The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, by Judika Illes
Weiser Books, 9781578634798, 272 pp., 2010
When a field guide is well done, it gives the reader the means to distinguish between species and can be an incredible aid to study, classification, and practical knowledge. When a field guide is not so well done, it can very quickly become a mess.
I really wanted to like The Weiser Field Guide to Witches. For one thing, I like and admire Judika Illes, whose Element Encyclopedias I consider useful as well as beautiful, well-researched, and wonderfully organized. I was prepared to thoroughly enjoy spending more time with her blend of wit and erudition. The subtitle, “From Hexes to Hermione Granger, from Salem to the Land of Oz”, is marvellously enticing, as well as the idea given in the back cover copy that the field guide could help you, the reader, discern if you are a witch. Continue reading
Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, by Charles Godfrey Leland
The Witches’ Almanac, 9780982432358, 178 pp., 1899, 2010
Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903) was an American folklorist who published some twenty books on American and European folklore, Romani traditions, witchcraft, and other subjects. He is chiefly remembered today for his influence on the development of modern Paganism, primarily through the publication of Aradia. Continue reading
Magic When You Need It: 150 Spells You Can’t Live Without, by Judika Illes
Weiser Books, 9781578634194, 173 pp. (including appendices of recommended stores and botanical classifications), 2008
From the author of The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells comes a collection of 150 spells she describes as “super-powered” to help you out of a variety of problems in your life, when you just need some help. She breaks the spells down into four categories: Money and Career; Love, Sex, Marriage and Children; Home; and Trouble, with the latter being miscellaneous magick that doesn’t fit elsewhere.
As someone who is generally not a fan of spell collections, though wary, I tried to give this book a fair read, but I admit the introduction had me worrying when Illes mentions that “Although you may be useless Continue reading