Category Archives: Spell Book

Book Review: Hoodoo Bible Magic

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This book is an interesting book. It covers a lot of different aspects of working with the bible within the folk magic tradition of Hoodoo. As a witch I am interested in learning more about Hoodoo and working with the bible in their spells and rituals. That is one of the reasons why I bought this book. The other reason was so I could start to add Bible magic to my spell work and my personal practices.

This book is a very short read but packed full of information. It is very concise but covers many topics from how the bible entered the practice of Hoodoo to if working magic is even compatible with reading the bible and understanding its work. There are also several different examples of practical magic and ways to work with the bible in day to day life.

The book starts with covering how the bible enters Hoodoo. The authors made it clear that the use of the Bible in Hoodoo is directly tied into some of the hardest times for the Slaves and the African American’s in the south. It is also made clear that now today these practices are inseparable from Hoodoo in any real sense of the work.

Next they cover if magic is compatible with the Bible. Here we are given examples of scripture and texts from within the Bible that illustrate magical practices and that you can work magic from the Bible. In this section the authors cover a selection of different “Heroes” within the Bible that worked magic in some way shape or form.

Finally in the section of begining to understand the Bible and Hoodoo the authors cover Root Doctors and Rootworkers as spiritual leaders and leaders of the church. Several examples are given for how these workers were community leaders not only in magical work but spiritual needs as well.

The section section of this book is probably the largest and most important section. This is the section that teaches working with the Bible in magical works. This section is titled “Forget Not it’s benefits”. This gives the idea of just how important the Bible is as a text to Hoodoo workings.

The first section is about how the Bible itself is a magical text. Here we are showm just how much power is within the Bible. We are taught about making prayer papers and how each verse of the Bible has its own power. The most important lesson here I found was that of the respect for the Bible.

Some spells and workings in Hoodoo call for tearing out passages from the Bible. Here the authors make it clear that by writing the passages down on paper and tearing that paper you have the connection to the verse without needing to deface a Bible. The power for them is in the verse itself so simply writing the verse has power.

Other topics include a folk story about how in battle a Bible stopped a bullet from reaching a Solider, the Jewish Mizpah and the Jewish Protective Mezuzah, and several other small biblical charms.

The next part of this section was on scriptural uses of magic. Here the author goes into discussions about how there are other verses and books of the Bible that can be worked with for magic as well as the Psalms. The author included a lists of various Bible verses and how they could potentially be used in magic. The author also included a list of verses that explain that God does in fact listen to people. This part of the Scripture ends with a description of “pleading the blood pf Jesus” with scriptures giving examples to the practice and how it is used.

The largest section of the “Forget not it’s benefits” is a section on working with the Psalms. Here the authors do include a list of uses for every Psalm in the Book of Psalms. The author includes a passage on the “secrets of the Psalms” as well as how to find the sacred names within the Psalms. The most useful section of this chapter is the two lists of uses for the Psalms. One is a quick list by type of working listing the Psalms in order by number and the other is listing each Psalm individually with the uses next to them.

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most well known Psalms out there. After providing us with a list of Pslams and their uses the authors provide us with several different uses for the 23rd Psalm. There are examples of blessings, protection spells, and a succsess spell as well. The 23rd Psalm is one of the most versitile Psalms in the book of Psalms which is why these suggestions are great for getting to know and work with that Psalm.

This section ends with a list of Pslams for fighting your enemies and sending back or reversing evil sent to you. Both of those sets used together could create powerful spells for protection. These lists give you some ideas on working with the Psalms so you can then start to create your own spells and rituals with the Psalms.

The next section was on using the Bible for Divination. In essence this practice involves flipping through the Bible with your eyes closed. When you stop flipping through pages you read the verse that you fingers land on and contemplate it’s meaning. The other topic covered is the use of dream interpretation and dreams in the Bible as a source of oracles and divination practices.

The final section covering the uses of the Bible in magical practice is a section on Devotional Prayer. The authors cover how we should Pray and what prayer is. The author covers types of prayer and how you can use prayer to preach. This section ends with a sermon that was essentially a prayed Curse regarding Hitler.

