Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

The Creation of Spellcaster

This article was written by Elen Hawke
posted under Pagan

The idea for Spellcaster: Seven Ways to Effective Magic was born from a thread about magic, generated by British and American friends on the email discussion group Witchcraft UK. Those of us taking part in the discussion—myself, Morgana SidheRaven, Martin White, and Leah Whitehorse—were expressing deep concern at the way magic seems to be trivialized by the media in a manner that makes it seem easy, accessible, and glamorous. Anyone who has made a serious study of magical practice, or who has tried it for themselves, will know it takes hard work, willpower, and dedication to achieve results. And that, furthermore, wrongly used magic can create consequences that are disruptive at best and can be both dangerous and misleading. We were particularly worried about the glut of spell books aimed at the teen market, most of which appeared to promise unrealistic outcomes and some of which seemed downright unethical. Any form of magical working carries the responsibility of taking into account the wider picture, the context within which we seek to change things and a karmic obligation to right anything that goes wrong; yet many spellbooks, along with films and television series based on witchcraft and paganism, give the impression that it’s all just a fun way to attract the person you fancy, get a new computer, do your housework without lifting a finger, and so on (anyone who’s seen what happened to the Sorcerer’s apprentice in Walt Disney’s Fantasia will realize the peril of the last assumption).

As the discussion progressed over many messages and several days, I realized that we had the material for a book. Greatly excited, I contacted the other four and suggested we pool our theories and ideas to collaborate on a book that would set the record straight, explain what magical work really entailed, and provide ways in which people could safely try it out for themselves. Everyone responded with enthusiasm. Morgana set up a discussion list so that we didn’t have to keep forwarding or carbon copying email messages to each other—and the Spellweaver Collective became reality.

At this point it was decided that we needed more people to make the project viable. I already knew Morgana SidheRaven and Martin White personally, and Leah Whitehorse was an online contact whose writing I respected and whom had already contributed to my book Praise to the Moon: Magic and Myth of the Lunar Cycle, so I knew that we could work well together. However, we wanted to make the book as diverse as possible, bringing in contributions from people from a variety of traditions. To this end I contacted two other friends, Anna Franklin and Poppy Palin, both widely published pagan authors with their roots in the soul of the land, and to my delight they both agreed to take part. We now had contributions from people familiar with Wicca, British paganism, Hedgewitchcraft, Druidry, and the Northern Tradition. We realized we needed another perspective, which I felt could be achieved by incorporating the Hermetic tradition that underpins so much of modern paganism. With the backing of the group, I asked another friend, Martin Duffy, a pagan who runs a coven as well as studying and practicing Hermeticism, if he would join us.

It was decided amongst us that we’d each write a contribution from our own perspective, then we’d provide an introduction, a conclusion, an author biography, a resources section, and a bibliography. Martin White and I would edit the whole book, tying it together. We made a unanimous decision that as each of us had a different way of working—even a different way of spelling the word magical in some cases—we didn’t want to standardize the book or lay down guidelines or rules about the way each author expressed their personal contribution. We felt that there was value in showing readers that there are many ways to gain the same goals, and that nobody’s formula is exclusively right.

We of Spellcaster liaised at every step of the process of crafting the book, bouncing ideas off each other, posting our writing for the assessment of the collective, making suggestions, and offering each other encouragement, criticism, and praise. This is a joint book in every possible way. Eventually we had our seven completed pieces. At this point, Martin White came to stay with me in Oxford, and we sorted the order of the book and wrote the introduction and conclusion, the latter being expanded later by Leah Whitehorse—who also checked and correlated the resources and bibliography sections.

We offer our book with the sincere desire that it will provide ideas, answers, and guidelines, along with a sound foundation that will help students and practitioners of magic to work safely, creatively, and ethically.

Elen Hawke
Elen Hawke is a practicing witch who lives in Oxford  with her husband and a house full of animals.  She also has two grown children.  Elen is a photographer and illustrator, and has been doing professional astrology for 27 years and tarot...  Read more

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Sensitive people have gotten a bum rap. We live in a world that doesn't embrace the values of sensitivity, so we get told that we are weak, unusual, touchy, and hard to please. The sad truth is that we hear these messages in many ways throughout our lives. Even if it is from a well-meaning teacher or parent who tries to "toughen us up," the crux... read this article
Remaining Magickal in the Midst of Chaos
Sacred Space, Tarot, and Your Magical Practice
The Magical Use of Prayer Beads
The Future of Money Magic: What Do We Put Under the Candle When Our Currency Goes Digital?
Understanding the Moon Signs of Others

Most recent posts:
The Words on the Wheel of Fortune
One thing many students of tarot find fascinating is learning what some of the mysterious symbols on the cards mean. During the Renaissance, when...

Are You a Sensitive Empath?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Kyra Mesich, author of the new Strength of Sensitivity. I've dedicated my holistic psychology...

The Cards as Living Entities
In just a few months (August, to be precise), Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Tarot by the knowledgeable experienced, and delightful writer Anthony...





The Madness of Mercury The Madness of Mercury
By: Connie di Marco
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
The Linestrider Tarot The Linestrider Tarot
By: Siolo Thompson
Price: $28.99 US,  $33.50 CAN