In the last few years, occult publishers have turned out some great biographies and autobiographies. Some of the best titles include In the Center of the Fire by James Wasserman and The Wizard and the Witch by John. C. Sulak, Oberon Zell, and Morning Glory. These books offer both illumination and clarification on occult and Pagan practices, especially those that originated in the 1970s and 1980s.

Lon Milo Duquette has now made his own contribution to the growing offerings of personal occult/Pagan backstories. In the case of his book Homemade Magick, Duquette blends autobiographical narrative with guidance for the would-be magician. In between instructions for making pantacles, establishing home altars, and discussing that age-old question of “What is magic anyway?” he talks about his own life and the lessons he learned – usually the hard way. His wisdom, worth reading in its own words, includes advice such as: if you must pursue magic, find a partner willing to put up with that. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Find ways for your family to take part, if they want. Sometimes, someone may initiate you while drunk. As long as you take the initiation seriously, it still counts.

Duquette succeeds in striking a place between what most of the world perceives as the division of the magical from the practical. Homemade Magic is practical advice about the magical. It is also magical advice about the practical. They both have their place to Duquette.

It’s also a good, sometimes hilarious read. Recommended.

~ review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Lon Milo Duquette
Llewellyn Publications, 2014
pp. 203, $16.99

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