Review: The Pop Culture Grimoire, edited by Taylor Ellwood

By Mike Gleason | January 18, 2009

The Pop Culture Grimoire: An Anthology of Pop Culture Magic, edited by Taylor Ellwood
Immanion Press, 9781905713226, 157 pp, 2008

My training in magick is of a traditional style; therefore I’m not entirely comfortable with some of the ideas advanced by the contributors to this anthology. Chapter Three, “Break On through To the Other Side” especially gave me pause. The creation of thought-forms for magickal working is an accepted action, but the creation of a “pseudo Orisha” seemed to stretch to me. Nevertheless, to give Ms. Schmitt her due, it appears to have worked for her. I don’t think I would recommend it to others but that is personal bias, which I freely acknowledge.

I freely admit to a “traditionalist’s” prejudice when it comes to the topic of pop culture being integrated into magickal working. However, I also admit that I have long been a believer in doing whatever it takes to accomplish your ends. Therefore, even though some of the topics seemed almost blasphemous to my traditionally-trained mind (a Narnian-based ritual and Pokeman Magic, for example) I was willing to see what the contributors had to offer.

Weiser Books - Tarot of the Magicians

I couldn’t connect with some of the suggestions put forward in this book, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t make the connection. I freely admit that I am a bit of a “fuddy duddy” when it comes to electronic innovations and pop culture references.

Mr. Ellwood has assembled an interesting collection of viewpoints and writers. Each is presented without editorial comment, thus being allowed to stand on its own merit. There are 18 authors represented in this work including Mr. Ellwood’s own contribution. With an average length of just under nine pages, each author has a chance to present their thoughts and explain their reasoning.

While it won’t appeal to everyone, for those interested in the topic, it will be an eye- (and mind-) opening experience. It offers unique perspectives. Pick up a copy and prepare to expand your perception of what magick can be.


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About Mike Gleason

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.