Spellwork is a core tool in the withch's repertoire, but very few books go beyond the basic level when discussing this fundamental practice. It's no surprise that Furie, author of the well-regarded Spellcasting for Beginners, has provided us with a practical, well-written guide to taking our work to the next level.
The book is divided into three sections. In the first we are reminded of the basic language and rules of spellwork: correspondences, symbology, ritual, altered states of consciousnesses, and aligning the inner and outer in accordance with one's will. This first section comes the closest to being similar to other works and sources. It is, however, important as a starting point for understanding Furie's language so that we are all on the same page when discussing magic. His definition of magic, for example is a "natural art that utilizes spiritual forces" which is not at all how I would define it, but by providing me with his perspective, I could make adjustments, if necessary.
The second section, Magical Practice, is a comprehensive collection of information on the various aspects of spellwork: love, money, dreaming, psychic work, etc. I appreciated the time taken to explore ethical implications. There was the highlight of the book, and extremely valuable.
The final section, Ingredients and Recipes was fairly short, but that is just as well. There are many, many, books on correspondences and a fairly large number have to come from individual experimentation rather than rote memorization. The recipes provided were easy to follow and I was pleased to see that a variety of alternatives were provided.
Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics is a book I highly recommend and an excellent addition to the witch's library.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Michael Furie
Llewellyn Publications, 2016
pp. 290, $15.99