The Birth Order Book
Dr. Kevin Leman
Okay, so this month’s Bargain Bin Book Review technically isn’t a book on magic or other esoteric topics; however, I found it in the pagan/occult section of the clearance rack, so I say it counts . Though jokes aside, I actually found it to be a good read, and I think that psychology can be an incredibly useful tool in magical works; I’ll explain more in a bit.
The basic premise is that our personalities are shaped by how our parents treat us based on our birth order. For example, the firstborn child generally gets a lot of attention coupled with a lot of responsibility, the middle children may feel somewhat ignored (depending on circumstances), and the babies of the families often rule the roost. Only children may additionally take after the firstborns, though there are unique traits as well. All of these are presented as generalizations based on the author’s observations among his patients, rather than hard and fast dogma. I found a lot to resonate with as a youngest child who was also a quasi-only due to being the youngest by nine and a half years. There’s also a lot of material on coping with your birth order “issues”, as well as tips on marriages between different birth orders, and information about how to work with your own children to avoid programming the worst traits into them by accident.
Where I see this as being useful for magical practitioners is as a complement for things like astrology and tarot reading, as well as other systems that either deal with telling a person something about hirself and/or that rely on knowing something about the person to get results. While birth order isn’t everything, it can add a dimension of understanding to a person’s internal and external environments. If you’re currently slogging through old conditioning and other such things, either through meditation or other methods, this may be an interesting book that provides some food for thought on how you got to be the way you are. It’s not a complete guide, but it gave me something to think about.
Four pawprints out of five.