Mini Reviews Reviews

Witchcraft Cocktails, The Green Witch’s Grimoire, & The Complete Grimoire (not-so-“mini” mini reviews)

September 4, 2020

50891767TITLE: Witchcraft Cocktails: From Aphrodite’s Love Potion to Mercurial Grounding Elixir, 75 Seasonal Drinks Infused with Magic and Ritual
AUTHOR: Julia Halina Hadas
GENRE: Nonfiction/Witchcraft/Cooking
AGE RANGE: Adult
PAGES: 224pg
SOURCE: Publisher
For centuries, witches have been using spirits of all forms during rituals and celebrations. Now, today’s modern witch can learn how to make the perfect powerful witchcraft cocktail.
All you need is a delicious and easy recipe, a bottle of your favorite booze, and a desire to get witchy. In WitchCraft Cocktails, you will find 75 recipes for alcohol-based beverages that are sure to help you in your craft. Designed for healing, spells, offerings, and just plain fun, there’s nothing these boozy drinks can’t do! Need a love potion to help woo your lover? Maybe a tincture to heal a cold? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect witch-themed signature cocktail to serve at your next gathering. Regardless of what you’re looking for, this book has you covered and includes tips on how to use your witch’s brew to further your practice—and have fun!

 

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Witchcraft Cocktails starts off as any good witchy cookbook should, by regaling the reader with the history of how these ingredients relate to our craft and the purposes they can serve; in this case, a quick glimpse at the history of ancient witches utilizing spirits in their craft and a short explanation of why alcohol can be such a valuable part of spellwork. It then launches into a chapter of definitions and correlations that I thought were so interesting (such as using rum for neutralizing negativity), so this book really lays down a solid guideline before getting down to the recipes. Also, the tip about using moon water for your ice cubes to imbue lunar magic into your drinks? Brilliant. This is the kind of stuff I’m here for.

Side note: the aforementioned basics chapter also describes many bartending techniques that have nothing to do with magic, such as how to express a peel, double straining, etc. — which leads me to believe even non-witches could learn a lot from this one!

Then, the author moves on to more craft-specific needs, such as attuning drinks to astrological bodies during retrogrades, and even basic information that I think will be especially helpful for new witches — quick notes on astrological phases, sabbats, and more.While this section doesn’t attribute strictly to the drink recipes, the author explains that it’s good information to know as you can attune specific spellwork types to certain times of year.

Finally, we get to the recipe section of the book, where the author’s attention to detail continues by kicking off with recipes for bitters, simple syrups, and more. Most (though not all) of the recipes come with pictures, and each one is absolutely gorgeous! My favorite part, aside from how freaking delicious these drinks sound, is the “advanced magic” section at the bottom of each recipe, where advice is given for a tarot card or crystal pairing.

As far as the drink recipes themselves go, these were right up my alley for the most part. There are a lot of fairly sweet cocktails here, but I think even people who don’t enjoy sweet drinks will find plenty to love. As someone who doesn’t drink very often, I especially appreciated how many of these drinks could very easily be made alcohol-free (like The Prosperous Pumpkin, which I can’t wait to try out this fall).

Overall, I think this is an absolutely fantastic recipe book that will be a great addition to the shelf of any alcohol-drinking witch, and even many non-witches. The recipes are well-crafted (which makes sense after learning the author is a long-practicing bartender!) and unique, the information on magic is informative yet brief and intriguing, and the layout of the whole thing is stunning. I definitely plan on picking up a finished copy for my shelf.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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48590147TITLE: The Green Witch’s Grimoire: Your Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Book of Natural Magic
AUTHOR: Arin Murphy-Hiscock
GENRE: Nonfiction/Witchcraft
AGE RANGE: Adult
PAGES: 256pg
SOURCE: NetGalley
A grimoire is essential for any witch wanting to capture and record spells, rituals, and secret ingredients. And for a green witch, a perfect place to reflect upon the power of nature, and document the stones, plants, flowers, oils, and herbs used in her practice. The Green Witch’s Grimoire finally is a place for all your prized knowledge.
From favorite spells to recipes, to blessing your grimoire and writing in secret script, you’ll make this book of shadows your own. Experienced witch Arin Murphy-Hiscock guides you on your path to creating your own personal book of your most cherished magic. Continue to hone your craft and grow into the green witch you’ve always dreamed of as you personalize your own Green Witch’s Grimoire.
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Arin Murphy-Hiscock is one of my favorite authors on witchcraft, so I naturally had to snap this up when I saw it available on NetGalley, despite not necessarily considering myself a green witch. Luckily, it was exactly as I expected: though I don’t feel particularly drawn to herbalism, plants, and many other common facets of green witchcraft, The Green Witch’s Grimoire still had a wealth of helpful information and inspiration to offer me!

In fact, I think it’s worth noting — for those of you who, like me, are wondering if this book will be too specific for your needs — that the majority of this book would make a very helpful guide to grimoires for any witch (though obviously more so if you practice green witchcraft or even hearth and/or kitchen craft). This book also discusses divination, spellcraft, and so much more.

I would say that one of the most “green” aspects of this book is its stance on a witch’s responsibility to take care of the earth in any ways we personally can. Arin offers suggestions for how to perform healing rituals after natural disasters, source ethical supplies, and even includes a guide for making your own paper! (Which I would probably never have the ambition for, but I thought was so awesome.) There’s also a section on the validity of digital grimoires for people who are trying to use as little paper as possible in their lives, with tips for keeping your digital grimoire safe from others.

(As a side note related to the responsibility and ethics discussions in this book, I also appreciated Arin taking a moment to discuss the difference between smudging and smoke cleansing, the correlation between smudging and white sage to sacred Indigenous rituals, and plenty of alternatives you can use instead of white sage if you aren’t Indigenous.)

In case you couldn’t tell by my review so far, I absolutely loved The Green Witch’s Grimoire and thought it would make an incredible asset to any green witch’s library, as well as the shelves of many who don’t practice green craft at all! On top of all of the valuable information, Arin Murphy-Hiscock has such a readable writing style and never comes across as condescending, judgmental, or pushy with her stances on things. I highly recommend picking up a copy!

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Finding Faeries by Alexandra RowlandTITLE: The Complete Grimoire: Magickal Practices and Spells for Awakening Your Inner Witch
AUTHOR: Lidia Pradas
GENRE: Nonfiction/Witchcraft
AGE RANGE: Adult
PAGES: 176pg
SOURCE: NetGalley
Elegantly designed, featuring a gold foil–embossed cover and beautiful illustrations, and written in Wiccan Tips’ trademark concise and practical style, The Complete Grimoire presents the key pillars of witchcraft, including:
Procuring the proper tools and setting up an altar
Harnessing your spells and magick
Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year
How to safely work with deities and spirits
You’ll also learn fundamental spells and rituals, such as casting a circle, creating a sigil, and making moon water.
Lidia is a reassuring and trusted guide on your witchcraft journey, addressing key questions and debunking common misconceptionsThe Complete Grimoire is an informative, accurate resource the newly initiated and experienced witch alike can use in their daily craft.
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This is a nice introductory compilation of information on witchcraft, and it doesn’t focus too much on one path or another, which I appreciated. If you do follow a specific path, this may be too generalized and surface-level for your interests, but if you’re someone who is brand new to witchcraft (or just interested in learning about it from the outside), check this out!

There are sections on so many different popular areas of witchcraft — everything from a basic overview of herbalism and tarot, to some more in-depth sections on sabbats and palmistry — and while this definitely won’t be comprehensive enough to fit all of your needs (no single book is, IMO), it functions as an excellent starting point. It also features lovely artwork and some excellent cheat sheet pages that you could easily copy down into your own grimoire/BOS for quick info. Overall, The Complete Grimoire is a general, but solid overview on witchcraft practices and paths that I would recommend to any newbie.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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destiny

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7 Comments

  • Reply Red-Haired Ash Reads September 4, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I was really tempted to request Witchcraft Cocktails when I saw it on Netgalley but I don’t drink so I figured it wouldn’t be a good fit. I am glad it was a good book though.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries September 7, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      Oh yeah, there are a few non-alcoholic drinks but they definitely mainly do feature alcoholic drinks, so I don’t blame you!

  • Reply bluereadergal September 4, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Magical! I used to read about this topic when I was younger. I may have to check these out one day.

  • Reply Mel September 4, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    ooh, I will definitely have to check out the first two, especially the cocktail book since mabon is coming up so why not celebrate with a witchy cocktail. the green witch one also sounds very interesting; I’m very fascinated by green witchcraft even though I do not practice it.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries September 7, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      Yes, exactly! 😀 And same on green craft. Even if it isn’t my path, I love learning about it ♥

  • Reply unapologeticallykelly September 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I have to admit I know nothing about witchcraft but it’s something I’d love to learn more about so these sound great. I love the idea of a witchy cocktail book because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good cocktail?? The Complete Grimoire sounds like a great starting point to educate myself. Definitely one to check out. Fab post!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries September 7, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      Yes, The Complete Grimoire would be an awesome starting point! I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up, and thank you lovely ♥♥

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