đź“ť Spells8 Book Club XXXIV - Readers' Reviews!

This Readers’ Review has closed- please go to Activities to find and join the current session and current Readers’ Review post. You can also view all book club reviews in the Book Review Collection :books:

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

The latest reading period for Book Club [Dec 15 - Jan 12] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Members & Their Books This Reading Period:

  • Scrying by Mara Silva

  • Entering Hekate’s Garden by Cyndi Brannen

  • A Walk Through the Forest of Souls By Rachel Pollack

  • Witchcraft Therapy: Your Guide to Banishing Bullsh*t and Invoking Your Inner Power

  • The Bible of the Adversary by Michael W Ford

  • The Night Journey, Witchcraft as Transformation by Yvonne Aburrow

  • The Path of Paganism by John Beckett

  • Witchcraft Unchained by Craig Spencer

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 Canva

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 Canva

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, February 16th

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, January 19th

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 Canva

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:


Ok I have to share. Witchcraft Therapy is not only my first book in this book club, but its also the first book I chose to read to kick start my journey back to witchcraft and self healing. I use a mini tarot deck as book marks that is missing all the major arcana (used for a dnd campaign). This is the card I drew for this book. I have no idea what 10 of cups represents but it’s giving me all the feelings and hopes for a better future. It makes me feel like I chose the right path.:heart:


You’ve got it! 10 of cups usually represents happiness, joy, contentment and emotional satisfaction. :black_heart:


It’s clearly a very special book for you and your journey :open_book: :sparkles: :blush:

That sounds like a really fun campaign! :heart_eyes:

Starborn is right on- the 10 of Cups is a very positive card. And I agree with you- it’s a great symbol of being on a fulfilling and successful path! :cup_tarot: :grinning: :two_hearts:

Happy reading, Kyrstyn!


I’m about three-quarters of the way through my book The Path of Paganism by John Beckett. I did a lot of reading on my vacation this week; while traveling by plane and bus. I started to combine the book with some podcasts that featured John, because I like to get to hear the author and their perspectives in interview formats. I listened to two podcasts with John Beckett while in flight and they were very interesting. One was focused on camouflage and witchcraft for safety and the other was on the modern witchcraft v. pagan movements. He got tied up with how paganism, witchcraft, and druidism are all under one roof and how he is a druid, but calls himself a pagan, and if pushed would also classify himself as a witch technically. Both podcasts were interesting and added to my understanding of the book.

In Chapter 6: Being Spiritual in a Materialistic Society, he mentioned how he started in paganism after leaving fundamentalist Christianity, by dabbling in Wicca for many years. Then he heard a voice to “Get Serious or Move On.” He knew he wasn’t fully committing due to fear and just reading and not “doing” not practicing. So he starting actually diving deep and meditating, praying, doing rituals with groups, learning about deities. I totally related to this as a former Catholic with a lot of guilt and shame about witchcraft and not full committing.

I got a little hung - up at first on his chapter on the gods, Chapter 4, just because I don’t have a deity worship practice, I have an ancestor altar, and I was essentially thinking this chapter was going to be very “druid” deity worship focused. I was quite surprised! It was basically a skeptic’s chapter: written just for me. I wouldn’t say that now I’m about to totally go out and do all kinds of devotions to the gods, but hey the way John writes is to the common person. And explains, why not try it? Instead of why to to definitely believe something.

Some of the later chapters seem like “everything and the kitchen sink” and a little excessive. So far I do appreciate his perspective as a Unitarian Universalist (UU), as I am also a member of a UU church. He has experience with a CUUPs group (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans). And in my UU church we have a pagan group, that is not quite organized enough to become a CUUPs group, but this book gives me good ideas about how we could be in the future. So far, I am really enjoying where this book is taking me. And it has opened my mind to other ways of thinking rather than, traditional witchcraft all the time, which is my most common reading.

I looked into the Druid OBOD training as John mentions it in the book, and wow, those druids are very organized about their training as druids! Three levels of online training, verified credentials - very nice. I appreciate that as a super organized person myself! Anyways, just adding my thoughts so far. :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s an interesting area to explore! The three (as well as other spiritual paths) do tend to get used interchangeably, and in many cases that’s fine as there is a lot overlap- but there are aspects of each that are unique and can be explored in the spotlight. Sounds like a neat podcast!

There’s so much to explore- it sounds like the author has a lot of experience/done a lot of research on many areas of paganism. It really sounds like worthwhile read!

