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caloa (Denmark)

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A Witch's Halloween: A Complete Guide to the Magick, Incantations, Recipes, Spells and Lore
A Witch's Halloween: A Complete Guide to the Magick, Incantations, Recipes, Spells and Lore
by Gerina Dunwich
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.40

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good., 5 Mar 2008
I haven't read this book cover to cover yet but have given it four stars because it's a very useful book for anyone who is interested in Samhain/Halloween. The reason I haven't given it five stars is because some of the paragraphs are very short. Especially chapter six which is about herblore.

The book is printed in lovely sepia colours which makes it more easy on the eyes to read and also makes it seem like an old-ish book. The first chapter briefly covers the beginning of Halloween and includes a little about the Druids, Fairies and Goblins and then go on to Caesar and when Paganism and Christianity met. In this chapter we find out that America got the holiday from the Irish people escaping from the potato famine in the 1840s. (Well I'm not American or Irish so I didn't know this).

Chapter two is about the rituals connected with Halloween. Why children dress up, trick-or-treating, Muck Olla, "Thump-the-Door Night" (a custom from the Isle of Man) and the Festival of the Dead in different countries. There is also included some Halloween folk songs.

Chapter three is about the Pagan perspective of Halloween. Chapter four is about the symbolism of Halloween like the witch's cauldron, Jack-O'-Lanterns, ghosts etc.

Chapter five is about the lore and legends. This chapter has some interesting myths associated with Halloween. Chapter six is about the herb lore of Halloween. It's very short though.

Chapter seven is about superstitions and omens. Again a short chapter and some short paragraphs but very interesting. Chapter eight is about divination and incantations. In ireland they use shoes for divination. Throw it over your house and the way it lands tells you something about your future.

Chapter nine is about the witches' sabbat. This has a ceremony included and lists of the Pagan Gods and Goddesses who have a connection with Halloween. Chapter ten is "Wizardry and Enchantments". This includes some different spells. Chapter elleven is about the food of Halloween. It includes short paragraphs about for example "the Dumb Supper" and soul cakes and it also has some nice recipes for hazelnut cookies, Samhain cider and other Halloween recipes. The appendix tells you how to conduct a seance.

All in all a very good book that gives good background information on Halloween and definately worth buying.

Flower Fairies Journal
Flower Fairies Journal
by Cicely Mary Barker
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly beautiful book, 4 July 2007
This review is from: Flower Fairies Journal (Paperback)
This book is just amazing in its detail. It's filled with stunning and pretty watercolours and the little pockets and flaps that can be opened make it a truly special experience. Some of the drawings are so realistic that it's difficult to see if it's another flap that can be opened and only by running my fingers over the page am I able to find all the little secrets within the pages. The details are so many that there are hours worth of reading in this book, even though it doesn't have that many pages. It's also really inspiring for people who like to paint themselves.

Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France
Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France
by Christine Pevitt Algrant
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good at first., 30 Jun 2007
As I have read about Marie Antoinette and her children I wanted to know a little more of what went on before the French revolution. I bought this book because I didn't know anything about Madame de Pompadour and the book does give a good insight into the childhood and early years of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson. But as we are taken into the life at court this insight gets clouded and Jeanne disappers to give way to an inpenetrable view of Madame de Pompadour. Madame is difficult to get close to and we are told more about the politics of France, the different politicians and the troubles of the king than we are of Madame de Pompadour. What we are left with is a woman who doesn't get along with the important men at the court and who seems to be vindictive. But the book does give a good indication of why things later went so bad for Louis XVI. It all started at the time of Madame de Pompadour. All in all the book is interesting and a fairly good read but expect a lot on politics.

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