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Magic for Change, by Cerridwen Greenleaf

Magic for Change: Spells and Rituals for Social Transformation, by Cerridwen Greenleaf
CICO Books, 1800652623, 144 pages, October 2023

When I first started reading Cerridwen Greenleaf’s Magic for Change: Spells and Rituals for Social Transformation, I wasn’t fully sure what to expect. I had read other books with similar themes in the past, so I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with the concepts that were going to be introduced; however, I know that there are some methods of discussing social justice and social change from a (very) narrow perspective, so I didn’t necessarily have high hopes that this book would be different.

I was pleasantly surprised. Greenleaf discussed several different manners and topics for activism, including chapters on climate change; peace, which featured not only country-level conflicts but also gun violence as a whole; ending hunger, not only in the world, but also in your local community; witchcraft for feminists; and ways to manifest money and other material gains for the benefit of all. According to Greenleaf:

“This book stems from my years of activism and is based on the magical intention to provide practitioners with the tools, ideas, and inspiration to make this a better world.”1

Out of everything in their book, I was particularly interested in some of the concepts and practices that Greenleaf discusses in their chapter about feminist witchcraft. Their section on Solidarity Shrines was especially interesting to me because I can’t always have an obvious shrine set up in my space; their suggestions for small things to use in place of a full altar that will still attract like minded people motivated me to set up a small Solidarity Shrine of my own! (And if you’re curious, I think it has worked so far; I’ve met several more writer friends both in-person and online, and have even found a local group to go play trivia at bars, which is something I’ve never been able to do before!)

Greenleaf’s discussions about tea were also some of my favorite parts of Magic for Change. I’m a huge tea drinker, so it seemed natural that I would gravitate toward these recipes, especially since I could very easily translate them into my morning or nighttime rituals. Most of the herbal teas that they discussed were equal parts magical and delicious, with their herbal money brew being one of my favorite new recipes that I tried. As to whether I’ve been able to manifest more money, that remains to be seen… but I have found money in unexpected places that I must’ve stored away and forgotten about, so if that counts, then the herbal money brew works quite well!

Throughout the book, Greenleaf’s writing style was very approachable and accessible for all levels of practitioner, from beginners to those who are more advanced in their craft; the content seems to be more geared toward beginners and early-intermediate practitioners, though. If you’ve been practicing witchcraft for years, you most likely will know a lot of the information that they discuss already, though you may not know exactly how to apply it in the context of creating social change, which could make this book an interesting addition to any witch’s bookshelf.

Another aspect of Magic for Change that made the book very accessible to read was the fact that it wasn’t all simply blocks of text; rather, there were a lot of illustrations included, many in what would be considered the borders or margins of the page, but that served to break the text into easily digestible pages.

It seems that they have a very strong understanding of kitchen and home/hearth styles of witchcraft, which is what a majority of this book focuses on; I would have appreciated if they included some material on more diverse forms of magic that could also be used for change, protest, and resistance, but it did not impact my enjoyment of the book in any way. It’s probably just a personal preference, but if you’re like me and something like divination or ancestor worship are at the forefront of your practice, you might find it a little difficult to fully immerse yourself .

I also would not recommend this book for anyone who is unable to practice openly or who doesn’t have any safe spaces to practice, also known as being “in the broom closet.” A lot of the rituals Greenleaf suggests will leave physical evidence or will require the practitioner to acquire supplies that may raise some red flags for nosy individuals in their life.

However, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of magical practices that can very easily be adapted to activism, Magic for Change would be a good choice. There were a lot of examples of rituals that I had never thought to apply to the context of activism; if you have a coven, this book will give you ideas of how you can all work together to manifest change, but there are also plenty of rituals and ideas for a solo practitioner to develop their craft.

Wyrd Sisters, by Casey Zabala

Wyrd Sisters: A Deck of Spells and Rituals, by Casey Zabala
Weiser Books, 1578638291, 60 cards, 80 pages, April 2024

Ah, destiny! For those who enjoy contemplating fate, or the inevitable outcome of events, perhaps even tempting it here and there, Wyrd Sisters: A Deck of Spells and Rituals by Casey Zabala is a true delight. The concept of “wyrd”, originating from Old English and Norse mythology related to the predetermined outcome of events, has been explored as a way to understand the interconnectedness of all things and the idea that individuals are part of a larger cosmic pattern. While wyrd implies a sense of inevitability, it also carries the idea that individuals have some agency in shaping their own destinies through their choices and actions. Calling upon the duality of fate and free will, this deck helps readers to explore the mysteries of existence and the human experience.

Zabala is a devotee of the Wyrd Sisters, describing how they “are the ancient Deities who dwelt at the roots of the world tree and set the order of the cosmos through their spinning, weaving, and cutting the cords of fate. Their threefold process affirms the cyclical nature of our being.”1 Just as they weave fate, we too are weaving our own lives:

“We weave specific patterns and shapes for protection and success, with the awareness that our spells and wishes are delivered through the web of wyrd.”2

Believing that spellwork is deeply personal, Zabala has created a very creative and open-ended deck for readers to ascribe their own meanings to the imagery and messages and then use their own magical repertoire to integrate the energy. While there is some guidance provided through the guidebook, this deck really shines as a work of art that assists readers with strengthening their own intuition, crafting their own rituals, and creating magic that feel uniquely meaningful and relevant to them.

“Magic is the fifth element–also known as spirit, ether, or quintessence. It is the ethereal nature that keeps all beings connected and psychically tethered to each other.”3

There are five types of cards in this deck: spell cards, candle magic cards, sigil cards, magical tool cards, and Wyrd Sister cards. The guidebook entry differs depending on the type of card, as the type of magic coming through is aligned to the energy of your draw.

For the spell cards, there is an intuitive message along with a list of spell ingredients that one can use for inspiration. There’s something about being given three to five things and then being told, “Now go figure out what you can do with this” that makes my creativity soar. For instance, the spell ingredients for the card Spell for Surrender are “physical inversions, amethyst, strong winds, sharing secrets with strangers, salt”6. You can absolutely use none, one, some, or all of the spell ingredients, and I feel like the process of coming up with one that feels do-able and relevant for you is magic in itself.

