📝 Spells8 Book Club XXXIX - Readers' Reviews!

Feel free to share your finished thoughts and reviews from your book last session (Jun 7 - Jul 5) here. For the current book club post, please visit the new session post: 📖 Spells8 Book Club XXXX (Jul 12 - Aug 9)

A warm welcome to all of the Witchy Readers! :open_book:

The latest reading period for Book Club [Jun 7 - Jul 5] has now ended - thank you to everyone who joined in!

Members & Their Books This Reading Period:

  • Ambrosia’s Book of Witch Flight by Jasmyne Ambrosia
    @MeganB

  • Midsummer by Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials
    @Kiara_Astra

  • Artemis Virgin Goddess of the Sun and Moon by Sortia D’Este
    @Kiara_Astra

  • Intuitive Witchcraft by Astrea Taylor
    @Amethyst

  • The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Fairies by Skye Alexander
    @Mystique

  • Icelandic Folk Tales by Hjorleifur Helgi Stefansson
    @tracyS

  • Chronicles of the Celts: The Classic Sagas by Iain Zaczek
    @Amaris_Bane

  • Tyr: The Origins and History of the Norse God of Law, War, and Justice by Andrew Scott and Charles River Editors (CRE)
    @Amaris_Bane

  • Freya: Meeting the Norse Goddess of Magic by Morgan Daimler (Pagan Portals series)
    @Amaris_Bane

  • Lugh: Meeting the Many-Skilled God by Morgan Daimler (Pagan Portals series) @Amaris_Bane

  • Capricorn Witch by Ivo Dominguez, Jr. and Maria Wander
    @BlueAngelite

  • Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler (I’m reading chapters 10-13)
    @BlueAngelite

  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
    @celineelise

  • The Little Book of Mushrooms by Alex Dorr
    @Nhaama

  • The Crystal Witch by Shawn Robbins and Leanna Greenway
    @Nhaama

  • The Teen Witches’ Guide to Manifesting Written by Claire Phillip and Illustrated by Luna Valentine
    @TheMuslimWitch

  • The Magus of Strovolos By Kyriacos Markides*
    @Jeannie1

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, August 9

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 12

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:

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Woohoo! I finished my book! :clap:

I’ve been slowly reading this book, and while it was a good book I’m glad it’s over :laughing: I hope that makes sense!

Anyway, here’s my simple review and a link to the full review I put up on my blog.

Book Title and Author: Ambrosia’s Book of Witch Flight by Jasmyne Ambrosia

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book: 8

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I am highly interested in spirit work and spirit flight, so a book full of personal gnosis about spirit flight is right up my alley.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Overall, it was a good book. I didn’t go into it expecting much in terms of historical or academic information. There was some, which is great, but most of the book is centered around Jasmyne’s experiences in the Otherworld, the spirits she has met, and different methods and tools to help the seeker with their own flight.

An interesting quote from the book:

“Thirteen witches make the council, however these are no ordinary mortal witches. They are far older than we have words to describe them. Even though they are able to cross into the physical world, none of them were ever human mortals. They are from the otherworld and they serve to protect the veil between the worlds.”

Ambrosia’s Book of Witch Flight (Ch. 12 – The Witch Council)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, depending on your practice. Ambrosia’s tradition is neo-traditional and was founded in 2017. While it shares practices with other Trad Witch traditions, it is highly personalized to her practice and her coven.


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I finally finished The Little Book of Mushrooms today~! Here’s my review :mushroom: :herb:

Book Title and Author: The Little Book of Mushrooms by Alex Dorr

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book: 10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I dabble in green, herbal, and kitchen witchery plus I just like mushrooms in general so this book was definitely my cup of tea~!

