enchantments

Book Review – Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession by Mya Spalter

December, 2018

Book Review

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession

by Mya Spalter

 

 

Inspired by a New York Occult shop of the same name, Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the shop, its wares and the accompanying advice and conversation that might be had when looking to craft a beautiful and meaningful altar space, or create sacred space.

The author, Mya Spalter, uses a very warm approach, telling how she came to work at Enchantments store and then taking you on a journey through the highlights of her learning and experiences in working in a busy occult venue. Even the way in which the book has been arranged feels like a coffee break exchange of information of “what works, and what doesn’t?”, “how’d you do that?” and “can you teach me about that?”, that you would expect from most witchy stores and those who work there.

Part One is aptly entitled Witchy Implements and includes chapters dedicated to altars, correspondences, such as colors, plants, herbs and some of the disciplines that would be included in witchy practice such as astrology, the wheel of the year and more.

Part Two reinforces the necessity for Magical Intention(s) and begins the work of spell crafting, protection and divination, and concludes with a more in-depth approach to astrological uses and the cosmic connection found within what has traditionally been deemed an earth/nature-based practice.

The book is nicely illustrated with interspersed black and white drawings that are whimsical and informative. And, using a style near and dear to my heart, each chapter concludes with “Suggested Reading” and a list of well-respected titles relevant to that chapter’s offerings. I could go on in pointing out sections here and there, but, quite honestly, this is a book to be experienced first hand.

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession is the next best thing to having a good friend who will walk you through the magic, point out the highlights anh solid and usable information, this is the one for you!

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession on Amazon

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review – Everyday Enchantments by Maria DeBlassie

December, 2018

Musings on Ordinary Magic and Daily Conjurings

 

 

Maria’s book is described as a collection of ‘micro-meditations and celebratory reflections on living life as a wild woman’. How could I not be intrigued? Though far from a true wild woman myself thanks to my urban-slash-suburban setting, I’m always drawn to the idea of being freer, away from the hubbub and city grind. This book holds chapter after chapter of golden, glowing moments from just such a life, and is as compelling as it is calming.

Each chapter is short and sweet in the best possible meaning of that phrase. One chapter focuses on the magic of chamomile, from the point of view of taking the tiny, dried buds and bringing them to life in a soothing cup of tea. Another reflects on the divine powers of the onion. This is true ‘everyday’ magic. Rituals we may go through every day without perhaps realising the power inherent within our actions. Maria encourages us to pause, drink in what we are doing and absorb every moment’s magical potential.

I love the meditative nature of the chapters. Most are written in the second person, a style I normally find a bit jarring. In this book it works really well. This is because it is written in the same way a guided meditation is spoken to you. As you read you can almost hear a gentle voice whispering the words directly into your brain and allowing you to completely visualise and lose yourself in each moment.

I have found this book immensely useful for reminding me to stop and take stock. It helps me enjoy each moment more fully, not by trying to recapture the moments in the book but by following the example of living fully in each minute and being grateful for the enchantment that flows through every second. A thoroughly wonderful book. Recommended for all.

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings on Amazon

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

 

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

The Bad Witch’s Guide

March, 2018

 

The Bad Witch Reviews

The Witch’s Spellbook

Enchantments, Incantations, and Rituals from Around the World

By Sarah Bartlett

I feel like I should begin by saying while this is a review, and I did read a book I feel reluctant to say the name of it.

Suffice to say it is a spell book. I feel like I would be much freer to comment without putting the name of this writer or the book title in this review.

The introduction starts with a story about how this person came to magick. They found a book (it happens to many) but what struck me was the kind of spell she choose to do.

It was a love spell, to get “back with her ex”.

I have ALL kinds of uncomfortable feelings about that sort of magick. Love spells like that mess with free will, cause more trouble than they are worth and tend to bring a new level of drama to relationships that is unhealthy and weird. If you care more about being with someone than whether or not they want to be with you…is that love? Love is. When you love someone you want their happiness above your own. I don’t know how it went down but apparently they’re still married! Yay?

So from the beginning I was a little ooked out. However I put it aside, after all, we all make mistakes, none of us are saints. I began the book proper.

