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Author Topic: More Book Questions (mainly Grimassi and Cunningham/Harrington)  (Read 892 times)

Scales

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I know, another thread. The problem is that I'm finding these at used book stores (other than in my big book request thread), so I can't entirely know what'll catch my eye.

Anyway, for $6.50 each CAD. In case you have other suggestions (perhaps I'll find a secondhand price on them too), I'll note my 'whys' on them

Raven Grimassi
The Witch's Familiar - Spiritual Partnerships for Successful Magic
Spirit of the Witch - Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft

> Spirit guides/partners/protectors have always been of interest to me, and moreso lately, and I'd like to delve into it harder. Familiars in any sense interest me. If I can't apply it, it still seems like reading I like.
> Might be because of the above reasons and that I keep reading it as Spirit Witch, but I'm still interested in hearing if it's worth it

Scott Cunningham and David Harrington
Spell Crafts - Creating Magical Objects
> As noted in other threads, low magic, charms, etc interest me, and I've been looking for some light reading. Another book by these two was recommended in a couple other threads, which ups my hopes.

Leslie Ellen Jones
From Witch to Wicca
> It sounds like a decent history (at least as far as popular culture/perception, which is a kind of history I also like), although a few reviews say that the formatting is scattered. Just interesting feeling in general.

HR Trevor-Roper
The European Witch-Craze of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries and other essays (actually $5)
> Mostly just that it looks interesting (and it's pretty and vintage, shh) and his historical writings are fairly spread out which makes me feel like it'll be more academic and less weird speculation to fulfill his own biases (despite the word 'craze' in the title)

Acknowledgements prior to replies
-On Jones and Trevor-Roper - I know useful/accurate histories are kind of sporadic, so I get that even if either is better than average I'll have to take it with a grain of salt. I still like seeing perspectives and both look like good reads?
-I know there are a few bad reviews, mostly with good reasoning, of Grimassi on here. Those mainly pertained to his history and stuff from what I remember, though, and I didn't think that would apply as much here. If it applies but isn't constantly annoying, I can read these anyway, especially if the majority is interesting insight.
-I know Cunningham is generally very beginner level and is wiccan, but it doesn't seem like that would be terribly overpowering (and I can ignore wiccish tendencies in a non religious book) and again, an easy read and reference is nice.

Also, I'm off to search now, but any thoughts on Voodoo in New Orleans (Tallant)? I know it's obviously outdated, but I got a copy for $3 the other day and it seems reliable so far (recognizes racial relations (/tensions/differences in use/that he and probably the reader are approaching the subject as a white person); I consider not doing this the first sign something on the subject will suck), but I'm not incredibly knowledgeable on voodoo of any persuasion, so more opinions always are nice.

RandallS

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Re: More Book Questions (mainly Grimassi and Cunningham/Harrington)
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 07:49:17 am »
Quote from: Scales;175063

Raven Grimassi
The Witch's Familiar - Spiritual Partnerships for Successful Magic
Spirit of the Witch - Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft


I would be skeptic of anything Grimmassi writes.

Quote
Scott Cunningham and David Harrington
Spell Crafts - Creating Magical Objects

I have not read it, but the authors don't immediately raise red flags.

Quote
HR Trevor-Roper
The European Witch-Craze of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries and other essays (actually $5)

In spite of the Hltler Diaries fiasco in the early 80s, Trevor-Rope is consider a solid historian. I haven't seen this book, but it is probably worth reading.
Randall
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Scales

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Re: More Book Questions (mainly Grimassi and Cunningham/Harrington)
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 12:57:58 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;175066
I would be skeptic of anything Grimmassi writes.

I have not read it, but the authors don't immediately raise red flags.

In spite of the Hltler Diaries fiasco in the early 80s, Trevor-Rope is consider a solid historian. I haven't seen this book, but it is probably worth reading.

 
Disappointed on Grimassi, even though I kind of expected that. If he's that bad, I doubt reading with a heap of salt even would make it something to read for ideas.

On Trevor-Rope, that is reassuring, and I think I'll get it. At worst I'll have another vintage book in my collection, but maybe I'll get good history out of it too. I don't know whether the titular essay is about a craze (trendiness) toward witchiness or a paranoia craze (probably the second, but the first would be interesting and not unheard of).

MadZealot

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Re: More Book Questions (mainly Grimassi and Cunningham/Harrington)
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 01:18:33 pm »
Quote from: Scales;175070
Disappointed on Grimassi, even though I kind of expected that. If he's that bad, I doubt reading with a heap of salt even would make it something to read for ideas.

