Posted tagged ‘books’

Blog Post 178 – Book Reviews

August 7, 2013

This seems to be a great time to work with American folk magic. Not only have a number of people begun working with the systems that have evolved here (like hoodoo, pow-wow, and all the other flavors of North American magic you probably come to this site to investigate), but the vast amount of information on the various branches has become legion. Thanks very much to author-teachers like Cat Yronwode, Conjureman Ali, and Denise Alvarado, the opportunity to learn folk magic has expanded beyond a few internet sites and hard-to-find instructors to entire shelves of books and even folk magic festivals where students can gather together and learn from a bevy of the brightest minds in practical magic today.

Keeping up with the tremendous reading list available to someone interested in folk magic is no easy task. My current pace is roughly a book a week to a book every two weeks, and that includes the books I review for the Journal of American Folklore, texts on folk magic, books on literature and criticism, science writing, etc. Occasionally I manage to squeeze one in for fun, too!

That’s not to say that my ‘required’ reading list can’t be fun, too, of course. Two recent entries into the pile of texts on folk magic that have been absolute pleasures to read are The Black Folder, compiled by Cat Yronwode and The Conjure Workbook, v. 1: Working the Root, by Starr Casas.

The Black Folder is the assembly of a number of workshop handouts from a variety of events and educational opportunities presented by Yronwode’s Lucky Mojo Curio Company and Missionary Independent Spiritual Church over the past decade or so. Many of the entries, particularly the early ones, are by Yronwode herself. Her section on working hoodoo based on items you can pick up at the grocery store or pull from your pantry is first-rate, and doesn’t simply focus on the spice rack but includes work with onions and other produce as well. Other top-notch contributors include Conjureman Ali, Sindy Todo, Robin York, Dr. E, Starr Casas, and many others. Topics range from the oft-covered bottle spells and honey jars to very detailed and unique pieces on foot-washing, the use of skulls in magic, and even some Swedish troll-magic courtesy of Dr. Johannes Gardback. The design of the book really looks like a collection of newsletters that have been bound up in a black cover (it is, however, a trade paperback version of the original Black Folder, which Yronwode used to keep up with all the informational pamphlets used by teachers in Lucky Mojo’s courses). Reading through this book provides a bit of a biography of Lucky Mojo as well, as the evolution of the company and its teaching role can be seen in the more-or-less chronological progression of the pamphlets.  The work provided varies in quality according to the author, with some authors giving standout spells and methods, and some which focus more on theory than technique. I found a few entries that seemed more conjectural and less based on inherited practices or research, but for the most part the book is an absolute treasure-trove of information. While it does not replace the opportunity to learn from these folks in person, it certainly does a phenomenal job of feeling like field notes from working magicians. It is published by Lucky Mojo, so you can buy it directly from them or through Amazon and other booksellers.  Because of the difficult layout work that must be required to piece together all those pamphlets, it seems like the kind of text that will not likely ever appear in eBook format, so a physical copy is the only way to go, but highly worth the purchase price.

