Book Reviews

We have seen tremendous growth in Pagan/Wiccan/Magical populations since The Witches' Almanac inception. There has also been an explosion of printed materials in circulation. How do you know which are worth reading? The Witches’ Almanac helps you separate the wheat from the chaff with our recommendations and insights.



Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches Ellen Cannon Reed, Weiser Books
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Elemental Magic  Nigel Pennick, Destiny Books
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As the Last Leaf Falls  Kristoffer Hughes, Llewellyn Publications
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Secrets of the Druids Teresa Cross, Inner Traditions
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Traditional Wicca Thorn Mooney, Llewellyn Publications
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Familiars in Witchcraft  Maja D’Aoust, Destiny Books
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Paganism in Depth  John Beckett, Llewellyn Publications
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Slavic Witchcraft  Natasha Helvin, Destiny Books
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Witch Hunt  Kristen Sollée, Weiser Books
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Weave the Liminal  Laura Tempest Zakroff, Llewellyn Publications
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The Orphic Hymns Patrick Dunn, Llewellyn Publications
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Runic Book of Days S. Kelley Harrell, Destiny Books
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Encounters with Nature Spirits R. Ogilvie Crombie, Findhorn Press
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The Mirror of Magic Kurt Seligman, Inner Traditions
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Son of Chicken Qabalah Lon Milo DuQuette, Weiser Books
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Welsh Witches. Richard Suggett, Atramentous Press

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Sigil Witchery Laura Tempest Zakroff, Llewellyn Publications
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Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot. Madame Pamita, Weiser Books
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Traditional Magic Spells for Protection and Healing. Claude Lecouteaux, Inner Traditions
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Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot . by Lon Milo DuQuette, Weiser Books
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A Legacy of Druids: Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present Ellen Evert Hopman, Moon Books...
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Esoteric Empathy: A Magickal & Metaphysical Guide to Emotional Sensitivity, Raven Digitalis, Llewellyn...
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Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas. by Muller-Ebeling, Ratsch and Shahi...
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Communing with the Ancestors. by Raven Grimassi, Weiser Books...
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Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft, Third Edition by Andrew Chumbley...
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Secret Medicines from Your Garden by Ellen Evert Hopman Mind-blowing! ...
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The Witches' Almanac periodically reviews new books. For past reviews check our archives
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Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches; Rituals, Meditations & Magical Tools, Ellen Cannon Reed WHEN ELLEN Cannon Reed comes up among pagans, you either know her name or realize very quickly that you ought to know it. The new edition of Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches demonstrates why. In it she offers reliable, accessible information and sound ritual advice grounded in the perspective of a longtime Wiccan practitioner devoted to the Egyptian Gods. This book is a breath of fresh air but it is not a book of ancient Egyptian reconstructionism. Rather it is a personal and authentic guide for modern Pagans to encountering, worshipping and doing magic with the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt.

There are three part to the text: individual descriptions of the Gods; instructions for rituals intended to build relationships with them; and instructions for magic and working with magical tools. While readers with a basic knowledge of the Egyptian pantheon might be tempted to skip or skim the first section, do not! This is where the true value of Cannon Reed’s approach comes into play. She offers something far more rare than descriptions of deities—experience. A quick search can tell you that Bes is a God of sexuality and humor. Cannon Reed offers insight into what sorts of people might consider pursuing a relationship with him, and what lessons we can take from approaching his altar. She describes the members of her coven who were particularly devoted to him, and discusses the insights into life, limitations, and humanity that grew out of her own worship of this God.

While it is primarily oriented toward more general practitioners, committed Kemetic reconstructionists would also do well to be familiar with this work, as it is based on decades of worship and magical practice with the Gods. It offers insight into their nature in modern terms as well as practical ritual guidance. Gone are the days of oscillating between the cartoon Osiris in the children’s section of the library and a mid-century photograph of a papyrus scroll in a journal of archaeology that you’re sure would be really interesting if you knew enough French to read the article!

There are other modern pagan-oriented resources on ancient Egypt to be found, but few are well-written, well-researched and based on extensive experience. Cannon Reed’s clear voice, hard-earned wisdom and orientation toward the modern perspective make Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches stand out from the field.


Elemental Magic; Traditional Practices for Working with the Energies of the Natural World, Nigel Pennick NIGEL PENNICK’S succinct but authoritative guide to doing magic with the natural world is available at last in a U.S. edition! First published twenty years ago in the U.K. under the title Natural Magic, this work is based on the author’s experience with land-oriented magical practice in Britain. However, it is fully applicable in the United States as well! While the specific plants and animals discussed are just as accessible in the Midwest or New England as in Kent or Yorkshire, even readers in dramatically different climes will fully benefit from the work. Its true value lies is its gentle, direct instruction in the nature of the relationship between the inner self and the outer world.

Elemental Magic remains simple and practical even while discussing timeless metaphysical topics such as the origin of power and the meaning of being human. Directions for elemental balancing, talisman construction, and dowsing might seem superficial, but in Pennick’s hands these are not just useful methods, but also paths to fully embracing spiritual existence in a material world. He does not use the material as a means to access the spiritual or vice versa, but empowers the reader to fully occupy and employ both realities.

For example, a reader might consider using wood for magic. Pennick doesn’t simply list various kinds of trees and their magical properties—neither does he ignore the lore of specific tree species. He provides that information and also reminds the reader that trees outlive us and are witnesses to both our physical and spiritual lives, and he equips the reader to encounter the magical landscape of their own immediate surroundings.

It is clear that Pennick’s primary concern is that magic should work. Texts on physical magic risk being too specific to apply broadly or too universal to be immediately useful. Pennick avoids these pitfalls by focusing on practical concerns within the context of lore and experience, while being fully open to the spiritual implications of his techniques. All magic is ultimately about transformation, and both the outer world and the magician change through the process. Whether you are looking for techniques to deepen your relationship with the natural world or just need a really effective binding pattern, Elemental Magic deserves a spot on your shelf.


As the Last Leaf Falls: A Pagan's Perspective on Death, Dying & Bereavement, Kristoffer Hughes THERE ARE A myriad of books for the Pagan community on the cycles of life and our celebration of the mysteries in light of the cycle. It is rare to encounter a book that tackles the topic of death, treating not only the emotional and messiness of the end of life while examining profundity of the experience for those dying and the loved ones that they leave behind. In As the Last Leaf Falls, Kristoffer Hughes takes on a journey that is in every sense of the word transformative.

Many books that deal with the subject of death and the afterlife rely on myth and philosophy as the springboard to tackle such a consequential topic. Hughes has taken a completely different approach. Immediately eschewing both sentimentality and sensational ghoulishness. Instead, As the Last Leaf Falls takes us through the process of death through the depth of the personal experience as seen through authors eyes. In each instance, his meticulous narratives allow us to experience depth of the moment. At times allowing for empathy for the dying, resonance with the bereaved, as well as insight into the job of the postmortem professional.

