Witchy Book Reviews! Spells8 Book Club Reviews Masterlist - Sessions I ~ XX

Book Title and Author: Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation by Stephanie Woodfield.

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I want to work on my shadow this winter and I figured this was a wonderful book to start out with.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great book if you work with the Dark Goddesses or if you just want to catch a glimpse at your own shadow. There are several guided meditations in this book that makes me wish it came with the audio for them. All in all though, a great book!

An interesting quote from the book: “There is no such thing as a happy ever after, because we are constantly growing and changing. More than likely the person you were five years ago is not the same person you are now, nor will you be the same five years in the future. The changes aren’t always dramatic, but they are there nonetheless.”

And:
“When working with the dark goddess, it’s important to recognize you will be afraid. When we understand our fears and learn to control our reactions to it, we can master this emotion.”

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

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Wow, you did it in perfect timing, @Amethyst- congrats on finishing Dark Goddess Craft ! :partying_face: It sounds like a lovely book for both deity work and Shadow Work. And I like that it comes with meditations too- a bonus! :tada:

Ohhhh I’m curious, as these days the first “Dark Goddess” that comes to mind is Hekate- may I ask if the book focuses primarily on Her, or does the book explore other Dark Goddesses equally (perhaps the Morrigan/Morana, etc?) :black_heart:

Thanks so much for your review! :blush:

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Hekate and Badb, a face of the Morrigan are mentioned, but so are Kali, Persephone, Sedna, Oya, and many others. Some I’ve never heard of and aren’t going to even try to spell. LOL.

There are ritual baths, and other spells included, to help you face your shadow. It’s a really good book, I’d recommend it!

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Oh wow- that is a lot of goddesses to explore! :star_struck::black_heart: It does sound like an amazing book, @Amethyst- thanks again for your review and the recommendation! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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You’re welcome! It’s really great book to start out shadow work with!

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Book Title and Author: Celtic Tree Magic Ogham Lore & Druid Mysteries by: Danu Foresgt

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9 /10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I started learning about the Runes & a big part of my practice is Celtic derived. Learning the Ogham & different Celtic/Druid techniques for their uses & also for grounding & meditation are something that I am feeling more of a connection to as I learn more.

My personal thoughts/opinions: The book covers all of the meanings or interpretations of each symbol & Druid mastery exercises & how to cast & interpret the staves.

An interesting quote from the book: …“Bloddeuwedd is said to attempt murdering Llew with her lover Gronw & is turned into an owl by Gwydion as punishment. This reveals Bloddeuwedd as a fierce & strong female character, a force of nature rather than a passive creation of men. Her Duality as flower maiden/owl woman show her to be far more complex & probably a far more ancient Goddess than the story suggests at first glance. There are several tales where a goddess is fought over by two male consorts who each have their divine roles, often related to Summer & Winter, or the world Above & the Underworld.”
Pages 20 -21
(When I first read this passage, I immediately thought of Persephone)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Absolutely to anyone wishing to follow a more Celtic path or to learn about their Divination with Ogham Trees & Staves

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I finished my next book for this Session!

Book Title and Author: The Spirit of Celtic Gods & Goddesses: Their History, Magical Power, & Healing Energies By: Carl McColman & Kathryn Hinds with a foreword by Courtney Weber

Status? : Finished (Finally, 3rd time is the charm :four_leaf_clover:)

My overall rating of the book : 8 /10 I gave the book an 8 due to the obvious bias, confusion, or both of the Morrigan being associated with eroticism. Clearly taking the stories, myths, legends out of context for at the very least her encounter with the Dagda on Samhain.

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I am studying Celtic Paganism & Spirituality. I also currently honor Brighid & the Morrigan & continue learning about the Celtic Pantheon & the polytheism aspect of Celtic Spirituality. However, right now in my life, I have a balance with happenings & events & both Goddesses that I Honor make their presence known each day at before different things go on or just for comfort I suppose.

My personal thoughts/opinions: (This is my personal view) A similar context is used for Medb who is not one of the Morrigan sisters but a goddess of eroticism, she was known for sexual encounters in her associated stories but they are not the same person in their stories as the Badb, Nemain, Macha can be directly associated with the Morrigan as sisters & create any part of her identity.I can follow most of the book, the parts about some of the deities, from what I have learned from other sources, is more speculative than based on the time of the occurrences.

An interesting quote from the book: “This is magic indeed. It is motivated by love; informed equally by knowledge & wisdom; powered by a focused, well-trained will; and carried out by means of words whose potency is increased by their poetic form and their sung utterance. This magic sees beneath appearances & recognizes possibilities. It is a change of consciousness that changes the word.” (pg 168)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Absolutely, it gives a starting point to working the Celtic Gods & Goddesses & following a Celtic path.

