Aphrodisiacs and Love magic- Pamela Allardice- Book review

I picked up this book for R40, second-hand at a pagan bookstore and supplier.  The book smells like incense!

This book is not bad in terms of recording of folklore and superstitions regarding love. I however would have prefered a more practical way in which to apply it to everyday life, I believe as I’ve been practicing for 11 years now I can use the information to create my own practical solutions, however a beginner may be a bit perplexed.

The first bit “A little on love lore” made me very queasy, as I’m an animal lover and she describes in detail the cruelties done to animals in order to create love and lust spells.

An erroneous claim often stated within this book is how prudish the Victorians were. This is in fact under debate and essays have been written about how this is in fact a myth. I personally cannot see how prudish they were, as their novels and poetry are filled with romance and sexuality.

In each chapter: Planting an Amorous garden; Flowers- Loves True Langauge; Setting a Sexy Table; Charms, Games and Omens; Getting The Timing Right; Happily Ever After, she goes over various customs, folklores and superstitions of different cultures regarding love. Although this book may be interesting from an academic perspective there are no footnotes to verify where she got all of the information, even though she includes a bibliography. As a practical book, one has to dig past all of the superstitious behaviour like wedding rings falling, what day you can see what bird without it being bad luck, and various children’s games which can give you the letter of your future husbands first initial, to get to the stuff that may help, like the language of flowers, what fruits and vegetables can act as aphrodisiacs and what herbs are associated with love.

Overall, the book isn’t bad, but it is better as a reference guide than actual working text. There are some lovely myths associated with certain plants for instance:

“The delicate fruit of the mulberry tree is said to be a food for true lovers, though the story is a sad one. According to Ovid, Pyramus and Thisbe were two young people in love who were forbidden to marry. They arranged a rendezvous and when  Thisbe arrived, she was terrified by the sight of a lion eating an ox. She fled, leaving the lion to paw at her cloak , which she dropped in her haste. When Pyramus arrived and found  the blood-stained cloak, he presumed she was dead, and heartbroken, he killed himself beneath a mulberry tree. The blood from his broken heart is said to have coloured the berries”  p39

I give the book 3 out of 5 stars, as it contains plenty of information, although footnotes, or endnotes would have made it much better as a resource book, and more practical ways to apply the information could have been provided. It is not a bad book and it at least provided some nice legends and myths which I will be filling into my BOS, and sharing with my boyfriend.


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