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

Book Title and Author: Paganism in Depth by John Beckett

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice? All books that will teach me something about paganism relates to my practice.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This was a great book! It was written with encouragement, drive, and will, to go deeper into paganism. It was the motivational tone that made me turn the pages. He talks a lot about Gods and offerings, community and hospitality. The writer is a Druid, so that was interesting. Definitely going to get his other book.

An interesting quote from the book: Masters of any art don’t learn the basics and then move on. They keep practicing the basics day after day, year after year. Whatever you’re doing now, do it more–more frequently and for longer periods of time.

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

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Awesome to hear- thank you, Siofra! :heart: It really sounds like a book with helpful advice for everyone. I’ll have to add it to my (always growing, never shrinking) reading list! :books::blush:

Congrats on finishing Paganism in Depth, @christine13! :clap: I love books that are written in a way that encourages and inspires- it sounds like this one was both a great read and a source of inspiration for your practice. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! :blush:

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Christine! :books::heart:

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Am I the only person that noticed I reviewed the same book twice? :rofl: I must have been somewhere else when I went through the reviews to completely miss that I had already done that one. Oh my :joy: At least they were both helpful reviews, I guess :woman_shrugging:

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Book Title and Author: Witch Life: A Practical Guide to Making Every Day Magical by Emma Kathryn

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10 out of 10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I was hoping this book would have everyday magical practices in it but it was a beginner book. A very good one though.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great book if you’re just starting out. You may want to buy the Audible since it has several nice guided meditations in it that might be easier to do in that form. There’s also a pattern for a poppet so you may want to buy the print book at well.

But this book has several interesting spells, meditations and rituals for all sorts of things. Imbolc, full moons, health and even baneful magic. There are a lot of incense and oil recipes too, along with directions on how to do that, teas, health remedies. Just about everything a beginning witch would need to know to get started.

An interesting quote from the book: “Adapting an already existing spell is perfectly acceptable, and an easy place to start in making magic your own. Witchcraft if all about the world around us into what we want it to be, and spellcrafting is no different.”

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

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I love this quote also! Perfectly said, I do the same thing with whatever I’m doing, diffusers, simmer pots, devotionals, spells, cleansing. I have the way that works for me right now so it probably isn’t the same as someone else’s & that’s what I like about it.

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That’s what I liked about this book. She was all, this is how I do it but you can do it your own way. I appreciate that in a book.

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Book Title and Author: Herbal Magick: A Guide to Hebal Enchantments, Folklore & Divination by Gerina Dunwich

Status?: Still Reading (unfortunately covid got me and my concentration went out the window, can barely get through the meterial at work :dizzy_face::sob:)

My overall rating of the book: So far 7/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: It’s a herbal guide, which has a lot of information about plant we use in our practice. Their origin, cultural/religious use and facts about the plants themselves. It’s very interesting and I found out a lot, especially about differentiation between similar species in the wild. Got to know some new plants I’ve never even heard before by their species name, colloquial and also superstitious from the middle ages.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I enjoy reading this piece and hopefully I’ll finish soon (go away foggy brain!). There is so much information in there and I also got to laugh many times and I’m just half way through. There is so much from the middle ages, superstitions especially. Some of them are like “Were you people serious then?” :joy:
I get an odd feeling sometimes that the book was written by at least two people, especially when there are personal references to family history of the writer. Don’t know, maybe I missed something or misinterpreted while reading. Still, a very enjoyable book, written in a light tone. Feels almost like the writer is talking to the audience is some chapters, which I really like in guides.

An interesting quote from the book: There is so many ridiculous superstitions you just gotta read it yourself :joy:

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

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Went right over my head :joy: Which book did you review twice? It wasn’t for this session, was it? Hahaha I guess that can happen when you read so many books- you’ve been doing amazing with your reading lately, Siofra! And it’s certainly no problem- any time someone wants to learn about a book, they can find all relevant posts about it with the Search Tool. The more reviews the better! :grinning: :+1:

It sounds like you found another awesome book, Amethyst! :partying_face: Although I’m seeing a trend lately with how most books are geared towards beginners. Which is awesome for beginners, don’t get me wrong! But it does make it a bit of a challenge to find witchy books that go into deeper and more advanced content.

