The Witch’s Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter

The Witch’s Book of Spirits
Devin Hunter
Llewellyn, 2017

wp36 witches book of spirits review cover

Review by Lisa McSherry.

A follow up to his previous work (The Witch’s Book of Power, Llewellyn 2016), The Witch’s Book of Spirits is an interesting and provocative look at the many inhabitants of the Spirit World.

Many witches see working with non-human beings as a vital part of their practice. I’m a witch who is not a medium: I do not easily, nor naturally, communicate with spirits. For these reasons, I’ll admit that much of what Hunter discusses has little meaning for me: the author and I don’t share a common understanding of the concepts involved. But many of the witches I know and work with do have more natural relationships with the spirits, and their knowledge helps me to evaluate Hunter’s expertise.

The Witch’s Book of Spirits guides the reader in working with spirits and developing mediumship-related abilities. The information is easily understandable and many exercises. Hunter constantly reminds the reader to take precautions, and provides techniques in how to keep unwanted spirits at bay or how to remove them if they refuse to leave. The chapter “Staying on Top” to be an excellent guide maintaining proper boundaries, and this chapter alone justifies putting this book into my must-read list for newcomers to the Craft.

The book is broken into three parts: “The Familiar Craft,” “The Spirits of the Art,” and “The Grimoire of the 33 Spirits.” At the end of chapters, Hunter includes journal topics to prompt exploration into the topics discussed. “The Familiar Craft” provides a massive amount of information on terminology and processes. Topics include flying, conjuring, safety, mediumship, and planes of existence. In “The Spirits of the Art,” Hunter names four most common types of spirits: angels, the dead, faeries, and demons. Finally, in “The Grimoire of the 33 Spirits or the Book of the VEXNA-KARI,” we go in a completely different direction. Channeled from his familiar Malach, Hunter kicks off this section with humorous personal reflection about the message he received from Malach and then the messages that came through afterward from the 33 Spirits.

A little vinegar with all this honey: the author truly believes that he doesn’t do “high” or “ceremonial” magic, even going so far as to say: “Ceremonial magic… is really the magic of the aristocracy.” I would agree with him that CM is very aristocratic and exclusive. Nonetheless, quite a few of his techniques and rituals are pretty darn formal … and ceremonial. I found The Witch’s Book of Spirits to be a useful and challenging work that will likely become a book I recommend frequently.

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