By Mike Gleason
How to Bewitch: A Manual of Modern Witchcraft, by Raven Tempest
Cassell & Co., 0304357995, 140 pp. (+ index), 2001
At 140 pages this small book comes from a rather unique perspective. The author was born in Persia and raised in a family of healers. It includes some background and a few basic spells. It contains some correlations and insights from her unique perspective.
There are some problems with it. I understand that it is aimed at people who are just beginning their study of witchcraft. Even allowing for that, however, I find that the understanding of the deity forms is far too simplistic, and the dos and don’ts of magick are way too overly simplified, in my opinion.
I have never seen the pentagram used as an instructional aid for “Transforming a wish into a spell.” I’m not entirely sure I agree with the assignment of functions to the points of the pentagram.
Her method of arriving at Alpha state is much too simplified and sketchy. Her method of circle casting is unlike any I have ever encountered in a book for beginners.
As much as I dislike saying it, this book is only marginally useful, and I don’t recommend it for beginners. It might be good for stimulating new ideas amongst those who have some experience in “traditional” techniques, but that is only my personal opinion.