Monday, August 27, 2007

Cassandra Eason's Complete Book of Natural Magick

Cassandra Eason's Complete Book of Natural Magick, Cassandra Eason.
New York: Quantum, 2006. 528 pps.

Cassandra Eason was originally known in psychic circles. Unfortunately, she has now branched out to calling herself
a witch and a druidress. Her most recent books have deteriorated into imagination run riot. This particular book
has a companion-- equally hefty-- book of Spells.

In Natural Magick, Eason starts off with basic witchery: a how-to for those who bear fascination but no experience.
After the first 64 pages, she gets into the meat of the matter dealing with such subjects as spell bags, plants and
animals, the senses, element[al]s, and deva. There are suggestions for spells and commonplace observations written
in a breezy tone, correspondences scattered throughout, and a rather piteous description of "drawing down the god
or the goddess."

It is Eason's discussion of "magick of the nature spirits" that falls most tragically short and potentially dangerous
for the read-a-book-wiccans. Eason talks about setting up an altar for angels [reminiscent of Silver Ravenwolf's
work], connecting to elementals [shudder], the "devas," and the fae. She neglects to mention the real power held by
the beings that are featured in wannabees' aspiritions and forgets to warn that not all of the Good Peeps are good
or friendly.

It is with sadness that I cannot recommend this book to any but those who are most discerning of bullshit. And those
who are won't want it in their collection.

sapphoq reviews

Meeting the Other Crowd, Lenihan and Green

Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland, by Eddie Lenihan and Carolyn Eve Green.
New York: Penguin, 2003. 332 pages.

The authors traveled around Ireland and recorded the stories that people had to tell of the Fae. Words richly
illustrate tales of chance encounters, captivity, gifts with high price tags attached, and the occasional beneficiary
relationship between the two races. In these pages, one will find scholarship, knowledge of Gaelic, and wisdom.

The book is divided into three parts: encounters with the fae and a bit about what they want, where they live and
symptoms of their presence, and gifts given. Each chapter is a story complete unto itself. Putting the need to
scientifically prove and disprove aside, one will quickly warm to the tales of Biddy Early, fairy forts, and favors

A fascinating book and highly recommended to any who wish to read about experiences with the Good Folk.

sapphoq reviews

The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk

The Fifth Sacred Thing

The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk. New York: Bantam, 1993. 486 pages.

The Fifth Sacred Thing is a futuristic novel set in the year 2048. It is a speculation of what can be. It is a
story of resistance, of witches vs. other. And so much more. From the first sentence on the first page to the last,
the reader is taken on a captivating journal of interweaving plots and characters and elements. A rather skillful
weave it is.

San Francisco is the place held by witches, where the four elements are free and not to owned or sold. Polylove
is present as well as memories of Vietnam, the hippies, and Che. The dead interact with the living and all religious
expression is embraced. [Atheists however are distinctly lacking]. Angel City in stark contrast has been taken over
by the Stewards who are anything but. There is a mean prison there, toxic waste dumps, and camps where women breed
warriors for war.

The main characters are likeable and hold evidence of strengths and weaknesses. There is a healer-doctor Madrone who
sets out on a journey that she does not wish, the entrapped Bird, madrina Maya, many lovers and others. Those who
are worthy of hatred are painted with a human stroke also. The battle between having a place with non-violent
resisters and listening to orders barked out by the ones who have stolen the names of their underlings is a very
real one. "I feel like a number. But I'm not a number," sums up the internal struggle of the soldiers of the

The Fifth Sacred Thing is recommended for those who have not lost their patience with feminism of an idealistic
flavor and who enjoy light science fiction. Those who prefer hard science fiction would do better with other books
and other authors.

sapphoq reviews