I added my next book, another 3rd time is the charm book. I remember when I tried to start these books, they were so hard for me to settle into & now it’s like the connection is really there & where my path is taking me.

@christine13 I will be looking forward to what you think of the book also, I am now reading (restarting) the same book you are! Happy reading! (Tending Brigid’s Flame)

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My review of This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
This book was a really wonderful one to read and was full of twists,turns and excitement.
Overall I rate this book a 9/10 and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves greek mythology.My favourite part of the book would either be the parts in the garden or when Hekate appears.
I’m extremely excited and anxious to get my hands on the next book and I will update you when I get it!
Blessed be.

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@Siofra_Strega Thanks for sharing that lovely review about The Spirit of Celtic Gods & Goddesses! It sounds like there were some rough patches, but congrats to you for sticking through and finishing it. I’d add my note about rehoming it into the Review post when it’s launched, but you’re so awesome you beat me to it! :laughing: :+1: Thanks for sharing that info with Jem! :heart:

@Jem1 Thanks for sharing your review of This Poison Heart, Jem! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Like Siofra kindly mentioned, there is a suggested template to help guide reviews, but it is simply a guide- you’re free to use as much or as little of it as you’d like, the most important thing is getting your thoughts out there! :grinning: And wow- it sounds like a very fun read, how cool that Hekate Herself appears! Is there a sequel coming out soon (or is it already released?) I hope you can get your hands on a copy! :star_struck: :open_book:

I was reunited with my digital reader (is it a kindle? I don’t even know- it might be an Amazon fire or something else :joy:) for the first time in two years and I didn’t realize how much I’d miss it! I always say I prefer a physical copy, but it really is handy how it can hold so many books in the tablet :books: An entire library right in our hands :open_hands: :grin:

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The next book unfortunately doesn’t come out until June :sob:

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A tragedy @Jem1- there’s nothing quite like the anticipation of waiting for the next entry in a favorite series. May the time fly, the book come out soon, and may it be everything you are hoping for in a sequel! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Until then, maybe there’s another book you have in mind? I know it can be hard to switch to another series when you’ve got a good one, but maybe you can find another amazing new series/book to explore! :blush:

If so, blessed reading! :open_book: :sparkles:

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Book Title and Author: Tending Brigid’s Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Well, I wanted to learn about the Celtic pantheon because I am Irish, Scottish, and English. I had read things here and there on Brigid, but there were 4 things that struck me that I really connected with was the cow with the red ears, Imbolc, that she was the Goddess of the hearth, and the corn husk dolls. I love cows and had worked on a few dairy farms, and I love Spring when the trees and flowers are rebirthed and green and new. One of the main reason’s we bought this house we’re in now is because of the hearth–it was welcoming and a source of comfort to me, and the corn husk dolls my grandmother–she was from Newfoundland–used to make us when we were kids.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I think I hyped myself up on the book and was excited to learn about Brigid, but I was disappointed because there wasn’t that much about her specifically. I mean, there were blessings, charms, and incantations in the book so that was helpful, but I was looking for more specifics. Apparently the Celts didn’t like to write things down and record things so it’s kind of vague information.

An interesting quote from the book: There really wasn’t anything that called to me.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: I do recommend the book because just because I didn’t click with the writer doesn’t mean someone else won’t. I just was looking for more information.

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Hey Christine!

I noticed your review for Tending Brigid’s Flame and wanted to pop in with some more recommendations! That particular book has meh reviews from Irish people but I am sorry you didn’t connect with it. The two books I can definitely recommend for Brighid are Pagan Portals: Brigid by Morgan Daimler and Brigid by Courtney Weber.

As for other stories, there is loads of information in Her lore and mythos! I’ll leave some links here for you if you’re interested in learning more. And you’re right, the ancient Irish didn’t have a writing system outside of Ogham, and that was just used for carvings on stones. What we do know about them comes from the Roman missionaries and monks that came to Ireland and wrote everything down.

The Life of St. BrigidBethu Brigte (it is impossible to separate Brigid the Goddess from St. Brigid, so learning about both aspects is a good idea!)

The Second Battle of Mag TuiredThe Second Battle of Mag Tuired (this one details an important battle in Irish mythology; it also tells the story of how Brighid invented Keening)

The Well at the Edge of Loch LawneSrath an Urláir | The Schools’ Collection | dúchas.ie (folklore directly from Ireland)

The Mantle of St. BrigidLegendary Fictions of the Irish Celts: St Brigid's Cloak


I also have a video that talks about some of Her myths and stories. And I even wrote a post about Herself here → St. Brigid :fire: Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know

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Thank you so much for the recommendations! The book was definitely, meh.I did get The Pagan Portals: Brigid, and I’ll definitely look into the other ones.

