Author

Title

Review

Adler, Margot

Drawing Down the Moon

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Popular demand for this clear-sighted compendium of information about the rebirth of Pagan religions hasn't waned since its initial publication in 1979. Distinguished by the journalism of National Public Radio columnist Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon explains this diverse and burgeoning religion's philosophies and activities while dispelling stereotypes that have long been associated with it. Most people don't realize that pagan simply refers to pre-Christian polytheistic nature religions, such as the various Native American creeds, Japanese Shinto, Celtic Druid, and Western European Wicca. Originally, the word pagan meant "country dweller" and was a derogatory term in Rome in the third century A.D., not unlike calling someone a hick today. If you find yourself feeling queasy when you hear the words witch or pagan, a healthy dose of reeducation via Drawing Down the Moon could be the cure. --P. Randall Cohan 
Synopsis 
For nearly two decades, Drawing Down the Moon, the only detailed history of a little-known and widely misunderstood movement, has provided the most authoritative look at the religious beliefs, experiences, and lifestyles of the neopagan culture. "A healthy corrective."--The New York Times Book Review. of photos. 
 
 
 

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Reviewer: Adam Jenkins from Australia
I really enjoyed reading this book - it was very helpful to me, and was a good overview of large parts of what I belive to have been the North American neopagan scene at the time that this book was written. I do recommend that people read it, but it will mean more to you after you already understand at least the basic aspectes of neopaganism. 

But this is also a book that was clearly written by someone who was already part of the movement, and thus she brought with it her own opinions about various traditions (such as Norse paganism and Alexandrian Wicca), and she didn't tend to examine many of the issues raised with quite the degree of objectivity that I was looking for. It is also clearly very dated, and the primary sources for the answers to her questionaires tended to get people from particular traditions and styles.

In all it was a valuable book that I really enjoyed reading, and I don't know of anything that is it's equivalent. But it isn't perfect, and I feel needs to be read carefully if you are to get the full value out of her work.
 
 
 

A Field Guide to Paganism in America, July 19, 2000 
Reviewer: Mrs. Donihue (see more about me) from Middletown, CA United States
That the Pagan community is a very large and very diverse one should come as no surprise to anyone -- except perhaps to a vocal minority within the Christian faith who persist in lumping all of Paganism into "Devil-worship".

Confused about the differences between Gardnerian Wicca and Alexandrian Wicca? Not to mention all those other Pagan religions? Then this is the book for you.

Margot Adler's ambitious volume is a sort of field guide, if you will. Encyclopedic in scope, it has got to be the definitive overview on the various beliefs and religious practices that fit within the broad term "Paganism".

The book's strengths are in the illuminating history it provides about various pioneers of modern Pagan movements. Wicca, in its various permutations, receives the most thorough treatment. If I have any fault with the book, it is that other Pagan religions are not treated with the same exhaustive and in-depth scope with which Adler treats Wicca.

Accurate and respectful mention is made of statements by Aleister Crowley, but references to him are thinly spread. Consequently, I missed many of them in my reading of the book. Adler primarily presents Crowley's contributions to the occult scene through the filter of someone else's interpretation or adaption of his work.

I would like to have seen a more in-depth look at Crowley's contributions to the modern occult and Pagan scene, given that he is the most well-known occultist in non-occult circles. For better or for worse, that "most evil man in the world" reputation has stuck (his self-proclaimed identity as "The Beast" probably hasn't helped matters), and rather undeservedly, from what I can tell in my limited exposure to his writings. Many people who are otherwise ignorant of Paganism, the occult or hermetic orders nevertheless have heated opinions about Crowley, and I can't help but feel that Adler should have given him a little more attention in her book -- if for no other reason than to point out that maybe he isn't such a horrible person as some members of Christian and Wiccan communities seems to think he is.

The questionnaire Adler includes is an especially valuable reminder that Pagans, like other members of a socioeconomic, racial or otherwise narrowly defined category of human beings, do not share common political views. If some preconceived notions -- i.e. all Pagans should be liberal -- are challenged, all the better.

In conclusion, this is probably the first book I would recommend to someone who has heard of the Pagan community and wants more information about it. If that's you, I strongly urge that you read this book -- with the caveat that this is one woman's opinion, and that what matters is that you discover the truth for yourself.
 

 

Agrippa, Cornelius

Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Essential work on Western occult tradition, May 28, 1999 
Reviewer: Christopher Warnock, Esq. (see more about me) from Washington, D.C.
Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy must rank as one of, if not the most important work ever written on the Western Occult tradition. Written in relative youth, it nevertheless has an immensely broad range of topics covering Goetia ("Black magic") and Theurgia ("White magic') while still remaining in the Christian tradition. Agrippa's work certainly provides numerous practical instructions, but always ties together a wide range of classical and traditional sources in a broad theorectical framework. As a traditional astrologer I found his exposition of astrological magic to be among the best available in English, better than Marsilio Ficino's Three Books of Life (though the Boer translation is fairly universally disliked). Much of astrological magic still remains locked up in Latin, Thabit Ibn Qurra's De Imaginibus, edited by Carmody and Picatrix, edited by Pingree being the most salient examples. I should note, however, that Brill has just published a new edition of Agrippa in the original Latin which does differ in some respects from the Freake translation that Tyson has edited in this edition. For example, Chapter 50, Book II at 403 Agrippa describes the construction of amulets for love and concord between two people. The first full paragraph in the Tyson edition ends, "...let them [the two images] be wrapped up in silk and cast away or spolied. In the Latin Brill edition the sentence states that the images should be wrapped in "fine linen cloth" and "buried". Nonetheless if I could have only one book on the Western occult tradition (perish the thought!) this would be it. Anyone with a serious interest in studying or practicing in this area should have this book
 
 
 

A must for the real aspirant, May 30, 2000 
Reviewer: Romero L. Cunha (see more about me) from Portugal
This is a book for the serious western occult student. It is a profound study of the mechanisms of the Occult. Tyson has done a most excelent and mature work here. The student who does not want to understand the details of Magic and the reasons of the things he use, will find no interest in this book. The true aspirant will combine this teachings with the esoterical path and surelly will take the deserved advantage on this fields. To reply to this review, please e-mail me to varcan@hotmail.com
 
 

An incomparable resource. Agrippa's "Three Books" is unquestionably one of the most key sourcebooks of Western Occultism. Tyson's extensive footnotes, corrections, and bibliography make this volume even more valuable and accessable to the modern student. A refreshing change from the fluff so typically cranked out by Llewellyn over the last 10 or so years. Bite the bullet and spend the money.....it's worth it.
 

Unfortunately, there is little in the book that is of any practical use by the modern Magus. The only purpose I have found for this book is to sit on my shelf, looking cool. The book is enjoyable, even though it's not of much use, it give lots of nice insights into the beliefs and practises of the occultists of days past.

The wonderful plates alone make it one of my favorite books to "leaf through and look impressive"

Posing aside, this book is an interesting read for some background information...

If you're looking to find out what made the old occultists tick, buy it, if you're looking for something to put to practise, look elsewhere.

Amber K,

Covencraft : Witchcraft for Three or More

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Covencraft is the most complete book on creating and maintaining a coven written to date, with solid advice on networking, group dynamics, the possibilities of incorporation, community service, open rituals, and so much more. The sheer amount of information in one book is staggering, but the truly amazing part is that all this information is indispensable. One would be hard-pressed to find something that Amber K has missed, but if there is something lacking, she has included enough contact information and reference material to answer any questions that may arise. If you are thinking of starting a coven, Covencraft will smooth the way and point out potential troubles before they can wreck your projects. If your coven is already established, you will wonder how you ever got along without Covencraft. --Brian Patterson 
Synopsis 
Here is the complete guidebook for anyone who desires to practice Witchcraft in a caring, challenging, well-organized spiritual support group: a coven. Whether readers hope to learn more about this ancient spiritual path or are a coven member wanting more rewarding experiences in the group, this book is an excellent aide. 
 
 
 

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Covencraft by Amber K is on my required reading list for anyone trying to establish (or join) a working group or coven. This book covers the basics of finding people, deciding if you can work with them, establishing a study group, and finally establishing a coven. It then goes on to cover some of the most common logistical issues any coven will face.

The book is practical, and thorough. From how to write the flyer to put up on a bulliten board, to how to interview prospective coveners, and beyond, the book will take you through the arduous task of finding people to practice, work, and worship with. This is not a small book, it is one of the larger and weightier books in my library, but it covers a great deal.

This is not a "basic Wicca" book. It does not cover the rudiments of the beliefs, the "why" of the religion. This book covers, and covers very well,the mechanics and logistics, the "how" of the religion. Of course it reflects some of the authors bias on how the coven should be set up, the heirarchy of the coven and so on, but these can be easily re-worked to suit a group with differing beliefs. 

While the entire focus of the book is on covens and groups, it has been of value to me and many others who have practiced as solitaries, which most of us do at some point.
 
 

Ashcroftnowicki, Doris

The initiate's book of pathworkings :a bridge of dreams

The initiate's book of pathworkings :a bridge of dreams
Beautiful pathworkings for awakening the Higher Self, September 18, 1999 
Reviewer: jbarbiero@visto.com (see more about me) from New York, America
Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, the Director of Studies for the Servants of the Light school of occult science, has been an innovator in the spiritual practice of "pathworking" since her earlier classic, "Highways of the Mind." Pathworking, traditionally an inner guided journey on the paths of the Tree of Life, was once a closely guarded secret of the Western Mystery schools offering initiation. The spiritual path of Qabalah postulates a Tree of Life mandala of ten aspects of Divinity and twenty-two paths or states of consciousness. Initiates pathworking the paths of the Tree of Life would activate and awaken these various states of consciousness, latent within the neophyte (beginner), to full potency within their own sphere of sensation or aura. The initiate completing such "inner journeys" would then have incorporated the Tree of Life within and have access to its various potentials and powers for spiritual fulfillment and expression. The spiritual changes for the better effected by such inner journeys compelled Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki to make this powerful tool available to the world at large. Her work has revolutionized this technique from its sole use in Qabalistic training to encompass all the major traditions of the Western Mysteries. Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki has taught through her experiental workshops that pathworking the various ancient traditions can also stimulate into activity within the sphere of sensation of the practioner the spiritual fulfillment and expression offered by the ancient initiatory paths of the past. Readers of "The Initiate's Book of Pathworkings" will find many of her most powerful pathworkings illustrating the spiritual potency and richness of the Western Mysteries. The reader will encounter the ancient gods of Egypt, Greece and the Celtic people. Alexandria, "the city that faced upon the world" will also be explored. The reader can also look forward to pathworkings related to the Craft of the Wise and the Fairy path. In addition, she offers a new approach towards experiencing Shamanism. Two of my favorite sections of her book offer innovative work with the Angels, and the Elementals who can empower the magical potency of the initiate. Finally, pathworkings written solely for the new millenium are offered illustrating a possibility of the work that lies ahead for the spiritual aspirant as well as giving hope. I wholeheartedly recommend this rich collection of pathworkings as incomparable spiritual tools for the sole practioner or working group to empower their spiritual development into the new millenium.

Bailey, Alice A.

A Treatise on White Magic

The graded and controlled concretion of Ideas
This book is an enlargement on the "15 Rules of White Magic" as given by the author in "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire". The "15 Rules" apply to bringing down to the physical, the Divine Idea which is its underlying cause. Specifically, the rules examine the various phases this Idea goes through in order to be "clothed in matter", at which time it becomes manifest on the physical plane. The "magician" is the soul or Higher Self, thereby making the new physical object of divine origin. Obviously, not everyone can perform White Magic of this kind as it requires that continuity of consciousness possessed by an initiate of a certain grade. Furthermore, it is clear that if this information were easy to know, inherent dangers might befall the "magician". So, much of this book also centres on how to "become a Disciple and Initiate", and the reader has to "read between the lines" to truly learn. Hence, it is a book one returns to time and again over many years.Rare and priceless gift of profound wisdom for the awakened!, May 15, 1999 
Reviewer: light@pathoflight.com 
A Master of Wisdom working for the evolution of humanity gives the esoteric rules to unfold one's incredible potential and to produce lasting changes in the world. This book explains: (1) the laws of spiritual psychology as distinguished from mental and emotional psychology, (2) the nature of the soul of man and its cosmic relationships, (3) the relations between the self and the layers of coverings that self may use, and (4) the problems of supernormal powers and the rules for their safe and useful development

The truth in this book will appeal to those who are open-minded investigators willing to accept its fundamentals as a working hypothesis to be tested and tried. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
 

 

Bailey, Alice A.

Summers, Montague

GEOGRAPHY OF WITCHCRAFT

Summers here looks at the particulars of witchcraft in 8 countries including Greece, Italy and England. Having fallen from Grace in the Anglican church through over-fascination with witchcraft and sexual indescretions the author found a home, and ordination, in irregular Catholicism. His scholarship was remarkable, his opposition to witchcraft was medieval, fanatical and not as they seemed. In truth he helped construct the glamours of the medieval witchcult which informed the witchcraft revival

Bailey, Alice A.

Telepathy

Pack a dictionary and a spirit guide to help with this one, January 19, 1999 
Reviewer: robmbrown@hotmail.com from Seattle
A great guide to understanding how people can interact with eachother on a different level of consciousness. This book reads backwards though, and can be very confusing to read at first. But by the time you reach the end, it's like you've reached the begining. This book actually saved my sanity, by helping me to understand the changes I am going through, if you have similar troubles, read this book! If you buy this book expecting to learn telepathy, your in for a shock. This book doesn't tell the reader (directly) how to gain this new "insight", but rather, why it is. Basically if you don't already 'get it' you won't 'get it'. The "Science of Impression" marches on --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Bardon, Franz

Practice of

Magical Evocation

Practise of Magical Evocation Franz Bardon Hardback, 1975 Edition (very early) Dieter Ruggerberg, Germany (Publisher) Great condition, some minor damage to flycover only. This is the primary text of Magical Evocation practise. Illustrations, many in colour.

Barret, Francis

The Magus: A Complete System of of Occult Philosophy

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
This facsimile is a photo-reproduction from the first edition. The color plates have been reproduced from the originals using modern methods for color accuracy not achieved in previous reprints of this seminal work. Printed on acid-free, archival quality paper; smythe-sewn and bound in cloth, limited to 475 copies. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 
 
 

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This book is chock full of interesting takes on the Bible and God as well as practical ways for affecting reality through spiritually charged knoweldge and their items. Barrett like Esuebius pulls together a lot of older information that, again, puts one in a p[osition to better consider reality and your p[lace in it with God. A must read for seekers, intelligencers, and psychonauts; or just someone normal who wants to change their mind.

By far, this book is the best I have ever seen on any sort of occult, metaphysical, and parasycology. The best part of the book is the angelic section which is refrenced in countless other Angelic books such as: Gustav Davidson's "A Dictionary of Angels", Matthew Bunson's "Angels A to Z" and D.J. Conway's "Magick of the Gods & Goddesses" formoaly known as "The Ancient & Shinning Ones". This is a great collector's item. If anybody who knows how much it is really worth, both in context and value, should not critize it. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Beyerl, Paul

A Compendium of Herbal Magick

Editorial Reviews

Wendell Cooper 
A monumental work. It's difficult to imagine a more thorough book on the subject ever being published. 

Ellen Evert Hopman, author of "Tree Medicine, Tree Magic" and "A Druids Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year." 
Paul Beyerl has brought forth another in-depth volume that will provide inspiration to advanced practitioners of the occult and beginners alike. 

Patricia Telesco, author of "A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook," "Urban Pagan" and "A Victorian Grimoire." 
A landmark effort in magickal and religious herbalism filled to overflowing with useful information no matter what your level of experience. 

Book Description 
From the author of "The Master Book of Herbalism" comes the most comprehensive and all-inclusive book on the magical, shamanistic and religious uses of herbs ever published -- over 330 herbs are covered in detail with over 100 illustrations. The book includes magickal classifications, a guide to usage, deities, astrological associations, and much more. Great care was taken to include only folklore documented as authentic. 

The author, Rev. Paul V. Beyerl , February 11, 2000
I wrote this with you in mind.
I felt it important that someone present a book which covered a vast amount of documented information regarding the field of herbal magick. I wrote this for all students and teachers alike, trying to create a reference book which will bring you a lifetime of useful information THIS BOOK IS JUST FANTASTIC!, July 20, 2000 
Reviewer: Rev. Charlee Madrits (see more about me) from Seattle, WA USA
Having read and owned most of the herbal books now on the market, I can tell you from years of experience that Paul's books are well researched, well thought out, and simple to understand. Paul takes you into realms of knowledge and understanding that you do not find elsewhere. It is clear that he has been researching and working with the plants for many years. His sweetness of heart and soul come shining through in his work, and there is more information here than anyone could hope to use, not only remedially, but also magickally. This book, and all of Pauls books are a big thumbs up! Please keep it coming Paul...we await your next work with great anticipation!
 
 
 

He didn't do enough research & thats dangerous!, March 15, 2000 
Reviewer: morganad (see more about me) from Florida
Bright Greetings, When I first got this book I thought it wasgreat, but upon a closer look I realized Mr. Beryl made quite a fewomissions and mistakes regarding herbs and their usage. Prime example: page #250, Milkweed (Apocynum Androsaemilfolium). He suggested laying a stalk of this weed in a baby's arms at Wiccanings. If he had researched this herb in depth he would have known this is a VERY dangerous suggestion to make to the general public. (not everyone is a rocket scientist, or possesses good reasoning ability, and some might just follow his advice without precautions) This plant is a member of the TOXIC Digitalis family and could be lethal if ingested by a small one! He even went as far as to suggest using the juice of the plant as well. In my humble opinion as an old wildcrafter-buy the book, BUT..double check things if there is any suggestion of using the plant with small children or of ingesting it. (I also found errors in his nomenclature (wrong Latin name for some plants, etc.) May Your Path Be Blessed, Morgana of Magia D' La Luna END

Blake, Rev. J L

The Historical Reader

The Historical Reader by Blake, Published 1827 by E Peck & Co of Rochester, NY
The full title of this leather bound volume is: The Historical Reader, Designed for the use of Schools and Families, on a New Plan, By Rev. J L Blake, A. M. Minister of St Matthew's Church, and Principal of a Literary Seminary, Boston; Stereotyped by T H Carter & Co, Boston, Printed by E Peck & Co, 1827, Rochester, NY: 
There are 372 pages. Some of the wood engravings have been painted (poorly). The bookplate for Luther Howard inside the front cover is dated 1831: 

And here's the printed date of 1827 on the title page: 

Partial separation of covers from binding; quite a bit of foxing. Don't see any rips. Wide range of historical subjects, from The Creation, The Fall of Rome, The Conquest of Mexico, Plymouth Colony, New England Witchcraft, Excision of Wyoming, The Negro's Complaint, Origin of African Slavery, and dozens more. Covers have scrapes in the leather.

Blum, Ralph

Book of Runes


A controversial book, November 19, 2000 
Reviewer: cybercorpse (see more about me) from Granada Hills, CA USA
Blum's book was my first exposure to "nordic" runes. I bought it after being intrigued seeing one of the Irish character's on the TV show Earth Final Conflict using runes. My girlfriend had just bought her own set and commented that she had "played" with them many years ago and found them enlightening. I was intrigued.

I enjoyed the book, and it was a very easy read. As all others have written it comes with a bag and the rune stones (ceramic). The stones are brittle, and I actually broke one pulling it out of the plastic shipping case, so I advise caution handling them.

Web searches and Dejanews searches of runes find much criticism about Blum and his interpretations. I'd like to give my thoughts on some of the critiques:

I didn't notice a heavy Christian slant into his interpretations of the meanings, but I haven't read the references most of the naysayers cite as being better. Any spiritual undertaking must be a personal journey, and I believe that if there is any truth to any of the many methods available (tarot, numerology, astrology, runes, i-ching, even prayer to a god) that our own personal psyche and psychic influences play into the journey. With Blum's interpretations as all I know for reading runes, I believe that my own guides on my journey influence the runes drawn and placed to meet the interprations that are appropriate for me. (Example, on the same reading, if I told myself that I would be using Blum's interpretations I would draw a different set of runes than if I were to state up front that I would use some more traditional meanings.) Do the naysayers really place so little faith in the power of runes that they would believe that whatever power influences them would allow a misinterpretation simply because we'd read Blums' book?

I've found rune reading to be earily accurate. Just yesterday afternoon, after having not used the runes in almost a year, I did a reading to see if an event I would be going to was going to be an enjoyable. The runes indicated that I would not have a good time at the event. They were correct! (No, I didn't let the old self-fulfilling prophecy ruin my evening! I didn't even get to attend the event, since my date got ill and cancelled our attendance! Spooky, huh?)

Why three stars for my rating? The quality of the stones is just a bit lacking, and the heavy controversy over Blum is just too much to ignore. A first time rune user can't beat the deal of getting the runes included, but if you're using the internet for support in your learning process, you're bound to get much more help if you use more traditional sources.
 

I discovered this little book about 8 years ago, at a time in my life when I needed to seek answers from deep within myself. I had tried the Tarot and several other methods of divination, but none of them really clicked with me. However, I immediately felt comfortable with the runes and Ralph Blums book on the subject. Now, as you read some of the other reviews, you will find several people who truly detest Mr. Blum's work and see it as an affront to "true runic masters". That's all well and good, but I would guess that the vast majority of people contemplating purchasing this book are anything but runic masters and just want a written source that will give them a good start. If you are one of those individuals, then this is the book for you. As for the rune stones themselves...okay, they are not works of art, but they serve the purpose...and in the end, that is all that matters. Yes, you undoubtably will want to make your own at some point, but probably not in the beginning, and that's fine. These little stones, as crude as they may be, will do the trick. I have found great wisdom in the messages of these runes and a greater understanding of my own inner world. This book is a great tool in the quest for spiritual awakening. I have recently felt the need for a more in depth understanding of the runes and have discovered Edred Thorsson's books on the subject. He is definitely a runic master of the highest order and I would recommend him to anyone who already has an understanding of the rune stones and is ready to move to another level. But, Mr. Blum's book is an excellent resource as well and I wouldn't hesitate for a moment in recommending it.
 

Booklet

Dr. Gardner's Museum Witchcraft & Magic Book

1974 Ripley Museum Boolklet. Great pictures of Gardners collection (Now long since sold off piece by piece to the highest bidders

Bracelin, J.L.

 

Gerald Gardner Witch by J.L. Bracelin. Often considered the founder of modern Wicca, Gerald Gardner packed several careers into one lifetime. In his youth he was an expert on natural rubber. As an anthropologist, he pioneered the study of the ancient Malay civilization. He was an acknowledged expert on weapons, and the world authority on the Malay kris. He spent many years in the British civil service and wrote five books, two of them novels. This biography was first published in 1960.

Bracelin, J.L.

Gerald Gardner Witch

Bracelin, J. L. (w/ foreword by Jame Laver) GERALD GARDNER: WITCH--- Biography of Gerald Gardner

Brennan, J H

Compendium of Occult Laws

For the serious Hermetic Occultist only

Briggs, Katherine

An Encyclopedia of FAIRIES

The ultimate reference guide but very hard to find

Buckland, Raymond

Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
This 1986 classic is not only an excellent introduction to the Wiccan religion and earth-based religions in general, it's also a workbook that can take the serious student to the equivalent level of third-degree Gardnerian. Though Raymond Buckland was a student of the late great Gerald Gardner, this manual does not adhere to a specific branch or denomination of witchcraft, but rather seeks to teach the elements and philosophies common to all, whether Celtic, Saxon, Finnish, or what have you. Buckland is credited with bringing the "old religion" to the U.S., and covens and solitary witches practicing the craft in the U.S. today have him to thank for getting it out of the closet. While Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft is a must-have for any serious Wiccan practitioner, it is full of down-to-earth spiritual wisdom, which makes it a wonderful addition to the library of any broadminded seeker on the path toward the One. --P. Randall Cohan 
 
 

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Great reference, August 5, 2000 
Reviewer: Matt (see more about me) from Atlanta, GA
Although Ray Buckland's book lacks a lot of information on the spiritual side of Wicca it is a great reference book. Although very Gardnerian and coven based, the rituals can be easily adapted to fit the solitary practitioner who is of a different tradition.

I wouldn't recommend this book for those just starting, but for those that are more familiar with the basics and have had some prior exposure to Witchcraft. I suggest starting out with Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner." If interested in Alexandrian or Gardnerian Wicca, then move on to Silver Ravenwolf, this book, and then try the books by the Farrars.

One downside to the book was the quizzes. The quizzes were a bit knit-picky, but they at least helped get some of the information across to the reader.

As others have mentioned, Buckland does quote himself quite often, but usually these quotes are in the margin and if they don't reenforce and idea, they at least make for a good laugh.

I will give Buckland a lot of credit for not "dumbing-down" the material for the average 13 year old as some writers have. Wiccan books don't always have to be written for the teenager and I'm glad Buckland maintained a writing proficiency level that agrees with most adults.

Although not a "complete" book, it is a good starting point for many subjects like talismans, tarot, astrology, and herbalism. 

Overall, a great book. I recommend it to any student of Wicca, particularly ones interested in Gardnerian and like traditions.
 
 
 

The 'Big Blue Book' beginner's guide to Wicca., December 27, 1996 
Reviewer: A reader
Raymond Buckland is the man who brought Alexandrian Wicca to North America in the '70s, and one would hope his book would be better than it is. This is a rank beginner's book which is a good reference for how-tos, cookbook-style rituals, and very little of the spirituality and connection with Goddess and God that is the foundation of that ritual. If you're a beginner, it's not a bad place to start--it'll tell you the basics, clearly and succinctly. But you should also try Starhawk's "Spiral Dance," and maybe even Babe on a Broomstick (whoops, I mean "To Ride a Silver Broomstick") by Ravenwolf, even though that's not much better. That one's got more philosophy and feeling, this one has more "how-tos." If you want a solid grounding in eclectic Wicca, try Scott Cunningham's "Wicca for the Solitary Practioner."

 

Buckland, Raymond

Practical Candle Magic

This book provides practical spells for everyday living, and gives sound advice on where anyone can find the tools and herbs necessary to cast spells. Though spell-casting is not easy, Buckland provides a concrete, step-by-step handbook of "how to" for the reader. A must read for those who are interested in making candle magick a part of daily life.
 
 
 

Even better than the first book by R. Buckland!, March 19, 1998 
Reviewer: A reader from Sacto Valley, Califoria
This is a sequel to Raymond Buckland's "Practical Candleburning Rituals" and I think it is actually better than the first. There are more advanced and detailed (hence the title) rituals/spells, and contains many different ones that weren't covered in the first book. There is also an extensive correspondence table section in the back which covers many different aspects, from colors, gemstones, days, astrological signs, substitutions for herbs that can be used, etc. This is definately a worthwhile book to have if you want to do any sort of candle magick or spells, plus it's not complicated or difficult to understand. It's even written to be usable for those who are not of Pagan/Wiccan faith, as the incantations are written twice, one with a Pagan/Wiccan theme and one with a Biblical theme. It even goes into preparing for the spells, with timing and such. Overall one of the best candle magick books out there, I refer to mine often.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

what duffus, March 14, 2000 
Reviewer: aqua_illusion (see more about me) from chisholm,mn
this book was outright terrible, he made it seem like his way was the only way and he always quoted himself, he said that we shouldnt wear black robes but white was a good choice, please white stains easily, he said we must always dress the candles, for the longest time i never put oils on my candles and my spells worked great, another thing he has a spell in ther to end incarnation, true he does say its only to help an terminal ill person pass to the other side, but what if this book gets in to the hand of the wrong person, they arent gonna listen to the warning, that shouldnt be published in books, because anyone can buy a book. i think buckland needs to get over himself, i am sorry he didnt bring witchcraft to america, it was here long before he came. dont read his books they are just bad. if you want light reading but they dont quote themselves read ravenwolf or cunningham. if you want heavy reading but they still keep ur interest read drawing down the moon by margot adler, anything by starhawk, when god was a woman by merlin stone, an abc of witchcraft by doreen valiente

Bulfinch, Thomas

Bulfinch's Mythology

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
For almost a century and a half, Bulfinch's Mythology has been the text by which the great tales of the gods and goddesses, Greek and Roman antiquity; Scandinavian, Celtic, and Oriental fables and myths; and the age of chivalry have been known. 
The stories are divided into three sections: The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes (first published in 1855); The Age of Chivalry (1858), which contains King Arthur and His Knights, The Mabinogeon, and The Knights of English History; and Legends of Charlemagne or Romance of the Middle Ages (1863). For the Greek myths, Bulfinch drew on Ovid and Virgil, and for the sagas of the north, from Mallet's Northern Antiquities. He provides lively versions of the myths of Zeus and Hera, Venus and Adonis, Daphne and Apollo, and their cohorts on Mount Olympus; the love story of Pygmalion and Galatea; the legends of the Trojan War and the epic wanderings of Ulysses and Aeneas; the joys of Valhalla and the furies of Thor; and the tales of Beowulf and Robin Hood. 
The tales are eminently readable. As Bulfinch wrote, "Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegant literature of our own language cannot be understood and appreciated. . . . Our book is an attempt to solve this problem, by telling the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement."
Thomas Bulfinch, in his day job, was a clerk in the Merchant's Bank of Boston, an undemanding position that afforded him ample leisure time in which to pursue his other interests. In addition to serving as secretary of the Boston Society of Natural History, he thoroughly researched the myths and legends and copiously cross-referenced them with literature and art. As such, the myths are an indispensable guide to the cultural values of the nineteenth century; however, it is the vigor of the stories themselves that returns generation after generation to Bulfinch.

Campbell, Joseph

Hero with a Thousnd Faces

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 
Originally written by Campbell in the '40s-- in his pre-Bill Moyers days -- and famous as George Lucas' inspiration for "Star Wars," this book will likewise inspire any writer or reader in its well considered assertion that while all stories have already been told, this is *not* a bad thing, since the *retelling* is still necessary. And while our own life's journey must always be ended alone, the travel is undertaken in the company not only of immediate loved ones and primal passion, but of the heroes and heroines -- and myth-cycles -- that have preceded us. 

From AudioFile 
Campbell's unique perspectives examine the world's complex and interwoven mythology, folklore and religion, providing an understanding of the essence and genesis of humanness. Blum allows the listener to focus on the content of Campbell's words. All stories are told in plain narration except the Irish myths, for which Blum attempts a slight brogue without success. Slight pauses, musical interludes, plus announcements help distinguish the sections of the text. P.A.J. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition. 

Book Description 
Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life. In this best-selling volume, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Through Campbell's eyes, we see Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion enacting simultaneously the various phases of their common story. Campbell begins his interpretation of these timeless symbols by examining their relationship to those rediscovered in dreams by depth psychology. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the "Old Men" of the Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces, the single hero emerges, archetype of all myth. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

Synopsis 
Campbell weaves together traditional wisdom with the modern struggle for identity and spiritual depth to create a mirror of our individual life cycles--and our struggle to make sense of our world. Profound, World Shakingly Influential & Changing., August 7, 2000 
Reviewer: Rob Kall (see more about me) from Holland, PA USA
All may roads may lead to Rome, but for me, this year, all books seemed to lead to Joseph Campbell's Hero With 1000 Faces. 

