For: Intermediate learners
Why intermediate and not beginner?: The book does not have the standard disclaimer like so many others with the usual chapter of ‘No, we don’t worship the devil’ and only a very brief warning on not to hex thanks to the Threefold Law and the vow to Harm None. This book makes a very small attempt on page 11 to make any such warnings and actually includes hexes within it as well as the use of ‘Devil Oil’ which I’m assuming is an old recipe. There’s even a spell to get someone in your workplace to quit their job, which clearly goes against the Threefold Law. As you know, I warn anyone and everyone NOT to do a love spell and this book is full of them! Read my entry against hexes and love spells here.
This book would be very confusing for a beginner, and I would suggest that those in their second degree ought to read this, so that they have their experience behind them to discern between kind and (honestly) immoral spells. It is suitable for those in their second degree wanting to expand their knowledge once you have the bones of writing a ritual, you can then refer to this book within the subject area you’re looking to resolve/cure/banish etc.
Why is it worth getting?: This certainly is an interesting book. With 1000 spells, the book isn’t large, but heavy! It is a mish-mash of short, basic spells intertwined with more complex ones, all of which are easy to do. Illes introduces us to all kinds of old-fashioned sounding spells, and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether she has just made some up or whether some of these are really tried and true from ancient
Europe. Despite my concerns about the hexes etc above, she does have some gorgeous short spells such as ‘Broken Heart Bath,’ ‘Easy Speedy (baby) Delivery,’ and even spells to reverse spells that you’ve cast and hex breaking – which I’ve never seen anywhere before.
Her introduction is marvellous as it takes you through a general history of Witchcraft, what magic is and the various cultural interpretations from past to present to give you an all-round concept of what magick means around the world & how it is put into context from the perspective of the Wiccan and the outsider.
There are remnances of old-fashioned Witchcraft, including old cures such as the following:
Iron Dental Health Spell
The following is a German recommendation to soothe a toothache. Heat a horseshoe or other piece of iron until extremely hot. Pour oil into the heated iron. The rising fumes will allegedly ease the pain. If it is safe to do so (there is no need to exchange toothache for a painful scald), bend over the fumes, exposing the tender spot.
All-in-all it is a marvellous book to have which you will spend years rifling through and discovering things in. Certainly, I wouldn’t have it as my one and only spell book. If you’re a beginner, start with these books before going anywhere else.
Judika has also written:
Encyclopedia of Spirits
The Dream Dictionary from A to Z
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies
The Element Encyclopedia of Ghosts & Hauntings
The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures
The Element Encyclopedia of Birthdays
Image from Amazon.com