Witches have always been drawn to the power of animal familiars for use in magical ritual as well as for companionship and inspiration. In this easy guide, discover how you can perform magic that invokes animal spirits as well as ritual that includes your pets and local wildlife. This book is suitable for the absolute beginner to witchcraft who has ever felt a connection to mother nature's beasts.
©2013 Jupiter Gardens Press (P)2014 Alexandra Chauran
First of all some background information. I was given a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review. I listened to the majority of the book while at work in one day on my Kindle Fire HDX using a mono-earpiece. Now the review.
I have been a Pagan for well over a decade now, and in all that time I've come across a fair number of books aimed at beginners, in fact one of the persistent complaints of many in the Pagan community is that the number of "Magick 101" books seems to outstrip the numbers that are aimed at more seasoned practitioners. While this book is certainly aimed at the beginner it does distinguish itself by focusing on one particular aspect of Pagan belief, namely the idea of the animal familiar.
For me none of the ideas presented were all that new or groundbreaking, but I think that they were presented in such a way that someone new to them would find them easy to understand. The various sections moved along well and made sense. There's the usual cat and dog stuff, a section on birds. Some of the slightly more esoteric animals felt a touch underrepresented, especially fish (after all while some people for a variety of reasons can't have a cat or a dog, and very very few people really have the means to deal with a bird, almost anyone can manage a goldfish). Also it would have been interesting to hear a bit more about the authors ideas on using fantasy creatures as familiars.
The section towards the end with a variety of spell work ideas ended up being a bit tedious, but I don't really blame the author. I usually find that sort of thing tedious regardless of the subject matter and had I not been listening for purposes of review would simply have skipped it.
The narrator was well chosen for the most part, although there is an earnestness in her style that after a while started to get a little grating. This may be a book that is best consumed in chapters with small breaks in between.
FInally I will say that if you are just looking for a breezy and listenable overview of the subject this book may be for you. But if you think you are going to want to pursue the subject in question you might want to prepare yourself for the need to eventually purchase a non audio version as in my opinion audio books are not all that great for reference since searching them can be kind of a hit or miss affair.
This book is truly a great book for beginners. Every time a ritual or spell is mentioned there is an example spell or ritual but the author makes sure to mention this is just one way of doing things. For a beginner it is very important to realize there is no set way a spell or ritual must be preformed. While a lot of the focus in the first half is about pet familiars she does also touch on spirit animal familiars which is nice for those of us that can't own pets. I do wish she would've gone a bit more balanced between the two subjects.
The reader's voice was soothing to listen to making it a pleasant experience.
I'll be buying a hard copy for my personal library when I get the chance :)
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