PARAPSYCHOLOGY

Shadow Magic: Unlocking the Whole Witch Within

Running Pr.: Perseus Sept. 2023. 184p. ISBN 9780762481491. $22. PARAPSYCH
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Prolific author of books about witchcraft, the occult, and crafts, Van De Car (Ritual: Magical Celebrations of Nature and Community from Around the World) provides a general exploration of magical practices through the lens of the “shadow” self. Based on Jung’s theory of individuation, the shadow self is defined as the part of the personality that harbors life traumas and negative emotions, such as anger and sorrow. Often, one tucks these memories and feelings away as uncomfortable, but because the shadow self is also the center of creativity and intuition, Van De Car encourages readers to befriend this aspect of themselves, as that is where their magic resides. Chapters on symbols and sigils, familiars, dream interpretation, lucid dreaming, and various forms of divination begin with a retelling of the stories of famous witches known for their comfort with shadow work or their triumph over hard circumstances. Practical spell work and mindful exercises to increase intuition, creativity, and self-love conclude most chapters. A brief discussion on personal protection wraps up the offerings.
VERDICT Readers looking to expand their approach to the practice of witchcraft will appreciate this beautifully illustrated introduction to shadow work.
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