Monday, April 4, 2011

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches

Witches peek from greeting cards and advertisements, and they dig twisted roots from the ground. Witches dance beneath the stars and lurk around cauldrons. Witches heal, witches scare, witches creep, and witches teach! A compendium of witches through the ages, from earliest prehistory to some of the most significant modern practitioners, The Weiser Field Guide to Witches explores who and what is a witch. From such famed historical legends as Aleister Crowley, Marie Laveau and Elizabeth Bathory to the popular literary and cinematic figures Harry Potter and The Wicked Witch of the West, Illes offers a complete range of the history of witches. Included also are the sacred--Isis, Hekate, Aradia--and the profane--the Salem Witch trials and The Burning Times. The Weiser Field Guide to Witches is appropriate for readers of all ages and serves as an excellent and entertaining introduction for those fascinated by the topic. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This book caught my eye when it came out last October. I was very thrilled to receive a copy from the publisher for review and have enjoyed every second of it. Author Judika Illes does a wonderful job of  breaking up the book into chapters such as Types of Witches, Arts and Crafts, Entertaining Witches, Travel Tips and even a chapter to figure out if you yourself may be a witch.

The photography and illustrations range from historical to modern, humorous to serious.

I enjoyed the range of subjects and will be keeping this book in my library for years to come.

5 out of 5

Born in New York City, my metaphysical career began early: My first encounter with tarot cards at age six was also my first experience of love at first sight! That passion still burns true. Although I do practice other forms of divination, tarot remains the foundation of my practice.

A lifelong pursuit of metaphysical wisdom followed and continues: astrology, mythology, Kabbalah, the Egyptian mysteries as well as spiritual, magical and healing traditions from all over Earth but particularly Africa and Asia.

I've also been a blues and free-form rock and roll disc jockey, a corporate travel consultant specializing in the Caribbean, a skin-care and cosmetics consultant, and a teacher of mythology and multicultural studies. I wrote and edited the Ancient Beauty Secrets section for the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism's monthly online magazine, which integrated modern aromatherapy with ancient methods of body care and decoration.

True love's arrows pierced my heart yet again when I first encountered a vial of essential oil. (Essential oil of frankincense, to be exact, still a favorite.) Essential oils are not true oils but potent plant extracts. Modern aromatherapy, with its roots stretching back to ancient China, Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Middle East, is the manipulation of essential oils for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. Essential oils are perhaps the purest, most potent expression of a plant's power and play a profound role in rituals, potions and spells. Many are powerful aphrodisiacs and may be used to enhance health, beauty and peace of mind.

Following over a decade of independent study, I earned a certificate in therapeutic aromatherapy. I served on the faculty of the Australasian College of Herbal Studies as an aromatherapy tutor, teaching the certification program.

My special passion for almost fifteen years has been magical and traditional approaches to fertility. Originally stimulated by own reproductive challenges, I was frustrated by the medical options offered to me. I went searching for other avenues, gentle Earth and female-friendly solutions and found them: a vast repository of women's wisdom. Two children and many years later, I still search and research, impressed and empowered by thousands of years of women's inventiveness, endurance, defiance and humor.

You can find more information about Judika on her website: (above picture from author website)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dana, my apologies for taking so long to say hello. I have fallen behind with all things and I have so wanted to thank you for the follow.

    This title really appeals to me a lot. It sounds so intriguing.

    Take care, and all the best,
    The Wytch's Mirror and Wytching