And Banish With Laughter, by Soror Diotima
Konton Publishing, 4903462056, 267 pp., 2006
Please understand from the very beginning that Diotima is, among many other things, a chaos magician and that (simple) fact colours her perceptions and her presentations. If you are one of those individuals who have a craving for the logical and “scientific” approach to things, you may find this book difficult to appreciate.
Diotima strives, how successfully is for the reader to determine, to make one think. She isn’t interested, as far as I can tell, in readers thinking like her; she just wants them thinking. And, since most folks don’t do that too often, it may be a novel experience for many.
In spite of the image the title may conjure up, this is not a particularly humorous book. It is a provoking book. Its intent is to provoke thought, which it does quite nicely, in my opinion. Along the way it may, depending upon your personal understanding (or “take”) of the various topics under discussion, also provoke outrage, indignation, and/or confusion. This is not, necessarily, a bad thing.
This is a collection of essays with only a couple of connections throughout. The most obvious connection is, of course, the authorship. A corollary to that is the mindset of the author (i.e., being a chaos magician). But as you read these short essays you mind find other connections. I say “may” because some readers will see such connections (whether they exist in “reality” is a moot point) and some won’t.
As I add books to my library I try (how successfully is open to debate) to place them in categories (e.g., Wicca, magick, fiction, non-fiction, reference, etc.). Some books, and this is one, are harder to place. I finally ended up placing it in my “philosophy” sections, although it doesn’t fit neatly into any one category.
If you want to stretch your mind, or if you want to look at things from other folks’ perspectives, this book will start you on that path (or help you continue along the way). This book is not only for reading. It is for discussing – with friends, with coven-mates, and with your own individuality.
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Mike Gleason (1951-2012) dedicated his time to sharing his knowledge and opinions with others, and spent years reviewing books for the Pagan, Wiccan, Witch and magickal communities.