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The Witches' Book of the Dead


luceaschild

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I havent read it. It's been suggested to me by amazon though, lol. However, the fact it's written by self proclaimed warlock Christian Day puts me off of it immediately.

I did read the reviews of it on Amazon. The majority praise the book, but there is one interesting two star review of it.

I feel that after reading reviews and synopsis of it the book would just be a rehash of Mitchell Bellanger's book walking the Twilight Path. Which was an ok read , but not the greatest guide to working with the dead.

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I havent read it. It's been suggested to me by amazon though, lol. However, the fact it's written by self proclaimed warlock Christian Day puts me off of it immediately.

I did read the reviews of it on Amazon. The majority praise the book, but there is one interesting two star review of it.

I feel that after reading reviews and synopsis of it the book would just be a rehash of Mitchell Bellanger's book walking the Twilight Path. Which was an ok read , but not the greatest guide to working with the dead.

 

I picked up a copy in Salem (at the author's shop) and read it. I think the book is fine, and it's nice to see scholarship to back up some of the author's points. The book doesn't strike me as a rehash of anything.

 

The "Warlock" thing is interesting. In the book you'll find references to the 60s when women claimed the name "witch" despite its negative meaning in mainstream society. It was a word that helped empower and identify them as they wanted to be seen (which involved redefining the word). It's suggested that the author took on "Warlock" for the same reason and sees it as an empowering term for men that calls for a new definition (and again, despite its current negative meaning). I think his fight will be harder than the fight was for "witch" in the 60s. My aunt was on the front lines back in the day, so I've heard the stories about that era.

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As I said I haven't read the book. It might be good or it might not be.

 

The whole warlock name thing doesn't bother me either. It's just a label like any other name. I've read quite a bit in different places that the etymology of the word may go back to other words in Germanic languages that means something about working with spirits, etc. that it didn't mean oath breaker.

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The whole warlock name thing doesn't bother me either. It's just a label like any other name. I've read quite a bit in different places that the etymology of the word may go back to other words in Germanic languages that means something about working with spirits, etc. that it didn't mean oath breaker.

 

Yeah,I read something about that etymology as well. Interesting.

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Do you care to post a review ShadowTouch? I'm always willing to give a book a chance. But I would like to know more about the book. The little bits of synopsis do not tell me much.

 

Sure, not a problem. I'm currently under some time constraints but I'll put something together soon.

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Do you care to post a review ShadowTouch?

 

The book is 263 pages long with 13 chapters. The material is good and basic, and it's not Wiccan in nature. Instead it's a serious work. The author goes into the nature of spirits/ghosts and how to work with them. He also addresses the risks and problems connected to working with ghosts that haunt, or in summoning the dead in general. In addition, the author describes methods of establishing an altar or shine for the dead.

 

Part of the book deals with spirits of the dead that are attached to objects or living persons. The author provides rituals for protection and for banishment. But his treatment of the dead is respectful and appears to be on solid ground. I also appreciate the fact that he draws on reliable academic sources throughout the book. His references to classical literature featuring tales of witchcraft and spirits of the dead is both entertaining and informative.

 

Other parts of the book deal with working graveyard magic, using graveyard dirt, and connecting with spirits of the dead in dreams. I think it's a very useful book, and a one of a kind work. It's not the be all and end all, of course, but it's a good source for personal practice, and a stepping stone forward.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I must admit this book did peak my interest-but the title warlock did put me off somewhat.

Turns out I will probably be meeting a Warlock on Monday at a friends gathering, so I'm hoping that my cynicism is nicely challenged on that score.

 

While one person can't be regarded as representing the whole, I'd be interested in your experience of this person and your impression,

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest copperhedge

I had never heard of Christian Day before i went to listen to a radio blog show of his, when he was supposed to have been interviewing a friend of mine last month.

 

Anyway, the rant i heard from that man made me ashamed to have anything to do with any kind of occult or magical community. He insulted gay people, British people, the Goddess Hecate (called her the Goddess of Morons), insulted people with learning disabilities and down syndrome and spewed the kind of hateful bile that left even a potty mouth like me shocked.

 

A video went around a huge number of us, showing him on the Penn & Teller show "Bullshit". Where Christian Day appeared (to me) to engage in the biggest pile of commercial insult to Witchcraft imaginable, making an absolute buffoon of himself and trying to sell his own brand of ouijja board as somehow superior to others brands for some nonsensical reason, dressed in a mockery of witchcraft costume, conforming to every stereotype imaginable. He has also been in the media for "hexing" Charlie Sheen and various other celebrities for what seems like really silly reasons (especially when he himself is really not doing much for the image of witches/warlocks).

