Book reviews

Here we will try to review all the books we have read which we feel will be interesting to you. This however is very time-consuming, so we will be posting only a few at a time. If you disagree with any of our reviews, or read a book that is so good/bad that you think everyone should know about it, then write your own review and e-mail us with it, and we will post it here.

'To Ride A Silver Broomstick' by Silver Ravenwolf

ISBN0-87542-791-X Llewellyn Productions USA

A book of "New Generation Witchcraft" which makes a good introduction to the craft. This book shows no particular leaning toward any of the prescribed craft types except eclectic (which is a catch-all term anyway). It is thorough and left no unanswered questions and formed no illusions about the provided information. Despite its appearance and illustrations it has a minimal amount of nice-and-fluffy newagey bits, which render it a practical, easy to read, and understand even with next to no prior knowledge of the craft. Particular sections of value are the sections on Magickal Jargon, Days of Celebration, and Designing and Performing Rituals. All in all an excellent general background and knowledge book, recommended for people either interested in or beginning to study the craft but a useful book to have in most occult libraries.

Marks Out of 10 (10 being Awesome book of total KNOWLEDGE and utter readability and 1 being a book of complete Y-fronts)
8 out of 10
The Nice-and-Fluffy-Newagey rating (10 is the book of flower power, camper vans and rose-tinted sunglasses, 1 being a book of sense)
3 out of 10

"Psychic Self-Defence" by Dion Fortune

ISBN 0-85030-766-X The Aquarian Press UK

This book details the authors own experience of malevolent psychic phenomena and the best ways to deal with it constructively. The book is well written and information packed with not only very sensible and knowledgeable solutions to most of the potential problems that an occultist may face over the duration of their studies, but also how to avoid them. I have to admit that the author's name put me off reading books written by her, but this book covers its topic well and thoroughly, without scare-mongering and shows the author's extensive knowledge and experience within the subject. The only problem with this book is that it is heavy going and serious, but this is part of its quality. A difficult but useful read for everybody as it covers a useful and more commonly avoided topic due to its negative nature.

Out of 10
Nice-and-Fluffy-Newagey Rating
1 (due to the author's name not the book content)

"Incense, Oils and Brews" by Scott Cunningham

ISBN 0-87542-128-8 Llewellyn Productions USA

A book essential to the art of creating and empowering incense, oils or brews, it details quite a lot of the potential ingredients, substitutions for these ingredients as well as correspondences so that you can build up your own favourite recipes to add to the ones that the author offers. The quantity of detail is a tribute to the author's knowledge. This book is worth it just for the section on incense and substitutions which I admit are the only sections I presently use regularly but the others are still useful. This book does have an unfortunate quantity of rose-tinted-nice-and-fluffy-newage content but is still a sensible useful book which I return to time and time again for reference and advice on the subject.
Out of 10
Nice and Fluffy Newagey rating

"Magical Incenses" By Dave Lee

ISBN 1-874171-01-7 Revelations 23 Press

A small but very compact primer on the subject of incense with no space for messing about so there is only information in it. An unusual feature of this book is its flexibility because of its list of ingredients (mostly traditional incense ingredients and very useful) and its inclusions of the Sephiroths in the tables of correspondences. The biggest problem with this book is that the author hasn't allotted a Sephiroth or element to every ingredient he offers. The book is however an excellent inspirational and affordable book to aid people in getting a grip on the subject, being a very concise guide and very readable because of its minute content which basically in most cases just introduces the chapter . Basically a very down to earth, matter of fact, flexible book that teaches the basics of incense craft for both most nature religions and those of a Quabbalistic leaning.
Out of 10
nice and fluffy
Whats nice or fluffy about the Quabbala?

"Spell Crafts Creating Magical Objects" By Scott Cunningham and David Harrington

ISBN 0-87542-185-7 Llewellyn Productions USA

A rather strange somewhat disappointing book from these authors, even so it does still have its useful parts even if the section on making of specific objects and traditional crafts is a little painfully tacky in areas. The high points of this book are the tables of correspondence but a lot of these could be worked out from colour correspondences and the rest are rather limited. The other really useful section is the first section which is about the magical considerations and empowerings that are to be employed whilst making an object and also a rather wince-worthy section on "What is Magic". Personally I feel that this book doesn't really cover any new ground or give anything that couldn't be got from any number of other books, except maybe a few of the crafts. In summary an interesting but definitely not essential book that unless you have a personal interest in the crafts inside I don't think I would bother with as it was to me a disappointment.
Out of 10

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