First off was the most pointless circle casting I have ever seen. It literally had no idea what it was being cast for and the only quarter evoked was east, well you were asking them for inspiration, not protection, or empowerment, just inspiration. A circle casting is not merely magickal safety and good practice, but the ritual of making a space between places. There was no cleansing or blessing. No visualisation of any kind. It didn’t seem to know what it was, or whom it was for, this might be a running theme. Next came a very confusing pentagram drawing “explanation”. The best explanation I have when I teach is to use a clock face. Dependant on where you need to start and end (there are lots of places for many reasons) I’d say 7 up to 12, down to 5, up to 10, across to 2, then back down to 7. You can start anywhere this way working in both directions. Simple.

This is the point I was assaulted by some very odd full page colours, one being eye bleeding yellow and the next black. As a dyslexic person I found this very jarring and not good to try and read. The pages where to highlight the solar and respectively lunar. I can’t really remember if what it said was any good because it was such a struggle to read it. My immediate thought when I saw it was wow, that is really 90’s!

Onwards to the spell section.

It was set out like a recipe book, as many spell books are. I first noticed that there was a date in italics next to the name of the spell. It was December and I thought, oh, that’s a weird date to start on. I had a couple of reactions. The first one was how little explanation there was of the Goddess being evoked. This too would be a running theme of little to no research when evoking primarily Goddesses. I found the Goddess choice odd, the date for the spell wasn’t explained and I could find nothing much to connect the two. Next I was surprised by the amount of crystals and candles required. 6 pieces of mystic topaz! 5 candles of four different colours!

The spell was simple and not very specific. Now this Goddess is one of transitions, and they are NOT always fun or easy.

So let’s review: that is a Goddess whom can be at best difficult, at worst bloody, you’re to “make my life flower”. Using a circle that is basically made out of best wishes and paper. Using expensive crystals and a shit ton of candles.

At this point I started getting a headache.

IF and that is a big if, you wanted to use this spell with a well know patron Goddess, or one you hoped might become one, perhaps, with a better circle and actually asking the quarters to do their thing, maybe, maybe you could try this spell. I’m not sure why topaz. Or so many different coloured candles.

Now granted I am an old school Weatherwax witch. You’re either iz-ing or you ain’t. As my friend G would put it.

If I was asking for my life to blossom I might include, ya know, a flower. A bulb perhaps. A flower sacred to her or I could get at that weird time of year.

I digress.

My point first and foremost is would the spell work? Would what I want to happen or something like it happen? The answer with this is probably not. It didn’t even make sense within its self.

This was only the first spell.

Next we move from ancient Rome and December to China and August.

This time you are evoking spirits and hoping that because they love you they won’t do anything awful. The magickal alarm bells are ringing like an air raid siren at this point.

First off, let’s deal with the cultural appropriation shall we. The East Asian Ghost festivals are like a cross between Thanksgiving and Halloween, also known as, the Hungry Ghost festival. It is full of the rich cultures of the many countries and regions that celebrate this time in a multitude of ways. It is primarily a lunar festival. There you now know more about it than if you had read this book.

Here is just a random psychic’s opinion. DON’T INVITE SPIRITS INTO YOUR HOME. Just don’t.

Much like Day of the Dead in Mexico most families go to their ancestral shrines and leave offering there. Mostly it is a Buddhist festival but there is some Taoism and older stuff underneath too.

I’m not sure why you would want to evoke or work on a spell like this if it isn’t your culture or if you didn’t live in an Asian community. If you did you’d probably be doing whatever you usually do with your family anyway.

So we come back to do the spells make sense? Would they work with mostly as intended results? Nope and nope.

Third spell in. They call on Rhiannon and do not even give her the title Goddess, trust me, that won’t go down well. The wording of the spells seems to be calling really for magick and power.

This book doesn’t seem to know whom it is for. The spells don’t seem clear with intention vital for magick. The spells don’t have a logic to the desired outcome (the sympathetic component). They are not respectful or knowledgeable to the cultures, she mugs for magick small change. They don’t feel powerful or insightful.

In short if you know what you are doing you don’t need this book, if you don’t I would avoid it at all costs.

Magick isn’t something you need pretty rocks or large amount of candles for (though it is sometimes pleasant enough). Magick is the power of will, of change. It is asking for help to achieve it by what is powerful and sacred to you. Even if you don’t believe in Gods and spirits (some believe they are reflections of ourselves) then you should still treat them and other people’s beliefs and cultures with some basic respect.

I really wanted to try and find something good to say about this book but I really can’t. I mean the grammar is fine and it is not gibberish but short of that I can see no magickal logic in it what so ever.

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