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Monday, October 24, 2011

Book review - 21 Spells for Assured Sucess

 And now for something completely different.... 21 Spells for Assured Success by Boudica
   This book is written by a Facebook friend of mine and while it isn't my usual genre I found it to be both interesting and useful so I decided to put a review of it up here on my blog.
   I really enjoyed this book, being fond of spellwork that is pragmatic and intended to be useful. It is a thoroughly modern, Hoodoo style take on practical folk magic that is non-denominational and could be worked by anyone. I enjoyed the writing style which is personal and engaging, as if the author was sitting down to chat with the reader, and the little personal anecdotes that were mixed in were a nice touch. You definitely are given the impression that the author has experience with her subject and is looking to pass that experience on in the most helpful possible way. The spells themselves cover a good range of possibilities under the topic of "success", from job interviews to office blessings and winning in court to removing writer's block, and are all geared at real-world usefulness, which is nice. I also liked the section on magical symbols that can be used for sucess. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in learning magic to be used, as opposed to just reading about theory, and for anyone trying to draw success to their lives. My only complaint about it would be that I wish it was longer, but that is really just the sign of a good book - I wish it didn't have to end!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Book review - Freya, Lady, Vanadis

 For this Monday's book review I am going to look at the book Freya, Lady, Vanadis: an introduction to the goddess by Patricia Lafayllve.
  This book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Goddess Freya. This is an indepth, academic look at her which goes beyond the surface examinations found elsewhere. Each chapter deals with different aspects of the mythology and how they shape our understanding of this goddess in relation to sex, love, war, death, magic, wealth, other gods and more. What I particularly liked was that the author uses a wide array of traditional material to look at who the Goddess was in antiquity but also brings that information forward in a useful, viable way and includes a modern look at Freya, resulting in an academically and spiritually sound understanding of this goddess.
   The text itself is fairly short, only 91 pages, but is well researched and documented, including end notes for each chapter, four appendices, and a bibliography. The first 7 chapters look at the historical attributes of Freya as we understand them from mythology and secondary sources, and the final 8th chapter looks at different personal gnosis that people have had relating to Freya in a modern context. The appendices discuss the sources in lore, modern practice, offer an example of a blot to Freya, and a selection of modern poetry to her.
   I especially liked the final chapter which looks at modern interactions with the goddess as interpreted through a selection of different peoples' personal gnosis, something that is often lacking in books that are this scholarly in tone. Overall, while short, the book is an excellent resource for learning about the goddess Freya and really does encompass what is known about her as well as giving a view into modern ideas about her. This would be a good book to have on hand whether a person is interested in worshipping this goddess specifically, or is just seeking to better understand the goddesses of the Northern pantheon.