Bill Whitcomb and Taylor Ellwood have successfully created the ultimate stranded-on-a-desert-island book for occultists. The Book of Good Practices: Learning Core Skills for Health, Happiness, and Success is the ultimate tour of practical skills for magic: every meditation and altered state from breathing techniques to NLP get thorough coverage. The authors themselves acknowledge that it is unlikely a person could master the tools and exercises included in a lifetime.

Each topic has a concise division, making it easy to revisit exercises for daily practice. It also suggests examining outcomes, a newish concept for measuring the success of a magical endeavor. While often the core skills of grounding and centering are mentioned, this delves deep into all the other skills surrounding altered state and perception that often people only learn after investing thousands in attending workshops and conferences.

What makes this book unusual and powerful is that it calls upon the reader to think about thinking. Few people realize that they can observe thoughts, and upon observing them, that they can change them. This goes far and beyond positive thinking: changing a thought changes behavior. Changing behavior creates progress towards goals unachievable without a behavior change.

This is one of the best, most thorough books on foundations in magical practice available.

Highly recommended.

~ review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Whitcomb, Bill and Ellwood, Taylor
Temporary Press, 2014
464 pp, $24.95