I have discovered that this book is probably one of the most influential, widely read books of the 20th century. It's no wonder the author, Joseph Campbell, was featured in a Bill Moyers special on The Power of Myth (with an accompanying book, as usual for Bill Moyer's specials.) 

I was reading books on writing-- on story structure-- Particularly, Christopher Vogler's excellent Writer's Journey, and it was based on this book. Ironically, I was already reading another of Campbell's series of books on myth. But then I started looking deeper into this realm-- the idea of the Hero's journey, -- the call to adventure, refusing the call, finding a mentor, encountering threshold guardians, crossing the threshold, facing the worst evil, winning the elixir--- and I discovered that dozens of books have been written about the concepts Joseph Campbell first broached. 

It's such a powerful idea, and so useful in conceptualizing life's changes. I used it as an element in a presentation I just gave this past weekend on how the art and science of story can be applied to healing and helping people grow. 80% of the people attending the lecture were familiar with the concept. 

This is such powerful material, you might consider essential for helping you understand the way movies are made, and how the contemporary world has been affected by advertising and the loss of sacred rituals in everyday life. 

One way I gauge a book is by how many marks I make in the margins, to indicate wise ideas or quotable material ( I collect quotes, and quotation books big-time, owning over 400 quotation books) and this book's margins are just packed. The depth of knowledge in mythology and anthropology is awesome, providing a wealth of examples, metaphors, ancient stories and myths which deepen your understanding of human nature. The only problem with this book is how often, in conversations, I've found it to be relevant, whether talking about a friend who is going through some tough times, or someone who is making some changes in his business. 

Rob Kall
 
 
 

A landmark of 20th century literature., April 27, 1998 
Reviewer: Carcharias de Cauchemar (see more about me) from Raleigh NC
Joseph Campbell was one of the great souls of our age. I've read this book twice, first on my own and the second for a class in "Myth, Religion & the Mythic Imagination." I read the paperack to tatters, literally, marking each illuminating, exhilirating insight. "Dry"? "Not a fun read"? What book did YOU read? Campbell is unlike other writers on myth; he looks not at an entire myth but at its parts. By the end of the book, he has essentially created the Ultimate Hero Myth, which takes bits of every hero myth from virtually every culture (heavy on Native Americans). Campbell was not a dispassionate academic--this was his gospel, and he lived by it. This book is alive and inspiring like no other book I know. One unique aspect of it at the time it was published was its approach to Christianity. For Campbell, Christ's life had to be seen as a myth. Before him, most Western scholars wouldn't have dare to say such a thing. Others had written on that, but in a skeptical manner. Campbell's view is that the Virgin Birth, miracles, Resurrection, etc have meaning only because they ARE myths. Look, there'd be no "Star Wars" without this. No "Sandman" comics from Neil Gaiman. No "Watership Down." This book is for the intellectual who wants to LIVE, not just to sit sterile at the desk. Recommended like mad.
 
 
 

Incredible book for writers, artists, even lawyers, December 15, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader
Reviewer: A reader from Berkeley Reading Joseph Campbell books is like.... First you walk out into a clear desert night, a cloudless sky above, and you see many stars. There are the patterns of stars described by the zodiac signs, but those patterns are haphazard, jerky, and "not real." Those are the patterns people strain to create from apparent chaos because they do not have the tools to see deeper into space. They do not have the tools to see the Real patterns. But there are those people who do have the tools, and one such implement is the telescope. The better the telescope, and the more you learn where to look, the better you see the patterns. You see entire galaxies, binary stars, and those exploding. There are black holes. Life and death throughout the universe, and there are repeated themes everywhere you look. Only the details change. You may not understand the archetypical galaxies, or how they dance together in some great symphony that physicists are forever struggling to describe, but the fact that there ARE patterns is obvious. The rules apparently don't change, just the details in how they are expressed. This is nothing new, and it is certainly not a revelation that patterns occur, too, within us. Perhaps myths are like internal galaxies, swirling about within us by certain rules, and then there is "that uncertainty thing" that we hope might translate into free will. Well, this review seems a bit galactic itself, and perhaps a bit out there, but Joseph Campbell, with this book, has provided a telescope that points to certain galaxies within each person and population, galaxies which reverberate throughout humankind past, present, and future. And though Campbell helps us see these galaxies, there obviously remains much to be explained. One of the interesting things about the act of peering through a telescope is in knowing that other people have looked, or will look, through the same apparatus. Will they see what you see? How will others interpret messages delivered by photons that zip through space into their curious eyes? Recently I read a book called "Danger Close" by Mike Yon. It is the true story of an American soldier who was charged with murder in Maryland. Throughout the book I noticed themes, patterns and so forth. At times it seemed as though the author were winking at a small (a very small) section of the readership. The author seemed to allude to Joseph Campbell and his discoveries. In the final hilarious chapter of Danger Close, the future soldier, then a teenager in a Florida high school uttered, "sat chit ananda" to his raging school principal. And that was when I knew the author had studied his art beyond the writing of a single true sentence; he said so clearly to those few who could read the signs. The author had peered through the telescope created by Joseph Campbell, had seen the galaxies swirling, and had applied the principles of Creative Mythology to a true story, and perhaps that is why "Danger Close" is categorized as "creative nonfiction." The book, or rather the author, even won the very prestigious William A. Gurley award for application of scholarship. I have also noticed that a certain lawyer, a man who wins his cases without fail, sub fuses mythology in his winning arguments. The lawyer uses symbolism and the structure of myth tirelessly, presenting contemporary cases as if they were epic drama. Some of these stories, when presented to juries, have returned verdicts worth tens of millions of dollars. THAT is an example of the power of "applied myth." "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" is a "must read," a part of the training, for any serious writer, artist, or anyone who wishes to reach people on a basic level, or to better understand some of the powerful galaxies swirling within us.
 
 
 

Seminal study, yet easiy overrated., December 13, 2000 
Reviewer: Samuel Chell (see more about me) from Kenosha, Wisconsin USA
Campbell's writing can frequently be less genial than his spoken discourse. First, he doe not succumb to the need to give something to everyone, the assurance that every story is worthy of inclusion in the "monomyth." Instead, he frequently assumes the mantle of cultural critic, like T. S. dismissing the stories of a society that has lost touch with its authentic ritualist traditions. Second, he writes in the form of paradox and metaphor not easily reduced to the formulaic schemes his popularizers and followers seem so anxious to apply to pop-culture texts and pet projects. Most challenging is to understand the difference between the innocence the child emerges from in his circular journey and that to which he returns. Apparently each of us must break free of an infantile egotism and selfishness, continue to struggle against the regressive cathexes that bind us to it, but then seek to return to the same place with a heightened consciousness uniting us to our first god minus the selfish impulses. Campbell's explanation is Freudian, rational, mystical, paradoxical--never as "tidy" or accessible as his popularizers suggest.

Somewhat disappointing is the relatively little attention given to Western myth and literary archetypes. But 50 years ago the author's emphasis on Hindu and Buddhist traditions may have seemed more conclusive evidence of his positions--at least to readers for whom Western traditions were not as unfamiliar as Eastern. Rather than regard Campbell as a father of modern "new-age" thought, he is best seen as a unique, courageous and compelling voice among the numerous Marxist, post-structural, post-colonial critical voices that emerged with Barthes, Derrida, Foucaut, making deconstructionist thought the academic rage of the 1980s and 1970. His identification of universal myths and his rhetorical representations of them were reactionary reassurances in the midst of much skepticism and intellectual arrogance.

Campbell, Joseph

Myths to Live By

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
The brilliant author of The Masks of God shares his ideas and speculations on our universal myths, in a fascinating, very personal work which explores the enduring power of the myths that influence our lives and examines the myth-making process from the primitive past to the immediate present. 
 
 

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The best of all Joseph Campbells books, November 2, 1998 
Reviewer: kgramey@tcsn.net (see more about me) from Paso Robles, CA 93446
I read this book while on a cruise, and found myself spending a lot of time reading. Of all his works, this is the most down to earth. The others are too 'professorial' as if intended to impress, while this one simply lays it on the line. Psychology and mythology relate to each other very nicely, as Mr. Campbell realized when asked to share his concepts with those of a Psychologist. Jung was a favorite because of his concept of Universal Mind. Contrary to what might be thought, the book is not anti-religious, but it does explode particular Christian beliefs. Rather, it reveals the Universal meaning of 'life' which each community resolves in its own way, frequently as not, in similar ways. Boil away the variety of customs, etc.,and you have the essence of Joseph Campbell's work, and a better appreciation of man's universal mind.
 
 
 

Campbell's Ancient Themes Live Here and Now, March 20, 1998 
Reviewer: A reader from Miami, FL
Campbell selected and compiled a selection of a talks on mythology from a series of discussions that he delivered between 1958 and 1971. There is an academic quality about his style, but this will not be a barrier to most people who enjoying thinking and reflecting about what humans share in beliefs. The ancient mythic themes come alive as he weaves the observations of 20th Century everyday living with flashbacks of times ago. He storytells and teaches using 13 broad topics such as love, the beginnings of Humankind, War and Peace, schizophrenia, and the moon walk. Campbell's text reads as if he is in your home; quite possibly having a glass of wine; discussing love relationships in the theater of Life; balancing the ideas of such people as St. Paul, Shaw, Sarte, Persian poets, Buddha, and Lord Krishna. He is at his strongest in his chapters on journeys: inward and outward. A word of caution: Your mind's ear will be listening to a Master Teacher. If you liked Bill Moyer's interview with Campbell, you will appreciate Campbell's theme choices and style. His art of making sense of human potential and challenging its boundaries is a stimulating reflective exercise.

Campbell, Joseph

Tarot Revelations

Editorial Reviews

Book Description 
Tarot Revelations is an analysis of the mysterious philosophy in the ancient cards that became modern playing cards. Citing Dante, C.G.Jung, and early Gnostics and alchemists, Campbell and Roberts reveal a path that has spiritual meaning for everyone. Writing in collaboration with Richard Roberts, Joseph Campbell stated, "We have come to revelations of a grandiose poetic vision of Universal Man that has been for centuries the inspiration of saints and sinners, sages and fools, in kaleidoscopic transformations." According to Richard Roberts, "In the 22 cards comprising the Major Arcana, we have a genuine document of the soul's initiation into higher consciousness. As such the Major Arcana may be interpreted as a Western Book of the Dead." 

From the Back Cover 
Introduction by Colin Wilson: "For two centuries now, the human spirit has been in revolt against the world of the Gradgrinds, and their obsession with "facts, hard facts." The Romanticism of the 19th century was one long shout of defiance. The Romantics exaggerated the problem out of weakness and a sense of vulnerability. And people like Dick Roberts and Joseph Campbell are restoring it to perspective, and bringing about a reconciliation that is based on insight and strength. If they succeed, the intellectual perspective of the 21st century could be more exciting than anything we can imagine."(Colin Wilson) 

About the Author 
Joseph Campbell was born in 1904 and died in 1987. During his lifetime he became the world's foremost mythologist while writing and teaching at Sarah Lawrence college in N.Y. Among his many works are the series The Masks of God and The Historical Atlas of world Mythology. In addition he is well known for the PBS television series with Bill Moyers, "The Power of Myth." 

Excerpted from Tarot Revelations by Joseph Campbell. Copyright © 1987. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved 
Foreward by Joseph Campbell " . . . for what in the Marseilles deck had most excited my imagination had been its reflection of what I thought I recognized as a tradition expounded by Dante in his Convito. A single philosophical strain, it seemed to me, could be recognized as supporting, on one hand, the mighty edifice of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and, on the other, the enigmatic imagery of a contemporary pack of cards. 

Whereas the imagery of the Waite deck is of a strikingly different style and source. Richard Roberts, accordingly, has pointed, in his analysis of the symbolism of the Waite-Smith deck, not only to its background in esoteric astrological, gnostic, and alchemical traditions, but also, by anticipation, forward to the archetypology of Jung - who, in developing his insights, was significantly influenced (as he everywhere lets us know) by the same gnostic and alchemical texts from which the members of the Order of the Golden Dawn drew inspiration. 

So that in our separate examinations of the Waite-Smith and Marseilles Tarot decks, Richard Roberts and I have found ourselves continually breaking into areas of much greater expanse and richness than either of us had anticipated when we started. 

But in the end, always, we have come to revelations of a grandiose poetic vision of Universal Man that has been for centuries the inspiration both of saints and of sinners, sages and fools, in kaleidoscopic transformations. It is our hope and expectation that our readers, too, may be carried through the picture play of the magic of THE MAGICIAN's wand and guidance of THE PROPHETESS, to insights such as may lead, in the end, to the joy in wisdom of THE FOOL." (Joseph Campbell) 

Symbolism Of The Marseilles Deck by Joseph Campbell 

"The earliest set of Tarot cards of which actual examples survive was prepared in 1392 for King Charles VI of France by the painter Jacquemin Gringonneur. Seventeen of their number are preserved in Paris in the Bibliotheque Nationale, and the imagery resembles that of the Marseilles deck. 

What the set of four suits represents are the four estates, or classes, of the medieval social order. The Swords signify the nobility; the Cups, suggesting the chalice of the Catholic Mass, are for the clergy; the Coins, for the merchants, or "third estate", the townsmen, the burghers; while the Staves, Clubs, or Batons, stand for the "churls," the peasantry and servants. 

We notice, first, that the opening card, The Magician, is of a juggler manipulating miniatures of the signs of all four suits: Swords in the form of knives, small cups for the Cups or Chalices, dice and coins for the Coins, and for the Staves or Clubs a wand. He is in control, that is to say, of the symbols of all four social estates, able to play or conjure with them, and so, represents a position common to, or uniting, them all, while leading - as we shall very soon see - beyond their highest grades. Twenty numbered picture cards follow, which have been arranged here in five ascending rows of four cards each, to suggest the graded stages of an ideal life, lived virtuously according to the knightly codes of the Middle Ages. And then, beyond and outside of this numbered series, comes The Fool, whose card, like our Joker Wild, is unnumbered. I have placed him outside and at the end of the set, to signify his freedom to roam as a vagabond, beyond as well as through all of the numbered stations, trumping them all." 

"And so we are brought to the condition. . . of The Fool, the wandering mendicant saint or sage, known to himself as that intelligible sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. . .And we passed, then, through death-to-the-fear-of-death; whereupon he portal opened of the way to the knowledge of that mystery which, in theological terms, would be known as the Image of God within us. Plato recognized the sensible world as a reflex of the intelligible. What is known as above is thus here below, and what is not here is nowhere. 

But have we not noticed, also, that The Magician is holding in his left hand the same wand that the World Dancer holds in hers, while in his right, instead of the conch, there is a coin - of philosophical gold? Little wonder if the clergy of those days were at pains to warn their flocks against the unauthorized lesson lurking in these cards!" 

PREFACE by Richard Roberts 

In the following pages I shall demonstrate: 1. That the Keys of the Tarot Major Arcana depict numerical archetypes, which stand as the pre-formative powers behind material manifestation.
2. That the pictures on each Key are geometrical reflections of the numerical archetype of each Key.
3. That the Magic Nine layout of Keys reveals the way in which the numerical archetypes interact with one another, and, hence, presents the most profound interpretation of the Major Arcana.
4. That Tarot is an alchemical revelation, revealing the descent and ascent of Hermes/Mercurius/Thoth.
5. That the path of this descent/ascent follows the traditional Ladder of Souls, or Stairway of Planets, disguised as seven triads of Keys, Zero (The Fool) transcending the sequence of 21 Keys.
6. That since the Stairway of Planets was the path of the descending and ascending soul of man, the Tarot Major Arcana constitute a western Book of the Dead.
7. That if the spiral of serpent or caduceus is followed through the Major Arcana, alternatively regenerating and returning to unity, like the expanding and contracting rhythm of the cosmos, further revelations appear in which we may read the monomyth of the world's religions, the Monad's descent from Above to Below, and the consequent ascent to Above.
8. That this descent from Above represents spirit's incarnation into the elemental world, from the mineral kingdom to man, demonstrated by the correspondence of the four suits to the four Grail hallows and the four fixed signs of the zodiac.
9. That in addition to the alchemical conjunction or sacred marriage of King Sun and Queen Moon, the Major Arcana reveal an astrological correspondence to the conjunction of Sun (Leo) and Moon (Cancer) at the summer solstice of 2000 B.C. 

Chapter IX: THE CADUCEUS AND ASTROLOGY: Yet another symbol of the Great Myth is the sacred wand of Hermes, encircled with the evoluting serpents, linking rod and staff to World Tree, Stairway of Planets, and the numinous symbols of the East and Near East, Mountain, Tree, and djed pillar. Originating in the 4th millenium B.C. the concept of World Navel/Tree is the sense of a Center, or Axis, which extends from the macrocosm, where the sun's serpentine course is from pole to pole during the year, to the microcosm, the cells of the human body which bear the spiral coils of DNA, carriers of genetic evolution. The true Fool may read in the caduceus symbol, therefore, his own initiation into the mystery dimension of cell and psyche, where Above and Below merge infinitely. 

Finally, through our spiral reading of the Major Arcana, we followed the path of the cosmic uroboros, expanding and contracting, regenerating and returning to unity, also the microcosmic double helix of DNA, preserver of our ancient psychic history, at once vehicle and pathway for archetype, god and devil. The Major Arcana, as a contemporary Book of the Dead, reflect Western man's aversion to death and he material power which the Devil exerts over him through the credo that his material form is the limit of his autonomy. Thus the body is not easily forsaken, nor easily enjoyed during the lifetime, since the tenacious clinging to materiality is graceless because it is motivated by fear. 

The Hermetic alternative view enables one to play the life as a kind of drama of one's own creation, a dream, perhaps, that the dreamer dreams. Mechanistic chance, cause and effect, are not operative in this view of the universe; hence, joy, vitality and dynamic interplay between

Carson, Rachel

Silent Spring

Editorial Reviews
Silent Spring, released in 1962, offered the first shattering look at widespread ecological degradation and touched off an environmental awareness that still exists. Rachel Carson's book focused on the poisons from insecticides, weed killers, and other common products as well as the use of sprays in agriculture, a practice that led to dangerous chemicals to the food source. Carson argued that those chemicals were more dangerous than radiation and that for the first time in history, humans were exposed to chemicals that stayed in their systems from birth to death. Presented with thorough documentation, the book opened more than a few eyes about the dangers of the modern world and stands today as a landmark work. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Written over the years 1958 to 1962, it took a hard look at the effects of insecticides and pesticides on songbird populations throughout the United States, whose declining numbers yielded the silence to which her title attests. "What happens in nature is not allowed to happen in the modern, chemical-drenched world," she writes, "where spraying destroys not only the insects but also their principal enemy, the birds. When later there is a resurgence of the insect population, as almost always happens, the birds are not there to keep their numbers in check." The publication of her impeccably reported text helped change that trend by setting off a wave of environmental legislation and galvanizing the nascent ecological movement. It is justly considered a classic, and it is well worth rereading today. 

The New York Times Book Review, Lorus Milne and Margery Milne 
Her book is a cry to the reading public to help curb private and public programs which by use of poisons will end by destroying life on earth. ... Miss Carson, with the fervor of an Ezekiel, is trying to save nature and mankind ... --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

The New York Times 
"Her book is a cry to the reading public to help curb private and public programs which by use of poisons will end by destroying life on earth. ... Miss Carson, with the fervor of an Ezekiel, is trying to save nature and mankind ..." 

From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Prudence Hockley 
Silent Spring, one of the first calls for public awareness and environmental action and a seminal work of the 1960s, examines the way dangerous chemicals have been used without sufficient research or regard for their potential to harm wildlife, water, soil, and humans, creating a sinister chain of poisoning and death. Silent Spring is meticulously researched and accessible to the lay reader; its message is as clear as it is devastating: humans have willfully disturbed the whole web of life, the "intimate and essential relations" between the earth and all its passengers, animate and inanimate. Rachel Carson's work is informed by an appreciation of the intricate beauty of a flourishing environment, her sorrow over what has already been irrevocably changed or lost, and her sense that humankind is immeasurably diminished by heedlessness and aggression. Thirty years after it was first published, this landmark study is still eloquent, chilling, and, regrettably, timely. Also a portrait of corporate greed and the arrogance and irresponsibility of control agencies and individual specialists, Silent Spring speaks out against the way in which a single species, gifted with ingenuity and intelligence, has misused its power to assault the integrity of the environment. An elegy to a world once perfectly in balance, it is a heartfelt call for imagination, care, and humility, as we move to pre-empt our own destruction and find a way to live harmoniously in our natural world. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. 

Book Description 
Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did exactly that. The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the government to ban DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson's book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century. 

From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by SH , February 1, 1997
In 1960, a woman noticed the birds had stopped singing and their population had severely decreased in her neighborhood. She summoned a friend, biologist/writer Rachel Carson, to investigate this wildlife mystery. Subsequently, in 1962, Rachel's discoveries and efforts were brought to the forefront in her book, Silent Spring, which revealed the atrocities of pesticide poisoning. The over-spraying of DDT, dieldrin and other pest killers was poisoning the entire world of living things, humanity included. Rachel's work not only left chemical companies casting about trying to discredit her findings, but, most importantly, prompted an enormous environmental movement which continues today. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

Synopsis 
First published in 1962, this book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement and spurred changes in laws affecting air, land, and water. A rigorous presentation of the effects of pesticide use. 

Excerpted from Silent Spring by Rachel L. Carson (as appears in The WomanSource Catalog & Review). Copyright(c) 1962. Reprinted by permission, all rights reserved 
As the chemical penetrated the soil the poisoned beetle grubs crawled out on the surface of the ground, where they remained for some time before they died, attractive to insect-eating birds. Dead and dying insects of various species were conspicuous for about two weeks after the treatment...Brown thrashers, starlings, meadowlarks, grackles, and pheasants were virtually wiped out. Robins were "almost annihilated," according to the biologists' report. Dead earthworms had been seen in numbers after a gentle rain; probably the robins had fed on the poisoned worms. For other birds, too, the once beneficial rain had been changed, through the evil power of the poison introduced into their world, into an agent of destruction. Birds seen drinking and bathing in puddles left by rain a few days after the spraying were inevitably doomed...Among the mammals ground squirrels were virtually annihilated; their bodies were found in attitudes characteristic of violent death by poisoning. Dead muskrats were found in the treated areas, dead rabbits in the fields. The fox squirrel had been a relatively common animal in the town; after the spraying it was gone.

Clifton, Chas S (Editor)

Witchcraft Today: Volume 1: The Modern Craft Movement

Complilation of various Articles by various authors.

Clifton, Chas S (Editor)

Witchcraft Today: Volume 3: Witchcraft and Shamanism

Complilation of various Articles by various authors.

Crosley, Reginald O.

The Vodou Quantum Leap; Alternative Realities, Power, and Mysticism

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist 
Crosley's fascinating exploration of the nexus of science and spirituality is a book in the tradition of Fritjof Capra's Tao of Physics. Crosley, a Caribbean doctor, connects quantum physics with vodou practice rather than, like Capra, Eastern mysticism. Vodou, the religion of Haiti, with its complex combination of indigenous and African spirituality, is gaining greater prominence today in the U.S. as it comes out from under the primitivist cloak Hollywood had cast upon it. It is, in fact, a complex religion whose worldview is quite compatible with the new physics. Moving between such scientific categories as chaos theory and quantum mechanics on the one hand, and the alternative realities of vodou on the other, Crosley grippingly depicts an important, often misunderstood spiritual tradition. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved 
 
 

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A fine survey of quantum physics & Afro-Haitian mysticism., September 6, 2000 
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (see more about me) from Oregon, WI USA
Reginald Crosley's Vodou Quantum Leap draws some important connections between alternate realities and mysticism. It's unusual to find a discussion of Afro-Haitian spirituality, modern science and East/West spirituality written by a doctor: this provides a fine survey of quantum physics, mysticism and spiritual worlds.

Crowley, Aleister

Gems from the Equinox

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
To synthesize the aim of religion and the method of science--this was the mission of the original 'Equinox,' a massive work in ten large volumes and several subsequent books. The complete 'Equinox' is rarely available and generally beyond the economic reach of most students. This one-volume collection contains all the important magical writings from the original. It has been edited and arranged by Crowley's secretary, Israel Regardie, so the student can "find his way through the maze more easily." It includes material on Crowley's magical order, magical rituals, yoga, invocations, and sex magick among many other topics. :

An Indispensible Magickal Compendium., December 29, 1999 
Reviewer: shedona (see more about me) from Living Flame Camp, O.T.O.
_Gems from the Equinox_ has probably been the most important item in my personal library, as well as the one most often used. _Gems_ is not only practical, but also highly inspiring in its collection of key Thelemic and A.'.A.'. class A-E documents. It contains all the major rituals: Resh, Star Ruby (pentagram), Star Sapphire (hexagram), Reguli, Gnostic Mass, Samekh (Crowley's version of the HGA invocation), and more. Liber LXXXIX vel Chanokh offers the basic components of the Enochian system (watchtowers, the SDA, the 91 governors & the Keys or Calls) and precedes the original "The Vision and the Voice" account of Crowley's scrying adventure into the 30 aethyrs. The instructional sections are a goldmine, as are the practical disciplines offered in Libers E, O, Nu, Had, Thisarb, Yod and others. The A.'.A.'. syllabus, One Star in Sight, Khabs Am Pekht, Liber AL vel Legis (the Book of the Law), De Lege Libellvm and more are also included in this indispensible compendium of magick. In my opinion, this is THE one book to have on the shelf, or better yet, on the home or temple altar, for daily reference and praxis in magick and mysticism. The only way to make it more complete as a reference work would be to add the material found in _777_.

(Note: The version I own is the 1974-1982 publication by the Israel Regardie Foundation in conjunction with Falcon Press. Very well bound and has held up to a great deal of stress and use; however, I am not at present in a position to comment upon the quality of physical construction of any newer version.)

--Shedona Chevalier--
 

 

Crowley, Aleister

MAGICK IN THEORY & PRACTICE

In "MAGICK in theory and practice" Aleister Crowley reveals his magick, rituals, recollections, and opinions.

Crowley's recollections and opinions provide important insights. Examples include: "Before I touched my teens, I was already aware that I was THE BEAST whose number is 666."; "It is only the romantic mediaeval perversion of science that represents young women as partaking in witchcraft, which is, properly speaking, restricted to the use of such women as are no longer women in the Magical sense of the word, because they are no longer capable of corresponding to the formula of the male, and are therefore neuter rather than feminine ... "; "The Book of the Dead contains many chapters intended to enable the magical entity of a man who is dead ... to take on the form of certain animals ... and in such form to go about the earth 'taking his pleasure among the living'.".

Crowley also lists and describes the Libers, his numbered works to which he refers often in his other writings. Selected Libers are reprinted within this book. This is a very useful reference.

"MAGICK ..." is a seminal work for any student of Aleister Crowley. It is must reading for anyone interested in Magick.
 
 

from the back cover, July 30, 2000 
Reviewer: eoi (see more about me) from Los Angeles, CA USA
This is the foremost book on ceremonial magic written in the twentieth century, the summation of the thought and life practice of the century's most famous necromancer and one of its most infamous figures. It was prepared by Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) specially for neophytes. Written at the height of his involvement, it is probably Crowley's best book.

Although he draws on Buddhist, Egyptian, Tantric and Gnostic rituals and the teachings of Abramelin and other early magi, Crowley is primarily concerned with his own system of Magick. (He added the "k" to distinguish it from systems which have "attracted too many dilettanti, eccentrics, weaklings ) Crowley appears in his many aliases Perdurabo, The Great Wild Beast 666, The Master Therion, and through the many orders which he founded or to which he belonged. He appears in his role as poet and scholar. But he also appears as high priest, scandalous leader of black masses and sexual orgies, drug fiend, and "The Wickedest Man in the World!"

The magical theory of the universe, ritual, elemental weapons, the Holy Graal, Abrahadabra. the gestures. Our Lady Babalon and The Beast, bloody sacrifice, purifications, the oath, charge to the spirit, clairvoyance, divination, dramatic rituals, black magic and alchemy are among the many topics covered. An extensive system of appendices provides many rituals, consecrations, correspondences. readings and other accessory material. Crowley's graphs and charts illustrate the text.
 
 

A must-read classic on magick, if you can find it., June 11, 1998 
Reviewer: Michael C Smith (see more about me) from Chicago IL
This book is a very difficult read, and that's putting it mildly. However, once you get through the flash and the flare, you begin to realize that Crowley had a real insight into the workings and fundamentals of magick. If you can find a copy of this book, snatch it up, it's worth every penny and worth all the time and trouble.

Crowley, Aleister

Magick Without Tears

Letters to Crowley's Students Book Description:
Magick Without Tears is a personal encyclopedia of magickal instruction, annotated by experience and explained in unguarded language. Crowley covers: how to use the Qabalah as a tool rather than merely as a system of reference; the symbols of magick; etymology and its philosophy; the three major schools of magick--white, black and yellow--their approach to life and use of power; hints for meditation and astral projection; the I Ching; The Book of the Law; the Tarot; Astrology; the importance of talismans, lamens and pentacles; how to distinguish prophecy from coincidence; etc.; etc.

Crowther, Patricia

HIGH PRIESTESS THE LIFE OF PATRICIA CROWTHER

This is a nice memoir from one of the few surviving (in this incarnation) members of Gerald Gardner's coven

Crowther, Patricia

Lid off the Cauldron

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
Patricia Crowther lifts the lid off the cauldron and reveals the truth about witchcraft, sharing its history and the methods and theory behind magic and self-initiation. Included are spells, chants, prayers, divination methods, information on ancient symbols, the effects of sonics, cosmic tides and the working of planetary rituals.

Crowther, Patricia

Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft

ARNOLD AND PATRICIA CROWTHER: With an Introduction and Notes by Dr. Leo Louis Martello. The Witches Tarot is based on authentic Craft symbolism and is unique. Do not get fooled, this is a great craft book, but not a tarot book!

Cunningham, Scott

EARTH POWER

If you're looking for an in-depth and easy-to-understand guide to folk magick, the magick of the people, with no elaborate rituals or expensive supplies, then this book is for you. Cunningham takes an insiders' view of the craft, coupled with a vast library of knowledge, and leads new magicians and High Priestesses and Priests of the craft alike down a fascinating and informative journey into the world of the most basic magickal practices from all over the world and all throughout history. When you have read this book, you will know more than you did before you started no matter how knowledgeful you are, and you will likely be able to process the information to create spells and rituals of your own inspiration. But I doubt you will stop with reading it once, I haven't, and the more you read it the more you realize, especially as your overall knowledge of the craft grows. Scott Cunningham was much loved by the magickal community and will be deeply missed. But all though he has passed on to whatever rewards I'm sure await such a man as him, you can still share in the experience of enjoying one of his many books, and unarguably one of his best.
 
