Thursday, June 8, 2023

Book Review: Curse and Cure by Sabrina Scott

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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 received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In case you missed the memo, I love supporting small businesses, artists, and authors and I am always excited to share their work. Today's book review is by a self-published author, but don't let that deter you from purchasing the book because it's well worth the read.

Curse and Cure by Sabrina Scott is an excellent, secular introduction to witchcraft, covering everything from the basics of magic and consent, energy work, ritual, and magical timing, as well as cultivating spiritual relationships with the land, objects, and other witches. Scott covers all the basics in a fun, light-hearted way, using a conversational tone throughout. It was really like talking with a friend. Not only does Scott do a great job covering everything new witches need to know, but she also fills the pages with stories from her own life, building a deep connection with the reader in the process. I've mentioned before that I love author stories and examples throughout books because it helps me visualize what the author is discussing. Having a reference point for your own magic is extremely helpful, especially for beginner witches and Scott does an excellent job providing this reference point. Furthermore, Scott is incredibly inclusive, culturally aware, and ecologically responsible throughout her book, welcoming readers from all walks of life. I greatly appreciated this and know many of you will as well. Inclusive books are slowly making their way into the mainstream, which is a great shift within our community.

Not only is the book packed, and I mean PACKED, with information, but it's also artfully designed. Scott includes her own handwriting and drawings throughout the book, making the book appear more like a letter to an apprentice than a tomb of knowledge. I will say that this may detract from the text for some readers. Scott's handwriting (I am assuming it's her handwriting) can be difficult to read, especially if you have dyslexia or impaired vision, but the main text is all in a legible font, albeit a very small font. The font being tiny may also make it difficult to read for those with impaired vision and there are no audio or digital options currently available, so keep this in mind. Furthermore, because it's self-published, some of the formatting is awkward, but it's easy to overlook considering the breadth of knowledge covered within the text. My only other gripe is with the Table of Contents also being written in Scott's handwriting, with scribbles and scratches and doodles and all, which took about 10 pages to complete and made it difficult to quickly reference chapters. As a highly organized, Type-A person, the Table of Contents made me livid, but I know it probably won't bother other people. I know a lot of people don't even look at the content pages and instead use their own marking system to make notes of information.

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Apart from a couple of formatting complaints, I have nothing negative to say about this book. Scott covers everything a new witch needs to know and even some things old witches may need reminding of, especially as spirituality changes globally to be more inclusive and respectful. Part of decolonizing our practices means understanding consent and the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation, both topics Scott covers in Curse and Cure. The multiple sections on consent made my heart flutter because we often forget that as animists, all living and nonliving things vibrate with spirit and not all of them want to work with us. Just because you can take and use something, doesn't mean you should.

If you are a new witch, or an old one looking to reevaluate your practice, I highly encourage you to support Scott's work and pick up Curse and Cure today. This is one of the best self-published books I have read. It's clear Scott took her time with writing, editing, and designing this book, and just because she isn't tied to a large publisher doesn't mean her work is not valuable. You can also check out her graphic novel, Witchbody, her first self-published book!

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