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Sunday, 28 February 2010

'Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic' by Scott Cunningham

'Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic' was written by Scott Cunningham as a follow up to 'Earth Power', published over ten years prior.

Despite his Wiccan beginnings Scott Cunningham's writing bears very little impression of this. As with the majority of Scott Cunningham books 'Earth, Air, Fire & Water' focuses on what he terms "folk magic", which he goes on to describe as "the magic of the people".

The book in a joy to read, and long after your first reading, when you inevitably flick back though it's pages in reference you will find yourself inadvertently losing at least an hour or so, reading chapter after chapter, after being caught up in the writing. Cunningham's passion for his subject matter is apparent from the very start. Utilising his skills as a creative writer to set the scene of the book and beckon you into his world.

"A figure moves between tangled trunks, seeking the clearing. Soon the ancient oaks part to reveal a stream. The woman kneels on the stream's grassy bank and places her hands onto the ground. The steady pulse of the earth's energy comforts her."
(Chapter 1: This is Magic)

The main reason I love this book is that is it not your average spell book, although it does list several examples. What 'Earth, Air, Fire & Water' does, is give you a tool to create your own. This book gives you a guided magical tour of the four elements. It tells you the many and varied ways in which each element can be utilized, for an array of different spells. It also provides a fantastic chapter giving a step by step breakdown on building rituals.

The whole book is a testament to Cunningham's belief that magic is about people building a personal connection with the natural world.

For me 'Earth, Air, Fire & Water' will always be one of the first books I recommend to anyone new to witchcraft and spell casting. That said, I know many more seasoned practitioners that have read it several times over and use it for reference purposes regularly.

Cunningham manages to write in such a way that allows this book to be utilised by practitioners from a wide range of magical backgrounds and pagan paths, but at the same time holds a tone that leaves you feeling you've had a personal glimpse into the authors life.

I really can't recommend this book enough, if you don't own it, you should!

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