Books This Reading Period:

  • The Heirloom Gardener by John Forti
    @BryWisteria

  • The Crooked Path An introduction to Traditional Witchcraft by Kelden
    @tracyS

  • Maiden, Mother, Crone by DJ Conway
    @Amethyst

  • The Path of the Sacred Hermit by Avallach Emrys
    @MeganB

  • Sorgitzak, Old Forest Craft by Veronica Cummer
    @shadeweaver

  • The Hidden Power Of Herbs by Holy Santo
    @laeci

  • Brigid: History, Mystery, & Magick of the Celtic Goddess by: Courtney Weber
    @Susurrus

  • Into Shadow: The Tallan Chronicles by: Morgan Daimler
    @jan_TheGreenWitch

  • The Wee Free Men by: (Sir) Terry Pratchett
    @Susurrus

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:


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:


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 25

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 28

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.


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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Book Title and Author: The Path of the Sacred Hermit by Avallach Emrys

Status?: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: While I don’t have any interest in being a Pagan Monastic (like a monk or nun), I’ve always enjoyed a structured religious and spiritual routine.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book was a very quick read with short, concise chapters. There’s not a lot of filler, which I fully appreciated, and so much information is packed into smaller chapters. The author does exactly what he sets out to do - he lays the foundation and groundwork for someone to begin their own monastic practice, whether on their own or with a community.

An interesting quote from the book: “Monastic spiritual practice is an important aspect of many religious traditions, including Paganism. For Pagans, monasticism serves as a way to deepen one’s connection with the divine, as well as to cultivate a sense of discipline and focus in one’s spiritual life.”

I chose this quote because it really hits home on something I’ve been feeling lately - a lack of discipline within myself and my spiritual practice. Sometimes I let my daily things get in the way of my spiritual practice, and that’s not something I have ever wanted to happen.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, if you’re interested in more daily devotion and structure to your religious practice.


A more in-depth book review is available on my website.

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I’m really curious about what that would be like! I spent some time living in a Buddhist monastery and remember the very rigid structure of practice and daily life. It’s interesting to consider that style of living and practice in a pagan way- I’m definitely curious about this book! :grinning:

It sounds like it was a very worthwhile read- don’t mind me just dropping this one onto my wishlist :laughing: :+1: :heart:

Thank you so much for sharing your review, Megan!

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It’s quite interesting, and the author does a great job of laying the groundwork for someone to build their own monastic practice outside of a community. He also does a good job letting people know that the structure of a monastic practice will vary depending on the person, so there isn’t one set structure or way of doing things. It’s pretty cool!

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I always appreciate the flexibility and when an author leaves the door open for readers to make the suggestions and ideas their own- sounds like an all-around worthwhile read! :open_book: :grinning:

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If you end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it!

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I finished my book!!! :closed_book:

Book Title and Author: Brigid: History, Mystery, & Magick of the Celtic Goddess

Status? : Finished!!! :partying_face:

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I work with Brigid regularly, well… just about daily & was re-reading the book to kind of reinforce & review my knowledge of Her. :hugs:

My personal thoughts/opinions: I love :heart: this book on Brigid. It has a lot of history & includes stories, tales, & working with Her even through/after the crossover when Christianity came through the land.

An interesting quote from the book: “Reflection: Change is necessary. All things must grow & adapt or else perish. This is how our vulnerable species survived over hundreds of thousands of years. Likewise, we as individuals must adapt to cultural shifts & changes in our own lives or face death within ourselves. When changes are imminent & uncomfortable, like the discomfort in the early time of spring, how can we adapt ourselves so that we too can grow?” (page 155)

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

→ I added a new book to the book club :smiling_face:

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Book Title and Author: Into Shadow - The Tallan Chronicles by Morgan Daimler

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: The setting is in a human +other creature world with dragons, selfies, elves, mages who all have different powers. The premise the magick is based on is interesting and thought provoking and deals a lot with intention and building a better world and having allies.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book deals with an unlikely hero, Muireann who started out seeking revenge but ended up saving the world — overweight, middle aged, smart, Bi- woman with glasses, with multiple lovers (polyamorous). There is a quest, an unlikely group of friends, smart winning out over brawn, dark skinned elves, and survivors guilt on multiple levels. Quite a lot to pack into such a small book.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes. Although it’s not perfect writing style for me, it’s a good release for a magickal fiction world in the science fiction/fantasy genre which is always a good, light summer read. With only 376 pages, it would take a day or two to read or the equivalent of about 10 hours and is definitely very different than your normal fantasy fiction read.

