Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Witches' Book of the Dead

Available at Weiser Online Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

In The Witches' Book of the Dead, modern-day Salem Warlock Christian Day shows how the spirits of our beloved dead can be summoned to perform such tasks as helping you to discover hidden opportunities, influence the minds of others, seduce the object of your affection, and even reach into the dreams of the unwary. According to legend, the Spirits of the dead can confer magical talents, fame, love, and wealth on those brave enough to summon them.

The Witches' Book of the Dead explores the enduring relationship between witches and the dead and teaches rituals and incantations to help readers open doorways to the spirit world.

Topics include:
  • Legendary Witches who have raised the dead, including The Witch of Endor, Circe, and Erichtho
  • Creating ancestral altars and building relationships with spirits
  • The tools of Necromancy: the bronze dagger, yew wand, iron keys, graveyard dust, the offering cauldron, spirit powders, the human skull, and more.
  • Methods of spirit contact, including automatic writing, scrying mirrors, spirit boards, pendulums, and spirit mediumship
  • The ancient arts of necromancy as a method of conjuring the dead to assist in magic
  • Ridding yourself of unwanted spirits using rituals of cleansing, banishing and exorcism
  • Ghost hunting techniques that combine psychic wisdom with modern technology
  • Communing with the dead in dreams
  • Sacred holidays and powerful celebrations of the dead
  • Resources on where to ethically obtain the tools of the trade
  • An overview of the feared deities of the Underworld
  • Rituals, recipes, exercises, and more!
Dare to walk between the worlds with Christian Day as he guides you across the River Styx into the shadowy realms where the dead long to connect with us once more!

I started this book with all sorts of misconceptions. Christian Day - and this is no secret to him - is kind of out there on the fringe. He is testing limits, making people uncomfortable. Nothing he does would be considered "normal." There's a skull on the cover - and I learned this guy has a name, Robert. And in his author picture he is holding Robert and an Anubis rattle.

Once I got through the first chapter my mind was blown away. The forward was written by Raven Grimassi, another well known witch author. And the respect he has for Christian was impressive. As for the book, it is full to bursting with rituals, information and stories. There are 6 pages for the bibliography and a few more for notes. There's even an index and an appendix. Appendix A has recipes for Spirit Powder, Necromancy Incense, Anointing Oil, and Food for the Dead. Appendix B lists several "Deities of the Dead." And Appendix C lists several resources to find the needed items to perform any of the rituals in the book.

The writing itself was entertaining and insightful. Even if you have no hint of desire to explore necromancy, you could still enjoy this book. I was fascinated by the rituals and the anecdotal evidence throughout the book, but the myths he scattered through as background gripped me. Christian Day gets kudos for being a great author as well as informed. I swear I love this guy now!

This is a very serious book. It is light reading for some parts, but Christian doesn't hold back on the warnings. These rituals are serious and dealing with the dead is extremely serious. He tells you things you need, but follows them with fair warning. Like obtaining a skull, he gives you a website where you can obtain skulls legally and reminds readers that desecrating graves is illegal and will land you in jail. There is call for blood offerings (only ever a few drops), but over and over and over again he tells readers to use a clean lancet from the drugstore. And also when working in groups to avoid the blood all together. There is balance within these pages.

He takes the free-love hippie out of Wicca and brings back a bit of the witchcraft and necromancy (divination through communication with the dead) of old, along with a healthy dose of common sense. Next thing I am doing with this book is reading it again. Sorry you are going to have to get your own (it is available as an eBook).

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