Author Archives: John Griogair Bell

Ritual Book of Herbal Spells

Anonymous review of Ritual Book of Herbal Spells: A Collection of Unusual Spells From the Hither and Yon, Incorporating the Use of Herbs. by Aima in the Bkwyrm archive.

This book has a simple cover, no frills, and is to the point. It’s a book written for the use of herbs during rituals.

It was written during the 1970’s which in itself, is not a bad thing. There are several well written and useful books published during that time, involving the Occult, the Craft, and spiritual matters. However, “Ritual Book of Herbal Spells” is not one of them.

Much of the information for rituals in this book was obtained from oral legends and interpretations of Voodoo Masters and Qabalists, as stated in the foreword, but alas, like many legends and oral rituals passed down from generation to generation; the original ritual or reading becomes garbled and the meaning lost, such as the King James version of the Bible. The majority of “Ritual Book of Herbal Spells” was meant for the “hexing” of someone, or the removal of “hexes”; using Voodoo and Qabalist rituals, which are seen throughout the book. However; there are a few useful passages on the uses of absinthe and the like, just not many.

If someone wanted a book involving rituals using herbs, I would not recommend this one, unless the reader was looking for a good laugh.

Find this book at Amazon, Amazon.

The chant shattered and repeated like the diabolic designs in the pagan mosaics that snared the eyes and mind—forms without images, the ghosts of flowers and fruit, the convolutions of the brain.

Mary Sativa, The Lovers’ Crusade

Rune Magic

Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews Rune Magic by Donald Tyson in the Bkwyrm archive.

The author is a ceremonial magician, more at home with the Qabala than with anything Norse–and it shows in his book. Tyson’s rituals read as if he’d stolen them from a Judeo-Christian magical group and substituted Norse god-names for the originals. His interpretations of the runes also tend toward black-and-white thinking, more Biblical than Norse. (He translates Thurisaz as “devil”, saying that the rune “signifies a bad man or woman” in a reading.) The book also contains some rather poor poetry which Tyson supposedly channeled in an attempt to “communicate with each rune”.

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Runic States

Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews Runic States: a Shamanic Perception of Quantum Realities by Kevin Steffens in the Bkwyrm archive.

Steffens seems interested in making the runes relevant and understandable to a modern audience–which is a good thing in itself, although his approach isn’t. It’s hard to take the author of a magic book seriously when he constantly alludes to science fiction and pop culture; it’s also hard to accept someone who ignores some basic beliefs of the culture he draws on (like the moon being male and the sun female in Norse tradition). To make matters worse, Steffens makes some very sexist remarks about the role of women in both ancient and modern cultures; this alone will offend some female readers.

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The library fell silent from its usual magical chatter as if all the books waited with bated breath to see

Josephine McCarthy, The Last Scabbard