Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Book Review: Slavic Witchcraft by Natasha Hevlin (Non-Fiction / Spirituality)
Author: Natasha Hevlin
Publisher: Destiny Books
Publication Date: 6 August 2019
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction / Spirituality
Source: ARC via NetGalley
A practical guide to the ancient magical tradition of Russian sorcery and Eastern Slavic magical rites.
• Offers step-by-step instructions for more than 300 spells, incantations, charms, amulets, and practical rituals for love, career success, protection, healing, divination, communicating with spirits and ancestors, and other challenges and situations
• Reveals specific places of magical power in the natural world as well as the profound power of graveyards and churches for casting spells
• Explores the folk history of this ancient magical tradition, including how the pagan gods gained new life as Eastern Orthodox saints, and shares folktales of magical beings, including sorceresses shapeshifting into animals and household objects
Passed down through generations, the Slavic practice of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery is still alive and well in Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus, as well as the Balkans and the Baltic states. There are still witches who whisper upon tied knots to curse or heal, sorceresses who shapeshift into animals or household objects, magicians who cast spells for love or good fortune, and common folk who seek their aid for daily problems big and small.
Sharing the extensive knowledge she inherited from her mother and grandmother, including spells of the “Old Believers” previously unknown to outsiders, Natasha Helvin explores in detail the folk history and practice of Russian sorcery and Eastern Slavic magical rites, offering a rich compendium of more than 300 spells, incantations, charms, and practical rituals for love, relationships, career success, protection, healing, divination, averting the evil eye, communicating with spirits and ancestors, and a host of other life challenges and daily situations, with complete step-by-step instructions to ensure your magical goals are realized. She explains how this tradition has only a thin Christian veneer over its pagan origins and how the Slavic pagan gods and goddesses acquired new lives as the saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. She details how the magical energy for these spells and rituals is drawn from the forces of nature, revealing specific places of power in the natural world as well as the profound power of graveyards and churches for casting spells. She explores the creation of amulets and talismans, the importance of icons, and the proper recital of magical language and actions during spells, as well as how one becomes a witch or sorceress.
Offering a close examination of these two-thousand-year-old occult practices, Helvin also includes Slavic folk advice, adapted for the modern era. Revealing what it means to be a Slavic witch or sorceress, and how this vocation pervades all aspects of life, she shows that each of us has magic within that we can use to take control of our own destiny.
I requested this book out of an interest in Slavic folklore, and from that point of view it was a fascinating read. I learnt many things I had not come across before, including the various aspects of burial practices. The spells themselves were also interesting for the light they cast on ways of thinking and folk practices from the region. I may never attempt any of them myself, but I am certainly glad I gave this book a read and expanded my knowledge. Recommended for those interested in spell craft and those who wish to know more about Slavic traditional beliefs and practices.