Hughes scaffolds his treatise in the lore Druidry and its understanding of a “Three Worlds” structure. While initially this might seem constraining or off putting to the general community, it is ultimately his ability to rise above stricture that champions. He has taken the Three Worlds view of Druidry and made it immediately accessible to the broad community of Pagans. The book is divided into four sections. The first three are devoted to the Three Worlds. Each section begins with an exposition of the World that is being treated. His discussion is direct and unencumbered in its consideration. In fact, there is an ease that allows the reader interpret the principles via his own lens of belief. Finally, Hughes provides a detail of rituals to be performed through the death process with the dying individual, preparing the body of the deceased and funeral rites. Again, his treatment is direct while remaining dignified and empathetic to the bereaved.

As the reader moves through the volume, they are invited to experience the writers encounters with death in an unfiltered manner. Again, his does this with devolving into exhibitionism. These are the basis for meditations and exercises which facilitate deeper understanding of the end of life. There are many books that almost invite the reader to quickly ingest, As the Last Leaf Falls entices the reader to dig deep and to slow down. This surely will become a classic that will be a must read for the solitary Pagan as well as the Priest ministering to the dying and the bereaved.


Secrets of the Druids; From Indo-European Origins to Modern Practices, Teresa Cross A GOOD RECONSTRUCTION is hard to find. It must be rooted in living priesthood and also scrupulously historical, drawing on textual, artistic and archaeological sources. It must be both true to its origins and acceptable to modern culture. It should bring ancient and modern cosmologies into a meaningful dance that uplifts rather than overwhelms the worshipper. Perhaps most importantly, it must be explained simply but thoroughly, and its rituals should be beautiful and practical to enact. Secrets of the Druids; From Indo-European Origins to Modern Practices by Teresa Cross is just such a gem.

Druidry—both ancient and modern—is a rich spiritual system worth pursuing. It is also based on somewhat obscure history that can be daunting to try to understand. The sources are complex and can seem opaque, and at the time the Druid revival took off during the Romantic era, it was a spiritual reaction against the newly unrecognizable industrial world. In response to the need to reorient toward nature, the resulting reconstructions were rooted as much in fantasy as in history. That spiritual need was—and is—real and worth addressing, if not always thoroughly historical. Therein lies one of the tensions of reconstructionism and Teresa Cross addresses it head-on by explicitly positioning herself in the Celtic renaissance. Her research is scrupulous, though, and she brings Druidism out of the realm of imagination and conjecture by clearly framing ancient Celtic cultures in the context of their sister cultures of the Indo-European linguistic diaspora. Few reconstructed rituals from any ancient period survive fully intact, and when gaps need to be filled, Cross relies on Vedic and other religious traditions from the Indo-European cultural family.

Secrets of the Druids draws on history, archaeology and linguistics to reconstruct cosmology, theology and ritual. The result is not just a book about ancient Celtic religion or just a hands-on guide to modern Druidry, but a highly readable marriage of both that is well-researched and well-written.


Traditional Wicca; A Seeker’s Guide, Thorn MooneyIF YOU THOUGHT the secret, cultic aspects of Wicca survived only in black and white snapshots from the 70s, Thorn Mooney is here to tell you otherwise! She begins by shocking the reader with the news that traditional Wiccan covens are still alive and well. Acknowledging the strange reality that what most new Pagans believe about Wicca bears little relationship to its oldest and most consistent practices, Mooney sets out to describe them and equip seekers with basic information about traditional covens if they desire to seek one out for training.

As the high priestess of a Gardnerian coven in North Carolina, Mooney is well-positioned to provide that guidance. She begins by outlining what traditional Wicca is, what lineage means and how to go about the tricky business of determining a potential coven’s legitimacy within a tradition that the seeker does not yet have access to. She goes on to directly addresses topics that are frequently misunderstood and misrepresented, such as the role of hierarchy in traditional craft and the likely expectation of ritual nudity. She provides all this information with a kind tone, recollecting her own time in the seeker’s shoes.

Perhaps her most important section is her chapter on becoming a student. Covens are selective by nature and the experience of presenting yourself to potential teachers and finding that you are being sized up is unsettling for most people. But you are also sizing them up, and Mooney prepares the reader for this encounter in two ways. First, she includes a thorough discussion of red flags to look for and what they might mean. Then she tells you what to expect. Regional variations aside, traditional Wicca is a culture and every culture has expectations that no tells you about because everyone already knows them. Sharing the unspoken rules is immensely useful, especially for seekers who do not share their future coven leaders’ individual cultural, ethnic or linguistic backgrounds.

If you are not sure what working with a coven might be like or how to find one, or you have reached a plateau in your practice and have not previously studied with a traditional coven, pick up a copy of Traditional Wicca, a Seeker’s Guide. It might just be an important signpost on your journey!


Familiars in Witchcraft: Supernatural Guardians in the Magical Traditions of the World, Maja D’Aoust, Destiny Books LIKE MANY modern occult authors, Maja D’Aoust has been studying and teaching alchemy, occultism and Witchcraft for quite some time, now. This reviewer first met her over a decade ago at Manly P. Hall’s Philosophical Research Society, a gem of an institution nestled within the controlled madness of Los Angeles, not far from picturesque Griffith Park. At the time she was doing an in-depth study on the works of Paracelsus, and she instantly impressed me with her vast knowledge and ability to parse more complex theories into delectable brain morsels. Her most recent book, Familiars in Witchcraft, certainly follows suit

A delightful survey of all things “familiar,” D’Aoust takes the reader on a trip through the ebbs and flows of folklore and historical record into this bizarre and fascinating world. Much less about pets and far more about the mischievous shape-shifting spirits who have ensnared, fascinated and occasionally troubled magical practitioners throughout time, Familiars in Witchcraft lucidly interweaves the lore of dozens of disparate cultures into a colorful quilt, and then points out the threads most common to all. Maja writes with the sweeping knowledge of a historian, but with much less of the snooze factor usually associated with said moniker. She is also adept at packing a slim cover with a massive amount of information, each bit more fascinating than the last. So if the odd spirits who torment and treat with magick users are your fancy, no matter where your tradition may stem from, there should be plenty of tantalizing tidbits within.

As if the above weren’t reason enough to recommend this title, it is also is replete with black and white photos of the author’s original raw, symbolic, haunting and surreal artwork. Snap this one up if you can.


Paganism in Depth: A Polytheist Approach, John Beckett, Llewellyn Publications Quite a few magical practitioners, after years of study and practice, find themselves in a dreaded rut where many of their previous rites and rituals feel somewhat hollow. When the spirit lags and the words and gesticulations feel more chore than revel or revelation, it is best to seek inspiration from those who have trod the winding pathways for decades. In this vein, Paganism in Depth is one of those tomes which comes along breathing life into our Old Ways from the point of view of a veteran practitioner, reminding us of the infinite sources of inspiration which surround us.

