There is a joy in spellwork that takes place over hours, even days; the sensation of increasing strength, of focused attention, and of pride in your accomplishment. All too often, however, our daily lives make this kind of spell casting impossible: either we need a spell – NOW –we just don’t have time to set aside day after day, or we have a difficult time finding long periods of undisturbed time. Several books in recent years have tackled this problem, most notably Christopher Penczak’s Instant Magic and Cal Garrison’s Witch On the Go. Now, Judika Illes, author of Pure Magic , has contributed her own collection of spells to the busy witch who needs help right now.


Magic When You Need It is a pretty good book and if I weren’t comparing it to the others I mentioned above, I’d say it was a very good book. Ms. Illes is incredibly positive, almost too much so, and when she says that even if the reader is useless at life but is perfect for spellcasting, I cringe. I absolutely agree that desperation makes for intense energy – but if the reader’s life is that out of control, spellcasting won’t make it all better. That’s sloppy thinking.


That said, the spells themselves are very very good. Succinct, logical in framework (thank goodness) and well thought through. With spells like get cash fast, pass an exam, heal your broken heart, sell your home fast, and get rid of pests this is a practical collection of magickal workings. That said, some of the offerings are ethically icky (bindings are not for everyday use). Magic When You Need It is not oriented towards beginners, so I feel the author didn’t bother to go over the ethics of spellwork, trusting that we’re all adults here and we can take our negative backlash with aplomb.


In general, I like Magic When You Need It. It is a quick guide to very practical spells and that is in and of itself worth recommending.


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Judika Illes

Wesier Books, 2008

pp. 192, $14.95

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