The Book of Spells: Vintage Edition
by Nicola de Pulford (2010, Barron’s Educational Series)
This little gem of a book, a collection of spells “for health, wealth and happiness”, is a sweet find. The volume may be on the slim side, but it offers lots of useful information, all wrapped up in a really charming package.
The hardcover “vintage edition” refers to the use of retro fonts printed on paper that looks like old parchment, as well as to the many quaint Victorian-style colour drawings and motifs gracing each page. Truth be told, it was the look of this book that attracted me and “made” me purchase it, but I was pleasantly surprised at its content, too.
The guide begins with the essentials of paganism, with an emphasis on benevolent, natural magick. Here you will find brief (and I do mean brief) discussions on ancient beliefs and practices, the true meaning of “occult”, signs and symbols, numerology, gemstones and colours, plants and trees, magickal ingredients and tools, and, of course, spells.
Chapters range from magickal self-care, drawing and attraction to wealth and success, love and harmony, holidays and festivals, and luck. Each chapter contains seven related spells inspired by different traditions including ancient Egyptian, Mayan, Druidic and Native American. The author claims they can all be accomplished without having to procure special ingredients; glancing through the recipes, that does seems for the most part to be true.
The section on numbers taught me something right away, confirming why I’ve always been drawn very strongly to the number seven (a very magickal number). I won’t give away the method, but when I followed it, I had an “aha!” moment.
I also learned the difference between talismans and amulets, terms I’ve always used interchangeably. (For the record, a talisman attracts something beneficial; an amulet wards off negativity.)
A surprise feature at the end of the book: several “sealed spells” (contained within sealed pages that must be separated to be viewed) – to be, as the author cautions, “executed without malice”.
This book will be a treasured addition to my magickal shelf. I was so entertained by it that I’ll definitely be picking up another in the series – The Secrets of High Magic: Vintage Edition by Francis Melville (2012, Barron’s).