While I think each and every wiccan/witch should eventually work their way up to creating their own spells and not using those of others, this is a grWhile I think each and every wiccan/witch should eventually work their way up to creating their own spells and not using those of others, this is a great starting point for those who are just beginning Wicca and want to get the feel of how spells are written. So definitely for newbies only. It’s a good stepping stone on the path to adept practice....more
One word of advice, the topics within this book aren’t discussed at length so don’t stop your advancement with this book. Topics like the history of WOne word of advice, the topics within this book aren’t discussed at length so don’t stop your advancement with this book. Topics like the history of Western Occultism cannot be given full attention and justice with three pages only. Take your learning into your own hands by using this volume as a catalyst to self-study. Delve into each topic by reading several books (the author lists numerous recommended books, and websites, at the end of each chapter) and also trying your hand at getting some experience.
However, it's nice to see books moving beyond 101....more
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Magick has so much to offer: wild crafting, ethical living, elemental information, concise guide to ritual, reciThe Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Natural Magick has so much to offer: wild crafting, ethical living, elemental information, concise guide to ritual, recipes, the fairy realm, celebrating the cycle of the seasons, organic living, and so much more. It does leave out the dark side of nature, giving the book a fluffy, off-balanced feel but it still retains many good points and information.
I enjoyed how it is not so focused on one particular path, which allows anyone to find something to love within its pages, no matter your creed. Its deep underlining advocacy of nature make it an empowering and insightful read....more
A friend who read the book before me warned that the author recommends using essential oils to make infused sugar, and that is not true. The topic ofA friend who read the book before me warned that the author recommends using essential oils to make infused sugar, and that is not true. The topic of infused sugar is covered on pages 232-236 and nowhere in those pages does the author mention using essential oils. She simply states to use whole or cracked herbs and flowers. Perhaps they were mistaken or just didn’t read close enough. But be warned, that’s about the only dispute about the book I will stand up for …
Arin covers many topics in the book, from what makes up a Green Witch’s path, celebrating the seasons, crafts, recipes, gardening, healing, and much more but sadly none are done at a great length and you’ll have to get additional books to full out your Green Witchcraft collection. (I recommend Ellen Dugan.) I did find it odd how Green Witches are supposed to be the most organic and yet the author recommends using saltpeter and fragrance oils in place of more natural alternatives for incense burning. The author also doesn’t give proper warning on how water is detrimental to some gemstones and therefore placing them in moving water is not a great idea. I really hope no one new to this path followed her advice and damaged gorgeous stones because of it. I have to say these and some other misinformation within this book does not bode well for her supposed ten years of Wiccan practice, because apparently none of it was spent doing proper research.
The Way of the Green Witch is a somewhat courteous book I‘ll give it that, but not one I would recommend you run out right now and purchase. I would see if a library has it or get it through the Interlibrary Loan and then decide whether or not to buy a copy....more
Though other books have tackled a fictitious account of Lancashire Witchcraft Trials of 1612, Mary Sharratt is the first author among them to give Mother Demdike and her granddaughter, Alizon Device, their own say. Daughters of the Witching Hill is told in two voices. The first section being narrated by Bess Southerns (Mother Demdike) and the second by Alizon. Through this we see how both women viewed their world and their gift of cunning craft. Of course, some liberties were taken with the novel but this is what makes it historical fiction and not a boring textbook (the changes are clearly addressed in Afterword for those interested).
Mary writes with such a beautiful, yet subtle, poetic flair that I was utterly transfixed in this late sixteenth century world, and nearly read the book in one sitting. Take this line from page 126 for instance, "His was the might concealed in the tiny purple flowers of nightshade." Gorgeously vivid. On par with her prose, is her painstaking attention to historical detail. Even the most minute of particulars is included to fully immerse the reader in Mother Demdike's world and time.
Daughters of the Witching Hill is an engrossing and emotional look at a horrible period of upheaval and change in England's history, all brought to a roaring crescendo by King James I and his vendetta against the supernatural and Catholicism.
The author is very adamant in the first chapter on how this is not Wicca, but yet, I barely see any differences. Witchcraft does not have High PriestsThe author is very adamant in the first chapter on how this is not Wicca, but yet, I barely see any differences. Witchcraft does not have High Priests and Priestess for one thing — that's a Wiccan trait — there's eight sabbats mentioned as well as initiation, "using" Celtic deities (rather than forming relationships. She lists beside each deity "modern uses," which I find horribly disrespectful), rites of passage, three levels (degrees), Lord and Lady, elementals, speaks of using sage smudge sticks and Tibetan bells for house cleansing (you think someone so adamant in cultural preservation would at least use juniper traditionally used by the Gaels to clear a house, not the Native American sage) ... to me it just looks like Irish Wicca. I truly can not see a difference.
On the upside, however, it is very delightful to see so much of the Irish language used within the book (along with easy-to-understand pronunciations). It was also fantastic to see her advocate learning Irish if you are going to call your spiritual path "Irish". And I loved that the author tackled the Witta issue as well as the Druid "bed sheet brigade" (page 203), I applaud her for both.
Other key points: she sticks to the four insular Celtic festivals within her Cycles chapter (she mentions the Solstice and Equinoxes as well, but only goes into full detail on the four fire festivals, unfortunately though there are some Wiccan bits and bobs thrown into these details) and she gives some fantastic book recommendations in the back.
I did find it hilarious how in the Website recommendations she mentions Conradh Draoithe na h-Eireann, a group whom talk about some very odd things (like Atlantean land-healing and Masons ... what this has to do with Irish Druids, I have no idea), but I wouldn’t trust a site with that on it.
Back to the shortcomings, there is one major thing that bothered me. On pages 85-86, the author states: "These are the ones who tie torn-up pieces of flowery umbrellas to a hawthorn tree outside the caves—just to leave an 'offering' of anything. Bring your rubbish home next time, folks". Tying bits of cloth to trees (called clooties) is an old and traditional Irish custom which locals still keep, so I have no idea why the author is so adamant that they should be removed and clearly through her choice of words, this was aimed at foreigners and tourists. Her statement is very condescending.
Now I completely understand her not wanting candle wax, crystals, bonfires, rubbish, bits of plastic (page 125), but again she mentions not tying things to trees. Cloth and any food left as offerings are biodegradable (and non-synthetic) and are fine to leave, I don’t understand her disdain for them (well maybe food as that could attract animals, but I see nothing wrong with clooties tied to branches or coins hammered into trees -- both things which locals do). She even goes on to say that she removes other people’s offerings (page 126)!
This book does have its drawbacks, but reading this review will help you spot them more easily. Overall, Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch is a decent piece of material for those interested in modern Witchcraft through an Irish lens. I’d recommend it to Wiccans looking for a more Irish/Celtic flavored path, but not really to anyone else.
About the Author Lora O’Brien is an Irish Witch, professional tarot reader, and High Priestess of Crow Coven, and writes for Irish and UK Pagan and Witchcraft magazines. She lives and works with her High Priest and family in County Roscommon, Ireland....more