I agree with Siofra about that quote- I really like it! We get questions about altering spells all the time in the forum, so I think it’s great that books are encouraging and supporting beginners to make their own spell alterations to best suit their needs :blush::+1:

So glad you enjoyed it! :sparkles:

I always love a good Green Witch book- it sounds like this one has some very interesting information about plants. I like the idea of including superstitions and folklore about them too! :star_struck:

I’m so sorry to hear you’ve got covid, @Viss- please get some good rest and keep on taking care of yourself! :heart: You are in my thoughts and I’m sending healing energy your way- feel better soon! :pray:

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@TheTravelWitch_Bry it was for the Awakened Empath :joy: on this thread

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Hmmm I’m only seeing one entry of yours for Awakened Empath along with a review for Empath’s Toolkit and Celtic Lore, but I know there’s a lot in here so perhaps I’m overlooking something- and if so, there’s really no worries at all! :grinning: :+1: Hahaha the more reviews the better for all :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :books:

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I haven’t finished my book yet, so no review this time :heart:

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I read three books in a series this month, those were:

  • Following The Sun: A Practical Guide to Egyptian Religion by Sharon LaBorde
  • Circle of the Sun: Rites and Celebrations for Egyptian Pagans and Kemetics by Sharon LaBorde
  • Celebrating the Egyptian Gods by Sharon LaBorde

I will do a review of all three since they form one series really. You can read them on your own, but I feel they are really a more complete work as one.

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 7/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:
It relates highly due to my work with Egyptian deities. There is a lot of ritual and ceremony within.

My personal thoughts/opinions:
I found them good, though if you read all three you will find some repeated materials. They contain a lot of well-researched facts by the author and the ceremonies and rituals presented within are written as accurate to their original intention as possible.

I also find though, that these are more suited to kemetics or those practitioners that like to be as accurate to the past as possible. I’m more of a solitary that likes to mix and match what I feel works for me. If I do wrong, I know it myself due to the energies present.

I find that many gods are open to us experimenting as long as we show respect in our practice. And you will know from them if what you are doing is suitable or not. It’s all to do with energies and your inner-temple and consciousness anyway at the end of the day and how you feel towards that deity.

One of the books, Celebrating the Egyptian Gods is pretty much a mini-encyclopedia of most of the known Egyptian gods, a little detail about each one, what they traditionally like as offerings and how to work with them. This is handy when learning and going back through.

Thanks to these books, I’ve set myself up a shrine with Egyptian deities for each day of the week. I’ve used other knowledge I have in the cosmos and energies of the planets to assign planets and certain crystals to some of the deities I work with as well.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, to those with an interest in some Egyptian history in a ceremonial sense.

Tem

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Thank you @TheTravelWitch_Bry, you’re so kind. Feeling a lot better now, but the two weeks of infection were absolutely horrible. Still in recovery, so taking things slow :relaxed:
I do recommend reading this book and I have few others about plants and folklore magic I hope to get around to this year as well. So much to read, so little time :joy::scream: Once I get through them I’ll try and give feedback. Always good to spread the knowledge and good stuff to read!

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I am very much the same way, and I liked the way you summed it up so eloquently!

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No worries, Megan- I hope your book is a good one and that you are enjoying your reading! :blush:

That is quite the impressive feat, Tem- congrats to you for finishing your three books! :tada: It sounds like the set offered some interesting insights into the Egyptian pantheon. I like your point about reading and digesting the information the books offer, but then choosing to apply it and use it in ways that work best with your personal methods :+1:

I’m glad you enjoyed the books- thank you so much for sharing your review! :books::heart:

I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better now, Viss- it sounds like it was a really tough time for you overcoming the sickness! Keep on getting good rest and taking it slow, I’m sending warm thoughts and healing energy your way :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Ohhhh plants and folklore magick sound awesome- you’ve got some very neat books lined up! I hope you have a chance to get through at least some of them, and I hope they all turn out to be very enjoyable reads for you :open_book: Blessed be! :sparkles:

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Book Title and Author:
Tarot: Connect with yourself, develop your intuition, live mindfully by Tina Gong

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book explores the tarot in a way that differs from traditional interpretations- it offers thoughtful insights for tarot readings. As someone ever exploring the cards, I found it fascinating and helpful for my practice.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I really enjoyed this book and found that it offers a lot in terms of seeing new ways to use the cards and using the cards for self-care/introspection. The book can veer pretty far away from traditional meanings at times, so more traditional readers may get frustrated with some of what is explored. Tina Gong is also a very strong believer in Carl Jung’s philosophies, so if you don’t enjoy Jungian philosophy you will likely not enjoy this book.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book as the sole tarot book for anyone, but it is a very valuable addition to tarot-learning materials.

An interesting quote from the book: This book has four major parts: an introduction to this style of reading tarot mindfully, an exploration of each of the cards, tarot spreads to use, and sample readings.

One part of the introduction- I thought it was interesting to break the deck into both elements and layers of conscious :brain:

A picture of one of the card pages- it features unique artwork, upright and reversed meanings, interpretations, reflections, and actions to take:

And one of the sample readings. These are particularly helpful for new readers or anyone who is nervous about reading for others for the first time:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes! I would absolutely read this book especially for anyone interested in seeing a new aspect of the cards, those who enjoy non-traditional interpretations, and/or enthusiasts of Jungian philosophy.