Bible Spells Old and New comes after reminding us of the uses of the Bible. Here the authors provided several different types of spells and workings that use the Bible. The authors start with steady work and succsess, which is followed by returning people and lost goods, Love is next (covering love, family, and reconciling with loved ones). After love we get into Helping and blessing, Harming and Cursing, and we end with protection and Jinx breaking. These spells cover basically every need that comes up in most day to day lives.

The Book ends with a selection of Frequently asked questions regarding Hoodoo, the Bible and the many practices associated. These questions include how to choose prayers for specific works, asking about psalms or scripture verses for quick financial windfalls, and even making a payment to Jesus. These are questions that are found on my Hoodoo and Conjure forums so having a list and answers is a great way to get answers for questions you have that may have already been asked.

This book gets 5/5 stars as it covers so many different ways to work with the Bible. The authors provide several resources, contextual examples, and workings that we can use right away to get started. They cover most magical and spiritual needs within the book so it is an excellent resource for beginners.

Book Review: Trolldom: Spells and Methods of the Norse Folk Magic Tradition by Johannes Björn Gårdbäck

Trolldom

Over the last year and a half my magical practices have started to take a change towards more folk magic systems.  To me the lack of formalized ritual for spells is much more appealing than the need to invoke deities for every spell or magical action I perform.  In many ways folk magic traditions relate to me more than most of the modern witchcraft practices as they do not make magic separate from day to day life.  Magic in this instance was a tool for life nothing more or less.  Folk magic simply was and is The Magic of the people.

I’ve been focusing on Hoodoo which is an American system of folk magic created during the slave era and deeply tied into African American culture and Southern Culture in general.  I figured as an American I might as well look into a system of magic that was born here in this country.  Often times I get mixed views on my interest in Hoodoo as I am not Black nor am I from the south. I am a Northerner.  I am from Maine and I have never lived outside of Maine.  So for some of them I was participating in cultural appropriation.  Not being from the South or Black how could I understand all the intracices of the culture?  How could I honor those ancestors?

One common theme of advice I was given was to look into my own personal heritage and see what sort of folk magic traditions I could explore.  I’d be honoring my ancestors and I would be staying within specific cultural guidelines.  For this reason I looked up and did some searching on Germanic or Norse style of Folk Magic.  Trolldom was the topic that came up.  So when I was given an opportunity to read a book on my own ancestral practices and traditions I was all over it.  It felt right to be reading that book and to start looking at adding some of the workings into my own practice.

If you are expecting spells and forumulas that deal with the Norse Gods you wont find a lot in this tome.  Most of the spells either deal with a land spirit or they call on Jesus, God,Mary,The Holy Spirit, or the Devil.  Like most folk traditions alot of the pagan elements are still there but you will have a hard time to find specific workings with the Norse Gods.  There are plenty of books on the market for Nordic witchcraft and magic that deals with those deities.

This is the magic of the people.  We are lead to believe that all the magic died out when the Norse Culture became Christianized.  That is simply not the case.  In fact many of the old workings which dealt with the old gods were simply modified to deal with the spirits and the religion of Christianity.  Knowing this now I am still quite happy with the material in this book as I feel it still connects me to those ancestors.  Afterall my most recent ancestors would have been Christian.  So if they practiced this craft or if they  had a family style of Trolldom it is the Christian spells and spirits they would have worked with.

For the reasons above I have read and enjoyed reading Trolldom.  It took a long time to read.  This book is intense and full of information.  I spent a lot of my early days with the book just going back and forth with the glossary at the beginning of the book.  There were so many new terms and phrases to learn and understand.  The language component in this book is one of the most important elements but it is also one of the most difficult components to deal with.

