The Witches Book of the Dead by Christian Day- Book Review

Around two years ago, I posted a review of Christian Day’s book, and although I enjoyed the book, and did recommend it highly being that it focused on necromancy, after following him through Facebook I have come to see that Mr Day is all controversy, money and power and very little witch.

I cannot in good conscience continue to recommend his work. I don’t believe in moral absolutism, and I don’t think me ripping this book apart based on his personality is a fair thing to do, however if I am to be the witch I say I am, I cannot have a post on my blog without some kind of disclaimer if I have changed my opinion, or if new information has come out.

As much as I enjoyed the book back then, and honour it as a gift from Earthdragon, I find myself  less able to ignore the glaringly obvious controversy for controversies sake that Day has going on for him.

He is not the baddest witch in Old Salem, or New Orleans for that matter, and he certainly is not the baddest warlock in the world, even if he is the most well known. He is a flawed human being, with a nasty ego- his book has merits, but I would suggest only taking his words as a starting point, and not get caught up in all the fanfair surrounding him.

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I have been eyeballing this book online since I first heard about it, and was very excited to receive it for my birthday, in spite of the mixed reviews that it has been given.

Right off the bat, I have to say that this book impressed me greatly, I was thoroughly entertained by Christian Day’s catty humour, and gained some inspiration for my own work with Anubis and Hekate, and the necromantic direction that my Work has taken with them.

It is no secret that I tend toward what some might call a darker aesthetic, and a darker craft. I have always loved cemeteries even as a good little Catholic girl, and have always been fascinated with ghosts, the dead, and all things morbid, macabre and controversial, so when this book came into my sights I just had to have it.

Upon receiving the book, I excitedly devoured it within the week, and even managed to do a ritual from the book, which gained some impressive results in my opinion.

Day writes as he speaks, with wit, humour and cheekiness, and his voice coming through so strongly in this book is what made me enjoy it all the more. It was like sitting down in the room with him and having a lovely conversation about the Dead, witchcraft and necromancy.

He owns his opinions, and doesn’t drizzle them full of sugar. He gets into the nitty-gritty of necromancy, both ancient and modern, and does not water down the darker aspects of historical witchcraft and modern necromancy, outlining safe, hygienic methods of blood sacrifice using a medical lancet. He also supplies an array of suggestions of offerings for the dead.

He has a number of rituals in the book, including cleansing and exorcism rites, rituals for blessing the altar and skull, (which is an integral part of his necromantic rites). He also writes about mediumship, necromancy and dream work with the dead as well as ghost hunting and festivals of the dead.

The book is informative, impressive, and a must-have for those who wish to explore beyond the grave into the deeper mysteries of the dead.

“To journey to the realms of the dead is to undergo one of the very same great labours that Hercules himself endured. The Spirits will not suffer fools and you will be challenged if you travel on the roads of the dead.” – Afterward…and Beyond

This book is not for the masses, it is not for the mainstreamers, or the many pagans who wish so much just to fit in with the rest of society. This book is for those who dare to be different, who dare to walk the fringe, who do not ignore the dead and their sonorous call from beyond the veil.

Day is a flamboyant, no-nonsense, cheeky and completely admirable author, who does not allow his voice to get swallowed up by the plethora of books geared toward the masses. His views are bold and can be frightening to those who wish to perpetuate the notion of Witchcraft as safe and sweet and completely ordinary.

“Every time a Witch performs an act of magic, he becomes more godlike and less human. As the Witch evolves, he becomes more attuned to the guiding presence of the spirit forces around him. Our spirits yearn to fly across time and space and to travel as dignitaries to the kingdoms of the dead. For this to happen, we must set our souls free from the obsolete restrictions of antiquated religious drama. a Witch’s spirit bows to no one” p 13

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