One of the things you’ll notice if you’ve been pagan for any length of time is that a lot of pagans tend to divide everything up into “light” and “dark”. They then further this divide by distancing themselves from anything considered to be dark, presumably in part because for so long pagans and witches and the like were stereotyped as evil, dangerous, and so forth.

In the Shadow Magick Compendium, Raven Digitalis works to heal that divide a bit. He offers readers a good look into the dark side, not for the purposes of creating harm to others, but to have a more balanced view of the world. From the shadows of the natural world, to the darkness inside yourself, he guides us where we may fear to tread.

This is an especially important book for newcomers to paganism. While some of the topics may be heavy at times, the author presents them in a way that is accessible while also helping the reader go in prepared to deal with whatever they may uncover. Especially valuable are the first two chapters dealing with the psyche (your own and others’); some of the most important magic is that which helps a person navigate the twists and turns in their own mind.

Some readers may find themselves wanting more material to work with; this is more of an introduction to shadow work, and so additional resources for continued work may be helpful (check the bibliography). And because it’s introductory it may occasionally feel a little disorganized as the book jumps from topic to topic; again, it’s more a gateway to get you started, so supplementary material is advised.

Still, it is a good book for what it was intended to be, and it fills a particular niche quite nicely.

~ review by Lupa

Author: Raven Digitalis
Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008