Thursday 27 July 2023

Book Review: Pagan Portals - Planetary Magic

Whenever I do spells, I check the phase of the moon and day of the week and try to use the prevalent energy. Most witches find magic works best when the moon is full.

In ancient times, the Moon was thought of as a planet, as was the Sun. Monday was the Moon's day. Sunday was associated with the Sun.  The other days of the week were also linked to planets: Wednesday with Mercury, Friday with Venus, Tuesday with Mars, Thursday with Jupiter and Saturday with Saturn. These planetary correspondences are still used by magical practitioners today because the power of tradition is also a strong force.

Pagan Portals: Planetary Magic offers a really good explanation of the history and uses of the power of the planets, what each represents and the colours, herbs and other material components associated with them. Author Rebecca Beattie also goes into each day's planetary hours, to really tap into the right energy for whatever spell you're doing.

Publisher Moon Books says on its website:

"At the core of modern pagan witchcraft is a knowledge system concerning traditions of nature, connection, and embodiment to the astrological planets. Throughout magical history, practitioners of magic have looked to the planets for inspiration and magical help. From the earliest beginnings of written magical texts - the grimoires - magical systems were based on the seven planetary powers that were visible in the night sky. The grimoires were then studied by practitioners of folk-magic - the cunning folk - and by influential groups from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to practitioners of modern witchcraft."

After exploring the history of planetary magic, Rebecca Beattie explains how to work with the seven energetic powers. The book then has a full chapter on each of the planets in turn, including symbols and sigils; incense, oil and tea recipes; appropriate deities; tarot symbolism; and talismans to craft.

Planetary Magic is delightfully written, accessible and practical. I'd thoroughly recommend the book for anyone wanting to learn to use the correspondences of the planets and those with some experience already who want to delve a bit deeper into this essential aspect of witchcraft ancient and modern.

Rebecca Beattie's earlier Pagan Portals title, Nature Mystics, looked at ten writers and their influence on the cultural cauldron that enabled Modern Paganism to emerge in the Twentieth Century. You can find her website at 

Pagan Portals: Planetary Magic can be viewed on Amazon and at publisher Moon Book's website.

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