 

Anyway, just on principle, not matter how good his book is, i would never buy anything by this man or endorse him. I'm far from an angel, innocent or clappy happy fluff bunny but he is not someone I would want on my bookshelf let alone my social circle. Star Forster (a well known witch blogger) said of him after he announced his plans to hex Charlie Sheen (ps who announces to the media they are going to hex someone?)

 

"Personally, I've witnessed a lot of nonsense over the years, but this morning seeing the press having a field day with Christian's TMZ story, I felt my soul withdraw. I don't want to be associated with this three ring circus"

 

My soul didn't actually withdraw but i did report him to blogradio for hate speech.

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Guest copperhedge

Copperhedge. I've had to hide your post. Please read this http://www.tradition...llous-comments/ I have never heard of the author, and have no reason to doubt you but we as a forum have got to be careful what we write about in public. This is something we have to do, its not personal .

Spinney

 

Sure thing! No worries.

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  • 2 months later...

I just got this book today for my birthday (happy birthday to me). I asked for it after hearing Christain Day on a podcast I listen to reguarly, and he really impressed me. Then I went to his website and was a little put off by all the sterotypical BS it contains..... so we will see. I'll post a review here after I read it, but it didn't look to "fluffy" from me just skimming through it.

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I just got this book today for my birthday (happy birthday to me). I asked for it after hearing Christain Day on a podcast I listen to reguarly, and he really impressed me. Then I went to his website and was a little put off by all the sterotypical BS it contains..... so we will see. I'll post a review here after I read it, but it didn't look to "fluffy" from me just skimming through it.

 

I had the same exact feeling after checking the site. Maybe he's just the eccentric type. You can wear a tutu, swim fins and a clown nose for all I care, as long as you know your shit (ecspecially when I am paying for it!)and we'll be all set. I do hope this book is good-their are so few on this subject. Mine should be here anyday now, so I will post more later.

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I had the same exact feeling after checking the site. Maybe he's just the eccentric type. You can wear a tutu, swim fins and a clown nose for all I care, as long as you know your shit (ecspecially when I am paying for it!)and we'll be all set. I do hope this book is good-their are so few on this subject. Mine should be here anyday now, so I will post more later.

 

 

LMAO! I wish I could see a witch with swim fins put out a book, just for my amusemet!:witch_bounce:

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I had the same exact feeling after checking the site. Maybe he's just the eccentric type. You can wear a tutu, swim fins and a clown nose for all I care, as long as you know your shit (ecspecially when I am paying for it!)and we'll be all set. I do hope this book is good-their are so few on this subject. Mine should be here anyday now, so I will post more later.

 

I wasn't disappointed with the book and hopefully others won't be as well. Most of the complaints I've seen aren't about what the author wrote, but instead are about the drama that surrounds this controversial guy. He's very much into marketing and self promotion because of his advertising and business background, and that makes perfect sense. Some people object to all that, for whatever reason, and also appear to object to his bold, colorful, and challenging personality. It's unfortunate that such people then attack his book, which it's doubtful they've even read because they already held the guy in low regard. One of the sad truths about the Internet is that a lot of people accept hearsay as fact and rarely seek substantiation. I guess that some people just want to think the worst of others.

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I have also seen the silliest attacks on this book. It seems like people just like to hear themselves talk sometimes. One lady objected because it recommended using skulls--because they would scare her kids--why did she even buy this book? It has a skull on the cover...

 

I'll probably request this book at my local library. It looks like it is worth a look through.

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I have read the book in question and offer the following personal comments, which are in no way intended to be representative of anyone's thoughts or opinions, but mine. I am commenting from my general notes, which focus on the practical aspects of the material presented. I make no comment regarding the historical or mythological accuracy of the content.

 

The Witches' Book of the Dead seems to be written with the assumption that those reading it are novices (or not necessarily real Witches). The distinction between real Witches (author's words) and modern wiccans was noted. Once I understood that adept Witches are not the only or primary target audience, I could forgive the flowery language of the exercises (thee/thou) and the overall woo-woo approach. I understand that others find this type of pomp and circumstance appealing. I simply do not. In the same, I do not adhere to the belief that rituals and other magical exercises must be done on a certain day or at a certain time. (To each their own, of course.)

 

The author is correct in saying that working with the dead is not for the weak minded; however, I did take exception to the comments regarding what one can do with the dead . . . seduction, manipulation, and spying. Can you, do these things? Technically, yes, but I don't believe the author would want you to focus on such activities, given his later assertions that the dead be treated with respect. A newbie might get ahold of that info without reading further, which could be bad.

