Thursday, April 23, 2009

Haunted Book Review Thursday

Two for one!

I've lumped these two together for the simple reason that they are somewhat similar being that they are more or less written from the Wiccan or Pagan perspective (and please feel free to correct me on any errors at any time in my referencing Pagan or Wiccan beliefs because I am using what little knowledge that I have on them).


Silver Ravenwolf, author

First of all, you know that I spell Halloween "Hallowe'en" which should give you a clue that I am drawn to old fashioned Hallowe'en customs and traditions. In the first part of the book, Ms. Ravenwolf goes through a brief but detailed history of Hallowe'en. Her writing style is relaxed and easy to read with humorous touches with annotations to her sources just to let you know she's not making all this up. The book is sparsely illustrated with woodcut style pictures.
Next, she spends some time on customs, traditions and superstitions of Hallowe'en, some I knew and some I didn't. We then go to Hallowe'en foods, mixed with a little bit of magick. The recipes are similar to traditional Hallowe'en foods like cider, apples but Ms. Ravenwolf adds information to the magickal quality of each ingredient which I found very interesting. The remaining parts of the book is magickal practice (for lack of a better word). There is divination, protection, prosperity spells and rituals that I might not understand but do fascinate me.
This book isn't for everyone. There are no props but there are some good recipes and interesting information from a practicing witch's point of view. Hallowe'en was the time in which divination was practiced most often and for the traditionalist in me, it's a good book for insight into these practices.

The rating for this book: You can put it on the coffee table for decoration. I say this because it is your call whether or not this book would be useful to you in the context of it being mainly of the magickal persuasion.

The Real Halloween, Ritual and Magic for Kids and Adults

Sheena Morgan, author

Again, this is another fun book for a select audience, which happens to be me. Ms. Morgan starts out with a short history of Hallowe'en and then branches off to how Hallowe'en was and is celebrated in different parts of the world, with some being on the bizarre side as carrying a barrel full of flaming tar. Not me, no sir! She greets us next with traditional Hallowe'en games (some of them being downright dangerous that our ancestors played) then to modern Hallowe'en games (although the vampire game is so complicated I gave up trying to figure it out). There are some magickal crafts, some good recipes for Hallowe'en food and a little section in the back for some spells, divination and charms. The book is easy to read, a bit more formal writing style with tons of full color photos throughout.

The rating for this book: You can put it on the coffee table for decoration. Again, this book is not a prop book and although it has more crafts and recipes than Ms. Ravenwolf's book, it would be your call if you would be interested in a more traditional take on Hallowe'en celebrating and customs.

1 comment:

Diane said...

if you are ever interested in learning more about wicca, silver ravenwolf has books that explain it really well. like any religion, it is complicated. but she's a good writer.

i've never read anything from the other author, although it sounds like a great book too!