Real Magic

Real Magic
Isaac Bonewits
Weiser Books, 1989
1 out of 5

I had first read this book a few years ago and really didn’t like it then. After it was recommended to me recently by a fellow author, I decided to give it another try. After all, it had been so long that I didn’t really remember anything about it, so there was no reason to hold anything against it until I tried again. Well, now I know what I can hold against it.

Bonewits combines the worst of Aleister Crowley’s arrogance with the worst of Pat Robertson’s judgmentalism in one compact green-covered paper package. Just like Crowley, Bonewits insists that there’s only one correct approach, and he’s got it. Like Robertson, he makes himself out to be a spokesman for an entire and diverse religious group making the frequent insistence that he has so much experience that his opinion is the same as a fact. This, shockingly, isn’t  even the most opinionated of his books; it’s just the most well-known.

To make matters worse, there’s little-to-no useful information in the book. The closest to useful is the section on the “laws of magic” (which Bonewits claims to be the first to have codified). These laws, however, are mostly rehashings of the same few ideas which have been previously put together by anthropologists and occultists and given several new names apiece.

Mostly, the book is full of untestable theories and dogmatically asserted opinions coated in a thick layer of witless sarcasm. Read at your own risk.

Published in: on September 7, 2007 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment