The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems” should be required reading for anyone even considering studying magic.  End of review.  Seriously, I have read my fair share of books examining magical systems, schools, or spells, and none have impressed and inspired me as much as this book.  I haven’t been this thankful for a book since “Magick for Beginners” by J.H. Brennan, and since that one is getting hard to come by, I’m extra glad to have a new book to recommend to any interested in magic.  Now that you all know I LOVE this book, let me tell you why.
 
“The Goodly Spellbook” is written by Lady Passion and *Diuvei, who are High Priestess and High Priest of Coven Oldenwilde.  Those of you who have been with The Magical Buffet since the beginning are no strangers to these names.  Coven Oldenwilde was the first organization we profiled in issue one.  In the very next issue Lady Passion wrote an article called, “THE WILD, WITCHY RIDE: How to Create and Conduct Elaborate, Popular, Public Sabbats”.  I knew that Coven Oldenwilde was a special group and that Lady Passion was a gifted writer, I expected an interesting read, but instead was blown away.  I started reading the preface of the newly released paperback, which was fine, but then on page 17 I read this line and knew I was about to read something extraordinary.  “Magic is an authentic spiritual practice, best used in tandem with medical, legal, and other reasonable measures.”  This sentence may seem mundane to some, but any who have read books about magic know that this level of intelligence and rationale are rarely exhibited. 
 
In my opinion the book’s title is not adequate.  “The Goodly Spellbook” sounds like it’s just a bunch of spells.  A book of lists.  This is not the case.  The book is divided into 3 parts, scope, skills, and spells.  The scope section is equal parts history, philosophy, and ethics.  If everyone knew that all practitioners of magic followed the ethics laid out in this book, no one would fear magicians.  Moreover, before all you haters out there get started, the Wiccan Rede is not printed in this text.  So no fluffy bunny comments are allowed.
 
The skill section is a collection of everything you could ever need to know.  A person could devote their whole life to the study of just what is in this skill section, never opening another book.  “The Goodly Spellbook” covers correspondences, scrying, geomancy, chants, charms, magical alphabets, mystical dance, knot magic, and tons more!
 
Finally, the spell section has roughly 92 different spells for review.  Each spell is described in detail, including variations, spell origin, timing, ingredients, recommended ambiance, and a section devoted to the magical theory behind the spell.  For once, reading from a published spellbook is engaging.
 
It’s not just flash, there is real substance.  Any leaders of a Coven could write a book about their unique practices, but “The Goodly Spellbook” not only discusses Coven Oldenwilde’s use of magic but also is thoroughly researched.  The book is littered with footnotes that attribute a multitude of sources, and the bibliography, which is handily divided up by section (scope, skills, spells), is an impressive reading list, filled with respected classics and new interpretations.
 
Technically, I ended the review in the first paragraph, but for those of you here at the end, take this to heart, if you want to know what all magical practices should aspire to be, read “The Goodly Spellbook”.  End of review, this time I mean it.






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