In The Conjure Workbook, Casas—who contributed to The Black Folder as well, noted above—also does a tremendous amount of assembly, piecing together essentially an entire lifetime of conjure knowledge in a little under 300 pages. Casas has been teaching and writing for several years, and has formerly produced texts on doll baby work, money magic, basic Southern conjure, and Blackhawk independently. For this endeavor, however, she has joined up with Pendraig Publishing (Peter Paddon’s company). At the very outset, I will say the biggest problem with the book has nothing to do with the work presented, but rather the frequent typos, spelling errors, and odd edits that plague the text. Hopefully future volumes and editions will corret those issues, though, because this book is highly valuable and informative. Starr’s workbook reads like a master class with a highly skilled and practiced conjure worker. She makes no bones about the type of work she does, which she labels as specifically Southern conjure and ties to working with the Bible (please note, she does not say one must be a Christian to do this work, but that one must be comfortable with the Bible as a source of spellwork and power—this point frequently gets misunderstood in her writing). She has been practicing within a Catholic strain of the work for many years, so the Saints make a strong entry into this book. She doesn’t shy away from the darker side of saints like St. Lucy and St. Ramon, and includes work with Mary and several of the prophets, too—which are spirits that receive relatively little attention in other works on Biblically-framed folk magic despite their powerful natures. Casas puts the work first in this book, and if you’re looking for actual spells to do, this is certainly the kind of text to keep handy. She also does not regurgitate anyone else’s spellwork (at least as far as I can see) and gives the reader a piece of her own history and philosophy in between the spells. More than anything, this book reads like a conversation with her, and provides loads of new conjure projects to an aspiring worker, including doll babies made with shrunken apple heads, medicine bottle spells, and even a good reason to invest in getting a box of chalk from the dollar store to keep handy. Starr has put together a book that, despite its proofreading issues, manages to be absolutely invaluable to anyone who likes to get their hands a little dirty in folk magic.

Both of these books are born from years of practical experience, and they both have more of a classroom feel than most titles on folk magic do, which may make them more accessible than other texts on similar subjects. It is highly likely both books will be the initial entries into multi-volume series as well, which hopefully means that classes will continue, so to speak, for a long time to come.

Yronwode and Lucky Mojo have also begun producing a number of smaller books, like The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic in Rootwork (by Ms. Cat) and Hoodoo Honey & Sugar Spells (by Deacon Millet), but I’ve yet to read most of those. Casas also has released a small book on reading “conjure cards,” and she’s put out a deck and a special deluxe set that includes the cards, book, and blessing oil through Pendraig. They look absolutely stellar, though I’ve not laid hands on a set yet, only seen the online previews. I mention these because both Pendraig and Lucky Mojo seem to be strong contenders in terms of putting out useful texts on folk magic now, and I’m very happy to see them expanding their offerings. Hopefully that means an ever-growing source of knowledge and spellwork for all of us.

There are plenty of other texts I’d love to explore (including one that I’ll try to get to with a bit of fanfare soon, called Fifty-Four Devils, by Cory Thomas Hutcheson, who seems a rather promising fellow, if a bit silly at times), but for now I hope you’ll check out The Black Folder and Working the Root and let me know what you think.

Wishing you all the best, and happy reading!

-Cory

Blog Post 174 – New World Witchery Cartulary No. 3

April 8, 2013

First of all, despite the fact that I have the little tag on the side of the blog that says “Blogging Without Obligation,” I would like to apologize for the incredibly slow past couple of weeks. I keep convincing myself that I have time hiding somewhere in my days and I just have to find it, but I’ve yet to find it and use it to keep posts up regularly. This month, it’s been particularly bad, and I know I haven’t been providing you with much content (other than our recent episode, which I hope was fun for everyone), so I apologize for that. I also haven’t gotten my blog up at Witches & Pagans yet for April, so if you follow me there, my apologies as well. Hopefully things will be returning to normal soon, but until they do, please know that when I do produce content at New World Witchery, I will try to make it the best it can be everytime.  Thank you all for being patient.

I think I should share a few items with you that may or may not be of interest to friends of NWW. You’ve probably noticed that the Compass & Key Etsy store has been down lately (and it appears that the Hex Folk Market has also shut down as well). I’ve been struggling a lot with whether to reopen the Etsy shop, because it provides a good way for people to support the show and site, but it is also a bit labor-intensive. While I was finishing my schoolwork, I had a good reason not to keep it open, but I recently made an order for someone who contacted me independently of the Etsy site and remembered how much I love doing that work. However, I’m also aware that there are a lot of sites out there offering similar goods, and too many cooks may be in the conjure kitchen at the moment. So I’m working on some new product ideas, things you probably won’t find everywhere. So basically, I’m saying keep your eyes open, and we will hopefully have *something* available there soon.

