Tag - spells

A Witch’s Grimoire – Create Your Own Book of Shadows

A grimoire (or book of shadows) is a sort of Wiccan recipe book that includes spells and incantations, but also much more

By Judy Ann Nock
Adams Media/Provenance Press 2005
246 pp., $12.95

According to the web site www.religioustolerance.org, “the fastest growing religion (in terms of percentage) is Wicca – a Neopagan religion that is sometimes referred to as Witchcraft. Numbers of adherents went from 8,000 to 1990 to 134,000 in 2001. Their numbers of adherents are doubling about 30 months.” The author of A Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows, Judy Ann Nock, is a Wiccan high priestess who shares her extensive knowledge and experience in this pagan primer – a sort of witchcraft 101.

However, we first have the question of “what exactly is a grimoire?” Nock describes a grimoire (or book of shadows) as “a sort of Wiccan recipe book that includes spells and incantations, but also much more. A book of shadows may also contain dreams, poems, invocations, revelations, inspirations, and lore.” In some ways, it is also a journal where one can record impressions as they follow the pagan path, a nature-based religion.

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If one is new to the Craft, he or she can use A Witch’s Grimoire as a workbook – there are plenty of exercises suggested, with room in the book to write individual answers to the thought-provoking questions that are presented here. For example, calling the directions is a basic skill in the Craft. Nock gives plentiful information about the unique attributes of the east, south, west and north and urges the reader to acquire experiential knowledge and not just book-knowledge.

More advanced teachings, such as channeling and various meditations, are also shared in what is evidently a sincere, from-the-heart book in which Nock clearly wants the reader to grow spirituality as a result of carrying out the exercises. This text is also jam-packed with new age knowledge, including touching upon the chakras, magical qualities of gemstones and crystals, the ritual use of herbs, and even dream interpretation. For those wanting information on more crafty things like spellwork and candles, it’s all there as well – a full table of color correspondences for candlework along with what days of the week are most conducive to specific needs.

Now back to that “create your own book of shadows” part of the title…Nock takes that quite literally and gives detailed instructions to making your own recycled paper and binding your own special book! However, the author also takes into account that even a three ring binder purchased at a stationary store will be sufficient as long as the magical intent is there. Nock also provides various secret alphabets such as the Faerie Runes for those to help create a more mystical-appearing book of shadows. And speaking of physical appearances, Nock’s book itself is just gorgeous – ragged-edged pages are wedged between an antiqued cover, suggesting this is a tome filled with ancient knowledge which, in this reviewer’s opinion, is indeed the case.

A Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows
Review by Diane Saarinen

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Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook

By Robin Rose Bennett
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 2004
192 pp., $12.95

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When reading Healing Magic, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living, you should know two things: Bennett’s definitions for “green witch” and “guidebook.”  Green witches, she writes, “have a special love for the plants and trees of the earth, and are often gifted in working with them as gardeners, herbalists, artists and teachers.” And:  “this guidebook is a map made up of words, stories, songs, rituals, recipes, instructions, invitations, meditations, trance journeys, warnings worth heeding, and heart-centered teachings.”  Sound like a bold claim?  Bennet, however, does not disappoint in this delightful book filled with…well, all of the above!  And I would even add, then some.

Prefaced by a wonderful foreword by wise woman Susun S. Weed, the book jumps right into practical suggestions to reconnect with the earth, including simple ways to draw in earth energy and communing with plants and trees.  As the author describes living for many years in New York City, and then moving to the country, she has a balanced viewpoint regarding practicing magic in urban settings, something missing in many books of the same ilk.  As long as there is a park nearby, there is no reason that one cannot connect with nature…and Bennett gives many tips for doing so, based on personal experience with her own group of green witches.

