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This is the latest release from spellcrafter Gillian Kemp. It’s also the newest book to focus on cat magic, and one of the more interactive ones as far as your cat is concerned.

The book focuses on the cat as a familiar. While I agree with Kemp that a familiar is an animal who actively aids in magic, I disagree that the main factor involved in whether a cat (or any animal) is a familiar is love. You can love a pet dearly, but that doesn’t make hir any more likely to be a familiar than a family member would be a magician hirself. She also includes astrological profiles for cats; the information didn’t particularly match my two cats, but then again astrological generalizations presented in brief often tend to be hit or miss.

Kemp provides dozens of spells for a variety of purposes, from love to prosperity to reversing your luck. Your cat simply acts as a cat normally would, and that energy is placed into the spell or divination. A good example is “To Speed Cash to You Quickly” (p. 43), which basically involves enticing your cat to play with money as a toy, with a little extra “oomph”.

While the cats are well-treated, some of the spells may offend some peoples’ ethics. The very first spell in the book, “To Bewitch the One You Love” (p. 14), involves compelling a specific person to think of you; “To Keep the One You Love” (p. 17) and “For a Lover To Return To You” speak more of insecurity than love. “To Encourage Your Parents to Reconcile and Reunite” (p. 31) is similarly aimed at those who may be tempted to try to interfere with a situation that they may not completely understand.

The Cat Oracle is a reworking of the old divination trick of watching the movements of an animal to get an answer. There’s a poster in the back of the book that has a set of symbols arranged in a particular way, and however your cat moves will determine which symbol is relevant to your question. If you do have a feline familiar, this may be a neat thing to try out.

I’m torn on how to rate this book. On the one hand, there are some useful things in here for those who like cat magic. However, on the other, the borderline manipulative spells, as well as my disagreement about what actually constitutes a familiar, and a complete lack of a bibliography or references, take away points. So I’m going to give it three and a half pawprints out of five.

 

~review by Lupa

Author: Gillian Kemp

Crossing Press, 2008

pp.122, $15.95

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