In the same vein, I’m also going to suggest you keep your eyes open when it comes to the Cartomancy Guide we posted a few years ago. I’m not saying something is definitely going to happen with that soon, but something is definitely going to happen with that soon.

Also, apologies that the Witches’ Calendar is not yet updated. I will hope to have something up soon, but I do apologize it’s not up to date yet.

Now that all the shamefaced apologetics and shameless self-promotion are out of the way, I thought I’d share a few things that have come across my sightlines lately. Most of these are interesting items I’ve read, and things I would love to hear from you about.

First of all, Fire Lyte recently wrote a post in response to listener Mimi’s question, “Has the era of Pagan Podcasting ended?” I’d be interested to know the thoughts of those out there who listen to podcasts and read blogs geared towards the magical community. My understanding is that there are certainly a number of folks who are trickling away from regular production (we’ve been posting less frequently here, obviously), but that there still exists both a demand and a supply of such shows. The Lucky Mojo Hour, Conjure Crossroads, Lamplighter Blues, and Old Style Conjure podcasts have all produced shows somewhat regularly over the past six months or so (although the only one on a highly regular schedule is the Lucky Mojo show). Likewise a number of more directly Pagan podcasts have been producing somewhat steadily: Lakefront Pagan Voice, Ariel’s Druidic Craft of the Wise, the charming iPod Witch, the venerable and popular Wigglian Way, & Modern Witch Online, for example. A few have never wavered, like DruidCast. And I see new shows starting to rise to the surface, like New York Pagan. Yes, there are definitely shows that are disappearing or fading away, and there will always be shows that explode with potential and then vanish without a trace. And I think Fire Lyte makes a great point about breathing room—it seems that a number of folks have needed it lately, so perhaps we’ll see some of the old hats diving in and doing new work soon. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, New World Witchery isn’t planning on going anywhere for a while. But what do you think? Has the era of podcasting come to a close? Should we all just close up shop and go home, or is there a better way for us to present our content?

My current bookshelf has had a nice little group of texts that might be of interest to our readers. I’m finishing up Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life, edited by Marion Bowman and Ulo Valk. It essentially addresses the concept of religious performance as it is done by people in their day-to-day lives. There are essays about how saint stories influence the behavior of a woman living on the Russian borderlands, a look at how the layout of a house can become a sun-clock tied to the performance of work in the home, and the importance of angels to the royal family of Norway. I’ve also been working through Alan Dundes’ excellent look at biblical folklore, Holy Writ as Oral Lit. If you’ve ever wanted to see how many different people killed Goliath (or his brother), this is a book to pick up. I’ve also got a book on my “in” pile called Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages, by Stephen A. Mitchell, which looks quite promising.

With the lovley spring weather moving in (between the bouts of intense storms), it’s gardening time again. One of my favorite folklife blogs, The Blind Pig & The Acorn, has a couple of excellent posts  on some gardening practices which bridge distinctly Appalachian culture with a sensible, fun personal narrative. Her post “How Does My Garden Grow” and the post on “Patch Farming” are particularly nice. She also goes through each month of planting by the signs, usually posting around the first of the month. If you incorporate gardening into your magical or folk life, check out her blog.

For those who have been wondering, the Pagan Podkin Super Moot will be in New Orleans this year, and while I’m still working on dates and locations, it will likely be sometime in early October. I’ll be posting info at the main Pagan Podkin page, and here as well. I’m hoping to make things coincide with the New Orleans Folk Magic Festival in some way, too, but I can’t promise anything yet.

Finally, a happy birthday to Fire Lyte (a bit early, but better that than late, right?).

Thanks to everyone again for their patience, and for sticking with us!

