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Book Review: Of Blood and Bones by Kate Freuler

Kate Freuler is a Canadian author and Of Blood and Bones: Working With Shadow Magic & the Dark Moon is her first published book. She’s been practicing the craft for about 30 years.

The foreword was written by Mat Auryn — wow, that man has been busy since Psychic Witch! Right off the bat, Auryn brings up the concept of self-defense as a reason to use magic that might harm others. He also makes sure to mention that phrases like “white magic” and “black magic” are gross oversimplifications and unrealistic as a strict moral code.

True magic is neither black nor white. It’s both. Because nature is both. Loving and cruel all at the same time. The good or bad lies within the heart of the witch. — “The Craft,” 1996

This book covers the following:

  • Magical History and Theory

  • Curses/Hexes

  • Using body fluids

  • Using animal and human remains

  • Ritual sacrifice

  • Necromancy

  • Ethical Considerations

  • Deities

  • The Dark Moon

Reviewing the topics above, you might think this is an especially dark book. In my opinion, this is as softly as you can present these topics. The author spends a lot of time defending why someone would need to resort to this kind of work (i.e. it’s natural to fight back because animals lash out in self-defense in the wild, why are we supposed to turn the other cheek). She also repeats the notion that she is only shedding light on these practices and what the reader does with the information is up to them. I agree with that statement.

Personally, I do think she spend too much time justifying this sort of work, but I can see why the author and the publisher felt that it was necessary. I suspect that it was a preventative measure against those who consider all forms of hexes or use of body parts to be inherently unethical. There might’ve been a lot of legal considerations because of the mention of blood and bones. All understandable, but it would’ve been nice to hear the simplest of reasons to walk on the darker side of the craft: “Because I f — king feel like it.” But alas…

Repetitious justifications aside, the book is a great beginner’s resource into the use of the physical body in the craft. A lot of the introductory witchcraft books out now focus on the nature outside of us, like herbs and crystals. But there’s magic inside of us too. In our nail clippings, in our blood, in the skeleton of the Publix rotisserie chicken we bought for family dinner. I don’t believe that using these ingredients is inherently dark, but if you have your doubts, check this book out and see what you think.


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