Review by Daven
This is a small book. When I got it, I didn’t think there could be much material in the book, but I was wrong. What is NOT in here is a lot of filler or commentary. What IS here is content and a lot of it. This is not a book that one can read from front to back like a “Magic(k) in 5 easy steps” book. This is a reference.
Because this is a reference, there are LOTS of chapters. Each chapter focuses on a different set of correspondences. For instance, there is a chapter detailing the correspondences for the days of the week. There are also chapters covering the magickal properties of gems, herbs, colors and so on. Each chapter is indexed. This makes information easy to find with a quick check of the table of contents, where the items are laid out in alphabetical order.
The index is brief, and does not list the contents of the book again, and the bibliography is interesting. There are about 10 books cited. I feel that books listed are good, some bad and some so-so. All of the information is well laid out and researched.
This is by no means an indispensable reference. In fact, everything that is in here has appeared in other volumes, many of them already on the shelves of the average well-stocked private metaphysical library. In addition to being redundant, the information in many cases is also incomplete in the interests of brevity.
What this book is, is PORTABLE. It’s the “Reader’s Digest (TM)” version of many people’s Books of Shadows. It has a lot of information that is brief and to the point, giving the major qualities of items so that if you are at work and need to cast a spell, you can, without searching through tomes of lore on your bookshelf. It could be used as a primary tome for a student, but I would still recommend that they have the other references to flesh out the details. It would make an excellent memory jogger for the advanced student or teacher. The Author states that she wrote it for that purpose, to be used as a memory enhancer, just in case you need to cast a spell at work.
While this book tries not to perpetuate any one version of magick, it fails about half way through the book. There is a two page chapter on ethics and rituals, where different things to think about before you write a spell are bulleted. In it, the very first item is “Always follow the ‘harm none’ rule” and the second item is “Always observe and remember the rule of three”. I understand why she feels the ethical statements are necessary, and in the past I may have supported it, in good conscience I can’t any more. Wiccans are not the only spell casters who can or should utilize this type of book.
But, taken in total, this book seems to be written for Wiccans. While there is no commentary, there is also no information for those of other religious paths (or no path) who need to cast a spell. There is no listing of how the Celts view the Elements, which animals would be good for a sacrifice in Santeria, which Loas like what items and how to call them or which Sefirah control which aspects of human nature and which paths one needs to take for the Cabbalist.
I find the chants and recipes to be too brief. It’s good that recipes for incense and oils and even bath salts are included in this work. The chants and rituals are questionable. *I* can sit down and write chants, but without any context for the chant, without any ritual structure to hang them in, then they are nothing but a short poem. IF the book is designed to be a reminder, a quick reference, I don’t understand the need for the rituals that are included.
There are worksheets in the back, which encourage the student to copy them and use as many correspondences as possible in their own workings. But other than that, they are simply worksheets and intellectual exercises, like worksheets from many books.
I’m going to give this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5. The author obviously worked hard on this and put in her correspondences, and for that it’s good as a quick reference among other deeper works. However, it may be more useful if a teacher asked their student(s) to sit down and write all this up themselves for the student’s reference, rather than spending almost $10 for this book. Heck, on a long weekend with nothing else to do, go for it.
Originally posted 2009-11-15 18:17:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter