The Bardic Book to Becoming is a deeply evocative, practical, and magnificent work from a man who is truly a master of his Craft. I found myself -- normally not an emotional person -- at times weeping, at others laughing aloud, at his optimism and his description of the world in which we live.

Full of personal anecdotes and descriptions of his own path into magic, McBeth is essentially opening his Book of Shadows and sharing his hard-earned knowledge with the rest of us. In the chapter "Sacred Creativity" he writes of never wanting to dance, having learned to hate it in school. Then he was dragged to a workshop by Gabrielle Roth and discovering that he wanted to dance like her -- feral and powerful. In turn, she told him, "Dance like yourself!" In doing so, he learned that dance is his way of healing himself, finding his authentic self, of becoming Divine. So, he danced. After years, he achieved ecstasy and came to an even deeper understanding -- of himself, of Deity, of the world. I tell you this tale because it is so much of what the entire Bardic Book is about: resistance, acceptance, and even then a long time before a peak moment is achieved.

McBeth's joy and optimism pervade the Bardic Book: "Despite the problems we face, we are incredibly lucky to be alive at such a pivotal point in history. At this time human consciousness has evolved to a point at which we have the potential to leave our unconscious, childishly destructive behavior behind us and choose to lead conscious lives that will bring us back to wholeness. (p.5)" Magic, oneness, communing with the Divine all take EFFORT, and commitment, and love. Many spiritual books can make it seem as if by doing action A, and chanting words X while holding image ^ all in one's head we connect to the Divine, or make our spell work. Not easy, but not impossible. McBeth shows us, literally, how the map is not the answer.

The Bardic Book to Becoming is a book that will call to those who need calling and give them a path to follow until they find their own. This is one of the best books on magic I have read in a very long time.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Ivan McBeth and Fearn Lickfield
Red Wheel Weiser, 2018
pp. 248 , $24.95