Author: Silver Ravenwolf
Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publication date: January 2001
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Like most of Silver Ravenwolf's recent books, Silver's Spells for Love is going to be controversial in the Neo-Pagan community, especially in the Wiccan part of the community. Many Neo-Pagans have no use for spell books, claiming that everyone should create their own spells. Many Wiccans simply object to the very idea of doing love spells.
I got my start along the Neo-Pagan path from the magick end -- Paul Huson's Mastering Witchcraft and later ceremonial magick to be specific. While I agree that a personally created spell can be better, I don't think that spell books are a waste of paper. Nor, as a non-Wiccan, do I have automatic ethical objections to love spells. Therefore, as this book does not claim to be about Wicca or any other religion, I'm going to review this book solely on its merits as a book of spells aimed at the beginner.
This book is obviously aimed at the general public -- not just Neo-Pagans or Wiccans. The first twenty pages are a very basic introduction to magick. While easy to read, it is incomplete and has a somewhat Wiccan mind set. A Christian or other non-Wiccan picking up this book is probably going to be put off by circle casting that refers to the God and Goddess, for example. However, the introduction does warn about the possible negative consequences of casting love spells aimed at a particular person or persons. Unfortunately, the author takes a "just trust my years of experience" position instead of explaining what can happen if one ignores this advice without knowing exactly what one is doing.
The next three chapters are the actual spells. The first is spells for obtaining love, second is spells for keeping love alive, and the third is spells for terminating a relationship. Unfortunately, this is all the organization the spells really seem to have. There are simple spells next to complex ones, spells for romantic love are next to spells for lust, etc. The spells themselves vary in quality, but you will get this in any book of spells. Some of the spells come with advice from the author in "Mama Silver" mode. While I know some people like this, I could have done without it.
Six short appendices on herbs, magick days and colors, astrology, moon phases and planetary hours round out the book. There's also a bibliography and an index.
This book isn't bad, especially if you are a clueless magickal newbie looking for a large collection of love spells. In other words, for its intended audience, this is a good book. For the average Neo-Pagan or Magician, it's just another book of spells. You probably will not really need it or want it, but it's something you can suggest to everyone who begs you for love spells. While it has spells some will consider questionable, at least you will not be suggesting a book full of "sexual slavery" type spells like some books of love spells I've seen in the past.
Reviewed by Randall
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