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Bookviews Book Reviews

 

 5-22-2004
 

 

 

Love Magic - A book of Spells to Solve Every Relationship Problem You've Ever Had

by Sheryn George

 

 

 

First I have to comment on the book itself.  It is a small book (approx. 6.5 x 6.5") with cheap grade paper inside, unevenly cut so the pages are off center and having uneven borders.  The price of the book suggests it should have had a better print and binding job than it does. 

Having said that, I move on to the content.  The cover suggests 'A book of spells to solve every relationship problem you've ever had' gives me concern.  Reviewing the chapter on 'First Sex Trauma", I became even more concerned with the authors focus on the neatness of your partners bedroom.  While the note on noticing if he/she stocks the jumbo economy size box of protection is a good one, being concerned about inviting the first timer over to your place should have placed more emphasis on 'Eek! Now he knows where you live'.  There is no suggestion of having this first meet at a more mutually advantageous rented room, rather the author comes from the 'your place or my place' option. 

I get the feeling that this book did not take itself seriously.  The "At-a-glance magic for turning him into a love god' suggests that any man (or woman for that matter) can be instantly turned into the perfect lover.  Fact is, some people need to be instructed or need to mature into a good lover and would probably benefit from a good primer on the subject from an accredited doctor or medical institution or from a few sessions with a professional counselor and a doctor.   This book does not discuss that in much detail at all or any other serious issues you may encounter and leaves the reader feeling the spell work in this book is the cure all for any kinds of issues you might encounter in a relationship.

The total advice to someone who has an 'ex' who is doing some serious stalking is summed up in one line "Savvy solution:  Stay safe.  Let people know where you are.  If she gets dangerous, call the police.  Get serious - stalkers can hurt people,' and she proceeds into magical help.  While this is good advice, it is not emphasized enough.  If she is going to cover the issues, she should have also suggested seeking professional help should it progress to this kind serious state and also gone into more rather than brushing it over, in my opinion, and moving on to magical solutions. 

Even the 'romantic' spells are cheesy.  The 'spell to reawaken his love' sounded good up till the author suggested YOU watch some 'sex goddess' movies (staring Marilyn Monroe or Brigitte Bardot)  This may do something for you, like have you drag out the tissue box cause you are not in that kind of relationship, but what does this accomplish for him if he is not there to watch it with you?  Or how does this empower you if you don't look like some of these sex goddesses?  Sorry, but that didn't do it for me.  

All in all, the book lacks depth.  If you are in a relationship with someone and you want to enhance it with some magical properties, I believe there are better books by more practical and much more romantic authors out there than this one.  The shoddy print job and cheap paper will send you looking for a better book for your money. 

 

A Witch Like Me - The Spiritual Journeys of Today's Pagan Practitioners

by Sirona Knight

 

 

 

A different kind of book, A Witch Like Me is a collection of biographies from some of the most influential Author/Witches today.  Sirona Knight has chosen 14 'Witches', all of whom follow a path specific to themselves, asked each of these authors 20 questions and put together a very insightful look at some of the movers and shakers of the written Craft path. 

While many of the '20 questions' were actually multipart questions and there are much more than '20 questions', and in many instances the authors did not exactly answer each and every one of them, each author did give a good overview of the material asked.  The editing blends these questions together to give us a narrative from each of the authors, resembling more of a story than an interview. 

The authors covered includes Sirona's personal story, as well as Dorothy Morrison, Trish Telesco, A. J. Drew, Phyllis Currot, Ray Buckland and Marion Weinstein to name a few.  The list is impressive.  

Reading each story, we come away with a bit of each author, a little background, some impressive moments in their lives, their personal beliefs, their visions and how they feel about today's Craft movement.  

The diversity of the authors chosen gives a variety of impressions, and while not all these authors will speak to everyone, I believe there is something for everyone in this little book.  Not everyone is going to find each and every author exciting nor even interesting, but these are stories that will appeal to many. 

A Witch Like Me offers inspiration, validation and positive affirmations.   An interesting look at some of the authors in our community.

 

A Wiccan Bible - Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft from Birth to Summerland

by A. J. Drew

 

 

 

A. J. Drew starts in his introduction by stating the following:  "You will note that the title of this book begins with the word A.  This is because I in no way consider this The Bible.  It belongs to me; I wrote it, gave it to someone to share it with you.  They didn't think it would be a very popular book if we called it A. J. Drew's Wiccan Bible, so they shortened my name a bit and just called it A Wiccan Bible." 

Yes, it did make me smile, but I think I would have gone with "A. J. Drew's Grimoire" or "A. J. Drew's Book of Shadows" because this book is more akin to the Wiccan version of a teaching book than a Bible. 

Yes, he did lay out his 'Bible' in books, and yes, there is his version of Creation, Exodus, and other such chapters that make it resemble a 'Bible'.  However, the content is strictly Wiccan according to A. J. Drew, and it should not be confused with any other path.  

A. J. shares with us his researches and his conclusions based on this research.  It includes his famous "Rants" on different topics and provides some insights and some head scratches.  It has some very complete concordances, some of the most extensive I've seen, and he covers a very wide range of topics: from Ritual, numbers, rites of passage, holidays, his specific path to the studying for Degrees.  There is the unmistaken mark of A.J. in this book. 

 Make no mistake; this IS A. J. Drew's path.  This is not everyone's Wicca, nor is it meant to be.  Which is why I thought Grimoire or Book of Shadow would be more appropriate.  Grimoire and Book of Shadow suggest a specific personal Tradition and A. J. has presented his idea of his family or Coven Tradition.  

 A. J has presented us with food for thought as well.   His food will stir up controversy, discussion and even brew-ha-ha from many different corners of Wicca.  There are going to be those who bash this book and there will be those who will praise it. 

Personally, I found some material I skipped over after the initial introduction as it was not speaking to me.  That does not mean it is wrong, it just means I did not seem to think it was for me.  There is also some good material here for discussion and debate and I read it and gave it much thought.    There is nothing here that I agree with, nor disagree with.  How can I make a judgment on what another holds as a Truth for them.  It may not be my truth but it is valid for the person who holds it as truth.  

Which is what all these books are about... personal truths.  For each reader will find something that will speak to them and cause them to think, rethink or consider the possibility.  It does not mean that the reader will change their own personal truth!   That is not what these books are about.  These books are about 'food for thought' and not 'my way is the only right way'.  And any author who states that should be run away from as quickly as possible.  

If you are looking for a contemplative work and the view point of yet another person who has found his way along his own spiritual path, this book is for you.  A. J. focuses on balance, provides us with some very in-depth correspondence lists and some entertaining rants.  There are pearls of wisdom mixed in with the seaweed that are worth searching for.  A good choice for those who are open minded and willing to explore other paths.