Building an Amazon Bad Ass . . .Through Books.

My PEH, Gordon asked us what 10 books would we use to try to build a mage/witch/magic user/whatever of a specific bent. I decided to build an Amazon Bad Ass (specializing in Hearth Witchery). I liked that Gordon allowed for fiction. In the comments, as you can see, everyone (my Jow included) picked v. lofty books for their lists, I only really overlap with people on my choices for #2. and #6. I would be curious to see what would happen if the challenge happened (someone has access only to the books we’ve given them and no previous knowledge of what we’re trying to impart onto them). I’m guessing she would be confused by my choices, probably. ;p But it’s a sincere look into my brain and how I became the kind of pagan/magic user/hearth woman I am.

I am building a Bad Ass Amazon (specializing in hearth witchery)

1. Someplace to be Flying (Charles Delint) (fiction) – a must have for the urban shaman

2. Evolutionary Witchcraft (Thorn Coyle) – her Iron Pentacle Meditation is unbelievably hard core. An amazon needs some reclaimst in her.

3. Eat, Love, Pray (Elizabeth Gilbert)(memoir) – for her inevitable identity meltdown. It made me want to run off to an ashram and started me on my daily japa practice.

4. Palimpsest (fiction) (Catherynne M. Valente) – a book about a sexually transmitted dream city you visit in your sleep. Need I really say more? Okay. It opened my heart up in ways I can’t even describe. I tell Cat she makes me cry more than anything else. It was a bit embarassing seeing her tour with SJ Tucker when they read a piece from the book about the opera and Sooj sang and I just cried and cried in a full room full of people. It made me see the world more magically again.

5. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths (Ingri d’Aulaire & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire) (children’s book) – This book made me a pagan, it planted the seed in the children’s room in the library. Other pagans have said the same thing. Concisely lays out the Olympians.

6. Hoodoo Root & Herb Magic (Cat Yronwode) – A must source book for all of one’s charms and hexes

7. Miss Abernathy’s Concise Slave Training Manual and Training With Miss Abernathy (Christina Abernathy) – Even if you’re not kinked, it’s a good primer on how to be service oriented. As someone who has kitchen witched for rituals, Thanksgivings, and funeral repasts great and small, it helps to get organized.

8. Real Simple magazine: A monthly magazine that teaches organization, budgeting, meal planning, etiquette, and other day to day life must haves. I cut out articles and recipes. You will need this for anything from knowing what to bring as a hostess gift to what to make for dinner on a Wednesday on a budget to how to start investing.

9. The Spirit Ways (Eric Taylor, Rachel Barth, Scott Cohen, and John Snead) (WW RPG) – How shamanism makes sense to me.

10. Spiral Dance (Starhawk) – You always remember your first. I *love* that she revises it every five years to be like, this was wrong, this was totally fucked up, I do this now, etc. It’s also a really good Dianic primer.

What would you pick?

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters. Β 

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3 Responses

  1. Are you going to add and subtract from you ABA list? Or just add to it?

    Incidentally, as an employee in the global traditional media industry, I'd like to personally thank you for including a magazine subscription on this list. πŸ™‚

  2. 1. Celtic Heritage – Alwyn and Brinley Rees

    2. Magic Power Language Symbol – Patrick Dunn

    3. Quantum Sorcery – Dave Smith

    4. Spellcraft – Robin Skelton

    5. The Magic Arts in Celtic Britain – Lewis Spence

    6. Invisibility: Mastering the Art of Vanishing – Steve Richards

    7. Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom – Erynn Rowan Laurie

    8. Robert Kirk: Walker Between the Worlds – R.J. Stewart

    9. The Book of Ogham – Michael Kelly

    10. Cauldron of the Gods – Jan Fries

  3. Nice list! BTW, Amazon has the Miss Abernathy books rolled into an omnibus now for under $15. It's a good time to add to the library, or rec for others. πŸ™‚

    My list right now would look like:
    1. Kenaz Filan's "Haitian Vodou Handbook: Protocols for Riding With the Lwa"
    2. Milo Rigaud, "Secrets of Voodoo"
    3. Maya Deren, "Divine Horsemen: the Living Gods of Haiti"
    4. cat yronwode's "Hoodoo Root & Herb Magic" (I'm with you, & am dying to take her course too)
    5. Jason Miller's "Protection and Reversal Magic"
    6. Shlomo Vaknin, "The Big Book of NLP Techniques: 200+ Patterns and Strategies of Neuro Linguisting Programming"
    7. Rachel Pollack, "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot"
    8. Alan Lightman, "Einstein's Dreams"
    9. Robert Grudin, "Time and the Art of Living"
    10. Jeffrey Gitomer, "The Little Red Book of Selling"

    Weird list, I know.

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