Thursday, December 27, 2018

Book Review: The Witch's Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter

Book Review: The Witch's Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I've been pretty behind on my reading this year, but that's okay because what I have read has been fantastic. Quality over quantity, right? I recently finished The Witch's Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter, and while there were some things I disliked, this is probably one of the best books I've read this year regarding spirit work.

Hunter's book covers spirit work in great detail, including mediumship, flying (think astral travel), and conjuring. Being Wiccan, there are Wiccan undertones throughout the book, but it doesn't detract from the information nor drive the principles outlined in the book. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like Hunter's take on spirit work. I rolled my eyes a couple of times in the first chapter or two and remember saying to my boyfriend that I didn't think this was going to be the book for me. However, the more I read, the more I started shaking my head in agreement instead of rolling my eyes. Hunter takes a ritualistic approach to spirit work,  pulling from his knowledge and experiences of being a medium and spirit worker for several years. His stories, which are sprinkled throughout the book, offer insights into the fine art of spirit communication.

Hunter offers a fresh perspective, discussing in detail rituals and exercises he uses to focus his mind, contact spirits, and even summon and bind spirits to our realm. Thankfully, Hunter also touches on some topics other witches tend to gloss over in regards to spirit work, the first being demons. Hunter, like myself, knows demons to be destructive, necessary forces that oppose order. Unlike other witches, Hunter makes it known demons are not evil creatures; however, some are up to no good and may, in fact, wish us harm, but that doesn't mean we should avoid working with them altogether. His description of other spiritual beings, including angels, faeries, and guides, is on point, aligning extremely well with my personal experiences, making this book very real to me. I've read several other books on spirit work that describe beings and places of the Otherworld in such a way that I have never seen or experienced, which makes me feel like those authors may be writing a book for money, not to share real knowledge. Hunter's book is not one of those. He clearly knows what he is doing and has been in contact with spirits who have shared their vast knowledge with him. In one of the final chapters of the book, Hunter introduces what he calls the VEXNA-KARI and 33 other spirits who are part of this group. I've never heard of these spirits before Hunter began describing them, but there is one in particular that wished to speak to me almost immediately, Sugar Momma. Hunter briefly mentions that Sugar Momma was the first of the 33 spirits he met with before writing his book. As soon as I read her name, the smell of perfume and laughter filled my living room. I looked up to see a plump, dark-skinned woman dressed in New Orleans style garb sitting on the velvet chair across from me. She smiled at me and when she spoke it was like honey. This is one of the most profound experiences I have ever had while reading the work of another witch. After a few moments she was gone, and I continued on with the book, reading Hunter's description of Sugar Momma some 15 or 20 minutes after meeting her myself. Upon reading Hunter's description, I was 100% sure that she had decided to visit me first as well, probably excited someone was reading about her. This is just one of three similar experiences I had while reading this book, which is part of the reason it will be added to my must-have list.

Book Review: The Witch's Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter

For those looking for a more ritualistic approach, Hunter has you covered. His Keys of Hecate, which he states were presented to him by Hecate herself, offer that ritualistic Wiccan display of high magic many witches crave. From personal experience, however, I have found that no such "keys" are necessary to communicate with the spirit world nor to summon or bind a spirit in our realm. However, I know other witches rely on such steps to bring their magic into reality.

While the book is wonderful, there are a couple of things I don't agree with, most notably his description of the realms. His setup is slightly different than mine, which is based off the World Tree. I'm not saying Hunter is wrong, I'm simply stating his outline is not supported by my personal experiences, but this is probably two minds attempting to reconcile the same information in different ways. Furthermore, I am slightly wary of the Wiccan undertones in his exercises. I don't disagree with his practice per se, but I am personally not a ritualistic witch, preferring to work with my intuition and often on the fly.

Overall, this book is a must-have for any witch, new or old, looking to work with spirits. It offers some wonderful insights into traveling to each of the realms, how to work with different spirits, and how to build relationships that last multiple lifetimes. Hunter's work is inspiring, easy to read, and, in my opinion, reliable. If you are looking to begin your journey to working with the Otherworld, this book is a good place to start.

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