A heavy amount of this book is dedicated to devotional practices toward one’s chosen deities, and the wild, glorious aspects of nature they represent. Perhaps it may merely be an Emerson quote or two found within, but there is much about the profound joy of experiencing nature in this book which brings to mind the work of the Transcendentalists or naturalists like John Muir. There is an unpretentious love of the untamed places and the Ancient Gods that radiates throughout this surprisingly practical and back-to-basics manual of adoration and verdant sorcery. Thus, when Beckett says his practice rests on a “foundation of mighty ancestors,” one can feel it in their bones.

A mature and informed look at Pagan practices, Paganism in Depth delves into the deeply healing and transformative nature of rites and rituals furthering a union with the Gods. Ultimately it is a dedicant’s ideal workbook with a poetic soul at its heart.


Slavic Witchcraft: Old World Conjuring, Spells & Folklore, Natasha Helvin, Destiny Books WHAT A PLEASANT surprise! One might be expecting plenty of paragraphs dedicated to theory and comparative mythology in this new offering from Destiny Books, with perhaps occasional litanies about the historical significance of certain practices of Eastern Europe. Instead, this book is very much a stuffed, working grimoire or Hoodoo-style cookbook. In many ways it reminded me of Hohman’s Long Lost Friend but with a particularly Slavic focus. I was frankly flummoxed at the sheer number of chants, prayers and recipes within. Of the pages of the paperback I was given, a mere smattering of it are dedicated to the more theoretical musings of occult practice. The rest is brimming with spells, spells, spells.

The book feels very much like a deep dive into the charms and practices of Slavic Witchcraft, both beneficial and baneful. From hexing noisome coworkers and stealing the luck of others, to protecting oneself from curses while utilizing love and healing charms, Helvin’s thin book is ostensibly opulent with orisons of all varieties.

The above is not to say that she shirks the responsibility of proper explanation, for Helvin will certainly go into more detail if the subject calls for it. For example, she gives a brilliant and heartfelt explanation of the rich symbolism associated with Kutya—a traditional Slavic food offering to the dead, made from grain, raisins and honey—as well as with other choice topics. But for the bulk, it is a simple, unadulterated, conjuring bonanza.

Looking for a quick charm to stop nasty rumors? Perhaps something a bit more banishy? This book’s got a slew of clever ideas one can springboard from. In fact, I challenge any Witch worth their salt to not find an extremely useful hex or charm within Slavic Witchcraft’s pages. Highly approved and recommended.


Witch Hunt, A Traveler’s Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch, Kristen Sollée, Weiser BooksKristen Sollée will raise the hair on the back of your arms and fill your heart with grief and wonder. Witch Hunt, A Traveler’s Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch sets out to acknowledge and encounter victims of early modern Witch hunts by travelling to the physical sites of historical Witch executions in various countries and listening to the spirits that haunt them. Through seven countries and forty-five towns, she brings the reader along on a pilgrimage.

It is rare to find a work both historically honest and fully embracing of the mystical, and Witch Hunt is both. Sollée’s scrupulous research and thoughtful commentary contextualize every site she visits, allowing the reader to enter meaningfully into the world of each executed person. Her writing is free of pretense, and she openly discusses the limits of verifiable knowledge about these incidents. In a square in France where she recounts the horror of an execution by fire, Sollée notes of the victim—the best known in the book—“there is so much about her that has been lost to time.”

The above is not to say that she shirks the responsibility of proper explanation, for Helvin will certainly go into more detail if the subject calls for it. For example, she gives a brilliant and heartfelt explanation of the rich symbolism associated with Kutya—a traditional Slavic food offering to the dead, made from grain, raisins and honey—as well as with other choice topics. But for the bulk, it is a simple, unadulterated, conjuring bonanza.

Each page is a portal, and as you slip into her world, Sollée will introduce you to the alluring Giovanna in Florence, the young boy Hans Morhaubt in Bamberg, the ever-defiant Joan of Arc in Rouen, and all the other victims—seductress and virgin, child and grandparent, guilty and innocent—that she encounters. She says she imagined the details of these figures that she paints, that she opened her heart at each site and allowed the place to fill her mind with what the past might have been. Sollée is both humble and rational, calling her process imagination, but it reads like a channeling. This is more than travel writing, more than a feminist or historical embrace of Witches past, more than a reimagined tragedy. Witch Hunt is a work of conjuring, and the result is magical.


Weave the Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft, Laura Tempest Zakroff, Llewellyn Publications Like any declaration of self, to identify as a witch brings more questions than answers. Who and what should be considered genuinely helpful? What does genuine or helpful even mean? Do certain paths, teachers, or groups improve or validate your practice more than others? Does a fear of not being or knowing enough affect how you practice or determine if you pursue a practice at all?

Laura’s Aquarian approach frames and addresses these questions and so many more you didn’t know to you wanted to answers to. She helps YOU decide what is best for you. Her writing is a fun and easy conversation that leaves you feeling renewed and ready for more, like choosing gods – or not, or pursuing some previously obscure witchy interest that popped from the pages.

Laura’s traveling workshops puts her face-to-face with witches of every age in all corners of the country. This book is the map and compass to the modern witch world. It will speak to you, about you, and help you accept your doubts and be kind to yourself while seeking your way.


The Orphic Hymns: A New Translation for the Occult Practitioner, Patrick Dunn, Llewellyn Publications The hymns attributed to the mythical being Orpheus (and specifically, the mystery cults who honored his name) are some of the most beautiful examples of ancient Pagan devotional poetry in existence. Utilized by mystical seekers for millennia, these beautiful paeans are perfect for augmenting one’s personal spiritual work, while simultaneously connecting it to a rich lineage of ancient ritual songs and adorations.

Occultist, translator, and literature professor Patrick Dunn thus had his work cut out for him in adapting these venerable verses for the modern reader, but rest assured he does not disappoint. His handling of the Hymns is both fresh and reverential. They can even be quite playful at times without diminishing from the power and gravitas of the original Hellenic stanzas. Not fearing comparison, Dunn has even included Thomas Taylor’s 1792 translations of the texts for those wishing to see what he was working with from the English side of things.

The book has a beautiful side-by-side, Classical Greek vs. English format reminiscent of a Loeb Library codex or some of the more recent Joseph H. Peterson books. Thus, those with a better knowledge of ancient languages can compare and contrast participles and contextual hints, while making use of the original text for further inspiration. An extensive concordance and glossary is an added bonus the reader will quickly appreciate when some of the lesser-known Greek names appear mid-line. Ultimately, the coolest edition of the Hymns any occultist could possibly want.


Runic Book of Days: A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick, S. Kelley Harrell, Destiny BooksS. Kelley Harrell, founder of the shamanic healing practice known as Soul Intent Arts, has composed a clever step-by-step guidebook toward utilizing the Elder Futhark — one of the oldest runic alphabets — not only as a system of divination and prophecy, but also as a means of following the wheel of the year with active spiritual guidance.

