The Encyclopedia of Spirits is a compendium of the spiritual realms. This book holds a tremendous amount of information on just about any spirit being you can think of. Further, the entries are interesting, and don’t contain the over the top scholastic dryness that most reference texts tend to have.
The book is divided into two main parts: the introduction, which guides the reader into the realm of spirits, talks about what they are, how to approach them, working with them and so on. The second portion of the book is the Concordia where the reader can find entries on well known as well as obscure entities. The Concordia instructs the reader on its use, how to locate entries, contains an appendix as well as a bibliography which is very useful for research.
Some of the entries are quite large, considering what the entry is. For example, the Greek deities have rather extensive listings. Then there are entries, such as Aunt Nancy, for example, which is little more than a few sentences long. This can be frustrating, especially if the researcher is looking for information about certain spirits, but it is a good place to start.
My only caveat about the book is the way its put together. I would have preferred to see all the spirits listed according to culture, or at least cross referenced for easy access. But this does not take away from the value of the book as a research tool for both the magical writer and the magical practitioner.
Well written, and researched, interesting, without bogging down into academia, this book is well worth the price.
~ Review by Patricia Snodgrass
Author: Judika A. Illes
Harper Collins, 2009
pp. 1056 pages, $ 29.99