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Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic Paperback – Apr 1 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Immanion Press/Megalithica Books; 1st edition (April 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905713010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905713011
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,066,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa64c9210) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa61fecc0) out of 5 stars Recommended, non-appropriating reading Dec 4 2006
By Titanium Lily - Published on
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.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa61fed14) out of 5 stars Definitely not your average animal magic book. May 30 2006
By Fox - Published on
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.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6200168) out of 5 stars Care and Feeding of Totems 201 June 8 2006
By Phillip A. Bernhardt-House - Published on
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!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6200528) out of 5 stars Warning! Not for Sheep. March 5 2007
By Jokami - Published on
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa620060c) out of 5 stars Better than Puss-in-Boots Feb. 19 2007
By W. Martin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Lupa tames the animal kingdom for magickal workers. In a no-holds barred manual, the author explores all aspects of utilizing animals in ritual and life works. She is a brave writer, not shying away from even subjects that are politically incorrect such as ritual sacrifice. In seven concise and informative chapters, the book takes the reader from the mildest form of animal magic - Totemism, to the most extreme and possibly controversial form - animal sacrifices.

For the most part the book is well written and to the point. I was fascinated by the recounting of the author's own experiences of invocation while dancing in a wolf pelt. I often use found feathers in creation of magical tools so the chapter on using animal parts was also personally interesting for me. The author suggests deep communion with the animal spirits left behind in the parts, something I had never considered before. It does make sense to me, although nearly all the feathers I have worked with have been molted and as far as I am aware have little in terms of residual energy clinging to them. On the other hand, I have two turtle shells that I have been holding onto for years, not knowing what to do with them. Perhaps the ritual explained in this book to ask the original owners what they wish to have done with the remains would be a good avenue to pursue in this instance.

I have worked with animal imagery in the past both in forms of totems and animal nature. I often call animals to represent the Quarters when I cast circle. For a long time my favorite tarot deck was the Earth Medicine Deck, which features animals on most cards with some left blank for the reader to fill in as needed. But I never considered invocation of my totems into myself, never considered creating new animals to suit my needs and never tried shape shifting, either in my mind or in actuality. The author claims to feel "other" and to feel a kinship with her totems something I have never felt. This book contained many passages opening new ideas to me. Even if I fail to use their wisdom, I feel that my outlook when it comes to animal magic has been greatly expanded.

On the technical side of the book, I have two small issues. One was the page layout. I found the margins in the book to be too small forcing me to open the book's spine more severely than I am accustomed to. In a hardback book this would not be an issue, but with a soft cover, I am afraid the binding will soon become cracked and damaged causing the book to have a short lifespan. The other thing I have issue with was the author's attempt to be non-gender specific with her own word of "hir" replacing his, hers, him and her. It really is too bad that the English language has no gender-neutral words in these instances, but at best I found the replacement word to be distracting and at worst was that it was used inconsistently throughout the text. In places the common language of his and her was in evidence only to be replaced in the following paragraph by the "hir" usage.

In all this is an excellent book for people wishing to delve into the worlds of animal magics. It is far better than any other book I have read on the subject, avoiding the rote use of listing animal correspondences and getting down to the nitty-gritty of actual rituals and meditations fully accessible to even a novice.

Reveiwed by W. Lyon Martin - author/illustrator of "An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child"