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Ohhhh I love me my fantasy worlds- and what a bonus for an LGBT+ main character! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’ve really been enjoying the shift lately towards telling the stories of those outside of the “traditional” hero stereotypes. It sounds like this is a fun and enjoyable read that isn’t afraid to blaze its own trail. Gonna have to look into it- thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jan! :heart: :books:

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July 21!:flushed: I’m not going to finish Keldens book, it’s good, but I’ve got distracted. I have however finished 2 books. So here’s the review for those. This is typical of me, start 1 book but finish another.
Book 1 Pagan Portals Loki by Dagulf Loptson
This is brilliant. It’s short but full of information. It describes who Loki is without any bias to whether he’s good or bad. It’s very balanced on the stories, but also how these gods are modern and move with the generations that follow them. The rituals are simple and effective and have helped me to bond with Loki. (You can read the book just for knowledge). He does use blood Magick in the book, but offers replacements if you’re uncomfortable with this. The book comes with a warning:
“Those who shun Loki aren’t necessarily afraid of him for no reason. Loki is a trickster and an agent of change, which can be unpredictable and terrifying. The transformation he brings may be internal or external, and in calling Loki’s presence into your life you may lose parts of yourself along the way that you thought were vital and important. However, Loki’s tricks always serve a purpose, and if his challenges are met with bravery instead of fear we may find ourselves becoming something greater than we were before. Before you go in to deep, now is the time to ask yourself: am I ready for change? With all of that said, I hope you enjoy this humble attempt to introduce you to God who ruled my heart.”
I personally found this a very real introduction to the God who now “rules my heart”. It isn’t your typical Loki is bad, Odin is good kind of book. It highlights the complexity of Loki, neither dark nor light but everything in between. I found this a great starting point if your thinking about the Norse path and Loki in particular.
Book 2 The Gods Own Country A Heathen Prayer Book by Dan Coultas &Heathens of Yorkshire.
I found this by “accident” whilst perusing the web for information on Norse/Saxon mythology. This is a lovely book of prayers, songs, rituals, and festivals to honour the Norse God’s in today’s life. It’s filled with great artwork, and beautiful prayers/poetry that I have found very soothing.
The purpose of the book is best stated by itself:
“…to provide the heathen community as a whole with what we sincerely hope will be a useful resource in putting together their own rituals. …to honour our Gods and Goddesses, the wights and the ancestors.”
So that’s it. I read everything except what I was supposed to. Got stuck on the witchfather bit of Keldens book, but I’ll go back to it. Happy reading :books::open_book::grin::sparkling_heart:

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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?: The spirit is here, the practice is the British Priest and Priestess style and not for the solitary witch

My personal thoughts/opinions: In my never ending search for the “old ways” this is a step in the right direction. The energy in the beginning is intense and you don’t want to put it down. She speaks of the old blood and the fact that we all have it to some degree. She speaks of and to the old gods, the ones before Egypt and European. This took me back to things I knew and have forgotten, to times I should remember but are lost for now

An interesting quote from the book: “the Blood is in everyone—some know it, some do not.Some refuse the knowledge of it. It must be awakened. Some refuse to be open to it. The Blood can be awakened in anyone open to it."

She speaks of gods and energies for all points on the wheel, many I have not heard of, always in a duality. Many rituals and meditations most requiring a oven or a priest and priestess

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, to anyone wishing knowledge in the OLD ways

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Book Title and Author: The Wee Free Men by: Sir Terry Pratchett

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : 10/10 so far!

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: It’s a good read; not only a mostly fictional work but there is a lot to learn from the story itself. Following the main characters on their journey of learning & the situations can help me relate to different things & their relevance of them to my own.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I especially enjoy the way this book is written & presentation of the characters. It’s an easy read & very not lighthearted but brings joy & some wonder while I am reading. So I easily get lost in the pages.

An interesting quote from the book: “Witches don’t like to be seen running. It looks unprofessional.” (pg 18)

Side Note: I’m using this the next time my doctor asks me about exercise :laughing:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes for a different perspective. For me the entire reason I started reading the book is part of a course & I have a question to answer about the book for the course. Otherwise, I never even would have known about the book :blush:

I have a little bit more to go, but I’m definitely enjoying the read.