-Cory

Blog Post 168 – New World Witchery Cartulary No. 2

November 29, 2012

Today we’re rounding up another group of links that readers of this blog might find interesting or enjoyable and sending them out into the world. I’ve not had as much time to write for the blog or record for the show as I’m knee-deep in the process of thesis-writing and researching places for PhD research, but I do continually find myself reading new posts, articles, and information that pertain to the various branches of folk lore, folk magic, and folk belief. Here’s a brief list that will hopefully give you some things to peruse while you’re waiting upon tenterhooks for the next riveting New World Witchery post or show.

I’ll start today in the realm of Pennsylvania-Dutch magic. There’s a brand new edition of the pow-wow classic The Long Lost Friend available from Llewellyn, edited and annotated by Daniel Harms.  Hohman’s text is presented here in several formats, including the original 1820 edition (with the German language version) and in an expanded 1856 English translation. Many of the spells are pulled from a third edition, the 1837 “Skippacksville” version. It’s a surprisingly stuffed text with a tremendous amount of folkloric value, and if you have any interest in American folk magic at all I highly recommend getting it.

In the same vein, if you enjoy braucherei, hexerei, and pow-wow, but want to explore it in a Pagan/Heathen context, I cannot recommend enough that you hurry over to Urglaawe. This is Rob Schreiwer & Co.’s site which helps collect—in English and PA-German—the vast stores of Germanic magic which exist on both sides of the Atlantic (with a heavy emphasis on the beliefs and practices of the Pennsylvania-Dutch in America). Schreiwer will be part of an upcoming episode of the show, and he’s a brilliant mind with a tremendous amount of information in his head, so please take a look at the work he’s doing. If you’re a schuler of things Deitsch, you won’t regret it.

In a final nod to the Germanic cultures of America, I was recently introduced by SilverShadow and Dr. Hob to the fascinating phenomenon of courting candles. These little spiral-shaped candle holders would be lit and adjusted to provide light for suitors to visit their sweethearts. When the candle burned out, the beau had to leave. If a father liked a suitor, he’d adjust the candle to provide more time in the light; if not, he’d move the little key to make the candle burn out more quickly. I’m always fascinated by things like this, as I can see plenty of ways they can be used magically in addition to their more mundane applications.

Speaking of Dr. Hob, he’s been very active on his own website lately, Pennies for the Boneyard, with phenomenal posts on topics ranging from his relationship with Christianity and conjure work to a review of ConjureMan Ali’s Santisma Muerte book to a rather flattering and kindly review of our own cartomancy guide. If you’ve not come across his blog before, give it a visit and tell him we sent you.

You should also check out the fun and informative show he and SilverShadow are doing together, called Lamplighter Blues.

I’m reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for the first time as part of a book club, and if you haven’t read it, it’s worth the time. The story gives you a wonderful portrait of the strange, beautiful, and eerie city of Savannah, Georgia, as well as a specific murder trial that occurred there in the 1980s. A major portion of the story takes place in cemeteries, and a conjure woman whom the author names “Minerva” becomes somewhat crucial in the narrative. This is essentially a non-fiction book, though, and Minerva is actually Valerie Fennel Boles, widow to one of the Dr. Buzzards of Beaufort, South Carolina. Boles carried on Buzzard’s conjure work until her death in 2009, and the portrayals of her practice in the book—despite the appellate of “voodoo” which author John Berendt uses to describe what she does—are incredibly vivid and authentic.  You can read more about Dr. Buzzard in Jack Montgomery’s American Shamans, too, which we’ve mentioned here before.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Sarah Lawless’ latest venture has gone live. Go take a peek at the Poisoner’s Apothecary, and check out some of the projects she’s working on. I’m particularly excited about the range of pipes she’s carving for smoking rituals.

I think that will just about do it for today. If you enjoy these links, let them know who sent you and let us know what you like best in the comments section. And feel free to share what you’re reading/writing/learning these days, too!

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

Podcast 39 – Feedback, Newbies, and News

January 16, 2012

-SHOWNOTES FOR EPISODE 39-

Summary
On this episode, we go through a lot of listener feedback, share a few thoughts on being new to a magical path, and give a few updates about what’s coming up for New World Witchery.