Each of the sacred glyphs of the Futhark is aligned with a time of the year, particularly a half-month period (12 months split between 24 runes), in order to showcase and highlight the wisdom this ancient means of meditation can still engender to this day.

Drawing from old runic sources and modern shamanic practices, as well as over two decades of experience, Harrell aligns the classic agricultural calendars of Old Europe as expressed through the runes with our modern Gregorian variety, showing just how universal the wheel of the year can feel when properly attuned and actively experiences. Each rune (and its half-month) is examined and treated as an initiating force with depth and intuitive analysis. Looking to expand your experience of meditation with the Futhark ever-further, or perhaps needing a way to augment your Coven’s calendar with a more heathen feel? This little gem might be for you.


Encounters with Nature Spirits: Co-creating with the Elemental Kingdom, R. Ogilvie Crombie, Findhorn Press Imagine your favorite, charming, Scottish great-uncle was also a wizard who enjoyed talking to nature spirits. One day, after he passed, you found his diary and realized that not only was it brimming with fascinating records of his spirit contacts and conversations, but it could be easily published as the world’s most faun-friendly memoir. The above is a legitimate approximation of what it feels like to read R. Ogilvie Crombie’s Encounters with Nature Spirits.

Crombie, a self-taught historian and esotericist, shares his many experiences with fauns, land spirits, elementals, and even encounters with the Great God Pan himself. Eventually his rendezvous with the forest-dwelling, multi-dimensional folk would bring him to the Findhorn Community. Findhorn is a combination Ecovillage, New Age Retreat Center and preserve in Northern Scotland on the Moray coast, where ‘Roc’ would continue his curious meetings with denizens of the Greenwood realms.

Bringing forth a positive message of change and cooperation with the spirits of the elemental kingdoms and the ecology of Mother Earth herself, Encounters with Nature Spirits is a feel-good memoir ideal for a quiet read at home before the fire, or deep in the middle of the woods.


The Mirror of Magic: A History of Magic in the Western World, Kurt Seligman, Inner Traditions This 1948 classic is a glorious synopsis of Western occult history, prepared by one of the most well-known Swiss Surrealist painters of his time. Though primarily known for his artwork, painter and engraver Kurt Seligman was also a practicing occultist and historian with a rather impressive mystical, antiquarian library. This is of course brought to the forefront in his Mirror of Magic, as he combs his personal stacks to bring the reader oodles of intriguing historical tidbits found nearly nowhere else around.

Those of us who have been in the game a while will be happy to see Seligman’s synopsis containing so many of the names and profiles of brilliant and influential occult minds now sadly missing from modern occult discourse. Names like Albertus Magnus, Pico della Mirandola, Roger Bacon, Iamblichus and our perpetual friend Agrippa.

The sheer number of classic illustrations and engravings is nearly worth the cover price alone, and Seligman does not merely show without telling. His descriptions and analyses of alchemical symbolism and mystical art trends are both inciteful and clever. Seligman’s book on a whole is a gem of historical magic, as beguiling now as it must have been when it was released 70 years ago.


Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford’s (Mostly Painless) Practical Qabalah Course, Lon Milo DuQuette, Weiser Books Well, it’s déjà vu all over again. Lon Milo DuQuette has used his wicked sense of humor, deep knowledge and a good bit of wordsmithing in penning his soon to be released volume; Son of Chicken Qabalah: Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford’s (Mostly Painless) Practical Qabalah Course. DuQuette’s ability to convey profound knowledge seemed to crescendo in 2001 with the publishing of what many concluded was his magnum opus, The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford. Needless to say, Son of Chicken Qabalah will not supplant the earlier tome, rather it furthers the journey to greater heights.

If you have already read The Chicken Qabalah, you will find yourself in familiar territory, even though there is a hard turn off in a new direction. DuQuette takes the reader into a magical lodge where they encounter a Master and a Guide ready to conduct them through a series of initiations, each more profound than what precedes it. Before the conclusion of each initiation, a series of exercises are detailed and a knowledge lecture is given. Son of Chicken Qabalah explores the deep meanings enshrined in the Hebrew alphabet and their relationship to creation. DuQuette effortlessly scoops up the reader and transports them to an encounter with the profundity of being. The reader can’t help but to come face to face with their own divinity as DuQuette adroitly captures the atmosphere of a magical lodge.

While it is not requisite to read The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford prior to encountering this new release, it would certainly benefit the reader to do as much. Son of Chicken Qabalah is sure to be one those books that peels like an onion, new levels being exposed with each re-read.


Welsh Witches: Narratives of Witchcraft and Magic From 16th and 17th Century Wales , Richard Suggett, Atramentous Press A cunning woman living on the outskirts of town who sells healing charms and potions to the village folk gets bullied by a local ruffian. After striking her across the face, his arm mysteriously goes numb and limp. Soon, members of his household fall ill one by one with no abatement in sight, until the local magistrate is called and the charmer is brought before a grim-faced court on charges of Witchcraft. Though it may sound like the preamble to a Hammer Horror film, this is merely one of the gripping stories of Late Renaissance life found within the pages of this captivating book.

Suggett, a well-respected researcher and historian has been elbows deep in the records of the Court of Great Sessions of Wales, where he’s turned up a score of actual trial records, examinations and witness depositions of healers, conjurers, confidence tricksters, midwives and magicians, all while shining a sobering light upon the surprising nuance of those dark times. These alone are worth the price of admission, but Suggett’s notes and commentaries bring them all together beautifully.

Spanning two turbulent centuries, Welsh Witches is a stark snapshot of religious madness in a land that was comparatively tolerant of (if not indulgent toward) healers and cunning folk at the time. However, the tumultuous conflicts and pontiff-centered politics of the Reformation pushed even the more level-headed toward reprehensible acts of hatred against their fellow citizens.

A fascinating study of Witchcraft, folklore and judicial overreach from the land of the dragon flag.


rev-SigilWitchery, Laura Tempest Zakroff, Llewellyn Publications Sigil magic of one form or another is a rather common and popular form of mystical expression within occult circles the world over, yet there appears to be few books devoted entirely to the subject. Mostly, one finds a brief chapter or two within a larger tome devoted to spellcraft, listing a couple of quick-and-easy methods for sigil creation that may as well be magical afterthoughts before carrying on about candles, colors or some other such aspect of the Witch’s arts.

Inevitably, this book shall be compared to those previously mentioned volumes focusing solely on the subject of magical sigilization. All of these tend to be many things: informative, clever, well researched, practical and instructive. By these rubrics, Sigil Witchery shall certainly hold its own, but it deserves an additional adjective: inspirational.

I challenge you to read this book and not draw sigils on whatever piece of chalkboard, tablet or scrap paper happens to cross your path.

Perhaps it’s the easygoing nature of Zakroff’s instruction, or her barely-stifled joy when describing the various mediums and tools one can use to craft sigils, but her excitement is frankly both palpable and infectious. Haven’t picked up a pen or pencil in a while? Start reading this and there’s a good chance you’ll be blissfully doodling halfway through.

