Authors are generally encouraged to turn a blind eye to negative book reviews, and face it, every author gets them. While I've generally adhered to this, I've recently become aware of a couple things: 1) there is a scathing review on one of my books that is bluntly unfair and quite frankly unfounded on several points, and 2) there are a few favorable five star reviews on other books that still carry statements about a book that are not accurate, and I was absolutely floored at the twist it can give even a stellar review.
I used my voice to create these books, and I'm going to use my voice to defend these books, clarify a few falsehoods (or misinterpretations), and basically set the record straight. I also encourage other authors to speak up. If your book was worth writing, it is worth defending against malicious intentions, or false observations.
First, Green Witchcraft Grimoire
I was quite shocked recently when I visited this Amazon page to be faced with a long tirade by a reviewer who has left an unimpressive 11 reviews at Amazon, all negative, for a variety of products. Apparently, this person isn't happy with anything.
I actually had to read this review twice to soak it all in, I found it so filled with loathing and such negativity. And yes, I took notes. Here we go:
- 1. Complaint: "it is obvious that it is a Wiccan book with all of the mention of the gods removed"
This book is not focused on Wicca, but the very specific practice of Green Witchcraft, which does not necessarily incorporate the energy of the gods in its practice. However, if you are interested in more information on deities, I would suggest one of my other books, The Spiritual Feminist, which starts off with an in-depth look at 45 goddesses from around the world, their energy, and how they may be incorporated within our personal spiritual practices.
- 2. Complaint: "The author, in a "green" witchcraft book, is advising you to salt your own land."
First, the term "Green Witch"... green witchcraft has been practiced for centuries, long before the word "green" was ever connected to environmentalism, and before environmentalism was even a concept. The "Green" in green witchcraft primarily points to the fact that the use of herbs and other plants are at the center of this spiritual path.
It's only in our modern time that this point seems to have been lost, or overwhelmed by the idea of environmentalism and the hijacking of the term "green" with a very different meaning.
Salt... the tiny pinch of salt used in spells I have personally cast and buried in the earth has never had a negative effect on my lawn, my flowerbeds, or my garden. Promise. I have put a lot of work in growing and beautifying my yard, so I'm not going to do anything that would harm or mar it in any way.
- 3. Complaint: "it seems like every spell she is telling you to bury the remains"
Burying spell remains... this is a very old and very traditional practice. There is not a witch worth her salt who has not buried the sacred remains of a spell casting in Mother Earth.
- 4. Complaint: "This author has obviously never cast half the spells in this book"
This author has been casting spells since 1974. My own spiritual practice and experience added greatly to the writing of this grimoire, which I dearly love.
- 5. Complaint: "and throwing seeds into rivers, with no worry for whether they are native or invasive."
Seeds in a river... most practioners of green witchcraft will naturally use the botanicals that are native to their area and are therefore easy to attain. Personally, I've never ordered exotic seeds from the other side of the world to use in my spell crafting.
- 6.. Complaint: "...or she owns her own private graveyard to bury all of these spells in."
Graveyards...actually I love cemeteries. They have always been a favorite peaceful spot to visit. I visit them not only for the beauty and solitude found there, but as part of my spiritual practice. Not only have I buried spell remains in a graveyard, I've collected cemetery dirt for use in spells.
- 7. Complaint: "Paraffin wax is NOT biodegradable, so please don't bury it."
Most witches I know purchase their spell candles at local new-age witchy shops. The candles that you find here are generally made of natural ingredients -- beeswax, which is perfectly safe to bury in the earth.