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Need opinions on some books

Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:10 am
by underlilith
Ok, well I'm expanding my library. I've already ordered a Waite-Tarot Deck with a comprehensive guide to tarot. I'm also getting the Key of Solomon (greater and lesser), and the Book of Abramelin the Mage. Now i'm looking at candle magick and I can't decide on "Advanced Candle Magick" by Raymond Buckland or "Mastering Candle Magick" by Patricia Telesco. Also, I know Buckland is kind of main-stream so i really wasn't sure if he was any good or not, any comments? is he good, or is he a cheap fake is the question in lay-man's terms i guess.

Also, i'm looking for a good book on Alchemy, I saw the "complete Idiots guide to alchemy" which i think their books are usually pretty good, but i can't help but want something more specific or "in-depth".

This one i saw, caught my eye but again, because of the main-stream i was kinda wary of it, "Everyday Magic" by Dorothy Morrison, along with "Charms, Spells, and Formulas" by Ray Malbrough.

Another author which i wanted to check is Scott Cuningham. Same thing for him as Buckland. Is he any good or is he trash?

One book i HAVE decided on is "The New Encyclopedia of Occult" by John Greer. That'll be for later because i just ordered like 5 books just yesterday, so i'm just preparing for the next order. ;)

Sorry for the long post, tried to space it out as best i could so it's easier to read and everything (that always helps me out). I apreciate any and all comments and opinions. I look forward to reading your replies.

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:19 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
I have one Scott Cunningham book called The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews. The shaman-witch in me loves it. I've not read anything else, but if you are interested in making your own herbal supplies, it's a good read. I've heard mixed reviews on Scott Cunningham.

Wish I could give you reviews on the others, but they have not crossed my path. Have you looked to see if they are featured in the Book Club section? (Which I am transferring this thread to, btw)

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:47 pm
by Kitsune
I only have one Scott Cunningham book, but I've read two... The man did seem to know what he was talking about, and both made quite a bit of sense. Unfortunately, I haven't personally read any of the others you mentioned so I can't help you out there. Do a general check on their names on-line and type in "reviews". It should come up with most of the reviews and then you'll be able to tell by those if they should be okay. Generally, someone who speaks like newbie and says it's great, combined with someone with a bit more experiance using the term "Fluffy" should be able to provide an okay guide. :roll: :lol:

Good luck with those!

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:45 am
by Willow
I've read Scott Cunningham, I consider him kind of foundational (good to read but you need to read other opinions after his) but I feel like he often puts his way as the only right way.

Just MHO.

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:00 am
by Lotus
"Charms, Spells, and Formulas" by Ray Malbrough.

I have this book. I have owned it for many years actually.
Some of the stuff seems like it is on a noob level but it is not. He is very good at explaning things in a very simple manner. I would put extra caution and consideration to anything taken from this book. There are many things that he fails to give a proper background to. Very Santeria.
John Greer is a good author and very Ceremonial magick. I have read a few things of his.

Even though Cunningham now has the reputation of being fluffy he is not. I have always loved his books. You do have to realize that when he was writing he was the "original gangster" of Wicca. People had his books before they had anything from Raymond Buckland (Godfather of Wicca).
I have met both Morrison and Buckland in person.
Buckland's books got nicknamed, "how many candles does it take to burn down your place magick."
Morrison's books are good but you have to realize that Llewellyn Publications edits the living heck out of Wiccan books where it seems like these authors are just writing fluff.
I know a guy Frater Andrieh Vitimus who will be comming out with an Occult book from Llewellyn. Knows his stuff. Llewellyn publication for some odd reason is not as harsh editing "occult" books than they are "wiccan" books.
Pick up his book when it comes out.

Patricia Telesco
I have met her in person as well. I dislike her with a passion. She acts like she is the queen bee of Wicca. After meeting her, I have never been able to read on of her books without thinking of it as crap.
AJ Drew
Even though you did not bring up his name.
I have met this jerk in person as well. He is not really a wiccan and wrote books for money and prestigue. Oddly *cough* He is no longer wiccan when (I suspect) he realized there is no real money or prestique there.
He did write a book called Wicca for Men where the idea of it is good. Too bad someone else did not write this book.

BB
Lotus

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:44 am
by underlilith
Thank you very much everyone. Expecially you Lotus! :-D

Sorry everybody, but she did hit everyone on my list lol.

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:16 pm
by white_harmony
I wish I even had access to some of those books! lol .. We seem to find a piece of gold once in a blue moon around here (well, when we were living in our old place, we just moved back to the city so *hopefully* that will change! lol) .. But unless you go to a specialty store (ie - my favorite crystal store, who stock pretty much everything) be prepared to either not find what you're after, or be charged a fortune.