For the candle magic cards, Zabala offers suggestions for the color candle and what to do during your candle magic ceremony. The Candle for Vitality card reads “Call all of your energy back to yourself.. Light a yellow candle and imagine a sunlight shield protecting your auric field from outside disturbance.”7

The guidance for the sigil card includes what to use the sigil, where to place it, and the ruling planet. As an example, the Sigil for Unbinding can be used to “untangle webs of entrapment or psychic manipulation”[/efn_note]page 55[/efn_note]. Zabala notes it should be placed in a ring of salt and the ruling planet is Pluto.

With the magical tool cards, Zabala reminds us, “Each tool represents the essence of our intentions, our spiritual connections, and the art of our will.”8 The guidebook describes the tool and then offers a suggestion of how one can best use their magical energy at this time. There is suggested magic for each one, ranging from speaking one’s truth to establish a boundary (athame) to gathering with friends to celebrate transformation through “ritual, feasting, and revelry”9 (bonfire).

Last but most important are the Wyrd Sister cards. I have yet to pull one myself! I honestly didn’t even want to read the guidebook description because I feel like it’s an initiation to pull one. However, from a quick glance at Zabala’s introduction, I can see they’re related to past, present, and future.

While you can pull a card for quick insight from this deck, as you can tell from reading the various descriptions, some of the cards require some more magical effort. Whether it’s planning out your spellwork, gathering the right color candle, or making preparations to perform the suggested magic related to a tool, it can take days, perhaps even weeks, to put the energy out into the world. It seems as though only the sigil cards can be used for immediate action. But I personally enjoy how the deck calls for you to savor its message and take the time to align with one’s intention and then put forth their magical working. You can always simply see what card comes through and then reflect on it before making any energetic investments.

As for the artwork, this deck is bright, abstract, and filled with symbolism. It definitely speaks to the non-verbal part of the psyche, activating inner knowledge through images, colors, and dimension. One thing I have been doing with this deck is noticing where my eyes go first, as there’s often many places to look, for insight into what is most relevant for me. For those who enjoy divination through creative decks, you could absolutely toss the guidebook aside and find plenty of messages and meaning within the cards themselves.

My favorite card that I’ve pulled so far is Spell for Grounding. Suitably, I pulled this on a night when my lower back was completely out of whack, indicating to me that I was ungrounded and needed to focus on my root chakra, as I rested with a heating pad. The image on the card was so fascinating to look at, and I spent a good five minutes letting my eyes explore. It shows a person with their arms in the air and an infinity symbol witch hat on their head, but the torso of their body is a tree trunk. It is growing from a patch of grass, and one can see the roots below the ground, pushing downward into spirals of energy below.

The guidebook calls for connecting with the earth, listening to plants, being barefoot, and speaking the name of the native land I live on, giving thanks. All of which my body and soul gave a resounding “yes, yes, yes, yes” as I read the entry and continued to meditate on the card. In this case, I didn’t feel a whole spell was needed; simply going outside and laying on the ground seemed to be enough, which I guess could be considered a simple spell in itself, but as Zabala intended, to each their own with this deck!

All in all, Zabala has created a really cool deck for those who love to explore their own magic and discover new possibilities. Wyrd Sisters is the perfect blend of intuitive guidance and freedom to roam with one’s own interpretation. Within the liminal magical space, we have the opportunity to discover our destiny, while also actively changing our fate. It all comes down to the willingness to ride the waves of mystery and magic, learning when to surrender and when to pursue. The Wyrd Sisters may be the universal weavers, but we are the active co-creators shaping the web too. As Zabala encourages:

“May your connection with the Wyrd ones inspire you to embrace the mystery and weave your own magical webs of belonging.”10

A Floral Grimoire, by Patricia Telesco

A Floral Grimoire: Plant Charms, Spells, Recipes and Rituals, by Patricia Telesco
Crossed Crow Books, 9781959883739, 187 pages, March 2024

When I saw A Floral Grimoire: Plant Charms, Spells, Recipes, and Rituals, I was drawn to learning about the ways to use flowers and herbs in my daily, magical life.  In this book Patricia, “Trish”, Telesco weaves a beautiful chronicle of history, lore, practical steps, and magical vibes. I learned about flowers, as well as how to use the rest of the plant for potions, crafts, and much more.

Calling herself a “kitchen witch,” Telesco studied Wicca on her own and then became initiated by the Stega tradition of Italy.  As the author of over 30 books, she also coordinates spiritually oriented tours of Europe. She shares her knowledge of herbs, metaphysics, dreams, divination, folklore and magic in workshops and lectures around the US. She lives in western upstate New York with her husband and children.  You can learn more about Telesco on her website.

Telesco begins with a history of the use of flowers, mentioning the Victorians and their creation of a “petaled vocabulary”1 for secret messages. Then she goes on to share how merchants during the Crusades “often mingled magical lore and wives’ tales into their selling techniques.”2 She provides two examples that we still see today in our modern world:  sprinkling rose petals for love and using garlic to keep away “wandering spirits.”3 From here, she invites the reader to become involved in “Green Witchery” and travel with her through this practical guidebook for discovering more about nature and magic.

The book is an easy read, almost as if you are sitting with Telesco for a cup of tea and about to make a craft with flowers and herbs.  She shares more history and folklore from botany, herbology, and the magical arts, as she includes her knowledge and wisdom from more than 30 years of experience as a Green Witch too.

Telesco’s stories of the various uses for flowers, plants, and other natural elements includes the Greek myth of Hekate teaching her daughters all about herbs. The tradition says that these daughters taught other witches how to utilize this magic. She goes on to say that “this myth, which is one of many linking Witches and nature together, gives us a peek into the minds of our ancestors.”4

My favorite chapter was ”Chapter 6:  Petaled Psychism: Floromancy and Botanomancy”.  In other words, how to use flowers, herbs, stone, or wood for divination. In this chapter, she includes how to observe the plants and flowers that grow around us, as well as casting herbs or flowers on water or cloth to receive a message. She also shares how to make a flower or herb pendulum and an oracle to keep for use over time.  I want to try my hand at making a pressed flower oracle later this spring!

In this chapter, she also includes spreads for use with your oracle cards, as well as guidelines for doing readings. In fact, all throughout the book Telesco includes guidelines to help the novice better utilize the knowledge and rituals she shares. 

And what book on flowers and herbs for magic would be complete without information on edible flowers? Telesco includes recipes for all kinds of teas, beverages, oils, vinegars, and sauces, as well as a recipe for Mystic Mushrooms5 and Peace Porridge6.

An interesting list that the author includes in the book is a “List of Anti-Magic and Anti-Witch Herbs.”7 This list contains things from nature that can protect the witch in adverse circumstances. Later, she adds a list of herbs, flowers and plants that can honor and support witches and their magic.

