Your Magickal Cat – Gerina Dunwich

Your Magickal Cat: Feline Magick, Lore and Worship
Gerina Dunwich
Citadel, 2000
169 pages

In recent years there have been several books out detailing the magical and religious lore surrounding cats throughout history. This is one of the older ones, though not the first. However, it follows pretty much the standard formula–after all, there’s really only so much you can dig up on one particular animal. Cats seem to get all the books, though, simply because they’re the animals most associated with witches, the target audience.

The book is about 2/3 mythology, folklore and superstitions from various cultures. There’s the prerequisite discussion on Egypt, Bast and Sekhmet, as well as the Inquisition-era feline familiar. It’s pretty standard material that you’d find in just about any book on animal mythology; the one advantage is that it’s all collected in one place.

Dunwich does add some of her own original work throughout the book, mostly consisting of–you guessed it–spells. Her chapter on familiars isn’t particularly practical, though she does mention that not all pets a witch owns are familiars. Still, most of the information is vague, and a large portion of the chapter deals with how to name your familiar.

The chapter on feline totems is similarly basic, and this is one of the downfalls of the glut of 101 material–it skims over a bunch of topics without really going into any real depth. There’s really not enough in any of the “practical” material to really do much of anything beyond a couple of spells.

Then there’s the cat astrology section. Dunwich basically takes sun sign astrology and turns it into a kitty horoscope. You don’t need astrology to tell you what sort of personality your cat has–that’s what observation is for.

Overall, I’m not particularly impressed. The research on the historical end was good, but the practical material left a lot to be desired. Get it if you need a quick reference to feline lore, but otherwise feel free to spend your money on toys for your cat instead.

Three pawprints out of five.

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