Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Practical Prosperity Magick #witchesread

Practical Prosperity Magick; Crafting Success and Abundance by Ellen Dugan was the Read-A-Long book for the Witchipedia for the month of July and I just finished it a few days ago and have been chewing on it since. There is some good information in this book, but I really really do not like the delivery. First I should say that I came to the book a bit prejudiced because I do not like this author. I have read other books by her and been absolutely turned off by her overly dramatic personality, negative attitude and a gossipy, condescending tone. I will explain.
Throughout the whole book she writes like she probably talks and she makes a lot of assumptions about the reader, like that we don't know anything at all about magic. She says things like "believe it or not, that's right, I said it, it's true!" (okay, maybe not all those words in one sentence, that would be ridiculous) She also puts in a lot of cutesy words that are entirely unnecessary, particularly adjectives. Saying things like "your witchy fingers". Honestly, there are so many unnecessary words of cuteness and fun that the book could be half its size if you took them out. This sort of cute, conversational writing might make some people smile and feel more at ease, but it just made my brain hurt and my jaw clench and is probably why it took me over a month to read this book. I had to take frequent breaks.

She begins the book with a story of how she cast a prosperity spell, was soon offered a job that she hated, was forced to work with people she did not like and ultimately, through this job, met someone she got along with well who offered her yet another job that matched her skills, which she did not accept. This story is replete with personal details about the people she doesn't like, so that anyone who lives in her town could easily know exactly who the pregnant woman with no sense of humor is talking about. I feel like this is unprofessional and perhaps unethical. She goes on and on about the reason why her prosperity spell didn't work out was because she wasn't in the proper mind-set when she cast the spell. But it did work. It put her into the situation she needed to be in to cross paths with the person she needed to meet to get the job she wanted. But she didn't take it. That's her fault. The universe did the best it could and she gave it the middle finger. And then wrote a book about it.

She goes on to explain some various concepts of higher magic than she usually rights about, Hermetic principals, planetary seals, etc. and she clearly doesn't understand them fully but instead tries to squeeze them into her Goddess-centered Wiccan-esque (I mean by this that her path seems to be Wiccan-like, but not strictly) worldview. This may not be as big an issue for some people as it for me, but it is one of my pet peeves. Of course, it probably all works out fine in the end, so I shouldn't stress it.

Another pet peeve of mine is the random calling of any old God and Goddess to "work with" in magic based solely on sphere of influence, regardless of pantheon or personal relationship. She does this a lot. There are a bunch of completely unrelated Gods and Goddesses in there, some she clearly has no real experience with. (But I did notice a distinct lack of Mercury or Hermes, which  I thought was strange since Hermes is my go-to guy for all things related to money, luck and employment.) I know that these things don't bother everyone. I am probably actually in the minority so, take that for what it's worth.

The spells are okay. They're sound and would probably work out just fine, assuming you actually know the Gods she works with. They aren't Gods I'm overly familiar with either, so I can't tell. I don't like her rhymes. They lack rhythm. And precision. But this isn't a book of poetry. You should come up with your own rhymes anyway, so it doesn't matter too much. She leaves room for customization, which I feel is very important. I don't agree with a lot of her definitions, but there's nothing damaging there, so it's probably not that big a deal.

In short, I did not like the book but I was able to get some good information out of it. If your world view is Wiccan, you'll probably like it better than I did, assuming the author's personality doesn't turn you off. I got a lot more out of Financial Sorcery by Jason Miller.