Moon magic and herbal magic are discussed at length, with the author’s expertise being particularly in working with herbs and plants.  We are given the magical properties of lavender and mugwort, for example, and even trees as well!  The author then moves on to spells and rituals.  Many of the spells incorporate the herbs, plants and trees we have already learned about earlier in the book.  The author does a fine job of explaining the ethics of spellcasting – for example, in working with love spells, it is never a good idea to focus on one specific individual as that would be manipulative, but to focus on the qualities one would like to find in a potential lover.  I liked the way Bennett set up one love spell so much that it was Xeroxed and sent to a friend who is currently in the market and looking, so to speak!

This book is well-written and full of many personal tales, which I found enjoyable.  Ultimately, Bennett shares a philosophy where magic is meant to enhance life:  “You will never lack for challenges in this world, but by celebrating your kinship with the living magic of the elements, you will stay in touch with what is real within and around you.  There is great freedom in this.  Being in relationship with what exists beyond this lifetime can ground and center you so fully that you can create good relationships with your neighbors, like-minded or not, and engage the life you’re living with more trust and less fear.  Always remember, life isn’t about practicing magic; practicing magic is about living.”

Healing Magic, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living
by Robin Rose Bennett
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 2004
192 pp., $12.95

Review by Diane Saarinen


Magician reveals secrets of erotic sorcery in new book

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of magic and strategic sorcery, Jason Miller has added to his bestselling titles with a new guide, Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic.

Miller draws upon his training in Eastern and Western mystery schools to produce a frank, comprehensive exploration of sexual sorcery as it relates to spirituality. Readers will learn how to use the moment of orgasm as a gateway to spiritual enlightenment:

  • The use of sexual elixirs in alchemy and practical sorcery
  • Working with sexual spirits and gods
  • Dangers & delights of sex magic: fetishes, bondage, discipline, submission
  • Breath work, energy work & physical postures to perform high level sex magic
  • A grimoire (textbook) of sexual spells and rituals
  • Gay vs. hetero sex acts

Using Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic, readers will find that sex will become their most potent and pleasurable gateway to the primordial and the divine.

From the Tantric mysteries of Hinduism and Buddhism and the inner alchemy of Taoism, to the sacrament of the bridal chamber in Christianity and the traditions of Western magic and witchcraft, sex pervades the highest and most secret and sacred teachings. This daring and tantalizing book throws provides the keys to the sexual magic that has been hidden behind these secret orders and arcane terminologies, until now.

Drawing upon his training in Eastern and Western mystery schools, Miller looks back through time at spiritual groups who have used sex in their practices.

Miller said, “It was in Nepal that I crossed the abyss and underwent the initiations I would need to do sorcery the way that I knew it could be done. A practice that integrates training for the mind/body/spirit with influences of key spiritual powers, a practice that sent me on a journey to the deepest and highest planes and states of being, and gave me the power and the mojo to change the waking world for the better. This is what my life has been about for nearly 30 years, and I want to share it.”

About the author: Jason Miller has devoted much of his life to traveling the globe to study practical magic in its many forms. He studied hoodoo in New Orleans, witchcraft in Europe and tantra in Nepal, and he is a regular contributor to Behutet, a journal of magick.

Miller is a member of the Chthonic Ouranian Temple, the Ordo Templi Orientis and the Sangreal Sodality, as well as an initiated Tantrika in the Nyingma and Bon lineages of Tibet. He is the founder and teacher of the Strategic Sorcery Training Course and Strategic Sorcery blog.

Miller is the author of Protection and Reversal Magick, The Sorcerer’s Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick and Financial Sorcery.

About the book
Title:  Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic
Pub Date:  November 2014
Author:  Jason Miller
Publisher:  New Page Books, a division of Career Press
EAN:  978-1-60163-332-3
Format:  Paperback, 6 x 9 inches, 15 illustrations
List Price:  U.S. $15.99 (Can. $18.95)
Distributors:  New Leaf, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Bookazine, Brodart, Nutri-Books, Partners Book Dist.|
Information:  www.newpagebooks.com, www.warwickassociates.com
Subject:  Mind, Body, Spirit, Magick, Sex
Rights:  World