My personal thoughts/opinions: I really like this book! It’s not fancy but the format is clean, and the book is informative and easy to understand. The visual aids from the painted illustrations of each shroom was a lovely touch, and I appreciate how the author explained what mushrooms are and what their functions are, along with explanations for the mycology terms throughout the book. I also appreciate that the author warns the reader that the book, while informative, is not the end all be all of mushrooms and that you should always be careful when foraging for mushrooms and to have a professional mycologist identity any mushrooms you find, for your health and safety. I believe this was important for him to note since it’s likely younger people may read this book. I learned a good amount from it and I plan on adding the book’s information of my state’s native mushrooms in my herbal grimoire.

An interesting quote from the book:

“Mushrooms are recyclers, bridges between life and death, healers, feeders, teachers, killers, and so much more. Some can thrive in radioactive environments. Others can hibernate underwater for millions of years. And still, others may brave the extreme cold of Antarctica, or the desolation of space.”

The Little Book of Mushrooms (Foreword, page 7)

Mushrooms have been the cornerstone of many cultural ceremonies and rituals throughout history. Herbalists and others have been using mushrooms for centuries to support human health. Psilocybin mushrooms, known for their psychoactive properties, may have been used as far back as twelve thousand years ago in spiritual practices. Indigenous peoples of Central America featured these mushrooms in their religious ceremonies and art and called them “flesh of the gods.” Aztecs and Mayans, as well as other groups worldwide, have used Psilocybin for healing and to connect with the Divine.

The Little Book of Mushrooms (Part One: A Basic Introduction to Mushrooms - Why Mushrooms?, page 10)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Absolutely! It’s a great way to start learning about the fungi kingdom.

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Ooh you’ve got me curious about this book! Also unrelated for a teeny tiny moment but thank you for the tarot reading earlier :pink_heart:

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Free book libraries are the best :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I hope you enjoy/enjoyed it! :heart:

You’ve got some great ones! :star_struck: While they weren’t the most common mushrooms around, I remember seeing chanterelles and chicken of the woods where we foraged in Poland. They’re both very colorful and mushrooms to spot! :orange_heart: :blush:

10/10 - woohoo! :partying_face: I’m so happy you enjoyed the book, Nhamma, it sounds like it was loaded with helpful mushroom information. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and some of the wisdom you learned! :mushroom: :two_hearts:

It sounds like a fascinating book about spirit work - thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, Megan! :raised_hands: :ghost: :sparkles:

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Yeah, I loved it~! :mushroom: :heartpulse: I’m reading my other book now and it’s lovely too :pink_heart:

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If you read it, I hope you enjoy it! :heart: And you’re very welcome for the reading!

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Yay! I hope you continue to enjoy it :open_book: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

You’re on a roll! :partying_face: You’ve got this - happy reading! :heart:

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I finished The Crystal Witch today! Here’s my review.

Book Title and Author: The Crystal Witch: The Magickal Way to Calm and Heal the Body, Mind, and Spirit by Leanna Greenaway and Shawn Robbins

Status?: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Crystals are a big part of my practice and having a book on them is very important to me.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I find this book to be a valuable source of information on crystals. It also includes information about crystals that are best suited for every sign of the Zodiac, which I found interesting. For example, I already knew that citrine is associated with my birthsign, but wasn’t aware that pink tourmaline is also recommended for me! How cool is that? This book also has spell suggestions, which I find to be a lovely bonus. This book is easy to understand and has lovely pictures in it, too~! :pink_heart:

An interesting quote from the book:

“Crystals are most commonly known for their therapeutic properties, and many healers spanning diverse cultures use them to balance a person’s energy and help combat any ailments.”

“Witches have used crystals for centuries as part of their magickal practices and believe that each one holds an inherent power that projects itself toward enhancing a person’s life. These precious nuggets of power are not just earthbound; they are universal.”

The Crystal Witch (Page 17 - How Does Crystal Magick Work?)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Absolutely! I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs an index of crystals and their meanings.

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Sound like a great book! I’m going to add this one to my Amazon wishlist!

