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

OK I have insomnia and although I didn’t officially join in this book club XIX, I will risk it to buck the rules and give you a recent re-read. This book is the reason in childhood I began my journey into magick. Thank you Frances!

Book title and author: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgkin Burnett; Written in 1898 and published in 1911

Rating: 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice: Frances Burnett has very subtly challenged science with magic. Colin’s uncle, Dr. Craven, is in charge of his recovery. As much as he would have liked, he is unable to pointedly say what is wrong with his patient. He makes guesses and is sometimes left in a state of surprise at Colin’s well-being. Until Colin is taken to the garden that is believed to possess magical powers, his ailment remains a mystery. In the garden, he gains clarity. He becomes positive. He takes steps away from his wheelchair. He walks.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I love this book, it’s a classic go to for me. The Secret Garden is about a particularly arrogant and unpleasant girl called Mary. At the start of the book, she lives in India, but is forced to leave for her uncle’s mansion in England in order to escape a devastating outbreak of cholera.

I really liked the book, as it was heartwarming to see Mary change from a horrible, spoiled brat to a sweet-hearted girl. The best scene for me is when Mary first finds the garden that was hidden for a decade, as the description left such a clear image in my mind. She takes Colin to the reformed garden and his healing is magical :magic_wand: and complete :potted_plant:. The magic of good company, positive thoughts, and the garden rests upon him.

The book is one of those rare ones that manage to achieve that balance between being simple and relatable enough for children while containing great lessons for adults. Although this is so obviously a children’s book, the author’s campaign for the importance of one’s environment / the people you relate with daily, positivity and optimism is potent and relatable to adults too.

An interesting quote from the book:
“Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it.”
. . . . . . . . . .

“When a man looks at the stars, he grows calm and forgets small things. They answer his questions and show him that his earth is only one of the million worlds. Hold your soul still and look upward often, and you will understand their speech. Never forget the stars.”
. . . . . . . . . .

“Two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way – or always to have it.”

All in all, would I recommend this book? Yes! However, I would not recommend this book for people who do not care for nature, as there is a lot of description about flowers and trees and well, gardens!! This is a must-read for people who are interested about nature, but other readers could enjoy it too if they choose to embrace nature. :green_heart::potted_plant:


You may be (pleasantly) surprised- I am constantly shocked at what things the library here has! It goes way beyond books- you can rent board games, lawn games, and even a sewing machine :joy:

Have fun with your Kindle- load it up with your faves and perhaps a few fun new books too! :heart::blush:

No rules have been bucked- Readers’ Review posts are open to all coven members to share their reviews, whether or not they were “officially” in the previous session. Your review is very welcome here, Jan! :grinning:

It sounds like Secret Garden is very close to your heart :blush: There are a few classic books that just never get old and this one is one of them! I read it a long time ago- perhaps it’s time for a re-read :blush::open_book:

Thank you so much for your review, Jan! :raised_hands:


Eh, I got my kindle loaded with three witchy books I’d like to read so I’m good to go if the internet leaves again. LOL! I’ve actually never been in the Oak Hill library, it’s not handicapped compliant which is weird but the building is old and was grandfathered in.

I loaded it up with quite a lot. I’ve been neglecting my kindle for other things. I like to read on my computer but it’s nice to have that as a backup.


Book Title and Author: The Witch Wavelength: Tuning into Your Magical Nature By: Sheena Cundy

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I was curious about how to work magic into my everyday life & something about this book intrigued me. I learned more about working with the elements & about going from the inside out before helping others. There are a lot of good affirmations, rituals, meditations, pathworkings… it was really helpful with ways to really ground & be in the now instead of the past or the future.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I thoroughly enjoyed the book & the way the information is presented. I learned a lot about different ways to incorporate the elements, their functions, & how they are connected to each other.

An interesting quote from the book: “When we can blend & balance the elements within ourselves & integrate them into our lives, we are grounding our own unique magical nature.” (pg 183: Kindle Version)

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

I should mention that I read the Kindle version of the book (Kindle Unlimited) & that when she speaks of different meditations, pathworkings, songs, & rituals (ie: Brigid’s Forge)… there are audio links so you can do them as you are listening or just listen to what she is referencing.

In the further reading section there are links to other sources & some of the books referenced, I have already read previously. Others I have bookmarked to read. :smiling_face:


That is so cool- what a fun resource to include with the book! :blush: And a 10/10 means it was a great read too, I’m so glad you enjoyed The Witch Wavelength, Siofra! :raised_hands: :two_hearts: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it :heart:


I finished this and enjoyed it, but there were several parts that were a little too “angry feminist” for me. I actually have a degree in women’s studies, so it was refreshing to see a movement of women reclaiming their power through witchcraft and using their power to empower others with a social justice standpoint.

I was intrigued by the idea that a womb could serve as a cauldron and Lester’s idea that women’s reproductive nature is where she draws her powers from. I didn’t agree with all of it, but really appreciated the perspective.

It was definitely a a read that for me thinking a lot, but not really where I am on my journey right now.


I haven’t read the book myself, but your thoughts echo what I’ve heard about this one (and I could have sworn someone else read this for Book Club a long time ago, but I can’t find the review- maybe I’m just having deja vu! :laughing:).

But even despite the book taking a rather ferocious stance at times, it sounds like you found some interesting ideas! :blush: I’m glad it was a read that got you thinking- I’m sure that clever mind of yours will find some inspiration and creativity ideas from what you absorbed!

Thanks so much for sharing your review @AileyGrey! :heart:


Does your library participate with Hoopla? If so, there’s a wealth of books and materials there too! :+1: :grinning: :heart:


Not even sure what hoopla is! LOL!


Book Title and Author: Celtic Magic by: DJ Conway (Llewellyn Publications)*

Status?: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 8 /10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?: I am learning Celtic Spirituality, culture, and paganism. So many of the Celtic practices resonate with me so much connection it’s such an amazing feeling.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I really enjoyed learning about the Celtic path & the different exercises & reflections in the book. Different stories about the deities & associations of different colors & candles & rituals & tools…

The only issue that I had is in the reference tables & associations for the Gods/Goddesses put opposing Gods/Goddesses in the same associations or known qualities.

An interesting quote from the book:

”Pagan-thinking people do not tend to be followers of the accepted social norm. They are innovators, thinkers, pursuers of wisdom and spiritual growth. They know that improving you, the person, and your immediate life is as important as perfecting the spiritual you, or the soul.”

D.J. Conway. Celtic Magic (Llewellyn’s World Religion & Magick) (Kindle Locations 91-92). Kindle Edition.” (Pg:159)

All in all, would I recommend this book?:

  • Yes, but keep in mind to further read & learn about Celtic Deities & their proper associations & correspondences.

The “bibliography” for the author uses sources from 1956 (ish) to 1986 (ish). A lot more has been researched, learned, and written about since those times.


Confession: I struggled to get into this. I was planning to get some reading done on the boat, but the book never made it into my suitcase :shushing_face:

The topic of comparing and exploring various religions and spiritualities is really interesting to me, but reading it just felt dry and I just didn’t click with the writer’s tone. This one will stay on the shelf for a while- perhaps the right time to read it is further down the road!

I’ll have to pick out something more exciting for next session! :face_with_monocle: :books:


Even though it sounds like a dry read, I’m adding it to my TBR list because it sounds really interesting!

I admit that I haven’t read nearly as much as I want to. I had a huge-to-me goal of reading 25 books this year. I’ve only read 5 :joy:

My Storygraph Profile


I enjoyed this book! I’m glad I picked it out!

Book Title and Author: The Magical Writing Grimore: Use the Word as Your Wand for Magic, Manifestation, and Ritual by Lisa Marie Basile

Status: Finished

My overall rating of the book: 10/10!

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I am a word witch, and this helped me with ideas of how to manifest my words into magic.

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a great book, full of writing prompts, self-healing, and shadow work. Really a great book for those witches who are working through things and who like to journal. I couldn’t recommend it enough!

An interesting quote from the book: “The Magical Writing Grimore is a love letter to the magic thread that connects out voice to the beautiful beyond. Throughout this book, what you read should be seen as a guide, not omnipotent text. It is important that you know that this experience is yours to modify, to make your own, and to translate into your own style and voice. I encourage you to do these exercises in whatever language you like, or in tandem with your own cultural or spiritual traditions.”


