"Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics" is the second book I have read by Wiccan author Michael Furie. Because I loved Furie's first book ("Spellcasting for Beginners") I had high expectations for the follow up and I wasn't disappointed.
"Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics" is a well thought out and in depth book on the practice of magic, It should prove helpful to any practitioner - beginner or advanced.
As per the author, "Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics" is a standalone work that can be read (and understood) by those who have not read his first book. Because "Beyond the Basics" is written for those who understand fundamental practices of the craft, however, it probably wouldn't work as well for those who have no experience with things like circle casting, altar set up or basic correspondences (all of which are covered in "Spellcasting for Beginners").
"Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics" is divided into three sections: Magical Theory, Magical Practice and Ingredients and Recipes. I enjoyed all three sections and would like to comment individually on each.
In the first section (Magical Theory), Furie approaches magic as a "natural art that utilizes spiritual forces" and does a wonderful, and insightful, job of explaining the theoretical aspects of manifestation, correspondences, ritual, altered states, energetic forces, and the Hermetic laws. He goes on to present the two fundamental approaches to spellcasting (affinity magic and creation magic), offers a workable framework for developing the inner and outer knowledge magic requires, and provides a range of practices designed to help the practitioner connect with the unseen realm and access altered states.
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The section on Magical Practice is equally comprehensive including understandable and workable information on protection, psychic development, love magic (including self-esteem or self-love), money magic, familiars (animals and spirits) healing, defensive, and even weather magic. As in Furie's first book, ethical considerations are thoroughly explored.
I enjoyed the Magical Practice section overall and most especially liked the information on scrying. I have been actively working with the practice of scrying for some time and am now in the process of creating a brand new scrying mirror based on the info given in the book (check back for a how to). What I found most interesting was the author's idea on the mirror as a portal - fascinating stuff!
I found the section on Ingredients and Recipes relatively short (actually more of a addendum) but I did like that the recipes were straightforward and easy to follow and didn't require cost-prohibitive or exotic herbs. Having used, several of the recipes in the author's first book, I have no doubt that these are just as good and don't necessarily feel that dozens of recipes for the same spell are necessary or even desirable.
In summary, "Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics" is a comprehensive book on the theoretical and practical applications of magic. I believe that most practitioner will learn from it and may even find themselves referring to it time and time again. I consider it a valuable addition to my library and believe that others will as well.
*Please note that I receive this ebook free from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.