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Review: Spellcrafting by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Spellcrafting by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Published: 14th January 2020 | Publisher: Adams Media | Source: Bought
Arin Murphy-Hiscock on Facebook

Craft your own magic with this comprehensive guide to creating, customizing, and casting unique spells, charms, and potions.

Make your own magic! Spellcrafting is a step-by-step guide to writing your own spells and timing them for the best effect. From different types of spells to the intentions and powers of different ingredients, you will have everything you need to create unique magic that works best for you.

Spellcrafting goes beyond basic spell books to explore how and why your magic works, what you can do to improve and strengthen it, and how to troubleshoot when things don’t go as planned. Now you can take your magic into your own hands and create a completely personalized spell for wherever life may take you.
From Goodreads.

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Due to my fragrance sensitivity, right from the get-go of starting on my spiritual journey, I have had to occassionally adapt spells and rituals written by others, but more often write my own from scratch, with only the spells I couldn't use in other books as a guide. I've done pretty well, and I'm actually quite proud of what I've written myself, and what I've achieved with those spells, but I always thought it would be good to have a guide to actually writing your own, to give me more confidence or other ideas. So when I heard Spellcraft by Arin Murphy-Hiscock was being published, I was super excited to read it!

Right from the offset, I was pretty sure this would be a book I could trust; Arin Murphy-Hiscock is a prolific author, with her most well known probably being The Green Witch, The House Witch, and The Witch's Book of Self-Care. Spellcrafting is a very accessible and indepth look at the steps required to writing your own spells. The first part of the book discusses exactly what spellcasting is, and the ethics of spellcasting, before a chapter on each step required in Murphy-Hiscock's opinion to cast your own spells, talking you through each step in great detail. The second part then breaks down each step further; for example, one of the steps discussed in the Crafting a Spell chapter is raising energy, and in part two, there's a whole chapter on various methods of raising energy, and guides you through figuring out which method is appropriate for your particular purpose.

What I especially loved about Spellcrafting is it explains the why behind each element of a spell. All of the witchcraft 101 books I have read have featured spells the reader can cast themselves, as well as lots of information about various correspondences and timing, and so on. And while it makes sense that you might use a particular component for a spell based on it's correspondences, there's never been any proper explanation as to why the various components are used. They all say that the components aren't necessarily needed, that all that's needed is you and your intent, but that these tools and components aid in intent and focus, and keys for your subconcious mind, but never what they actually do - and to be honest, it had never occurred to me to question it. The answer, in very simple terms, is that the energy of those tools and components combines with your own to help aid the spell. Basically, in Spellcrafting, Murphy-Hiscock explains the science of spells, the why and how of each and every step. And there is just so much detail. So much! It really is such a brillaint resource. From the timing of your spell, to the methods of magic, to how you can raise energy, and so much more - each has it's own dedicated chapter. I have bookmarked so many pages in this book, it really in just brilliant.

There's something I want to touch on, but I want to make it clear this isn't a criticism of the book. I've just reached the point in my studying where I'm actually following the advice I've read in most books - take wahat resonates, and leave the rest. After all we shape our own paths, and our craft is personal to us. For me, I found Murphy-Hiscock's structure for writing and casting spells to be quite complicated. As I said at the beginning of this review, I've been writing my own spells and rituals for a while now. Yes, I want to learn more about doing so, but I already know that how I have written spells in the past is fine, because they worked - and they weren't quite as complicated as Spellcrafting sets out. I've learnt a huge amount from Spellcrafting, it's made me think a lot, and I'll definitely be using what I've learned when I write spells, but there are elements I'll skip for some spells but use in others. I don't think it's necessary to follow Spellcrafting rigidly. At least that's how I view it - take what resonates and leave the rest.

Along similar lines, it's important to say that Murphy-Hiscock is Wiccan, and some of her beliefs in that regard do make it into the book. She may not outright mention the three-fold law, but she does talk several times about the energy you put out into the world coming back to you. The Ethics of Spellcasting is a really interesting chapter, and one that really makes you think about who may be effected by your spell and how. It gets you to ask yourself a lot of questions before even crafting the spell, and to be sure of your ethical position. Murphy-Hiscock's emphasis is on you thinking it through right to the end, of all the possibilities, and to adapt as you see fit, and basically you should do you - and it is a great chapter. But you can very much read Murphy-Hiscock's opinion through the lines, and there's definitely a sense of her not being for spells that badly effect people. It made me a little uncomfortable - not everyone has the same moral code, and not everyone abides by the Wiccan Rede of "An' ye harm none, do what ye will", and I just feel there's a sense of judgement of those who do cast "unethical" spells. However, while there is that sense, she doesn't bash you over the head with it - she doesn't even outright state it. So if you can overlook this, maybe it won't bother you too much. Again, take what resonates with you, and leave the rest.

Spellcrafting really is a fantastic book, and one I will come back to time and again. I really recommend it if you want some guidance in writing your own spells, and to understand the nitty gritty of spellcasting!

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What's your experience of writing your own spells and rituals? Have you read Spellcrafting? Or any other books on writing spells? What would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Spellcrafting by Arin Murphy-Hiscock


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