The language barrier involved in this project is the reason there are two sections based on language.  You have a glossary (which is right after the dedication) and then you have a section on different terms for different practices within this particular set of workings and systems.  Trolldom encompass more than just Norway and Icelandic magic which is why the language issue is present.  This book actually ecompases quite a few different “Nordic” cultures.  It covers Norway, Iceland, Sweeden, and Finland as well as having a bit of Anglo-Saxon and some Lore preserved in Powwow or the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions.  For this reason the section for the glossary and on the terms is not only important to mark and return to throughout the book, but is an essential part of understanding this practice.

This book is broken into a few different sections.  First is the glossary which was the most difficult to get through.  The second section is about the History. Here the author showed how and where Trolldom survived.  I find it interesting to note one of the places visited and mentioned in the book is in my Home state of Maine.  Its not a town I have been to or near but it in some ways brings this book and its workings closer to home.  I feel better knowing that there are places in my home region where this practice was passed on in some manner.

After history you had the terms.  This section was about how different regions had different names for the practice of Trolldom and the practitioners of Trolldom.  Here we also got into the discussion about how one learned Trolldom and how you could become a professional in the art of Trolldom.  In this culture Trolldom was not just a practice it was an honored profession that many people would take advantage of.  You had your specialists and a few generalists each with unique skills and practices as well as a unique term for their practice.

The next section was on divination on the two different terms and styles mentioned.  For me the importance divination plays in Trolldom shows me a relationship with Hoodoo.  Trolldom has infact been called the Norse Hoodoo, so I would say that the use of divination in magical practices and how they dictate the works to be done is a key component in folk magic.  It seems today more and more people are just doing what ever type of working seems to be the best for them and their situation without taking the time to check the source of the problem or situation.

Finally we get into the workings or the methods.  These spells are called Formulas.  The book has many different sections from Health and healing, to hunting, protection, curses, and even a group of miscellaneous spells.  What I liked best about this section of the book was the fact that there was the English spoken components translated but you could also see the original language as well.  For me this shows just the amount of work that went into this tome.

I will say there are several spells and workings that are basically included only for historical accuracy.  Some items listed in spells like animal parts or human bones are not as easy to get a hold of as they may have been at one point in time.   There are some spells that mention digging up and harvesting things like bones of dead men or going to hanging sites.  Many of these practices are not readily acceptable in the world we live in today.  However if you wish to understand a tradition that has been around for centuries you really need to understand these historical spells.  There is enough material that you can find spells and formulas that are suitable for today’s society.

I hope that the author will continue the work and write a book just on the herbal charms and herbal uses in this book.  While you can find several herbs mentioned in the folk name as well as botanical and a common name, only a small selection of the possible herbal charms are even shown in this work.  For many people who practice folk magic Herbal magic is a huge part of the practice.  So I would encourage the author to work on an herbal trolldom book.

Review: Earth Power by Scott Cunningham

Earth Power

The book Earth Power by Scott Cunningham is a very simple to read and easy to follow book that covers the basics of magic and witchcraft. The author provides several easy to follow spells and rituals that enable a new seeker to be able to read the book and start practicing magic right away. This tome provides spells and rituals for beginners as well as experienced practitioners of magic.

This book is divided into three sections. The first section of the book talks about the basics of magic and spell crafting. This provides a foundation for being able to use and work with the materials found later on in the book. This section is made up of four different chapters each covering an aspect of the basics of magic. It is here that the instructional and how to aspects of magic are really discussed.

The first chapter in the book starts the basics section. This chapter begins with an illustration of natural magic being practiced. This example provides the context for this chapter which is the nature of the universe and the real nature of magic.

The second chapter in the book focuses on what magic is and how to practice it. This chapter covers what is needed to practice magic as well morality in regards to magic. Here we learn the forces behind magic and why magic works.

The third chapter is all about magical techniques. Here the author focuses on the use of symbolism and the use of those associations in magic. The author includes a list of common symbols and associations for the beginner to reference as an idea. Finally the chapter ends with techniques of energy raising as well as the importance of mental focus and concentration.

The last chapter in the first section is really our introduction to the majority of the book. Here the author introduces the concept of the four elements and how they work in magic. The author includes only bare bones basics about the elements as more detail is given later. The idea here was only to introduce the elemental concepts and associations so that the rest of the book makes sense.

The second section of this book focuses on the elemental powers and elemental magic. The elements in witchcraft and magic are powerful forces and this section deals with calling upon the right element for the right purpose. In this section we learn all about the elements and what magical practices they rule over. This section is only four chapters long, one for each elemental force. Here is where we begin to see the practical applications and uses of natural and elemental magic.

The fifth chapter focuses on the element of Earth. Within this chapter the author expands on the basics given in the previous chapter about the element of earth. There are several different spells and rituals given that focus on and use specifically the element of earth to manifest the desires.

The sixth chapter focuses on the element of air. Here we learn about the different aspects of the winds based on direction and how we can best use the attributes of air. There are spells and rituals here for calling up the winds as well as working with the element of air to the best of our abilities.

The seventh chapter in this book focuses on the element of fire. Here we are shown ways that the element of fire can be useful outside of candle magic. The author includes a few different spells that utilize the unique personality of the fire element.

The eighth and last chapter in the second section of the book deals with the element of water. Many of the spells and rituals in this chapter deal with cleansing and healing. Through the spells and rituals in this chapter the aspects of the element of water in magic are clearly described.

Finally the third section of the book covers natural magic. This section focuses on magic that is not elemental in basis but uses the forces of nature to work with you to create your goals and desires. Here you will see aspects of the elements present in the spells and rituals, but the focus is not on the element but the magical practices in themselves.

The ninth chapter in this book focuses on the use of stones in magic. Stone and crystal use is very common in magical practices these days. This chapter illustrates how to work with basically any stone and not just gems and crystals that have specific associations with them.

The tenth chapter in this book focuses on tree magic. Here we learn and understand some of the magical aspects and attributes you can find with trees. Like before there are spells and rituals provided to give an idea of the types of spells one can create when they work with trees. The author also included a list of trees and their associations to maximize ones magical practices.

Chapter eleven deals with image magic. Here we learn the concepts associated with using pictures or symbols to represent people in spell work. The most common image magic is the poppet or voodoo doll, but that is not covered here. Other aspects and uses of image based magic can be found in this chapter.

Chapter twelve in this book focuses on a very old form of folk magic. Here we learn about and begin to understand the concepts of knot magic. There is a little bit of history and folklore given here but the meat of the chapter is in the spell examples that are given for knot based magic.

Chapter thirteen deals with candle magic. There are many texts out there that cover candle magic. This chapter focuses on the use of candle magic in natural magic. There are not many spells and rituals in this chapter but the information still provides a starting point.

Chapter fourteen deals with wax magic. This chapter is not about magic per say but more focused on types of divination that can be done using wax. Divination and magic have historically gone hand in hand which is why this chapter is in the book.

Chapter fifteen is about the use of mirror and magic. Like candle magic and image magic there is a lot of folk lore regarding magic mirrors and how they can be used in spells and rituals. There are several different spells and rituals using mirrors in this chapter including directions on how to make your own magic mirror.

Chapter sixteen deals with magic using storms. Here the author explains the power that weather based magic can have. There are spells for different occasions and purposes but also spells on how to protect yourself from the elements of the storm as it were.

The final chapter in this book chapter seventeen deals with sea magic. This is an excellent way to end the book as we go back to the illustration of natural magic given in the first chapter. Here we learn why we can work with the tides and why some spells are best done at the seaside.

As a text book for magical use this book basically covers most aspects of magic. Through this text different types of magic are expressed and shown. Through the divisions of the book the reader can understand the concepts of magic and how to best use the natural world in spells and rituals for their individual needs. As a resource for correspondences for spell work there are better books available, but as a spell book for nature magic this is an excellent guide.

Grimoire-My Magical record system

Grimoire: My Record system

Most witches out there have books that they keep their rituals and spells in.  Many traditions call this book a Book of Shadows.  In this book they write down all their rituals, all their spells, and any work that they do with spirits and spiritual beings.  This record becomes in many way our personal sacred texts and documents.  In some cases witches can use their experiences within their records and books to in effect create the lore for their own system and practices.

