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

EDIT June 2023: This Masterlist is now an archive- for an easier and more organized way to search for book reviews, check out the fancy new Book Reviews Spreadsheet :open_book:

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:books: Witchy Book Reviews From the Spells8 Book Club :sparkles:

Spells8 Book Club

The following book reviews are from books read during sessions 1 to 20 of the Spells8 Book Club.

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Book Title and Author: Philosophy of Dreams by Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj

[For anyone interested, the book is available for free as an ebook here]

Status? : Finished (although I admit to skipping over some parts! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

My overall rating of the book : 6/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I was hoping this book would offer new insights and tips for delving deeper into Dream Magic and potentially Lucid Dreaming.

My personal thoughts/opinions: There were many interesting topics explored (some I had read about before and others that were a fresh take) and overall this book was interesting- but it was not quite what I had hoped for. I guess, going in I was looking for something closer to the philosophical discussions in Robert Wagner’s Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. This book takes a very different and much more religion-heavy approach.

While the book description says outright that this book talks about working with dreams from a Hindu perspective, it’s only mentioned at the end of the description and I greatly underestimated just how much it would focus on the Hindu belief system. Although I had touched upon Hinduism in some of my religious classes, the references to Hindu words and deities were far beyond my previous area of knowledge and oftentimes I felt lost and missed what the author was getting at.

On a purely philosophical level, there were also some things that I did not personally agree with. For example, this quote: “Dreams, though of a strange and illusory nature, are a good index of the high or low spiritual and moral condition of the dreamer. He, who has a pure heart and untainted character, will never get impure dreams” (page 6)

Everyone gets nightmares- they come from stress, challenges, hardships. And who goes through life without challenges? I believe even the “enlightened” face problems- we live in a challenging and imperfect world. I do not believe having what the author calls “impure” dreams means you are a bad person- although perhaps this is not what the author intended to say. You can get impure dreams and still have a very high moral condition, in my personal opinion. You just need to learn to guide your thoughts, have more control and connection with your mind.

An interesting quote from the book: “It is the false or relative ‘I’ called Ahamkara or ego or that Jiva that wakes up, dreams and sleeps. The waker, the dreamer and the sleeper are all changing personalities and unreal” (page 7).

This was an interesting quote that questions into the sense of self- who is awake? Who is dreaming? How do we really define the edges of our conscious identities? This was one moment where the book drew on deep philosophical questions that I enjoy pondering over :grin:

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes*- to anyone who has an interest in learning about sleep, dreams, and philosophy BUT also has a deep interest in Hindu beliefs. This book offers some great food for thought, but it really does take a very heavy stance on Hinduism. Those who aren’t familiar with this religion (from a spiritual or cultural perspective) may feel lost or find it hard to follow.


*Book Title and Author: Scott Cunningham: wicca a solitary practice

Status? : Still Reading- up to section II- page 11.

My overall rating of the book : ???/10

*How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I wish to increase my knowledge of solitary practice and making it apart of my everyday life.

*My personal thoughts/opinions:
Seems good so far although he does seem to be very particular in certain ways such as setting up the altar etc which I personally think should always be down to the individual and what they deem necessary etc.

An interesting quote from the book: His opinion on reincarnation and how soul mates are.

" be wary of the idea of soul mates i.e. people you’ve loved in other lives and are destined to love again. Though your feelings and beliefs may be sincere, they aren’t always based on fact. In the course of your life you might meet five or six other people with whom you feel the same tie, despite your current involvement can they all be soul mates? One of the difficulties of this concept is that if we’re all inextricably tied up with other person’s soul, if we continue to incarnate with them we’re learning absolutely nothing. Therefore, announcing that you’ve found your soul mate is rather akin to stating that you’re not progressing on the incarnational spiral"

I’m not sure if i agree with this and i must admit is the first time i have heard someone voice such an opinion, certainly kills any romantic notion of finding your twin flame or soul mate dosent it? haha

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Not sure as of yet a bit too early to say.


Book Title and Author: The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess 20th Anniversary Edition / Starhawk

Status? : Still Reading…Chpt 11

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

**How does this book relate to my magickal practice? This book relates to my magickal practice in that I want to learn more about the history of the craft, differences within it, and to open up my mind and knowledge to it.

**My personal thoughts/opinions: At first this book really grabbed my attention, the introduction was a bit lengthy, but I feel as though it was written in a sense of a conversation the writer was having with me personally. As I dived into the chapters, I felt a bit of disconnect with the book after chapter 4, it became harder to read in the attention aspect. I pressed on, but honestly Im still at that place now after Chapter 10. There is a lot of valuable information in this book, I have a nice collection of notes that’s for sure.

*An interesting quote from the book: Ahhhh…there are so many so far. But this one about the Goddess has to be my favorite passage:

