When I went to Powell’s, I did bring home quite a few books although I admit that my impression does not compare with the rhapsodies issuing forth from everyone else I know who’s been there. I have some posts on Portland, a series of short observations ideally paired with images, to issue once I complete my movie editing sessions that will explain this further.
One of the things I picked up was the out-of-print Book of Spells by Marc de Pascale. I cannot find anything now on who Pascale was (or is), whether this person is still living and whether “astrologer” was de Pascale’s full time job, or if this was another author working in a steel mill or as wait-staff somewhere. ((I know from experience that to this day, full time astrologers/fortune tellers/what have you must still supplement their income with hard jobs.))
This book, printed by the now-defunct Tapinger Publishing Company in New York in 1971 , would fail the modern Wiccan “good book” test. It offers no bibliography. It gives no third party sources, historical references and, possibly more sinful, no authoritative voice introduces us to the author. It simply expects the reader to take de Pascale’s word that yes, the author lived with gypsies and the gypsies taught stuff. de Pascale offers no explanation as to where the occasional Voodoo knowledge appears.
Even so… it’s a pretty good spellbook. While it has the moral admonishments also popular these days, it’s not too heavy-handed, the spells are accessible … and they ring true. Nothing in the ingredients gets ickier than urine, and while the talisman-making section sound overly complicated, in this day of DIY crafting the only raw materials beyond reach include the rubies and topazes.
I like it – I’m happy to keep it on my shelf, and maybe take a crack at one of those “successful business” spells.