Play:

Download: New World Witchery – Episode 39

-Sources-

  1. From the feedback question about altars, some good books might be The Encyclopedia of Spirits and The Encycolpedia of Mystics, Saints, & Sages, both by Judika Illes
  2. From the question about divination, Aeclectic Tarot has wonderful comparisons and reviews of different tarot and oracle decks. You can also check out the Rabbit Tarot that Laine mentions, and our free Cartomancy Guide if you’re interested in playing cards.
  3. We had a question related to spinning wheel magic, which was based on our discussion from Podcast 25.
  4. Velma Nightshade asked a question about the Biblical Magic episode. Cory mentioned the Book of Pagan Prayer (though I intended to refer to the Pagan Ritual Prayer Book), both by Ceisiwr Smith.
  5. We mention Oraia Helene as a great resource for information on the martial arts and magic.
  6. We answered some questions in regard to our Secrecy & Silence posts.
  7. Check out the Book Reviews post mentioned as part of the “learning hoodoo” discussion.
  8. The “learning hoodoo” discussion also mentions a series of posts from us (starting at Blog Post 29), and several books that can help a person get started:
    1. Spiritual Cleansing and A Century of Spells, by Draja Mickaharic
    2. Mules & Men, by Zora Neale Hurston
    3. Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic, by catherine yronwode
    4. The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, by Denise Alvarado
    5. Conjure in African American Society, by Jeffery Anderson
    6. Black Magic, by Yvonne P. Chireau
    7. Master Book of Candle Burning, by Henri Gamache
    8. Secrets of the Psalms, by Godfrey Selig
  9. We also used an email from VII at Magic & Mundane to jump into a discussion of being new to a particular path.
  10. You can now request Card Readings from Cory via email, if you are so inclined.

We’ve got a Spring Lore Contest going on until March 21, 2012! We’re looking for Springtime Lore this time around: seed planting rituals & customs, fertility charms, spring cleaning spells, etc. Anything and everything related to Easter eggs, baby animals, April showers, and (shudder) bunnies. Send your entries to compassandkey@gmail.com to enter, and be sure to put “Spring Lore” in your subject line.  Three participants will win one of three prizes: a copy of Etched Offerings: Voices from the Cauldron of Story from Misanthrope press (an anthology of pagan fiction featuring stories from several podcasters like Oraia Helene, Saturn Darkhope, & me!), an email card reading from Cory, and a goody box from Compass & Key Apothecary featuring several of our oils, curios, and mojo bags. More details coming soon!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter!

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.

Promo 1 – Between the Earth & Stars
Promo 2 – The Pagan Homesteader
Promo 3 – The Texan Heretics

Quick Update – The Horror! The Horror! (Anthology)

December 20, 2011

Hi everyone!

Some of you know about this already, but for those who don’t, I’ve recently been published among a host of other excellent authors (including a few of my fellow podkin) in the latest release from Misanthrope Press. It’s called Etched Offerings: Voices from the Cauldron of Story, and features dark fiction with a magical, pagan-y, or generally metaphysical bent. My story is called “Wolves,” and deals with an ice storm, a teenaged ghost, and an old man who really likes hot dogs with mustard. Oh, and the titular wolves appear at some point, too.

Misanthrope Press has been putting out some really neat anthologies lately, including this one and Children of the Moon, a werewolf compilation. They’ve also got a great dark speculative fiction magazine called Title Goes Here that is worth checking out.
Okay, shameless plug done! Go take a peek at these stories and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

Blog Post 147 – Reviews and Recommendations

December 16, 2011

Hi all!

I’ve been reading a lot lately (but then, when am I not?). I’ve also managed to catch a couple of great movies as well. So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on them with you! The excerpts below are the slightly abridged versions of the full reviews found over at Pagan Bookworm, so head over there if you want the full report.