A note that if you have a FiveBelow store near you (or are able to order from them online) they have this book for just $5- it is absolutely worth it! :+1:

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Book Title and Author: Moon Spells by Diane Ahlquist

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book relates to my magical practice by showing me a step by step process to performing a spell. It’s almost like a small textbook for me. It gives you a spell and suggests the direction to face, north, south, east, or west. It suggests the best moon phase, day of the week, gemstone, and incense to use. She provides the affirmation and incantation to say. Then how to perform the spell.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book was a tremendous help for me in performing spells. I need clear instructions and step by step directions to get familiar with the process of performing a spell. It definitely doesn’t feel so awkward as it did at first. And the spells she provides are love spells, protection spells, career/job spells, releasing fear, releasing, addictions, etc.

An interesting quote from the book: She had a quote in the book from Henry Ford, who once said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” I guess it really comes down to our self talk which I’ve been working on. I have had a lot of negative self talk throughout my life and it’s so true that when you change that talk to positive, positive things do happen.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes! This is a great book for baby witches, specially if you need a step by step process like I do. And it helps to know how others perform spells that way I can get comfortable with casting, and then add in what I like later to make it personal for me.

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Woohoo! Sounds like Moon Spells was a great read for you, @Christine13- I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Sometimes witchy books are more theoretical than practical, but it sounds like this one was very helpful with step-by-step guidance and helpful advice about casting.

From your review I can tell this is a great book to help build casting confidence and study the art of spellwork- sounds like a good book for someone to have in their witchy library! :books: Thank you so much for sharing your review, Christine! :heart:

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Book Title and Author: Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

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Picture from Amazon

Status? : Still Reading (just a few more entries to go!)

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: As a green witch, I love books about plants.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I am loving this book- I’ve still got a few plant entries to get through, but I’m gone far enough to know that this book is a keeper. This book is a bit different from the herbal books I’ve read before in that it talks about which plants not to use medicinally- however, sometimes plants that you would never use medicinally still have potent meanings in magick. And this book is a very important reminder that, although nature is wonderful, nature should always be respected and handled with care.

An interesting quote from the book:

Entry on the Betel Nut:

An interesting quote on rhubarb (who would’ve thought rhubarb, a beloved ingredient, would be in the book!):

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, yes, and yes! This book is not only for green witches and plant-lovers, it is for anyone who enjoys a well-written book as the author is a talented writer. It is also an eye-opening book- some of the plants here are ones you’d find in your background, or even in your kitchen cupboard! A very worthwhile and enjoyable read all around.

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Book Title and Author: The Táin translated by Ciaran Carson

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book details one of the most important mythological battles in Irish mythology. It’s relevant to my practice for the understanding of culture and context when it comes to Irish history.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a more modern translation of the Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), an epic battle in the Ulster cycle of mythology in Ireland. The entire book is a detail of a cattle raid, the stealing of cattle from one kingdom or lord. Ailill and Medb were laying in bed one night talking (they are married) and Ailill said to her that she is lucky to be a rich man’s wife. Now, Medb is a Goddess and her wealth is her power, as it was back in the day for women. This entire cattle raid and war, basically, started because Ailill, her husband, insulted her wealth. She needed to prove to him that she was wealthy (and powerful) in her own right and sought to steal back a bull that had once belonged to her.

Without giving much of the story away (because if you’re interested in Irish mythology, you should definitely read it), the modern take on this book really helped me to understand the context of the story. It is told in such a way to retain the original feel of the wording while making it easier to understand for the modern reader. This story in the Ulster cycle helps us see the importance of cattle to the Irish people, the fierceness with which they fight for one another, and the loyalty that they have for those they care about.

An interesting quote from the book:…for 'tis I that exacted a singular bride-gift, such as no woman before me had ever required of a man of the men of Erin, namely, a husband without avarice, without jealousy, without fear. For should he be mean, the man with whom I should live, we were ill-matched together, inasmuch as I am great in largess and gift-giving, and it would be a disgrace for my husband if I should be better at spending than he, and for it to be said that I was superior in wealth and treasures to him, while no disgrace would it be were one as great as the other. Were my husband a coward, 'twere as unfit for us to be mated, for I by myself and alone break battles and fights and combats, and 'twould be a reproach for my husband should his wife be more full of life than himself, and no reproach our being equally bold. Should he be jealous, the husband with whom I should live, that too would not suit me, for there never was a time that I had not my paramourb.

I chose this quote because it’s from the very beginning of the story. Medb is telling her husband that she chose him because they were equals in all things and that’s the way she likes it. Then, of course, he tells her that he is richer than her because he has the best bull in his herd and she doesn’t like that :laughing:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, definitely for anyone following an Irish practice.

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