I haven’t gone through Druid training, but I’ve also looked into the organizations and you’re right- it really does seem organized! Even the different branches in different countries seem to come together, at least through affiliations. It’s a different perspective (I imagine with its own pros and cons) compared to the various non-affiliated branches of witchcraft and paganism.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on The Path of Paganism, @BlueAngelite- I hope you continue to enjoy it through the final quarter of the book! :open_book: :blush:


@BlueAngelite that book sounds really good! I like how you use podcasts to tie into the books for deeper understanding!


I’m still working through Witchcraft Unchained, so that will rollover to the next book club :bookmark:


I’m almost finished with my book - The Path of Paganism - but glad we have a long weekend to read and for me to finish up. Then I have my next book kinda chosen for the next book club which starts on my birthday! Thanks for doing these @BryWisteria, the book clubs will help keep me reading through my pile. :open_book:


I’ve got distracted :person_facepalming:, beasty got me reading his stuff :rofl::green_heart:


Book Title and Author: A walk through the forrest of souls Rachel Pollack

Status? : Still Reading

My overall rating of the book 8/10 so far

How does this book relate to or inform my practice? I use Tarot for divination primarily and Rachel has been a mentor to me for years. She passed last year and this is her last book and I am savoring its wisdom. She just makes it make sense and connects the dots for me in so many ways.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Rachel weaves so many meanings and connections together for me and really this book is a love letter to tarot and how it’s fluidity keeps it alive and it is alive for me so much more with her thoughts and helpful exercises.
An interesting quote from the book: not with me now will update

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


Ok. The Bible of the Adversary by Michael Ford. Would I recommend, Yes. Have I finished it, nearly. So far it’s good. Do I agree with all of it, no but that doesn’t matter.

I think this is worth a read to expand my belief system. He covers history of Christianity, history of paganism, and explains, in his view, where Mr Lucifer fits in all this. I’ve learnt alot of history through this book that I didn’t expect. I thought it was just about Luciferianism.

If you’re interested in Luciferianism as a practice, he covers everything and explains it in layman’s terms. He’s a very good writer. Sometimes I can detect a little animosity towards the Christian path which is a shame as I feel it might have made the book more powerful if he kept it neutral, but that must be hard for any author.

I’m still reading, but this is definitely a keeper and once I’ve finished I will get the paperback.


Book Title and Author:
The Path of Paganism by John Beckett

Status? :
Finished :white_check_mark:

My overall rating of the book : 9/10 :star2:

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:
Right on point. As a new practitioner this book helped me explore my magical practices and my place in the pagan and witchcraft worlds.

My personal thoughts/opinions:
I was recommended The Path of Paganism by several people and thought I had to read it. The author, John Beckett, had a lot in common with me. He left a Christian religion as a adult and explored and became pagan later in life. He also is very involved in his Unitarian Universalist church and associated CUUPs group (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) and writes about this experience in the book.

What I found interesting about the format of the book was that each chapter ended with an experience or ritual for the reader to try out so there was hands on work associated with each chapter.

I was worried about reading The Path of Paganism when I got to his chapter on the Gods as I don’t have a deity practice at this time. And I was worried that his take (as a druid) would be highly druid-like in the chapter. Instead I thought the chapter and the entire book was extremely well written and I got a totally different perspective on working with deities, perhaps closer now than I had from reading any traditional witchcraft book previously. He writes about “A Skeptic’s Guide to Gods and Spirits” and literally I thought “is this guy writing to me?” John writes in a way that is totally accessible to a general audience and I connected with it fully.

There were two chapters I didn’t connect with as much just because of the topics “Initiation” and “Priesthood”. And I think this may be something that may be more common in druid life than perhaps witchcraft. I don’t intend to pursue initiation as a solitary witch within a coven, although I did complete the Spells8 Self-Initiation course. And priesthood/priestesshood is not really a path in witchcraft that I have heard much of, although please correct me if I am wrong. John writes about the process to become a druid priest in the chapter.

My favorite chapters were later in the book “Group Exercises” and “Publicize, Don’t Proselytize”. The group chapter gave great suggestions about how to best hold group rituals, how to form a group and have leadership, and how to be hospitable to visitors during public rituals. This is especially important to me as my local pagan group is in a forming stage and this chapter will be so key for us as almost a playbook, I think. The Publicize chapter for me reminded me so much of the Witches’ Pyramid and the idea “To Dare”. We so often use the Witches’ Pyramid, “To Keep Silent” for safety and protection, but in the case of paganism, the point that Beckett makes in this chapter is that more people should know that there is an alternative out there to “the major religions”. We don’t have to convert people. But even by saying “this works for me”, we dare to publicize paganism as an option for those who are seeking an alternative out there.

