Defying expectations, Taylor Ellwood's Pop Culture Magic 2.0 combines his first book, Pop Culture Magick with one of his other books, MultiMedia Magic with a decade of experience to provide readers with a unique perspective on mixing witchcraft with pop culture.  The first thing that popped out to me when I began reading Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is that this is not your typical Witchcraft 101 book.  Instead of explaining spell creation, giving correspondences and saying "this is how you do it," Ellwood says "this is how I do it, here's why I do it this way, here's a couple more examples, so now find out how you want to do it so you can do it the way best for you."  This is truly refreshing. 

Ellwood has organized this book in such a way that each chapter builds upon the previous.  He begins the book by not only discussing the history of his pop culture writing; how the book is built upon Pop Culture Magick and MultiMedia Magic, but also about what exactly is pop culture magic and even breaking down what is pop culture, in both the sense of actual definition and his own working definition.  Not only this but Ellwood discusses culture in general, how pop culture works within culture and how many people have certain pop culture icons, such as tv show characters or musicians and how they become relevant in regards to one's own personal identity. 

One thing that I really like about Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is that while it doesn't include spells and such, it does include exercises.  For example, in Chapter 4 which discusses retro magic there is a series of exercises which each build upon the one prior.  These exercises encourage you to look at things which had impact on you as a child, such as Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, or something even older such as Mr. Ed.  The exercise gets you to look at the importance of such characters, or even franchises depending on how large it was, and the impact it had on your life and you personally.  The exercises then have you looking further into these things; do they still have meaning to you and if so is there anything regarding them that you can work with spiritually and/or magically. 

There are further chapters which go into such subjects as pop culture and mythology and look at franchises such as Marvel and how they incorporate mythological beings and even discussing practical props and special effects versus real magic.  Ellwood ends the book with appendices where he discusses such topics as Holiday Magic, Dressing the Part and even conventions. 

All in all I have to highly recommend this book.  Ellwood has created a work here which looks at magic from a very unique perspective and which can help many individuals really personalize their personal magical and spiritual practice.  That being said I do feel that this book is not for a beginner magical practitioner.  Ellwood really gets into detail on the mental aspect of things and in many spots this book reads a bit more like a university essay rather than a book on actual magical practices.  As such I feel it's worded in such a way that if you do not have some experience, or an experienced working partner, it may be difficult to understand.  However, that aside, again; highly, highly recommended. 

~Reviewed by: Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Taylor Ellwood
226ppg; $17.99
Megalithica Books; 2015

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