 
 

Back To Nature, August 26, 1997 
Reviewer: A reader from Maryland, USA
This is the book if expensive alter items, and highly elaborate rituals aren't for you. Scott Cunningham, focuses on using what's around us in the everyday world to create for us the results we desire. His straight to the point style, and endearing sense of humor make this a must read for those of us looking for true earth based magick. A wonderful resource, and a truly educational book
 

A solid beginer's grimoir, December 2, 2000 
Reviewer: James French (see more about me) from San Francisco, California United States
Cunningham goes over charging, elemental correspondences, and a very simple kind of sympatetic magick. This book will get anyone interested in natural magick started. Cunningham's style, as usual, is lucid and logical. Recommended for those just beginning to explore the Craft.

Cunningham, Scott

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

It does seem that one don't normally need to review the priceless works of the late sage, Scott Cunningham. His knowledge and gift to the Wiccan community is legendary. This book, like one of our learned reviewer mentioned, "is a BILBLE reference". It contains almost all imaginable herbs and their corresponding influences to assist in a successful magickal working. I have read many herbal books that claim to be complete and must have..blah blah...but nothing really comes close to this one. It's not that one has to pay alot of money in order to obtain knowledge but these days on the book front, you start to wonder if the writers and publishers of some expensive books on herbal lore should read up more before flooding the market with dubious contributions. You can tell when you have picked up a great book. With Scott Cunningham, he's never short on sharing everything useful he knows and my my, this man really really knows alot. Go get it!
 

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FACT and FUN...., October 24, 2000 
Reviewer: hannah12 (see more about me) from Arlington, Virginia USA
This is a fun book. I don't know if the spells work because I haven't tried any yet, but I told my husband if he crossed my path I was going to turn him into a frog, to which he replied "Ribbet." 

Okay, okay, Mr. Cunningham doesn't recommend using magic in that way, but I can see from reading the various concoctions and spells that many of these things work because they work. And, just in case, I do have prophylactic holly trees and bushes planted around my house, and I swear the catnip I planted for my cat has helped us form a psychic bond, and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" well that's a whole story unto itself. 

If you write or read magical realism, want to learn more about magical practices, or are just curious, you will enjoy this book. Cunningham's entries are illustrated with very accurate pen drawings of the herbs. The book includes an annotated bibliography which is relatively comprehensive. Many works by respected social scientists are included. 

I disagree with Cunningham's assessment of Robert Groves' "White Goddess" or his take on Sir James Frazier's "Golden Bough" but I agree that a good way to learn about the old ways is to read material written by churchmen who pointed out in great detail the nefarious ways of sin. The best book on Cunningham's list for this purpose is Phillip Schmidt's "Superstition and Magic." Schmidt was a Jesuit who attemted to show the horrors of the occult and included much detail on herbal lore in his book.
 

An Unparalleled Resource for Magickal Herbalism, November 27, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States
Scott Cunningham created in this a book like no other. Coversthe folk names, scientific names, history, magick powers, associateddeities, religious ritual use, planetary association, elementalassociation, herbal substitutes, and gender (whether the plantconforms to the energies of the God or Goddess) of more than fourhundred herbs used in magick, from acacia to yucca. A must-have foranyone and everyone using herbs in the practice of magick. ....
 

One of the Best of Its kind!, October 25, 2000 
Reviewer: snowcatguy (see more about me) from Seattle, WA USA
Like an earlier reviewer, this book was my introduction to Magick. And Like another earlier reviewer, if you buy this book, you will be replacing it in few years (from excessive use).

I've heard a lot of criticism of Scott Cunningham's overall work as promoting a brand of "fluffy-bunny" wicca and such, however, this book, by far is his greatest contribution to magickal literature anywhere. It full of well researched folklore for literally hundreds of plants and herbs. It is an essential text for any of those "do-it-yourself" kinds of witches that love to create their own rituals and spells.

If you study magick and witchcraft and don't own this book, you must buy it now!

Cunningham, Scott

MAGICAL HERBALISM

Reviewer: pfwright (see more about me) from lawrenceville, georgia United States
A very basic book of herb lore. But certainly not the one book you need for "Magical Herbalism". Easy to read and understand. Is now a little out-dated. A good a place as any to start if you are a beginner. It will give you a desire for more knowledge and start you on your quest.
 
 
 

Don't Bother Buying This Book, January 8, 2000 
Reviewer: morganad (see more about me) from Florida
I have an extensive library of both herbal and herbal magick books, and I bought this book on a whim. I'm glad all I wasted was eight dollars. It is extremely limited, and if you are a beginner I suggest: "A Compendium of Herbal Magick" by Paul Beyerl for good information that is easy to read and understand. If all you want is a limited grasp on herbal knowledge it will do, but if you wish to become an accomplished herbalist and wildcrafter there are better buys.
 
 

Great Book, December 27, 1999 
Reviewer: A reader from Berkeley, CA
This is a really good book, especially for people who are just starting their pursuit of herbalism for magick. It's clear, concise, and informative. Scott Cunningham is a gifted author and I'm sorry that he's gone. (He died in 1993). Definitely worth your money.

Davis, Wade

The Serpent and the Rainbow

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
Reissued to coincide with the release of One River--a chronicle of Davis' exploration of the Amazon rain forest--The Serpent and the Rainbow presents the author's account of his venture into the heart of Haiti, on a search for a powerful sedative--a "zombie drug." "Exotic and far-reaching."--The Wall Street Journal. 
 
 

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Truth is stranger than fiction/better than the movie, November 22, 2000 
Reviewer: soundave (see more about me) from Foxboro, MA United States
This book changed my life. I picked it up used, battered and torn, from a bookshop near my high school and proceeded to read it twice in a row. Never done that before or since. The Serpent and the Rainbow had such an impact on me that I went to college with the intention of becoming an ethnobotanist, myself! Or at least an anthropologist. Well, I got most of the way there before switching my major...but anyway...

This book has a little of everything: botany, history, sociology, adventure -- you name it. Davis' writing style is compelling and engaging. This book reads better than an Indiana Jones story. That's because Davis is the real deal.

I must admit I saw the movie first, but the movie pales in comparison. In fact, it's radically different and borders on the absurd. The book stays rooted in reality and is a study of what constitutes death, or for that matter, life.

An utterly fantastic read. One of my favorite books of all time, perhaps my all-time favorite non-fiction.
 
 

A MASTERPIECE OF SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION & WRITING, July 5, 2000 
Reviewer: W. ADAM MANDELBAUM from NY
Wade Davis has performed the unimaginable feat of creating both a technically interesting book and a saga of one man's epic journey through a literal and figurative jungle--a place where the author saw both the forest and the trees. In his search for the zombi formula and antidote, he not only obtains the likely recipe, he obtains a deep understanding of a different culture, and a fascinating faith. Even though this book came out in 1985, it is still an amazing read. One might call it a "Voudon it" of the first caliber. I am the author of PSYCHIC BATTLEFIELD, an investigation into the first complete history of psychic spying, and I too have travled down dark passages, and have had meetings with remarkable men. That experience enabled me to more fully appreciate the masterpiece Davis has created in The Serpent and the Rainbow.
 
 
 

A serious, scientific look at zombies, March 4, 2000 
Reviewer: ubu35 (see more about me) from Memphis, Tennessee
Written by an ethnobotanist (a combination of a botanist and an anthropologist), this book focuses on Haiti, the secret societies within Haiti, and of course, the psychological and scientific means of making a zombie. No, Wade Davis doesn't come out and say, to make a zombie, do this, this, and this. Instead, he uses reason and logic to track down the actual processes, both social and psychological, that lead to the Haitian people's tendency to believe in them. As it's written by a scientist, the focus on Haiti's past and culture should be more expected than a flat out 'Indiana Jones goes to the tropics'. For those who've seen the movie: no, he doesn't get zombie poison blown in his face. No, he doesn't get buried alive. No, he doesn't get harassed by a corrupt police chief who cuts off peoples' heads. It's pretty down to earth. For those really interested in Haitian culture and, to some extent, voodoo, this is a perfect book to read. If you want adventure, rent the movie.
 
 
 

answers to questions, February 9, 2000 
Reviewer: Kevin L Nenstiel (see more about me) from the University of Nebraska at Kearney
When much brouhaha was made over the U.S. invasion of Haiti a few years ago I sought out every book my small-town library had on the country, and this was it. I was hesitant because I knew the reputation of the movie, but the book turned out to be far superior (the film had only a shirt-tail relationship to the book). I'm at a moderately-sized university now that has about twenty titles specifically about Haiti in its library -- and not one is as concise or as comprehensible as Wade Davis' firsthand account of moving among the people. The elements of adventure, anthropology, and science blend well to make up a superior book for the average reader who doesn't want to wade through a whole lot of technical chatter or statistics. The ending is weak -- I wish he'd chosen Bizango or Bouvoir's cult and taken us in the directions either would have promised -- but the book on the whole is a good primer on Haiti, the culture, its people, the science and mythology, and everything you need to know to comment intelligently on the situation over there.

Du Chaillu, Paul B.

Viking Age, The; The Early History, Manners, and Customs of the Ancestors of the English-speaking Nations, Illustrated from the Antiquities Discovered in Mounds, Cairns and Bogs as well as from the Ancient Sagas and Eddas

In brief, a "Mimir's Well" if you will about all things norse. These well organized and documented volumes are excellent as a general summary, as well as a starting point for how to read the Sagas themselves. Very little is left out, and many facts and details of norse life are included that one might never thought documented (in particular norse entertainments, games, sports, and the Idrott--war skills all warriors were expected to learn).

simply a "bible" for all viking history fans, February 3, 1999 
Reviewer: Gunthar (valgrind@hotmail.com) from Canada
This book contains almost all there is to know about the mighty vikings,,, its many quotes, from Sagas and other "ouvrages" about vikings, uplights every subject treated in it. Very well written, understandable to all ( even for those who are not familiar with viking history ). I think it gives a new way of view on vikings; different from the "Hollywoodian view". I really enjoyed reading it and I would recommand it to everyone who is interested in the subject,,,Truly a great learning experience!!! Title: THE VIKING AGE VOL I & II. 
Author: Du Chaillu, Paul B.
 
 
 

Dunwich, Gerina

The Wicca garden :a modern witch's book of magickal and enchanted herbs

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Since the beginning of history, plants have been known for their healing powers. The Wicca Garden cultivates the natural properties of the green kingdom and instructs the witch in the curative powers of plants as well as divinations, charms, and spells employing them. This is more than just a guide on which plants do what; Gerina Dunwich gives advice on when to plant, details what grows well where, and offers spells to help your garden grow. 
Synopsis 
Gardening has always been an integral part of witchcraft. Witches have always grown their own herbs, and were among the first to discover the healing power of plants. Now modern witches can grow their own herbs, and plan and cultivate their gardens in tune with the Wiccan calendar and astrological charts. 
 
 
 

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An Excellent Herbal for Witches!, September 11, 2000 
Reviewer: Serena from Simi Valley, CA USA
I HIGHLY recommend this well-written and informative book to all Witches and anyone looking for information on the folklore and magickal application of herbs. The author, a practicing Witch, includes many areas of herbalism that many other books don't (such as mind-expanding plants, herbal poisons, and other such "taboo" subjects) and there is an excellent section devoted to the mandrake, "the most magickal of all plants and herbs." Gardening, healing, and divination are also covered in this modern Witch's book of enchanted herbs and plants, and a helpful glossary of herbalism terms is included at the back of the book.
 
 
 

Incredible, yet sometimes predictable., February 6, 2000 
Reviewer: the Witch of North Hill. (see more about me) from New Castle, INDIANA
I always enjoy reading books by Gerina Dunwich. I hope she enjoys what she does, and doesn't write just for the money. The Wicca Garden is a great book, but Dunwich should have put more ways to use herbs in healing and perhaps spells and rituals involving herbs. I'm now actually somewhat surprised she didn't. Her chapter on growing herbs is good and I enjoyed her chapter on Herbs of the Enchanted World, all the folklore involving fairies was quite interesting and reminded me of a time centuries ago. This book, like many of Dunwich's, is a large list. Lists of everything. Don't get me wrong though, this books makes an excellent reference guide that I have referred to several times. Yes, if you are interested in herbs, please look for this book and hurry, it's out of print. 

Farrar, Janet and Stewart

Discovering Witchcraft 2 The Mysteries

Video- Also starring Gavin Bone

Farrar, Janet and Stewart

Bone, Gavin

Discovering Witchcraft I: Journey Through the Elements

Discovering Witchcraft 1 Journey Through the Elements (Video) Video- Also starring Gavin Bone

Farrar, Janet and Stewart

How Spells Work

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
In this authoritative study, the authors discuss the principles underlying all spells and explain why a successful spell is usually composed of three elements: intent, visualization, and will-power. Careful at all times to observe basic rules of responsibility that a spell should never intend anyone harm or manipulate anyone against their will this is a comprehensive guide to ways of effective spell-casting. This book covers all aspects of spells including psychic self-defense, sex magic, qabalistic magic, and talismans. There is a generous anthology of actual spells worldwide, past and present, drawn from history, literature, folklore, old grimoires, and from the 20 years experience of the authors. Spells of love, healing, weather, binding, and more combine in this unique addition to the literature on magical workings. 
 
 

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Reviewer: A reader from On Earth as it is in Austin
I like the Farrars, and I enjoy reading their work. But I have to say that I was a little disappointed in this book--because it was not what I expected. I expected a book that really goes into practical advice, looking at how to design spells, what works best, why they work. While these topics are treated, they are treated quickly and lightly. The bulk of the book is basically a folklore collection of spells and superstitions. That stuff is interesting, but there is little analysis of how the traditional spells work. For someone just starting out in magick, I thought it was light on practical advice.

Farrar, Janet and Stewart

Witches' God

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
Exploring the Masculine Principle of Divinity, this companion volume to The Witches' Goddess re-establishes the ancient balance between God and Goddess. Part I covers the many concepts of the God examined, including: His faces throughout history; the Son/Lover God; the Vegetation God; the War God; the Anti-God; and more. Part II gives a close look at 12 individual gods of history with an appropriate invoking ritual for each. Part III presents a comprehensive dictionary of over 1000 gods from many world cultures, past and present. The Farrars are among the best-known authors on the Craft, and in The Witches' God have written what is likely to become the standard work on the masculine god aspect.

Farrar, Janet and Stewart

Witches' Goddess

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
This book is of great practical value in discovering and celebrating the transforming energy of the Feminine Principle of Divinity. Part I covers the myriad faces of the Goddess revealed, including: Her presence throughout history; Her Earth and Moon symbolism; Her Madonna and Magdalene disguises; Her revelation within the psyche; Her relationship with women; Her influence today; and much more. Part II covers ritual invocations of the Goddess in 13 guises: from Ishtar to Isis; from Hecate to Aphrodite; from Epona to Ma'at. Part III gives an alphabetical listing of more than 1000 goddesses including a brief history and the main correspondences of each. This is an important work by the Farrars providing an indepth exploration of the Goddess in her many aspects at a time when Western culture is awakening to the influence of Feminine Divinity, both individually and collectively.

Farrar, Stewart

What Witches Do

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
This is an excellent behind-the-scenes description of what witches really do. It describes the ancient rituals in a candid and comprehensive way as seen through the eyes of a practicing witch and member of an active coven. In this account, the author explores the fundamental beliefs and symbology of Witchcraft, presenting the time-honored texts of its rituals and invocations, and describing exactly what happens as his own coven's esbats (meetings), sabbats (festivals), and handfasting (marriage) ceremonies. Stewart Farrar also outlines the way witches raise and apply psychic power to release the forces of healing and protection, etc. With intimate and entertaining revelations, this practical guide to witchcraft describes a rich and joyous religion. Over 60,000 copies in print! 
 
 

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What some witches did..., August 18, 2000 
Reviewer: sherrian (see more about me) from Columbus, OH USA
This is an account of British traditionalist Wicca as it was practiced thirty to forty years ago; the 1983 revision is a fairly minor update to a book published in the 70s.

_What Witches Do_ is written predominantly in the first person plural -- "Here is how we do it... Here is what we believe" -- rather than in the second person; it's obviously a self-description rather than a how-to. It's a fairly in-depth presentation of the beliefs and practices of the Alexandrian tradition, and it's presented as information, not instruction.

However, many of the beliefs and practices here are specific to British traditionalist Wicca, which is very, very different from the eclectic and feminist traditions that have evolved in the years since this book was first published. It's almost as though a book on the theology and liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church were published under the title _What Christians Do_.

That being said, I'd recommend this to folks who are curious about British traditions or about the portrayal of the Wiccan faith in the 70s -- and I'd recommend it to folks who are looking for the broadest possible picture of the Pagan community.

Fitch, Ed

Magical Rites from the Crystal Well

A classic beginner's primer on Wiccan spell working, February 6, 2000 
Reviewer: hlp2 (see more about me) 
Although the experienced witch will find little that is new in this book, Ed Fitch is an excellent writer and the illustrations herein are fantastic. I reccommend this work for any new practitioner. A word of caution: if you are looking for a guide with a specifically ethnic flavor (classical, celtic, norse, egyptian, etc.), this is not the best book for you (I reccommend "The Rites of Odin" for Norse pagans, also by Fitch). Even though I am no longer a "pure" Wiccan (as this system still owes A LOT to Aleister Crowley and traditional Gardnerian witchcraft, hence, it owes much to traditional Judeo-Christian concepts and not a whole lot to historical paganism), the "Crystal Well" is a good place to start.
 
 
 

Interesting, a good place to start., August 4, 1998 
Reviewer: Helen Davis (see more about me) from Seattle, Washington
Although the book did have some very beautiful illustrations in it, and did carry rituals for a multitude of occasions, some might find that they do not mesh well with their own systems. Eclectics would find it easy to integrate a few of these rituals into their own routines. I myself, however, found some of them to be either too simple or seeming a bit insufficient for what might be required of an occasion. However, it is an excellent place to start for a beginner,giving a good idea as to how one would create the outline of a ritual, as well as learning a few basic things about the casting of the circle, quarters, etc.

Frazer, James G.

The Golden Bough

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 
Before Joseph Campbell became the world's most famous practitioner of comparative mythology, there was Sir James George Frazer. The Golden Bough was originally published in two volumes in 1890, but Frazer became so enamored of his topic that over the next few decades he expanded the work sixfold, then in 1922 cut it all down to a single thick edition suitable for mass distribution. The thesis on the origins of magic and religion that it elaborates "will be long and laborious," Frazer warns readers, "but may possess something of the charm of a voyage of discovery, in which we shall visit many strange lands, with strange foreign peoples, and still stranger customs." Chief among those customs--at least as the book is remembered in the popular imagination--is the sacrificial killing of god-kings to ensure bountiful harvests, which Frazer traces through several cultures, including in his elaborations the myths of Adonis, Osiris, and Balder.

While highly influential in its day, The Golden Bough has come under harsh critical scrutiny in subsequent decades, with many of its descriptions of regional folklore and legends deemed less than reliable. Furthermore, much of its tone is rooted in a philosophy of social Darwinism--sheer cultural imperialism, really--that finds its most explicit form in Frazer's rhetorical question: "If in the most backward state of human society now known to us we find magic thus conspicuously present and religion conspicuously absent, may we not reasonably conjecture that the civilised races of the world have also at some period of their history passed through a similar intellectual phase?" (The truly civilized races, he goes on to say later, though not particularly loudly, are the ones whose minds evolve beyond religious belief to embrace the rational structures of scientific thought.) Frazer was much too genteel to state plainly that "primitive" races believe in magic because they are too stupid and backwards to know any better; instead he remarks that "a savage hardly conceives the distinction commonly drawn by more advanced peoples between the natural and the supernatural." And he certainly was not about to make explicit the logical extension of his theories--"that Christian legend, dogma, and ritual" (to quote Robert Graves's summation of Frazer in The White Goddess) "are the refinement of a great body of primitive and barbarous beliefs." Whatever modern readers have come to think of the book, however, its historical significance and the eloquence with which Frazer attempts to develop what one might call a unifying theory of anthropology cannot be denied. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to the Paperback edition. 

From Book News, Inc. , June 1, 1991
St. Martin's Press has for some time now accepted the noble mission of keeping Frazer's (1854-1941) seminal work (essentially a transhistoric, comparative anthropology of folklore, magic, and religion) before the public in the complete and original form of its third edition (originally published in London by Macmillan, 1911-1915), rather than the ubiquitous abridgments which debase both the subject and the author's magisterial command of his materials and his art. Contrary to opinion from some corners, this is no relic--in the complete form presented here, it is nothing less than a window through which the modern world can watch its own emergence--a work worthy of the company of, say, Marx and Freud. Which makes the publication on acidic paper an egregious error--depriving the account of the endurance it deserves. (RC) Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

Book Description 
First published in 1890, The Golden Bough is a seminal work of modern anthropology. A classic study of the beliefs and institutions of mankind that traces the development and confluence of thought from magic and ritual to modern scientific theory, it has been a source of great influence upon such diverse writers as T.S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, and D.H. Lawrence. This edition restores many of the controversial passages expurgated in the 1922 edition that elucidate Frazer's bolder theories, and sets them within the framework of a valuable introduction and notes. --This text refers to the Paperback edition. 

Synopsis 
A monumental study of comparative folklore and religion, THE GOLDEN BOUGH was originally published in two volumes in 1890, grew to 12 volumes for the third edition in 1915, then abridged by the author into this one-volume edition in 1922. Drawing on the beliefs and customs of ancient European civilizations and primitive cultures throughout the world, James Frazer's work continues to be an important reference.

Gibran, Kahlil

The Prophet

Editorial Reviews
In a distant, timeless place, a mysterious prophet walks the sands. At the moment of his departure, he wishes to offer the people gifts but possesses nothing. The people gather round, each asks a question of the heart, and the man's wisdom is his gift. It is Gibran's gift to us, as well, for Gibran's prophet is rivaled in his wisdom only by the founders of the world's great religions. On the most basic topics--marriage, children, friendship, work, pleasure--his words have a power and lucidity that in another era would surely have provoked the description "divinely inspired." Free of dogma, free of power structures and metaphysics, consider these poetic, moving aphorisms a 20th-century supplement to all sacred traditions--as millions of other readers already have. Reviewer: omsultan (see more about me) from LosAngeles
This book was given to me as a gift before I journeyed overseas on a spiritual quest to "find myself." I never got a chance to read it until one month after I was there and I had lost my job, my relationship was very unsteady, and being so far form home, I felt completely isolated. After skipping around the book and reading sections that immediately pertained to me at that point, I cried, not out of sadness, but out of enlightenment...Gibran wrote his experiences,and his thoughts on life, but they are such detailed poetic accounts, it applies to everyone at some time, his writings have layers, and therefore this book can be read many times over, and each time a new understanding will come. "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding..."
 
 
 

Beauty, August 11, 2000 
Reviewer: Earl Hazell (see more about me) from New York
Can anyone say that which hasn't been said about this masterpiece? 

"Your children are not your children... they are the children of life"... "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked"... 

In a world where people have endeavored to write tomes of self-help books and quasi-philosophical poetry in the hopes of it having one tenth the power, artistry, and spiritual healing power of but one of the lines of his they quote (see his quotes among the likes of everyone from M. Scott Peck to John Bradshaw, to Iyanla Vanzant, and God knows who else); in a world where just the mentioning of his name can have you looked upon questioningly, as if you should be too busy living in his world or graduating from his school of thought/artistry to bring him up to those self-thought to be equally or somehow more "sophisticated"; in a world where "genius" and "soul" and "poet" are words alternately overly and improperly used, rendering them into trivial vestiges of the superlatives of an earlier time, Kahlil Gibran's work, as if from the pen of Tammuz and Christ themselves, dances and redances into the spirit of our lives. This was my mother and father's favorite book of all time when I was a child, and I felt closer to them the more I read and grew to understand it. This is the work that under no uncertain terms taught me the power of the written word, and the glory of the sacred calling of poetry to the poet- and to the human heart. As I look back on my artistic and spiritual life, I remember reading Nietzsche's ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA and some of the Dialogues of Plato, and seeing some of his influences. I remember reading THE BROKEN WINGS and SPIRITUAL SAYINGS- treasured books of his in my father's collection- and feeling his messages leap off the page. I even remember the first public poetry reading of my work- in the same Church in the Village in New York where he first read from THE PROPHET more than seventy-five years earlier. And yet I cannot pretend at any given time in my life now or in the future (as if I'd ever want to) that I could ever outgrow the majesty of his words, his style, his teachings- his heart- as displayed so simply, sublimely and majestically in this book of the ages.

Nothing about our present day world, from the art to the entertainment to the literature to the technology to the cynicism, could actually spoil one from appreciating this piece of literature. Only the feeling that it could could prevent one from actually experiencing this work; the thought that, because his messages and artistic prose regarding the highest truth and the greatest love have been so unconsciously incorporated into the lexicon of our modern, quasi-spiritual times, that he isn't saying anything we haven't already heard. Given that he wrote this book so many decades ago, perhaps today (in that context) he isn't. Do not be surprised, however, if your soul actually HEARS it all for the first time when you read this book. 

Kahlil Gibran's THE PROPHET is a beautiful book of poetry.

Kahlil Gibran's THE PROPHET is a beautiful, beautiful, book of poetry. 

Nothing more, nothing less.
 
 

A beautiful work, January 3, 2001 
Reviewer: Erin Clark (see more about me) 
When Gibran was first introduced to me, I had definite doubts that his work would be the ordinary, grab a dictionary sort of read. But when you first open to those sections that apply to you, and listen to the words as they roll off of your tongue and dance in your ears, well, shock is the only word for it. Yes, the ideals and beliefs that he expresses in 'The Prophet' may not be anything new as far as philosophy is concerned, but the perfect blend of brilliant poetry and this simple philosophy come together to make something that is indeed, unique. I've purchased countless copies to the ones that I know will love and understand his words. And if for nothing else, Kahlil's work can be labeled as truly, a literary work of art.
 

 

Graves, Robert

White Goddess

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Robert Graves, the late British poet and novelist, was also known for his studies of the mythological and psychological sources of poetry. With The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth, Graves was able to combine many of his passions into one work. While the book is so poetically written that many of the passages amount to prose poems, it is also frequently plot driven enough to feel like a novel, and it is rich with scholarly insight into the deep wells of poetry. Especially fascinating is the chapter in which Graves explores the ancient and ongoing practice of poets' invoking the muse. Graves details the practice in both the Eastern and Western literary traditions, and shows specific similarities and differences among Greek, British, and Irish tales and myths about the muse. Graves has much to offer students of history and myth, but poetry lovers will also be fascinated with The White Goddess. 
Synopsis 
The earliest European deity was the White Goddess of Birth, Love and Death, visibily appearing as the New, Full, and Old Moon, and worshipped under countless titles. In this work, Graves shows that the theme of "true poetry" or "pure poetry"--which has never been satisfactorily defined except in the emotional response it elicits from its readers--is inseparably connected with the ancient cult-ritual of the White Goddess and her Son. 
 
 
 

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Allow yourselves to discover a different universe, September 14, 2000 
Reviewer: Eduardo Alvarez (see more about me) from Mexico
I am not an expert on the topics and themes touched by this book, but how many doors, ideas and sensations are opened by it! Nothing prepared me for the beauty in it. I understand that many things in it are speculation from the author, but what daring views, what awarenes of connections.
 
 

visions and memory in myth, December 17, 1999 
Reviewer: karl b. (see more about me) from Toronto, Ont.
I won't pretend I know exactly what this book is about. Graves presents his arguments with the reasoning of a poet, decidedly not the formal logic of a theologian or the empirical induction of a historian. I gave this book 5 stars because of its sheer ambition and audacity. Graves is attempting a synthesis of the entirety of mythology into a coherent grammatical code, a universal metaphysical language. That is a monumental undertaking, not only due to the breadth of knowledge of the Christian, Pagan and Classical canons it requires, but also because these traditions are commonly regarded as antithetical, their communities, such as they exist, hostile to each other. Graves proffers a common root under the ossified codices, if with an uneven case.

Poets, as a group, are known for their affinity to the mystical and mythological. The poetic temperament imbues and projects inner forms with aspects of corporeality, which the rest of us grasp only dimly as a spectre of consciousness, without significance or shape. The true poet is more likely to see them as a magical talisman, an object of necessary reality. Numbers, alphabets, calendars, zodiacs-- lunar and solar domains-- a primal order bubbles from the cauldron of Graves's conceptions. His spells are incarnate in trees, minerals, birds, planets-- metaphors of an underlying truth. 

This analysis springs from two dense poems of spiritual mysticism, The Battle of the Trees (Welsh Druid) and Hanes Taliesen ( Early Christian). Presented as a vision, like Revelations, they pose a riddle and mix symbols. Graves's solution loosely ties his thesis together. Linguists have theorized about the existence of grammatical archetypes; mythic relics are visible in Christian sacraments; correspondence amongst various folklore is widely acknowledged. Graves is not proposing anything radically new. He has, though, developed a cryptic framework which is supernatural and aesthetic, an elixir of divination and contemplation. He sees the White Goddess, as muse, in every authentic poem since those of Homer. His construction puts history at the service of his grammatical architecture. The White Goddess is a work of introspection and selective interpretation, comparable to those of Jung or Spengler, not one of conventional scholarship. Many of its assertions are farfetched or arbitrary, some pure formulations. That is not to understate its value. This is the culmination of a life's reflections, investigations and musings. It represents the articulation of a powerful, syncretic imagination-- a concordance of speculation and intuition.
 
 

Despite its detractors, The White Goddess shines!, December 7, 1999 
Reviewer: Padma J. Thornlyre (see more about me) from Central City, Colorado
Pedants and nay-sayers, those who, through their own lack of poetical talent, or any other kind of talent that might render them human, must devote their lives to so-called "scholarship" and mere didacticism will, of course, be troubled if not outraged by Graves' magnificent contribution to the Occidental mind. For Graves returns something of seminal value, something that was lost--or rather stolen--during the two-millenia-long conquest of the Western world (and the Western mind) by that most alien and Middle Eastern tradition, Christianity. "The White Goddess" sifts through the onion-like layers of Levantine nonsense that obscure the Western tradition, and discovers underneath it all a venerable and ancient religious tradition that extends back to man's (and woman's) earliest recorded spiritual expressions in Europe. The White Goddess is the Muse, the Moon, the gobbler-up of poets...the poet's lover, his soulmate, and his sole purpose for living. I have taken the path of scholarship in my life, and found it valuable--to a point. But it's a path of emasculation, plodding intellect without those other qualities that render us human: instinct, intuition, and the magical awareness of Beauty. While certain of Graves' claims may raise eyebrows (and cockles) in certain highbrow ivory towers, I've seen no attempt as bold as Graves', that is, to tackle the ancient Welsh Riddle of the Trees...they want to condemn him, without possessing the courage to offer their own interpretations of the text(s) Graves himself has tackled. I am a poet, and I can say only one more thing regarding Graves: I read him, and I was seized...his description of the poet's relationship to his Muse was exactly the relationship I had known since acknowledging the path of the poet as my own. Yes, this is intuitive...it is nonetheless TRUE!
 
 
 

Greer, Mary K

Essence of Magic

Editorial Reviews
The author, Mary K. Greer at http://www.nccn.net/~tarot/ , April 6, 1997
Use essential oils with Tarot to create magic in your life
Essential oils and Tarot are linked by their mutual association with mystery, emotions, enchantment and transformation. Oils and Tarot both partake of the unworldly and the ethereal, and each seems a gift of the Spirit and a link to the Soul. By linking a scent with a related Tarot card the knowledge and uses of each are expanded and you can consciously create the changes you desire. The Rider-Waite-Smith deck and many others include references to plants whose rich symbolism is described here. Create your own combinations or try the TaroMa Essence Oils, which are combinations of two to four essential oils for each of the Major Arcana. TaroMa Essence Oils are available through Tools And Rites Of Transformation

Grimassi, Raven

Heriditary Witchcraft

Editorial Reviews
The author, Raven Grimassi , January 7, 2000
A view of the Old Religion
I wrote Hereditary Witchcraft in order to present a view of pre-Gardnerian Witchcraft. In doing so I have drawn upon various writings from 1892-1899. These texts verify that the presence of virtually all of the basic elements of modern Wicca found in Gerald Gardner's writings circa 1954. I have also drawn upon the writings of several ancient historians and commentators in order to demonstrate the antiquity of various beliefs found in classical Witchcraft that are also contained in modern Wicca. 
In Hereditary Witchcraft the reader will discover that the "Watchtowers" of modern Wicca are traceable to archaic Roman religion where towers were erected at the crossroads with altars laid out before them. The reader will also find texts circa 1892 that reveal witches gathering at the time of the full moon, incorporating cakes and wine in a sacred meal, worshipping a god and a goddess, and many other so-called modern "Gardnerian" practices.

Hereditary Witchcraft also presents historical documentation demonstrating the presence of the witches' hand-copied "Book of Shadows" dating from the 17th century, mentioned in Witch trial transcripts.

In Hereditary Witchcraft, I include modern modified rituals based upon those of the Tradition I personally practice. In Hereditary Witchcraft the reader will also encounter some very old witches' lore on herbs, charms, spirits, and animals.

Hereditary Witchcraft does not claim to speak for every Tradition native to the region in which it arose. There are many different expressions of Witchcraft throughout most regions of Europe and no one rightfully holds the claim to the "one true path".

Much of what I have revealed in Hereditary Witchcraft was once secret material never released to non-initiates. However, if the Old Ways are to survive, then they must be shared now or they risk being lost forever. I hope the reader will enjoy the gift offered in Hereditary Witchcraft. 
 
 
 

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Interesting family history..., November 25, 2000 
Reviewer: hannah12 (see more about me) from Arlington, Virginia USA
In his book HEREDITARY WITCHCRAFT, Raven Grimassi reveals his family's secrets about the ancient religion inherited from Italian ancestors and known as "The Way of the Strega" or Italian witchcraft. Grimassi says his purpose in recording these family practices is to ensure they will not be lost to future generations. 

Grimassi connects his family religion to the ancient Celtic religion of Europe which existed before the advent of patriarchial relgions from the east (Judaism, Christianity, Moslem). The old religion (La Vecchia Religione) was pantheistic and contained numerous gods and goddesses -- many known to those who study what moderns call Roman and Greek myths. The most important of the Goddesses was Diana the Queen of the fairies or witches and her consort Lucifer the God of Light. Grimassi says the true characteristics of Diana and Lucifer were distorted by those who sought to make the old religion appear evil. 

Grimassi says his family religion is tied to the people known as the Etruscans, who once inhabited the land known as Tuscany. Many old relics from these times can be found in museums all over the world, and some artifacts have been handed on through families. 

Although Grimassi bases much of his book on the oral stories and practices passed on to him by family members, he also refers to numerous texts about witchcraft and the old religion written by by Leland, Groves, and Frazier, and others. A bibliography is included for additional reading.
 
 
 

This book forced me read it :), August 16, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from istanbul Turkey
A very informative book from one of the most reliable authors.But I think it could be more condense or less expensive and if only one book of Grimassi(he is an ocean of knowledge)will be bought this is not the best choice.This book really surprised me,at August13,I'm awakened with a desire to look at this book,although I had not read it before.I hurried to our temple library and I first looked at page 67.There written August13,annual festival of Diana.Then I read the whole book.In Anatolia we worship Hekate Dia Theaon and celebrate "november 16s",but after this event our coven also use the name "Diana" for Her and we decided to celebrate "august13s".This book caused me feel as I were one of the covenants of Aradia. Dont forget to look table of contents,left side of this page.Blessed be..
 
 
 

Italian Witchcraft revisited, December 29, 1999 
Reviewer: starrwalker (see more about me) from USA
One of the advantages of reading an author like Raven Grimassi is that you don't have to worry about whether or not the information is correct or not. He is the Grimass, the head of the clan, and a leading authority on the subject of Italian Witchcraft. His information is accurate, timely, and well-written. Each book he writes, you think he couldn't do another and yet he has a wealth of information for todays student. 

This book is presented like a Book of Shadows. He begins with a historical presentation of the Craft and of Strega. Next are some brief myths and legends concerning the God/desses of the Old Religion and a discussion of familiar spirits. do you know what a Lara Shrine is? Why they use fava beans? What are the Blood Secrets of the Craft?

The next section has spells that are more than 100 years old! Including a charming spell for Fairy Dust and a Fairy Sight Stone. The chapter devoted to Rituals is done in great detail with complete scripts, altar layout, gestures, and explanations of the Sabbats. It is highly useful and interesting presentation.

Much of the book is devoted to divination, sigils, talismans and more. Can you read the Tuscan Runes or the Sea Magick Runes? Learn the influence of the lunar mansions and more by reading this powerful book!
 
 
 

An Amazing Book!, November 20, 1999 
Reviewer: A reader from Arizona
Thank You Mr. Grimassi, for giving us a view of what it is like to grow up in the Old Ways. This book is amazing! In one book, we get a deeper persective of the historical and cultural background of Italian Witchcraft, solitary rituals for those of us who are out there alone, and the further tales of Aradia! 

There is more than one Italian Tradition out there..no one can claim a definitive version of stregheria. Mr. Grimassi makes that very clear in his introductions. Anyone who thinks this book represents *italian wicca*, obviously hasn't read it. And, who cares if his real name is Grimassi or not?

Grimassi, Raven

The Wiccan Mysteries

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Far from the tabloid-type books claiming to reveal the darkest secrets of witchcraft, Wiccan Mysteries is a thoughtfully organized tool for following the initiatory path on your own and exploring the mystery traditions of this ancient religion. Raven Grimassi traces the origins of rights and practices peculiar to the craft and uncovers their inner meanings to reveal how they apply to the Wiccan lifestyle. 
Synopsis 
Wicca is essentially a Celtic-oriented religion, but its Mystery Tradition is derived from several outside cultures as well. Readers of this book are exposed to a sense of the rich heritage that has been passed from one community to another, and that now resides within this system for spiritual development. 
 
 
 

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Reviewer: Gary Ross from Oregon
Wiccan Mysteries is an indepth examination of the similarities that exist between various aspects of ancient paganism and modern Wiccan beliefs and practices. Of the 17 chapters that appear in this book only 2 deal with history. The rest of the chapters present and explore the beliefs, practices, and spirituality of Wiccan religion.

It is clear that Grimassi believes that modern Wicca is the survival, fragmented though it may be, of an ancient pre-Christian European religion. Unlike a small minority of reviewers here on Amazon, I personally find nothing in this book to indicate that Grimassi is trying to pull anything off on the reader. He simply presents the historical evidence he believes supports his theory and makes a sincere argument for it. What good author does not? At least, unlike most modern Wiccan authors, Grimassi has clearly performed some pretty wide and extensive research before writing a book. And although we don't have to agree with all of his conclusions, I do think we have to respect the sincere effort.

There have been some negative comments about Grimassi using fragments to present his beliefs about ancient traditions. Don't archaeologists do the same when exploring the past? Sometimes fragments are all that is left, but to ignore them is to turn our back on the possibilities. No one with an honest open mind would do that. Although there are certain absolutes in historical research, some of it is left to speculation, and some of it is left to the victor's account.

Stepping outside of the historical debates (a relatively small portion of this book) the Wiccan Mysteries is an excellent and enlightening work on modern Wicca. It reveals a great deal of the inner meanings of ritual, symbolism, and magic. It is the first book, to my knowledge, to explore ritual text and poetry in modern Wicca, and to offer deep insights into the hidden meanings.
 
 
 

Excellent Ancient History Perspective, April 12, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from Nevada
This book contains everything you could ever want to know about the whys and wheres of Wiccan origins. If you are looking for cute spells and another book on doing Wicca your own way, this is not it. However, if you are open minded enough to realize that Wicca has been around for more than the last 50 years, you will find a rich and enlightening look at the origins and historical perspective behind the Craft. The Mysteries that this book reveals are nothing more than the origins of the basic tenets and beliefs that modern Wicca is built on. This book is a great companion to the lighter "handbook" style writings that were prevalent in the 80's. Many people seem to think that Grimassi is too preachy and is trying to reaffirm the Gardnerian and/or Alexandrian traditions. A careful read of this book will show that these traditions were structured more closely within the lines of the ancient beliefs and were not based on an eclectic gathering of permissive views. Grimassi is not trying to promote or denounce a particular traditional view, but show the origins of the belief system that became modern Wicca. As he puts it, "Wicca is like a tree,...the old Wiccan ways represent the roots. Neo-Wiccan traditions are like the blossoms...in the spring."
 
 

More questions than answers., December 17, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from USA
Reading this book and others like it always makes me wonder why some Wiccans feel the need to argue that our religion is "ancient" and "pre-Christian," as if the age of a thing is the most important indicator of its value, and as if they aim to disprove or compete with Christianity, which suggests a terrible (and absurd) inferiority complex. Wicca, as I understand it, is a modern religion, influenced by the past but by no means a "pure" remnant of it. Fundamentalist dogma has no place in spirituality, and here is proof that pagans can produce it as well as anybody else. While I'm grateful to Gerald Gardner and the other "Elder Wiccans" for introducing our religion to the world, I don't think of them as unimpeachable guardians of the faith, always right in their beliefs and practices for the simple reason that they came before me. That's a concept close to ancestor worship, which seems odd in a religion that espouses reincarnation. My greatest spiritual teachers, Normandi Ellis and the late Scott Cunningham, are modern, so I feel no need to hearken back to some imaginary Wiccan Good Old Days. If Grimassi's worldview works for you, that's great, but I'm apprehensive that a book like this will puzzle and alienate newcomers for no good reason, making Wicca seem foreign and intimidating when it's endlessly evolving and adaptable to our needs. It will continue to evolve, especially in the hands of Grimassi's dreaded "Neo-Pagans," or it will die out. Let's not glorify the past so much we lose sight of the future, and therefore become irrelevant. Blessed Be!

Grimassi, Raven

Ways of the Strega : Italian Witchcraft : Its Lore, Magick, and Spells

Raven Grimassi has captured a unique look at European Paganism, Italian Style! "Ways of the Strega" is a valuable addition to any library of Pagan work, regardless of one's tradition or family origin. While focusing mainly on Italian witchcraft, Raven makes many historical connections to the Greeks, Celts, Egyptians, the Mideast and other cultures.

This book is not a mere re-hash of Roman Pantheon myths. In fact, it shows that what was done in the public temples of the Roman State, was often quite different from what was done in the homes of the common folk, the country Pagans of southern Europe. Raven offers an in-depth look at the everyday practices of the old Italian witches, the local wise ones of the village, or "Strega." He also shares many interesting customs used in Italy over the ages, from charms of protection, prosperity or healing, to prayers and rituals both old and new.

Readers will find many insightful and thought-provoking concepts. For example, Raven's discussion of herbs reminds us that plants are living beings; using the herb involves both the body and spirit of the plant! Page 175 explains that a plant "is a living vessel for a spirit or entity. This is similar to the relationship between our own spirits and bodies. When treated properly, the 'consciousness' of the herb can work toward our needs." On pages 207-211, he also describes a fascinating, innovative process for working with a living plant as a familiar! Likewise, he notes the tree as a "sacred being" when discussing a Strega's wand and staff.

For those who enjoy detailed descriptions of rituals and tool-making, Raven supplies beautifully worded rites, from consecrating your "Spirit Blade" to praising the Old Ones. He elaborates on specific spells for a variety of purposes. His discussion of Shadow Magick, which Raven claims is the first public disclosure of this ancient practice, is quite intriguing. It involves the "casting" of a specially shaped shadow onto an object to "cast" your spell. His discussion on Starlore adds a new twist to astrology. His explanation of the "Lare" (ancestral spirits) are valuable to anyone interested in the ancestors, reincarnation, or spirit guides.

Raven gives us an interesting taste of Italian folklore, including Befana the Good Witch, who filled the stockings of children with treats near the Winter Solstice. He also explains the Italian Stag God and Wolf God, representing the waxing/waning year, similar to the Oak and Holly Kings. For art lovers, Raven's 20 chapters are filled with lovely drawings both old and new. "The Tools of Witchcraft" drawing on page 78 is suitable for framing!

In his bibliography, Raven cites 50 sources, from Charles Leland, to Gardner and Valiente, to historian Carlo Ginzburg, inviting us to read further. Raven's chapter entitled "Leland, Gardner, and Frazer" is in itself worth the book's notable $20 price!

Raven claims to bring twenty five years of research to this work, as well as being trained in "The Family Tradition of Old Italy." His book details both ancient and modern Strega practices, from historical beliefs, to rituals used today by Raven's Aridian Tradition of Stregheria. This mix gives us a living, breathing view of Stregheria, but at times it is difficult to separate Raven's recently created practices from the age-old ones passed down over the years. Also, Raven's writing shows a great deal of pride in the Italian heritage. While this adds enthusiasm to his work, it could make some readers question the objectivity of a few of his conclusions.

Easy-to-read, thoroughly enjoyable, and extremely thought-provoking, "Ways of the Strega" should definitely find its way into your book collection!
 

A Refreshingly Insightful Piece Of Work, November 1, 1999 
Reviewer: Fyr from Northern Virginia
It's been difficult enough throughout the years to find works regarding Italian Craft, but this one struck me as well-written. A lot of books today dealing with Paganism and Magick leave MUCH to be desired. But I do like the way Grimassi includes parts of his references throughout (as opposed to a plain footnote only). For this reason, and the level of reading (not as simple to read as Cunningham..and not as fluffy as Ravenwolf), I do recommend reading this book along with others by him. Witchcraft doesn't have to be all Celtic all the time. This book will do well to give the many Eclectic Pagans out there something else to consider and incorporate into their lives. I highly recommend it.

Grimassi, Raven

Wiccan Magic

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Like any great teacher, Raven Grimassi talks about why magick works, as well as how to do it right. He focuses on the mystery tradition of witchcraft, digging into the earliest roots of this ancient religion. Wiccan Magick covers a lot of ground in a short book, and in the hands of a less competent author could have become a mere glossary of the subject, but Grimassi does a wonderful job of fitting the pieces together into a remarkably detailed whole, working from general concepts like the history of witchcraft to specifics like the inherent magical properties of herbs and crystals, and finally delving into the primal forces that empower ritual magic. What Grimassi has created isn't necessarily a handbook to be memorized, but a book that helps revitalize the spiritual forces behind Wiccan rituals through a better understanding of the fundamentals of the tradition. --Brian Patterson 
Synopsis 
"Wiccan Magick" is a serious and complete study for those who desire to understand the inner meanings, techniques, and symbolism of maigick as an occult art. This book covers the full range of magical and ritual practices as they pertain to both modern ceremonial and shamanic Wicca. 
 
 
 

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Informative,indispensable,and flawed all at once, October 25, 2000 
Reviewer: James French (see more about me) from San Francisco, California United States
Raven Grimassi has given us a book which does something few books ever do. He actually explains the HErmetic Mysteries in SIMPLE, DIRECT LANGUAGE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND! However, there are times when he seems to contradict himself, which I imagine is the fault of Llewellen's bad editing. Also, in explaining the passage of power from one plane to another, he uses a metaphor which assumes that the hierarchies of our society are somehow mirrors of an Astral Hierarchy. Other than a few little glitches, the book is very informative, thought mainly for experienced practitioners. Beginners might get a bit confused.
 

Harary, Keith

And

Pamela Weintraub

 

 

MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES IN 30 DAYS

 


The exercises in this book teach readers to pay attention to subtle feelings, ideas, and capabilities just beneath everyday awareness. By shifting consciousness from mundance concerns, readers can learn to experience life from the vantage point of the sage.

Hardy, Robin

Anthony Shaffer

 

The Wicker Man

 

Police sergeant Howie, stern but deeply religious, is mysteriously lured to a remote island to investigate reports of a missing girl. He has received a message from an anonymous source on the island claiming that the girl is missing, yet no one on the island admits anything. Even the girl's mother seems unconcerned. And the more Woodward pokes around, the more he realizes there's more going on than just a conspiracy of silence. As he becomes gradually aware of the "bizarre" ways of the seemingly salt-of-the-earth islanders, he is told by Lord Summerisle that the islanders practice a form of pagan worship-to appease the sun and harvest goddesses-that is not beyond human sacrifice. Woodward now realizes that the "missing" girl is about to become the next victim, or is she? One frightening aspect leads to another as time draws near to keep an appointment with THE WICKER MAN. For sheer imagination and near terror, THE WICKER MAN has seldom been equaled .

Hudson, Paul

Mastering Witchcraft


Reviewer: A reader from northeastern us
I'm a teenage witch(non-wiccan)and have been for three years now, and as a beginner in this day and age, there are a ton of books filling up the new age sections of bookstores claiming to be "the book" of witchcraft and what it's all about. I'd like to firstoff say that there is NO and cannot ever be a COMPLETE book of witchcraft or a witches bible, no matter what the author claims. Huson's book is the most practical, informative, and down-to-earth book I have read yet on witchcraft. He gives clear and to the point, no nonsense descriptions of many spells, rituals, incence making and magical techniques. Definitely no fluff here. One of things I like best about this book is how Huson makes the distinction between traditional witchcraft, and the "followers of Gardner". He makes it clear that witchcraft is an ancient "European shamanism" if you will, and is simply a practice, or an art. The religious beliefs and doctrine are soley the choice of the practitioner. Now, to those Wiccans who continue to scream and rant about this book(most of us are just ignoring you) and encapsulate yourselves in protective white light whenever you see it, well, how many times does it have to be said,WICCA IS DIFFERENT FROM WITCHCRAFT!I'll say it again just as the various other previous posts did.Wicca was created by Gerald Gardner, it is a religion comprised of aspects of witchcraft, ceremonial magick and other eclectic aspects of the occult, and an almost cultish like worship of a fertility goddess and god. It is a new age, neo-pagan religion that was CREATED this century, and which is loosely held together by the "good ol'" Wiccan Rede. Witchcraft on the other hand, is a craft, an art,if you will. It is simply a very ancient European magical practice, usually intertwined with paganism in some way. It has been practiced for CENTURIES. "Wicca" was not practiced for centuries. The medieval and/or neolithic witch did not consider any hokey "rede" in their magical practices, obviously, because it was written this century! Those witches were wise enough to take responsibilty for their own actions and didn't need to be spoon-fed ethics. They were pagans, with many different deities and beliefs(as numerous as the different European cultures) and recognized the dark side of life(as well as the light) that so many Wiccans just seem to pretend doesn't exist. I'm sure they had their white, giving, loving fertility goddess, but they also were wise enough see the goddess in death, decay, torture, murder etc. and realize life doesn't always hand you a fluffy bunny. I'll stop rambling now, but to all you Wiccans who are snobby enough to claim that YOURS is the TRUE witchcraft, quit while you're ahead before you become like the imposing Christians you complain about so much. One last word to other teenagers seeking their path, and really anyone I guess; look within yourself for the "true" witchcraft, for the real power and wisdom. Huson's book is an excellent resource with many ideas, but no book should ever serve as a "bible" for witchcraft, no matter the author. Look within yourself for the answer, no matter if you're wiccan, a trad. witch, pagan, or whatever. Blessed Be.
 
 
 

Positively the best book on the Craft, April 11, 1998 
Reviewer: artisson@hotmail.com from Dublin,I reland
Some readers might find Paul Huson's book disturbing for its' no-holds-barred approach to Witchcraft, in fact Stewart Farrar called it "that amoral book", however it is a good antidote to the "white-light" attitude prevalent in some new-age Wiccan circles that seek to ignore life's harder lessons. Paul Huson is said to be a practitioner of the "Derwent Wove" strand of traditional English Craft and his book reflects that eclectic blend of Celtic Paganism and almost cabbalistic Medieval Witchcraft. A very practical book with very little fluff, but the reader definitely must make up their own minds as to what constitutes right or wrong when practising magic. Very definitely a must-read!
 
 
 

Not my " cup of tea " but good for those who need it!, October 8, 2000 
Reviewer: raventhorn (see more about me) from Tx USA
First, let me just say this, this book deals with those areas that are often frowned upon by most modern Wiccan Traditions. This book explores the darker sides of reality, the forms of deity that aren't all sweetness and light, and does encourage you to take charge of every situation in your life. But, I don't reccomend this book, or the magick in it, especially if you are new to the Craft. Love Spells and Curses tend to backfire, while the section on protection is somewhat interesting. Anyone who has ever seen the movie " Season of the Witch " will notice that some of the rituals in this book sound a lot, and I mean A LOT like the ones in that movie, such as the tool consecration, the planetary love spell, the invocation of " Vassago " and the Initation ritual. Whether or not this book was used as inspiration for the movie or not, I have no idea, but I can say this for the author, he seems to have disappeared after this book because I have yet to find any information about him anywhere. Use good judgement with this one. Blessed Be
 
 
 

Avoid, August 30, 2000 
Reviewer: Jeff 
This book is a hodge podge of Ceremonial Magick, Wicca, and the fantasies of the Inquisition passed off as "real" Witchcraft. True, their are people who practice Witchcraft outside Gardner and Wicca, but I doubt you will see a book by them. They are very diverse and many do follow their practice as a religion and not "just a craft". Many are also bound by oath, not to reveal there practices to anyone. The craft is passed many times only to those who the signs say should learn it, even in the family. I really wish I had paid attention to the sub title "For Witches, Warlocks. . .". Warlock means oath breaker it's an insult. First clue on the spot a phoney list, Warlock. I have a good friend who is a real Trad Witch, and can trace her lineage back to the "burning times", I'm going to give this to her as a gift, a GAG GIFT!

Hughes, Pennethorne

Witchcraft - It's Power in World Today 1940

Witchcraft - It's Power in World Today 1940

Huxley, Aldos

Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Sometimes a writer has to revisit the classics, and here we find that "gonzo journalism"--gutsy first-person accounts wherein the author is part of the story--didn't originate with Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe. Aldous Huxley took some mescaline and wrote about it some 10 or 12 years earlier than those others. The book he came up with is part bemused essay and part mystical treatise--"suchness" is everywhere to be found while under the influence. This is a good example of essay writing, journal keeping, and the value of controversy--always--in one's work. 
Book Description
As only he can, Aldous Huxley explores the mind's remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness. These two astounding essays are among the most profound studies of the effects of mind-expanding drugs written in this century. 
 
 
 

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Credible Argument for Responsible Use of Hallucinogens, March 17, 1999 
Reviewer: gatemi@rmci.net from Idaho, USA
In the first half of the book, DOORS OF PERCEPTION--originally a separate volume--Huxley offers a cogent and erudite argument for the use hallucinogens (specifically, mescaline) as a means for opening up the thinking mind to new ideas and perceptions, or even as a method for jumpstarting human creativity in the common man. Not only does he offer compelling historical precedents and sound medical research, but he also reveals positive details about his own personal experimentation with the drug. As is always the case with Huxley's essays, his various hypotheses are very articulately expressed and not easily dismissed.

The second part of the book, HEAVEN AND HELL--also originally published separately--Huxley introduces the idea that spiritual insight and personal revelation can also be achieved through the use of hallucinogens. (By the time he had written this volume, Huxley had added LSD to his psychedelic repertoire.) While just as articulately written and researched as the first volume, the idea that religious insight can be gained through drugs may offend some readers (theists and atheists alike), and the premise seems odd and contrived or expedient (was he trying to gain support of the clergy?) coming from a generally non-theist thinker-philosopher such as Huxley. Nevertheless, it is still thought-provoking reading for both professionals and amateurs interested in the positive potential of mind-altering drugs.
 
 
 

This is an interesting book -- it is really two books in one -- "The Doors of Perception", in which Huxely recalls his first experience using mescalin, and "Heaven and Hell", which is considerably more speculative. Of the two, the latter is by far the better book. The former deals mainly with the mescalin experience itself, which I can assure you, is impossible to convey in print. One caveat here for potential psychonauts, however: Read Wilson's account of his own mescalin experiment in his "Beyond the Outsider" as well as Sartre's experiment with the drug. How one reacts to the chemical depends wildly upon one's own personality. Most people will not react the way that Huxely did, as he tended to intellectualise the whole world -- to think instead of doing. One cannot expect a simply blissful experience regardless of one's state of mind and personality -- these are factors in the trip. Huxely took a small dose and never suffered from ego dissolution common with higher doses. If he had, he may have had a greater insight into the ideas that he used in his "Perennial Philosophy". The Hindoos of India used to use soma (a undetermined psychoactive similar to mescalin in its effects) to achieve a sort of cosmic consciousness in which one regards oneself as being at one with the Brahman, the all-pervading universal spirit. What he did not mention is that mystics from many religious traditions mention that they can often get into states very similar to mescalin-induced ecstasies via meditation, something that is infinitely preferable to ingesting a foreign substance, as it is not of much use unless reproducible at will. His ideas in the latter volume are more along these lines, although he does mention some things that could be dangerous. He suggests that most people could benefit from a "mescalin holiday". I totally disagree. For the more indulgent, it could prove a disaster. Huxely was a man of exquisite self-control; others who do not possess such control may be in for problems if introduced to such a powerful drug (the "Beat" Poets come to mind). Also, to many it would be merely unsettling and disturbing, while for others a means of escape from the real world. His speculations about the brain being "Mind At Large", to use Broad's term, is intriguing, but offers no evidence in support of it. The notions that most religious experiences being closely related to the mescalin experience may prove insightful, but as for now, most use this book as an excuse for irresponsible recreational drug use. Comical, pathetic, even absurd at points, it nevertheless makes a point that many others fail to grasp, which he should have used to more effect in the "Perennial Philosophy" -- that at the heart of religion and human life, is an experience of reality which the conscious mind conceptualises until the world and life is less of an experience than a symbol. Zen students may find this perspective quite enlightening. For a more detailed look at psychoactive experimentation, see R. H. Ward's "A Drug Taker's Notes" and the notes from William James' experiment with Nitrous Oxide. Also, for information on reproducing the mescalin experience at will, look into research on Kundalini yoga and tantrism.

Jung, Carl

Jarrett (Editor), James L.

Jung's Seminar On Nietzsche's Zarathustra

Editorial Reviews

53 
"A critical event in the history of the human spirit.... C. G. Jung throws new light on Nietzsche's psyche as well as on the condition of the German collective psyche during those fateful years of 1934 to 1939." 

Psychological Perspectives 
"Nietzsche is perhaps the first Western man to have experienced a psychological encounter with the Self.... [This] seminar on Nietzsche's Zarathustra ... [ is a] magisterial enterprise magnitude." 

Book Description 
Nietzsche's infamous work Thus Spake Zarathustra is filled with a strange sense of religiosity that seems to run counter to the philosopher's usual polemics against religious faith. For some scholars, this book marks little but a mental decline in the great philosopher; for C. G. Jung, Zarathustra was an invaluable demonstration of the unconscious at work, one that illuminated both Nietzsche's psychology and spirituality and that of the modern world in general. The original two-volume edition of Jung's lively seminar on Nietzsche's Zarathustra has been an important source for specialists in depth psychology. This new abridged paperback edition allows interested readers to participate with Jung as he probes the underlying meaning of Nietzsche's great work.

Jung, Carl

Campbell, Joseph

The Portable Jung

The introduction to this volume, written by Joseph Campbell, promises that anyone who proceeds through it faithfully from the first page to the last will emerge with a substantial understanding of Analytical Psychology and a new realization of the psychological relevance of mythic lore to his or her psychological development. Having read its nearly 700 pages from the first to the last, I can attest that it has lived up to its promise. The Campbell introduction provides a good overview of Jung's life along with a detailed chronology. The English translation by R. F. C. Hull is very readable; however, Jung's writings are very scholarly and contain a good deal of Latin and Greek. Most of the Latin and Greek is parenthetically translated, but not all. Not being adept at those languages, I found it helpful to have a Latin-English and a Greek-English dictionary available for reference. Although Jung can be very abstruse at times, for the most part his concepts are clearly expressed and supported with concrete examples. The book begins with a selection of works designed to help the novice learn Jung's terminology and basic concepts. After building the appropriate foundation, it then ranges through a cross section of his life's work including the psychological aspects of marriage, personality types, art, dream symbolism, science, religion, and Eastern and Western culture. Jung was first and foremost, an empiricist. He offers no metaphysical theories to explain the psyche, but he takes great pains in documenting and correlating its tremendous variety of conscious and unconscious content. He establishes the reality of the psyche as a whole (conscious and unconscious) on its observable effects. His concepts of the collective unconscious with its archetypal images, the transcendental function, synchronicity, his views on God, and other insights are amazing and engagingly fascinating. He manages to entangle the reader in a bewildering world of arcane images from mythology and alchemy in his dream interpretation sequences. In spite of the natural skepticism one may feel toward the relevance of these unconscious archetypes, it is difficult to avoid the discomfiting feeling that there is, after all, a great deal of relevance there. For anyone wishing to broaden his or her consciousness and understanding of the human psyche, the time and effort needed to purchase the results promised in the introduction is well spent.
 

Excellent introductory selection to Jung, May 7, 1998 
Reviewer: beajerry (see more about me) from USA
For those interested in getting their feet a little wet in Jung, this book is perfect. His collected works are well represented here and the reader, if interested, will find several pathways marked here that can be taken further. The plus of this book is Joseph Campbell's introduction. He is always on the mark.

Keightley, Thomas

The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves, and Other Little People

'A fascinating guide to the enchanting world of fairies This is a fascinating compendium of folklore, superstitions, and mythology surrounding the "little people", including discussions of fairy tradition as it appears in great works of English literature. From the Publisher Gnomes, fairies, and elves of every imaginable size, shape, and color spring to life in this marvelously illustrated guide to the fairy realm. Just one glance at the extensive table of contents reveals the scope and variety of fairy folklore explored here -- from Persian and Arabian romance to the mythology of Scandinavia, England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Everything from Kelpies and Korrigans to Brownies, Bugaboos, and more is included. Taken from a variety of sources of popular myth and legend, The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves, and Other Little People forms a rich compendium of the superstititions surrounding the little people. Not only does the author explore every type and species of the short and ugly, but he also traces resemblances and similarities among the fairy traditions of different countries. In addition, the fairy tradition is discussed as it appears in major works of English literature, from the Middle Age epic of Beowulf and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to Spencer's The Faerie Queene and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Complete with over twenty-five lively illustrations, is a fascinating guide to the enchanting world of the little people. FROM THE BOOK Table of Contents Introduction Origin of the Belief in Fairies 1 Origin of the Word Fairy 4 Oriental Romance Persian Romance 14 The Peri-Wife 20 Arabian Romance 24 Middle-Age Romance Fairy-Land 44 Spenser's Faerie Queene 55 Eddas and Sagas 60 The Alfar 64 The Duergar 66 Loki and the Dwarf 68 Thorston and the Dwar 70 The Dwarf-Sword Tirfing 72 Scandinavia Elves 78 Sir Olof in the Elve-Dance 82 The Elf-Woman and Sir Olof 84 The Young Swain and the Elves 86 Svend Faelling and the Elle-Maid 88 The Elle-Maids 89 Maid Vae 89 The Elle-Maid near Ebeltoft 90 Hans Puntleder 91 Dwarfs or Trolls 94 Sir Thynne 97 Proud Margaret 103 The Troll Wife 108 The Altar-Cup in Aagerup 109 Origin of Tiis Lake 111 A Farmer tricks a Troll 113 Skotte in the Fire 113 The Legend of Bodedys 115 Kallundborg Church 116 The Hill-Man invited to the Christening 118 The Troll turned Cat 120 Kirsten's-Hill 121 The Troll-Labour 122 The Hill-Smith 123 The Girl at the Troll-Dance 125 The Changeling 124 The Tile-Stove jumping over the Brook 127 Departure of the Trolls from Vendsyssel 127 Svend Faelling 128 The Dwarfs' Banquet 130 Nisses 139 The Nis removing 140 The Penitent Nis 141 The Nis and the Boy 142 The Nis stealing Corn 143 The Nis and the Mare 144 The Nis riding 145 The Nisses in Vosborg 146 Necks, Mermen, and Mermaids 147 The Power of the Harp 150 Duke Magnus and the Mermaid 154 Northern Islands Iceland 157 Feroes 162 Shetland 164 Gioga's Son 167 The Mermaid Wife 169 Orkneys 171 Isle of Rugen 174 Adventures of John Dietrich 178 The Little Glass Shoe 194 The Wonderful Plough 197 The Lost Bell 200 The Black Dwarfs of Granitz 204 Germany Dwarfs 216 The Hill-Man at the Dance 217 The Dwarf's Feast 218 The Friendly Dwarfs 220 Wedding-Feast of the Little People 220 Smith Riechert 221 Dwarfs stealing Corn 222 Journey of Dwarfs over the Mountain 223 The Dwarfs borrowing Bread 226 The Changeling 227 The Dwarf-Husband 232 Inge of Rantum 232 The Wild-Women 234 The Oldenburg Horn 237 Kobolds 239 Hinzelmann 240 Hodeken 255 King Goldemar 256 The Heinzelmanchen 257 Nixes 258 The Peasant and the Waterman 259 The Water-Smith 260 The Working Waterman 261 The Nix-Labour 261 Switzerland Dwarfs 264 Gertrude and Rosy 266 The Chamois-Hunter 271 The Dwarfs on the Tree 273 Curiosity punished 273 The Rejected Gift 275 The Wonderfu

Koltuv, Barbara Black

The Book of Lilith

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
Dr. Koltuv, a clinical psychologist and Jung analyst, shows the mythological she-demon Lilith as an archetypal part of the Self and helps the reader to reconnect with this powerful energy in order to transform it to themselves in this fascinating study. 
 
 

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nice pictures, not so great research, October 18, 1999 
Reviewer: dea ex machina (lilitu@lilitu.com) (see more about me) from London, UK
Although I do credit this book with whetting my appetite to research further into Lilith and I did enjoy reading it when I first started it, after I did more research myself, I realized how flawed Koltuv's research is. She makes assertions while giving no evidence (such as stating that Lilith appears in Germanic mythology, which she doesn't), and she throws a lot of non-Lilith myths, stories, etc., that are similar to Lilith but treats them as if they are actually directly connected instead of just being "archetypally" connected. She also makes the usual claim that Lilith was originally a goddess, and, per usual, gives no evidence for this assertion. This is an OK intro to Lilith book and is a fun read, but do your serious research into Lilith elsewhere.
 

Lilith, The long haired she demon of the night, December 14, 1998 
Reviewer: LilithCIB@aol.com from America
This book teaches us much about Lilith, the first wife of Adam, and Queen of Demons. But it also paints a different picture of her. A picture of feminine streangth and dominance. This book is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to Lilith, and to help you learn the importance of getting in touch with the Lilith in yourself. I highly recomend this book.

Kraig, Donald

Modern Magick : Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts

the information to be found here can benefit anyone of any path no matter how long you have been studying. Just as Scott Cunningham was an excellent author of all sorts of books, so would I recommend Donald Kraig as a master not only of his work but of presentation.

The information found here can benefit you because the contents of it are so easy to understand. Unlike many masters of today and yester-years, Kraig hides nothing and gives accurate information. He admits he doesn't know it all and that he is still learning himself. The only thing he hides is what the student needs to learn for themselves through meditation.

The magick in here is genuine which anyone can see just by working through the first lesson in the book. Almost anyone is familliar with the Lesser Banishing Ritual, and Kraig explains why it works and how it works instead of just giving you the information and letting you go. This author put genuine care for the practitioner into this book. 

This is a definite MUST-READ! Anyone of any path that wishes to attain more info about divinity and pathworking can glean alot of information from this book!
 
 
 

*yawn* Recycled and rehashed...., December 28, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from Los Angeles, CA USA
DMK's attempt at a magical training manual is really just more of the same-old-same-old. It takes the standard western hermetic tradition and dumbs it down (rather than simplifing), without adding any significant insights. There are much better sources for this information, such as Regardie's Golden Dawn books, and Crowley's Liber ABA (Book 4), both of which give wonderful insights of true masters of the magical arts. DMK's well-intended book fails miserably on this front. What little original content there is in it is thoroughly unimpressive.

The final straw for me was his repeated harping against "black magic" without ever really defining what it is, leaving the student with a vague sense of fear and paranoia that he is somehow in danger of getting into some sort of mysterious, secret, nebulous trouble.

All in all, it is an extremely non-scientific approach the hermetic sciences. Save your money.

Kristel, Dru

Breath Was the First Drummer : A Treatise on Drums, Drumming & Drummers

Editorial Reviews

Don G. Campbell, founder, Institute for Music, Health & Education, Boulder, Colorado 
"Breath was the First Drummer is an unusual, unique and enchanting book on the origins of sound, beat and breath. Dru Kristel has created an evocative composition of shapes, symbols and meanings of the great pulse around us. The book gives us a peek into the normally unseen and unheard aspects of the drum." 

Susan Warrick, Magical Blend Magazine, Nov/Dec 1995 
"Breath was the First Drummer celebrates humanity's most ancient family of musical instruments, with infinite love, respect and detail. Dru Kristel's treatise on drums, drumming and drummers picks up where Mickey Hart's book on drumming left off. Illustrated with Kristel's artwork and photos, this comprehensive, entertaining book covers every type of drum, and the complete physical aspects of drum making, tuning and repair. I found the metaphysical information even more valuable. The transformational qualities of rhythmic attunement through tribal drumming and shamanism are explained. The easy-to-follow format encompasses Eastern and Western spirituality, and focuses on the connection between sound and light as a means of attuning with the Divine." 

Drum! Magazine, August '96 
Kristel covers a wide array of topics in this book that address both practical playing concepts as well as the spiritual nature of drumming. 

Christine Cosenza, Moving Words Review, January '96 
Percussionist Dru Kristel writes from shamanic experience in "Breath was the First Drummer". He has played beside some of the most innovative artists of our time and has also created his own flavorful music based on steamy world rhythms and the various Native American tribal motifs with which he is usually associated. In fact, Where You Are, Kristel's debut recording, is an incredible, authentic work of cosmic power and mystery. His highly enthralling treatise on drumming is both comprehensive and entertaining, and (reveals) his role as musical shaman for those who want to listen to his message of enlightenment and magic through music." 

Gerry Spence, TV Show host and best-selling author 
Thanks for your wonderful book. It is more important than you probably think. 

E.J. Gold 
He is a shaman of remarkable and myriad talents. 

Michael Drake, author, The Shamanic Drum and Tao of Drumming 
Breath was the First Drummer is an invaluable source of rhythmic knowledge. It's refreshing to read something other than technical that connects you to the Source. A must for those on a path of rhythm. 

E. J. Gold 
"He is a shaman of remarkable and myriad talents." 

Morwen Two Feathers, Co-Founder Earth Drum Council 
"This is an 'owner's manual' not just for the drum, but also for the human essence in its eternal dance with the rhythm of the universe. If you've ever wondered how or why drumming has the power to move the human spirit, read this book. It doesn't give the answer, but it does stimulate the process of your discovering it." 

Michael Drake, author The Shamanic Drum & Tao of Drumming 
"Breath was the First Drummer is an invaluable source of rhythmic knowledge. It's refreshing to read something other than technical that connects you to the Source. A must for those on a path of rhythm." 

Christine Cosenza, Moving Words Review 
Percussionist Dru Kristel writes from shamanic experience in Breath was the First Drummer. He has played beside some of the most innovative artists of our time and has also created his own flavorful music based on steamy world rhythms and the various Native American tribal motifs with which he is usually associated. In fact, Where You Are, Kristel's debut recording, is an incredible, authentic work of cosmic power and mystery. His highly enthralling treatise on drumming is both comprehensive and entertaining, and (reveals) his role as musical shaman for those who want to listen to his message of enlightenment and magic through music." 

Michael Wall, Founder Honolulu Rhythm Line 
"Dru Kristel is someone who has studied a variety of drum cultures and traditions and synthesized the essential principles into a unique and authentic approach to transformational drumming. If your interests in the percussive world range beyond those of classes and traditional arrangements, there are a number of valuable clues for players of all levels to glean from this book." 

Don G. Campbell, Founder Institute for Music, Health & Education, Boulder, CO 
"Dru Kristel has created an evocative composition of shapes, symbols and meanings of the great pulse around us. The book gives us a peek into the normally unseen and unheard aspects of the drum." 

Drum! Magazine, August '96 issue 
"Kristel covers a wide array of topics in this book that address both practical playing concepts as well as the spiritual nature of drumming." 

Susan Warrick, Magical Blend Magazine 
"The transformational qualities of rhythmic attunement through tribal drumming and shamanism are explained. The easy-to-follow format encompasses Eastern and Western spirituality, and focuses on the connection between sound and light as a means of attuning with the Divine." 

Gerry Spence, TV Show host and best-selling author 
"Thanks for your wonderful book. It is more important than you probably think." 

Book Description 
Breath was the First Drummer is about the history, significance and effects of drumming with emphasis on the making of drums, types of drums, and the transformational qualities of sound and light. This book contains the only clear explanation of why drumming works shamanically and why rhythm affects consciousness the way it does. Complete with original artwork, photographs and illustrations by the author. 

From the Author 
I knew upon being asked to write a book on the drum that I would not be able to do so without getting into the realm of sound and I cannot very well get into the whole subject of sound without pretty much getting into the whole thing called "Creation". I was right; it was a setup. 

About the Author 
Within 35 years of musical experience, he has performed on traps/percussion with jazz, rock and roll, acid rock and power-rock-fusion groups to classical orchestras. He has learned Balinese music, East Indian classical music and Tibetan music, studied folkdance, sacred dance and bellydance, and worked as a glazier, painter, sculptor, garden designer and FM DJ. With four solo albums to his credit, Dru currently plays vina amidst a sea of drums and works with the Silverwolf Band in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Excerpted from Breath Was the First Drummer: A Treatise on Drums, Drumming and Drummers by Dru Kristel. Copyright © 0. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved 
From Chapter 1: A Brief History of Music 

Wind was the First Instrument 

Man did not invent music. Music was already in Nature. Motion gives arising to all sound. The motion of the wind. The motion of the waters. The motion of the stones. The motion in the fire. The wind alone is an entire orchestra. 

The motion of the body, all of its internal noises. Music is a mirror we hold up to ourselves. In it we see reflected everything we have ever experienced. We see the world around us. We see ourselves. We can see how we listen. We can see how we pay attention. We experience presence. We can see how we make love. We see how we evolve. We can see how we dance. Dance in a circle, the shape of the drum, the shape of the world. 

The first drum, the human body, with its senses and its rhythms, then the world, with its endless variety of sounds and rhythms. Lightning-flash, winds blowing and the rain drops falling into a small pool. The senses sense nature, and have their arising from that very nature that they are sensing. Nature's way of realizing itself. And yet what is it that is actually experiencing the sensing? The listener; did this consciousness come from nature too? A way to sense the sensing? 

The Earth has taught us all we know about music. It has given us its music. It gives us the tools to make its music. In every sound there is music. Visitors from space bring the earth new songs. They come as beautiful stones of every kind. 

The universe and the earth make love in this way and they sing together. 

They have taught us their song in this way. The scratching cicada is the sound of the medicine rattle and our hearts drum out the rhythm as we are giving thanks through appreciation for life itself. 

In this way we have learned to play the drum. In this way we have learned to sing, dance and make love. It is all a response, a response to life and being alive in the world. It is the song our parents want us to sing. It is the dance our parents dance. They have taught us this out of love. We are in love when we play music and when we dance. This makes everyone happy. Being in love this way reminds us of our source and there is great joy. The music flows like a flag in the wind and the dance is like that of birds or deer. We play this music and the world listens, impartially, for to nature, it is just another passage in an endless stream of music. For nature, the entire universe is its symphony, its orchestra and its audience.

Kuklin, Alexander

How Do Witches Fly? A practical

Editorial Reviews
The publisher, Xela Schenk acenpress@hotmail.com , February 14, 1999
Biochemistry of the witches' ointment and more...
Have you not always wondered as a child if witches really flew during the night on their brooms? And what was their destination? The book "How Do Witches Fly? A practical approach to nocturnal flights" by Dr. Alexander Kuklin is an answer to these questions. It shows that witches anointed themselves with the "flying" ointment before they flew to their gatherings on special nights of the year. The book scientifically dissects the ointment and reveals its ingredients and biochemical components. It offers recipes of the ointment and advances a biochemical theory on the mechanisms of the ointment action on human senses and perception. The book features the art of the New York based artist Barbara Broughel, which bridges the history of New England witchcraft trials and contemporary American society. "How Do Witches Fly?" is a charming reference book for students of herbalism, biochemistry, Mediaeval history and occultism of various ages and education. What a great Halloween reading! But Halloween is every night according to the author. 
 
 

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Theories and contributions to witches' spiritual flights, October 17, 2000 
Reviewer: The Book Reader - independent review of new books from Scotts Valley, CA
Excellent achievement. Dr. Kuklin gives us the ingredients on witches' brews, their chemistries, their histories and how they might have contributed to spiritual flight. Throughout are the sad stories of folks accused and convicted of witchcraft (Nathaniel and Rebecca Greensmith were convicted in Connecticut in 1662 of "intending to make merry on Christmas.") Kuklin is scientifically knowledgeable and spiritually aware: "I speculate that the witches' ointment was the biggest jewel in the crown of medieval pharmacology. This herbal concoction was a poison to the layman but a spiritual tool to the Believer of the Craft." Many alkaloids here that give impressive psychedelic effects. Nicotine, atropine, caffeine, ephedrine, animal ingredients, herbs such as belladonna, digitalis, and many others. Ointment preparation: harvesting, storage of herbs, actual recipes. "How do witches fly" sparkles with rare insights and Kuklin beautifully captures the need and the wisdom of ordinary folks who used flying preparations.
 
 

A key to the witches' ointment, December 7, 1999 
Reviewer: Jeremy Harte, Associate Editor 3rd Stone, Archeology, Folklore and Myth (see more about me) from Surrey
Any book, which starts by dissuading you from killing yourself can't be all bad. Alexander Kuklin cautions his readers, frequently, against messing around with witches' herbs. The results of consuming aconite, belladonna, thornapple and water hemlock are spelt out in grisly detail. It certainly puts you off. Anyone familiar with the happy-go-lucky style of medieval cookbooks will doubt whether peasant women thought in terms of exact doses and measures, even if death was the penalty for miscalculation. Nevertheless, there are first-hand reports, by Laguna and Gassendi, of ointments, which did produce delirium and dreams of flight. Kuklin suggests in his closing chapter that the secret lay in balancing herbal sources of aconitine and atropine, which tend to cancel each other out. An American magical group is testing the recipe, in a hush-hush sort of way. The results may appear in a peer-reviewed journal. But in the evidence so far, they are equally likely to end up in the morgue.
 
 

A great chemical analysis of the flying ointment!, December 3, 1999 
Reviewer: A reader from Midwest
There is something in the book, which is new and interesting. There are hints that the ointment idea has been around for a while. It is, that aconite and belladona work in combination with each other to produce the flying ointment. The idea is that aconite in itself is deadly poisonous - in fact it's considered the most poisonous plant in Europe - hemlock being the most poisonous plant in the U.S. Now, how can notorious poisons be part of a flying ointment? According to the author, atropine (belladona) is an antidote for aconite poisoning. Aconite apparently kills by slowing the heart, while belladona increases the heart rate (producing, in fact, a good, strong heart beat). So, of course, you combine belladonna and aconite in your flying ointment, and there you go.
 
 
 

A fascinating book for what witches' plants actually do, April 24, 1999 
Reviewer: A reader from England
Books which examine the folklore of Europe's traditional "witch" plants are not uncommon, and some give some coverage to describing the psychotropic and hallucinogenic effects of these plants on the human body. However this book is rather more unusual than that in that the author is first and foremost a biochemist with an extensive and intimate knowledge of the alkaloids, or poisonous constituents, for which the plants most commonly listed as being those of flying ointments are rightly famous. Although there is much folkloric material here there is a great quantity of scientific material concerning the physiological effects of the plants and their constituents which is otherwise not easily available to the average reader. Of particular interest, though they may prove distressing for some readers, are the accounts of experiments conducted on bitches to determine the ability of the alkaloids to be absorbed into the body through the vaginal membranes, as well as details of the ways in which the various constituents react against one another to produce sometimes surprising results. For example, one might have imagined that using both aconite (aconitine) and belladonna (atropine) together would have produced a doubly toxic effect on the user, but not so: the two alkaloids have antagonistic (or opposing) toxic effects upon each other, each neutralising the most toxic effects of the other while leaving the hallucinogenic effects of both largely intact. This is, in short, a fascinating book for those interested in what these plants actually do (rather than what we think they ought to do) to the user.

Lea, Henry Charles

Materials Toward a History of Witchcraft

3 Volumes in Slip case. Very Rare
Materials Toward a History of Witchcraft.Collected by Henry Charles Lea-Edited by Arthur C. Howland..'Ever since its initial publication in a limited edition of only 300 sets, Materials Towards a History of Witchcraft, has been recognized as the one indespensible work for those who wish to understand the Demonic "black arts" that have influenced and shaped world civilizations. Long out of Print,unobtainable except on the reference shelves of a few major libraries,it is one of the RAREST publications printed in the 20th century.This new complete and unexpurgated edition,however, makes this monumental study-the most thorough treatise on the subject that has ever been compiled. Prepared originally by Henry Charles Lea, a renowned historian who died before the work could be published, Materials- was arranged and adited by an equally prominent scholar, Arthur C Howland,who saw the study through to completion after many years of exacting labor.Spanning the centuries from antiquity to the recent past, and containing thousands of references that open ever widening fields of exploration, these three volumes are a vertible encyclopedia of witchcraft,demonology,sorcery,magic and superstition as recorded in the literature of the ages.. Vol 1(434pages)Vol2(434-1038)Vol3 (1039-1548) Published 1957 Thomas Yoseloff-NY/London..All volumes clothbound with printed spine

Abstracts the entire early witchcraft literature. An immensely useful work.

Leek, Sybil

Complete Art of Witchcraft

Reviewer: Philip Davis (see more about me) from New Castle, IN
This was the first Sybil Leek book that I have read. Reading this book was like taking a trip back in time. I admit that I did not read it word for word. I wonder if all of Sybil's book are like this one. I've heard they're not. This book is extremely thought provoking and sometimes takes commitment and/or intense concentration just to get through it. I was quite surprised with this book. Especially her chapter on Ritual. The information she covers in that chapter fills a complete book on Wicca for other authors. Sybil seems to pay little attention to Deity, speaks of Gurus in WitchCraft and is certainly not Dianic, despite the fact she mostly mentions the Goddess. Leek's perspective on Witchcraft is monotheistic, which is very interesting considering many books stress polytheism. Some of the information in this book is useless. Also, some of the anecdotes could have been left out. For example, much of the chapter on Black Magick, the chapter on Homosexuality and even some on "Other Forms of WitchCraft" we could do without. Yet some information in this book is very useful. The chapters on Leading a Balanced Life and In Harmony with the Universe are a must and more books on Wicca should include information about these forgotten tenets. This book is different and not for all. Reading this and accepting the information within could be seen as a test to see who is faithful within the Old Religion.
 
 
 

"For rebellion is as...", February 25, 2000 
Reviewer: w. aka deadgirl13 (see more about me) from United States
I'm still waiting to read a book that written by an honest witch, and not a celebrity either. First of all, everyone thinks Leek tells the truth about white and black magic, when in fact a real witch will tell you there is no difference. Secondly, today's "magic" springs from the Gardnerian sect, which is mad-made, not "Goddess-inspired" and there is no real proof whatsoever that Wicca or the Craft ties in with the ancient bronze ages. I really think this book is deceptive, just like every other witchcraft book out there. Having once studied the subject, I know for a fact that a non-hypocritical witch will admit that there is no real "black" or "white" magic-- it's all the same, it springs from the same demonic source. All of these books about witchcraft are dangerous in that every witch has a different story about how The Craft originated. You'll soon find that Leek is just as wishy-washy as every other witch who's become a celeb phenom. At least true witches won't lie to you. If you at least want an honest viewpoint, read Anton LeVey's books about witches and magic, even though I don't condone his works, at least he's not afraid to tell it like it is. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft"

Leek, Sybil

Diary of a Witch

Reviewer: A reader from Townsend, Massachusetts
I read this book 20 years ago, just before Ronald Reagan was elected, though the book had been written about 15 years before that. It was a pleasant and interesting enough quick read about her life as a "witch" and astrologer among certain circles. As I am a person who has a much more earth-based orientation to life and, I suppose, the craft of being a witch, I could not really relate to her life, but it was still interesting to read about her life and times.

What did strike me, though, and what prompts me to write this, is that she wrote so many years ago about her association with Ronald Reagan. As I remember, she told him many years ago (before he entered politics at all, I believe) that he would have an important role to play in the history of this country. 

I had such an eerie feeling as I read that, and such a sinking feeling that she was accurately predicting Reagan's election to the presidency...which did happen just weeks later. I was not at all surprised when years later it came out that the Reagans had been consulting astrologers about the timing, at least, of events relating to the presidency, nation and world. 

I would have suggested OTHER witches and astrologers to consult. The Reagans could have learned something about the Earth, the Environment, and a more wholistic way of life from others. Remember, RR considered catsup a vegetable....

But Sybil Leek was a celebrity astrologer, and this is why she came into contact with the Reagans. Because of her contacts and friendships, she has been more influential than one might otherwise imagine. You can file this one under source material for the politics of the 1980's, along with "Where's the Rest of Me" and other simple Reagan biographies which show other little known and unexpected influences upon that era.
 
 
 

Magnificent!!!!!, September 8, 1999 
Reviewer: Wen33@aol.com from northern Utah
i actually purchased this paperback second-hand many many years ago when i was a teen. i felt back then i wasnt ready for this book and couldnt get "into" it, yet i hung onto it because i knew i would want to read it one day(i am now in my mid-30's). i read it in a short span of a couple of days in spite of a busy schedule and found it refreshingly honest and open about the emotions Sybil Leek experienced growing up in a Witch household and all of the special people who touched her life and shaped her experiences in England and throughout the world. Her special friendship with Aleister Crowley from early childhood was especially endearing to read about and gave a great insight to his personality. its a wonderful and entertaining as well as informative auto-biographical story. i highly recommend it to all!
 
 
 

Very Enjoyable, August 19, 1999 
Reviewer: Pagencook@aol.com from Rhode Island, USA
I wizzed through this borrowed copy of "Diary of a Witch" in one day this summer. This is a delightful book that is well written and easy to read. I too have never read anything about witches or thier relgion wicca. It dispells (no pun intended!) any preconcieved notions, most of which are negative, you may have about witchcraft. Sybil certainly lead a very interesting life or she's a great story teller. Which ever way you look at it, if you are open minded I am sure you'll enoy this book.

Murray, Margaret

God of the Witches

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
This celebrated study of witchcraft in Europe traces the worship of the pre-Christian and prehistoric horned god from paleolithic times to the medieval period. Murray, the first to offer a scholarly look at the mysteries of witchcraft, shows that witchcraft as a religion is nearly as old as humankind itself. A classic work of anthropology. Illlustrated. 
 
 

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The Verdict of Other Scholars, November 27, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from USA
I guess on the plus side you could say that this book eventually sparked a more scholarly investigation into medieval paganism, but the book itself is far from scholarly or truthful. As a researcher who has translated the document which this book uses as the basis for its section about Joan of Arc (near the end of the book), I thought I would comment on that subject first. It's a little hard to believe that the author bothered to read that transcript even in translation, much less in the original language, since the book's version of the subject bears so little resemblance to the actual documents; for instance, the claim is made that Joan never used the phrase "Our Lord" in the original language and never identified "the King of Heaven" as Jesus Christ, both of which are patently false: all 5 surviving copies of the original transcript do, in fact, quote her as saying "Our Lord" ("Nostre Seigneur" in medieval French) when speaking to the clergy, and if you look at Article XXII you will see a copy of a letter in which she not only places the names "Jesus" and "Mary" at the top, but also identifies the King of Heaven as, quote, "the son of Saint Mary" (i.e., Jesus Christ, whom Christian theology considers the son of Saint Mary (the Virgin Mary)). The other surviving letters which she dictated (found in other documents aside from the trial transcript) are just as specific: one of these, dated July 17, 1429, contains the phrase "King Jesus, the King of Heaven"; another, dated March 23, 1430, orders the Hussites to return to the Catholic faith, which she describes as, quote, "the original source of light", thereby removing any doubt as to her religion. The author replaces all this with her own fictional spin on things, such as the invention of fictional "rules" of Christianity which Joan allegedly violated, and the attempt to confuse the modern and medieval usages of the term "Lorraine" in order to link her with a region allegedly associated with witchcraft, and so forth. As a final note on the subject, the book completely ignores all of the other documents which deal with Joan's life: military chronicles, letters, and the transcript of the Rehabilitation trial in which it was shown that the transcript of the original trial had been falsified at a number of crucial points in order to make the charge of heresy seem more plausible, a tactic which is also employed by this book. 

On other fronts, the book has been rightly criticized by several generations of scholars for similar misrepresentations of evidence and outright invention on numerous topics; citing all of these would make for a fairly large book in itself, but in a nutshell the author has simply taken her knowledge of ancient religious practices, modified those practices wherever needed, and then inserted these beliefs into medieval European history, rewriting or concocting whatever evidence is needed to promote that view. It's refreshing to see that modern scholarship on this subject is moving away from the methods used by this book, although it remains to be seen whether a truly substantial view of medieval pagan beliefs will emerge. Hopefully it will.
 

Rejected theory still important in history of world religion, June 16, 2000 
Reviewer: bocasdeltorro (see more about me) from Princeton, NJ
I actually came to this book after reading other scholarly texts that disprove, and books by modern witches that reluctantly admit to, the many unproven and unprovable assertions Margaret Murray made back in 1921. But, still, this book remains fascinating for its role in the growth of modern paganism and witchcraft -- and as a testament to the scholarly brilliance and creative thinking of a woman in what was still very much the male world of reseach and academia.

Murray was a brilliant thinker and researcher, but like many such people (male and female) since, and many more to come, her work has fed generations who have grown with her and now beyond her. Disproving her thesis does not denegrate the work or it's role in the history of a modern world religion.

I think the most fair assessment of the book's merits and demerits can be found in Jeffrey B. Russell's 1970s "A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans":

"Modern historical scholarship rejects the Murray thesis with all its variants. Scholars have gone too far in their retreat from Murray, since many fragments of pagan religion do certainly appear in medieval witchcraft. But the fact remains that the Murray thesis on the whole is untenable. The argument for the survival of any coherent fertility cult from antiquity through the Middle Ages into the present is riddled with fallacies..."

That doesn't mean that someone may not come up with a stronger set of theory or evidence later (after standing on the shoulders of a pioneer like Murray), but for now we have to admit the interesting but untenable nature of her sequence of evidence and her bottom-line conclusions.
 
 

Reviewer: J.E.Barnes (see more about me) from New York, New York
A work of Coleridgian Imagination driven by powerful archetypes, The God Of The Witches has generated enormous interest since its rediscovery after World War II. In light of the battles, in several disciplines, that have been fought over this book since that time, and the scorn that has been heaped upon it, it seems saner to simply ask why the book, historically ludicrous or perhaps quite accurate generally if not specifically, has had the wide influence it has had. 

What does the general reader coming to the book find in it, that touches so deeply and strangely, and converts him or her to an avid admirer? Often there is an unusual and unexpected sense of identification, and the beginning of a personal quest. Is this caused by repressed romanticism, always and only? Wiccans and witches aside, what do people today who identify as nature worshipers feel and perceive in the physical world which evokes such a pure and honest response, and a transcendental belief? The God Of The Witches is a book about religious belief and spirituality, something routinely overlooked by its critics. If they would attempt to understand the perceptions and atmosphere of mind that the present-day worshipper of nature feels and lives in accordance with, "witch" or not, the resulting understanding would be of significant use to historians, anthropologists, and folklorists, looking forward as well as back into the past. They should also ask themselves why the theory of a surviving nature cult, even one loosely formed or barely acknowledged as such, at the time of the witch trials, is so abhorrent to them, especially when such cults exist today. It may be that nature-worship is an occasional spontaneous response common to much of mankind, and has been since the beginnings of consciousness (see: Frazer). Is it so hard to believe that such feelings still arise in people today, even urbanites? Can such belief systems be completely, clinically understood from the outside, by objective means? Can the mysteries of the Catholic Religion be understood by similar means? Clearly, the answer is No. 

Murray tried too hard to tie her bundle together, but shouldn't be faulted for that; scholars are always partially theorists and speculators, by definition. Time and further uncovering and examing of the historical record (see: Carlo Ginzburg) may prove Murray to have been broadly correct. Historians would have you believe that Murray, a thorn in their sides, has been swept under the carpet once and for all, but that is only where they have placed her. Her ideas, if over-reaching, have proven themselves to be tenacious, and show every sign of remaining so.
 
 
 

Not historically accurate., April 18, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from the US
While it is probably true that some of the witchcraft accounts are a reflection of surviving pagan (read: Celtic) beliefs, Murray's approach to the issue is not remotely accurate, and in fact most neo-pagans take a different view now. Perhaps more to the point: the vast majority of historians continue to view this book and most of its conclusions as a travesty, since it is transparently dishonest and / or careless with so much of the evidence. A representative example of this is the treatment of Joan of Arc's case: the author ignores 90% of the historical evidence by using a few isolated quotes from the Condemnation Trial transcript while admitting that there was a later Rehabilitation Trial twenty years after Joan's death, in which this transcript - Murray's source - was shown to be largely fraudulent by the men who themselves had taken part in the original trial; they, and the other 115 witnesses, described Joan as a, quote, "good Catholic" who was executed by a corrupt Church tribunal controlled by the opposing military faction (i.e., the English). Murray ignores this testimony, and also ignores the letters that Joan dictated (of which 11 have survived) in which Joan clearly identifies herself as a Catholic - and in fact there's a letter, dated March 23, 1430, in which she threatens to lead a crusade against the Hussites unless they convert back to Catholicism. This is the standard evidence which has always been used by professional historians who are interested in a thorough investigation of the facts rather than manipulation; and if space allowed, similar comments could be made about many of the other sections of the book. I would point out again that modern neo-pagans are taking a far different - and far more honest - view of the issue than Murray did: many of them make use of authentic ancient accounts of Celtic beliefs rather than attempting to rewrite medieval history. There are many such accurate books available.

Murray, Margaret

God of the Witches

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
This celebrated study of witchcraft in Europe traces the worship of the pre-Christian and prehistoric horned god from paleolithic times to the medieval period. Murray, the first to offer a scholarly look at the mysteries of witchcraft, shows that witchcraft as a religion is nearly as old as humankind itself. A classic work of anthropology. Illlustrated. 
 
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 

The Verdict of Other Scholars, November 27, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from USA
I guess on the plus side you could say that this book eventually sparked a more scholarly investigation into medieval paganism, but the book itself is far from scholarly or truthful. As a researcher who has translated the document which this book uses as the basis for its section about Joan of Arc (near the end of the book), I thought I would comment on that subject first. It's a little hard to believe that the author bothered to read that transcript even in translation, much less in the original language, since the book's version of the subject bears so little resemblance to the actual documents; for instance, the claim is made that Joan never used the phrase "Our Lord" in the original language and never identified "the King of Heaven" as Jesus Christ, both of which are patently false: all 5 surviving copies of the original transcript do, in fact, quote her as saying "Our Lord" ("Nostre Seigneur" in medieval French) when speaking to the clergy, and if you look at Article XXII you will see a copy of a letter in which she not only places the names "Jesus" and "Mary" at the top, but also identifies the King of Heaven as, quote, "the son of Saint Mary" (i.e., Jesus Christ, whom Christian theology considers the son of Saint Mary (the Virgin Mary)). The other surviving letters which she dictated (found in other documents aside from the trial transcript) are just as specific: one of these, dated July 17, 1429, contains the phrase "King Jesus, the King of Heaven"; another, dated March 23, 1430, orders the Hussites to return to the Catholic faith, which she describes as, quote, "the original source of light", thereby removing any doubt as to her religion. The author replaces all this with her own fictional spin on things, such as the invention of fictional "rules" of Christianity which Joan allegedly violated, and the attempt to confuse the modern and medieval usages of the term "Lorraine" in order to link her with a region allegedly associated with witchcraft, and so forth. As a final note on the subject, the book completely ignores all of the other documents which deal with Joan's life: military chronicles, letters, and the transcript of the Rehabilitation trial in which it was shown that the transcript of the original trial had been falsified at a number of crucial points in order to make the charge of heresy seem more plausible, a tactic which is also employed by this book. 

On other fronts, the book has been rightly criticized by several generations of scholars for similar misrepresentations of evidence and outright invention on numerous topics; citing all of these would make for a fairly large book in itself, but in a nutshell the author has simply taken her knowledge of ancient religious practices, modified those practices wherever needed, and then inserted these beliefs into medieval European history, rewriting or concocting whatever evidence is needed to promote that view. It's refreshing to see that modern scholarship on this subject is moving away from the methods used by this book, although it remains to be seen whether a truly substantial view of medieval pagan beliefs will emerge. Hopefully it will.
 
 

Rejected theory still important in history of world religion, June 16, 2000 
Reviewer: bocasdeltorro (see more about me) from Princeton, NJ
I actually came to this book after reading other scholarly texts that disprove, and books by modern witches that reluctantly admit to, the many unproven and unprovable assertions Margaret Murray made back in 1921. But, still, this book remains fascinating for its role in the growth of modern paganism and witchcraft -- and as a testament to the scholarly brilliance and creative thinking of a woman in what was still very much the male world of reseach and academia.

Murray was a brilliant thinker and researcher, but like many such people (male and female) since, and many more to come, her work has fed generations who have grown with her and now beyond her. Disproving her thesis does not denegrate the work or it's role in the history of a modern world religion.

I think the most fair assessment of the book's merits and demerits can be found in Jeffrey B. Russell's 1970s "A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans":

"Modern historical scholarship rejects the Murray thesis with all its variants. Scholars have gone too far in their retreat from Murray, since many fragments of pagan religion do certainly appear in medieval witchcraft. But the fact remains that the Murray thesis on the whole is untenable. The argument for the survival of any coherent fertility cult from antiquity through the Middle Ages into the present is riddled with fallacies..."

That doesn't mean that someone may not come up with a stronger set of theory or evidence later (after standing on the shoulders of a pioneer like Murray), but for now we have to admit the interesting but untenable nature of her sequence of evidence and her bottom-line conclusions.
 
 

Reviewer: J.E.Barnes (see more about me) from New York, New York
A work of Coleridgian Imagination driven by powerful archetypes, The God Of The Witches has generated enormous interest since its rediscovery after World War II. In light of the battles, in several disciplines, that have been fought over this book since that time, and the scorn that has been heaped upon it, it seems saner to simply ask why the book, historically ludicrous or perhaps quite accurate generally if not specifically, has had the wide influence it has had. 

What does the general reader coming to the book find in it, that touches so deeply and strangely, and converts him or her to an avid admirer? Often there is an unusual and unexpected sense of identification, and the beginning of a personal quest. Is this caused by repressed romanticism, always and only? Wiccans and witches aside, what do people today who identify as nature worshipers feel and perceive in the physical world which evokes such a pure and honest response, and a transcendental belief? The God Of The Witches is a book about religious belief and spirituality, something routinely overlooked by its critics. If they would attempt to understand the perceptions and atmosphere of mind that the present-day worshipper of nature feels and lives in accordance with, "witch" or not, the resulting understanding would be of significant use to historians, anthropologists, and folklorists, looking forward as well as back into the past. They should also ask themselves why the theory of a surviving nature cult, even one loosely formed or barely acknowledged as such, at the time of the witch trials, is so abhorrent to them, especially when such cults exist today. It may be that nature-worship is an occasional spontaneous response common to much of mankind, and has been since the beginnings of consciousness (see: Frazer). Is it so hard to believe that such feelings still arise in people today, even urbanites? Can such belief systems be completely, clinically understood from the outside, by objective means? Can the mysteries of the Catholic Religion be understood by similar means? Clearly, the answer is No. 

Murray tried too hard to tie her bundle together, but shouldn't be faulted for that; scholars are always partially theorists and speculators, by definition. Time and further uncovering and examing of the historical record (see: Carlo Ginzburg) may prove Murray to have been broadly correct. Historians would have you believe that Murray, a thorn in their sides, has been swept under the carpet once and for all, but that is only where they have placed her. Her ideas, if over-reaching, have proven themselves to be tenacious, and show every sign of remaining so.
 
 
 

Not historically accurate., April 18, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from the US
While it is probably true that some of the witchcraft accounts are a reflection of surviving pagan (read: Celtic) beliefs, Murray's approach to the issue is not remotely accurate, and in fact most neo-pagans take a different view now. Perhaps more to the point: the vast majority of historians continue to view this book and most of its conclusions as a travesty, since it is transparently dishonest and / or careless with so much of the evidence. A representative example of this is the treatment of Joan of Arc's case: the author ignores 90% of the historical evidence by using a few isolated quotes from the Condemnation Trial transcript while admitting that there was a later Rehabilitation Trial twenty years after Joan's death, in which this transcript - Murray's source - was shown to be largely fraudulent by the men who themselves had taken part in the original trial; they, and the other 115 witnesses, described Joan as a, quote, "good Catholic" who was executed by a corrupt Church tribunal controlled by the opposing military faction (i.e., the English). Murray ignores this testimony, and also ignores the letters that Joan dictated (of which 11 have survived) in which Joan clearly identifies herself as a Catholic - and in fact there's a letter, dated March 23, 1430, in which she threatens to lead a crusade against the Hussites unless they convert back to Catholicism. This is the standard evidence which has always been used by professional historians who are interested in a thorough investigation of the facts rather than manipulation; and if space allowed, similar comments could be made about many of the other sections of the book. I would point out again that modern neo-pagans are taking a far different - and far more honest - view of the issue than Murray did: many of them make use of authentic ancient accounts of Celtic beliefs rather than attempting to rewrite medieval history. There are many such accurate books available.

Murray, Margaret

Witch-Cult in Western Europe

Softcover influential treatise on the "old religion," the nature cults that flourished before Christianity, and whose sub-rosa practices gave rise to the belief in witchcraft. Subsequent researchers and scholars have all but disproved Murray's theory, based on the lack of any real evidence and her selective use of historical material

Murray, Margaret

Witch-Cult in Western Europe

Hardcover Barnes and Nobel influential treatise on the "old religion," the nature cults that flourished before Christianity, and whose sub-rosa practices gave rise to the belief in witchcraft. Subsequent researchers and scholars have all but disproved Murray's theory, based on the lack of any real evidence and her selective use of historical material

Nietzsche, Fredrick

Thus Spake Zarathurstra

Editorial Reviews
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature , April 1, 1995
, also translated as Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Treatise by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in four parts and published in German between 1883 and 1885 as Also sprach Zarathustra. The work is incomplete, but it is the first thorough statement of Nietzsche's mature philosophy and the masterpiece of his career. It received little attention during his lifetime but its influence since his death has been considerable, in the arts as well as philosophy. Written in the form of a prose narrative, Thus Spake Zarathustra offers the philosophy of its author through the voice of Zarathustra (based on the Persian prophet Zoroaster) who, after years of meditation, has come down from a mountain to offer his wisdom to the world. It is this work in which Nietzsche made his famous (and much misconstrued) statement that "God is dead" and in which he presented some of the most influential and well-known (and likewise misunderstood) ideas of his philosophy, including those of the Ubermensch ("overman" or "superman") and the "will to power." Though this is essentially a work of philosophy, it is also a masterpiece of literature. The book is a combination of prose and poetry, including epigrams, dithyrambs, and parodies as well as sections of pure poetry. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 
 
 

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One of the most important books of the last century, October 26, 1999 
Reviewer: Andreas, Mogensen (bringyourfriends@hotmail.com) from Denmark
Friedrich Nietzsche was a "failure" in his time. He was branded a nihilist and heretic and his works dismissed as the ramblings of a mad man. After the Great War many philosophers such as Heidegger resurected the works of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard (to name a few) and studied them with greater admiration. We should be thankful that the works of such an imaginative genius such as Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was called into the spotlight. Nietzsche constructed one of the most original and radical philosophies in all its history, as challenging to everyday life as Karl Marx. His ideas still send shockwaves through the Christian community because so much of what he says is blatantly obvious and true. Most people dismiss Nietzsche's slogan that "God is dead", but in this work Nietzsche truly refines this statement and incorporates brilliant ideas about living for the Earth, striving to become Der Ubermensch and the path to release from Christianities chains. The main theme of this book is that which Nietzshce will probably be best remembered for, but for all the wrong reasons. Nietzsche's vision of the "Superman" (der Ubermensch) was an idea that his sister, in co-operation with Hitler, twisted to begin the Nazi experiments for the Superrace. The Superman is at the centre of this book and Nietzsche gives a perfect description of his vision and furthermore what it will incorporate and help to abolish. It soon becomes clear that Nietzsche's Superman is far different from Hitler's, furthermore because it is not as brutal and inhumane and lastly because it centres around completely different principals: HItler wanted a physical Superman, but Nietzsche's Superman would be MENTALLY strong rather than purely physically. THe language in this book is amazing. Whether Walter Kauffman's translation has buttered it up or not is beyond my capacity to comment on, but the poetry (not prose) that Nietzsche uses is comparible to the likes of Shakespeare. The ammount of metaphors that Nietzsche draws is immense, and he beautifully illustrates all his main points without a single drawing. This is a brilliant masterpiece, whether you agree with every point that Nietzsche makes (and few do) you will still be able to appreciate the beautiful poetry. And still, how ever much you may disagree, this book is thought provoking and seems to shake your entire world upside down. It is far more preferal to Anton Scanzor LaVey "interpretation" of the Nietzschean philosophy in "the Satanic Bible" and is a must-read!
 
 
 

Nietzsche's Magnum Opus, September 10, 1998 
Reviewer: Don Ringelestein (see more about me) from Chicago, IL
Nietzsche himself calls Zarathustra "the greatest gift" that he has given to humanity, in Ecce Homo, and yet the book still remains true to its title, "A book for All and None."

The key to the book lies in linking it with a much earlier work, On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life, and also with the work that came just before Zarathustra, The Gay Science. In the former work, Nietzsche outlines, for the first time, on how history may be employed for the purposes of life - this isn't about nihilism, and one is forced to wonder if many writers understand what "nihilism" means. In The Gay Science, Nietzsche briefly returns to this theme in the encounter with the demon in aphorism 325 )or thereabouts). In other words, Zarathustra's central theme is the teaching of eternal recurrance, and it is in Zarathustra where one can attempt to interpret what Nietzsche meant by eternal recurrance.

Look closely at "The Adder's Bite," "The Vision and the Riddle," "Of Old and New Law Tables," "The Drunken Song," and, most importantly, "Of Redemption." There are treasures in this book that hold the keys to Nietzsche's bounty - read him like Plato.
 

A New World View, November 9, 2000 
Reviewer: Ryan Drum from Steven's Point, WI United States
Before you read this book, realize this: Thus Spoke Zarathustra is considered by Nietzche to be his ultimate gift to us. To truly understand it you must understand the evolution of his thoughts. Thus Spoke is a culmination of his life, and to realize what Nietzche means, beyond the surface and any preconceived notions you might have, you have to know what built up to this book. I suggest reading: "Nietzche: Philosopher, Psychologist, AntiChrist" to gain perspective on what formed this amazing thinker. The thoughts may seem harsh when they stand alone, but as you begin to see the picture that Nietzche paints, you will find it hard to deny the reality of his thoughts and their implications on your view of the world. In one way he can be seen as a pessimistic "nihilist"; at the same time his thoughts are beautiful, full of hope. Ironic, isn't it? We destroy the world of idols and false values so that we may rebuild it, so that we may overcome it.
 
 
 

Review for the non-philosopher, November 4, 2000 
Reviewer: Andy Gill (see more about me) from Bagshot, England
There seem to be plenty of reviews debating the philosophical principles of Nietszche and the statements he makes, so, for the non-philosophy students present (i.e. ME) I'll rate it for the layman. 

'TSZ' is very longwinded, and as the introduction states, filled with 'excess', but that does not make it a bad book. Every sentence is imbued with its own iconic poetry, and, philosophy aside, the metaphors and similes alone make this book worth reading. It is clear that Nietszche, or perhaps his translator, had a mind better suited to creative expression than most philosophers, or indeed today's authors, and it is in this that lies the book's real strength. Through its use of imagery it not only makes an interesting, inspirational, conjectural read (apart from a few really boring parts that seemed written only to slow down the pace), it makes its message easy to understand and backs it up with surrealistic examples. Whereas sometimes in philosophy, the use of allegory can confuse the issue (More's 'Utopia' - mockery of idealism, framework for perfect society, or rambling tale?), in 'Zarathustra' the reader, no matter whether they are new to the field or not, cannot fail to discern the message that Man is not a goal but a bridge, a rope over an abyss. As philosophy, and as literature, it succeeds in conveying its point, setting up a platform for discussion or merely to digest individually. Admittedly, some refuse to read Nietszche because of his view of women ('shallow waters'), and because of how his ideas for the Superman allegedly inspired Hitler's Aryan vision for the world, but such people deprive themselves of an interesting viewpoint that defines the meaning of life in human rather than spiritual terms.

One potential problem for the newcomer to philosophy is the storyline. For a man remembered for the statement 'God is dead', Nietszche obviously drew inspiration from the Bible, for Zarathustra is strongly reminiscent of Jesus, recruiting disciples and disappearing into the wilderness with a frequency that Bigfoot would be proud of. The problem with an allegorical tale is the reader's propensity for bringing western narrative expectations to it - 'Zarathustra' is a text-book, not a story, but sometimes you do find yourself waiting for the climax, the big show-down, the cinematic denouement. So long as you remember that it is philosophy, not a novel, and so long as you appreciate each segment as an expressive point and not part of a conventional plot, there should be no troubles. I'll leave you with a sample of Nietzsche's verbal wizardry:

'It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come on doves' feet guide the world.' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Quinn, Daniel

Beyond Civilization : Humanity's Next Adventure

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 
Futurist Daniel Quinn (Ishmael) dares to imagine a new approach to saving the world that involves deconstructing civilization. Quinn asks the radical yet fundamental questions about humanity such as, Why does civilization grow food, lock it up, and then make people earn money to buy it back? Why not progress "beyond civilization" and abandon the hierarchical lifestyles that cause many of our social problems? He challenges the "old mind" thinking that believes problems should be fixed with social programs. "Old minds think: How do we stop these bad things from happening?" Quinn writes. "New minds think: How do we make things the way we want them to be?"

Whether he is discussing Amish farming, homelessness, "tribal business," or holy work, Quinn's manifesto is highly digestible. Instead of writing dense, weighty chapters filled with self-important prose, he's assembled a series of brief one-page essays. His language is down to earth, his metaphors easy to grasp. As a result, readers can read about and ponder Beyond Civilization at a blissfully civilized pace. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

Book Description 
In Beyond Civilization, Daniel Quinn thinks the unthinkable. We all know there's no one right way to build a bicycle, no one right way to design an automobile, no one right way to make a pair of shoes, but we're convinced that there must be only one right way to live -- and the one we have is it, no matter what. 

Beyond Civilization makes practical sense of the vision of Daniel Quinn's best-selling novel Ishmael. Examining ancient civilizations such as the Maya and the Olmec, as well as modern-day microcosms of alternative living like circus societies, Quinn guides us on a quest for a new model for society, one that is forward-thinking and encourages diversity instead of suppressing it. Beyond Civilization is not about a "New World Order" but a "New Personal World Order" that would allow people to assert control over their own destiny and grant them the freedom to create their own way of life right now -- not in some distant utopian future.
 
 

From the Inside Flap 
"As always with Quinn, his argument is crystalline and reads like a thriller. He shows us that getting 'beyond' the mess of civilization doesn't mean changing human nature or setting off a revolution. We need only breathe new life into an ancient human strategy for survival. Quinn's plan is inspiring and devilishly clever." --John Briggs, author of Seven Life Lessons of Chaos 

"Beyond Civilization is the most solid, real, practical, and you-can-really-do-it book you'll ever find on how to save the world. Daniel Quinn has again proven he is one of our century's greatest and most insightful thinkers. The re-tribalization of the world: what an extraordinary possibility!" --Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight 

Praise for the award-winning Ishmael 

"From now on I will divide the books I have read into two categories--the ones I read before Ishmael and those I read after." --Jim Britell, Whole Earth Review 

"Daniel Quinn has written two of the most unnerving and transformative books in recent history. The first was Ishmael; The Story of B is the other, a compelling 'humantale' that will unglue, stun, shock, and rearrange everything you've learned and assume about Western civilization and our future." --Paul Hawken, author of Natural Capitalism 

"As suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction you are likely to read this or any other year." --The Austin Chronicle --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

From the Back Cover 
"Beyond Civilization is the most solid, real, practical, and you-can-really-do-it book you'll ever find on how to save the world. Daniel Quinn has again proven he is one of our century's greatest and most insightful thinkers. The re-tribalization of the world: what an extraordinary possibility!" 
-- Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

"As always with Quinn, his argument is crystalline and reads like a thriller. He shows us that getting 'beyond' the mess of civilization doesn't mean changing human nature or setting off a revolution. We need only breathe new life into an ancient human strategy for survival. Quinn's plan is inspiring and devilishly clever." 
-- John Briggs, author of Seven Life Lessons of Chaos 

The author, Daniel Quinn , September 18, 1999
The book that ISHMAEL readers have been waiting for...
Readers who have followed my career from book to book know that their response to my work plays a very significant role in what I write. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that each successive book is one that readers have ASKED for. When ISHMAEL came out in 1992, readers wrote to ask two questions: "Where did this extraordinary book come from?" and "What is your personal religious vision?" PROVIDENCE was written to answer the first of these questions and THE STORY OF B was written to answer the second. By 1995 I was hearing from more and more teenage and young adult readers struggling to make sense of a world that was becoming increasingly hostile to their present needs and future hopes, and this prompted me to rethink and re-present Ishmael's worldview for this audience of readers, which I did in MY ISHMAEL: A SEQUEL. But after all these books, one question remained to be answered. Of all the questions, this was the most persistent, the most frequently asked, and the most baffling for me to answer. Summarized from hundreds of queries, it goes this way, "I love what you're saying in your books, but what are we supposed to DO about it???" It took me six years of writing---three books, half a dozen essays, innumerable speeches, and thousands of letters---to see how to come to grips with this all-important question, which I've done at last in BEYOND CIVILIZATION: HUMANITY'S NEXT GREAT ADVENTURE. In this nonfiction work I challenge yet another key element of our firmly-fixed cultural mythology, the notion that the thing we call civilization is humanity's final destination--- somehow ordained for humanity from the beginning of time and representing an ultimate, unimprovable, and unsurpassable blessing. According to our cultural mythology, nothing can exist "beyond civilization" except catastrophe, dissolution, and despair. In my own look beyond civilization, I see something completely different---a way to go that does not spell ever-increasing globalization, uniformity, and isolation, with humans reduced more and more surely to the status of valueless, interchangeable parts in a gigantic, soulless money-making machine. The future I explore in BEYOND CIVILIZATION is one in which ordinary people can once again assert control over their future, while recovering the wealth of tribal support and the freedom to live at a scale and in a style of their own choosing. Visit the Ishmael website for a preview of BEYOND CIVILIZATION and book tour information, --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

About the Author 
DANIEL QUINN is the award-winning author of Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Quinn, Daniel

Ishmal

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews 
Here's the novel that, out of 2500 submissions, won the ecological-minded Turner Tomorrow Award--and caused a mutiny among the judges when it was awarded the $500,000 first prize. Is it that good--or bad? No, but it's certainly unusual, even eccentric, enough to place Quinn (the paperback Dreamer, 1988) on the cult literary map. 

What's most unusual is that this novel scarcely is one: beneath a thin narrative glaze, it's really a series of Socratic dialogues between man and ape, with the ape as Socrates. The nameless man, who narrates, answers a newspaper ad (``TEACHER seeks pupil...'') that takes him to a shabby office tenanted by a giant gorilla; lo! the ape begins to talk to him telepathically (Quinn's failure to explain this ability is typical of his approach: idea supersedes story). Over several days, the ape, Ishmael, as gruff as his Greek model, drags the man into a new understanding of humanity's place in the world. In a nutshell, Ishmael argues that humanity has evolved two ways of living: There are the ``Leavers,'' or hunter-gatherers (e.g., Bushmen), who live in harmony with the rest of life; and there are the ``Takers'' (our civilization), who arose with the agricultural revolution, aim to conquer the rest of life, and are destroying it in the process. Takers, Ishmael says, have woven a ``story'' to rationalize their conquest; central to this story is the idea that humanity is flawed--e.g., as told in the Bible. But not so, Ishmael proclaims; only the Taker way is flawed: Leavers offer a method for living well in the world ... A washout as a story, with zero emotional punch; but of substantial intellectual appeal as the extensive Q&A passages (despite their wild generalities and smug self-assurance) invariably challenge and provoke: both Socrates and King Kong might be pleased. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. 

Book Description 
The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man's destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him-- one more wonderful than he has ever imagined? 

Synopsis 
An award-winning, compelling novel of spiritual adventure about a gorilla named Ishmael, who possesses immense wisdom, and the man who becomes his pupil, offers answers to the world's most pressing moral dilemmas. Reprint. 

The publisher, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 
"The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man's destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him-- one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?

"A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet...laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny." -- New York Times Book Review. 

"[Quinn] entrap[s] us in the dialogue itself, in the sweet and terrible lucidity of Ishmael's analysis of the human condition...it was surely for this deep, clear persuasiveness of argument that Ishmael was given its huge prize." -- The Washington Post

"It is as suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year" -- The Austin Chronicle.

"Deserves high marks as a serious -- and all too rare -- effort that is unflinchingly engaged with fundamental life-and-death concerns." -- The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

From the Back Cover 
"A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet...laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny." -- New York Times Book Review. 

"[Quinn] entrap[s] us in the dialogue itself, in the sweet and terrible lucidity of Ishmael's analysis of the human condition...it was surely for this deep, clear persuasiveness of argument that Ishmael was given its huge prize." -- The Washington Post

"It is as suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year" -- The Austin Chronicle.

"Deserves high marks as a serious -- and all too rare -- effort that is unflinchingly engaged with fundamental life-and-death concerns." -- The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

About the Author 
Daniel Quinn's first book, Ishmael, won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, a prize for fiction presenting creative and positive solutions to global problems. He is also the author of Providence, The Story of B, and My Ishmael.

Quinn, Daniel

My Ishmael

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews , September 1, 1997
Another irresistible rant from Quinn, a sequel to his Turner Tomorrow Fellowship winner, Ishmael (1992), concerning a great, telepathic ape who dispenses ecological wisdom about the possible doom of humankind. Once more, Quinn focuses on the Leavers and Takers, his terms for the two basic, warring kinds of human sensibility. The planet's original inhabitants, the Leavers, were nomadic people who did no harm to the earth. The Takers, who have generally overwhelmed them, began as aggressive farmers obsessed with growth, were the builders of cities and empires, and have now, in the late 20th century, largely run out of space to monopolize. Quinn's books have not featured many memorable characters, aside from Ishmael. This time out, though, he invents a lively figure, 12-year-old Julie Gerchak, who is tough and wise beyond her years, having had to deal with a self-destructive, alcoholic mother. Julie responds to Ishmael's ad seeking a pupil with an earnest desire to save the world (a conceit carried over from the earlier novel). Once again, the gentle ape shares his wisdom in a series of questions and answers that resemble, in method, a blend of the Socratic dialogues and programmed learning. Moving beyond his theories about Leavers and Takers, Ishmael presents a detailed critique of educational systems around the world, suggesting that their function is not to usefully educate but to regulate the flow of workers into a Taker society. This is all very well, but what does Ishmael/Quinn suggest be done to redeem the Takers, and to save the earth? Quinn seems to want to sketch out how change might come about, but it's never fully explored. Instead, the novel is increasingly taken up with the mysteries surrounding Ishmael's travels and fate. This is the weakest of Quinn's novels, but his ideas are as thought-provoking as ever, even so. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

Book Description 

Winner of the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, Daniel Quinn's Ishmael is an underground bestseller and a testament for a burgeoning spiritual movement. Now Quinn presents an extraordinary sequel, a companion novel so startlingly original that even Ishmael's most faithful readers will not predict its outcome....

When Ishmael places an advertisement for pupils with "an earnest desire to save the world," he does not expect a child to answer him. But twelve-year-old Julie Gerchak is undaunted by Ishmael's reluctance to teach someone so young, and convinces him to take her on as his next student. Ishmael knows he can't apply the same strategies with Julie that he used with his first pupil, Alan Lomax--nor can he hope for the same outcome. But young Julie proves that she is ready to forge her own spiritual path--and arrive at her own destination. And when the time comes to choose a pupil to carry out his greatest mission yet, Ishmael makes a daring decision--a choice that just might change the world. 

Synopsis 
The telepathic lowland gorilla featured in Quinn's award-winning book "Ishmael" returns in an extraordinary sequel, telling the story of 12-year-old Julie Gerchak, whose concerns about the future present a challenge that Ishmael is not quite sure he is prepared to handle. 

From the Publisher 
Praise for the award-winning work of Daniel Quinn:

My Ishmael

"Enthralling, shocking, hope-filled, and utterly fearless, Quinn leads us deeper and deeper into the human heart, history and spirit. Thank God the Gorilla is Back!"
--Susan Chernak McElroy, Author of Animals as Teachers & Healers

Ishmael

"From now on I will divide the books I have read into two categories--the ones I read before Ishmael and those read after."
--Jim Britell, Whole Earth Review

"A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet...laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny."
--The New York Times Book Review

"As suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year."
--The Austin Chronicle

The Story Of B

"A compelling 'humantale' that will unglue, stun, shock, and rearrange everything you've learned and assume about Western civilization and our future." 
--Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce

"One of the most important storytellers of our age, Daniel Quinn, in The Story of B, continues the journey begun so beautifully with Ishmael."
--Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

From the Back Cover 
"Enthralling, shocking, hope-filled, and utterly fearless, Quinn leads us deeper and deeper into the human heart, history, and spirit. Thank God the gorilla is back! In My Ishmael, Quinn strikes out into entirely new territory, posing questions that will rock you on your heels, and providing tantalizing possibilities for a truly new world vision."
--Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers & Healers

"Irresistible...[Quinn's] ideas are as thought-provoking as ever."
--Kirkus Reviews 

About the Author 
Daniel Quinn's first book, Ishmael, won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, a prize for fiction presenting creative and positive solutions to global problems. He is also the author of Providence, The Story of B, and My Ishmael.

Quinn, Daniel

The Story of B

Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile 
Father Jared Osborne journeys to Europe to seek out the one the masses call "B"--whom the church calls the Antichrist. B's message returns us to the time, millions of years ago, before mankind's "Great Forgetting," when the earth had a single religion-- a deep spiritual connection to the universe that was as unconscious as breathing. Heald's performance is masterful, almost intoxicating. The very nature of the story demands that it be heard, the way Jared hears B's teachings. Listeners are directly included in the story's final moments. More than a suspenseful story of good versus evil, The STORY OF B is about the power of minds that have changed--and chosen the truth. R.A.P. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

From Booklist 
Continuing the thought-provoking philosophical construct that he set up in Ishamel (1991), Quinn provides an even deeper and more wide-ranging story: Is the guru known as B the Antichrist? Jared Osborne is a priest of the Laurentian order, one of whose religious tasks is to identify the Antichrist. He is sent to Germany to ingratiate himself with B and divine his mission. Not surprisingly, Jared is soon in much deeper than he could possibly have imagined, questioning every facet of his own beliefs. Like his previous book, Quinn's new novel is heavily structured as philosophic instruction; here the topics are religions based on animism versus those based on salvation, the nature of society, and the destruction of the planet. Although this sounds like heavy going (and occasionally it is), the book is also enormously readable, with several shocking plot twists that help mold what could have been just a treatise into a good story. A must for fans of Ishmael, this disturbing, intelligent book will also attract new readers. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

From Kirkus Reviews , September 15, 1996
Loose sequel to Quinn's debut novel, Ishmael (1992), the odd and controversial winner of the $500,000 Turner Tomorrow Award. In Ishmael, a young neophyte more or less accidentally apprenticed himself to a great talking ape, allowing Quinn to string together a series of Socratic dialogues on mankind's woes. Here, the device is much the same. We meet a young Laurentian priest, Jared Osbourne, who notes early on that the Laurentians still observe an old injunction: to watch for the appearance of the Antichrist. Jared is sent by his superior to investigate an itinerant European preacher known as B, a.k.a. Charles Atterley. Atterley isn't satanic in the least, however, nor even very religious, so the ``Antichrist'' tag is just a platform for Quinn to do his own preaching, which is reminiscent of the ape's declamations in Ishmael. When B is assassinated for his views, it makes little sense in terms of the plot, since all B does is talk (and talk)--he doesn't cast spells or plot world dominion. He talks about how primitive cultures were divided up into ``Leavers'' and ``Takers,'' how these ancient archetypes are still working themselves out, and how overpopulation will, in the next century, come near to obliterating us all. Modern agriculture, which Quinn thinks of as ``totalitarian'' because it's so divorced from nature, will not address the needs of 12 billion people (the UN estimate of how many of us there will be by 2040). The novel's format is artificial and far-fetched, but no matter: The author writes a facile, clear prose, and the ideas he wants to discuss are admittedly important. Quinn is a provocative thinker. Imagine a combination of Robert M. Pirsig for style, Ayn Rand for cardboard characters on soapboxes, and the Unabomber for a nature-centered but slightly menacing feel. The combination equals Quinn, and makes for a helluva rant. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

Book Description 
The Story of B combines Daniel Quinn's provocative and visionary ideas with a masterfully plotted story of adventure and suspense in this stunning, resonant novel that is sure to stay with readers long after they have finished the last page. Father Jared Osborne--bound by a centuries-old mandate held by his order to know before all others that the Antichrist is among us--is sent to Europe on a mission to find a peripatetic preacher whose radical message is attracting a growing circle of followers. The target of Osborne's investigation is an American known only as B. He isn't teaching New Age platitudes or building a fanatical following; instead, he is quietly uncovering the hidden history of our planet, redefining the fall of man, and retracing a path of human spirituality that extends millions of years into the past. From the beginning, Fr. Osborne is stunned, outraged, and awed by the simplicity and profundity of B's teachings. Is B merely a heretic--or is he the Antichrist sent to seduce humanity not with wickedness, but with ideas more alluring than those of traditional religion? With surprising twists and fascinating characters, The Story of B answers this question as it sends readers on an intellectual journey that will forever change the way they view spirituality, human history, and, indeed, the state of our present world. 

Synopsis 
Furthering the intellectual and environmental message first proffered in the award-winning book, "Ishmael, The Story of B" tells the story of Jared Osborne, a priest sent on a mission to investigate an itinerant preacher whose radical speeches are attracting a growing number of followers. "Compelling".--Paul Hawken, author of "The Ecology of Commerce" Print ads. BDD ONLINE feature. 

From the Publisher 
 

A new novel by the author of Ishmael

"Daniel Quinn has written two of the most unnerving and transformative books inrecent memory. The first was Ishmael; The Story of B is theother, a compelling `humantale' that will unglue, stun, shock, and rearrangeeverything you've learned and assume about Western civilization and ourfuture."
--Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce

"One of the most important storytellers of our age, Daniel Quinn, in TheStory of B, continues the journey begun so beautifully with Ishmael.Whether or not you agree with every word, there is no doubt that `B' offers usa unique opportunity--to think together about the unquestioned beliefs andassumptions that have shaped our culture over the past 10,000 years and thatwill, if they remain unquestioned, keep us on a path that seems increasinglyunsustainable."
--Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
Copyright © 1996 by Daniel Quinn. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

About the Author 
Daniel Quinn's first book, Ishmael, won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, a prize for fiction presenting creative and positive solutions to global problems. He is also the author of Providence, The Story of B, and My Ishmael.

Redfield, James

Celistine Prophecy

Editorial Reviews
Find out for yourself why virtually everyone you know has this book, described as an "adventure in pursuit of a spiritual mystery", on their coffee table. In the tradition of Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 
From AudioFile 
Is this book fiction or nonfiction? Those of us who staff reference desks often hear this question asked about Redfield's spiritual/adventure tale. The adventure is undoubtedly fiction; however, the prophesies (spiritual insights) in the tale are harder to classify. Jesse Corli's reading of this best-seller adds to the mystery. He reads in hushed, anticipatory tones, almost whispering the secrets of the prophesies. Dialogue makes up much of the narrative, and Corli handles it well. Voices of... read more Customer Reviews of the Day (what's this?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Don't miss the point..., December 31, 2000 
Reviewer: Colleen Levitt (see more about me) from Royal Oak, MI United States
I read this book several years ago and cannot get over the amount of negative reaction this book is getting. I have read many other books about Jungs theories of synchronicity. While it is an intriguing concept and worth exploring, all previous texts have been bone dry. You have to at least give Redfield credit for writing the book in the form of a parable to introduce people to the "insights" this book offers up. No, it is not a classic piece of literature nor are the concepts revolutionary. However, that being said, it was an extremely accesible book that resonated with millions of readers. Say what you want, but whatever starts people on their spiritual journey and helps our human conciousness evolve, however slightly, cannot be all bad. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
 
 
 

Good for your coffee table, bad for your mind., November 21, 2000 
Reviewer: gregnog (see more about me) from Swarthmore, PA USA
Goodness gracious, what a poorly written book. I read this book as a pretty naive young kid, and I still didn't find it particularly engrossing. However, if you're willing to look past the shoddy prose, you may still like it. Take this brief 5-question test:

1. Do I believe that crystals have healing powers?

2. Am I a vegetarian?

3. Do I think that by staring at my hand, I may eventually see its magical aura?

4. Do New Age spiritual leaders know what they're talking about?

5. Can a hippie make a difference?

If you answered yes to at least two questions, there's a good chance you'll like this book. If not, go read some Shakespeare or something. You'll be much happier.
 
 

I was suprised by this book, January 3, 2001 
Reviewer: A reader from Kalispell, Montana
Everyone I know who has read this book said it was a "must read" and that you learn so much from Redfield and his discovery of the nine insights. I bought the book and started to read it -- I was taken aback, I had NO idea it had all of the "adventure" of the author's racing through the Peruvian jungle to find the manuscript. That part of the book just did not cut it for me -- I thought the book was too long and the author could have just written up the insights and made the book a heck of a lot shorter. 

I'm not sure I agree with his findings, but it is an interesting concept. I cannot truly recommend this book, I found it somewhat dull and not very well written. As I said earlier, it could have been a lot shorter and made much more of an impact.
 
 
 
 
 

The Celestine Prophesy/The Tenth Insight, January 3, 2001 
Reviewer: Tara D. Samuels from Chicago, IL USA
I have a compellation of both works in one book. The messages that I received from this book were both inspiring and life changing. I have read this book three times and I get a better understanding of life every time I read it again. If you are one who is seeking spiritual guidance and a positive force within your life I highly recommend that you start with this book. I have awakened unto a new spiritual self and awareness. I have learned how to hold on to my visions and it has helped me learn how to impove the quality of life through myself and with the help of others.

Reed, Ellen Cannon

The Heart of Wicca : Wise Words from a crone on the path

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
Takes us beyond many of the currently popularized ideas and images related to the nature of Wiccan beliefs and practices. It guides us past the surface into a deeper understanding of the lifestyle, mind set, and religious dedication to spiritual growth that lie at the heart of this life-transforming practice. Reed tells us about life in a coven, training, rituals, initiations, finding a teacher, and spell-casting. Introduction. Reading list. Index.

Reed, Ellen Cannon

The witches Qabala :the pagan path and the tree of life

Reed—a High Priestess of the Isian tradition—brings the symbolism of the Qabala into a new light so pagans can see its value and use it to enhance the Great Work. Leaving behind the traditional ceremonial magic and Christian terminology formerly used to explain the Qabala, Reed explains the Tree of Life and how its spheres and paths correspond to elements in the pagan tradition. Illustrated. Bibliography. Index. 1997. 
Qabala is essential to an in-depth study of the Tarot. Many Western people find the Qabala hard to digest though because it is shrouded in Jewish mysticism which is a study all of its own. Reed makes the Qabala accessible to the Western mind. Her essays are well-written and easy to understand. She provides personal experiences to bring the reader to a greater understanding of each sphere of the Tree. Many of my students have claimed a better understanding of the Qabala after reading this book and recommend it to friends. I'll be happy to see Weiser bring this book back into print.

Regardie, Israel

Magical Pantheons

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
Calling on the gods and goddesses of ancient times is part and parcel of most Western magical traditions, but just who are these figures of power? Are they actual beings, bending their ears to our calls, or are they thought forms given power by our persistent prayers? Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero have collected articles answering these and other important questions that arise from the renewal of interest in ancient deities. From the incorporation of Irish and Norse pantheons into Golden Dawn ritual magic to the connections between Osiris and Christ in the Golden Dawn system to a complete ritual for determining for yourself whether or not the gods really exist, these essays address the vital questions serious practitioners of Western magic will inevitably ask.

Regardie, Israel

The Golden Dawn : A Complete Course in Practical Ceremonial Magic

A MUST HAVE for all serious Occult students! Really!, September 6, 1999 
Reviewer: Frater AChDAE (iamsidhe@aol.com) from Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
This book includes most of the major rituals and teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Unfortunately, the GDs golden era is long over, but their teachings have lived on and continued to cast a great beam of brilliant light over the Western Mystery Tradition of Occultism. The stuff in this book is essential to the beginner and Adept alike and well worth the cash to buy it.
 
 
 

Indispensable Reference!, December 15, 1998 
Reviewer: A reader from Seattle, Washington
This book is simply a must have for any Ceremonial Magician! While it is true that there are other paths in the world that practice High Ceremonial Magick, essentially all of them have borrowed in greater or lesser degrees from the Golden Dawn. This book includes all the initiations as practiced in the Temple of Stella Matutina, plus all of the original Knowledge Lectures that were given to the members in the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. While most of this material has been published elsewhere, no where else has it been kept in as close to its original form as Regardie has preserved it, complete with lectures from W. Wynn Westcott and S.L. "MacGregor" Mathers. In other words, why have you been reading this essay rather then clicking on the "Add To My Shopping Cart" button?
 
 

This book in an incredible compendium of the original papers of the Golden Dawn. Isreal Regarde, when he broke ranks and published these papers, laid the foundation for the modern occult movement.

This book contains everything the aspiring adept ever wanted to know about the rituals and teaching of the Golden Dawn (the only more complete work is "The Complete Golden Dawn" published by New Falcon).

A warning though, the reading is dense and betrays the ethics, morality, and biases of the late Victorian era. Much of the ritual offers little in terms of practical magic to the modern magician (unless you are working on mastering the Golden Dawn system).
 
 
 

Good but has several obfuscations., September 16, 2000 
Reviewer: Anthony Eufemio (see more about me) from Newhall, CA United States
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in learning about the Golden Dawn system. The main problem with this edition is that the sections are too cluttered and several obfuscations have been added to confuse those who are not worthy of the hidden knowledge according to the Secret Chiefs. When reading this book, one must take into consideration that the author/compiler of the book was initiated into an offshot of the Golden Dawn ran by frondeurs of the original order orignially started by Westcott and Mathers. This comment goes the same for books written by the Zalewskis and the Ciceros.

Howbeit, this is still good reading and a good reference manual and is a must have for anybody interested in the Western Mystery Tradition

Regardie, Israel

The Tree of Life: a study in magic

Regardie's book is invalueable to the student of the occult., July 20, 1999 
Reviewer: A reader from london
Regardie's Tree of Life is invalueable to the student of both Qabalah and magic, introducing us to the methods employed by Aleister Crowley, the Golden Dawn and the Goetia. Regardie has extensively studied rituals of the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks and outlines simple formulas for performing the most complex rituals founded upon ancient knowledge. Also outlines the Augoeides working.
 
 
 

Regardie's Tree of Life well-laden and fruitful., April 19, 1999 
Reviewer: asabsobel@hotmail.com from Austin, Texas
A book that does not seem to be among the first-mentioned classics of the genre, and I cannot imagine why. Syncretic presentations of magical philosophy and practice are numerous, borrowing from sources such as this, but this book has the unmistakably organic flow and seamlessness of form and substance that mark a deeply considered and eloquent utterance with the ring of mastery. Not a book in quite the modern style or tone, but in a literate, though unostentatious idiom, that does justice to the matter, and serves as an admirable introduction to the Art for such as would as soon not be spoon-fed with more or less predigested material. As an introduction to this subject likely ought to, it leans rather more to the theoretical and expository than to the practical, but makes the point as well and convincingly as I have ever seen that in this endeavor, "practical" exercise undertaken without a deeper understanding of its meaning, is of limited value. And certainly the book is not all as forbidding as the above might suggest, but a well-flowing and engaging volume. Very recommended to whoever welcomes an intellectually and spiritually rewarding challenge.

Renterghem, Tony Van

When Santa was a shaman :the ancient origins of Santa Claus

Mr. van Renterghem's - spelled correctly, with a small "v" - presentation of Santa's ancestors, arguments of religious beliefs aside, are certainly thought provoking. Even though not specifically cited argument by argument, the research appears to be extensive and thorough --judging by the number and variety of sources (12 pages of references!)used, and leads one to further study. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I even bought extra copies for gift-giving, most particularly to my friends and acquaintances of the religious persuasion -- who lament the "descent" of the secular American Santa Claus of today, from the Saint Nicholas of yesteryears.
 
 

Poorly researched, bad anthropology., December 28, 1998 
Reviewer: Dan Wood (dgwood@ameritech.net) from Lemont, Illinois
I was quite disapointed in this book. While I basically agree with the premise that the roots of our myths and celebrations go back to prehistory, the author makes a host of unsubstantiated assertions based on bad anthropology that do a diservice to Paganism. The book is also riddled with self-contradictory statements that undermine any legitimate points the author might make. Further, rather then use citations to back up his assertions, the authour lapses into poorly written fiction that is supposed to convice the reader of the plausibility of the author's ideas. In short, this book has very little to offer students of anthropology, Paganism, or even the casual reader interesed in the roots of Christmas.
 
 

Enjoyable reading and highly believable, December 3, 1998 
Reviewer: Ben Discoe (ben@washedashore.com) from Santa Clara, CA
While the author may indulge in some loose and imaginative anthropology, all the facts presented are true! This is a really enjoyable book, a *fun* book, and a great introduction to the actual history of Xmas, one of the most misunderstood holidays. Most people will be surprised to find out why Santa wears red and white (Coca-cola, 1931) or the ecological context of our relationship with Santa. I highly recommend this book to people who think that Xmas has something to do with Christianity, or those that enjoy seeing human history in a whole new light. Buy a copy for yourself, or it makes a good mind-opening gift.

Missing the Good Olde Days of the Imagination, May 30, 1998 
Reviewer: ouzomandias@mailexcite.com from Austin, TX
This work is a puerile mixed of cribbed Thomas Frazier (_The_Golden_Bough_) and nostalgic speculation about how wonderful things and people must have been during an imaginary pagan prehistory.

The author has a view of monotheism that might seem insightful if it appeared in a 19-year-old, but seems cheap in a survivor of the Second World War. Like Frazier (but without the depth), the author falls into the trap of trying to make all ancient religious customs (real and imaginary) fit into his pet theory; but whereas Frazier was inclined to see evidence of Earth Mother cults in everything, the author sees shamans and pagan trickster gods, and, once having failed to establish the universality of the same through a nonexistent chain of evidence, he argues that the myths around "Santa Claus" and variants (and antecedents) all derive from his fabricated ur-shaman.

Had Robert Graves tackled this subject, we would have had a classic; but here, we just have wishful thinking and oversimplifications.

Robinson, D Koontz

Beautiful Death

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
A collection of photographs from the burial grounds of Europe explores the beauty of cemeteries and the emotions the survivors of the dead placed into the making of the tombs, accompanied by a meditation on the death of his own parents by Dean Koontz. 60,000 first printing. 
 
 

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The Sound of the Cemetary, September 29, 2000 
Reviewer: Jamie Diana (see more about me) from Clearwater, FL USA
To appreciate this is book of art you have to be able to look past all preconceived ideas of cemetaries and dying and look further into a higher realm of spirituality. The monuments featured in this book speak of something other than death - they speak of the person that lives on and the people that are left behind to remember them. Looking through the pages I felt a connection to another world that was very much alive. When you look at each picture you can feel the emotion. The monuments whisper to you from beneath the vines and the algae that threaten to keep their secrets forever. Looking at all of this one must wonder why so many feel the need to express their grief in such a manner? When I look at the pictures, the beautiful aged monuments tell a story of their own and possess their own mortality, especially the ones that mimic our image. Seeing their bodies covered in snow or their faces that have aged like our mortal ones instill a sense of fragility among the living and the dead alike. There is no escaping the inevitable and if you could just look past the marble and granite you would see the souls that are trying to tell you their story. After I read this book I longed to see Pere-Lachaise in Paris. I finally got the opportunity five months ago. Being there was the most surreal experience I have ever had. I found many of the monuments shown and I have to say David Robinson's photography speaks to us in a way that no spoken language can. Pere-Lachaise is over 105 acres of remarkable ethereal beauty. Cemetaries are usually thought of as the land of the dead but this book will show you how alive death can be. After you view this book you will not only see beauty, you will feel it. And if you are one of the lucky ones you will realize that cemetaries are alive and if you listen closely, you will feel what they have to say.
 
 
 

Visual Memoirs Of Cemeteries, March 26, 1998 
Reviewer: Michelle Mullen (mmullen@rocketmail.com) (see more about me) from Pennsylvania
Cemeteries are like galleries of the dead, mausoleums and tombstones etched with the intricacy of a sculptor's chisel. Art of the Cemetery is a gorgeous visual journey into some of the most elegant and quaint gravesides around the world. Horror writer Dean Koontz reflects upon mortality while discussing his personal insights about death, and speaks about the sense of quiet charms that permeate cemeteries from New Orleans to tiny cemeteries hidden away in corners of the world. The pictures in the book represent lavish and sometimes forgotten memorials, and serve as ceremonials to the dead, whether the dearly departed are famous graves buried within Paris' Pere Lachaise cemetery or unmarked tombs decorated in simple yet loving care. Many of the tombs are studies in beauty, and photographer David Robinson's pictures paint an ethereal eye over many of the locations, giving testimony to cemeteries as artistic havens of extraordinary form and decadence. Koontz explores the perceptions of death and the afterlife by reflecting on the history of cemeteries, his eloquent words giving a sense of humanity to the imagery of death. The pictures show remarkably beautiful cemeteries, such as the Montmartre in Paris and the Jewish cemetery in Prague. The idea of transcendence is evoked through the pages, with images of exquisite emblems of wreaths and personal items left on graves to remember the dead. There seems to be a story behind many of the grave sites shown, which makes the book a fascinating exploration each time it's looked at. While the book does depict symbols and artwork of the silent world of the cemetery, it's not a somber portrayal that will sadden. The book's depictions of angelic statues and carven marble resting places serves to uplift the common misconception about death as a final end. To view the pictures and epitaphs from tombs of lovers and children is to visit an unknown soul's home, leaving your thoughts like flowers at their feet.

Rogers, L. W.

Hints to Young Students of Occultism

1911 Occultism Theosophy Book L. W. Rogers

Sanders, Alex

Alex Sanders Lectures

THE ALEX SANDERS LECTURES, with introduction by J.W. Baker, published by Magickal Childe. All this infomation is easily found in common books on wicca. Take the following with a grain of salt: Alex Sanders, an Englishman known as The King of the Witches, was, prior to his death, was the head of 107 covens. At the age of seven, Sanders was initiated into the Craft by his Grandmother, in an austere and powerful rite(he later admitted that this never happened). He later became a professional, practicing Witch, and delved deeply into the realms of black magic. His practices of the Black Arts brought him immense fortune, but accompanied by great personal tragedy. Mr. Sanders then pledged himself to the furtherance of Witchcraft as a benevolent religion. He had an enormous influence on the modern day Craft. This series of twelve lectures was orignally designed for students of Wicca who attended the lectures at his London apartment. The object of the course is to take the beginner through all aspects of the Wicca and help prepare him or her for initiation. The student will be led into the world's oldest religion by a man acknowledged as one of the most powerful Witches in the world.

Sheba, Lady

Book of Shadows

Lady Sheba's material served as my introduction to Wicca many years ago. She has successfully compiled information that touches on many different aspects of the Old Religion. While most of her writings can certainly be found elsewhere, this book nonetheless will provide beginners with a feel for what Wicca is about and contains a great deal of material that predates the Gardnerian era. This book is a treasure!
 
 
 

Lady Sheba's Rehash, November 28, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from Washington State, USA
So at long last, the big "L" has seen fit to republish the supposed Book of Shadows by Lady Sheba. Perhaps they felt safe doing so since the true author of much of the material, Daoreen Valiente, has passed over -- frankly I wouldn't want to take my chances with the ire of a deceased Witch! Lady Sheba's Book of Shadows is a mish-mash of ritual and lore collected form many sources, including material that was freely available during the late 1960's and 1970's from England. Lady Sheba (Jessie Wicker Bell) received it not from the Goddess, but from correspondence with Michael Howard, who later regretted it. Much of the material is also found elsewhere, on the net, in other books, etc.. Nothing new or exciting to be found in this one.
 
 
 

Worth tracking down a copy after all these years., August 30, 1999 
Reviewer: skrobd@swbell.net from AMERICA
I borrowed and used this book almost 20 years ago. The information was very useful and the results I obtained using this information was very satisfactory. This was a very good book with usable guidelines., March 6, 1999 
Reviewer: Rose Gilio<deton8@pacbell.net from California
Lady Sheba was the first Witch I know of who was willing to go public with her coven's book of shadows. Some of the contents dated back to the burning times when nothing could be written, all had to be committed to memory by coven members. Parts of the book were very touching for anyone who has been involved in the practice of magicke. Although most practitioners would rather allow their own traditions to evolve naturally, this book gave a good general outline not only of what one coven did on holy days, but also how a book of shadows should be assembeled. It was definitely worth reading and keeping.

Simmons, Marc

Witchcraft in the Southwest : Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande

The volume devotes equal time to Spanish and Indian supernaturalism along the Rio Grande. Opening with a succinct review of the meaning and evolution of witchcraft in Europe and Spain, Simmons establishes the existence of many similar beliefs among native inhabitants of the New World. Moving chronologically to Spanish colonization, the author vividly conveys Spanish reactions to Pueblo life and religion, the fears of witches and other supernatural forces that plagued Spanish colonists. . . . Emphasizing the beliefs and nature of witchcraft rather than the actual mechanics (which are secret), he follows Hispanic communities into the late 19th century. . . . Readers learn how witchcraft fits into the Pueblo world view and how it compares and contrasts with European and Spanish varieties in such areas as motivation, types, powers, beliefs and means of acquisition. . . . Simmons’ study provides a needed overview and one that is carefully based on available ethnohistorical documents and credible anthropological data."—American Indian Quarterly "The narrative abounds in gothic tales of the bizarre, made more intriguing because European black arts became intertwined with native cults of animal worship, superstitions, herbalism and myths. The witch craze which seized three pueblos, Nambé, Zuñi and Pecos, is graphically reported. . . . A concluding chapter discusses the legacy that still lingers on the contemporary scene. It all makes for fascinating reading."—Westways Magazine A professional historian, author, editor, and translator, Marc Simmons has published numerous books and monographs on the Southwest as well as articles in more than twenty scholarly and popular journals.

Simms, Maria Kay

Witches' Circle

Maria Kay Simms has produced a book that is thoughtful, well-written, enjoyable, and of immediate use to novice and experienced practitioner alike. This is especially true if one is interested in Astrology as well as Witchcraft. Simms melds the two in a logical progression, from initiation through passings to the summerland. Included are rites, songs, and personal annecdotes that gives the reader a sense of personal contact with the author. The size of the book is intimidating, but the rewards are great, and the love of the author for her subject shines thoughout each page. Carefully illustrated, The Witches Circle is likely to please.

Solomon,

Key of Solomon


1914 Key of Solomon This kind of books ilustrate what Magick was, and what Magick is. I admire the author for his work. Of course Samuel L. McGreagor Mathers was an expert on the Magical subjects. Obviously that this book is different from those "new age" garbage that are well fashioned now. This book contain the most excelent description of how to summon and control entities from other realms of existence. Anyhow the student should be wise enough to read this book by the light of the time it was first written. I take the liberty to advise the book Elemetar Treatise on Practical Magick, Papus. It teaches the importance of how to use this knoledge in ower days. EXECELENT WORK. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
 
 
 

An excellent preperatory dissertation on ceremonial magic., January 18, 2000 
Reviewer: typhus_kahn (see more about me) from KY, USA
One of the most recognized books in the occult world. If you do not own this book, or if you've never read it, or (Gods forbid) you have never HEARD of it, then I urge you to buy this book. Although the book contains no real information on the casting of spells or the suchlike it does contain the preperatory rituals for the operator, and the construction of the various instruments of the art. 

A primary resource for students of ritual magic., May 4, 2000 
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (see more about me) from Oregon, Wisconsin
S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers' Key Of Solomon The King provides an excellent survey of the most famous of all magical textbooks, presenting an analysis by one who once headed the Golden Dawn order. A primary resource for those interested in ritual magic.
 
 
 

The First and Best, February 4, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from Wisconsin, USA
This is perhaps the greatest and most important grimoire ever written, the book which all other grimoires were based on. Mathers' edition is spectacular due to his understanding of Hebrew and the vast amount of research put into this edition. This book should be in the library of every student of magic and the occult, whether your interest is pureley academic or if it extends to practice of magic.

Sprenger, James

Kramer, Heinrich

Summers, Montague

Mallus Malfacarium

The Hammer of The Witches: Translated by The Rev. Montague Summers. A Classic of Ignorance
Rating the MALLEUS MALEFICARUM is an exercise is frustration. One cannot "enjoy" this book; like MEIN KAMPF, one reads it for its historical importance. This book should form a part of every thinking person's library as a warning beacon, if for no other reason that it is a seminal textbook on the inhumanity of humanity. 

First written in 1484 by the Friars Kramer and Sprenger, (and reprinted endlessly), the MALLEUS was immediately given the imprimatur of the Holy See as the most important work on witchcraft, to date. And so it remains. 

The MALLEUS MALEFICARUM is a compendium of fifteenth century paranoias, all the more frightening for its totalitarian modernity. ("Anything that is done for the benefit of the State is Good.") In form, it is a "how to" guide on recognizing, capturing, torturing, and executing witches. In substance, it is a diatribe against women, heretics, independent thinkers, romantic lovers, the sensitive passions, human sexuality, and compassion. 

"Vanity of vanities" indeed. In writing the MALLEUS, Kramer and Spenger claimed to be doing "God's work"; these men, and those who followed them worshiped only their own arrogance. Read it and Be Afraid, my friends.

Forming a portion of every working law library for 300 years, there is no estimate of how many women and men were put to death through the mechanism of this benighted book. Some historians estimate that the numbers may run into the millions. 

The text is rife with "caselaw" examples of witchcraft, some of which are clearly delusional and some downright silly, or would be, if they hadn't ended in gruesome deaths for the accused. Take the case of the poor woman who was burned for offering the opinion that "it might rain today" shortly before it did. 

Of note are Kramer and Spenger's assertions that prosecutors are (conveniently) "immune" to witchcraft, and their instructions to Judges to tell the truth to the witch that there will be mercy shown (with the mental reservation that death is a mercy to those prisoner to the devil). Such twisted logic is the cornerstone of the MALLEUS. 

The translator, Rev. Montague Summers, waxes rhapsodic on the "learning" and "wisdom" of the authors of the MALLEUS. He was apparently of a mind with Kramer and Spenger, and wrote two embarrassingly effusive and bigoted introductions (in 1928 and 1946), praising the "brillance" of this work and its importance in this "feministic" era. 

Summers' commentary is as frightening as anything Kramer and Spenger wrote in the text proper, the more so for being 20th century, and particularly post-World War Two. Like the Papal Bull of VIII which is now considered integral with the MALLEUS, future commentators will make much of the statements of Summers, a "modern" man. 

In short, the MALLEUS MALEFICARUM was a license to kill. And it was used far too often and far too freely.

Kramer and Spenger's madness did not die with them; but how many have died with their madness?
 
 
 

a useful if disturbing source, March 15, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from chicago
The Malleus is a timepiece. It reflects the views of certain men at a specfic time. Recent historical research has proved the Malleus to have been of limited use to actual judges in deciding the veracity witchcraft accusations. Most of these judges were not even Catholic, as the authors were. Evidence suggests that even the more rabid judges were loathe to use a document as vitriolic as the Malleus. Although it is an important look at the terrifying possibilities of ignorance and hate, the Malleus should never be seen by anyone as a window into the hearts and minds of all men or persons in authority at the time. As a woman, I am nearly as amused as I am offended by it. (Including the rediculous intro by Montague) Certainly, however, it should never be held up by modern witches as an emblem of medieval/early modern prejudice against their religion. Accused witches of the "burning times" were overwhelmingly Christian women caught up in social or political conflicts of a very local nature. To assign them beliefs that, if confronted with, they would have rejected out of hand (and did)is a grave disservice to the victims. Read it, but also read Sharpe, Larner, Thomas and Underdown.
 
 
 

Malleus Maleficarum - Traditional Catholicism, August 24, 2000 
Reviewer: Ms Yolande W Suzin from Forest Hills, NY USA
Firstly, this is not a "how to" book onwitchcraft. It is a book which describes to the Renaissance mind exactly the best way to determine who is, and who is not, a witch. Since the problem of witchcraft was deemed to be a widespread and incredible pestilence throughout Europe, it's easy to see why every parish in the 18th century would want to get hold of their own copy of this publication. Clergy considered it the bible of the inquisitor for many years. 

Today the use of witchcraft, which is secondary witchcraft, is far more insidious and Kramemer and Sprenger would be hard pressed to point to the source of trouble in town much less get a conviction. Their methods are both cruel and colorful, but are based mainly on testimony of locals. They did take the time to document many of their cases, from which much of book is compiled. The point was to show the reader how to find the witch, document the evidence against the evildoer, bring them to prosecution and obtain a verdict of cruel death. Thus terrifying any prospective furture users. They wanted to educate clergy on what the effects of witchcraft looked like, and how to find objects which were often the source of the problem. They do not instruct on exorcism as this was left to local exorcists who were expected to use standard rituals and learn from experience.

This book, which is difficult to grade because there are few ike it available in English translation gives an excellent overview of who it was who used witchcraft, and what it did to people physically, emotionally or affected their livestock, etc. Folks in the days when the book was written blamed a good deal on the workings of the Devil, and were fast to point their finger at a suspicious neighbor when diseases would strike their family or livestock. Where the writers appear to use the testimony of witnesses as the main method of finding the witch, one should not discount this method completely. They would document their investigations to find an object, or source of trouble if it was placed in the victims home or property. Their method of ferreting out a witch was still the most common one used to find the source of the commerce up until this century.

The book gives many examples of secondary witchcraft prevelent in the world at the time, and for the last two thousand years. Secondary witchraft is what is discussed here exlusively, as Primary witchcraft dissapeared at the time of the Redemption by Christ and was no longer used after that. Its formulas appear to have been lost around that time. Primary witchcraft is never the less alluded to in a few places in the book. The reader should be aware of the difference.

Where this book is an excellent source of data describing the results of traditional secondary witchcraft, a completely in depth understanding requires a good working knowledge of Traditional Catholicism as well as the Traditional Latin Liturgy used by the Roman Catholic Church until about 1970. Many references are made to the traditional liturgy as well as the Redemption. It is assumed the reader would be comfortable and has some knowledge of the 17, 18, and 19th century mentality.

Another book which lightly touches on today's subject of witchcraft but mostly on the possessions brought about through spells is from Ignatius Press, by Gabriel Amoth called "An Exorcist Tells His Story". Father Amorth is the chief exorcist for the Diocesis of Rome and discusses the effects of modern witchcraft. Father Amorth does not seek out or attempt to prosecute the evildoer. He merely helps the victim. In Kramer's time it was assumed help would be found at every local parish. Today there are few exorcists, impossible to find, and no inquisitors. There are however many "how to " books on witchcraft. Food for thought.

Starhawk,

Dreaming the Dark

Editorial Reviews
Synopsis 
Featuring narrative, chants, songs, and rituals, DREAMING THE DARK brilliantly combines the world of magic and spirituality with the world of political and social change. This fifteenth anniversary edition includes a new Preface by the author. THE BLOOMSBURY REVIEW calls this Starhawk's "best book.". 
 
 

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In this book Starhawk somehow managed to put together everything I've ever thought or felt. She intertwines the aspects of our culture that are designed to make us slaves and gives them a name. This book was, for me, the AHA! experience so many occultists speak of. I had a copy of it that I had highlighteted extensivly. Now, as I prerpare to replace it, I realize that if I highlighteted evwrything important, I would highlight the whole book.
 
 
 

Wonderful and Inspiring, April 27, 2000 
Reviewer: gogo_and_doodle (see more about me) from USA
Starhawk is an amazing writer who looks deeper than some authors would care to. _Dreaming the Dark_ is her best book imo, because it offers a deep understanding of women's spirituality, and goes where many others have not.Her writing is friendly and knowledgeable, and you feel like you get to know her as a friend by the time you finish reading. I feel it is best for people to read this book for themselves, rather than me stumble around to find words to describe it. Her book is inspirational and encourages you to find your own way. I especially enjoy the chapters on groups, the beautiful chants at the end, and her comprehensive history of the burning times. A+++
 

DREAMING THE DARK is a self and Earth saver., September 16, 1999 
Reviewer: amaris@magick.zzn.com from arkansas, usa
Dreaming the Dark was the first book I was able to read as I healed from a severe traumatic depression. It was an offered hand of a friend. It was wisdom, hope, and inspiration. Starhawk offers a guide to positive action, to change. Do you want to know HOW to save the world and yourself? Read this book. It will give you the confidence to change yourself and affirms, by stories rich with technique, the attitude that you are an important factor in social change and the evolution and adaptation of the human race. 

Interesting. Thought Provoking., July 21, 1999 
Reviewer: A reader from Indiana
I didn't read all of this book, but it was interesting, and the fact she included chants and songs and so forth was very interesting considering the topics of some of the chapters. Even though Starhawk is a well known feminist and ecofemininst, she knows men very well, and she doesn't constantly put them down either, although there is an occasionally comment or two in some of her books. *laughs* Her books are pretty good, but sometimes, like this one, and I don't mean to be rude, can get boring. She is a good author though as I said, and this book is so philisophical it almost suprises me she wrote this at such a younger age. Read this book and see for yourself if you like it.

Starhawk,

The Spiral Dance : A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess

20th aniversary edition Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 
The original book that brought Goddess worship to the public eye has marked its 10th anniversary, yet it still remains an integral part of the Wiccan canon. The Spiral Dance leans heavily toward the feminist aspects of Wicca, but Starhawk's comments on the new edition make it clear that she is aware of the growing male presence in witchcraft. However, this edition is not some watered down, politically correct revision of the original. Very little is changed aside from the addition of Starhawk's observations on how the book has weathered its first decade, and what few changes she would make if she were writing it today. Readers interested in learning more about contemporary witchcraft, whether considering Wicca as a way of life or simply desiring to understand this earth-based religion, will find a wealth of information in The Spiral Dance, and will notice that it becomes one of the most frequently consulted books in their Wicca libraries. --Brian Patterson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

The New York Times Book Review 
"A very beautiful call for a worldly spirituality." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

-- New York Times Book Review 
"A very beautiful call for a worldly spirituality."
 

Kirkus Review 
"Lucid, appealing. . . a broad philosophy of harmony with nature, of human concord, sexual liberation, creativity, and healthy pleasure, as expressed and celebrated in a freewheeling worship of the universe." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

New Directions for Women 
"One of the key volumes on contemporary American Goddess worship. . .A primary work for those interested in exploring the craft." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

Book Description 
The twentieth anniversary edition of The Spiral Dance celebrates the pivotal role the book has had in bringing Goddess worship to the religious forefront. This bestselling classic is both an unparalleled reference on the practices and philosophies of Witchcraft and a guide to the life-affirming ways in which readers can turn to the Goddess to deepen their sense of personal pride, develop their inner power, and integrate mind, body, and spirit. Starhawk's brilliant, comprehensive overview of the growth, suppression, and modern-day reemergence of Wicca as a Goddess-worshipping religion has left an indelible mark on the feminist spiritual consciousness. 

In a new introduction, Starhawk reveals the ways in which Goddess religion and the practice of ritual have adapted and developed over the last twenty years, and she reflects on the ways in which these changes have influenced and enhanced her original ideas. In the face of an ever-changing world, this invaluable spiritual guidebook is more relevant than ever. 

Synopsis 
The classic that transformed the women's spirituality movement--now completely revised and updated in a 10th anniversary edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

From the Back Cover 
The Spiral Dance is a brilliant overview of the growth, suppression, and modern-day reemergence of Witchcraft as a Goddess-worshipping religion. In this 10th anniversary edition, Starhawk discusses the changes in the world, and in the practice of ritual and Goddess religion, within the last ten years and how they have influenced and enhanced her original ideas. This is a book of tools--some of which have undergone change, others which continue to be developed--for, according to Starhawk, "a living tradition is static or fixed, it changes and responds to changing needs and changing times." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

About the Author 
Starhawk is a Witch, peace activist, ecofeminist, and author of several books, including The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and Truth or Dare. She is the cofounder of the Bay Area Reclaiming Collective, and she teaches and lectures in the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Europe. 

Excerpted from The Spiral Dance : A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess by Starhawk. Copyright © 1999. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved 
 

CHAPTER 1

Witchcraft as

Goddess Religion

Between the Worlds

The moon is full. We meet on a hilltop that looks out over the bay. Below us, lights spread out like a field of jewels, and faraway skyscrapers pierce the swirling fog like the spires of fairytale towers. The night is enchanted.

Our candles have been blown out, and our makeshift altar cannot stand up under the force of the wind, as it sings through the branches of tall eucalyptus. We hold up our arms and let it hurl against our faces. We are exhilarated, hair and eyes streaming. The tools are unimportant; we have all we need to make magic: our bodies, our breath, our voices, each other.

The circle has been cast. The invocations begin:

All-dewy, sky-sailing pregnant moon,Who shines for all.Who flows through all...Aradia, Diana, Cybele, Mah...Sailor of the last sea,Guardian of the gate,Ever-dying, ever-living radiance...Dionysus, Osiris, Pan, Arthur, Hu...
The moon clears the treetops and shines on the circle. We huddle closer for warmth. A woman moves into the center of the circle. We begin to chant her name:

"Diana..."

"Dee-ah-nah..."

"Aaaah..."

The chant builds, spiraling upward. Voices merge into one endlessly modulated harmony. The circle is enveloped in a cone of light.

Then, in a breath-silence.

"You are Goddess," we say to Diane, and kiss her as she steps back into the outer ring. She is smiling.

She remembers who she is.

One by one, we will step into the center of the circle. We will hear our names chanted, feel the cone rise around us. We will receive the gift, and remember:

"I am Goddess. You are God, Goddess. All that lives, breathes, loves, sings in the unending harmony of being is divine. "

In the circle, we will take hands and dance under the moon.

"To disbelieve in witchcraft is the greatest of all heresies." 

Malleus Maleficarum (1486)

On every full moon, rituals such as the one described above take place on hilltops, on beaches, in open fields, and in ordinary houses. Writers, teachers, nurses, computer programmers, artists, lawyers, poets, plumbers, and auto mechanics--women and men from many backgrounds come together to celebrate the mysteries of the Triple Goddess of birth, love, and death, and of her Consort, the Hunter, who is Lord of the Dance of life. The religion they practice is called Witchcraft.

Witchcraft is a word that frightens many people and confuses many others. In the popular imagination, Witches are ugly, old hags riding broomsticks, or evil Satanists performing obscene rites. Modern Witches are thought to be members of a kooky cult, primarily concerned with cursing enemies by jabbing wax images with pins, and lacking the depth, the dignity, and seriousness of purpose of a true religion.

But Witchcraft is a religion, perhaps the oldest religion extant in the West. Its origins go back before Christianity, Judaism, Islam--before Buddhism and Hinduism, as well, and it is very different from all the so-called great religions.

The Old Religion, as we call it, is closer in spirit to Native American traditions or to the shamanism of the Arctic. It is not based on dogma or a set of beliefs, nor on scriptures or a sacred book revealed by a great man. Witchcraft takes its teachings from nature, and reads inspiration in the movements of the sun, moon, and stars, the flight of birds, the slow growth of trees, and the cycles of the seasons.

According to our legends, Witchcraft began more than thirty-five thousand years ago, when the temperature of Europe began to drop and the great sheets of ice crept slowly south in their last advance. Across the rich tundra, teeming with animal life, small groups of hunters followed the free-running reindeer and the thundering bison. They were armed with only the most primitive of weapons, but some among the clans were gifted, could "call" the herds to a cliffside or a pit, where a few beasts, in willing sacrifice, would let themselves be trapped. These gifted shamans could attune themselves to the spirits of the herds, and in so doing they became aware of the pulsating rhythm that infuses all life, the dance of the double spiral, of whirling into being, and whirling out again. They did not phrase this insight intellectually, but in images: the Mother Goddess, the birthgiver, who brings into existence all life; and the Homed God, hunter and hunted, who eternally passes through the gates of death that new life may go on.

Male shamans dressed in skins and horns in identification with the Go and the herds; but female priestesses presided naked, embodying the fertility of the Goddess. Life and death were a continuous stream; the dead were buried as if sleeping in a womb, surrounded by their tools and ornaments, so that they might awaken to a new life. In the caves of the Alps, skulls of the great bears were mounted in niches, where they pronounced oracles that guided the clans to game. In lowland pools, reindeer does, their bellies filled with stones that embodied the souls of deer, were submerged in the waters of the Mother's womb, so that victims of the hunt would be reborn.

In the East--Siberia and the Ukraine--the Goddess was Lady of the Mammoths; She was carved from stone in great swelling curves that embodied her gifts of abundance. In the West, in the great cave temples of southern France and Spain, her rites were performed deep in the secret wombs of the earth, where the great polar forces were painted as bison and horses, superimposed, emerging from the cave walls like spirits out of a dream.

The spiral dance was seen also in the sky: in the moon, who monthly dies and is reborn; in the sun, whose waxing light brings summer's warmth and whose waning brings the chill of winter. Records of the moon's passing were scratched on bone, and the Goddess was shown holding the bison horn, which is also the crescent moon. Customer Reviews of the Day (what's this?)
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful:

Absolutely Essential Pagan Reading, April 26, 2000 
Reviewer: Ariana (see more about me) from Australia
The Spiral Dance is a complex myriad of thoughts, dreams, creation and spiritual exercises that can challenge even the most experienced magical practicioners. This is not a light'n'fluffy read, definitely not a basic introduction to witchcraft, wicca or paganism in any of its forms. For many years, this book was the only widely available text on the Great Goddess' religion and, with two updates to the original work, remains relevant to this day. This book challenges the reader to take their spiritual path more seriously and can be a truly life-changing and mind-expanding experience. All readers can find exercises to suit them. The feminist aspects teaches respect for the feminine to both men and women, being honest and confronting without going to excess. I'd recommend this to anyone seeking to find/understand themselves and their spiritual path, though I would also recommend that this is not a starting point but a way to expand your knowledge and practices. Beginners would be better off looking at Scott Cunningham and Jennifer Hunter for beginners guides. Fiona Horne's books are fantastic guides, with extra info for those of us in the southern hemisphere. Blessed be!
 
 
 

A Brief Word about Historical Revisionism, December 4, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from USA
It would have been better if the author had stuck to her own views on religion rather than attempting to attribute those views to historical people such as Joan of Arc. As a researcher who has translated a number of the documents relating to Joan's life, I would merely like to point out what generations of other scholars have already pointed out: the documents contain numerous quotes from Joan which indicate beyond a doubt what her religion was. Even the transcript of her trial admits that she identified Jesus Christ as, quote, "the King of Heaven, son of Saint Mary" (see the letter entered into the record under Article XXII of the first set), despite claims made by a few popular authors alleging that she never defined who her "King of Heaven" was; her other surviving letters are even more explicit, not only containing phrases such as "King Jesus" (in letters dated July 4, 1429 and July 17, 1429), but there's also a letter to a faction called the Hussites (addressed as "the heretics of Bohemia") dated March 23, 1430, in which she threatens to lead a crusading army against the group unless they return to Catholicism, which she describes as, quote, "the original source of light". These are the sources which have always been used by professional historians (as opposed to pop authors), along with the transcript of the posthumous appeal of her case (generally referred to as the Rehabilitation Trial) in which the men who had taken part in the original trial admitted that she had been convicted for political reasons rather than out of any genuine belief that she was a heretic, a point which is rather obvious even from the transcript of the original trial itself. The verdict was therefore annulled on July 7, 1456, with the presiding Inquisitor describing Joan as a martyr. At any rate, historians can establish that Joan was a Catholic with the same degree of certainty as we can establish that Julius Caesar was a pagan, and it would be nice if people of all faiths respected the historical record rather than trying to appropriate people who belonged to other religions: the author of this book has plenty of ancient cultures available from which to find role models.

Telesco, Patricia J

Advanced Wicca : Exploring Deeper Levels of Spiritual Skills & Masterfull Magic

Advanced Wicca : Exploring Deeper Levels of Spiritual Skills & Masterf
Telesco, Patricia J Leads readers beyond Wicca 101, deeper towards self-mastery., December 5, 2000 
Reviewer: Barbara A. Bolek (see more about me) from Hamtramck, MI USA
There are just so many "right" ways you can learn to cast a circle, invoke the elements, quarters and deities, create a proper altar/sacred space, etc. And the correspondence tables...do you have enough of them already??? This book is what many on the Wiccan path have been pleading for...a book that goes beyond the basic teachings of the Wiccan way.

Finally Pat Telesco moves the practicing Wiccan further down the path towards self-enlightenment. This is not a simple spell or recipe book. It's a resource on how to live a magickal life, to live, breathe, and sleep magick.

Telesco defines what it means to be an adept in the Wiccan community. She covers such things as trancework, group dreamworking, creating amulets, talismans, mazes and labyrinths, working with elementals, and group pathworking. She also provides a number of spells, meditations, visualizations and other exercises or activities. Her community ritual, which involves putting together the pieces of a puzzle, has wonderful depth and meaning. 

She discusses the role for the Wiccan in the Wiccan community, and the greater community at large, whether it be as a teacher, counselor, healer, study group organizer, coven builder, or public spokesperson for the Craft. Telesco also offers wonderful guidelines for self-regulation and how to deal with difficult issues in the Craft such as the internal squabbling known as "Witch wars".

Like so many of her other books (Spinning Spells and Weaving Wonders; Wicca 2000, etc.), this one is very well written and organized. It is a highly recommended addition to the experienced Wiccan's magickal library.
 
 

the next level, November 10, 2000 
Reviewer: aqua_illusion (see more about me) from chisholm, mn USA
this book teaches the intermediate wiccan how to go to the next level without making it too hard. it guides the reader through each level. its a whole new level for those that have already conquered the beginning level. most books on wicca on the market today are only for begginers this is one is for us wiccans that are past that level.
 

Finally - some MEAT, October 11, 2000 
Reviewer: A reader from NY
Oh, thank you! I have been waiting for this book to come out as a much needed adjunct to all the 101 materials out there. The best part about this title is that it stresses "Advanced" doesn't necessarily mean more powerful, but more responsible and better controlled magick. It also talks about the roles and responsibilities of the adepts, teachers, and elders in our community. Beyond this, it gives instructions into magick best suited for a more experienced student of the craft like making elementaries, group dream work, and astral temples. This is definitely 2nd generation Wicca.

Thorsson, Edred

Nine Doors of Midgard : A Complete Curriculum of Rune Magic

9 Doors is by far the best book on runology to date. This book is still available through the Rune Gild, and why Llewellyn let it go is beyond me. It far surpasses the wisdom in FUTHARK or RUNELORE. One thing is this: 9 Doors will open doors but it is you who must walk through them! If you read this book with an open mind you will discover things you never dreamed of. But do not just read the book... WORK THROUGH IT!
 

 
Reviewer: A reader
Nine Doors is an intense study of the Germanic magick's and the process to achieving knowledge. A good study. Not for the faint of heart. It's not easy. Demands your attention but the reward is there. It opens yourself up to expanded awareness and a deeper understanding of the energies we have to work with. That we are! If for nothing more than a book of self-discovery, I recommend it whole heartedly
 
 
 

a traditional and practical Germanic magic curriculum, January 10, 1996 
Reviewer: dnjkirk@acs.ucalgary.ca (see more about me) 
Nine Doors of Midgard is an excellent sourcebook for the study of Germanic magic and its rituals, practice, and runic lore. Apart from Thorsson's tendency to get going at times on his own esoteric runic explanations and get a tad off his 'unbiased' view of the lore, he keeps the text useful and mostly to the point. A great book

Tierney, Patrick

The Highest Altar: The Story of Human Sacrifice

The boredom was endless and lasted a long time, January 11, 2000
Reviewer: Buster G Smith from Boston
Nothing could have prepared me for the monstrosity I was about to read. This book starts out promisingly but quickly degenerates into the ramblings of a spoiled and inarticulate man. Tierney is repetitive and continuously strays from the topic of religion to that of his own experiences. These experiences are useless, unless the reader plans on scaling large mountains in Peru. Besides this I thought the book was generally awful. Explanations are given numerous times, the author is self-glorifying and useful information is always lacking.

Valiente, Doreen

An ABC of Witchcraft

Book Description 
Arranged in alphabetical order for easy reference, the book discusses over 125 subjects that may interest anyone wishing to know more about this ancient pagan religion. Topics include: The relationship of the Bible to witchcraft; The links between Druidism and witchcraft; Atlantis; Witches' Familiars; Dancing; Fire Magic; Flying Ointments; Horses and Witchcraft; Initiations; Love Charms; Royalty and its connection with witchcraft. Up to several pages on each topic.

Valiente, Doreen

Natural Magic

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
Did you know...that the thickness of the layers in a locally grown onion will indicate the severity of the coming winter? Magic is all around us. All we need is the ability to see it, understand it, and apply it. Natural Magic allows us to do just that. Doreen Valiente shows how to tap the magic of: Herbs and flowers; Amulets and talismans; Water, Air, Earth, and Fire; Card reading; Numbers and colors; Weather predicting; Love relationships; Dreams; Birds and animals; Traditional Spells...and much more. "Natural Magic", essentially a practical treatise revealing the magic inherent in human life and nature, shows that magic can be for everyone. 
 
 

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Good overview with authentic roots, July 19, 2000 
Reviewer: eawallace (see more about me) 
The biggest problem I have with most books on magick and Wicca is the lack of real knowledge on the part of the author. Despite the popularity of authors such a Ray Buckland, their claims lack substance and any attempt at historical research will prove this. Here, on the other hand, are teachings from one who learned from Gardner himself. Like the Farrars, with whom she was a close associate, Doreen Valiente speaks from history, culture, and experience, not just wishful thinking. This book is an excellent companion to books on how to practice. It is less a guide then an explanation of the theory and philosophy underlying the Craft. Unlike many of the more contemporary authors, this book is not a fictionalized account of an ancient people about whom almost nothing is known. Nor is it a dogmatic manifesto. For those who look to Wicca as a way to spiritual growth and self awareness, this book is a useful and inspirational tool. For those who embrace Wicca to spite their parents, or who got board pretending to be vampires and want a new way to be cool at the mall, do not bother with this book.
 

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Natural Magic we have all forgotten, September 7, 1998 
Reviewer: paulbarriere@which.net from England
This book will help the reader understand the true religion of whichcraft and magic, rather than the Dennis wheatly version or for that matter the scaremongering put about by the church at the time of the reformation. Doreen Vallentie explains about Nature our earth and how the forces of nature interact with ourselves. May the force be with you!
 
 
 

An excellent addition to any serious witch's library, January 26, 1998 
Reviewer: BronxLake@aol.com (see more about me) 
This book is an excellent view of natural magic as practiced by many witches, especially in Britain. This book is one of the first to cover this topic and it does so in a thorough and highly readable manner. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in this topic or interested in Witchcraft in general. Worth the quest.

Valiente, Doreen

Witchcraft for Tomorrow

Editorial Reviews
Book Description 
The current popularity of Wicca has resulted in many books being published on various aspects of this ancient religion. A great number of these books are based on the authors' own personal belief system and have no real connection to the original teachings. Doreen Valiente and Gerald Gardner were responsible for bringing Wicca into the twentieth century and, in their books, provide details based on the original ancient traditions, thus retaining the magic and vitality of this old religion. "Witchcraft for Tomorrow" includes the following topics:The Old Gods; Witch Festivals; Witch Signs and Symbols; The Magic Circle; Witch Tools; Methods of Witch Divination; Witches' Attire; The Working Site; Witchcraft and Sex Magic. Also included is the `Book of Shadows' which covers many more formerly secret rites: Casting the Circle; Initiation; Full Moon Rituals; Sabbat Rites; Spells; Invocation of the Goddess and the God; Chants and Dances; and much more. Doreen is also the author of "An ABC of Witchcraft" and "Natural Magic".

VHS

Witchcraft through the Ages

Also called "Haxen" Classic Silent Film with Narration and Jazz score added

Whitcomb, Bill

The Magician's Companion : A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com 
This book is as voluminous as its title, and no matter what type of magic you practice, or even if you just study it, it is an indispensable book with a wealth of useful intelligence on all Eastern and Western forms of magic. Bill Whitcomb also graciously provides contact information for areas that are not covered. Any serious student of magic can appreciate the expense of research time, and this book will help minimize the research, thereby allowing more time for your workings. The Magician's Companion is going to be a well-worn volume on my shelf. 
 
 

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I am rarely one to throw this much praise onto a book, but this is great! A good overview of many magical systems that gives either new magical students or the eclectic pagan some refreshing materials. Great as a reference, but I read mine straight through. His style is easy and enjoyable to read, but still maintains respectability. If you are looking for a TRUE magician's companion...this is it! It's been to more group meetings than I can count.
 

Excellent but with some errors, April 13, 1999 
Reviewer: Erik T (courtesan69@hotmail.com) from Vancouver
This Book is an excellent book for reference but as others mentioned there are several mistakes and so I think that while an excellent book one which ALOT of care and research obviously went into I have to say it could still use some revisions but if you are looking for a general reference and source for further reading and just about anything else I heartily reccommend this book though I believe they shoudl releasea second revised edition so the typos and such do not ruin the quality of such a massive, well done, informative and beautiful work I believe that it has truly earned its name and should be in the library of any interested in magick new age anthropology cryptography or a million other things
 

A good reference if used with care, December 16, 2000 
Reviewer: smilingpanther (see more about me) from North FL
While this book lacks real depth in any of its topics, it is quite useful as a starting point for general information. Unfortunately, the editor seems to have been asleep at his desk. There are numerous errors throughout the work, but nothing which a little time and determination won't see you around. A book worth having so long as you keep sight of its shortcomings.
 
 
 

A wonderful, invaluable resource!, December 15, 2000 
Reviewer: arielsrave (see more about me) from Morristown, TN USA
I have been studying religions, philosophies and spiritual paths for years, forming my own beliefs into something cohesive. Having finally gotten to the point where my spiritual beliefs are somewhat established, I decided to investigate the various magickal systems in order to aid me in working ritual and magick into my spiritual practices. I wasn't sure where to start until I came across this book.

It encompasses information that one would usually have to purchase several books to acquire. The explanations are detailed enough to get a good feel for the system being described and the charts, diagrams and symbols are thorough and well-drawn (though one will come across a few typoes here and there, but even as a relative novice, I found them rather obvious and easy to circumvent).

If you're looking for a good reference guide of magickal systems or are just curious about them, this is the book to buy.

Whitcomb, Bill

The Magician's Reflection : A Complete Guide to Creating Magical Symbols & Systems

The Magician's Reflection is written by the same author as The Magician's Companion, is yet another reference book for your magickal library. This volume coupled with the other is the most complete set available to date of the world's magickal symbols and will help all students of the Craft from beginner to seasoned practitioner.

The Book is divided into three sections. Part 1 deals with magickal symbolism. It includes how to work with the Archetypes, working with the mythos and creating yur own, working with color, numerology, shapes, metals, stones, herbs, trees, and more. The list is extensive and each chapter has exercise to bring the work to a practical personal level of understanding and comprehension.

Part 2 is "Putting it all together" and creating a personal symbolism system that is unique unto you. This is a very powerful form of magickal application that is not taught except in bits and pieces elsewhere! Learn to create your own magickal alphabet. Learn what the different parts of a system are and how to energize them.

The third part is working with the system you have created to do specific works including: naming a magical being, pathworking, astral work, evocation, invocation, etc. Page after page this volume is well-worth owning!

Zimmerman, Denise and Gleason, Katherine A.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft

Editorial Reviews
From the Back Cover 
This guide offers a beginner's look at the history of paganism, Wicca, and witchcraft, from the Druids and Celts to the witches of today who practice an earth-based religion, cast spells, and perform natural magic. The book, written by a practicing witch, reveals details of the witches' Sabbaths, ceremonies, and altars. 
 
 

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Reviewer: juneholl (see more about me) from USA
Initially, since this was a Complete Idiot's Guide, I took it for a joke. Then I found it to be written with great respect and encouragement for new witches everywhere. Upon finishing, I thought it possibly the most thorough introduction to Wicca now available. 

It touches on EVERYTHING connected with Wicca. Each chapter serves as a solid grounding in its topic and a jumping-off place for more study. 

You get chapters on witches in history, sabbats and esbats, the Lord and the Lady, covens and solitaries, magical tools and costumes, the seasons of nature, the phases of the moon, astrology, dreams, divination, how to write your own spells, herb magic, candle magic, color magic, altars, magic circles, familiars, pentacles, and so much more!

The authors write in a clear, inviting, friendly style. The information is so well-organized that only later do you realize what an exhausting amount you've covered. Throughout, the authors serve as wise guides, anticipating and steering you clear of any conceivable pitfall (such as ingesting unknown herbs or using your magic to interfere with anyone's free will).

My one disappointment in the book concerns its title: it's really about Wicca and does no more than mention other types of witchcraft in a brief historical summary. But I still found it a rich offering to pagans everywhere: THE definative introduction!
 
 
 

A review from a real, live, practicing witch!, November 20, 2000 
Reviewer: orianaulesia (see more about me) from Kemah, Texas USA
I found Denise Zimmermann's Book on Wicca and Witchcraft to be positively delightful! At last a simple primer that helps the "witchlets" of the world peek inside to see what a beautiful spiritual pathway Wicca really is!. Ms. Zimmermann breaks down the basic practices, legends, and lore into easy to understand language. She banishes misconceptions and myths in this easy to read guide. Kudos to both Denise and Ms. Gleason for a real "must read" for anyone who thinks they may have a bit of the craft in their heart!
 
 
 

Excellent despite its faults, December 16, 2000 
Reviewer: lionrhod (see more about me) from Geneva, FL USA
I had several disagreements with this book - Circle geometry and the alleged need to cast a circle inside a square to give the watchtowers corners to sit on; how many dragons there are; pentacle vs pentagram, and a few others. They also show the pentagram in mirror-reverse of the actual direction (Earth should be bottom left, not bottom right.)though somehow they manage to get the direction of invoking via the pentacle correctly, except for spirit. Despite these faults the book is clearly written and contains excellent information for the novice witch, and even for some who've been around a while. I'll be recommending it (with corrections, of course) to my students.

Complete Idiot's guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, November 22, 2000 
Reviewer: Marcia Noyes from Royal Oak, MD USA
The authors presented the craft not only on a spiritual /religious level but a practical level as well. I found myself intrigued by this informative book. Initially , I had preconceived ideas about Wicca being similar to satanic worship,however after reading this enlightening document , fears were nullified. Truly ,abook worthy of reading for those seeking a different path and inclusive of those desiring to know all choice.