Zakroff greatly enjoys breaking down symbols into their component parts, examining each glyph for what it says intuitively as well as semiotically, and then showing how to use these aspects to build and grow some stunning pieces of art. After the small bits have been dissected, examples of sigils for meditation, spellcraft and protection are provided and interpreted, giving plenty of great ideas and solid advice for even the most boorishly well-informed member of your Coven.


Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot, Madame Pamita, Weiser Books The history of the tarot is veiled in myth and Renaissance mysteries, but as many occultists attest, this enigmatic card-game-turned-oracle is not merely for fortune telling and divination. Dripping with mystical symbolism, this humble pile of cardboard slips can also be used as a potent tool of meditation and spell casting. This is the primary focus of Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot, but certainly not the entirety of its scope.

A professional tarot reader with decades of experience and a flourishing “Parlour of Wonders” in Los Angeles, Pamita begins with a brief introduction to the questions each reader should ask themselves, as well as some effective journaling methods. She then successively takes the reader through the cards of the ubiquitous Rider Waite Tarot deck. Tossing aside many of the more Qabalistically saturated approaches to tarot, but still dealing with each card as a miniature pathworking “adventure,” she gives keywords, interpretations, journaling questions and affirmations to be used by the budding diviner for each of the 78 cards, so that they may help to manifest their reality rather than merely wait for the Fates to bring things their way.

A lighthearted and entertaining read for any fan of occultism, tarot, cartomancy or the divinatory mysteries.


Traditional Magic Spells for Protection and Healing, Claude Lecouteaux, Inner Traditions Historian and researcher Claude Lecouteaux, Professor emeritus at the Paris-Sorbonne University and author of over a dozen books on magic and folklore, has done it again. Painstakingly compiling a wonderful catalog of European spells, charms, chants and sometimes strange prescriptions — over 600 of them, to be precise — all while introducing and organizing them into a somewhat slim and unimposing volume.

As the title suggests, every spell therein contained involves either healing or protection, and the reader will likely be amazed at some of the concoctions our early magical ancestors came up with. The sources span nearly the entirety of Europe, with scores of medieval and renaissance remedies, with some spells being around 2000 years old.

Of special interest to some is the inclusion of spells learned from Transylvanian Romani by Romanian ethnologists in the 19th century, but there’s plenty more for everyone, whatever the uncomfortable ailment or unfortunate hex may be. Looking for a Hungarian headache remedy? How about a Slovenian charm against poison? A French rat conjuration? Perhaps Marcellus’ scrofula cure is more your speed. Any way you slice it, this book of old antidotes and orisons can be easily cross-referenced thanks to its alphabetized sections, helpful index and rather thorough bibliography — for all the students and scholars out there. Ultimately a discrete treasure for any occult library.


Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, Lon Milo DuQuette, Weiser Books No matter how straightforward they may seem at times, the writings of the controversial occultist Aleister Crowley are perpetually full of religious riddles, Astrological puns, and philosophical enigmas which can test and trick the reader at every turn. The Book of Thoth Tarot, created in concert with the phenomenally talented Lady Frieda Harris near the end of Crowley’s life, is positively saturated with complex symbolism drawn from his knowledge of Qabalistic mysticism.

However, for every occultist who readily admits to being confused by The Beast’s rambling Hermetic soliloquys, there appears one claiming Crowleyan expertise without understanding the simplest rudiments of occult theory. Lon Milo DuQuette is neither of the aforementioned, but is arguably one of the most qualified people on the planet to explain the inner and outer workings of Crowley’s mystical frameworks. A decades-long member (and current US Deputy Grand Master) of Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, he has written extensively on all things Thelemic, Hermetic, Enochian and Masonic. The newest, expanded edition of his Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot remains the best analysis of the source material created to date.

Those who have never opened DuQuette’s work before will be in for a treat, since he has one of the most readable and friendly styles of instruction one can encounter — a truly Solve et Coagula approach to the subject matter — which examines each philosophical root in detail before twirling them back together, giving the student of Tarot a proper foundation with which to understand the oddities and ambiguities of Thelemic cartomancy and divination. In addition, DuQuette’s wit and humor is always around to add a pun or chuckle to the more tedious bits of philosophical gymnastics, like a beloved, zany uncle who just happes to be a well-read wizard. If Crowley’s occultism interests you at all, consider this book required reading.


A Legacy of Druids: Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present, Ellen Evert Hopman, Moon Books Well-known Druid Ellen Evert Hopman’s most recent offering is a collection of clever interviews she’s conducted with some of the preeminent scholars, practitioners, artists and musicians connected to the modern Druidic faith and its legacy. It certainly fulfills its criterion as a series of conversations - the book is easy reading and rather engaging, and in many instances feels as if you’re sitting at a table with the author and her chosen interviewee sipping hot beverages. Her choice of questions, though usually all starting at a basic origin query, divert into some interesting, detailed, and at times surprising territory. It’s all rather affable, but minor disagreements about philosophy and practice still crop up within - sometimes seemingly out of nowhere - and it’s fun to watch the sparks fly politely on the page.

Interestingly, all of the interviews appear to have occurred during the year 1996, so the book acts as much as an anthropological study as it does a snapshot in time. Each interview shows in many ways not only just how forward-thinking and optimistic things were two decades ago, but considering the topics in question, just how timeless the shared experience of nature’s power can truly be. Well worth a spot on the shelf.


Esoteric Empathy: A Magickal & Metaphysical Guide to Emotional Sensitivity, by Raven Digitalis, Llewellyn.  Some of us have been in the occult game for a long time, and have heard the word “empathy” so often it makes us twitch, especially when uttered by a nearby youngling who seems to be preening more than practicing, so to speak. However, if said youngling is referring to this book, rest at ease.

And be jealous.

Esoteric Empathy will leave many of us who began our occult training decades ago to wish a book like this had come out “back in the day.” Not only does it go over the simplest (but of course, most crucial) basics of dealing with esoteric and emotional sensitivity (as well as their darker manifestations such as addiction and dependency) but it is chock-bloody-full of exercises, meditations, spells and chants from various disciplines, each designed to hone and train the will and sensitivity of the practitioner.

Scientific empathy studies and mass-media concerns are folded and wedded with Buddhist and Hindu mantras, hand mudras, Qabalistic pathworkings, energetic shielding practices, sigils and correspondences a-plenty. It is kind without coddling and informs without judgement or dragging out a point. Esoteric Empathy is simply a psychic self-defense handbook par excellence. Recommended for preening younglings, twitching elders, and all practitioners in between.


Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas by Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Christian Ratsch and Surendra Bahadur Shahi. An absolute tour-de-force! Generated from over eighteen years of research, this gorgeous hardcover volume gives an in-depth look at the customs, traditions, myths and legends of the Himalayan Shamans. The everyday lives of modern practitioners are respectfully examined and revealed with hundreds of high quality color and black-and-white photographs, detailing the many plants and tools of their traditions.