In this world, the Goddess is seen in the moon, the light that shines in darkness, the rain bringer, mover of the tides, Mistress of mysteries. And as the moon waxes and wanes, and walks three nights of its cycle in darkness, so, it is said, the Goddess once spent three nights in the Kingdom of Death. For in love She ever seeks her other Self, and once, in the winter of the year, when He had disappeared from the green earth, She followed Him and came at last to the gates beyond which the living do not go. The Guardian of the Gate challenged Her, and She stripped Herself of her clothing and jewels, for nothing may be brought into that land. For love, She was bound as all who enter there must be and brought before Death Himself. He loved Her, and knelt at her feet, laying before Her his sword and crown, and gave Her the five fold kiss, and said, “Do not return to the living world, but stay here with Me, and have peace and rest and comfort.” But She answered, “Why do you cause all things I love and delight in to die and wither away?” “Lady,” He said, “it is the fate of all that lives to die. Everything passes; all fades away. I bring comfort and consolation to those who pass the gates, that they may grow young again. But You are my heart’s desire—return not, but stay here with Me.” And She remained with him three days and three nights, and at the end of the third night She took up his crown, and it became a circlet that She placed around her neck, saying: “Here is the circle of rebirth. Through You all passes out of life, but through Me all may be born again. Everything passes; everything changes. Even death is not eternal. Mine is the mystery of the womb, that is the cauldron of rebirth. Enter into Me and know Me, and You will be free of all fear. For as life is but a journey into death, so death is but a passage back to life, and in Me the circle is ever turning.” In love, He entered into Her, and so was reborn into life. Yet is He known as Lord of Shadows, the comforter and consoler, opener of the gates, King of the Land of Youth, the giver of peace and rest. But She is the gracious mother of all life; from Her all things proceed and to Her they return again. In Her are the mysteries of death and birth; in Her is the fulfillment of all love.
Traditional Craft Myth

Starhawk. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition (pp. 187-188). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

**All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, I would recommend this book to others.


oh wow that’s quiet poetic really :slight_smile:


I know I’m listed above as reading Spiral Dance by Starhawk but I just couldn’t get into it, so I don’t have a review this time. I do have books lined up for next time though!


Book and Author: Magical Power for Beginners: How to Raise and Send Energy for Spells that Work By Deborah Lipp.

Status: I stopped reading at Chapter Four.

My overall rating of the book: 3/10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?: I was hoping this book would help me sense and raise energy. It may get into that in later chapters but it was such a difficult read that I gave up sometime after the quantum physics part.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I just couldn’t get into this book. I wanted to, but it got difficult and was going on about how time is not linear and how we’re in the future, past, and present all at once. Had a hard enough time with, well, time when it comes to Doctor Who, I don’t need the timey-wimey headache again. It may get more into energy work later on, but if so I’m not going to be there with it.

An Interesting quote from the book: “Magic doesn’t turn the impossible into the possible. Magic turns the improbable into the probable.”

All in all, would I recommend this book?: No. Not for true beginners. And not for someone who isn’t solid on their physics. I got too confused and what little I did read I had to work at.

Hopefully, the next book I choose will be better.


This review is hilarious. @Amethyst, I adore you. :heart: :joy:
I now really want to read this book :rofl:


Well! I’m serious @Limeberry! The thing was telling me I’m in the 1300s, 2020, and the 30th century all at once and I should be able to communicate my needs for each time. It confused the heck out of me. :woman_facepalming: I like to read but that wasn’t fun, it was work.


this sounds amazing :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


It did have some good information on taglocking, at least that’s what I would call it. It may have some good information later but between my kindle app going wonkey and everything else, I just couldn’t get into it. I hope you like it if you do read it.


Maybe their saying time is linear and is a human construct as a way of measuring it as ive heard quantum psychics explained like that before


I think that’s what it’s saying, but sheesh, way to make my head hurt. LOL. I flunked Junior High Physics and the TV shows I watch aren’t accurate with these sorts of things.


Im a high school drop out as well and i always need a cliff notes explanation otherwise its gets to complicated :slight_smile:


Yeah, I get needing the cliff notes. I took mythology twice in high school, not science for gosh sake!


I’m with you on this one, @Kira-Marie! While I also think that it is very possible for us to have multiple soul mates/partners throughout our lifetime (not always romantic, but platonic or familial as well- there are many types of love!) I disagree with Cunningham that many lives with the same soul lead to nothing gained. If we have different roles and different situations in each reincarnation, is each time not unique? I imagine we would face very different challenges in past or future lifetimes, each with their own rewards and experiences. I believe there is always more to learn and experience (in this world and any others to come)- whether alone or with a soul mate!

A really interesting review, @Kira-Marie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Scott Cunningham’s Wicca- it’s one on my to-read list, so I love hearing your take about it :blush:

I love when there’s a deep connection with the author- sorry to hear that connection was lost later in the chapters! But it is wonderful you found a lot of valuable information and I also like the quote about the Moon Goddess :full_moon:

A lovely review- thanks so much for sharing, @Rowan! :sparkling_heart:

Ohhh exciting! :star_struck: I hope you have some fun books you are looking forward to reading :open_book::two_hearts:

Quantum physics!? Oh boy. I thought the title was Magical powers for beginngers- not advanced scientists :joy: Good for you for sticking with it all the way to chapter four, @Amethyst! I do love the quote you choose thought- it’s beautiful :sparkles: Sorry the book wasn’t want you wanted- thank you for taking one for the team and sharing your thoughts on it. I’ll be sure to stay away- at least until I pick up in interest in quantum physics :laughing: I hope the next book you choose is more fun for you to read! :two_hearts:


I loved that quote and it had some good information about setting intentions, but it was just too over my head. I know there’s a physicist on the forum, maybe they’ll get some use out of the book. I hope so.


It sounds like there were some interesting nuggets of good information in there- that’s great! :grin: But yes, it sounds like the title was a little misleading if it’s geared towards a certain crowd… perhaps Magical Power for Physicists may be a little more appropriate :+1: I guess it’s a good book for anyone with that area of interest!


Yeah, it would take a scientist or someone really smart to figure some of that out. LOL.

When will the next book club be starting? Cause I bought a book I’d like to read but I was going to save it for the next book club.


The next reading period will being in two days- on Friday! I’ll have a post in the forums announcing the next start :+1::books:

And ohhhh new books are so exciting! Which book did you get? :open_book::grin: