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Bookviews Book Reviews

   

 11-19-2005
 

 

Seasons of the
Witch 2006 Weekly

by Victoria David Danann

 

I received my new 2006 weekly calendar this year, but I ordered it to replace my now deceased PDA which died an untimely death – more than once.  I had come to rely on all the information I stored on it, and needed something that could replace it, without the batteries.  I did own a “day planner” years ago, and found it to be one of the most useful tools in my bag.  The PDA was supposed to replace this.  So much for “supposed”.

I ordered the “day planner” because I needed the extra space for pertinent information.  Besides having the beautiful “weekly” edition, the planner has so much more.

First, the weekly planner.  This is the same product you would receive if you bought the spiral weekly planner, except this version fits into your planner cover.  Instead of a spiral, it has seven holes to fit the leather binder.

The front of the calendar gives you the standard "witchy" information – an overview of the Esbats, Wheel of the Year, 13 month lunar calendar, meanings of the information on each day and directions for use.

Each month is introduced with a lovely picture of a modern witch in various poses, except December, which has a room decorated for Yule.  The pictures are pretty, sometimes humorous, and very appealing.  This is followed by what I consider to be critical in a day planner – the month at a glance pages.  This is a two page spread, with blocks for quick notes, last month and next month calendars and pertinent information, like holidays and moons already printed in the blocks.  Phases of the moon and Mercury in Retrograde (very important information) are indicated, along with a plethora of other important notes.

The pages that follow break down the week into two page spreads, with more information regarding the days, done Moon Day (Monday) through Sun Day.  There is a “three month” calendar at the end of each week, for reference, and a small box with a lovely graphic and an interesting tidbit of information like about oils, or rituals, or discussion about Mercury in Retrograde.

Actually, there are lovely little graphics throughout the book, making this a beautiful day planner all by itself.

But we come to the best part.  The additional “stuff” you get with the binder version of the day planner.

The “plain leather zipper” binder is not so plain.  This is a beautiful binder, strong, elegant black leather with ample side binding so the zipper will close even if you stuff the binder, as I commonly do.  There is plenty of space.  It is a very roomy 8X10 inch size with about 2 inches for depth in the zipper area.  I already have my compass and pendulum in my binder as well as all the other stuff and some papers, and the zipper closes very comfortably and easily.  The leather is quality, nicely stitched.  The inside has a seven ring bbinder secured firmly to the binder, with space for various cards, writing pad, pencil AND pen (comes with a charming pen with Thebian inscription), a zippered pouch and a folder on the side.

The extras includes monthly tabbed divider cards of good stiff card stock for your planner, so you can flip to the current month easily.  There is also a plastic detachable insert that is a ruler as well as a “Today” marker for the weekly pages.

There is plenty of writing area, labeled with “To Do”, “Projects” and “Notes”.  There is a “Contacts” list for business contacts or personal and you can indicate the date, topic and response.  Good for emails, conference calls or networking opportunities.  Each of these sections has ample paper to supply you with plenty of room all year long for those important notes.

I spent the evening filling in my Telephone/Address list.  This is a good sized list area with alphabetical page tabs.  It is also good solid card stock which will stand up to erasure over and over, if you run into the situations I do where folks change their phone numbers or email addresses every time they have a change in location or get a better phone deal. 

There is also a small page of sticky labels to either add to your day planner to indicate something important, or to add to pages for topics. 

And finally, the always necessary “business card holder” which was filled soon after I started working with this planner.  The book comes with two plastic pages.   There is also a pad for notes on the back of the binder, which inserts into the slot provided in the binder. 

This is larger than the spiral bound version of the day planner, but I feel that for myself it is necessary.  It does fit very comfortably into my laptop bag, so it will not be all that bulky to carry around, and it also fits nicely into any attaché case.  If you want to see what else they offer, visit their site at http://www.seasonsofthewitch.com/ 

I have to say this is quite a bargain, considering what “day planners” cost from the bigger named manufacturers, and you can’t get the artwork or the information that this book provides the busy witch.  Overall, this is an excellent value, and if you are tired of you PDA losing it’s memory or not working when you need it the most, consider this the best alternative, and never be fumbling around for a power cord again.   I’m gonna look good this year!!!   boudica

 

Llewellyn Witches’
Calendar 2006

Each year Llewellyn produces a calendar to hang on your wall and keep track of the changes in the days and seasons.  The focus has always been in producing an informative yet attractive product that you can refer to for many things.

This year the art work is provided by Jennifer Hewitson, who has been on the cover of many Llewellyn products, as well as being recognized for her work in national newspapers, and packaging for Disney and greeting cards for Sun Rise Publications.  Her catalogue of work is extensive and this calendar is no exception.

Ms. Hewitson uses bold pen strokes and just as bold primary colors.  The Images appear “darker” in hue because of the use of ink drawing with primary colors, but they are impressive none the less.

Her images appear to move, to be alive and are surrounded with appropriate symbols and seasonal borders.  Her topics keep to the seasons and the Wheel of the Year. There is some lovely imagery here, from the birds singing and the sun rising and the trees flowering for May to the bold and brilliant pumpkin headed scarecrow for September. 

The format of the calendar is a two page spread for each month to hang on the wall.  The illustration and a "story" on the top page, and a full calendar are below it.

The “stories” are provided by various authors, many of them well known.  From Barbara Ardinger to Gail Wood, each presents us with a remembrance, or a story that applies to the month at hand.  Each one has a magical theme to it as well.  Yasmine Gailnorn provides us with a Ritual in January to encourage a prosperous New Year.  James Kambos gives us a remembrance of magical Appalachia in May.  Jennifer McDevitt provides us with some background to the First Harvest of Lugh in August.  Dianne Sylvan introduces us to the Crone Goddess in October.

The calendar is a Sunday through Saturday standard seven day layout with a box containing information and space to write your brief notes in.  Covered is the standard moon quarters notations, astrological concordances, official holidays and religious holidays of various faiths, some brief historical notes or notes regarding various authors or historical figures birthdays.  There are also two small line drawings noting “planting days” and “harvesting days” for your herbs.  There is also the “daily color”.  The last “page” has all the information regarding the information contained in the calendar, a small bio on the authors and artists, and the official Llewellyn copyright and names of important people who helped product the calendar.

Between the last page of December and the last “page” of the calendar are some full page articles on various topics by some well known authors.  Of note is the article on “Protecting Hearth & Home” by Raven Grimassi, about setting magical charges to protect your home, “Fabulous Feasts by Magenta Griffith about planning and producing pagan pot lucks, and especially useful is “The Witch Cleans House” by K. D. Spitzer, with some good recipes for good cleaning solutions the “witchy way”.

The only problem is, if you don’t read the articles before you hang up the calendar, chances is you will either forget them or miss them all together.

Finally, a big “don’t like” is the book hawking inside the back cover.  This becomes Llewellyn’s personal advertising space, and at the price you pay, you really should be getting something more than a page of books, some of which are not even the authors who are featured in the calendar. 

The back cover provides the usual view of the internal pictures, and a sample page of the calendar so the prospective buyer can see what they are purchasing, though if you look at the front cover, you know exactly what to expect.

A bolder statement is made with the artwork this year, the stories are more varied than previous years, and it is a very good overall presentation of a wall calendar from Llewellyn and one which will hang on my wall all through this year.  boudica

 

Power Spellcraft for Life:  The Art of Crafting and Casting for Positive Change by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

 

 

This book is all about spell working – from how to do it, why to do it - to the spells themselves.  After reading Ms. Murphy-Hiscock first book on Solitary Wicca and enjoying that one, I decided to read this one.

It is a basic “cook book” of spells.  All the usual material is here, from tables of correspondences to actual spells.

The material presented here can be worked by the solitary and it is very Wiccan in nature.  Discussions on ethics include the Wiccan Rede, and there is a nice healthy discussion on ethics included.  I found it refreshing that Ms. Murphy-Hiscock did not preach but rather discussed common sense and included some practical advice (via Sybil Leek) for making sure your spells come out right.

This is what Ms. Murphy-Hiscock continues from her first book.  Not just spells and ingredients, but also the “how” and the “why” for spell casting and why I found myself enjoying this book as well.

The book itself is attention-grabbing.  This is the first time I’ve seen a “trade paper” book with a "deckled" edge.  It makes an interesting visual when you open the book.  Not every page has a deckled edge, which when you go to leaf through the book will skip the shorter straight edged pages.  Good for visual, bad for leafing through the book.  Visually interesting none the less.

But the content is what makes this book.  Ms. Murphy-Hiscock covers much material here.  From the history, to the timing, to the substitution for missing ingredients we have a very well thought out and put together book with a very simple yet elegant approach. 

Spell workings also includes amulets and talisman.  Small rituals are included to present your spells, as well as additions to assure you “Harm None” and even a little “call back a spell” working.  There are the usual spells for wealth, health, guidance and more.  And the group working section also includes group dynamics and strategy.

There is a section on analysis of your methods and troubleshooting why it went astray or didn’t work at all.  Nicely added, and nicely discussed in plain, down to earth language.

Ms. Murphy-Hiscock brings some interesting topics to the table for you to contemplate as well as discuss in groups.  I like her overall approach to the art of spell casting, and she covers a lot of material the beginner may have questions about, or the advanced spell worker may find intriguing.  You not only have her spells, you learn to “craft” your own.

If you are looking for a really good first spell crafting book, this is it.  If you are looking to augment your current trusty cookbook, this book will add to your knowledge base and cover some material you will not find in “old faithful".  This is a nice addition to any library.  boudica

 

Masters of Magic Oracle Cards ~ painted by Severino Baraldi

Another deck by Lo Scarabeo is this deck of what could be called “ascended masters” or what the artist considers the “Masters of Magic”.

For those who are unfamiliar with any of this material, may I suggest that with this deck you start with the “not so” iddy biddy white book.  For a change, the book is actually larger than the cards, and has a nicely illustrated card cover.  Not just that, it also contains more than just the card meanings!  The artist outlines the breakdown of the deck, what colors and symbols he chose, rules for using the cards and the usual concentration and layouts for the deck and individual card meanings. 

But the most important bit of this book is the short biographies of each of the figures represented in this deck.  I was fascinated by the bios, and then how the artist worked this into the meanings of the cards.

This is not a tarot deck by any means.  The thirty-two cards are divided into elemental correspondences and then further into the four imperatives of magic:  want, silence, knowledge and dare.  The deck, does, however, translate into a personal journey of sorts, as one follows the elements in their representation of the “four states of being” associated with the elements and the imperatives of magic.

This makes them interesting from the standpoint that they become a tool for reading personal achievement in the realm of magic and personal growth.  You are basically consulting the “experts” in the field and asking them to assess your progress as well as pointing out possible weak points and strengths via their associations and meanings.

This is a truly original process for the cards, and very well thought out and presented.  The masters are indeed masters, all historical in nature, and all dead.  There are no figures here that I had any doubt could be considered a “master”.  Even the inclusion of Edgar Cayce was not questionable, the most “modern” of all the “masters”.

I then examined the deck itself.   The deck is regular card size, fitting comfortably in the hand.  They are solid card stock, so will stand up to a bit of use.

The colors here are brighter and more vibrant than most Lo Scrarabeo decks, which was a plus in my book.  Each set of “suits” are clearly margined by a specific color, so you can easily identify the element or magical imperative you are dealing with.  Each card has the name of the “master” on the bottom of the card.  On the top middle of each card is the masters “influence”.   On the right hand top of the card is the “masters” symbol.  There are two types of “masters” in each group.  For example, in the “want” or earth/yellow group, there are hermetics (symbol: key) and healers (symbol: caduceus).  You get the feel for what the particular master is master of.

There are nine cards in each of the four groupings.  Eight of these cards represent a “master”.  And they are all male.  The only change is the first card of each group, which is female and is called “inspiring women”.  We have the Sibyl, for earth, the Morgan for water, Urania for air and Isis for fire, each with their “inspiration” on the top middle of the card.

So if we look at the cards, Sibyl is earth, she is the “inspiration” of the “want” grouping and her influence is “destiny”.  In the “fire” group, we have Albertus Magnus, he is part of the “dare” group, he is a “magician” and his influence is “resistance”.  Each of the masters and inspirations is outlined in the same way.

This is an interesting collection of “masters” some which you may recognize, some you will not.  Merlin, Nostradamus, St. Germain and Paracelsus are the more recognizable names. 

The artwork is interesting.  The style is realistic, each of the masters or inspirations is depicted as per the history given, there are symbols in the fields and the figure is outlined in black, making the figure stand out.  The back of the card is a small, basic repeat pattern in blue, not overpowering but nice to look at.  So are the cards.  You can explore the symbols without too much reading into them.

The book recommends you read the cards per the spreads suggested because the meanings in the book are given as to the position the cards appear in the readings.   Remember, these are not tarot cards, and will probably not adapt to a “celtic cross” version too well.  There is a learning curve here, but the designs and the directions in the book are well defined and it is relatively easy to start working with the deck and use it successfully.  While you may be referencing the book to start with, the cards themselves are very easy to read.

I enjoyed working with these cards.  I found the glimpses of inner growth and personal achievement were interesting, and from the historical standpoint, they offer some interesting reading.  I found myself looking some of these “masters” up on line, to see how accurate the bio was, and the author was on the money.  He chose his figures well, and the deck works for it’s intended use.

If you are interested in a deck that will help you access your personal growth in the magical practices, if you are interested in magical historical figures, or are looking for a deck that will work with your magical path, this deck is a nice change from the usual.  For the collector of decks, this is an interesting and different deck.  boudica

 

Pragmatic Magics: Grimoire of Modern Sorcery
by Brother Moloch

I received this book for review from the Scientists of New Atlantis Inc. in Las Vegas, NV.  It is a grimoire and while a bit on the more expensive side, I was impressed with this work for many reasons.

First of all – it’s not just a “hard cover” it is a bound book on decent paper.  Real binding!!!!  Not “trade paper” or having a “harder than usual” cover like so many other publishers use, but a real binding!  And the paper wasn’t “two grades up from newspaper” but it is real quality paper.  The book even smelled of ink!

There is a dust jacket on the book.  White glossy cover, with the title, a very “primitive” style graphic of a sorcerer and there is the publisher’s information on the reverse, rather than “kudos” for the author or a book blurb promo for the book or author.  Very simple style, nicely addressed.

Why so much trouble for a book?  To be honest, how would you like your personal grimoire to be printed?  On some cheaper paper that will yellow with age, or having a card cover with someone else’s graphics?  No, your personal grimoire probably is on better paper, in a nice binding of some kind, and you have your pictures in and on the book.  Same here, because this is what this book is, a personal grimoire of a sorcerer.

Sorcerer; interesting choice of word for someone who is “self describing” themselves as a “magical practitioner”.  There is a differentiation here, between someone who is a witch and practices magics and one who has dedicated themselves to the magical arts, is learned and is a very astute practitioner.

There is a lot of “loving care” put into this book.  The text is larger print, easy to read, and it can lie open while you go through the many recipes and instructions in the book.

The book opens with some quotes about “sorcery” from some very well known and important authors in this field.  There is a notation by Brother Moloch about this being the second edition, and some comments to thank his supporters.  Unfortunately, there is no table of contents nor index, but then again, does your personal grimoire have a table of contents or index?  Probably not.

The material covered is a good basic primer in “sorcery”.  It is very applicable to a variety of uses and situations, and contains much material you may not find in all those commercial volumes that may line your shelves.  This makes the book valuable immediately from that standpoint.

There are guided meditations, tables of correspondences, small rituals of consecration and discussions on a variety of magical workings.  I found his “herb work” to be very informative, and the table of correspondences contains a lot of different information than normally found in the usual sources.  This work is indicative of one who is a root worker vs. the usual kitchen witchery resources we are more accustomed to.

There are some great “recipes” for oils and incenses, for both curing and cursing, so refreshing as opposed to all the books out there that preach “goodness and white light”.  This is not “Wiccan” material but basic magical workings.  One must know how the cursing occurs in order to understand how to undo these kinds of things, and this book will show you how it’s done. Note that his sources are discussed in this book, and pointed out. 

There are some nice instructions on how to do basic meditations, as well as some interesting guided meditations.  Actually, there is a lot of basic information in this book that will assist most practitioners in achieving results from spell workings, rituals, dreaming and more.  Good advices for having notebooks handy to write in, as well as outlines for including the really important information you need.

There are discussions on tools, elementals, diagrams for magical workings and altar setups,.  There is a variety of sources, including African and Norse, for the material included in this book, giving the reader a well rounded view of sorcery and its practices.  This book is not limited to the usual sources.

There is a bibliography of some books, with more than the usual “title and author” material.  The author comments on the books he lists, commenting on their value to the author and what he thinks of them.

In the final analysis, the author includes his own notations as to the real value of the material included in this book – that is; does it work?  He notes the material that does work.  And for myself, there is material that I have tried from this book with some amazing results!  How many books can you say that about?

There is so much more to this book than I have covered.  I have just scratched the surface in this review.  This is “working practitioners” book, not just another “handbook” and it is chock full of information that can be easily applied to any practicing witches workings.  The understanding that comes from reading someone else’s work provides a very key element in our practices – validation of experience! 

If you are looking for a really good book on working magic in practical application, this book is worth the extra funds to have in your library.  For a bound copy of someone’s grimoire of actual experience working with basic formulas and rituals, this book is no more expensive than if you were to bind your own “book of shadows” and present it to the public. 

boudica

 

Solitary Wicca for Life
by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

I read lots of Wicca 101 books, especially those that seem to be aimed at the Solitary Practitioner.  With many of them, I will find some points that I think the average solitary practitioner may relate to, or that someone, somewhere, will relate to.  Many times, however, the material does not “click” with my own personal beliefs, or they do not take the “Traditional Path” when it comes to Wicca, but rather they are “Wiccanish”.  This is OK for someone else, but not necessarily for me.  But I do not judge by my standards alone, but rather the viewpoint that everyone needs material that will relate to them personally.

Reading this book, however, there was more material here that I found I agreed with, related to and found to be “Traditional” with a Solitary spin than other books of this kind.  And this, to me, was a big plus.

Ms. Murphy-Hiscock has taken Wicca back to the roots and explores adaptation to the Solitary way of practice.  This is a Wicca 101 book, so it makes a good first handbook for the average new Solitary Practitioner and yet, it provides some material that the advanced practitioner may want to review because of its accuracy, to augment their Wiccan practice, to add elements of the Traditional or just because it is well written and has much to ponder and contemplate.

I especially enjoyed her overview of Wicca Origins, and her separation of Traditional Wicca from the Eclectic practices that Wicca has evolved into.  She covers well the Tenets of Wicca, discusses common metaphors and myths and separates some of the more widely accepted but none the less mistaken beliefs and practices that have crept into modern Wicca.  She gives you a good idea of how to go back to the beginning, re-examine the issues and maybe take away a better representation of what it is that Wicca is really all about.

Like I said, I do not find that every book is going to agree with or be in line with my own personal beliefs and practices.  And there is material in here that is not necessarily in line with my own, but Ms. Murphy-Hiscock does cover quite a bit of material in this book that is well discussed and presented.  Ethics wanders into the Wiccan Rede, which is good, and then touches on that often misunderstood poem that many folks take as law rather than the advice it should be.  None the less the discussion on ethics is good and worth noting.

She also covers some of the “Mythos” or “mysteries” of Wicca, outlining them so you get a good grasp on what actually comprises Wiccan spirituality. 

Once you get through the first chapter as outlined above, the rest of the book falls into the “handbook” method of teaching/discussion.  Ms. Murphy-Hiscock covers all the basics, and adds a touch of the “college” style of discussion.  For example, she discusses Sacred Space.  Many basic books discuss creating a Circle, but she goes a little further and discusses “why” as well as the “how”.  Well thought out, in my opinion.

This kind of discussion continues throughout the book.  She even covers a few extras that take this book above most other handbooks.  She causes the reader to – gasp – think!  Advanced Circle Casting is another point for thought about what you are doing, more than how to do it.

She covers more of the basics – rituals, spell work, The Wheel of the Year, Rites of Passage, and Power Words in Ritual.  Her material is not just telling you what to do; it is more showing you how to do it for yourself.  Not just showing ritual, but giving you a working knowledge to write your own.  Not just giving you some spells, but giving you the means to construct your own.  Very different approach, and a very good one.  Well written, easy to follow and yet much food for thought. 

The last two chapters are probably the most important.  Spiritual Archetypes and Drawing Down and Aspecting Deities give you the spirituality of Wicca.  While many books will give you a table of Gods and Goddesses, there is not much discussion about connecting with Them.  Again, well thought out and well written.

This book approaches the Solitary Wiccan Practitioner as a knowledgeable and intelligent person who knows what they want, what they want to achieve, and gives them a good working handbook to make the connection with Deity that most are looking for.  

I would recommend that even if you have a working handbook you love dearly, you may want to augment it with a copy of this work.  There is a lot to absorb here, there is some good clarification of what has become misunderstood or poorly interpreted, and Ms. Murphy-Hiscock provides some new material for you to chew over and absorb.  Again, it will not be for everyone, but I found that much of the material related to me personally and I appreciated that.  This is a work that will compliment your already working knowledge as well as introduce the seeker to some solid concepts and traditional approaches to the Solitary Wiccan Practice.  boudica

 

Witch in the Boardroom: Proven Business Magic
by Stacey Demarco

I was pleased with the idea that someone had approached business and magic in a book that encourages witches to step up and work magic on their place of business.  After all, haven’t we been asked for centuries to work this for others, why not ourselves?

The book is a novel approach to utilizing our own energy workings to benefit the business we may own or work for as well as enhancing our own position.  The book drops many of the old “taboos” about “profiting” from our powers.

There are points that seem to be misinterpreted, such as the Wiccan Rede being a “law” (Rede means advice or counsel, not law) but it works in the context that she uses it; to keep our practices in line with the “benefiting” theme of the book while practicing within an ethical boundary. 

Ms. Demarco does cover some back history to the craft, allowing us to understand where our “bad image” as witch came from and how to work around that with “Good PR”.

The “meat and potatoes” of this book, however, is the spell workings for every day prosperity and personal enhancement.  Ms. Demarco lays out the basics, gives you all the tools you will need to collect and all the information you will need to start spell workings that will focus on your primary reason for using this book to begin with.

There are some good advices on spell working, some basic ethics discussed, and there are some good ideas.  She covers ritual, astrological correspondences, how to build power and how to release it.  There are discussions on “intent” as well as positive affirmations to set yourself up to succeed in these workings.

There are sections in the book called “Case Studies” that give you feedback from some practitioners who worked with and experienced various degrees of success with the practices in this book.  They are a kind of “validation of experience”, where you may find one of these case studies mirrors to some degree your own experience working magic in your job.  I found these to be a nice addition to the book and interesting as to the situations and solutions worked out by the practitioners.

There is also discussion on group workings, a very interesting section that includes passing on your work, leadership skills, “Career Covens” and more.

I found the spells interesting and her reasons for working the spells almost genius at times.  As an example; a “clouding” spell.  Why would you want to be “clouded” rather than being seen in a successful business situation?  There are a variety of situations that would suggest you might not want to be seen when, say, you have not had time to assess a situation or you need to re-examine facts and figures based on new information.  I thought this very practical  Ms. Demarco includes an spell working for intentional “clouding” as well as an “emergency working”, a shortened version for “on the go” spell working. 

There are many more spells than this one, and all are geared towards business and success.  The Goddess is included in the magical workings, and it was nice to see a “gratitude to the Goddess” element worked into the spell workings.

I like the idea that the book approaches positive spell working for personal gain.  There is nothing that boosts our ego and our pocketbooks better than working for our own good.  Nowhere does it say we can not benefit from our own energy workings.  And this book is a very practical, as well as ethical, discussion about this aspect of Crafting that many folks think they can’t or shouldn’t do. 

The spells themselves are nicely worked out.  The basics are there that anyone can work with this book and understand the principles clearly.  You should be able to work out some magical practices from this book that can be nicely incorporate into your daily business life. 

This is a refreshing change from many of the spell books out there, and if you are the aggressive business type witch who wants to succeed and can include magic in your daily business practice then this book is for you.  boudica

 

The Enchanted Diary: A Teen’s Guide to Magick and Life
by Jamie Wood

The focus of this book is the teen, specifically young teen girls who probably have a “diary” of their own and enjoy journaling.  The book is set up to allow the young lady to read the material provided and record her experiences, as if she were doing her own “Dear Diary” but with specific instructions included for everyday living.

The book is nicely laid out.  Each page is decorated with a border graphic, and some nice decorative drawings.  There are drawn lines that indicate the places where the young lady should enter her personal experiences with the material in the book and there are nicely done out symbols and tables of correspondences. 

The book covers a variety of topics, from clairvoyance to tarot, Indigo children to belly dancing, and there are recipes for “Pretty Nails Lotion” and “Kissable Lips” as well as the basics of ritual and spells for self improvement.

There is a lot of positive affirmation in this book.  Considering today’s teen and the world as it is this is a good thing and should not be overlooked in this book. 

Discussions cover ethics in a variety of situations.  From “Mean Girls” to the discussion on “receiving your power” there is much here for the young “witch in training” to ponder and muse over.

There is also much discussion on the Goddess and how She will influence the young ladies life.  There are Goddess stories, even discussion on animals associated with the Goddess. 

I looked at this book and felt that some of the material is very basic.  Knowing some teens who know more than I do about some aspects of Wicca and magic, I found myself thinking this book would be better suited for someone who has no background in the arts or Wicca.  It is a lovely introduction, but not one which would apply to many of our advanced teen students today.

I almost thought this would be fine for a “younger than teen” book, for one of our kids or grandkids who know mom or grandma is a practicing witch and/or Wiccan and needs to have an introduction to the topic from a gentle and understanding viewpoint.

The material is nicely stated, filled with positive affirmations and can easily guide a young girl on her first steps into the world of magic and the Goddess.  It is very Goddess oriented.

I liked the book, overall, and found the approach of diary format would appeal to someone who is into “daily journaling”.  The book is appealing, but could quickly be outgrown if the young lady is like most I know and writes endlessly and will run out of room quickly, or if she is not interested in journaling.  Also, it will hold no appeal to someone who already has been working with her parents in the magical field, as they probably will be far advanced of the material included here.

However, parents may want to look at this book for its very positive approach to the teen in magic, as Ms. Wood provides some lovely material that could be adapted elsewhere in parental teachings of the young budding practitioner.  And the format could be expanded upon to teach the young lady how to keep a “Book of Shadows” or a personal journal of her experiences.

The printing and presentation of this book is nicely done.  The material is a good first step for the young lady who is just starting out on the Goddess path.  The approach of “diary” is a nice idea and the teachings in the book, while basic, are nicely done, very simple to understand and will instill a very good positive approach to the practice, the Goddess and a young ladies development on the Goddess path.  boudica