Witch in the Neighborhood

Witch in the Neighborhood
Lady Isis Rose, Alexandrian Archives , 2008

3/5 Broomsticks 

The first look at Witch in the Neighborhood by Lady Isis Rose promises a fun read. Illustrated by Sabrina, the Ink Witch, these ninety pages offer a primer for beginning witches and a gentle reminder for those more accomplished, that witchcraft isn’t something you do, it’s the way you live.

Sections include, “Merry Meet,“ “Making A Beginning or Creating A New World One Neighborhood at a Time,” “What’s in Your Wicca Basket?,” “A Cauldron of Festivities,” and “Merry Part Until We Merry Meet Again.”

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Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru Mist

Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru Mist
Megalithica Books, 2011

1/5 Broomsticks

Mist offers up a book that is intended to help the reader find a patron within the ranks of the Aesir and Vanir with Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru. Alas, instead of spending time focusing on what is promised, the book takes a turn for the worse early on when the author professes that she is “not an expert” and “everything in this book should be taken with a grain of salt.”

The book is set in a personal tone, with an underdeveloped voice as the author tells her own opinions and beliefs, but never gives any underlying theory to back up her assertions. The entire book has a distinctly neo-Pagan flavor, as it spends a lot of time talking about meditations to become closer to the Gods, Jotun and traveling within the Nine Realms, but less than nothing about the existing lore regarding these topics, which will be a deal-killer for any reconstructionist readers.

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The Weiser Field Guide to Witches

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches:
From Hexes to Hermione Granger, From Salem to the Land of Oz

Judika Illes, Weiser Books, 2010
3/5 Broomsticks

This thin volume is a treasure-trove of information for almost anything witchy, from magical tools to witches in pop culture. Delightful illustrations and photographs relevant to each entry enliven the book, which will be a beautiful addition to any witches’ library or to anyone who is simply interested in learning more about witches: what they are rumored to be, do, or believe. The Field Guide encompasses not just Wicca, but many forms and traditions of Paganism, including African traditions and Voudou.

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Practical Protection Magick

Practical Protection Magick:
Guarding and Reclaiming Your Power

Ellen Dugan, Llewellyn, 2011 
4/5 Broomsticks

The occult spectrum provides many different ways to look at defensive magick. Some practitioners hesitate to perform such workings, and a few fear that self-defense could be a violation of the “Harm None” Wiccan rede or may result in some kind of karmic backlash. Others believe that if one doesn’t entertain the possibility of negative magick, it won’t happen to you. Therefore, the concept of protective magick is sometimes not acknowledged whatsoever, and, as a result, Witchcraft becomes all about pure love, peace, and a lot of white light — the “fluffy bunny” of magickal urban legend.

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Queen of the Great Below

Queen of the Great Below:
An Anthology in Honor of Ereshkigal

Janet Munin, Bibliotecha Alexandrina, 2010
5/5 Broomsticks

What a fascinating Goddess to dedicate a book to! While I would nitpick the first paragraph of the introduction — a sentence about Ereshkigal being jealous and vindictive — one of the epithets in the second paragraph made me laugh and nod: “She is Goddess of Dealing With Your Shit…” Yes, she certainly is! I highlighted that one.

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