Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Composing Magic: How to Create Magical Spells, Rituals, Blessings, Chants, and Prayers

I'm reviewing Composing Magic for April's Read-a-Long at the Witchipedia.

Honestly, I approached this book with a bit of skepticism. I am a writer after all and I don't remember ever being taught to write. That's not to say I'm any good at it. I wouldn't know, not having earned. So, in my mind, writing is something you either can do or you can't, not something you can learn. Of course you have to practice, but practice is something you have to enjoy doing or that doesn't work either. Despite the fact that my husband insists this isn't true, I feel the same way about music; Something I have never been good at and never enjoyed trying to learn.

And after all of that prologue I don't have much to say about this book except that it is very good. I enjoyed it. It explained the more technical aspects of artistic writing without getting too, well, technical. As someone with some experience writing, I don't like being talked down to and this book didn't talk down at all. The writing style is conversational, but not too casual and very easy to follow. The exercises following each section are very interesting. I read through the book without doing the exercises as time is not on my side these days, but I do plan to go through and do the exercises later, and that's saying a lot.

I particularly enjoyed the section about storytelling in ritual which is such a beautiful addition and the explanation of invocations, evocations and devocations which are so often misused. There is a section about correspondences that I really wish she had just left out. She over simplified them while over complicating the entire subject by adding them. Ick.

That being said, this good book and I highly recommend this book for anyone who ever performs rituals, even if you only perform those written by someone else. It will help you polish your performance, clarify your intent and understand what all the bits are about and when something doesn't work, when the words and rhythm aren't stirring your cauldron, so to speak, how to fix it.