Italy and its culture has fascinated me for decades. I have had the pleasure of visiting Italy several times and my life has been intertwined with several Italian families over the decades. Italian Folk Magic is a beautiful and lovingly written creation that gives the reader a glimpse into the Italian traditions that touch every part of daily life.

With humility and candor, Fahrun writes that she didn't write her book so that readers could

“. . . practice ‘authentic’ Italian witchcraft. That’s way too much pressure – even for me! That would imply that there is only one way. There is no such thing. Authentic how? There is no way I do things exactly the way my nonna did in the 1930s in her little mountain village in Italy. Nor do I do things exactly the way my nonna’s sister did forty years later in America. I will share with you their practices. I will share with you my practice. A practice influenced and informed by those who came before me and shared their stories, skills, and secrets. The purpose of this book is to provide you with a guided tour of my magical life and introduce you to, and for some of you, reacquaint you with, the principles so you can create your own magical life.”

For example, Nazar amulets (originally from Turkey) are a popular protection item -- I have one hanging by my main door. But those cobalt blue pieces are not just a middle eastern superstition, Italians have tons of methods for diagnosing, preventing, and removing “the eye” -- chapter 11 is devoted to this item.

Filled with food, work, love, marriage and children, remedies to heal the Evil Eye and spells cast against you, proverbs, superstitions, home medicine and witchcraft. The way Fahrun describes her personal memories is direct and friendly. The practices are simple and are easily incorporated into everyday life. She also shares amazing anecdotes and stories growing up with Italian Folk Magic that are extremely entertaining to read about. This is a book on Italian Folk Magick based on families who don't use the word "witches" or refer to what they do as witchcraft.

You can find the author at her website

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Mary-Grace Fahrun
Weiser Books, 2018
pp. 240