Most of us think of Paganism and Magick as belonging in the realm of rural life. After all, the word Pagan itself, is derived from the Latin word pagus which is an adjective describing country dwellers. 1  But the modern pagan is a resilient being and is able to adapt and thrive in any environment, including urban life. In his book entitled City Magick, Christopher Penczak offers the urban Pagan (shaman, wiccan or witch) a fun and interesting practice text that focuses on the topic of shamanism in urban life.

The Pagan reader will find familiar topics in City Magick. Penczak discusses the circle, ritual tools, deities, spirits, and devas. The reader will find spells, runes and totem animals but with the metropolitan witch in mind. Here, the reader could find their totem animal is a rat, a cockroach, a pigeon, a squirrel, or a stray cat or dog. The urban witch or shaman will find spirits to interact with in areas such as subways, power plants on onboard trains, to name just a few.

There are fun and engaging exercises that teach the beginner how to create an office altar, how to make ritual tools out of office supplies, how to connect with your personal urban totem (if it’s a roach, I’m not sure you’d want to) and there are standard spells on prosperity, upward mobility, and job creation. The exercise that fascinated me the most involved scrying with a tv set.

This is a fascinating book is filled with great twists and great ideas built solidly on the foundations of traditional magick. Penczak’s relaxed and conversational writing style is easy to understand and the exercises are fun and engaging. I highly recommend this book whether you live in Los Angeles or in a small Midwestern town. The information contained in Urban Magick is well worth the money.

Highly Recommended

1 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pagan

~review by Patricia Snodgrass

Author: Christopher Penczak
Weiser books, 2012
pp. 283, $19.95



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