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Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic [Paperback]

Lupa , Taylor Ellwood

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Immanion Press/Megalithica Books (April 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905713010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905713011
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #525,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not your average animal magic book. May 30 2006
By Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lupa's book is exactly as it says: practical and straight-forward with no hand-holding exercises. Don't expect prefab spells or "this is the way you should do it." She gives you ideas, starting places, and the results from her own work, then turns you loose with the knowledge to do it your own way. No stone is left unturned with chapters on the standard totemism and familiars, moving on to invocation and evocation of animal entities, the creation of animal entities, shapeshifting, and even the heretofore taboo subjects of the use of animal parts in magic and animal sacrifice. Even these branch off into subsections dealing with everything from mythology to cryptozoology and therianthropy.

The art is beautiful and the writing is clear and easy to read; I devoured it the night I got it (something I almost never do with any book). Elements of paleopaganism, neopaganism, and pop culture (including a guest appearance by Moro no Kimi and mentions of such seemingly random and unrelated subjects as "Pokemon" and "Star Wars") blend together to bring something completely new to the standard fare currently ascribed to books on animal magic. Even the chapter on totems alone is well worth it, going far more indepth than any I've read so far.

In short, for those of you (be you magician, witch, whatever, or not) tired of reading the same totem dictionary in fifteen different covers by thirty different authors, this book is for you.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, non-appropriating reading Dec 4 2006
By Titanium Lili - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Hooray! Lupa manages to write a coherent book about animal magic without pigeonholing animals into stereotypes of "animal behavior/trait X always means Y" and without limiting the possibilities and variations open to practitioners. Sources are cited for information she gathered from others, and Lupa shows respect for the practices of indiginous cultures without loopy "all Native Americans did such-and-such" nonsense.

This book is not meant to describe to the reader everything that s/he may do with animals, but it does give a really good overview of the most common (and some less common) mechanisms for dealing with animal magic. Appropriate for beginners, even the experienced can find some worthwhile material in the author's personal accounts of her own efforts and might additionally find a few tidbits they'd not yet considered.

I was happy to actually find a book on animal magic that isn't fluffy, doesn't rely on stuff like "Owl is always a harbinger of death and means you're all spooky bad/goth/powerful/etc. if you have an owl spirit guide!" While I'm not sure I personally would label some of the workings she discusses as "animal magic" instead of "fantasy-based magic", I understand why she does so and consider that to be a matter of semantics and personal preference.

Most of the book is well written, including throughout important cautions regarding ethical treatment of animals; but the next to last chapter seems to ramble somewhat, as though the author were tired and running out of stuff to say at that point (or alternately was early in the writing process and had not yet organized her thoughts very well). That's really a minor point considering that the book is good in general, though.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Care and Feeding of Totems 201 June 8 2006
By Phillip A. Bernhardt-House - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lupa's book is an excellent piece of writing and magical methodology: extremely intelligent but never dry (and in fact quite fun!), syncretistic but never sloppy, clear and concise in its simplicity without being watered-down or patronizing. Rather than attempting to create complex systems of belief and moralizations around animals, totems, and the use of such entities in magical operations, hir approach is practical and experiential, and never portrays itself as anything otherwise; and the "amorality" of the book is an asset in this enterprise as a result. Not unlike the subject sie is dealing with, the forthrightness and openness with which sie proceeds places the metaphysical and the physical on equivalent planes, and true to hir animal nature, there is no hiding behind the precepts of tradition or common propriety when statements need to be made on a variety of topics. The focus in the therianthropy chapter on more metaphorical and spiritual forms of shapeshifting rather than physical shifting (which had far too much focus in a certain recent book) is not only useful and practical, but also avoids the value judgements inherent in the inability to perform or even espouse belief in such possibilities. Animal sacrifice and the use of animal-derived materials for magical and artistic purposes are handled sensibly and sensitively, and the constant emphasis on taking full responsibility for one's actions in these areas of practice is well-founded. My only critique of the book is that there are a number of typographical errors, the style of references was unusual, and the formatting of the bibliography seemed a bit strange in terms of its spacing, but none of these factors detracted from what was an enjoyable reading experience. For anyone interested in these matters, I feel that this book goes quite beyond the basic 101-level style, and I would highly recommend it!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing out there June 21 2006
By Erynn Laurie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I finished reading Lupa's book, Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic today. Unlike pretty much everything else out there on animals and magic today, it's not a "totem dictionary" in any sense of the word. Instead, Lupa presents a variety of approaches and techniques ranging from a guided meditation suggested for finding a totem to a chapter on the legalities and practices of animal sacrifice. There's a lot of very good information packed into this small book, and it's quite well written. Lupa tackles things from a very practical and experiential point of view, and talks about her own practices and experiences, giving a strong grounding to what could have otherwise been a book largely on theory. She makes no claims to be doing work from any particular tribal tradition, but instead discusses a variety of practices and techniques from many different cultures and from her own intuitional discoveries. Well worth the money spent. Good job, Lupa!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! Not for Sheep. March 5 2007
By Jokami - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're looking for a totem 101 book + dictionary that will tell you exactly how you should be conducting your spiritual life, this book is NOT for you. However, if you're willing to set your paws in the mud of unknown trails then read on.

Lupa writes from a very practical perspective. She makes no grand claims of animal charming powers, ("I've yet to have a single dog respond to a mental command in my years of working with the species" [14]), and she readily admits that this text is more of a starting point for ideas than a be-all-end-all on the subject.

The book covers a broad range of topics including shapeshifting, totemism (very useful introduction to the historical and modern use of the word), working with animal parts, and even a somewhat controversial (but well handled) chapter on animal sacrifice. It's a must-read for anyone wanting to go beyond the totem 101 dictionaries littering the shelves of most New Age sections in bookstores.
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