It's been quite a while since I've really found a spellbook that has resonated with me ... but this one absolutely did not. 

Practical Spellcraft; A First Course in Magic by Leanna Greenaway is not as generalized as the title and sub-title make it sound.  Furthermore while there are a handful of times where Greenaway states that how a person does things should be personalized, this book is written very much in a "this is the only way" tone with absolutely no mention of any of the very well known Wiccan traditions such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian.  Additionally, the back of the book states that this not terribly big book is an "all-encompassing first course in Wiccan magic."

Besides the above, the very first thing I noticed was that this book is completely Wiccan, though it has absolutely no mention of the Lord and Lady, who are present in many, if not most Wiccan traditions.  Greenaway however does frequently mention Archangels, which I found to be quite unique.  I do have to mention that I found it near alarming, however, that Greenaway advocates casting spells on people including love spells and spells to change a persons behavior.  Indeed the author does mention to clear negative thoughts before casting spells, but more so because otherwise the spell might not work; at no time did I see any mention of any kind of ethics, nor any kind of mention about karma, dharma or any other system of cosmic "kick back."

In terms of actual content, there are chapters including Garden Magic, Self Defense, Tools and Concepts and Animal Magic.  Most of the chapters are quite small, including several short spells and a couple paragraphs of information.  The longest chapters are ones that simply include lists of information such as correspondences, but even then the longest one is less than 20 pages long. In several of these chapters Greenaway does mention that once the reader has more experience they can write their own spells but that they can personalize the spells included in the book.  However I found absolutely no information about writing spells and next to none about how to personalize them.

I feel it would be negligent of me to fail to mention the lack of sources, resources, additional reading or anything of the like.  While Greenaway does mention much of the content of Practical Spellcraft is from her own personal practice, in the first chapter "Observations" there is historical information included and I have always strongly felt such information should be sourced.  Plus I find it quite a disservice to not include a resources and/or further reading section.  Many beginners reading this book may want to further research in similar books and without those sections will find it quite difficult to do so.

All in all I just cannot recommend this book to anybody. 

~review by Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Leanna Greenaway
Sterling Publishing Co. 2017
(reprint from 2003)
187ppg; $16.95

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