Animal Magick – D.J. Conway

Animal Magick
D.J. Conway
Llewellyn Publications, 1993

I was rather unimpressed by this book. I’ve read a lot of books on animal magic and neopagan totemism, and this is one of the ones I advise people to pass by in favor of others.

The writing itself isn’t too bad. Conway does have an easy writing style to read, and she’s good with 101 audiences. And she does get a pretty decent variety of animals in her book, rather than just the big, impressive North American mammals and birds.

The research isn’t so great. One example is her entry on the ferret. She doesn’t seem to be able to tell the difference between a domesticated ferret and an ermine. The entry reports that ferrets change color seasonally; the fact is while their coats may differ in shade a bit from shed to shed, they do not have a brown phase and a white phase as ermines do. She also says that the domestic ferret is bloodthirsty. Not so. Anyone who has owned ferrets knows that they have pretty much no survival instincts remaining–a ferret released into the wild will be dead inside of a week. I owned ferrets for a number of years; any ferret owner could have given her better information.

The rest of the book is scattered with questionable research. And, as with so many books of this genre, there are no in-text citations telling where she got her information.

There are much, much better books out there. Save your money on this one.

1 pawprint out of 5.

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