Like most witches I do have my own magical book and record system.  I actually used to have several different books that I would keep.  In an effort to keep all of the rituals from the different systems I studied separate as they were all separate systems I decided to keep my notes and my notes books separate.  Its only recently that they have been combined back into one book, at least for the time being.

As a solitary and primarily self directed witch I have the freedom to basically record any information I want in any way that I want.  This means that I can have articles from magazines in there as well as any personal reflections.  My book is really personal and is my own record.  Though this book will in the end be used as the basis for the tradition I would like to found and teach, in general my book is something that really only makes sense to myself.

Now I call my book a Grimoire for many reasons.  The term book of shadows just never seem to fit.  For one thing I have never been in the shadows with my practice at all.  I have always been open and upfront about it.  I have never hidden my practice.  Though I might not have discussed it or brought it up in front of some family members I’ve never really made any attempts to hide the fact that I am and have always been a witch.  So the concept of a book of shadows when I am not in the shadows didnt make any sense.

The other reason is that my book has more than just spells, rituals, and invocations.  My book has theory and exercises.  It has lore and poetry.  My book basically contains the sum of my spiritual knowledge and experience over the years.  In this book I have recorded the names of spirits I work with, their personalities, and much more.  This book could in essence be used to teach my path to another person.  It provides step by step exercises with reflections to give an idea of what could be experienced.  The book even has some of the realms and other worlds I have visited listed in there with details.

I also like the term Grimoire.  So I use it for my own practices.  I know that its not one of the great Grimoires of Ceremonial Magic and Invocation traditions, but for me it still is a Grimoire.  Other people when they have read my book will be able to look at it and perform the rituals and the works in there and have effective practices.  They can use my book as a step by step manual for the works I have done.

The other thing is that I have material from the official Temple Tradition Grimoire for the first degree in my book as well.  The Temple material does have its own book as well.  However the material also belongs in my book as I have experiences based on the training found in the Temple tradition.  That is the other reason I call my book a Grimoire.  If the Temple tradition calls its ritual handbook a Grimoire, than I think I can call my book the same thing.  I am after all scribing information from the Temple text into my own text as well.

One thing I am going to try and be better about is actually recording and writing down my rituals and my spells.  I’m the sort of witch who may not always write down the rituals and spells that they have performed.  For this reason there are large gaps in my book of dates.  I also don’t have any information from my early days as a witch.  That first book is long gone.  So working on my Grimoire is actually one of the ways I have started to get my spirituality back on track.

I have all kinds of notes from books I have read that need to be transcribed into my Book.  I am also going to sift through my diaries of a couple years.  I know in several of my diary entries I have thoughts on Gods, Goddesses, and my spirituality.  The notes and the diary entries will provide more material for my book and show me even more places where I have grown and where my spiritual paths have developed.  I just need to spend the time to sort my notes and find out where in my book they will belong.

I do hope that in time I can create different books of Grimoire style work.  I want to have a book just for Dragon work.  That way in that book I have only information that relates to dragons.  By separating that information it also makes it easier to find exactly what I am looking for in my books.  The same goes for my work with Germanic paganism and Greek Paganism.  I’m also creating a prayer book and a specific spell book.  The creation of these books is part of my spiritual development and my spiritual practices.  It relates to my view of the importance of the sacred scribe.

Over the next few weeks my Grimoire is going to get more information into it.  I am going to be adding spells I have posted on websites and I am going to be adding in all sorts of additional correspondence information and the like.  I may have to end up making the main book into separate books any way as this one is already quite full.  So I may end up with theory and exercises in one book with rituals and correspondences in another book.  We shall see how things develop over time.

I know that as I study Hoodoo and get recipes for various items and spells I will be including those in my book as well.  I already have a few recipes for different types of water in my book.  Soon I am going to add spells to the book.  I just got to the spell centric section of one of the books I have been reading and working through.  So that in itself is going to add a bit of stuff to my book.  I’m always busy developing something spiritually between my business and this new maintenance of my Grimoire there is always something new to do and make.

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