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Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Magical Creatures Search

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Book Review:
Magical Creatures

Author: Elizabeth Pepper
Trade Paperback, 97 pages
Publisher: Witches' Almanac Ltd.
Publication date: 2000
List: US$12.95
ISBN: 1881098141
Price & More Info: Click Here

The late Elizabeth Pepper (editor with John Wilcox of The Witches' Almanac for many years) has produced a bestiary composed of three classes of animals - tame, wild, and "fabulous." The entries have been drawn from articles which have appeared in the Almanac over the year (including this year's edition).

The tame creatures range from the always popular pets (cats and dogs), to domesticated fowls (geese, roosters and hawks, among others) to farm animals (goats and swine among them). The wild creatures range from those capable of terrifying (bats and snakes and spiders, oh my!) to those which inspire affection (swans and dolphins jump to mind), while the "fabulous" range from the basilisk (quite terrifying) to the gentle unicorn.

There are 31 creatures in this hand book (the fabulous ones getting the short end of the count with only nine entries, which is really too bad in my opinion). Obviously, it isn't possible to go into great depth on the traditions and lore associated with any one of these animals, but there is enough information to, perhaps, pique your interest and inspire further personal research.

Each entry is accompanied by woodcuts and line drawings, some quite basic and some quite interesting. This book will serve as a good, basic introduction to animal symbolism and beliefs. Personally, I would have appreciated a short bibliography to help newcomers continue their animal education. But you can't have everything in a single book.

If you have been collecting The Witches' Almanac over the years you will already have these articles. This book simply assembles them into a single, convenient source.

I am happy to have this convenient little book in my library, and do not hesitate to recommend it as a basic component in any Pagan's personal library.

Reviewed by Mike Gleason

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