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Book Title and Author: Celtic Mythology by: Sofia Visconti

Status : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: It’s important to me to read the history, myths, and legends of the Irish/Celtic Pantheon because of my nationality. I believe it’s important to know who you are and where you have come from. But not only that when reading it I realized why I like fairies, leprechauns, rainbows, and dragons besides the fantasy aspect of it, it’s important mystical legends and folklore.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I really liked the book and the information it gave. The book flowed nicely. It was engaging and interesting. To learn some of the different God’s and Goddesses and their legends was cool. I never knew the story of the Loch Ness Monster came from the Scottish. I didn’t know that fairies and water sprites were stories from the Irish. And just learning about the different myths and legends and where they originated from I have a greater respect for the Celts because a lot of fairytales and stories that were passed down from them.

An interesting quote from the book: “All of nature and her creatures were viewed as sacred to the Celts and treated with great respect”

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

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Book Title and Author: Tending Brigid’s Flame by: Lunaea Weatherstone

Status?: More than halfway through, I had to stop. I will come back to it, I had to take time for myself.

My overall rating of the book: a tad dry or meh/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I have been a follower of Brighid for over a year & this book gives some very good ideas on how to honor Brighid with seemingly mundane daily activities & relate them back to her correspondences & working with her now & then.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book is a bit, meh, dry, she may be a priestess but this is very much a more advanced interpretation of working with Brighid on a regular basis with minimal information from outside herself or others contributing to the book. Heavily biased

All in all, would I recommend this book?: I would with a disclaimer that you already have a pretty good working knowledge of Celtic Mythology, Celtic History, Celtic Paganism, Celtic Gods & Goddesses along with their stories. Otherwise, it would be a hard book to get through without your own practices in place.

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@Christine13 You’re welcome, Christine- I’m so glad you enjoyed Celtic Mythology so much, it sounds like it was a great read for you! :heart_eyes: And haha I know the feeling- there are so many great books out there, it can be easy to get them confused especially when you’re flying through them! :books::blush:

@Siofra_Strega I’m sorry Tending Brigid’s Flame was a bit of a dry read for you, Siofra (although I had to chuckle at your rating- “meh/10” is a hilarious way to rate it :joy::+1:) Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book- I’m sure it will be very helpful for others who work with Brigid and are considering giving it a read! :heart:

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Book Title and Author: Witchcraft Therapy By Mandi Em

Status? : I read this once and reread it for good measure.

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Currently my practice it is mainly focused inward on finding and accepting my shadow self. So far I’ve found a lot of success; and I feel like this book is a great stepping stone on my path.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I needed this book. It drew my mind to some things I should rethink in myself. I listened to the audio book version and I really enjoyed both the book and the narrator. Though now I really wish I had gotten a physical copy and I might get one anyway.

An interesting quote from the book: It’s important to get in touch with your higher self when attempting to uncovers what success means to you.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Absolutely! I want to recommend it to everyone I know.

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10/10- sounds like Witchcraft Therapy was an awesome read for you, @Torista! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’m so glad you enjoyed the book so much that you read it once and then once again- it looks like the kind of book that will always have a special place on your bookshelf :books: Thank you for recommending it! :heart:

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Okay, so I didn’t finish the book I was reading, A Guide to Spirits, because I just can’t. I can’t force myself to finish a book that I’m turning out to hate :sweat_smile: I did a whole book review on my blog (https://roundthecauldron.com/index.php?post/2022/01/04/A-Guide-of-Spirits-by-Chris-Allaun-||-Book-Review) if anyone wants to read it but I can summarize here, too.

Book Title and Author: A Guide to Spirits by Chris Allaun

Status? : Did not finish

My overall rating of the book : 2/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I’ve been looking into more death work and necromancy as a way to connect with my ancestors and delve into more spirit work.

My personal thoughts/opinions: Too New Age for my liking, there isn’t a clear explanation of where the author is coming from in terms of his belief system. There was chunky writing that didn’t make sense sometimes. The author appears to encourage cultural appropriation without clear explanations. The author also says that death is a wonderful experience, yet in all my experiences with death and the dying, it has been anything but wonderful and full of loving energy.

An interesting quote from the book: :man_shrugging:t3:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Not really. If anyone chooses to read it, I just recommend approaching with a discerning eye.

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