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Don’t mind me sneaking into Book Club with my half-finished book- I cannot for the life of me seem to get through it. Each mini-section sends me off on these Google searches to learn more about the topic, be it a flower or harvesting technique or piece of equipment, etc- I’m learning a lot, but not making much progress on the book itself :sweat_smile:

Also my next book arrived in the mail and I couldn’t help but jump into the first chapter- I think The Book of Druidry is going to be a fun read! :eyes::sparkles:



@tracyS I know the feeling of getting distracted very well- you’re not alone, my friend! Too many interesting books and never enough time to read them all :joy: :+1: :books: Still, you’re doing really impressive with your reading- I’m so happy that you enjoyed Pagan Portals Loki and The Gods Own Country- both of them sound like they are right up your alley! :blush: I hope they have plenty of interesting ideas, prayers, rituals, etc to continue to inspire your practice and offer you more ways to connect with your Deity. And if you decide to jump back into Keldens book, I hope that one turns into a great read for you too! :open_book: :heart:


@Shadeweaver That sounds like a very powerful read- I’m glad it was in line with what you were looking for! I’m particularly curious about the gods and energies aligning with the Wheel- may I ask, is the Wheel she explores in the traditional path the same or similar to the eight-point Wheel of the Year, or is it very different? This sounds like a very interesting book- thank you so much for sharing about it, Shadeweaver! :pray: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :closed_book:


@Susurrus You made me laugh with the running witch quote :joy: :+1: This sounds like a really neat book and one that you’ve been enjoying a lot! I’m glad it found its way to you and that you’ve been having fun with it. I hope it continues to be a great read- enjoy! :open_book: :two_hearts:

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Ohhh, that sounds like a really good book! :clap: :triquetra: I think it’s one of the ones I’ve had on my list to read, too. One day! I hope you enjoy it!

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I nearly forgot to post my review! Oopsy.

Book Title and Author: Maiden, Mother, and Crone by DJ Conway.

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 8/10

How does this relate to my magical practice: I want to learn more about the Triple Goddess.

My personal thoughts, and opinions of the book: This is a good book for someone starting out on their path, with information on the Maiden, Mother, and Crone and the different myths behind those faces.

An interesting quote in the book: “Myths are maps that lead to spiritual understanding of humankind’s position in the universe, and the relationship of humankind to the powers we call gods and goddesses. These stories also hold clues to understanding ourselves.”

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

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Yes… :sweat_smile: She speaks of it more in a calling quarters type more than the traditional calendar type, though she of course uses it in that sense also. The dieties she speaks of are the" predecessors" to the ones worshiped now if I read it right. I would Love for someone else to read it and tell me I’m all wrong or think the same thing. The beginning is really intense and brings back memories you never had :rofl:

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Well, I’ve added it to my TBR pile! If I ever get around to reading it, I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts :laughing:

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@Shadeweaver It’s on my kindle ready to go. :sparkling_heart:

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@BryWisteria I mean, I get it :rofl: I always knew there was a reason I didnt want to run or be seen doing it :joy:

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@MeganB Thank you, Megan! I’m not very far into the book yet, but it has such a strong focus on Celtic culture and how Druidry and Celtic magick intersect that I am constantly thinking of you- it may shift gear later on, but at least so far it really does seem like a book that would be right up your alley! :grinning: :deciduous_tree: :triquetra:


@Amethyst I love the quote about myths being maps- maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s a trend lately towards using myths as spiritual guides and ways to unlock the mysteries of both the world and your own nature and I have to say that I am all for it! I love me some myths and legends :laughing: :+1: :heart:

You mentioned this book is good for someone starting out- would you say it has some more intermediate/advanced knowledge about The Triple Goddess too, or does it stick to material geared to beginners?

I’m glad you enjoyed it- thanks for sharing your thoughts, Amethyst! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :open_book:


@Shadeweaver That’s really interesting! Combining the Wheel of the Year with calling the quarters make me think of the Wheel being like a big compass of the seasons (which would also tie into astrology and using the stars as a visual map of the passage of time :star:) and I think that’s really neat! :compass: :star_struck: It sounds like you’ve sparked a lot of interest in this book, Shadeweaver- I’m adding it on to my to-read list as well! Thank you so much for the recommendation :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


@Susurrus I’m with you, my friend- both my parents are marathon runners, but I couldn’t make it to the mailbox and back! Running was never my cup of tea… and perhaps now I know why! :joy: :running_woman: :mage:

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