Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick: A Review

This book isn’t so much a guide to ritual magick, but a guide towards building your own workable system of ritual magick. Those who pursue these Arts need to have it work well for them and not every system in every book will do that. Most of the time we end up picking and choosing what we like anyway.

Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick

Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick

Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick doesn’t make you do that. Instead, it puts forth the tools for you to do it for yourself, sort of like giving you the bones and allowing you to flesh out the rest.

Not only that, its one of the few ritual books out there which attempts to bridge the gap between Wicca and Ceremonial Magick. I found enough pagan and Wiccan elements to make bits of it applicable to my own workings, especially the explorations of the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water and their associated tools of the Patten (or Dish), the Wand (Staff), the Blade, and the Cup (Chalice).

There are chapters about using breath techniques, trance, gestures and body positions, visualization techniques, and creating a magickal personality–something that Dion Fortune also talked about in her writings. Despite that, this is not a “how-to” book, even though it does have some exercises, as it addresses the why’s and wherefor’s and underlying occult structures rather than giving you a series of guided meditations and the like. It pre-supposes that you already know your way around the world of spirits and magick and are now looking to build upon and deepen your own practice.

The second part of the book deals with a hero’s journey (akin to that which my own hero, Joseph Campbell, talks about) and how it relates to the Tarot and the Tree of Life. I’m not a big Tarot expert so I can’t speak to that, though I found the concept intriguing all the same.

I don’t agree with everything in the book, but that’s part of the point. It gets you thinking about what you do believe and how that fits into your magickal worldview and so your goals and workings. This is, apparently, the first work in a trilogy and I look forward to seeing the rest.

© 2009, Veronica Cummer, author of Sorgitzak and Masks of the Muse.

Turning the Wheels of Life

Close-up of cover with chakras

Wheels of Light Chakra

One of the most often recommended books on Chakras, Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, Ph.D. is subtitled as “a users guide to the chakra system” and it does a good job of living up to it’s title. Many books on this subject are written for a reader already familiar with the intricacies of yoga and the mythology of India. Those are great if you were raised with that, but for the western reader, Wheels of Life is a better, more readable introduction. [Read more…]

The Blood Books – Hot Noir by Tanya Huff

The Blood Books are a series of Vampire, Detective, Romance, Noir novels by Tanya Huff. The stories were initially published in the early 90’s and are now a very popular series on Lifetime that I haven’t seen, but a second season starts on Oct. 13th. I have read the books, all of them, because when I started on the first one I couldn’t put it down. They are combined in three volumes:

  • Vol I: Blood Trail & Blood Price
  • Vol II: Blood Lines & Blood Pact
  • Vol III: Blood Debt & Blood Bank

The story begins with Victoria Nelson, Ex-Toronto PD, now private investigator who stumbles upon a bizarre and bloody crime scene. [Read more…]