All in all, this is a well written book mainly for newer practitioners with a very wide audience (witches, druids, heathens, all pagans). Many topics are covered from nature to gods to ancestor worships to altars and magic. John’s writing style is casual and informal and his hands on “homework” at the end of each chapter make this a great book for a book club or a shared small group read. I highly recommend. :white_check_mark:

An interesting quote from the book:
“And in that moment, I too heard voices. They weren’t audible, but they couldn’t have been louder if Danu herself had screamed at me from across the table: “GET SERIOUS OR MOVE ON!”
I knew the dabbling had to end. And I knew that I had never moved beyond dabbling because I didn’t have a religious foundation. I had rejected the fundamentalism of my childhood, but I had replaced it with a vague deistic universalism that didn’t give me anything to build on . That had to change.
I finally started doing the things I needed to do to move on from fundamentalism. I studied liberal Christianity and Buddhism. I read the Welsh Mabinogi and the Norse Edda. Since dabbling in Wicca hadn’t done anything for me, I explored Druidry and found my spiritual home. And I wasn’t just reading, I was practicing: meditating, praying, performing rituals, spending time outside mindfully experiencing nature.”

All in all, would I recommend this book?:
Yes, definitely
I look forward to reading his next book - Paganism in Depth


I keep on finishing my books early and then forgetting to post my reviews. Here ya go!

Book Title and Author: Scrying by Mari Silva

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book: 7

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I got interested in Scrying thanks to a Weekly Challenge and wanted to learn more about it.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great book that just touches several different forms of Scrying, from tarot to crystal balls. It’s a beginner’s book that is a good place to figure out what you might like so you can go from there.

An interesting quote from the book: “If you believe there are advantages to be gained beyond our five senses and you seek those revelations, then scrying will enable you to explore and understand the spiritual realms.”

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


@MeganB I hope you continue to enjoy it! :open_book: :blush:

@BlueAngelite It’s a pleasure- I’m happy if the book club helps you with your reading! It sounds like you’ve got some very neat books on your shelf :star_struck: :books:

@TracyS Nothing wrong with that! :joy: Hopefully He’s picked out some fun things for you :books: :grin:

I am so sorry about the passing of your mentor- it sounds like she was a very talented divination practitioner. Those books are so special- they will help carry her wisdom and continue to encourage fellow readers for many years to come :pray: :candle:

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about A Walk Through the Forest of Souls. It sounds like a very powerful read! I hope you continue to enjoy it :heart:

This sounds like a great resource for all those interested in working with Lucifer and exploring Luciferianism- I’m glad it’s been such a good read for you, Tracy! Sorry about the animosity, I think you’re right that being truly neutral when emotions are involved is a tough thing to do. Still, it sounds like the many resources and knowledge are well-worth the read!

I hope you continue to enjoy it :blush: :books: :sparkles:

Congrats on finishing The Path of Paganism- sounds like it was a great read for you! It’s always nice when the author offers multiple perspectives and gives a wide overview, allowing the reader the freedom to connect with the things that relate to them. Sounds like a very talented author!

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, it really sounds like a great book. I’ve been interested in druidry and exploring that path a bit more, so this sounds like a book that could offer more- on druidry and many other topics. I hope you enjoy Paganism in Depth just as much as this one- happy reading! :heart: :blush:

Hooray for scrying! :crystal_ball: :sparkles: It sounds like a solid introduction to different methods of scrying work- may I ask if there were any that you hadn’t heard of before, Amethyst? Or do you think the information was kept at a beginner’s level?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I hope your future scrying work continues to go well :heart: :hugs:


Thanks for a great first Book Club for me!

I appreciate reading each of your entries @tracyS @Amethyst @Sabine_Estella. Each of your books sounds like a great read.

I’m already pondering my next book! :open_book:


Thanks for joining in, @BlueAngelite! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I haven’t been able to work a book into my schedule for a while now unfortunately, so I am living (reading?) vicariously thanks to all of you- I really enjoyed hearing about The Path of Paganism! :open_book: :grinning:

Ohhhhh I hope you find another good one you’ll enjoy- can’t wait to hear what you choose! :blush:

Blessed reading!


There were a few I didn’t hear of before, like shell scrying and wind scrying. But it’s a book very much at a beginner’s level. Very good.


Those both sound like interesting methods! :shell: :wind_face: I wonder if the shell scrying would be similar to casting runes (throwing and reading) or more like bone reading (examining the crevices/cracks for shapes). Either way, sounds neat! :grinning:

Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Amethyst :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Shell scrying was picking up a shell and listening to it and see if the spirits had any messages for you. I don’t get it, I never hear the ocean though when Iisten to shells, either.