Some other lists and information I found helpful:

“Ways to use a leaf you find on your walk”8

“How to get in touch with a plant spirit”9

“How to use the Moon by Zodiac sign”10

“Tools of the Trade”11

“Ingredients for Spells & Charms”12

That last list, in a chapter titled “Spicy Spells & Charms”, includes how to use anything from alfalfa to violets for “pleasing and powerful results.”13 And I must point out that these are just a few of the lists that are sprinkled throughout the book!

Another key bit of knowledge Telesco includes is called the Doctrine of Signatures and Law of Similars. If you do not have a particular flower or plant for a spell or ritual, “you can substitute an item of a similar shape, texture or color and still maintain magical congruency.”14 For example, a pale blue flower could be substituted for lavender.

This book has a wonderful Table of Contents that shares chapter titles and brief subheadings for the contents of each chapter.  This makes it very easy to find passages or information later. Telesco also includes an eleven-page index, which makes retrieving information even easier! She also shares an extensive bibliography for future research.

A Floral Grimoire is great for a new witch or seasoned pro.  It holds valuable information for anyone wanting to harness the power of nature in their daily life. I will refer often to the information for spells and charms, as well as the ingredients list and correspondence list.  With the various lists and the index, I have a valuable reference for utilizing flowers and herbs in practical and magical ways.  I can see myself adding this book to the resource list I provide clients who come to me for readings for their daily lives.

2024 Witch’s Diary, by Flavia Kate Peters and Barbara Meiklejohn-free

2024 Witch’s Diary – Northern Hemisphere: Reclaiming the Magick of the Old Ways, Flavia Kate Peters and Barbara Meiklejohn-Free
Rockpool Publishing, 1922579289, 160 pages, June 2023

A witchcraft diary is a unique and personal account of an individual’s experiences and practices within the craft. It can serve as a valuable tool for self-reflection, growth, and learning, as well as a historical record for future generations. Yet as many times as I’ve made the resolution to keep better records of my magical workings, inevitably I lose focus or realize I’ve started in one journal only to switch to another, mixing up all my writing. This year, with the intention to track my practice throughout the year, I’ve done myself a favor by getting a copy of 2024 Witch’s Diary – Northern Hemisphere: Reclaiming the Magick of the Old Ways by Flavia Kate Peters and Barbara Meiklejohn-Free.

“The 2024 Witch’s Diary, a magickal tool from which you can draw ancient wisdom, enables you to thrive in balance and harmony with a sprinkle of very real magick. This practical guide will show you how to harness the magick of nature, claim your personal power through the discovery of ancient wisdom and embrace the divine feminine.”1

Peters and Meiklejohn-Free are a formidable duo as prominent leaders in the witchcraft community. They published their first Witch’s Diary in 2022, making this one their third joint creation. Peters, also known as the Faery Seer, is a hereditary witch and high princess of Arnemetia and The Morrighan. She is a medium, clairvoyant, and published author of works such as Your Dark Goddess. Meiklejohn-Free, also known as the Highland Seer, is a hereditary and eclectic witch who is an initiated high priestess of Isis and the Cailleach.

This planner is a great tool for any practicing witch. It offers a comprehensive guide to the phases of the moon and eclipses, seasonal spells, and other important dates to keep in mind when planning rituals and spells, such as the birthday of famous witches. Also included throughout the dairy are witchy tips, innovations, details about the Wheel of the Year, planting and harvesting timing, and recipes! All this information would be especially helpful for beginners on their witchcraft path, as the month to month  guidance helps to establish a year-round practice.

One of the standout features of the witchcraft planner is its beautiful design. The pages are adorned with stunning illustrations and wisdom that inspire and motivate. The contrast of black and white work in tandem to aesthetically coax out the magic within. Plus, the diary is sturdy and well-made; it will be able to withstand daily use and travel.

Even though I haven’t started writing in the diary yet, I’ve been making use of the incantation provided for October and November. For instance, there’s a really powerful chant titled “Samhain Incantation” that I recited on Halloween. It begins:

Cauldrons boiling, lanterns are shing
Ghouls and ghosts, groans and whining
Parties sweep across the land
Children, adult, hand in hand
Time of fun but must remember
As fires burn bright and glow with embers
Our ancestors who walked before
We honour thee and ask for more
2

Other interesting things I’ve read about in the pages transition from October to November include kitchen witch information about elderberry and a recipe for making a cordial to fight the flu and sinusitis, a pentagram incantation for protection, weather magic and incantation, and moon magic ritual. The authors also provide an overview of November from a magical perspective, writing “These harsh, biting days are a good time to defend  yourself and define your boundaries with others and for darker magick to ward off harm.”3

As someone who often consults various books to find incantations, it’s absolutely lovely having so many to choose from in this planner. Even better, the authors have arranged them in accordance with the seasons, making it so the timing of the incarnation is always good. The #lazywitch in my is thrilled to have this all laid out for me in advance.

Overall, 2024 Witch’s Diary is an essential item for any witch looking to organize and enhance their spiritual journey. Its beautiful design and useful information make it a valuable tool for both individual and group practice (coven organization!). I am confident this diary will be immensely beneficial to my craft, assisting me with gaining new insights into my practice and deepening connection to the natural world through honoring the seasons of the year. I highly recommend this diary for other magical practitioners seeking an all-in-one place for tracking and planning their craft.

Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic, by Rebecca Beattie

Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic: A Friendly Introduction to Creating Modern Magic with the Seven Energies, by Rebecca Beattie
Moon Books,1803411767, 152 pages, August 2023

What if you weren’t at the mercy of the planets, but rather could learn to work with their energies in order to create magic? Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic: A Friendly Introduction to Creating Modern Magic with the Seven Energies by Rebecca Beattie is a guide to connecting with the Seven Planetary Powers to enhance your spellwork. Within this book is all you need to learn about each planetary energy and different methods to invoke their powers.

Since Beattie’s focus is on the Pre-modern Universe, this book focuses on the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn (sorry Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto!). She draws upon traditional grimoires of this time, such as Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and takes readers back in time through history to understand how these planetary energies were observed by cultures of the past. The illustrations in the book “are taken from pre-modern woodcuts from either the grimoire tradition, or medieval tomes on the nature of the universe,”1 which is great for those interested in occult history.

