An Enchanted Life – Patricia Telesco – May BBBR

An Enchanted Life: An Adept’s Guide to Masterful Magick
Patricia Telesco
New Page, 2002
224 pages

This is one of a number of books that have come out in recent years that have attempted to break beyond the paganism/magic 101 barrier. Rather than giving all the answers, Telesco instead works to give the reader a lot to think about–something that’s exceptionally important when moving beyond the basics.

There are dozens of incredibly useful exercises in the book. Some involve self-questioning and reflection; others provide the reader lessons in shifting perceptions. They’re much more in-depth than yet another pile of precrafted spells and rituals, and the reader who makes use of them won’t be disappointed. The first two chapters of the book deal mainly with perceptions and awareness, as well as working more with all five senses, not just sight, our primary sense.

The rest of the book is dedicated to four different archetypes–the Healer, the Teacher, the Warrior and the Visionary. Now, this is just a personal preference, but I’m not really fond of directing people towards specific roles. While I understand the reasoning behind promoting archetypes as templates of the self, the problem is that people have a tendency to lock themselves firmly into those archetypes, newbies especially. I think, perhaps, it would be wiser to offer up archetypes, but then encourage the reader to learn to take them all on, rather than sticking with whatever “element” or “role’ they feel they fit the most. IMO, the more advanced you get, the more adaptable you may need to be (even as you may have your specialties).

I wouldn’t call this an advanced text; rather, it’s intermediate-right-after-the-basics. It’s the kind of book you give to a person when they’re just beginning to branch out from learning about the Sabbats, and correspondences, and some of the more common deities and spirits. Despite my qualms about the archetypes, I do think it’s a great text for bridging the way between basic and intermediate magical work, and the wealth of information and exercises in the text is the real strength of this book.

Four pawprints out of five.

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