Fans of Muller-Ebeling and Ratsch’s previous effort Witchcraft Medicine will also not be disappointed. Chapter after chapter of this book imparts recipes for sacred drinks, incenses and smoking blends regularly used by the Shamans. Many of these are, of course, poisonous and/or psychotropic and commonly found within a Traditional Witch’s herb closet. As such, the authors compare and contrast the legend and lore of the Himalayans with that of the Western witches and wortcunners of old. Reading this book was like discovering a brand new world drenched in echoes of home.


Communing with the Ancestors: Your Spirit Guides, Bloodline Allies, and the Cycle of Reincarnation by Raven Grimassi.  Communing with the Ancestors acts in many ways like a retrospective diary, drawing the reader into the personal experiences of Grimassi’s decades of occult practice. Throughout, his own accounts of spiritual contact are compared to the lore of various mystical traditions, from Huna to the Akashic Record and back again. As expected, the book deals extensively with concepts associated with ancient ancestor cults. However, Grimassi keeps it fresh and interesting by splicing these together with modern DNA theories concerning genetic memory. In addition, he intersperses the text with a variety of mystical exercises designed to enhance one’s own understanding of their place within an ancient chain of manifestation. A fun and interesting read peppered with snippets of wisdom.  


Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft, Third Edition by Andrew Chumbley.
Andrew Chumbley placed the Sabbatic Craft and Crooked Path Sorcery traditions on the proverbial map through this brilliant and inspired masterpiece. Melding Traditional Cunning Craft and Typhonian Gnosis, Sabbatic Rites and Zos Kia sigilscapes, he helped spearhead and in many ways revivify the modern Traditional Craft movement. This Third edition of Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft is just a downright beautiful book, from sigilized dustjacket to graceful typeface. This is especially appreciated as Chumbley’s style, though certainly resonant and poetic, is not known for its brevity. Xoanon’s newest layout allows the text to breathe in a way previous editions have been unable, giving this grimoire the perfect balance of readability, ornamentation and resonance.

Due to a perpetual pledge of quality over quantity, only a few thousand printings will be released at a time, limiting one’s chances of getting a reasonably priced copy after the initial have been purchased. If it hasn’t already sold out by the time of this review, I’d strongly suggest acquiring one.  


Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality & Magic by Ellen Evert Hopman.
Mind-blowing! Hopman has found a way to pack a veritable treasure trove of herbal lore into a clear, precise and engaging volume. The contents are organized beautifully, starting with a primer on wildcrafting and the “doctrine of signatures” while following with a season-by-season guide to harvesting and utilizing nature’s potent healing energies. The first six chapters alone are worth the price of admission. The following ten will take one’s knowledge of natural medicines, both historical and modern, to dizzying heights. Wildcrafting, wortcunning, plant signatures, recipes by the dozen, Native American Animal Medicines, tinctures, poultices, formula theories as well as easy-to-read charts and glossaries make this book very difficult to put down for long. In addition, 96 gorgeous colored plates help you safely identify many of the more commonly used herbs. A wonderful addition to the library of any naturalist, herbalist, Witch or alchemist.


How to Use a Pendulum for Dowsing and Divination by Ronald L. Bonewitz and Lilian Verner-Bonds.
Always been interested in those lovely little pendulums at your local metaphysical shop but have no idea how to use one? This handy little kit may be precisely what the doctor ordered. In it, Bonewitz and Verner-Bonds have given the novice diviner a slew of meditations and spiritual exercises designed to enhance one’s intuition and spiritual sensitivity. In addition they cover proper hand techniques and various pendulum divination styles, mostly concentrating on a series of intuitive color drills that help guide the budding augur toward a more thorough understanding of subtle vibrations and resonances. Comes with a 160-page guidebook, pendulum and a series of fold-out color charts.


Icelandic Magic: Practical Secrets of the Northern Grimoires by Stephen Edred Flowers.
Those unfamiliar with Flowers’ (aka: Edred Thorsson) work will be glad to know he has a wonderfully breathable writing style, easily drawing one into the meat of the text without bogging them down with unnecessary digressions or superfluous language. Those familiar will find similarities to his brilliant Hermetic Magic, albeit with fewer pages and an obviously Northern focus. The first few chapters deal with the tale of how these fascinating Icelandic works evolved, highlighting the various Pagan, Catholic and Protestant influences found within. After the foundation is built, the reader learns about runic staves and sigilization methods drawn from and inspired by the Galdrabok, a grimoire Flowers translated and published back in 1989, as well as other lesser known and incomplete codices from the region. Don’t let the slenderness of this volume deter you. Like in most of his works, Flowers packs each page with scholarly tidbits, simultaneously teaching both history and occultism with clarity and ease. A must-have for any fan of Norse spiritual traditions, occult history or sigil magic.


Book Reviews Archive


Barbarian Rites by Hans-Peter Hasenfratz, Ph.D.
An exploration of the early religious cultures of the Germanic tribes, Barbarian Rites offers a scholarly look at the history of this ancient culture. It begins by asking what constitutes a Germanic tribe, then proceeds to answer that question by offering in-depth analysis of their social structures, cosmography, pantheon and so on. A wonderful and dense book for anyone interested in the ritual practices of ancient cultures.


The Book of Enoch the Prophet by R.H. Charles 
A text many are familiar with yet few know. While well known concepts such as fallen angels and celestial warfare originated in its pages, the book itself has remained obscure. Now, with a new translation by R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch is open to seekers of divine revelation. The text itself is enigmatic, but the reader’s comprehension will be greatly aided by R.A. Gilbert’s thorough introduction. Gilbert’s introduction traces The Book of Enoch across its circuitous travels through the centuries, discussing historical context as well as famous figures that were influenced by the text – from John Dee to Aleister Crowley. A new introduction by the occultist Lon Milo DuQuette implores the reader to remain open to the possibility of uncovering secrets long lost within the pages of this mystical text.


Diloggún Tales of the Natural World: How the Moon Fooled the Sun and other Santeria Stories by Ócha’ni Lele
Ócha’ni Lele describes himself not as the author, but the “transcriptionist and caretaker” of the stories contained in Diloggún Tales of the Natural World: How the Moon Fooled the Sun and other Santeria Stories. Anyone interested in the folk tales and oral traditions of other cultures should snap up this book? Contained within are charming stories of personified natural forces, foolish mortals and gods of all levels of power and wisdom. Think Aesops’s fables with a Yoruban twist.


The Book of Grimoires: The Secret Grammar of Magic. by Claude Lecoutreux
The Book of Grimoires: The Secret Grammar of Magic. by Claude Lecoutreux
Claude Lecoutreux has truly given us a treat with this treatise on grimoires and the magic found in them. With so many books on medieval magick available in this day and age, Lecoutreux has treated us to a glimpse into several. He begins his work with a detailed overview of the progression of various books magical before launching into the specifics of the practicality of sorcery. His approach has been to catalogue practice by type. Along with a fine detail of how to perform a given piece of sorcery, Lecoutreux treats us to facsimile drawing from many books. This book will benefit both the student of the occult that would like to compare and contrast, as well as the sorcerer who is looking for an out-of-the-ordinary working to perform.


Crystals, Jewels, Stones: Magic & Science by Isidore Kozminsky and
Crystals and the New Age by Stuart Weinberg
This is a compendium of knowledge and lore concerning what is classified by Hanne Finne in the introduction as the “mineral realm.” Ibis Press brings together two discrete yet complementary texts on the subject of precious and semi-precious stones’ role within a magical, mythical, and historical context. The first text, by Stuart Weinberg, is a relatively recent addition to the subject of crystals. Crystals and the New Age offers a clear introduction to the background systems needed to understand the significance of crystals as well as in-depth yet concise biographies of the preceding centuries’ preeminent channelers. The text also contains a comprehensive bibliography and suggested reading list for those interested in expanding their knowledge ever outward. The second text, a classic tome originally published in 1922 by Isidore Kozminsky, has been updated and modernized for an American reading audience while keeping the entirety of its original content preserved. Kozminsky writes in an effortlessly informative style that carries the reader easily through varied and complex information. Kozminsky is a scholarly storyteller delivering an enjoyable read while communicating a glut of information as multifaceted as the gems being examined.


A Magical Tour of the Night Sky by Renna Shesso
Ever get the feeling you are going around in circles? Renna Shesso wants you to know you are not alone. As A Magical Tour of the Night Sky explains to its readers, the whole of the cosmos is going ’round and ’round! From the spin of the earth to the rotation of distant stars, Shesso illuminates the ancient mysteries of the stars’ paths. Shesso uses a combination of mythology, modern astronomy and good old-fashioned star gazing to bring distant celestial bodies closer to the reader. Shesso encourages the reader to develop a personal relationship to the stars, particularly with the “learn by doing” section sat the end of each chapter. A wonderful book, perfect for the hands-on learner!


Enochian Magick: Volume I, The Best of the Equinox by Aleister Crowley
This republishing of selection from The Equinox, Crowley’s magical journal in print at the turn of the century, offers Crowley’s own synthesis of Enochian magic, based on the work of Elizabethan magicians John Dee and Edward Kelley. Previously difficult to find, Enochian Magick will make a welcome addition to the well-informed occultist’s library. Complete with an introduction from Lon Milo Duquette (US Deputy Grandmaster General of the OTO) which offers context and background to Crowley’s synthesis, Enochian Magick will help satiate those who continue to hunger for more doorways into Crowley’s worldview.


Fate, Fortune, and Mysticism in the Peruvian Amazon: The Septrionic Order and the Naipes Cards by Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Phd.
Fate, Fortune, and Mysticism in the Peruvian Amazon: The Septrionic Order and the Naipes Cards is a wholly unique book about divination and the power we hold over our own future. Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Phd., is a medical anthropologist who, while studying in Peru, encounters a divination system similar to Tarot with centuries of history and a surprising record of accuracy. But its practitioners, members of the mysterious Septrionic Order do not just observe the future, they actively shape it. De Rios finds herself pulled into the world of the Naipes cards and the mysticism of the Septrionic Order – first as an observer and then as a practitioner. Part memoir, part introduction to the techniques of managing the future, Fate, Fortune, and Mysticism in the Peruvian Amazon is written with the scientific mind of an anthropologist and the spiritual heart of a shaman. A must read!


Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate by Frank Joseph
Frank Joseph’s Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate is a charming and unconventional introduction to runes. Joseph explores the celestial origins of the runes by revealing the major myths of the twenty-four Norse Gods and Goddesses on which the runes are based. Each rune’s God or Goddess is introduced with an engaging story displaying their personalities and key attributes. Ian Daniels provides stunning illustrations of each God or Goddess, including eight full color illustrations. Deepen your understanding of this ancient art.


The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook by Karen Harrison
Karen Harrison’s The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook is an introduction to the medicinal and magical properties of herbs. From the explication of planetary influence to an extensive Appendix of herbal materials, tools, and recipes, The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook is easy to follow while still dense with information. Learn to harness planetary and elemental energies, create custom oils, and expand your relationship to botanica.


The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism by Colleen Deatsman
The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism is a spiritual way of life older than recorded history and surviving till the modern era. A spiritual practice based on healing and balance, shamanistic ways have a lot to offer our modern lives so often based on material achievement rather than spiritual health. Colleen Deatsman, an experienced Shaman, strives to introduce the reader to this most ancient practice in the hopes that, like her, the reader will be set down a path to a whole, healthful being.


The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic by Maria De Naglowska
Available for the first time in English, The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic represent two of the most interesting and until now, hard to procure books on the spiritual aspects of sex. A Russian mystic and “Satanic Woman” of 1930s Paris, De Naglowska’s work focused on unifying the dark and light powers of the world through reconciliation of masculine and feminine ideals. De Naglowska uses the Trinity as a basis for her occult teachings, reimagining the three aspects of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as Head (reason), Heart, and the Feminine ideal, or Sex and the coming of a new enlightened age. These books are a fascinating historical read and an important part of occult history, but be advised – the techniques described are potentially dangerous; there is even a warning posted before the bulk of the text.


Magia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria De Naglowska
Though the authorship of this influential text is somewhat in doubt (Maria de Naglowska claimed to have only translated a manuscript by Paschal Beverly Randolph, but evidence suggests she contributed much more to the final result.), its lessons remain vital. Magia Sexualis conceives of sexual intercourse as a prayer, a tremendous force of nature that can be harnessed to accomplish certain feats. Magia Sexualis spends a significant amount of time laying the groundwork for a complete spiritual, mental, and physical understanding of the sexual act before even introducing the subject of sexual ritual. Magia Sexualis is recommended for those interested in the historical occult, magical potential of sexual energy, and those interested in improving their corporeal experience.


Moon Phase Astrology by Raven Kaldera
This thick tome is a complete introduction to developing and understanding a personal relationship to the phases of the Moon. Kaldera walks with the reader across the varied path of the Moon as it glides through all of its 96 incarnations. Besides simply understanding the celestial path the Moon takes, Kaldera shows the reader how the moon is a metaphor for our own lives, our personal relationships, and our general disposition towards the world. Kaldera brings a great sense of storytelling to his explanations of the Moon’s place in our lives.


Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth , by John Michael Greer
Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth is an attempt to counter common modern misconceptions regarding mystery teachings. Most conceive of mystery teachings as the idea that by manipulating the laws of attraction one can coax any number of positive outcomes from the universe. The theory goes that simply by replacing negative thoughts and actions with positive ones, good things — money, material wealth, increased social status — will materialize. Greer points out that not only is this concept not representative of mystery teachings, but they simply do not work; it assumes that whatever we want is ours for the taking while ignoring the fact that we are but part of a much more complex whole. Greer turns to ecology — the study of whole systems in nature — to correct our misguided understanding of seven fundamental principles from the mystery schools. Each principle is explored using examples from the natural world. Each principle is also accompanied by a meditation, an affirmation, and a theme for reflection. These interactive features help bring the mystery teachings directly into the reader’s daily life: “where they become keys to meaning, wholeness, and power.”


