Review: Encyclopedia of Spirits

Another wonderful volume from Judika Illes-this would make a wonderful addition to any library, whether pagan or non-pagan, for research or ritual work.  The Encyclopedia of Spirits compiles many of the major deities and spirits from around the world, from both present and past cultures, such as China and Ancient Greece.

A lot of the spirits, I have never heard of, mostly because I have never read or taken an interest in the cultures that they are part of.

Each article for each spirit has been well researched and well presented with clear description.  The profiles include their titles, alternative names, their place or culture of origin and rank within their pantheon (if there are), the different versions of the most well-known stories they are featured in, specific dates, places , plants and animals that are sacred to them (this only applies to deities), their manifestations, attributes and celestial bodies associated with them, as well as objects that would make appropriate offerings to them.  Although, not all profiles include all of the things mentioned.  At the end of each profile, Illes give names of deities or spirits associated, whether linked by familial connections or in stories.

Illes also uses examples from modern popular culture, particularly when it comes to spirits from Japan, as they are often used as inspiration for popular cartoons and comic books, such as Inuyasha and Yu Yu Hakusho.  Some of the most well-known American television dramas also use spirits that are notorious for hauntings and creating mischief, both harmful and non-harmful.

Some of these articles also include historical or cultural notes, particularly if deities were originally people who were ‘deified’ after death.

Whether you a writer of fantasy or horror, a pagan or witch, or just a follower of the paranormal and supernatural, the Encyclopedia of Spirits is an absolute must-have.


Witchcraft and Pagan Book Recommendations

When studying magick, one should not limit themselves to just one book as their Wiccan or pagan “bible”.  It’s better to read more than one book on the subject, as different people will have different opinions and methods on the practise of magick.  Some you may agree with and others you may not, but it’s good to be well-informed.  However, you have to be careful on which books you buy, as some are not as accurate as others and have mostly been written for the sake of money.

I would like to recommend some of my favourite books on magick.  I hope you find them as useful as I did.

The Real Witch’s Handbook by Kate West

This is much easier to digest than some other books I’ve read on the Wicca and the Craft.  It’s not that it’s shorter or simpler, rather it uses language that is easy to understand, especially for someone who has only just started learning about the Craft, so it’s good for both teenagers and adults.  It also gives examples of how to celebrate the Sabbats in a non-magical way of you don’t really have the time to be casting spells or performing rituals during those times, as well as basic information about Wiccan principals and beliefs, the coven initiation system, herblore and spellcraft.  Kate West also includes a section on ‘coming out of the broom closet.’

A Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows by Judy Anna Nock

As a comprehensive guidebook, A Witch’s Grimoire is a wonderful addition to any Wiccan or pagan collection whether as a study aid to those new to the study and practise of magick or as a companion for the more experienced practitioners.  This text is broken down into sections that one can easily follow, from the making of your own personal book of shadows to exercises on writing your own spells, rituals and invocations, with additional information on commonly used gemstones, magickal herbs and herb blends, spells, recipes and rituals.

Anyone wanting to have a look at my video on creating a Book of Shadows, please click here.

The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes

An excellent compilation of spells and rituals from cultures around the world.  A great reference book any Witch or pagan.  The categories of spells and other magickal practises are broken down into many subcategories, which is a bit of a bother but worth it.  I really like the fact that it includes spells from other countries, not just from around Europe.  The book also gives a long bibliography of the different sources that the author used to compile this encyclopedia, which is great, particularly if you’re trying to find a book on a subject that is a bit more obscure than the topics you usually see in bookstores.

If you would like to look at my more detailed video review/recommendation, please go to

10 Minute Magic Spells by Skye Alexander

A very useful book, if you don’t have very much time on your hands, especially if you’re a student at university, or have a demanding worklife.  The book is broken down into two parts; the first, explaining the workings and theories of magick, and essential steps that have to be taken when performing a ritual or spell; and the second part gives you the actual spells.  This is great for the absolute beginners, to give them the gist of what magic is about.  Just don’t go straight to the second part of the book, as I have been guilty of in the past.