 

I do disagree with the "spirits hate boring people" statement (pg. 34) and the suggestion that you be as freaky as possible to attract spirits of the dead. In fact, some spirits prefer boring or at least relatively normal people. And being yourself is more important than being weird, unless of course you happened to be normally outlandish. Then, work it.

 

The section about altars to honor the dead will be appealing to some, especially the parts about not having to focus on blood relatives only. I found this section interesting. The part about not digging up a grave to get a skull was amusing. Funny that the author would have to mention that not being a good idea. LOL! Regarding what should be on the altar and the tool list for working with the dead, some folks might find it helpful that the author included names and places to get these items. I do not believe that every item listed is absolutely necessary, but it is nice to know where to get things, if you want them for your personal space and working.

 

I don't think the author intended for it to be funny, but I giggled at the "keep yourself clean" for the spirits section on Pg. 75. Hey, don't bother using salt or any of the other suggestions for keeping malevolent spirits at bay; just don't bathe for awhile. Might keep your friends away, but if spirits cared about cleanliness, they probably wouldn't visit my son's room quite so much.

 

Seriously though, the methods for communicating with the dead would be helpful as a starting point, but any one of those sections could easily be expanded. I would have liked that. I don't personally use the dead for divination purposes, but it's not unheard of. I just do not trust the messages received, as the dead do not suddenly become more enlightened or broad-minded. They can misinterpret situations and even lie.

 

Overall, an easy read with helpful hints for those individuals new to working with the dead. The background material, including the author's attempts at connections between history/mythology and modern movies and literature, served to break up the content and keep the material flowing without being overly fluffy. In my opinion, an experienced Witch or medium will, however, find that the content barely scratches the surface. In all fairness, that is probably the way that it was intended.

 

Jevne

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I just started blogging again and posted a review since I thought book reviews would be a decent way to build filler and force myself to post something.

 

Also note: I bought it in Kindle format and it was formatted to that pretty well. I do wonder if there were a lot graphics or something in the paper copy though because of Day's eccentric persona.

 

 

Christian Day’s The Witches Book of the Dead explores the relationship between witches and spirits through a folkloric and traditional witchcraft lenses. This book includes a series of meditations and rituals designed to re-create historical practices in various kinds of spirit magick from traditional necromancy to simple mediumship. Day recommends, and I agree with this sentiment, that the entire book should be read before attempting to follow any meditations or rituals included in the book. However, the meditations and rituals are ordered in a way to gradually increase the reader’s experience and prowess in dealing with spirits from beginners to more advanced necromancy. This book is suitable for both beginners and more advanced practitioners. However, Day doesn’t focus much on providing ethical or moral guidance which may not be suitable for extremely young beginners; that being said I appreciate the lack of any kind of moral warnings.

 

The book is organized into sections dealing with different aspects of spirit work. The first few sections deal with historical connections between witches and spirits in general, safety, and tools of spirit work. The next sections focus on more magickal rather than spiritual aspects like protection and cleansing, communicating with the dead, classic necromancy, and working magick with spirits of the dead. More spiritual sections focus on Spiritualism and religious festivals that honor the dead. All sections are well written with both historical references, practical information and plenty of personal experiences. Meditations and rituals are included in most sections. I found the section on spirit divination most interesting as it includes a good ritual similar to my own for using spirit boards (or Ouija boards) and an excellent history of Parker Brother’s Ouija boards. Additionally, at the end of the book is an appendix containing a number of recipes for oils and other ritual components. I have not personally tried any of the recipes or rituals outlined, but I did enjoy doing a few of the meditations. Also, Day includes a chapter on creating an Altar of the Dead similar to the ancestor altar I keep in my personal practice. Finally, there is a section of interest to ghost hunters and paranormal investigators as well as witches. This chapter explores theories on haunting as well as methods of protection from unwanted spirits. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this kind of work as well as magick and communicating with the dead in more general terms.

 

Although I have not read much occult literature specifically on necromancy and spirit work, I feel like there is a good amount of original and “new” information on historical practices and lore in this book. Also, the book does not feel necessarily tied to the overly positive side of the occult. Some of the rituals are darker in nature and this alone makes it a unique offering.

 

Overall, I enjoyed The Witches Book of the Dead and found myself agreeing with many of Day’s sentiments on ethics, practice, and the importance of spirit work in a historical study of witchcraft. The scholarship seems solid and despite the controversy over Christian Day’s recent comments I think he is a valuable teacher in the witchcraft community.

 

 

http://pixiecraft.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/book-review-witches-book-of-the-dead/

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