BOOK REVIEW: Hocus Pocus: Titania’s Book of Spells by Titania Hardie

I’m so glad I bought this book when I was a teenager.  I’d be so embarrassed if someone saw me buying it now.

Not because I’m ashamed of the subject matter, mind you.  I’m still interested and, yes, even charmed (😉) by the practices of Wicca and paganism. 

No, I’d be ashamed if I were seen with it because Hocus Pocus: Titania’s Book of Spells, by Titania Hardie, is so bad

No spoilers.  Although, the book might be better if there were some. 

A few parts were OK (not “great”):

  • The page numbers have little black cat silhouettes.  The same appear, without numbers, periodically throughout the book.  At first glance, this looks stereotypical – “all Wiccans must have black cats as familiars” – and over-the-top.  However… I do love black cats. 
Loki – RIP (3/2/21). He had all black fur before his radiation treatment for nasal lymphoma.
Harley & Poe (born 3/7/21, adopted 9/11/21). My new minions.
  • Hardie’s explanation of why, in a time of science-bound cynicism, magic and spells have real results.  First, she makes the (tired, worn out) argument that the “existence of love” proves magic is real.  But, she also points out that the goal-setting and the process of performing “spells” results in more confidence.  That idea appeals to me.
  • She points out that you don’t need to spend loads of money.  Today’s Wiccan has access to tons of products, in various price ranges.  Hardie recommends a “core set” of magical items and points out ways magic has “modernized.”  She encourages readers to update traditions, like using a vacuum where a spell calls for a broom. 
  • The appendix has good notes.

That’s about it for what was mediocre in Hocus-Pocus.  Some suggestions to modernize magical practice, and using spells to set (and reach) goals.

The rest was sexism and stereotypes.  And typos.  So. Many. Typos.

Hardie has a Laser-like focus on love.  Specifically, a woman looking for a man’s love.  The first chapter focuses on love, and she makes it sound disposable.  She encourages doing spells to forget a lost love and reel in a new man.

On page twenty-three, Hardie claims Friday nights are sacred for love magic.  She says it’s not only because it’s a “working girl’s” date night.   I really don’t believe she thought that comment through. 

Not only does she imply the practitioner is a prostitute, but she ignores magic’s ancient roots.  Women working outside the home, and the 9-to-5, Monday through Friday, work week are relatively new phenomenon. 

I feel it takes longer – and some other general consensus from the Wiccan community, which this lacks – to make a situation or setting “holy.”

That statement really bugged me.

The second and third chapters deal with keeping passion fresh and healing heteronormative relationships.  Chapters four and five offer spells to protect and deal with families (and feline familiars).  Health and beauty tips are the focus of chapter six.

FINALLY, seven chapters in, Hardie provides spells for success in business and financially.  Now, granted, this is a very short book, but it took that long to address women’s lives outside the house?!?!

Final Score:

1 out of 5 stars!  Clearly, Hocus Pocus: Titania’s Book of Spells expects its readers are heterosexual women who want the white-picket, Barbie’s DreamHouse life. With a husband as interchangeable as a Ken doll.

In a way, I’m also glad I didn’t read this until I grew up.  If I had read it as a teen, I probably would have bought into its sexist messaging. 

I know that love is wonderful and worthy of attention. But, as a woman, I know it rarely pays the bills. Getting by financially, without a husband, is difficult for a lot of women. Which is reason enough, to me, for a book of spells (or goals) to dedicate more time to it.

There’s much more to life than finding a husband.


3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Hocus Pocus: Titania’s Book of Spells by Titania Hardie

  1. Pingback: BOOK REVIEW: Delavier’s Women’s Strength Training Anatomy Workouts by Frédéric Delavier & Michael Gundill | Writing Radiation

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