1)      The Book of English Magic – by Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate (Overlook, 2010)

If you have spent much time studying occult literature, you know that Great Britain is rife with magical lore: fairies, Arthurian legends, druidry, cunning folk, etc. In The Book of English Magic, Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate make the not-too-audacious claim that Britain’s magical history is one of the richest—perhaps the richest—in the world. They approach their subject by examining a mix of history, folklore, and modern practices to attempt to piece together a portrait of Britain as an enchanted isle. While I think that they succeed in presenting a magical portrait of a magical land, I also think that the authors are by turns too broad and too narrow. They do a wonderful job looking into subjects like English alchemy and dowsing, providing a number of excellent resources to discover more about each topic. They also dwell overlong on the concept of druidry (not surprising considering it is one of Carr-Gomm’s chief fields of interest—he is also the author of Druid Mysteries, the Druid Plant Oracle, and the Druid Animal Oracle). The paucity of sources supporting some of their research means that while some chapters seem tight and focused, others seem only loosely woven together. They hardly plumb the depths of what is called Traditional Witchcraft, and the concept of cunning folk is given surprisingly short shrift considering how close to contemporary some of that material is. The inclusion of practical exercises gives a slightly ‘workbook’ feel at times, which deflates the momentum of the book in some places, but really does seem to serve the overall work.That being said, if one were looking for a good coffee-table introduction to the myriad magical traditions available to the student of British history, this would be an excellent starting point.

2)      The Voodoo-Hoodoo Spellbookby Denise Alvarado (Weiser, 2011)

This book is about what author Denise Alvarado calls “Voodoo-Hoodoo,” a term which irks some as the continuing inaccurate jumble of two terms which should remain distinct (Voodoo being a religion and hoodoo being a folk magical practice). However, if one takes the time to read Alvarado’s passionate book on the topic, the Voodoo-Hoodoo Spellbook, one can see that she is merely sticking to the terminology most people are familiar with and that the dog of diction has no teeth to bite when it comes to New Orleans-style magic. Instead, Alvarado presents a tradition which blends elements of Haitian Vodoun, folk Catholicism, Southern root work and hoodoo, and a touch of New Age spirituality to create a vibrant, current practice. She uses a number of good resources, often primary ones, to support her understanding of a practice she has lived with her whole life (according to her). She also frequently slips away from the facts and into personal experience, but does so in a non-authoritarian way. Her history of Mardi Gras and the magical folklore associated with them is captivating, as is her heartfelt look at the Seven African Powers. When she does slip off of the scholarly or personal track the book can get a bit messy. Her correspondence tables are not a strength, and her inclusion of New Age style tumbled gemstones in her work almost undermines her traditionalism (as it seems fairly obvious that slaves doing similar work in the 19th century would not have had polished rose quartz to work with). She is flexible and fluid towards Christianity, though here it should be pointed out that she neither says one must work with Christianity nor one must work with African Traditional spirituality. People are looking for spells, and this book definitely has those. There are spells for love, luck, money, protection, and half-a-dozen other needs. Hundreds of spells and workings are contained in this book, as well as recipes for conjure oils and powders, instructions for candle working, and a discussion of poppets and dolls in magical work. Some of them seem totally reasonable within the context of her presented practice, and some seem a little forced. This book fits nicely on the shelf next to other “hoodoo 101” texts, while offering a few doors to open for a reader looking to go deeper.

3)      Old World Witchcraft – by Raven Grimassi (Weiser 2011)

Don’t buy this book. I’m not even bothering providing a link to it. I’ve done a full review at Pagan Bookworm, but let me just say this text is badly researched, mis-cites or fails to cite sources, argues with scholars without presenting their actual point of view/argument, claims that graveyard dirt is just the powdered ash of tree leaves gathered in a cemetery, and says that you can become deeply knowledgable about a plant by studying its sigil. It’s bad history, bad herbalism, and bad witchcraft. All in all, this is a book which suffers from broken clock syndrome (as in, “a broken clock is right twice a day”). He occasionally hits on interesting ideas or brings up worthwhile concepts, but mostly he seems to be posing an elaborate fantasy as a pseudo-historical reality, with very little scholarly backbone to support his claims. When someone prods the gear works, the whole contraption just seems to fall apart.