Neolithic Shamanism: Spirit Work in the Norse Tradition by Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova
Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova designed Neolithic Shamanism to serve as an introduction to Northern Shamanistic practices for the uninitiated novice. For those compelled to study shamanism yet unaware of where to begin, Northern Shamanism offers the equivalent of the first year of training in this tradition ( though as the text is quick to point out, there is no real substitute for a human teacher). Northern Shamanism promotes an ancient understanding of shamanism as the maintenance of relationships with elemental, plant, animal, and divine spirits (which manifest literally rather than metaphorically) for the high purpose of survival. Shamans were intimately involved in protecting and aiding their communities through communication with various entities. Northern Shamanism is about reclaiming shamanistic traditions regardless of direct inheritance and becoming grounded once again in the world of the Real.


The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook by Kenaz Filan
The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook is about so much more than Voodoo. Using Voodoo as the lens through which the city of New Orleans if viewed, Kenaz Filan weaves a tale equal parts history, tourist guide, and introduction to Voodoo as unique as the city itself. Filan touches on topics as diverse as the evolution of race relations within the city and the proper use of ritual oils. If you are planning a visit to the city or just want a fresh perspective on a fascinating American city, pick up this book


Norse Goddess Magic: Trancework, Mythology, and Ritual by Alice Karlsdottir
Combining traditional research on folklore and the Eddas with trance work and meditation techniques, Alice Karlsdottir was able to rediscover the feminine side of the Norse pantheon and assemble working knowledge of thirteen Norse Goddesses for both group ritual and personal spirit work. Detailing her trance work journeys to connect with the goddesses, the author reveals the long-lost personalities and powers of each deity. She explores the Norse Goddess Frigg, the All-Mother wife of Odin, along with twelve other Goddesses that are associated with her. Alice provides detailed instructions for invocations and rituals to call each Goddess forth for personal and group spirit work. She also offers a comprehensive guide to ritual trance working, to allow anyone to directly experience deities and spiritual beings and develop spirit work relationships with them.


A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book by Ceisiwr Serith
A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book is the sequel to A Book of Pagan Prayer. This sequel focuses on prayers as part of ritual, prayers that help one encounter the divine. Serith presents theories of prayer and ritual structure as well as offering a wide array of modern prayers. Serith offers his own ritual prayers but also guides the reader through the process of creating their own. A great book for anyone searching for a deeper understanding of prayer in the Pagan context.


Phantom Armies of the Night: The Wild Hunt and the Ghostly Processions of the Undead by Claude Lecouteux
Phantom Armies of the Night: The Wild Hunt and the Ghostly Processions of the Undead by Claude Lecouteux
“Once we have set foot upon the shores of folk mythology, we must remain conscious that its banks are shifting and ever changing – and are deceptive, because the accounts are never firsthand.” So begins Claude Lecouteux’s fascinating exploration of the phenomenon known as “the Wild Hunt,” a ghastly nightly procession of demons, witches, the undead, and all other manner of supernatural beings. Bringing a scholar’s eye for analysis to a centuries-old phenomenon, Lecouteux seeks to unravel various source material to get at the heart of the mythology: why has this myth endured for centuries, and why is it important?.


Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune Dion Fortune
Dion Fortune offers practical instruction on protecting oneself from psychic attack. Part psychological case study and part manual for fighting invisible but omnipresent forces, Fortune draws from her personal experiences to arm the reader against malignant paranormal encounters. However, Fortune does not simply advocate arming oneself for battle against these forces; rather, she brings the reader to an understanding that it is our own ignorance of these forces that comprises our biggest threat.


The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians: A Guide to the Sephiroth by Anita Kraft
For those of you who have wanted to plumb the Qabalah in an experiential way, Anita Kraft has given you the perfect balance of understanding the concepts combined with a very practical approach. After providing a very brief overview of the system, Anita launches into a detail of each of the Sephira, explaining the principle behind each and how to set-up an altar for Sephira. This is not a book for the armchair occultist; a roll-up your sleeves approach dominates this work. This 166 page tome is a great starting point for those who would rather experience the Qabalah, rather than spend all of their time in their head.


Runecaster’s Handbook by Edred Thorsson
Edred Thorsson’s Runecaster’s Handbook is a practical guide to runecasting as a system of communication with both the physical and cosmic realms. Thorsson offers a myriad of ways to start or enhance your runic practice, taking the runes beyond the common understanding of simply a fortune telling device. Thorsson casts runes as a means of accessing hidden truths about the future, yes; but more importantly, about your own relationship to the gods.


The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses: from Pagan Folklore to Modern Manifestations by Claude Lecouteux
Once again Claude Lecouteux produces a thoroughly researched, eminently readable and delightfully entertaining text that blends scholarly ethos with respect for the unknown. Lecouteux turns his attention to the phenomenon of poltergeists and other ghostly haunting, taking care to scrupulously trace first-hand accounts and second hand analyses from medieval through modern times. Lecouteux is meticulous in his approach, paying particular attention to establishing the proper definition of deployed terms. Readers with a casual interest in the supernatural will find their knowledge greatly expanded and their curiosity provoked even further. Those already adept in the subject will nonetheless find much to mull over.


The Secrets of Doctor Taverner by Dion Fortune
In some ways, The Secrets of Doctor Taverner is a novelization of Dion Fortune’s own life; Dr. Taverner is based on her own mentor, and his assistant, Dr. Rhodes, is taken to be Fortune herself. In other ways, the novel is a psychological mystery and Taverner is an occult Sherlock Holmes. Taverner is an eccentric Doctor treating patients taken to be hopelessly insane by the medical establishment. Where most doctors see hopeless cases of mental defect, Taverner accesses occult knowledge — from past lives to misplaced souls — to free his patients from psychic distress. A rollicking good read!


Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock by Vere Chappell
Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock explores the life of an extraordinary woman decades ahead of her time. Part biography, part introduction to her most influential works, Sexual Outlaw introduces Ida Craddock to a modern audience perhaps unaware of her contributions to women’s rights, sexual freedom, occult spiritualism and social progress. Her amazing story is laid out in a fluid academic tone right alongside Ida’s ideas in her own words. An essential read for anyone interested in social justice and the history of sexuality.


Weird Ways of Witchcraft by Dr. Leo Louis Martello
Originally published in 1969 by Dr. Leo Louis Martello, Weird Ways is an important historical document. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of Witchcraft, particularly of the treatment of Witches in America. Written at a point in history when all kinds of minority groups began to rise up and demand equal rights, Weird Ways is a manifesto for the modern Witch. Combating negative stereotypes, demanding reparations from those institutions that have sought to oppress “crafters,” and celebrating the individuality of the practice, Weird Ways is an absolute treasure!