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The Modern Witch's Spellbook...any good?

To: alt.magick,alt.pagan,alt.religion.wicca,alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi
From: (Lorax)
Subject: Re: The Modern Witch's Spellbook...any good?
Date: 24 Oct 1995 00:10:39 -0700

ky951023 [get your jammies on, I'm turning up the heat]

non sequitur (
|> that piece of rubbish contained spells requiring the sacrifice of black 
|> chickens at crossroads and other such drivel. 

A very legitimate spell.  Prude.  We ought to send you to Africa.

|> Also, and I'm not sure if 
|> this matters to you, but oh well, its definition of "witch" is as far 
|> removed from Wicca as Pat Robertson's.

Ewwwww, perhaps you should stick with Marion Weinstein (I keep wanting
to say 'Diane', hmph). (Falerin) writes:
|I am not sure about the chickens part but from my expereince this piece 
|of shit is so ultra femmenist it is not funny it is predjudicial in the 
|extreme. One might find one piece of value in the thing if they look very 
|very hard but that is even doubtful.

I've that book in the library, I'll get it......

Got it used at the local bookstore, .75.  Definitely worth it.  With the
prices of *new* books these days, matters are more difficult, however.

By Sarah Lyddon Morrison, _The Modern Witch's Spellbook: Everything You
 Need to Know to Cast Spells, Work Charms and Love Magic, and Achieve
 What You Want in Life Through Occult Powers_, Lyle Stuart Inc., 1971.

At least that is my copy.  The author specifically gives warnings not to 
"fool around with recipes they're not entirely sure will come off", whatever
this might mean, though she seems to have covered many of the bases for 

Please substantiate your characterization of her book as 'ultra-feminist'
or at least what this means to you.  I can detect no feminist leanings
of any 'ultra' sort from my brief refresh.

|> I vote no. If you must buy a book, get something by Crowley, Regardie, 
|> Fortune, even Scott Cunningham, not this one.

|I vote no too., But i think books are useful I agree with Cunningham 
|Regardie and Fortune and i agree with Crowley so long as it is Viviane you
|are talking about. I have about as much apreciation for Mr. A. Crowley as 
|I do for say...Anton LaVey

Well, that says much, doesn't it?  Ok, so it looks like this book will
appeal to the more adventurous mages, the ones who consider themselves
'witches but not Wiccans', the Satanic Witches, etc., etc., where the
author is not all emotionally tied up over whether we'll use their
spells to hurt kittens (the ideal represented by _Positive Magic..._).

I find the book very useful as a reference source.  Morrison does
precisely what her subtitle promises, in very nice prose from what
I can see, and she has a good contents and index (eat your heart
out Llewellyn ;>).

|> Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Give me a break.  Don't bother trying to quote the Evil Book unless you 
know how.

|Nice quote i like it.....

Heh, from the Crowley-hater.

Peter R. Paulding (
|>|I have had several chances to buy The Modern Witch's Spellbook, but have
|>|held off for one simple reason.  I'm not sure if it is of any real value,
|>|could somebidy help me decide?  Thanks.

It depends on what you need and what kind of person you are.  We can tell you
what kinds of people are likely to enjoy this book (it seems the more
independent of mind and courageous of heart qualify here, while those who
want Safe Recipes and sugar-coated prophylaxis will best steer clear).

Lorax the Evil Witch

PS, other books I found in the same section (I keep it right next to the
    'Satanism' section, across the room from 'Wicca'):

	_The Do-It-Yourself Witchcraft Guide_, by Luba Sevarg (Evelyn
         Silverman Graves), Award Books, 1971 (popular year for witches)
	 Nice book, no index, good glossary, nice contents, good text 

	_The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft_, by Kathryn Paulsen,
	 Signet Books, 1970 (these all fall into the same publishing
	 spree just after the England laws got rescinded, perhaps?)
	 Nice book, no index, excellent tables/biblio, very practical

	_The Weekend Witch_, by Lynda Lawrence, Books For Better Living,
	 1974 (slightly later and more geared toward the housewife)
	 Satisfactory book, no index, small contents, good basic primer tho

	_The Black Art_, by Rollo Ahmed, Paperback Library, 1968 (this
	 one was written in 1938!  First printed in 1968 though)
	 Excellent book, good index, contents, no biblio, more historical

	_Witchcraft_, by William Seabrook, Lancer Books, 1968 (this one
	 was written in 1940!  First printed in 1968; a pattern it seems)
	 Nice book, no index, good appendix, no biblio, sensationalist

	_Witches U.S.A._, by Susan Roberts, Dell Books, 1971 (this one
	 is more of a journalist's witch wet dream, look into broomcloset)
	 Satisfactory book, no index, scant contents, no biblio, might
	 be more Wiccan in tone, but due to date is probably not as
	 consistent or harm-phobic as present Wicca appears to be)

	You can also find Hans Holzer, Sybil Leek and a troupe of others
	putting out books about this time with a great lack of substance.
	The better compendiums were probably overlooked on the popular
	market unless there was some kind of organized authority to the
	individual putting forth the data (as Crowley, later Gardner 
	and Valiente, Idries Shah, etc.)

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