Before delving into the energies, in addition to the history of grimoires and planetary magic, Beattie covers topics such as twenty-first century magic (the conscious/unconscious mind), the Kabbalah, planetary kameas (magic squares) and sigils, working with herbs, tarot correspondences, planetary days and hours (magical timing), and Orphic Hymns. She also acknowledges how source texts are often contradictory, noting in this book she primarily focuses on Agrippa’s work. For those who read additional sources from this time, Beattie recommends keeping a notebook to keep track of differences in order to make up one’s own mind.

The chapters for each planet pretty much follow the same format. They begin with an Orphic Hymn followed by an introduction to the planetary energy by Beattie. She explains how working with the planetary energy can be helpful and then provides the kamea, sigil, Agrippa’s suffumigation, incense recipe, sigil, seal, examples of deities with this energy, tarot correspondences, and then practical magic section. The practical magic section varies depending upon the planetary energy, but various examples include oil recipes, bath salt recipe, tea recipes, herbal sachet recipes, and candle magic recipes, along with planet-specific spells.

And I just love how well organized it all this whole book is for reference! I admittedly own a copy of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, but the books are hefty and quite long; they are not something I could easily carry around for reference. In comparison, Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic is short, sweet, and densely packed with all you’d need for planetary magic spellwork. This is a book that I could keep in my backpack or near my altar for reference.

Plus, Beattie makes it so easy to figure out which planet to work with by including a long list of intentions, alphabetically ordered, with the corresponding planet. From abundance to worry, the A-Z list of intentions also includes breaking contracts, dreams, fertility, mental power, peace, sea-faring protection, preventing theft, and so much more!

I recently started a new fitness plan, so I decided to bolster my motivation with some spellwork. Using the list of intention, I found “Athetlics – endurance”2 and saw it was ruled by the SUN. This is something I wouldn’t have guessed, since I figured Mars would be the planetary energy for all things athletic. I decided to draw the seal of the Sun and tape it on my water bottle. And then I also followed Beattie’s directions for making a solar candle for health, which was anointed with the solar oil for success recipe Beattie also provided.

In addition to the practicality of the book having so much information in one place, my other favorite thing about this book is the inclusion of deities beyond the Roman pantheon the planets are named from. Beattie writes:

“It’s the quality of the planetary energy that is important, not the name, and while the deities they were named for might be ascribed masculine or feminine genders, the planetary energies aren’t gendered in this book as I don’t consider them to be gendered.”3

I appreciated this non-binary approach to the planetary energies. And furthermore, I also highly enjoyed how for each planetary energy Beattie included alternative deities to work beyond the traditional Roman one. For instance, other Saturnian deities included Osiris, Hel, Persephone, and Binah. Beattie shares a bit about the deity, how they reflect the plantery energy, and sometimes even specific ways to work with them (i.e. offerings the deity likes).

Overall, Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic: A Friendly Introduction to Creating Modern Magic with the Seven Energies has been a delightful read for me. Beattie is a wonderful guide for those who want to learn how to include planetary magic in their practice. Her ability to concisely present a vast, ancient magical system without skimping in detail is truly so valuable for readers. I appreciate the work she has done so that we all can have a handy guide for planetary magic. It’s a book that I am certainly going to keep handy for reference. Whenever I want to carve a planetary sigil, it’ll be quick to find it in this book. Or when I want to create incense or an oil, all the information I need is right here.

The Magic of the Sword of Moses, by Harold Roth

The Magic of The Sword of Moses: A Practical Guide to Its Spells, Amulets, and Ritual, by Harold Roth
Weiser Books, 1578637260, 192 pages, August 2022

The Sword of Moses, titled Ḥarba de-Moshe in Aramaic, is one of the earliest extant grimoires of Jewish magic. Originating in northern Israel during the third quarter of the first millennium (circa 700-1000 CE), this medieval pre-Kabbalistic book of spells was written by an anonymous author in both Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. The author compiled magical formulas from multiple texts and documented his own personal three-day purification ritual of fasting, prayer, and angelic adjurations to be performed in order to gain the spiritual authority to use the Sword. The resulting compendium of 136 spells emphasizes the power of the spoken word rather than exotic ingredients or expensive ritual tools. 

While the book’s epic title The Sword of Moses may conjure up mental images of an Excalibur-like enchanted weapon, the Sword is in fact a poetic metaphor for 1,800 divine names, invoked and wielded by the magician’s tongue. The authenticity of these words of power is proclaimed by inserting them in mythic time. The manuscript claims that when Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets of the Law inscribed by God, he also carried with him the Sword of sacred names, which had been gifted to him by the angels. It may seem audacious for magicians to presume they have the authority to command angels to do their bidding, but through performing the purification ritual, which identifies them with Moses, they follow in his stead and invoke the power of the divine names to bend the world to their will. 

When Harold Roth, artist and author of The Witching Herbs (2017), first encountered The Sword of Moses in the occult section of a university library, he was frustrated by its inaccessibility. Moses Gaster, who first translated The Sword of Moses into English in 1896, had bowdlerized the text by censoring many of the spells and replacing the divine names with X’s, rendering the grimoire useless for magical practice. This inspired Roth to do his own research and reconstruct the sorcerous manual for contemporary use. 

In The Magic of the Sword of Moses: A Practical Guide to Its Spells, Amulets, and Ritual, Roth supplies a scholarly background of rich historical context combined with detailed instructions for the modern magician to incorporate the Sword into their practice, making this work accessible to both seasoned sorcerers and curious readers with little to no previous knowledge of Jewish magic. Just as the anonymous author who first compiled these spells made them his own through creative revision, Roth has adapted this ancient grimoire for modern use with his own practical and easy to follow instructions in plain English. 

Roth also supplies his own thought-provoking insights regarding the mysterious manuscript. According to The Sword of Moses, humans were given the spiritual authority to command angels by God, but cannot command the Holy One himself. “However,” Roth says, “one of the most profound conclusions I’ve come to from studying The Sword of Moses is how much the angels seem indeed to be God, in particular because of the recurrence of parts of the ineffable Tetragrammaton in their names.”1 

The divine names are spelled out in easy to pronounce syllables, such as “GiBehRehYoAhLa,” which Roth identifies in a footnote as “clearly the name Gabriel.”2 However, this is one of the few he explains and the rest run together in long strings of barbarous names of power, such as the following, which appears to be a flowing permutation of the four-letter ineffable name of God, transliterated as YHWH: “YoHehWaWaHeh AhHehHeh HehWaHeh HehHehYo…”3 In a spell for wisdom, one of the most curious names mentioned is Prince Abraxas, a Gnostic spirit addressed as a Jewish archangel, who is charged to reveal arcane knowledge to the magician, indicating some syncretism with Greek magic. 

