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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.