But I will say - Scott Cunningham .. I love his books. I have quite a few of them now. Might I suggest adding his Dictionary of the Esoteric to your list of orders? It was one of his first books that I had read and found to be quite handy. When I find the rest of my books (I still have unpacking to do ><) I'll have a flick through them for some other good books for you. Sadly, other than Cunningham, I do not know any of the other books you were talking about ><.

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:06 am
by ImMappaM
Namaste and Greetings

It's great that you are expanding your knowledge. Just remember that education without application is lost to the wind. We remember so much more when we put it to practical use. And with that said, it's wise to always keep your own library even if it's only in the form notes.

Many of the books and topics you all have listed are indeed, good topical reading I personally have many that have been mentioned. It's important to build on the knowledge that you already possess though, it makes so much more sense that way and you will understand the steps as you learn more. And though some of these books such as topiced by the Keys of Solomon are of specific spiritual paths, there is much to be gained from that and other spiritual practices. There isn't an organized or non-organized religion out there that doesn't practice some sort of magicks in some form or another. Yes the Christians too practice magick even though they denounce the practitionor. lol Silly ppl!

I guess the bottom line is to learn and understand as much as you can, dabble in it all, but practice what is useful and works and be true to your own beliefs. Even the simplest of understood knowledge can be powerful when you believe in what you're doing.

As for my opinion, start where you are and what you are interested in learning more about. That is where you will have the most success. Don't follow a writer, for they don't know it all and won't tell you all they know. Rather follow a subject and all the aspects that go along with it.

Brightest Blessings
~MappaM~

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:04 am
by Max
Hi. In my opinion I think you should grab a general book (breadth rather than depth) then see what takes your fancy from there. Sometimes it's difficult to know where to start with it all!
I wondered where I recognised the name, so I checked and remembered that a Scott Cunningham book was lent to me years and years ago back in my teens by a friend. I remember it being very engaging, informative and easy to read. Especially good if you want to recall all the basics (Like I said, as I remember it). The only book on this subject I've ever owned is a Susan Bowes book given as a gift. I don't really know much about her but it is beautiful to look at, and she tried to cram so much information into less than 200 pages! Can't comment on the others books yet as I am still in my centuries-old books phase. Enjoy the learning, it's very exciting :-)

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:25 am
by Lotus
underlilith wrote:Thank you very much everyone. Expecially you Lotus! :-D

Sorry everybody, but she did hit everyone on my list lol.
Hey, No problem at all. I am always happy to share.

BB
Lotus

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:35 pm
by underlilith
Max wrote:Hi. In my opinion I think you should grab a general book (breadth rather than depth) then see what takes your fancy from there. Sometimes it's difficult to know where to start with it all!
I wondered where I recognised the name, so I checked and remembered that a Scott Cunningham book was lent to me years and years ago back in my teens by a friend. I remember it being very engaging, informative and easy to read. Especially good if you want to recall all the basics (Like I said, as I remember it). The only book on this subject I've ever owned is a Susan Bowes book given as a gift. I don't really know much about her but it is beautiful to look at, and she tried to cram so much information into less than 200 pages! Can't comment on the others books yet as I am still in my centuries-old books phase. Enjoy the learning, it's very exciting :-)

I've already gone past beginner general books. I'm going into the stage of specialization which is why i'm looking into which are the best authors. I have chosen High Ceremonial Magick and Chaos Magick as my specializations as of right now. If you have any advice please feel free to keep posting.

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:53 am
by Max
(I should have guessed that but I'm new and still getting used to recognising people on the forum.) As you are advanced I would advise not Cunningham then. You'll have to report back on the books you read, tell us how you get on. x

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:39 pm
by Crazy Healer Lady
Max don't worry :)

And hey I'm what some would call "advanced" but I picked up a Scott Cunningham book a year or two ago, and enjoyed it while learning a few good things :) No one is above any sort of literature. I still enjoy reading kids books, for instance. "I am a puppy. [flip page] My name is Bruno." :lol:

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:01 pm
by underlilith
Max wrote:(I should have guessed that but I'm new and still getting used to recognising people on the forum.) As you are advanced I would advise not Cunningham then. You'll have to report back on the books you read, tell us how you get on. x
lol. Its fine. I might refer back to him if i get into herbology but I think that there are other things i am searching for first is all. No biggie.

Re: Need opinions on some books

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:50 pm
by S├Čle
underlilith wrote:Also, I know Buckland is kind of main-stream so i really wasn't sure if he was any good or not, any comments?

...

Another author which i wanted to check is Scott Cuningham. ... Is he any good or is he trash?
I would not recommend either of these authors' books. :smt011