While the power of the spoken word is emphasized, the magician may also wield the Sword in written form by creating talismans, writing the divine names on fabric and crafting them into ritual garments, or even scrawling them on one’s own skin like a tattoo “to protect the magic worker from the wrath of angels, who can easily be offended by humans.”4

There are a variety of intriguing spells, ranging from those addressing mundane health concerns, such as one to cure migraines believed to be caused by a demonic spirit called a palga, to the more fantastical, such as walking on water and path-jumping, a type of supernatural travel involving riding a reed, rather like a witch straddling a broomstick. A few of the spells utilize the apotropaic hand gesture of crooking the little finger of one’s left hand. For example, this gesture is used in a spell to protect yourself “during legal proceedings”5, and in “a binding spell to catch thieves,” the magician is instructed to put their little finger in their ear while saying the divine names.6 

There are even killing spells included, without any didactic warnings or threats of karmic repercussions. Roth says that “Jewish magic does not have any idea of karma, the Three-Fold Law, the slingshot effect, or other negative reactions for negative magic.”7 The Sword gives you the freedom to think for yourself, and decide what action is appropriate and justified in your situation outside of the confines of any rigid moral code. Besides, one might hope that the angels would not bestow such power on someone who would use it irresponsibly. 

In mythic time, Moses himself used a killing curse. Exodus 2:11-12 recounts how Moses murdered an Egyptian overseer who was beating an Israelite slave. The weapon he used to slay the Egyptian is not mentioned, but according to an alternate version of the tale in Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer (Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer), Moses cursed the overseer and slew him with “the sword of his mouth.”8

Before the reader dares to try any of these spells, they must first obtain the spiritual authority to wield the Sword by performing a three-day purification rite, for which Roth gives detailed instructions.

“This book’s aim is to make it as simple and easy as possible while maintaining its authenticity and power.”9

 The magician is advised to bathe in living water, wear only white, avoid contact with anything unclean (including insects, dead things, nocturnal emissions, semen, and menstrual blood), fast for three days, consuming only bread, salt, and water after sunset, and recite the Amidah (the Standing Prayer) thrice each day while facing the east. The prayers are interwoven with potent angelic adjurations addressing thirteen archangels. The purpose of the adjurations is to invoke the thirteen heavenly princes and bind them and all the angels under their authority to the magician, and in doing so, gain control of the Sword. If the magician is not in a state of ritual purity, he risks offending the angels and incurring their fiery wrath. As a verbal fail-safe, the angels are also ordered not to harm the magician.

I believe the threat of being burned alive is a metaphor for the transformative power of the angels. Their celestial fire brings symbolic death and transfiguration through spiritual alchemy, and they will sear away the impurities of the magician in order to make him worthy to speak the divine names. The fiery Sword of Moses bestows the power to change reality, but first the magician must initiate change from within. 

This metaphorical sword of magic words captured my imagination, and I was so fascinated by the divine names that I decided on impulse to perform the purification ritual as soon as possible, following Roth’s directions to the best of my ability. Roth suggests that a long weekend may work well for some practitioners, so I chose Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to perform the rite and began at sundown on Friday in keeping with the Jewish tradition that a day begins when the sun sets the day before. Not being Jewish myself, I didn’t have to worry about violating any Sabbath restrictions. According to Roth, gentiles may say the prayers because Isaiah 56:7 declares that “My house shall be a house of prayer to all nations.”10

Unfortunately, I don’t live close to a body of living water, so I wasn’t able to dunk myself in one, but I hoped that taking a shower would suffice. I avoided using scented toiletries, as these may offend the angels, who are sensitive to strong fragrances, regardless of how pleasing humans may think they are. I wore a white robe for three days and baked my own bread for breaking fast when the sun went down. Even though the bread was delicious, it quickly became boring. I was at least permitted to butter my toast, because according to Roth, “There is nothing that says we cannot.”11 I recited the Amidah and the angelic adjurations thrice each day, while facing the east in my bedroom. Roth assures us that there is no need to cast a magic circle for protection or to contain raised energy because the angels are listening to the adjurations from up in heaven. Each recitation took 35 minutes, which was a test of endurance. The first day was especially challenging because I had a headache from caffeine withdrawals. If I had only had the foresight to give up coffee a few days before I began the ritual, I could have avoided that discomfort. 

The time of day for saying the prayers and adjurations was not rigid, so I chose shortly after dawn for the first recitation, solar noon for the second, and a couple of hours before sunset for the third. As I chanted, I visualized a burning sword revolving in the air before me, ablaze with Hebrew letters that lit up the blade like orange lava, as if it had been forged in a smoldering volcano. Sometimes I got tongue-tied and stumbled over the strange syllables, but in the moments when the cantillations found a steady flowing cadence and rolled off my tongue with natural ease, it felt as though my lips were possessed and aflame with the holy names. I found that concentrating all of my energy on reciting what my conscious mind registered as gibberish banished extraneous thoughts and induced a light trance state which I think is key to facilitating contact with the Divine powers being addressed. Between the fasting and standing for extended periods of time chanting, I often felt exhausted afterwards and needed to lie down. 

While I would love to report that some stellar transformation occurred, or that I had an incredible vision of being gifted with a supernatural sword, after I completed the ritual, I only felt a subtle difference, a numinous sense of peace and gratitude. I felt it to be very healing and it helped me to better recognize when irrational anxiety is knotting up inside of my chest. One line in particular from the Amidah really resonated with me:

“Heal me, Nurturing One, and let me feel healed. Save me, Holy One, and let me know I am safe. Healed in body, mind, spirit. Saved from the blight of my own fears. Heal me from perfectionism and lust for results. Save me from believing my own inner critics and soothe my grief.”12

The Magic of the Sword of Moses will be a treasure to anyone who has an interest in Jewish magic and medieval grimoires. There is a wealth of information packed into this slim volume of less than 200 pages, presented with clarity and precision. The modern magician’s magical practice will be enriched by sharpening the sword of their tongue with divine names of power, as long as they approach the angels with a sense of respect and awe, ever keeping in mind that they are spirits of fire. 

