Book of Witchery by Ellen Dugan

Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms and Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan
Llewellyn, 2009
321 pages

Note: This is a guest review by Bronwen Forbes, who graciously agreed to take on some of the extra review copies I had when I decided to go on semi-hiatus.

I am thoroughly enjoying this guest review gig here; I’m going to be sorry when Lupa runs out of books for me to review!

Next on my pile is Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week by Ellen Dugan. I wish she’d written this book in the mid-1980s when I, a new Pagan, was struggling with correspondences and magick and trying to get some sort of regular personal spiritual practice started – preferably one that didn’t involve my almost burning down my own house during a solitary Lammas ritual (which is another story for another day).

Dugan refers to this work as her Book of Shadows. However, unlike most Books of Shadows, this one is organized by the day of the week rather than by season or by Sabbat – which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense, especially for beginning ritualists and spellcrafters. There is also an extra section on full moon workings for each day of the week; If the full moon is on a Monday, do this, if it’s on a Wednesday, do this. Why overwhelm readers with long, complicated sabbat rituals that they can only do once a year and promptly forget when they can cut their teeth on small workings that can be done fifty-two times a year. Frequency breeds familiarity and competence; the more one does a ritual, the easier it becomes to do it, and Dugan had a stroke of genius to make magick, spells and kitchen witchery accessible to all with this format. Kudos!

As a quick reference for correspondences, this book has some value for the more experienced practitioner as well. I’ve never memorized correspondences beyond the basics, have you? However, devotees of the various deities connected with each day of the week may wince at the oversimplification of their Patron’s/Matron’s aspects and history. Fortunately there is enough material about the mentioned deities elsewhere (including the Internet), so anyone who wants to know more can easily research them in depth.

Overall, though, this is a useful, well-written, logically organized book. Alas, my current living situation is such that I cannot try any of Dugan’s spells or rituals for myself and report on their efficacy. If I could, I definitely would!

Four and a half paws out of five!

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