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#41 Grymdycche

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:03 AM

Your collection cant be that bad at least you don't have Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation!!!!!! by none other than the all mighty
Lady Silver Raven-Wolf :twisted_witch:

I find her planetary correspondences on foods and herbs pretty spot on. So I keep it for reference. I just cant stand it when she writes about construction paper and pipe cleaners :sick: and that certain powers were lost to us... that makes no sense.

In my defense when I bought it I was just a seeker........:stars:


Acck! Gold-digging Raving Loon.. okay, I never went that far. Well ...okay, maybe I did.. :confused: I once had "Pop goes the Witch" by Fiona Horn. Got rid of that quick though. It was in the bargain bin, and I was just restarting.
The Scott Cunningham stuff I like is his reference works, like the herbal books, or the oils and incenses, or the crystals.. that kinda stuff only.

As to the 'silly" I mentioned earlier, I just finished the two volumes of Oberon Zell Ravenheart's "Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard" and the "Companion", which are meant for kids. They have a decidedly wiccan theme throughout. While some of the stuff in there is almost laughable, (the Companion book more so) they do function as pretty good all around reference, particularly the Grimiore. Actually the Grimoire wasn't bad. I just don't like how they use the Harry Potter meme to grab kids and then introduce them to a religion. Harry Potter is about magic, it's not about religion, y'know?

When I think about it, I got all kinds of books in my collection, many of which I'm sure someone might think was "shit", but sometimes you gotta expand your horizons, and other times.. it's just entertainment.
I have everything from historical witchcraft, to spellbooks, to reference books (herbal, correspondences, crystals), to stuff on quantum consciousness and psi and the zero point field, to the Eddas, to all world mythology, to all forms of divination, to Alchemy, to .. well.. Lord of the Rings, books on Middle Earth, and all kinds of books on Harry Potter, including the seven volumes themselves and other wizardly fiction books. On top of that, I've got more ebooks and pdfs than I'll be able to read in a lifetime, some of rare grimoires, so I look at those as reference, if I should ever need 'em.

Better more than less!

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9 out of 10 string theory physicists agree: 'Nothing Rests; Everything Moves; Everything Vibrates'' -the Kybalion.

#42 Mountain Witch

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:18 AM

Better more than less!


Always!

For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel

You can access my blog and get autographed copies of my books through my website


#43 westofthemoon

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:22 AM

I like plant guides (pref with photos). Plants, mushrooms, trees, etc. A good one will also let you know medicinal and historical uses, although you may have to search a little harder for one of those. Tourist shops for your area often have them, or at state parks.

Ancestral Celt had an excellent list. I am envious of many of those titles! I really want 13 Moons but can't afford it. :(

Robin Artisson has some great essays on his site. I also love to read blogs. Google the word "stang" and see what you come up with--that's what I did, and now I have about 15 trad witchcraft blogs on RSS. :grin_witch:

Wouldst thou like to Live Deliciously? ~ "The VVitch"

Say what you know, do what you must, come what may.

#44 White Bear

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

A few to add (apologies if any are repeats):

Witchcraft and Folklore of Dartmoor, by Ruth E. St. Leger-Gordon.
The Way of Wyrd, by Brian Bates.
Leechcraft, by Stephen Pollington.
Mastering Witchcraft, by Paul Huson.
Balkan Traditional Witchcraft, by Radomir Ristic.
Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders, by William Henderson.
Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches, by Charles Leland.
Agrippa's Occult Philosophy: Natural Magic, by Cornelius Agrippa.
Wyrdworking, by Alaric Albertsson.
Practical Magic in the Northern Tradition, by Nigel Pennick.
Hedge-Rider, by Eric de Vries.
Call of the Horned Piper, by Nigel Jackson.
A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk, by Peter Paddon.
The Resurrection of the Meadow, by Robin Artisson.
Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways, by Gemma Gary.
Culpeper's Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper.


#45 spinney

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

Hedge-Rider, by Eric de Vries.

I really want to like this book but the bad editing has really put me off. I pick it up and put it down again. Desperately want Leechcraft and A Cornish book of ways. I have just downloaded Aradia and The Golden Bough for free to my Kindle.


#46 Seed

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:52 AM

I had a look at Cornish ways on Amazon UK and was a bit put off by the negative review who describes the book as "Modern pagan witchcraft with a bit of folklore thrown in for local colour." Yet it seems to be fawned over by the readership of this Forum. I wonder then just what processes are involved in discerning what belongs on a Shit book collection list and what doesn't. :confused:

#47 Michele

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:39 PM

...I wonder then just what processes are involved in discerning what belongs on a Shit book collection list and what doesn't. :confused:


Personal opinion, lol. As always, one man's fruit is another man's candy.

As for modern pagan witchcraft with a bit of folklore thrown in, well, that isn't that far off from what witchcraft is. There are very few traditions which have been handed down with rituals and lore un-changed, and they are not available to 99.9% of witches. What was recorded and written-down is for the most part ceremonial. As such, since it is the ritual most people were exposed to in some form or another it is what permeates ritualistic witchcraft. IN non-ritualistic craft the folklore and it's symbolic meanings as interpreted by any specific person or number of persons is what has been handed down. Most people have neither the time nor the inclination to abandon daily living responsibilities to delve deeply into these lores (and to really study one must devote much of their waking hours to it, and that doesn't bode well for getting the mortgage paid on time, the kids to ballet practice, and qulity time with the spouse). So (some) books are written by some people who were able to take the time, or who didn't have the same mundane responsibilities. And these books offer a way of working in an available format for many seekers. But these books are mostly still recent books.

There are rituals to extract the energy from a diety focus, carry it within the extractor, and "insert" it within anoter diety focus. These rituals are not written down and are not passed on except to people who have and could dedicate their life to learning these rituals and mastering the control necessary to do so. If the way of the ritual was given to any old person, there would be a lot of insanity and deaths. As the world industrialized and modernized the practices of most people moved into political and modernized deities so much of these types of practices and rituals have been lost with the exception of small pockets that the main-stream public will never hear of. As people who have the tiime and desire to dedicate to such an extent become fewer and fewer, the rituals themselves will most likely become lost as well as the people who desire to work within these beliefs. That is one reason why in some paths a witch 'cannot die" without passing on "the power" - not that they "can't" die, but that it would be a great taboo to do so, becuase of the knowledge and connection that is lost. Re-waking a connection and re-discovering the knowledge and awareness of these things is much harder and will take a society generations and generations and generations to overcome.

Look at the psychopomp - the guider of souls. Stop ten people at the grocery store and you'll be lucky of any of them know what a psychopomp is. But get trained as one anyway - dedicate your life to learning the rituals, developing the connection, the practice, and the protections necessary to guide the souls of the dead. Once you have the knowledge, you will still find few if any people in the modern world who will come to you for your services - just as the village blacksmith is no longer necessary in the average city - even most farming communities are corporate and industrialized. The world is changing, ways of belief are changing. Evolution goes on...

M

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#48 White Bear

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

I really want to like this book but the bad editing has really put me off. I pick it up and put it down again. Desperately want Leechcraft and A Cornish book of ways. I have just downloaded Aradia and The Golden Bough for free to my Kindle.

Yeah, the de Vries book is poorly edited. Still, it has its good points. Leechcraft is definitely worth getting your hands on, and didn't actually cost that much when I got it through Amazon. I was just reading from it the other day. :)

Not all books are equal, of course, but you can often glean useful and interesting information in unexpected places.


#49 Grymdycche

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

..
Wyrdworking, by Alaric Albertsson.


I just ordered this one a few days ago.

http://runeforum.phrets.com
9 out of 10 string theory physicists agree: 'Nothing Rests; Everything Moves; Everything Vibrates'' -the Kybalion.

#50 Jevne

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:29 PM

I had a look at Cornish ways on Amazon UK and was a bit put off by the negative review who describes the book as "Modern pagan witchcraft with a bit of folklore thrown in for local colour." Yet it seems to be fawned over by the readership of this Forum. I wonder then just what processes are involved in discerning what belongs on a Shit book collection list and what doesn't. :confused:


I agree with Michele that what constitutes a good or a shit book is mostly a matter of personal opinion. I think the old adage, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all applies here. Of the lists given by our peers, I would say I have read a little over half of the titles. Of those, I would not personally line the bottom of a dog kennel with a good number, BUT one does not generally make that point. First, it provokes an immediate defensive response, even from folks who didn't give a shit before, and it can lead to attacks on the author or those who like the author. This is why I prefer reviews, instead of straight lists.


#51 sarasuperid

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:58 PM

I would just have to disagree with the reviewer of Cornish book of ways. It is an excellent book. But I don't know if we "fawn over it", but really so what if we did, if a book is excellent and we like it great. For many of the witches here, folk ways and folk magic is a huge part of traditional witchcraft. But a Gemma Gary's book also has a lot more than that, including a lot about land guardianship.

You probably won't find a book that gives the most inner workings of a practice away, most lineaged traditional witches are oathbound.

However, your criticism does bring up a good point. Since traditional witchcraft has some varied meanings to different members, the types of books we like will vary likewise. Its pretty easy to read a number of posts by regulars and get an idea of whose advice you would want to take for books.

"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#52 Grymdycche

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:59 PM

Amazon.com reviews can be really funny things.
If you look at any book with a five star rating, there are still always ..always.. one or two 1 star reviews panning and slamming the thing. Reasons vary; sometimes I think people do that just to troll, the Internet equivalent of vandalism; or possibly, it's personal, and they're jealous of the author's success in the field. Of course, it might also be their genuine opinion, but if 45 other people are giving 4 to 5 stars, it certainly seems suspect.

As a general rule, I go with the majority of reviews, as long as there are at least two dozen of them or more. Any less than that, and occasionally you find the reverse situation; an author's friends, colleagues, and family all chipped in to bolster a book when actually it's pretty crappy. With less than 20 reviews, it can be hard to tell. (Except for Mountain Witch's books, we know they rock. ;))

Amazon also lets you look at a reviewer's review history. If it's the only review they've ever given, take it with a grain of salt.
If it's a gushing review, it's possibly a meaningless plug by friends. Though not always. Likewise with negative reviews, it could just be a troll hiding behind a fictional name made up just for that review.

As to book lists here, heck, I wouldn't recommend half the books I own to others. :biggrin: But seriously, sometimes it's just trial and error.

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9 out of 10 string theory physicists agree: 'Nothing Rests; Everything Moves; Everything Vibrates'' -the Kybalion.

#53 Aloe

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

I have a few shit books on my shelves that I keep for reasons totally unrelated to their content. lol, they remind me of the state of mind I was in when I bought them, the excitement of allowing myself to look for something I wanted to learn in spite of my upbringing, the thrill of starting something new and longed for, and that makes me smile. :)
"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#54 Michele

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:23 PM

I think most of my "shit" books are probably novels I haven't enjoyed - but many other people have enjoyed them, so they're really only shyte to me. Non-fiction makes up the majority of my books and even those that I totally wasn't into I have kept and have found at times tht I have looked at them for something and found it. I just have a hard time chucking out books. If I was to become a pac-rat, books would be my packing, lol. When I was little my friends' goals were to marry and have kids; mine was to have a filled bookshelf in every room of the house, including the bathroom and kitchen (and I don't cook, lol).

M