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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Friendly, easy to read, alternating between the mystical and the matter-of-fact, "The Candle and the Crossroads" is a nice mixed bag of personal accounts, magical and spiritual philosophy, and useful practices and techniques. You can really hear the author's "voice" in this book, as well as read what his own spirit contacts have taught him.
One of the most important aspects of the book is about "doctoring the root," or, in other words, using various items such as bones, stones, roots, herbs and so on to purify and bless your spirit, the "root" of who you are and that is the basis of what you are and what you can accomplish. All things come from the spirit, so a healthy spirit and a good relationship with that spirit is important...and this book addresses that. This is very different than most modern medicine where the symptoms of physical disease are usually what is treated, rather than going to the spiritual source of those diseases and addressing the "root" problem, so to speak.
This book makes a nice introduction to conjure work, including some info on its background, including folk traditions and beliefs. It includes insights and techniques for working with all sorts of spirits, healing work, and how to do graveyard magic properly and with respect. There is also a good checklist to help you figure out if you need to cleanse and strengthen your spirit and what issues require the most attention and how you can address those issues. One really good bit was the addition of Four Steps to "cleanse and clear" your spirit, using a nice "cleansing" bath with herbs and so on, smudging with smoke, using the flame of a candle, and finally oils to "cover" your head back up. I tried this technique and it made me feel revitalized.
The items mentioned in the book seem fairly easy to acquire (unlike in some books), such as beans, olive oil, candles, strips of cloth, spit, pennies, rum, tobacco, and so on. There is mention of various pre-made oils--the kind commonly used in conjure--but they are much more readily available today both on-line and at various stores and the author includes some info on where you can get them.
It must be mentioned that some of the Christian overtones in the book might be a slight turn-off to some pagans and witches, but its not overt and most of the spells and practices would work with a variety of paths. Some might also be a little wary of working with the "Dark Rider," ie the magic of the crossroads and the bargain, but the author covers the risks and benefits. Honestly, what powerful magic is there without a bit of both?
Generally, this is a good overall look at the philosophical and cultural underpinnings of Appalachian conjure from someone who has also has had witchcraft training and can also speak from that pov. It's a book that can help the reader understand the worldview of those who practice conjure, the basis out of which their techniques arose, and what good use those techniques can be put to.