The Big Book of Candle Magic, by Jacki Smith

The Big Book of Candle Magic, by Jacki Smith
Weiser Books, 9781578637638, 309 pages, July 2022

Jacki Smith, founder of Coventry Creations, the largest magical candle company in North America, has written the most enlightening (!) book on candle magic, aptly titled The Big Book of Candle Magic. Described as a “comprehensive, in-depth guide including instructions for casting your own spells”1, this book opens with the most important question to consider before delving into the material: Do I really need a spell?

I loved being challenged by this question at the opening, as it made me sit up and take notice. I was no longer a passive reader, I was a participant. “Aunt Jacki”, as she refers to herself throughout the book, creates a conversational atmosphere in which she engages the reader and guides them through candle magic. How can you be intimidated into delving into this topic when Aunt Jacki is right there beside you?

She provides guidance on defining what a spell is – a “shifting of energy toward an intended goal.”2 She continues by writing that “the impact of that spell depends on your prep work, your intention, and your commitment to a shift in energy”3, while reminds the reader that “magic at its core is healing.”4 To help you answer her original question as to whether you need a spell, she writes that “if you are ready to manifest a change and heal a need both in yourself and in the wider world, then yes!”5

The book is divided into four sections, all providing guidance, tools, suggestions, and exercises including, most importantly, getting clear on whether you need a spell or a reality check. Again, your Aunt Jacki is going to lovingly help set you straight.

“Law of Attraction and magic. Is there a difference? If so, what is it? When you add the ritual of magic to your intent…your intent will manifest faster and cleaner. And that is where candle magic comes in. Candles provide an easy, powerful ritual within themselves.”6

Section One, The Magic Hour is Now”, provides exercises such as the “Why is That?” exercise. She encourages the reader to start and maintain a Candle Magic Journal, again with instructions provided. She details the difference between basic candle magic of lighting a candle versus advanced candle magic that includes casting a spell. Other topics included in the section include setting intent and casting for guidance.

Section Two, “Joy of Spellcrafting”, provides guidance on choosing a candle, prepping your candle for magic, and accessorizing your spell. Jacki delves into different types of candles (such as pillars, votive, and tea lights), blessed and dressed candles, sigils, color, and casting. I tend to not speak my spells out loud, but Jacki writes that a candle spell needs words to activate it and these words must be spoken out loud. She provides different phrasings of a spell, showing how one way is more valuable than another. Jacki prompts the reader to include boundaries of a time frame in the spell with an attainable due date, or else the spell is just a wish. 

Section Three, “Art of Cocreation”, focuses on inviting in the divine energies in the Universe. She encourages the reader to co-create with the spiritual realm. There is focus on setting up an altar and the types of altars such as an ancestor altar (my favorite), a purpose altar, nature altars, garden altars, divinity altars, and big magic altars – whatever you’re drawn to. She provides information on lighting the candle and ceromancy, the spiritual language of candles. Wondering how to “read” a candle? It’s in the book! And again, in this section she prompts the reader to return to their Candle Magic Journal with a list of questions on which to focus. 

Section Four, “Index of Inspiration”, is the reference section of the book. It provides a sample candle spell index (prosperity, love and relationships, protection, and clearing) that includes candle colors, candle types, dressing oils, and accessories such as stones or photographs.  There is a moon sign index as well as a color index, a magic herb index, a crystal and stone index, a tarot index, and a Magic 5 index of ingredients. While the first three sections are more conversational and action-oriented, this section is more informational and one that you’ll turn for reference as you delve into candle magic. 

Plus this book contains guidance, exercises, prompts, and recommendations on things such as creating a spell (the best spells rhyme!), different types of spells, use of color, stones, and tarot. Encyclopedic in the best way to describe some of the chapters.

In addition to its wealth of information, what is also unique about the book is its conversational tone, with craft projects, confessions, clarification, musing, and tips from our Aunt Jacki. What I most valued about Jacki’s writing was that it challenged me through prompts, journaling, and exercises to commune with the candles.

I was invited to set intentions, get clear about what I was calling into my life and why. Aunt Jackie helped me to define what I want and what I’m willing to do to get clear, as well as helping me to tune into if I was truly ready to act when I cast a spell. All of this was new terrain for me. To be honest, I never gave these questions much thought. But as Aunt Jackie reminds the reader, spells are actualized by my action. “Build your spell with clear intent and then pay attention to the outcomes. And there is always an outcome.”7 

“The goal of candle magic – or any magic of that matter – is to move your own limitations, fears, blocks, and beliefs out of the way so your intention can become real. “8

After reading The Big Book of Candle Magic, I continue to carry with me Aunt Jackie’s words that magic demands change. She reminds us if there is no need for change, there is no need for magic. I highly recommend this book if you are ready and willing to change. It will light the way for a new way of living with the magic of candles for years to come!

A Spellbook for the Seasons, by Tudorbeth

A Spellbook for the Seasons: Welcome Natural Change with Magical Blessings, by Tudorbeth
Red Wheel Weiser, 9781590035375, 224 pages, March 2022

It’s always wonderful to step into a new season. How inspiring to embrace the changes in the natural world – differences in the light, the weather, the plants, the holidays. A Spellbook for the Seasons: Welcome Natural Change with Magical Blessing by Tudrobeth is a companion to the seasons that will greatly enhance your experiences and show you in so many ways how we are connected to the natural world.

Tudorbeth invites the reader to embrace the seasons and to “investigate these festivals (that are celebrated), the practical magic that flows through our seasons, and the gods that rule over the different times of the year.”1 I particularly liked that the book opens with two blessings: one for sisters and brothers around the world and one for the seasons and the turning of the wheel of the year.

The book is divided into the four seasons, with focus on each season’s garden, crystals, goddesses and gods, and spells, blessings and rituals. As I read the book in the spring, I focused most of my attention on that season. The spring months are associated with the Celtic deities such as Ostara, Belenus (Beltaine), and Brigid. The spring’s spells, blessings, and rituals include those for encouraging flowering in the garden, a daisy love ritual, and Ostara fresh air spell.

I performed the Ostara ritual on Ostara Eve, as the ritual is meant to embody hope, and then I made Ostara magic salt on the night of the full moon in March. When sprinkled around the home or office, it ensures bright ideas and business success. I now have my jar of pink salt sitting in a glass jar, ready for use! I enjoyed following Tudorbeth’s guidance and felt these small magical acts really attuned me to the energies of the season of spring.

