Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Book Reviews

We’ve never done a book review before but we simply couldn’t resist talking about these two treasures! 

The first is the Book of Gold by David Rankine and Paul Harry Barron ( http://avaloniapress.com )
This book contains a wealth of practical information so useful to the Hoodoo Community. The book comes from a 17th century French manuscript and is literally a Psalm spell book, containing numerous easily employable charms, amulets and tricks.

The power of the psalms is well documented in Hoodoo and we found it fascinating that the mass produced “Hoodoo pamphlets” from the 1920’s onwards have drawn heavily from this little known Grimoire. There are charms throughout the book that are still in use by Root Workers today and some that they will want to try!      

Rankine and Barron run a commentary throughout packed with information and references, along with incredibly handy appendices making the book simple to reference. The Book of Gold truly is lives up to its name, a 17th Century manual that is still beneficial and more importantly usable in modern times, brilliantly researched and wonderfully put together. The Book of Gold is truly worth its weight!

The second book we can’t speak highly enough of is the Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints and Sages by the wonderful Judika Illes (Harper Collins,  http://judikailles.com/ )

Illes has painstakingly compiled this huge compendium giving descriptions of what makes a Saint and a handy guide for working through the book. Illes’ research is flawless, giving descriptions the lives of the Saints when they walked on earth and speaks in depth about their powers of intercession from the otherworld.

Illes has not just included recognised Catholic Saints in this book but also the unofficial folk Saints, Narco saints, Sufi Saints, Jewish Saints and a whole host of others! Where applicable Illes includes tricks and charms that the Saints can help with, she has included epithets, Folk magic and a whole host of useful tid-bits that will keep you fascinated.

I have met Judika Illes at the Occult conference this year and had numerous in depth discussions with her about this book and Saints in general, meeting her and experiencing her amazing passion for her work I can honestly say people interested in Hoodoo, Folk magic or working with Saints need this book. Judika’s effort, intelligence and above all her passion are visible on every page.                  

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