4)      American Mystic, directed by Alex Mar (Empire 8 Productions, 2010)

Director Mar turns the camera on three different but spiritually similar people: Kublai, an African American man who belongs to the Spiritualist Church; Chuck, a Lakota Sioux sun dancer; and Morpheus, a pagan witch and Feri tradition priestess. The director captures the challenges of these faiths, including both internal and external struggles. While there is an element of novelty to the practices of each film subject, the director never lets curiosity turn into spectacle. The Sun Dance, which can be grueling for participants, is not simply a show of blood and muscle, but rather connects Chuck to his family in a powerful way. Kublai seems to struggle with just how much he believes in his own spiritual gifts. And Morpheus senses her displacement in the modern world, while at the same time she does not shy away from the society of other people.  The film does have its flaws, but keeps a sensitive and intelligent lens focused on these subjects and their deeply-felt spiritualism. This is a rare and lovely documentary on mysticism as seen at the ground level. Available on Netflix.

5)      All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, directed by Tim Rutili (IndiePix Films, 2010)

In this outstanding independent film from director (and bit player/musician) Tim Rutili, a lonely fortune-teller and magical worker named Zel (played by the radiant Angela Bettis) lives in an old country house inhabited by a wide range of unusual ghosts that only she can see. There are dead flappers, priests, blind musicians, and a strange, child-like woman named Nyla (Molly Wade) who cannot speak. Zel is not merely a medium, she is also a deeply talented magical worker. She smartly lays down a salt line in front of her bedroom door every night to keep her ghost-friends out. The director cleverly bookends each section of the film with bits of folk magic, title cards with things like “A wish made while burning onions will come true,” which lends to the overall enchantment of the piece. This is such a lovely and exceptional film that I easily overlooked its flaws in favor of being bespelled by these characters. I cannot recommend this film highly enough. Go, watch it now! Available on Netflix.

Whew! So that’s been my reading and watch list (at least, that all the ones I could write reviews about lately). What have you been getting into?

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

Podcast Special – All Hallows Read

October 28, 2011

-SHOWNOTES FOR PODCAST SPECIAL-

Summary
In our very special and rather remarkable Halloween episode, we have original works of short fiction from six talented horror writers. Special thanks to our guests and our listeners!

Play:

Download:  New World Witchery Special – All Hallows Read

-Sources-

I mention the concept of All Hallows Read early on, which is an idea from author Neil Gaiman. All works herein are original and retain the copyright of their authors. They are used with authorial permission on this episode. For your convenience, here’s a rough index of where the different stories and promos are in the show:
0 – Intro
7:40 – “Midnight,” by Saturn Darkhope
25:02 – “A Flash of Red,” by Inanna Gabriel
35:40 – Pennies in the Well promo
36:20 – Children of the Moon (Misanthrope Press) promo
37:53 – “The Crystal Well,” by Oraia Helene
51:10 – The Demon’s Apprentice, “Chapter 2,” by Ben Reeder (read by Peter Paddon)
1:09:52 – “They Dance at the Full Moon,” by Cory Thomas Hutcheson (that’s me!)
1:35:05 – Media Astra ac Terra promo
1:35:40 – Uneasy Lies the Head (Pendraig Publishing) promo
1:36:45 – Lakefront Pagan Voice promo
1:37:34 – “Rushing Water,” by Scarlet Page
2:00:55 – Closing notes/Credits/Outro

Promos & Music
“Grifos Muertos” by Jeffery Luck Lucas, from his album What We Whisper, on Magnatune.com

All incidental music comes from the Apple GarageBand program and Archive.org


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