Author: Silver Ravenwolf
Trade Paperback, 252 pages
Publication date: March 2000
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Protection seems to be a topic ever on the mind of mankind. From ancient times to modern, we have sought to keep ourselves and our families, clans, and loved ones safe from dangers of this world and the spirit world. This book claims to make it easier to do just that.
It is well known that I hold a less than favorable opinion of Ms. Ravenwolf's work. Starting about the time of Teen Witch, I have gone from recommending her writing to recommending against her work. To be honest, as I begin writing this review, I'm not sure whether or not to recommend this book.
A mixed up mess of information, poorly organized, the book seems to swing back and forward between what should be common sense reminders and spiritual magickal advice and spells. I often felt that I was being talked down to -- like a child. I know that such books are often aimed at beginners, but even a beginner could resent the tone of some of her "reminders."
I am a firm believer in KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Many of these spells seem to go out of their way to break the KISS principal at every turn. There are just too many steps, too many long poems, too much to remember. Some of the spells you would need a crib sheet to do -- or the book open in front of you. Some people have no trouble with that, but I have preferred to teach my students to create spells that flow from them instead of using a "cookbook." Having to keep referring to a piece of paper can interrupt the passion of the moment.
I shared a couple of spells with Ghost -- like the wolf one that calls for protection of the Clan. (For those who don't know, Ghost answers to the Great Wolf Spirit.) After she finished rolling on the floor laughing, she admitted that the spell could work, but added that if you called on the spirit of an alpha pair of wolves, you best have something for them a bit more "meaty" than sage smoke. Especially when the spell offers for them to share in the bounty of the hunt. This is a common flaw of her spells, in my opinion. Of course, I still haven't gotten over the "Frost Giants are our Friends" from Teen Witch. As Ghost says, "I call on the Frost Giants, but they sure as hell aren't my friends."
Most of the book has a very heavy handed pseudo-Wiccan tone, but while irritating at times, it can be ignored. She is now using "magickal person" instead of witch in her work. For some reason it irritated me as much and sounded so fluffy.
I think what bothered me most about this book -- despite the bits of useful information -- was the feeling that I was being spoken down to all the time. There were many "Mother knows Best" style of comments, and too often I felt force-fed her brand of religion/spirituality. I realize that the author considers herself "Mama Silver," but she isn't my mama.
I think that the one thing I did like about the book was the practical tips scattered through the book. Mostly they were both practical and interesting, though her tone still was a bit much.
Should you buy this book? Well, I probably wouldn't have if I had to pay full price. There are much better books out there on the subject of protection. If you have cash to spare and want a cookbook of spells to use as a jumping off point, then this book might be useful.
Reviewed by Elspeth
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