Grimassi's Wiccan Mysteries was on my old coven's 'required reading' list.  Horrid.  Avoid avoid avoid.  His card decks ain't bad, though.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 01:19:29 pm by MadZealot »
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

SunflowerP

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Re: More Book Questions (mainly Grimassi and Cunningham/Harrington)
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 10:28:26 pm »
Quote from: Scales;175063
I know, another thread. The problem is that I'm finding these at used book stores (other than in my big book request thread), so I can't entirely know what'll catch my eye.

Anyway, for $6.50 each CAD. In case you have other suggestions (perhaps I'll find a secondhand price on them too), I'll note my 'whys' on them

 
A bit of meta-advice here, rather than anything specific about the books you mentioned.

I've never been all that keen on the 'avoid Bad Books like the plague, read only Good Books' construction. My own newbie days were well before the Pop Pagan Book Boom of the '90s; there weren't a lot of books yet, and only a few of those would be on the bookstore shelf at any given time. So I was pretty much reading whatever I could get my hands on, in hopes that I'd be able to glean a few useful bits out of even a crappy book. This turned out to be very useful for learning how to tell good books from bad ones - I'm strongly of the opinion that one can't really learn that discernment by only reading good ones; it's necessary to read bad ones occasionally, so that one knows what that looks like. (Also, it's not as binary and simple as 'good, or bad?' - I have points of disagreement [and not just about Bad History!] even with excellent books that I recommend enthusiastically, and it's a rare book indeed that's so awful it doesn't have anything of use in it.)

For the last quarter-century or thereabouts, there've been enough books available that 'read whatever you can get your hands on' isn't practical, however useful doing so might be to honing one's discernment; the investment, in both money and time, is prohibitive. But your situation maybe changes that a bit; what you're finding is a smallish selection at a fairly inexpensive price.

So maybe this is an opportunity! You can still blow your budget if you just grab everything, so, yes, questions here to filter out the particularly poor ones is a good idea. But don't try to filter out all the unreliable/mediocre books; instead, go ahead with anything that looks interesting and relevant, and approach it from a skeptical/critical perspective. (That's especially applicable with second-hand books - these are books that someone has found not useful or no longer useful to them. You don't know why that's the case - it could just be that the previous owner was a dabbler who lost interest - but it's still 'not useful to previous owner', which reminds you to use salt liberally.)

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Scales

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Re: More Book Questions (mainly Grimassi and Cunningham/Harrington)
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 11:32:15 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;175095
A bit of meta-advice here, rather than anything specific about the books you mentioned.

I've never been all that keen on the 'avoid Bad Books like the plague, read only Good Books' construction. My own newbie days were well before the Pop Pagan Book Boom of the '90s; there weren't a lot of books yet, and only a few of those would be on the bookstore shelf at any given time. So I was pretty much reading whatever I could get my hands on, in hopes that I'd be able to glean a few useful bits out of even a crappy book. This turned out to be very useful for learning how to tell good books from bad ones - I'm strongly of the opinion that one can't really learn that discernment by only reading good ones; it's necessary to read bad ones occasionally, so that one knows what that looks like. (Also, it's not as binary and simple as 'good, or bad?' - I have points of disagreement [and not just about Bad History!] even with excellent books that I recommend enthusiastically, and it's a rare book indeed that's so awful it doesn't have anything of use in it.)

For the last quarter-century or thereabouts, there've been enough books available that 'read whatever you can get your hands on' isn't practical, however useful doing so might be to honing one's discernment; the investment, in both money and time, is prohibitive. But your situation maybe changes that a bit; what you're finding is a smallish selection at a fairly inexpensive price.

So maybe this is an opportunity! You can still blow your budget if you just grab everything, so, yes, questions here to filter out the particularly poor ones is a good idea. But don't try to filter out all the unreliable/mediocre books; instead, go ahead with anything that looks interesting and relevant, and approach it from a skeptical/critical perspective. (That's especially applicable with second-hand books - these are books that someone has found not useful or no longer useful to them. You don't know why that's the case - it could just be that the previous owner was a dabbler who lost interest - but it's still 'not useful to previous owner', which reminds you to use salt liberally.)

Sunflower

 
Oh yes, I agree, especially on the non binary-ness of it (which is why I still asked after seeing bad reviews of Grimassi's other works- I agree on reading to identify useful authors and stuff too, but as noted can't afford doing that intentionally with many purchases).

It applies less to this bookstore, but with the other two I've been looking at (in another city), the books either come from students or retirees or dead people, so the quality applies a bit less (since either they need money/more books or aren't really caring about books anymore).

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