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One of the most prolific pagan authors, Carl McColman has a reputation for writing useful, well-researched, and logical books. Before You Cast a Spell only adds to his reputation as he discusses the theoretical and ethical underpinnings of modern magick. Although not rooted in any one tradition, McColman sees magick as "spiritual power," promulgates Wiccan Rede/Threefold Law-based ethics, and speaks from a perspective that will be familiar to Witches of many paths, rather than ceremonial mages, atheists, or magick workers following non-Wiccan Pagan paths.

Focusing on newcomers to Witchcraft the author’s style is conversational. He takes some fairly large topics (like the myths and laws of magic, ethics of spell craft, and the Deity) slowly and explains them well, and concisely. He advocates being very sure about doing magick, asking readers to wait three days before casting a spell to make sure they really want the outcome. And "Have you really tried every possible mundane means to achieve it?"

I enjoyed this exploration of one of the most common reasons for becoming a witch and feel it belongs on every witch’s bookshelf.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author:  Carl McColman

Career Press, 2003

pp. 256, $13.99

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