Tess Whitehurst’s book Holistic Energy Magic may surprise some people. It definitely has spells –spells for cleansing, spells for abundance, spells for healing, and many more. What it does not have, however, is recipes. It does not instruct readers to get a red candle, or a packet of basil. Instead, Whitehurst tells the reader to think of the smell of basil, to conjure the inner experience of the color red, and to direct all energy and casting from there. What Whitehurst has done has created a guidebook to casting and conjuring through the mind alone.

This is one of those books that a person doesn’t know he or she needed until he or she reads it. It fills a much-needed gap in the teaching the discipline behind spellcasting, one people often tell themselves they “can’t” achieve but showing them – as they read! – that they can.  There is only one serious flaw in Whitehurst’s method: people process information in different ways. Yes, some people are purely visual. Others can certainly and powerfully imagine the taste of a lemon, while some have a deeper response to music than others. It seems entirely possible that Whitehurst happens to be multi-modal, as many particularly strong magic practitioners are. However, there are also equally strong magic practitioners that are NOT multi-modal. While extending modality can certainly happen with meditation and visualization practice over years, until a person reaches that point, the mind alone will probably make a limited platform for manipulation of energy on magical levels.

Magical people are rarely neurologists too, and this is one of those works that fills the need for a cross-disciplinary approach to spell casting even as it covers that cross disciplinary need in another area.

This book may prove more helpful to magic workers of limited modalities, even though they may not find that they can use the book as Whitehurst intended. When a person performs a cleansing spell, lighting candles or sweeping, or engaging in a similar ritual action with real physical tools, this is the best time to bring in the visualizations from Holistic Energy Magic. It helps the person casting concentrate on his or her intent – and adds that little bit of oomph that also comes through the magical actions already in motion. As the person practices linking action with imagination, the modalities of that person increase.

From a practitioner’s perspective, this is invaluable for the skills it can help develop.

From a religious inclination perspective, some readers may stumble over Whitehurst’s material on New Age saints/received masters. Pagans for the most part do not deal with these personalities and many are more skeptical of their authenticity than they are of Pagan gods. In these situations it’s important to remember that Pagan magic workers are far from the only magicians around – and that these other energy workers may find the Pagan approach just as hard to relate to – making it all the more important to focus on Whitehurst’s techniques.


~ review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Tess Whitehurst
Llewellyn Ltd., 2015
pp. 272, $16.99

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