“What is most important to me during spellcasating is that I feel focused, that I have energy to harness, and that I am directing it clearly. The right words help me achieve this state. I like to enchant my spells by beautifying my language: I often write spells as poetry and in doing so, I infuse my own creative energy into my spell work. Because creativity is magic itself- the magic of creating something out of nothing.”

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

  • Wild Magic: Celtic Folk Traditions for the Solitary Practitioner by: Danu Forest @Susurrus

I am still currently reading this one, but I have loved it so far & actually got halfway through & started over. Even starting over, I still come across things that somehow didn’t register the first time that I read through it :laughing:

I will be continuing this book into the next Book Club though… :smiling_face:


Book Title and Author: Green Witchcraft II: Balancing Light & Shadow by Ann Moura (Aoumiel)

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 8/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: I am heavy into practicing green witchcraft but I also work with two Death deities or “Dark” deities. Understanding how to use Dark Magick will help me balance my practice.

My personal thoughts/opinions: The book focuses mainly on Dark Magick from a green magick standpoint. I would have liked more information on balancing Light and Dark but overall it is a great book. There are many rituals on connecting with the Dark Goddess and how to use Dark Magick for good. As with her first book, Ann stresses that magick is neutral and the user’s intention makes it good/bad. We all have a shadow side and understanding it allows us to become whole.

An interesting quote from the book: " " (I’ll add this when I get home and have the book handy)

All in all, would I recommend this book?: If you are into green magick and wish to learn more about the dark/shadow side, then yes.


Book Title and Author: Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realm by Frances Billinghurst

Status?: Still Reading

My overall rating of the book: 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Working with Hel, one of the aspects of the Dark Goddess, I wanted to learn more about her.

My personal thoughts/opinions: I’m only about a quarter of the way into it but so far I’m enjoying it. The first part of the book gives information about the Dark Goddess and the importance of journeying to the Underworld to meet her when she appears in your life. She appears at times when a transformation is needed. As I am in the middle of my own shadow work and transformation, this book is turning into more than just learning about the Dark Goddess for me.

An interesting quote from the book: “It is only when we realize that to fight against this change and that hanging on is futile and is actually only adding to our pain and anguish that our only option is to completely surrender to the process, whatever that may be, and accept what were are undergoing. This does not necessarily mean the journey we find ourselves undertaking will be any less painful, but there does tend to be even a minute degree of clarity in the process, offering us the opportunity to breathe when we learn to ride the waves instead of attempting to battle against them.” This is in reference to when the Dark Goddess appears at times that transformation is needed for our soul’s evolution.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Still deciding


I am almost finished with my book choice, I will be posting my review in a couple of days.
Bless-ed Be Witches,


@MeganB Go for it! The reviews are really positive- I think I just might not be in the right headspace for the book right now haha. I hope whenever you get around to reading it that you enjoy it! :blush:

And Storygraph looks really neat- a while back I tried Goodreads that has a similar goal-setting function, but I ended up forgetting about and not using it :sweat_smile:

@Amethyst Hooray- it sounds like you found another great one! You’ve really got a good eye for picking out books, Amethyst, I’m so happy you’ve discovered all these treasures! :books::sparkles: I absolutely love the focus this book has on writing- it feels like a perfect thing to pick up when you need a boost of creativity and encouragement :muscle: :blush: Thanks so much for sharing your review!

@Susurrus Congrats again on finishing Celtic Magic, and I hope that you continue to enjoy Wild Magic- it must be a really great read to want to dive back in and absorb the material again! Happy reading :open_book: :two_hearts:

@Amaris_Bane That is really interesting how the book combines green magic with the shadowy side of the practice- it really sounds like a great read for you and your practice, Amaris! :raised_hands:

I’m so glad you were able to find more information about Hel- this sounds like it’s been a very interesting read! I imagine there will be more wisdom about the Underworld and how to work with shadow magick the deeper you go in the book. I hope you continue to enjoy it!

Thanks so much for your reviews, Amaris! :heart:

@Rowan It’s exciting to be in the homerun of a book (and bittersweet if it’s a really good one!) I hope you enjoy it right up to the last page- happy reading, Rowan! :open_book:


You’re welcome! You might like to flip through it one day if you need ideas for the Weekly Witchy Challenge. One of the projects in the book was writing your own Epitaphs, like Hecate. It was very interesting.


Adding this to my Want to Read list!