For spring cleaning, there’s a small section on decluttering. I loved the Charm of Manannan. As Tudorbeth explains, the Celtic god, Manannan is a “foster father to the many children he takes under his care, and as a protector god he cares deeply for his children.”2 The Charm of Manannan is meant to bring about a loving and caring family home environment.

Additionally, there are rain blessings and rain energy spells that are meant to be done in a spring rainfall. The section on Beltane traditions provided an overview of Beltane, a cleansing detox ritual, and a spring sage clearing ritual. The Charm of Belenus is meant to be done toward the end of spring. The Charm is meant to invoke a happy, fun, and prosperous environment.

My recommendation for using this book to full advantage is to read the section on the upcoming season prior to the season’s arrival so that you have time to gather the items needed for the spells. While some might need to be collected at the last minute, such as flower-specific items, you can be prepared with other items such as salts, colored candles, essential oils, and shells. And then take your time in the season, experimenting with what you’re drawn to.

The sections on the season-specific garden offered suggestions on bringing wonder and magic into your outdoor space and inviting in the fairies. For spring, they include bluebells, hyacinth, and lily of the valley. As spring is associated with rain and showers, Tudorbeth focused on the power of the rainbow, and the suggested crystals include the colors of spring that form a pentagram of rainbows. The five spring crystals are rainbow opal, rainbow moonstone, rainbow obsidian, rainbow pyrite, and rainbow quartz.

The one downside for me was that some of the items were not readily available where I live such as periwinkle flowers or hawthorn twigs but again, with advance notice (e.g. reading the season in advance) I probably could have searched them out.

The other seasons are also given justice. Summer focuses on love, featuring Aphrodite and Apollo, a spell to welcome nymphs into the garden, Midsummer salt, a Lammas gratitude ritual, and a ritual for Midsummer enchantment. For Autumn, among other things, there is a clarity spell, an equinox healing ritual, a Mabon success spell, a Charm of Minerva (one of the three Roman deities who rule over the Autumn months), and a Samhain remembrance potion. Winter offers a first snow spell, an ice wand consecration ritual (if you are able to get an icicle), a Charm of Odin, midwinter tea, and an Imbolc ritual.

The most amazing part of A Spellbook for the Seasons is all the colorful, informative pictures. This is a gorgeous book to have on a table in your home because of the aesthetics that make it soothing to read through. The beauty of this book naturally entices one to want to perform with all the potent magic within. I really enjoyed the many hand-drawn illustrations, along with how the text on each page was simple and elegant. There is no clutter in the book, making it easy to focus on the spellwork or ritual you’re performing.

Tudorbeth is a hereditary practitioner of the Craft. The rules and gifts of herb lore, scrying, healing, tasseomancy, numerology, and candle magic have been passed down to her through several generations. I especially loved her reminder that we are meant to “use the gift that nature brings with these spells, but in return give something back … We are all connected to one another and everything around us. We are nature.”3 I highly recommend A Spellbook for the Seasons with encouragement to plan ahead to be able to use the knowledge imparted within its pages to full advantage.

Witch, Please, By Victoria Maxwell

Witch, Please: Empowerment and Enlightenment for the Modern Mystic, by Victoria Maxwell
Red Wheel Books, 9781590035320, 200 pages, March 2022

I love a book that opens with a powerful statement. Victoria Maxwell’s beautifully written offering, Witch, Please: Empowerment and Enlightenment for the Modern Mystic, starts by telling the reader that the magic isn’t in the book they are holding: the magic is inside them. This type of tone setting is precisely why this book belongs in everyone’s collection, whether they view themselves as witchy, spiritual, or simply just an interested passerby.

A modern mystic and spiritual teacher, Maxwell is devoted to serving her community through her online classes, in person workshops, private sessions, and a variety of social media groups and subscription offerings. Her focus is on helping those she works with reconnect to their own light, their inner guidance, spiritual path and power so they can live out their best and highest lives.

The book is set out cleanly, with two parts as well as an introduction, glossary, acknowledgements and index. There is also a special addition that I wasn’t expecting but makes perfect sense why it was included: “The Next Chapter’” It’s a page and a half long and resonated deeply with me when I read it. Maxwell sums up the spirit of her book in five points that reflect the depth of care she feels for those searching for their place in the spiritual world. It’s a beautiful way of ending the book and imparting a feeling of completion.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One deal with the basics: laying foundations for your practice, tools, actual practices, aligning with friends in spirit, and making magic. Part Two talks about practical magic: relationships, setting up a home sanctuary, money magic, magic for careers, and living your purpose. The glossary is a high-level collection of terms used throughout the book that some who are venturing down this path for the first time might not be familiar with. For me, it was interesting to see how Maxwell defines terms that are used often within the spiritual realm.

The introduction establishes Maxwell’s early influences as well as her personal journey through spiritualism. Her writing is clean and purposeful, with no excessive verbiage and easy to understand language. That’s not to say that her work is basic: this book is far from that. While certainly geared towards those who are just starting their journey, there is a lot packed into this book. For me, reading similar information isn’t monotonous: it’s interesting for me to see how different people interpret similar themes. I am also curious to understand how others view their own craft and how they personally practice whatever form of magic they subscribe to. 

Maxwell talks at length about protection in the first part of the book, which is something I feel is somewhat overlooked at times. We assume that those reading know how to protect themselves and their energy and Maxwell’s decision to include a lengthy section on various practices is wonderful to read. She understands that some of protection work is shadow work, in that you cannot protect yourself from creating your own negativity if you are not aware you are doing it. She says, “We can’t walk thought life protecting ourselves against others without doing a bit of shadow work and paying attention to what we are putting out there too.”1

She mentions being aware of the type of energy we bring to certain situations and ensuring that we are doing our best to raise those vibrations intentionally and mindfully. She pairs this practice with clearing, which makes damn good sense! She explains the process:

“We can protect ourselves all we like, but we must also clear out the energetic gunk we pick up along the way…If you are full of someone else’s thoughts, emotions, or energy before you start a spell you may end up manifesting things you don’t really want.”2

Sections of the book are printed in a different color and are designated as action items, for want of a better phrase. These sections include prayers, lists of bullet points for consideration, recipes, and so on. I found the different font to be quite useful in helping sort and separate the book visually as I progressed through it. For those who can discern color, the eye immediately tracks to the different font and recognizes it as important, something that I very much appreciated as sometimes I become lazy and let my eyes skim over text without truly absorbing it. 

