My reviews have been pretty damn glowing that you might think I only have positive things to say about everything I touch. Well buckle up buttercup because this is not that. I’ve read a fair few things that have made me second guess why I got up that day. This book made me second guess why I ever learned to read. If I wanted to make Paganism look bad this would be the book I would use.
Here’s the thing, I brought this book after only reading the back cover because, well, I really trusted Moon Publishing. I have a few of their books and I’ve enjoyed them. And yeah, that past tense is for a very fucking good reason. I can, in a single sentence tell you why you should not make the same mistake I did. One of the contributors to this book was 16 at the time of writing. The group that worked on this book are based out of the state of New York where the age of consent is 17. So I got my first “yikes” just from reading the about the authors section. I felt so uncomfortable I had to put the books down and walk away. They use the pen name of “The Sacrificial Virgin” it’s presented jokingly and even me with my very dark sense of humour was again kind of uncomfortable.
Then there is the fucking rampant herteronormativity, there’s a lot of queer Pagans and Witches out there and this book is very much not aimed at them. Oh and the if you don’t have an orgasm after simply casting a circle are you really doing it correctly? fucking horse shit. No I don’t and I never have and yes I am doing it correctly. Everyone experiences spirituality and witchcraft differently and that borderline gate keeping of only one way is not cute or welcome.
And the struggle to continue overtook me. It’s less than 100 pages and I cannot bring myself to finish it because I just don’t hate myself that much. I’ve read a lot and I really do mean a lot of books about sexuality, BDSM in particular and you know what has always come first and foremost? Safety. It’s just over half way through the book safe sex is addressed and gets another maybe page mentioning safe sex and condoms again. Apparently consent comes up according to a review I read a couple of days ago but they didn’t make it sound like a good job of addressing it was done. (I’m sorry I couldn’t find it skimming through and I just could not finish this dumpster fire.)
Is it at least well written? Well I would sack the editor and anyone who proof read this glorified pamphlet. It has genuinely made me question ever buying another book by this publisher and the best thing about this book is that paper is recyclable.
I’m going to do that “not all” line but honestly not all Pagans and witches are like this. If you want a good book on ethical magic (I don’t use magic with a k for reasons but I’ve talked enough about my spirituality enough I think) please read anything by Scott Cunningham. I’m not even going to post links to this book because I will not encourage anyone to read it. That said I’m now going to try and forget this book ever existed.