Friday, November 4, 2011

Witch Words

A few years ago a person I knew had passed on Witchcraft: Theory and Practice by Ly de Angeles to me because it was "too dark" for her. Given that it is a Llewellyn book I found that rather odd and I really didn't have much hope in it {yeah, I am one of those "snobs" who doesn't care too much for that publisher}. So, I just tucked it away and it has been pretty much gathering dust since.

Just before our last move I was going through my books and I had noticed on the back of this book that fith-fath and fetches were covered and I decided to give her a read.

I have never read anything by Ly de Angeles before and haven't heard too many bad things about her; in fact I have seen her on some BTW recommended reading lists. I've gotta say that I was surprised to see that her approach and attitude is not the typical "cursing is bad m'kay" that I have come to expect in Llewellyn books. That scored a point or two.

But then I came to the section on Fith-Fathing. It opens with:
"This is one of the best enchantments that you can use to acquire or affect--anything. A fith-fath is also called a poppet or a dolly, though it doesn't always look figure-like unless your spell is specifically aimed at affecting another person..."
Ummm, huh? Fith-fath is a poppet? She must have been drinking the same kool-aid as Alex Sanders because I fail to see how someone with {apparently} 30-plus years of experience can get shape-shifting and effigy-making confused with one another.

Then a few pages later she does the same thing with fetches:
"You make a fetch (like you make a fith-fath), but they are not a representative of humanity..."
I have heard fetches being anything from some type of guardian spirit to a visible projection of a shape-shifter, but never anything to do with fetishes or effigies {of course I could be wrong so please feel free to correct me if I am!}.

I have yet to finish the book and I suppose I will grit my teeth and plough through it eventually. It is possible that if this kind of shit didn't irritate me so much, I would probably say that the book isn't a shabby read, even though it is clearly for Wiccans and I am not one myself.


This kind of shit does irritate me to no end. Really, there is no excuse for published authors at this point to make such big fuck ups like this. I think it is safe to assume that they now have access to viable sources to do their research and that if they don't use them they are just lazy.

Spreading misinformation and profiting from it is just bad, m'kay?



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Seren said...

Yeah, it's not a terrible book as far as the typical Llewellyn stuff goes, it offers something a bit different from the usual and the author has a good reputation from what I've heard.

The whole fetch and the fith-fath stuff is totally wrong but I suspect that it's because the author is trying to give traditional terms to what are essentially modern practices. From what I remember of the book (I think I gave my copy away) the fetch is really referring to thoughtforms. They have nothing to do with what the terms actually refer to. And that's why I really don't find most neopagan books very helpful. It's better to look at the source.

Hertha said...

I have to agree with Seren. I do like her as an author yet it is better to go straight to the source. She went to Sanders and that was her mistake!

BTW, where did you get that cute picture?

Medusae said...

OMG haha!!
"Really, there is no excuse for published authors at this point to make such big fuck ups like this"
I think that pretty much sums up my blog entirely, that sentiment.
OH THEY'RE OUT THERE, those published jerks! heh

I don't know much about this fiddle faddle fetch poppet stuff, but I'm so intrigued!!!
Your audience at large must know much more about this subject than I do, so I guess I'll have to run to Google more today!

Would you recommend any "for dummies" books in these genres - For beginners who don't ascribe to one thing in particular, but who want to know more about it all? :)