University Witch: A Witch’s Guide to Surviving Higher Education, by Soull Soothslayer
published 2012 by Techno-Witchcraft D. P.
Author information here
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Copy is an ebook
Rating: 4 out of 5
________________________________________________________ About the Book: Full of humor and amusement, University Witch has great tips for the newbie Pagan going off to college as well as tips that can be applied to any roommate situation. This is a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is here to help newbies and old hands alike at navigating the waters of college dorm living in Witchy style.
My Thoughts: First, in the interests of full disclosure: The author of this book has been a guest writer on this blog numerous times and she and I are friendly.
Now, on to the review!
Overall, I really liked this book. It’s a fairly quick read–I read it in less than a day while I was at work (shh!)–but it’s stuffed with good tips and advice for living in a college dorm situation. Some of the tips I’d say could even be applied to almost any roommate situation.
What I liked most about the book was Soull’s humor. She makes it a fun read, and while in some places it can be a little bit intrusive, on the whole, it’s well done. The humor adds flavor to what potentially could have otherwise been a dry subject in a genre that is at times overloaded with copycats and repeats of the same material.
I also like that the tips and advice she gives are practical and contain healthy doses of common sense. For example, while Soull gives a sample protection spell, she also stresses that if there is immediate danger, you should contact the police. Too many other authors and even bloggers have given out advice and spells and such without adding in the common sense portion.
I found the beginning to be a little bit rough, but as I continued her genuine warmth and desire to share what she’s learned are evident on the page. Soull invites the reader to share in her knowledge and humor. She has many good tips, things I wish I had known or thought of in college, such as using a dresser drawer to keep an altar and tools. Other things I personally wouldn’t have done, such as telling my roommate from the beginning that I was Pagan, but I also wasn’t out about my religion at the time, so it’s a moot point anyway. The strategy may work well for others.
There is good common sense in the spells section, for which I am heartily grateful. I did not try any of the spells, so I can’t say how well they work, but from reading them I can see nothing wrong with their construction or execution, so a few may be good to try. Normally, I do not try spells from books, preferring to write my own as I find that works better for me. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t find good tips in other peoples’ work! I may try one or two and modify them to fit my own personality and needs. I even approve of the “love spell,” which normally I would not, because this spell is not so much a make-this-person-love-me spell as it is a courage-to-flirt sort of spell. Those kinds of distinctions are important when it comes to the ethics of magick, but I won’t get into that here.
I also feel the section addressing commonly asked questions could have been more fleshed out. I felt that some of the questions weren’t given great or full answers, especially the question about what Wicca is. Granted, most of the people coming to this book probably have at least a basic understanding or idea of Wicca, but it’s usually best not to assume. I did find the dig at Wikipedia humorous, though!
The section on craft names was mostly pretty good, but I do want to mention the portion about using a deity’s name as your craft name. I feel a bit more caution should be mentioned there about how using a deity’s name brings in that deity’s energy every time it’s used. For example, naming yourself Loki Storm could be bringing in some very tricky and wild energies that you may not be prepared to deal with. I should also mention that this may not apply to everyone’s beliefs about craft names, but it is a point I thought valid. Using a deity’s name is well and good–I know people who have taken the names of Athena, Pwyll, Rhiannon, etc. as their craft names–but it depends on what kind of energy you want to call to your life by using that name. While I find nothing overly wrong in this section, I merely think a line or two cautioning the reader about this would have been prudent.
There are some formatting and grammatical errors, which I generally do not take off points for if they aren’t serious errors and if they’re not interferring with reading the book. Also, because this is an ebook, some of the formatting errors may be due to the strangeness of Kindle’s formatting system, which I know other authors and even established publishers have at times struggled with. All this means is that Soull should take some more time for the grammatical errors and maybe find someone good at editing for her next book, and play with the formatting a little. However, I did not find overall that the formatting or grammar detracted from the content, so while I want to bring this up, I’m not taking points off because of it.
This is a good first start for a new author and I look forward to seeing more from her. I do recommend this book for beginners who are just stretching their wings, as well as for those who are trying to find ways to cope with a roommate situation. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.