Magickware\’s Pagan Book Reviews

November 18, 2003

The Dark Archetype: Exploring the Shadow Side of the Divine

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 7:44 pm

The Dark Archetype: Exploring the Shadow Side of the Divine
By Denise Dumars and Lori Nyx; New Page Books

Who’s afraid of the dark? I’m not after reading this book. The two authors with a somewhat odd sense of humor take the reader on a tour of 9 dark Goddesses and 9 dark Gods. They delve into the Holy Ones’ history and mythology in the first part of the book. In the second part of the book we are treated to a varying array of rituals, meditations and spells. The authors’ unique view of working on the dark side is both enlightening and refreshing. I usually find myself approaching any book that contains actually spells with a bit of dread but the workings in this book are very intriguing to say the least.

I write my own spells and rituals when I have need, but I found the original thoughts laid out in the many spells of this book something that I could use in my own future workings. I particularly was appreciative of the first chapter on how to properly work with these dark Lords and Ladies. Some of the personalities can be quite tricky to work with. Many of the Gods and Goddesses on the dark side have a tendency to bring drastic change and massive upheaval into a petitioner’s life, so the repeated warning of honoring and respecting these strong Beings is well placed throughout the book’s chapters.

If you find yourself in need of more than all sweetness and light, this is the book for you. Spells and rituals range from the standard protection to fertility to astral travel. Meditations and talisman creations are among the many excellent workings as well. An thought provoking and entertaining book, although, I wouldn’t recommend actually using this book to any but the most experienced practitioners. I would also be careful when working with any of these Divine Beings, you just might end up with more than you’re prepared to handle.

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The Pocket Spell Creator

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 7:42 pm

The Pocket Spell Creator: Magickal References at Your Fingertips
By Keri Connor; New Page Books (Career Press)

This book is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small pocket sized edition. Listed inside are a variety of correspondences ranging from the moon phase to oils and herbs. A short two page chapter on ethics states the standard “harm none” code we all should know. There are sample spells and circle casting phraseology. The author includes several pages to record your own spells or rituals and the results of each one for future reference.

There is nothing really new here except a bunch of listings all in one easy to transport book. There are several authors in the bibliography who’s information is sometimes less than accurate but for the particular herbs and colors etc, that I have personal knowledge about the information in Ms. Connor’s book seems accurate. If you are just starting to create your own spells, this book can be helpful. A more experienced witch might like to flip through it if they have 10 minutes or so to spare to refresh failing memories.

The Magical Crone

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 7:37 pm

Celebrating the Wisdom of Later LifeThe Magical Crone: Celebrating the Wisdom of Later Life
By Jennifer Reif and Marline Haleff; Citadel Press (Kensington Publishing)

Witches on broomsticks? Wizened old ladies with warts? Not in this book. The Magical Crone was written to dispel the ageism that many women find hamper them in older life. In the pages of this book you will find history, rituals, spells and meditations all aimed at the older woman. There are many close looks at the three forms of Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone.

The authors start by defining what a crone is. They take us on a journey of self-discovery through intimate workings with four Goddesses. Each Goddess is honored and explored for a set period of time. We are instructed in the writing of a “Crone Journal” where we examine our life’s accomplishments and foibles as well as our dreams for the future. Afterwards we are treated to special crafts with blessing rituals to sanctify the results. The last chapter in the book turned out to be my favorite. That chapter was a series of short biographies about elder women who the authors considered exemplary crones.

I was disappointed with the book as a whole. I am approaching my crone-hood. I had expected there to be more ritual and information specific to the Crone. I would have liked to see at least one ritual of Croning. Instead I found that the rituals, meditations, crafts and spells could easily be used by anyone of any age or gender. In fact some were very similar to ceremonies I had attended in my twenties.

The book seems to be trying to be all things to all people. I’m not sure the authors focused on a particular audience as they wrote. Some portions of the chapters are written for the beginner and other areas are written for those with more experience. In my opinion, the book is Wicca 101, Part II. It is not at all what a woman reaching the status of Crone, an elder in the Craft, would want or need.

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