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I’m seconding Mystique - this sounds amazing! :grinning: I especially like how it explores crystal correspondences in the Zodiac. That’s a helpful list to have on hand for spellwork.

Thank you so much for sharing your review, Nhaama - I’m so happy you enjoyed the book! :quartz_crystal: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :open_book:

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@Mystique @BryWisteria I hope you two enjoy the book too when you get it~! And I look forward to our next book club :pink_heart: :sparkles:

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Thank you, Nhaama! :blush:

Yay! I’m putting together the official readers’ review post right now, and the brand new book club session will have its new post next Friday. I’ll look forward to hearing about which book(s) you choose to read! :books: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Book Title and Author: The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Fairies by Skye Alexander

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I was considering working with the Fae. This book has given great insight to all the fairies out there. I now know which fairies to work with for which spells. Will definitely be working with them.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Great book! Have lots of insight on all the different types of Fae. Where they originate from, background, how to work with each one.

An interesting quote from the book: "[The faery realm] is not simply something that we imagine, for it has a true nature and a firm identity of its own, existing even if you never think of it. The inhabitants of the faery realm are beautiful and terrible, inspiring and disturbing. If you go there, you will emerge changed. “ R.J. Stewart

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

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I still haven’t finished mine and it is half of illustrations lol :woman_facepalming: :laughing: I honestly should make at least 30 mins time for this book along with my religious text and current fantasy read

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I finally finished this book! It’s taken me several months to get through it (it’s a chunky one) and like @MeganB I’m glad it’s over too. :smile: Not because it was bad, but because it was super long and a heavy lift (physically and intellectually). Now I need to move on to something a little lighter for next book club.

Book Title and Author:
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America
by Margot Adler

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:
This book helped me to reflect on and define my pagan practices. Especially in the first couple of chapters, I was marking up this book with passages that I related to deeply.

My personal thoughts/opinions:
Adler’s style of writing is beautiful. This is partially a book about witchcraft and also a book about witchcraft traditions, mostly Wiccan, and the history of these traditions in the U.S.
Personally, I truly enjoyed the following chapters:

  1. Paganism and Prejudice
  2. A Religion Without Converts
  3. The Pagan World View
  4. The Craft Today
  5. Magic and Ritual
  6. Living on the Earth

This book gives a good historical account of witchcraft in the U.S. It’s clear she did her research with over 100 pages of resources, notes, and bibliography. In order to write this book she did extensive interviews and surveys with practicing witches in the 1970s and details rituals and celebrations in multiple chapters. Fortunately or unfortunately, many of this smaller splinter groups/traditions have disbanded since the publication of this book and others (not mentioned) have popped up. The witchcraft traditions are constantly evolving and forming.

My interest was less the history parts of the book (although I think having the background and reading it was important - although a bit dry and boring) and more the background, beliefs, and practices described in the early chapters. There she uses the historical research and compiles the interview data to come through with summaries of what many witches and Pagans believe and practice. I think these chapters hold very much true to today, even though the first edition of the book was written in 1979. Most current readers might find issue with the focus on Wicca v. traditional or other types of witchcraft, but that was what she found at the time to be practices with the people she interviewed and surveyed. She also briefly describes druids and other goddess-worshippers but not enough in my mind to be included in the title of the book.

I loved looking through the Appendices through the sections on Ritual and Resources. Many of the groups and festivals were no longer in existence (makes sense with the date of the book) but some were including one in Minnesota that I began following on youtube, Circle Sanctuary, and a festival in Illinois, Pan-Pagan Festival which is coming up in August. Maybe I’ll attend? It’s listed as one of the oldest Pagan festivals in the U.S. I never heard of these “more local” festivals before, only Mystic South in Atlanta (which was not mentioned in the book). So this text gave me some good resources to explore, including more local community based events.

I love personally how she brings in Paganism and Unitarian Universalism (UU). Especially how in 1995, “the UUA embraced the Pagan nature traditions by adopting a sixth source to draw from: ‘Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.’” This essentially meant that many Pagans in the U.S. could find a UU church as a welcoming home for them. And then the Covenant of UU Pagans was formed to create UU Pagan groups and these are still in effect today. I’m trying to influence my small Pagan group to become a CUUPs group.

I loved to hear the trajectory of witchcraft in her opinion since the most recent edition was written in 2006, where she is excited about Pagans/witches who are:

  • active in interfaith efforts

  • growth in Pagan Studies at the academic level

  • increase in Pagan Seminaries like Cherry Hill

  • focus on children and families in Paganism

Overall, I really connected with this book and even though I don’t consider myself a Wiccan, I appreciated it fully.

An interesting quote from the book: " "
“Here’s the big question: Has the polythesistic affirmation of diversity come at a time when most people increasingly fear complexity and accept authoritarian solutions?”
p. 34-35

All in all, would I recommend this book?:
Yes, but be ready to skip chapters (if you are less interested in history) and realize that it is a dated historical text.

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I didn’t finish this book!
It will be added to next book club because I am about halfway through. :full_moon_with_face:

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[quote=“BryWisteria, post:1, topic:52467”]

Book Title and Author:
The Magus of Strovolos
Status? Still Reading
My overall rating of the book
10
How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:
I want to get into hypnosis, Shamanism reincarnation, and possession. These topics are talked about!
I have been looking for more books about a research for truth about a man who had many stereotypes about the cult.
He wanted to know more about self discovery about a man who believes in karma, and was a shaman. He was a channel for spiritual growth. He was actually a Christ follower but a mystical figure. He did therapy and witnessed miracles.
He said man will give birth to thoughts :thought_balloon: and we can effect others by our thoughts. Cause and effect. He Had native friends and the author wanted to write manuscript’s about Stofolos channeling Uhanan and didn’t want any credit cause it wasn’t him.
He wanted to know if he believed in reincarnation. He was actually saying that he was in other reincarnation’s and caused war to break out. It was political and caused war and was interested in mystical things and truth and went on to say he was Almost enlightened.
He said if you stick to logic than logos which means truth. They would initiate people in Iran and Turkey and there were thre parts of a body The psychic body, nomedic body and travel through eczema mitosis. We have to go through chakras
In order to travel. The church wanted to excommunicate him.
He wanted to no more about the nature of reality. He wanted to be at service to fellow man. He felt that the Middle East was plagued by sadness.
My personal thoughts/opinions:
It’s about observation about spirit
A Jew had a bad psychological issues about demons that were torturing her in her dreams. The girl was sad and three women. A six pointed star was using an amulet for protection. She had spirits in here that when the nazis tried to destroy Jews and spirits attached themselves to her. Since she was Jew they did a ritual. She read it in Hebrew! Shalamhalam and did a prayer :pray:t4: and used six pointed star! :star:
She focused her attention on a flame of a white candle. :candle:
The flame :fire: would speak :speaking_head: and the spirits were stubborn! Working on a flame :fire:
And then the spirits were taken out! They had possession over her but then gave her instructions just in case they tried coming back.
Jeannie

An interesting quote from the book: " "
People carry their hatred, even after the grave”

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

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So many good books were read this time! :clap:

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10/10 woohoo! :partying_face: This sounds like a great reference for learning about the Fae and how to get starting working with them. Thanks for your review, Mystique! :heart: :fairy:

Haha no worries -it’s just like that some months! Hope you continue to enjoy your reading :books: :blush:

You did it! :partying_face: Proud of you, @BlueAngelite - it sounds like an educational but very dense read, loaded with information. Good for you for getting through - it’s a big accomplishment! :clap:

No worries about Capricorn Witch - feel free to continue it into next session if you wish :open_book: :capricorn: :blush:

Sounds like a great read so far - I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Jeannie! I hope it continues to be interesting and full of insightful information for you. Enjoy!

Agreed! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :books:

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