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Russian Magic: Living Folk Traditions of an Enchanted Landscape

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#1 witchpriest


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Posted 02 August 2017 - 03:54 PM

I used the search engine and could not find a review of this one, so I thought I would leave my thoughts.




Author Cherry Gilchrist spends much of the book bragging about her vacations in Russia, while barely touching magical practice. In the rare places she attempts to present magical practices, her interpretation is based on her background of hermeticism and kabbala. Its like she takes Russian culture in general and tries to shove it into an Order of the Golden Dawn style cultural appropriation, that does not represent the heart or mechanisms of Russian magic. Much of the information is about fairytales, while extremely important to Slavic heritage, are stories to teach basic morality and virtues. She takes them literally and poses them as sources for magic which is not the case in those cultures. The few mentions of legitimate genus loci to Russia, she talks endlessly about minor spirits/energies while ignoring the major ones and practically making them footnotes. The book is also full of Orthodox Christian fusion folk magic. She rambles on and on about saints, and honestly most of her information there is flawed as well. I was baptized and shortly excommunicated from the Easter Orthodox Church, and spent years studying to join per my grandmother's request, and she didn't get most of that correct. Honestly if you want to know anything about Slavic magic in general it is a waste of money. As for Russian magic specifically, it spits in the face of tradition. I will honestly use my copy to start a fire around which to actually practice Russian magic. If you were curious or come across this book, and have any interest in traditional Slavic magic, don't waste the $19. It is not worth the paper it is printed on.

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#2 IslandBruja


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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:05 PM

I will honestly use my copy to start a fire around which to actually practice Russian magic. 


:rofl: :clap:  

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#3 FrozenThunderbolt


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Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:20 PM

No, really, tell us what you ACTUALLY think WP, that was a wee bit ambiguous. :lol:


It's a pain isn't it (literally) when a book turns out so bad you HAVE to burn it to keep it from polluting the mind of someone who doesn't have the bullshit-detector that you do.

So far I've only had to do it once - it was essentially a modern x-tian rewrite of the Malus M. and was dripping stanky energy!

I had picked it up based on the (deceptive) title for a dollar at a used book sale without actually reading it :wacko:

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"Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one." You may call me Jed.