Foundations of Magic: Techniques and Spells That Work, by J F O’Neill
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738707430, 253 pp. (incl. appendices and index), 2005
Reviewed from an uncorrected proof
Foundations of Magic is presented as an introductory course to non-denominational magic. It has been written with the absolute beginner in mind, even, or perhaps especially, the sceptical beginner. O’Neill’s goal is to teach the reader what he regards as the basic skills required for successful magical workings and provide a mini-grimoire of spells that the student can undertake for their own benefit and to demonstrate that magic does in fact work.
The book is organized into two parts. Part I comprises three chapters, covering the definition and description of Magic, the Psychology of Magic, and lastly, the actual process of casting spells, including a practise spell. Continue reading
Planetary Spells & Rituals: Practicing Dark & Light Magick Aligned with the Cosmic Bodies, by Raven Digitalis.
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738719719, 317 pp. (incl. appendices), 2010
While modern Paganism often revolves the cycles of year and the lunar calendar, most of the sky is often ignored. Raven Digitalis brings this into focus: the planets, the luminaries, and their importance in magick. He takes things beyond the Sun and the Moon and including the other important figures in our solar system (like Pluto!) and cultural mythology. Continue reading
Where Do Demons Live?: Everything You Want to Know About Magic, by Frater U.’. D.’.
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738714790, 187 pp., 2010
In Where Do Demons Live? Frater U.’. D.’. assumes the persona of “Aunt Klara”, an agony aunt for occultniks, delivering lectures on magickal combat, magickal musick, the models of magick (with a focus on the elusive cybernetic model) and answers questions about Freemasonry, witchcraft, the Golden Dawn, the OTO and Satanism.
The result is many ways reminiscent of Aleister Crowley’s Magick Without Tears, in that it represents in a collection of brief essays on a wide variety of topics, though in a vein all his own. Much like Frater U.’. D.’.’s previous works (Practical Sigil Magic, Secrets of Western Sex Magic, High Magic I and II), the advice and recommendations given by Frater U.’.D.’.’s alter (altar?) ego are refreshingly direct and matter of fact. Continue reading
Everyday Sun Magic, by Dorothy Morrison
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738704687, 336 pp., 2005
He brings us joy and warms our hearts,
He promises a brand new start,
He doles out doses of Vitamin D,
To increase our Calcium absorbency,
-from “Embracing the Sun”
I will, for the sake of brevity, stick to the glarifng theoretical errors within the text. For instance, the author’s assertion Continue reading
Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Workby Isaac Bonewits
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738711993, 264 pp. 2007
One of the things I have always admired about Isaac Bonewits is his ability to make complex subjects comprehensible to the average person without “dumbing down” the topics. He takes the time to explain his terminology before beginning and then proceeds to explain his position and/or beliefs in 3easy to understand, logical steps. This is not to say that his ideas are simplistic; they most certainly are not; nor are they necessarily non-controversial, in fact they are almost always thought provoking, if not debate inspiring.
I will confess, here and now, that I haven’t read a lot of Isaac’s literary output (only Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic and The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters, and Drummers), but I have followed many of the debates his work has inspired, as well as being familiar with some of his work on the subject of Druidic research. I also had the pleasure of meeting him and attending a ritual he created many years ago at a Pagan gathering in the Midwest. I haven’t always agreed with him, but I have learned from him.
Isaac is sure to offend some readers Continue reading