Return to Cauldron Home Page

Please donate now to pay our monthly server fees:
Donate to The Cauldron
[More Info]

Community Menu
Community Home

Message Board
Board Home
Board Rules
Board Extras:

CauldronMUX [Client]
Sister Forums:
   Asatru Lore


Site Info & Rules
Site Archives
Volunteers Needed
Advertise Here

Pagan Supplies
Buy Pagan Books
Buy Pagan Supplies

Books & Media
Books Home
Games Home
Music: Free | Pagan
Online Books
Pagan Book Browser
   Academic Books
   Divination Decks
   Fiction Books
   Pagan Books
   Speculative Books
   DVD & Videotape
Submit Review

Pagan Features
Article Library
Chat Log Index
File Library
Pagan Holidays
Pagan Primer
Pagan Rituals
Pagan Supplies
Pagan Youth
Spell Grimoire [Blog]
Web Resources

Pagan Living
Cauldron Cookbook
Take Political Action

Back Issues

Other Features
Greeting Cards
Syndicated Articles
World News/Opinion

Cheap Web Hosting
Doxy's Bazaar
Witchcraft Course

Old Indexes
Article Index
Webcrafting Index

Network Sites
Cauldron and Candle
Cauldron's Grimoire
RetroRoleplaying: The Blog
Software Gadgets
The Terran Empire

Site Search
Entire Web
The Cauldron

Member - Pagan Forum Alliance
Charter Member

Get Firefox! While this web site is designed to work in all major browsers, we recommend Firefox.

This site hosted on
a Linode VPS
Formerly hosted by

Why Use Dreamhost?

Site copyright
© 1998-2009
by Randall

Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Mini-Reviews: Pagan Books Search

Pagan Books

Here are some some mini-reviews of Pagan books. These reviews are shorter and somewhat less detailed than our full reviews.

Hoodoo Mysteries

Author: Ray Malbrough
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: November 2003
ISBN: 0738703508
Price & More Info: Click Here

Hoodoo Mysteries: Folk Magic, Mysticism & Rituals discusses Louisiana Hoodoo. According to the author, Hoodoo is a Black American variation on the magickal (but not the religious) practices of Vodoun, which makes considerable, but unorthodox, use of Catholic Saints in its rituals. This book seems to provide quite a bit of information on the practice of Hoodoo, although in some places it seems to be talking about Vodoun instead of Hoodoo. When I showed this book to people more knowledgeable about Hoodoo than I am, they were not impressed with its accuracy. One said that it was at least 70% "pure invention" on Malbrough's part, so if you are interested in authentic Hoodoo information, this book may not provide it.

That said, the book is readable and presents a magick system that should work even if my advisors are correct and the book isn't presenting authentic Hoodoo. Background information, divination methods, and some rituals and magickal procedures are provided. A great deal of time is spent trying to tie Hoodoo into the Qabala and astrology, things that appear somewhat alien to the system as a whole. If you are looking for a magic system other than classic witchcraft, this may be an interesting book. However, if you are looking for authentic information on Hoodoo, this book apparently is not the place to start. -- reviewed by Randall Sapphire

The Wicca Herbal

Author: Jamie Wood
Trade Paperback, 278 pages
Publisher: Celestial Arts
Publication date: September 2003
ISBN: 1587611694
Price & More Info: Click Here

The Wicca Herbal: Recipes, Magick, and Abundance is a fairly basic herbal, providing a few paragraphs of information on the magickal and medicinal uses of about 100 different herbs. What sets this book apart from other herbals is that at least one recipe or ritual is provided for each herb. For example, the entry for basil includes a recipe for "Nirvana Tomato-Basil-Garlic Pasta" and a spell for banishing the winter blues as well as basic information on the uses of basil and on growing basil. The entry for Mugwort includes a recipe for banishment incense and a scrying ritual.

The info on the herbs themselves seems skimpy, however. It appears to be more of a herbal cookbook and ritual book than what I expect when I see a book described as a "herbal." This book is would make an excellent complement to a formal herbal. Most herbals are long on dry data and short of practical applications, while this book is short on the data but full of practical ways to put herbs to use. -- reviewed by Randall Sapphire

The Witch's Familiar

Author: Raven Grimassi
Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: June 2003
ISBN: 0738703397
Price & More Info: Click Here

Occasionally I pick up a book that makes me wonder what the author and publisher were thinking. Raven Grimassi's The Witch's Familiar: Spiritual Partnerships for Successful Magic had me wondering from the minute I started to read it. As he stays away from historical weirdness and religion for the most part and sticks to magick, this book does not annoy me as much as many of his other books do. This book discusses physical, astral, and spiritual familiars and gives techniques for summoning/creating, binding, and controlling familiars.

The techniques Grimassi has chosen (or created) have a very ceremonial magick flavor, complete with various sigils to be used to control and direct a non-physical familiar. While I'm sure they would work, they strike me as more suitable for a ceremonial mage than a witch. This is what makes me wonder what the author and publisher were thinking. Most of the witches who pick up this book are probably going flip through it, see that it has little to do with what they practice, and put it back on the shelf. Readers with a more ceremonial bent, who would be more likely to find the information interesting, will probably will pass over the book because of the title.

If you are interested in a fairly formal handling of familiars, especially in the creation and use of non-physical familiars, you may find this book has some useful ideas on the subject. If you are the average Wiccan or witch, you may find this book disappointingly complex. -- reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Mapping Your Birthchart

Author: Stephanie Jean Clement
Trade Paperback, 228 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: October 2003
ISBN: 0738702021
Price & More Info: Click Here

Introductory astrology books flood bookstore shelves. It seems like there is a new one published every two or three months. Mapping Your Birthchart: Understanding Your Needs & Potential sets itself apart from the pack by skipping all the complex details of creating a chart that usually scares away everyone but the math lovers by including a Windows 95/98/ME/XP program on CD-ROM to create charts. This program also provides basic chart interpretations using the interpretations the author gives in the book. The program works nicely, if not always intuitively.

The book itself is a fairly typical introductory volume on interpreting astrological charts. It discusses the planets, signs, houses, and aspects in basic terms. Example charts are given for a number of famous people (including George W. Bush and Tiger Woods). While the book explains the basics of astrology and chart interpretation well, I found the writing itself boring in some places. Having a fairly easy-to-use program based on the book makes this book stand out in a crowded field and more than makes up for the author's writing style. If you have a computer that uses Windows, are new to astrology, and want to get a fast start on creating and interpreting charts, this is a book you should definitely consider. -- reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Professional Tarot

Author: Christine Jette
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2003
ISBN: 073870217X
Price & More Info: Click Here

Most Tarot books talk about how to read the cards and perhaps give some advice on reading for others. Professional Tarot: The Business of Reading, Consulting, & Teaching is different. It talks about the nitty-gritty details involved in setting up and running a professional Tarot reading and/or teaching business. As someone who has set up and run small businesses, I'm impressed with this book. It covers the nuts and bolts of the business end well, from planning a Tarot business and legal info to ethics, business management and promotional ideas to help one get and keep clients. This book covers a lot of material that I just haven't seen in other books of Tarot reading.

This book does not make any assumptions about how your business will be set up. It not only discusses traditional face to face Tarot consulting businesses, but phone, web based, and teaching businesses as well. Jette writes in a friendly tone and is not afraid to share her personal experiences, both good and bad. One of the problems with Tarot based businesses is that (thanks to some of those "psychic hotlines" who would hire people based not on their reading ability but their ability to keep people on the line for long periods of time) tarot readers are often seen as scam artists. To help counter this claim, the author encourages a strong set of business ethics. If you are thinking of becoming a professional Tarot reader, read Professional Tarot: The Business of Reading, consulting, & Teaching. You will not regret the money spent. -- reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Top | Home | Message Board | Site Info & Rules | Report Site Problems
Thanks to Cauldron Sponsors
(Sponsor The Cauldron!)

Cheap Web Hosting Report | Pagan & Magick Supplies
Witchcraft Course
Download Hundreds of Magic Spells