Magickware\’s Pagan Book Reviews

December 18, 2005

A Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 4:22 pm

A Witch's Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of ShadowsA Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows by Judy Ann Nock, Adams Media Corporation 2005

This is the perfect book for a beginner to the Craft. Most Wicca 101 books are more theory than practical application. A Witch’s Grimoire breaks out of that mold with room to spare. Judy Ann Nock takes a novice Wiccan through the steps necessary to create a truly marvelous Book of Shadows from the paper to the entries.

Not only is the book written from a unique perspective, it is beautifully designed. A plain forest green cover with golden type and no picture wraps a rough cut edged book. The book’s almost square shape makes it easy to hold and carry along with you.

Ms. Nock starts us out in the first chapter with an explanation and the reasoning behind creating your own Book of Shadows. With the popularity of some TV shows, what a Book of Shadows really is has been glamorized to mythical proportions. Unfortunately, the success of these popular shows has given rise to confusion as to how one gets a Book of Shadows. Once the reader picks up this book, not only is the confusion alleviated but also the reader is given a practical step-by-step guide with lessons, meditations and thought provoking questions. Some of the meditations are so lovely and peaceful that even a more experienced witch will find something useful in the book’s pages.

Chapters are divided into “books” that are themed to the lessons and exercises they contain. There are sections devoted to the days of the week, the Sabbats and Esbats, charkas, candle magic and more.

The visual interruption caused by the question and answer sections with a place to write your answer bothered me. I think the book could have been successful without the few lines after each exercise. The areas provided weren’t long enough to do more than jot down a few notes. Perhaps if the book were in a larger, workbook type format, the rules would have made better sense. Another area that I disagreed with was the author’s use of the words “must” and “should” in describing rituals. That is a personal pet peeve and really doesn’t detract from what I feel is a very good book for a new seeker.


Children’s Reiki Handbook : A Guide to Energy Healing for Kids

Filed under: Book Reviews,Children's Book — magickware @ 4:20 pm

Children's Reiki BookChildren’s Reiki Handbook : A Guide to Energy Healing for Kids
By Pamela A. Yarborough, ND & Robert T. Yarborough
Andborough Publishing 2005

I picked up this book knowing little more about Reiki than the name. I knew that Reiki was some form of healing energy and that you used your hands but how and why it works were a mystery to me.

This slim book is an easy read and despite its limited number of pages (44) a very thorough introduction to the history and practice of Reiki. If your older child shows a leaning toward learning healing skills and knowledge you will both benefit from this handbook.

The book starts out with an explanation of the history of Reiki and what exactly it is. A further chapter describes the life energy associated with Reiki practice, where the charkas are and what area of the body they govern. There is a brief explanation of auras and the colors associated with certain personality types. The book then gets into the meat of its subject with instruction and photographs to bring the seeker into First Level Attunement.

Once the child has attained First Level the next section of the book shows with more photography and explanation how to use this new level of healing awareness to heal. The final chapters include meditations and the admonition to practice to become ready for attunement to higher Reiki Levels.

I found the book to be very basic. As an adult I still have questions about Reiki, but a child should get quite a lot out of this book when accompanied by the help of an attuned adult. I tried to get my own 11 year old to look at the book to give me her opinion of it, but she was not interested enough to do more than glance at the cover and ask what Reiki was. This being the case, I would strongly advise getting this book only for children who have already expressed an interest in learning Reiki. The information is presented in a textbook as opposed to anecdotal way and does require that there be a previous interest in the material.

Book Of Shadows

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 4:15 pm

book of shadowsBook Of Shadows by Migene González-Wippler
Llewellyn Worldwide

There are many books with the title of Book of Shadows. This one takes the reader through what happens in a traditional Gardnarian coven. Ms. Wippler outlines the basics of First, Second and Third Degree Initiation ceremonies and what they entail in Part One of the book. Part Two contains brief descriptive chapters for many of the items and spell work that are common to witches. She titles this chapter “Magic of the Witches.”

Ms. Wippler writes the book from an observer’s prospective. She has never been a Gardnerian coven initiate, claiming to be self-initiated instead, and writes her explanations in third person.

I have serious reservation about this book and would hesitate to recommend it to anyone not already familiar with the precepts of Gardnerian Wicca.

There are many passages that leave me in serious doubt about the ethics and veracity of the author’s claims. One such passage claimed that revenge is a witch’s obligation. This disturbed me a great deal as I have never heard of any Wiccan Path espousing harm or revenge against anyone. However, I am not nor have I ever been a Gardnerian coven initiate so I could not personally verify the statement. I was so disturbed by this particular passage that I asked Raymond Buckland about the truth of it. Since he studied with Gardner and is the father of Wicca in the United States, I figured if anyone would know for sure he would. His response was one of shock and he said there is NOTHING in the Gardnerian teachings that endorses vengeance. In fact it is specified: “Never boast, never threaten, never say you would wish ill of anyone.”

In other places the author says that a specific spell is considered “black” magic and most witches wouldn’t do it. But she turns around and gives spell after spell that would bind or deny free will to the intended victim of the spell. Yes, I said victim. In my opinion, any spell that makes a person do your will in spite of his or her own wishes is the equivalent of a spiritual rape. Some of the formulas listed are toxic including one which is to be rubbed on a woman’s abdomen night after night when she is hoping to conceive. I cannot condone such misinformation especially when it can be so harmful both karmically and health wise.

The reader would do well to avoid this book.

The Dragons’ Legacy

Filed under: Book Reviews,Fiction — magickware @ 6:18 am

The Dragons’ LegacyThe Dragons’ Legacy by Trish Reynolds
Pagan World Press (Dubsar House)

This final book in the Seeker’s Quest trilogy brings together the heroes, heroines and villains from books one and two. The initial chapter opens to full fledge world war. The reader is immediately gripped with a sense of urgency as Thannon, the capital city of Pretava, is besieged. Will the rescuing forces from The Eldren and the Desert get there in time?

Ms. Reynolds continues her masterful handling of a multi-layered novel. Book three answers question left hanging in book two, but in a series of intriguing plot twist raises more of its own. I hope she is thinking sequel because the reader is left with too many loose ends to be satisfied that the story is finished.

Once more there is intrigue to overthrow the Throne, which Mykal and his beloved, Laurel. now reside as the rulers of Pretava. Bazc is also under Pretava’s control and the Ferunda seek vengeance but at the hands of a mysterious Mage. Seeker must return to his home world, and only the Gods know if he will ever be able to return. But return he must, Taryzas is keeping a secret from him that will not stay hidden forever.

The world of Jalum is teetering on the brink of war; the ruling classes in disarray and our heroes are off to the far points of the universe. If you are looking for “and they lived happily ever after” ending you won’t find it in these pages. There are far too many unanswered questions to leave a reader satisfied that Seeker’s Quest has really come to its conclusion. Three cheers for Ms. Reynolds for managing to leave us, yet once again, on the edge of our seats wondering what will happen next! So, Trish, what can we expect to follow?

Create a free website or blog at