Blog Post 228 – Book Club Discussion #4

Book Cover for Earth Power by Scott Cunningham
The madness continues (both the madness of the world in general and our own strange little plot to keep revisiting Scott Cunningham’s two “Natural Magic” books, Earth Power and Earth, Air, Fire, & Water). We’ve fallen a teensy bit behind on discussing the books on the show (just by a month or so), but we’re also a bit behind on catching up with the blog posts that let everyone participate in the discussion. Back in Book Club Discussion #3, we combined our questions and comments on two sections: Air and Earth. This time we’re doing the same for questions on the sections for Fire and Water (which balances quite nicely).
Some of the questions we wound up asking of ourselves and our Patreon supporters are below, and we’d highly welcome any feedback or responses (civil, please please please!) in the comments.
Book Cover for Earth Air Fire and Water by Scott Cunningham
Fire
  1. What form of fire magic do you practice most often? Is it candle magic? Do you use fire as a “cleansing” force in ritual, or does it serve more of an “animating” role in your spellwork?
  2. Where do you think incense falls in the big picture of spells? Is it just Air? Is it also Fire? Do all spell elements inherently draw upon multiple elemental energies?
  3. Have you ever done a purification spell like the one Cunningham mentions (the ritual burning)? Did it work for you? (Feel free to share juicy details of burning an ex-boyfriend’s stuff if you like!)
  4. Do you ever do any fire-based divination practices (like scrying)? Have you tried his “fire writing” method with bark or paper?
  5. Cunningham warns about the potential destructive forces of Air and Fire, but is less concerned with that problem in the Earth/Water chapters. Why do you think that is? Do you work with “both sides” (or “many sides” if you prefer to be nondualistic about it) of the elements?
  6. So many myths have fire stolen from the sky, and Cunningham also connects fire magic with solar magic. Do you do this as well? Why or why not?
 
Water
  1. Cunningham warns that we should “beware the tricks of the conscious mind” when doing things like water scrying. Do you treat the conscious mind as something that works against magic, or something that has a place in the magical process?
  2. What forms of water magic do you do most often? Spiritual baths? Wishing well magic? Water gazing/scrying?
  3. Do you consider any weather magic to be within the realm of water magic? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever heard of/used the “crossing water” folklore that supposedly puts a barrier between you and evil/ghosts?
  5. When making offerings to elemental spirits, is it more appropriate to bring something of your own or use what you find in the area? (Thinking here of Cunningham’s use of the coin to pay the tree for leaves to use in a ritual).
  6. Should you always “pay” for the natural materials you use in magic? Can you ever simply use something and assume it’s okay/a gift/expected to be used for magic?
  7. Have you ever taken a “water vow” as Cunningham describes it? What was it for/about, and did it feel like it was more potent because of water’s role in the vow?
 
We obviously get into a good bit more detail in both of our discussions (and we even have a few questions here we didn’t really cover). We would really love to hear/read your answers on some of these, though, if you’re interested in responding!
 
We’ll be back talking about things like Stone magic in the next book club discussion, and moving into the more detailed, “smaller” elements of magic. We hope you’re enjoying the chance to read along with us and that you’ll share your thoughts!
 
Thanks for reading,
-Cory

Episode 166 – The Fire Magic Book Club

Summary:
We rekindle (see what I did there) our monthly Cunningham book club and talk about fire magic, where we see candles and incense fitting in, way too many pop culture references, and the connections between fire and the sun.
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Producers for this show: Heather, WisdomQueen, Jenni Love of Broom Book & Candle, Jennifer, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Khristopher, Tanner, Fergus from Queer as Folk Magic, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Catherine, Payton, Carole, Stephanie, Staci, Montine, WickedScense, Vic from the Distelfink Sippschaft of Urglaawe, Moma Sarah at ConjuredCardea, Jody, AthenaBeth, Bo, Scarlet Pirate, Tim, Leslie, Sherry, Jenna, Jess, Laura, Abbi, Nicole, & Clever Kim’s Curios (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
Play:
-Sources-
This is our discussion of the Cunningham books Earth Power and Earth, Air, Fire, & Water.  If you’re interested in participating in the book club, check out the post introducing it. We didn’t get to it in this episode but will have another mini-episode soon about the book club!
Image via Pixabay (Public Domain/CC 2.0 License).
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