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When I saw the description for Kerri Conner and Krystal Hope’s Spells for Good Times, I knew I had to check it out. This year, I’ve been trying to read more self-care and spiritual books. There’s a lot of intersection between these categories, and this book illustrates that beautifully. Here are the basics:
Featuring a variety of simple spells, rituals, meditations, and more, this practical guide helps you and your community raise positive energy and create the loving, compassionate world you desire. Bring out the best in yourself and others with more than fifty activities, such as a spell to cope with loss and a ritual to heal a community divide. This book also covers how to nourish your body, mind, and spirit with wholesome self-care recipes, like revitalizing shower steamers and lavender rose hot chocolate. Filled with tools that can be used throughout the day, this cheerful book shows you that now is the perfect time to step into the sunny, joy-filled life you deserve. -Goodreads Synopsis
A magical take on self-care, Spells for Good Times is full of practices to support your emotional wellbeing and take care of yourself. The book is divided into the following sections:
- Witchy Basics
- Everyday Morning Magic
- Water Works
- Love, Pray, Eat
- Bedtime Routines
- Workings for Self-Esteem
- Magic for Coping
- Shadow Work
- Healing Others
Now that we’ve looked at what the book is about, let’s get into what I thought of it.
Full disclosure: I received a digital advanced review copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
What I Liked
First up, I have to mention that there is a “cheese board ritual” that suggests crafting yourself a tasty snack as a way to ground your energy after a ritual. This is the kind of witch-meets-mundane that I adore, and made me chuckle to myself.
This book infuses magic into all sorts of every day practices like bathing, eating, waking up, and going to bed. Many of the rituals require relatively few ingredients/tools, which makes the book feel accessible. I think many of these practices would be nice self-care tools even for those who do not identify as magic workers, though there are also some rituals and spells that feel full-on witch. It’s a nice balance, overall, though I will say that the later chapters feel witchier while the opening ones feel more mundane. Perhaps intentional to slowly walk readers in?
I appreciated the overall tone of the book, as well. There is an acknowledgement that the world is big and scary (this title was written post-pandemic, so COVID exists), and that magic can’t fix everything. But it can sustain us and help us have the energy to do what we can to fix the bigger issues in the world. That kind of realistic approach was refreshing, in my opinion.
I can’t decide if it’s a pro or a con, but this book doesn’t fuss around with explaining too much about the why behind things. Some spells and rituals don’t explain why a certain color of candle or string is used, while others do. The author often invites you to open a close rituals “according to your spiritual practice.” This is great if, like me, you’ve covered the basics in your prior reading and don’t necessarily need every book to list the meanings of every color.
What I Didn’t Like
Speaking of the lack of Witch 101 content, I did wonder if this book might be a bit less accessible to someone newer to these concepts, and if the “witchy basics” opening chapter is really enough to get someone started. It’s very hard for me to remember back to middle school Amanda hiding magic books under her bed, though, so I can’t say I’m the best judge.
My biggest issue with this book is one I complain about fairly often with magic books. The morning ritual section especially seems to fit only one kind of lifestyle, suggesting rituals that include waking up to music and performing rituals while still in bed. This is great if you’re a solo witch living in the woods, but a bit harder to put into practice if you sleep in bed with a husband and a dog, as I do.
Azula would hardly stand for it if I went full on meditation mode in bed before letting her out, and Andy wouldn’t appreciate chanting while he’s still asleep. I don’t know why so many witchy writers fail to acknowledge that some folks might need to adjust or adapt rituals to fit their lifestyle, but I once again found myself wishing for alternatives. I love my mornings. I love inviting ritual into them. But I found this chapter very inaccessible for my own life.
Overall, I’m glad I read this book! Like many spellbooks, it feels more like a reference text that one you read cover-to-cover, and I’m excited to add it to my arsenal of texts to pull from when I’m feeling the need for a little witchy self-care.
Spells for Good Times came out from Llewellyn Publications on May 8th, 2022, so you can grab a copy now if it sounds of interest!
(*This post originally appeared in our publication on Medium.)