The blend of shadow work with the various spiritual practices is very much my jam and I am fully appreciative of how Maxwell entwined these two themes seamlessly in this book. Throughout the book, there are references to clearing your energy and examining your relationships to various things like money and career, and all of these things resonate deeply with me. I have found that the best magic I have ever done for myself has always come on the heels of some deep excavation I’ve done in the dark hours of the night. I am happy to see that Maxwell has illuminated this very important aspect of working magic in her book.

Some people might pick up Witch, Please and dismiss it because it’s pink and cute and looks like a beach read. Those people don’t deserve this book in their hands so let them put it down and then make sure they never see it again. Grab a copy for yourself, for your aunt who is always making you teas, your best friend who loves flowers, and the office mate who always seems extremely put together. Each one will get something different out of this book, which is precisely the point. Personally, this is the book that I will pull down off my shelf when I feel a bit off as it’s a beautiful reminder of encouragement to stand in my power.

Spiritual Cleansing, by Draja Mickaharic

Spiritual Cleansing: A Handbook of Psychic Protection (Weiser Classic Series), by Draja Mickaharic
Weiser Books, 1578637287, 144 pages, February 2022

I’ve been on a deep dive into research on spiritual protection lately, and therefore was thrilled to come across Spiritual Cleansing: A Handbook of Psychic Protection by Draja Mickaharic. Originally published in 1982, this Weiser Classic Services book is just as relevant 40 years later. The added foreword by Lilith Dorsey, author of Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens, is an added bonus. I value magical wisdom that stands the test of time. Sometimes it seems like recent and best books are merely repeating the same things based on current readers’ taste and market trends. But this book stood out to me from the get-go, and I knew I wasn’t going to be getting the same old while reading it.

Mickaharic’s experience as a magical practitioner grants him the ability to convey expertise tips and tricks that are both practical and reliable. He’s definitely tried, tested, and witnessed the many outcomes of spellwork gone awry and implemented to success; as a result, he feels like a guide I can trust.

“All of the procedures in this book are simple, safe, and effective, when the directions are followed. They are all natural in their operation, and no special training or capacity is required on the part of the user. All of these cleansings have been tested in my personal practice, as well as in the work of others.”1

Before delving into the many methods of cleansing and protection, Mickaharic provides readers with an understanding of the need for them. He notes the physical and spiritual nature of life on Earth, the latter which often is dismissed in favor of the tangible senses. But we all have felt the lingering sense of a negative energy present after interactions with certain people or being in a specific location.

“The spiritual energy field, like the quality or vibration of people, places, and things, is not detectable through the physical senses. Once we can make a distinction between the physical and the spiritual parts of the human constitution, it becomes easy to understand just how spiritual cleansing works.”2

He further goes on to explain how religious rituals have their own methods of cleansing, but that this book can be used whether one has a religious practice or not. If one does, Mickaharic suggests that the practices in the book do not interfere but rather enhance it. And I might add this book does refer to Bible passages and Psalms as part of some of the recommendations for spiritual cleansing. I have no problem with this, as for over a decade I’ve explored the intersection of Christianity and spellwork, but others who take a more firm stance against Christianity should take note prior to reading. There’s still plenty to gain though, and much of the content is independent of any religious connotation.

The four main types of cleansing focused on in this book are cleansing with baths, water, eggs, and incense, which all have their own detailed chapter. There’s also chapters on the malocchio (evil eye), protection while asleep, quieting one’s mind, and finding a mentor. And all together, this book has become my go-to for spiritual cleansing. Rather than sharing all the potent cleansing practices Mickaharic covers, I will share some of the really interesting things I learned, what stood out to me most, and my favorite parts that I feel distinguish this book from others.

First of all, there is a ton of information on ritual baths! Many times, I see a list of ingredients for cleansing or spellwork bath, but Mickaharic goes into full detail about how to prepare for a ritual bath, history of ritual bathing, and even words of caution. Plus, there’s so many sugged: Psychic Tension Bath, Coffee Hard Work Bath, The Money Cinnamon Bath. And the majority of the baths include household items that one wouldn’t have to go on a goose chase to find.

I learned a lot about properties of different types of water from the chapter “Cleansing with Water”. Mickaharic describes the different energy and usage of sea water,  rain water, waterfalls, spring water, and lake water. For those who regularly use water in their practice, this information would be useful to know what is best for which type of magical working one is doing. Also included are different herbs that can be added to water to achieve a desired effect.

Eggs are something that I’ve used for over a decade to cleanse a new home, but Mickaharic showed me new ways to use eggs for spiritual healing. He suggests ways to use them for physical and emotional healing, ending a relationship, protection while asleep, and cleansing your pets or the sick. I love this method of cleansing because I nearly always have eggs on hand, and they are a quick and easy way to shift energy.

Of all the sections, though, incense cleansing had the most insight into how I could enhance my practice of burning incenses. I had never realized that certain smells attracted specific spirits, nor that some incenses are good for banishing spirits, while others are intended to call them in.

“When we use incense to clean a place, we are calling those forces of the astral universe which regularly act to remove negative influences. We are simply calling them and asking them to work in a particular area. When we burn incense to improve the vibration  of a place, to give the place a more “spiritual” vibration, we call on those forces which naturally act to improve spiritual vibrations. Each incense, or blend, is a sort of “telephone number” which is answered according to the sincerity of our request. If we burn incense with no real purpose, we may find the forces decide we are calling a wrong number–and they will not act in harmony with our desires.”3

Mickaharic gives instructions on how to properly burn incense and offers many suggested blends. He describes cones and sticks and even how to fumigate oneself. I really liked learning about frankincense and myrrh; I had never previously heard about their connection to the astral realm, and it was interesting to learn in light of their significance to infant Christ.

Finally, I was thrilled for a whole section on the malocchio. My Italian family often spoke of it, and my great-grandmother knew the method for removing it at the strike of midnight on a new year. But I have rarely been able to find additional information about how to remove it. Not only does Mickaharic go into detail about the history of the malocchio and how it is transmitted, he also offers a Beer Bath to remove it, along with suggested charms and amulets to keep it at bay.

All in all, Spiritual Cleansing has been a great aid in my spring cleaning this year. When I am seeking to cleanse myself or my home, I’ve been able to find quick suggestions to shift the energy. Plus, the ritual baths are sure to make any water-lover eager to perform some spellwork. There’s so much value in knowing not only how to protect yourself, but cleanse yourself too. Spiritual hygiene is a practical, and honestly essential, craft for all those who perform energy work. But quite frankly, we can all benefit from a good energetic sprucing up!