Book Review: Of Blood and Bones by Kate Freuler

Review and Photo by Wren La Fey | Website | Instagram | Facebook

About the Author

Kate Freuler lives in Ontario, Canada. She has owned and operated the witchcraft shop White Moon Witchcraft (whitemoonwitchcraft.com) since 2010. When she’s not writing or crafting items for clients, she is busy being creative with art or reading a huge stack of books. 

About Of Blood & Bones: Working with Shadow Magick & The Dark Moon

This book explores shadow magick and working with dark moon energy, and whilst I am no member of the “Love and Light Brigade,” shadow magick is not my forte, either, so I was keen to see what this book would reveal to me. I knew I was in for a fantastic ride when I saw the foreword was written by Mat Auryn, and after a wonderful brief on what to expect from the book, I was even keener to get started.

Freuler’s Introduction “It’s Not All Love and Light” is the perfect beginning; it puts the reader at ease, and I immediately felt better about myself and the personal shadows I cast. The Introduction gets the reader thinking about the ethical quandaries that many of us face, for example, how we should treat people who do bad things, and encourages the reader to think about the outcomes of magick, and how solutions can be subjective. We also get to read about curses and blessings, controversy in the witchcraft community, and how to use the book; all super helpful topics, and expertly and intuitively placed. 

“Feelings of anger, revulsion, and dislike are natural. They exist within us for survival. They force us to fight for our territory and our safety and to protect what is ours. War gods and goddesses are not evil or bad; they represent a very real part of our human experience.” – Of Blood & Bones: Working with Shadow Magick & The Dark Moon

The body of the book is broken down into four parts, the first introducing us to shadow work and the dark moon current. The author offers simple and clear explanations of topics related to the Dark Moon and its role in the lunar cycle and magick, and I found it answered the question many of us have asked; should the Dark Moon be used for work, or for rest?

Part two is the book’s namesake, covering blood and bones, and providing comprehensive information on bodily fluids, animals and their parts, and skulls and bones. This part is an absolute gem as it includes a wealth of information on safety, and how to gather and clean bones, which is invaluable to those of us who have always wanted to work with them, but haven’t had the foggiest idea where to start.

Part three is The Forbidden Craft and really gets to the heart of shadow magick. It covers the squeamish topics that are generally avoided. Objects and curios related to the recipes and rituals contained throughout the book are discussed here, and it covers how, and when, to perform a curse. Part Four looks at death, working with the dead, and rebirth, and is written in such a comforting, pragmatic, and beautiful way; providing the reader with simple, useful, and practical exercises, including a funeral rite. 

The Book’s Strengths

Without doubt, one of the best things about this book is the author’s direct approach to an abundance of controversial topics. Not sentimental at all, Freuler provides information and personal experience, whilst allowing the reader to arrive at their own judgment on whether something is right for them. She provides a great foundation on which to build a dark practice, and encourages the reader to do their own work and research, which is exactly how one’s experience of the path of witchcraft should be, dark or otherwise. 

As the book progresses, you are slowly eased into the ‘icky’ stuff, and for those who wish to avoid using animal parts in their spells and workings, there are vegetable substitute suggestions. Freuler intuitively answered my questions as they appeared, and I felt like I had a comforting hand holding mine as I approached, and traversed, these subjects. These are just a few examples of the sensitive, methodical, and considered way the book has been written.

There is an abundance of helpful and practical information from magickal correspondences to spells, rituals, recipes, and charms, all clearly and concisely laid out. In my opinion, none of the workings contain weird or unheard of items, making this book truly meaningful and accessible to all.

What You Can Learn…

From the start, the author describes how this book is not meant to change minds or sway opinion, but rather to educate and inform on subjects that are often silenced due to the taboo nature of them, even from within the witchcraft community, which makes for a refreshing perspective, and certainly filled gaps in my own personal knowledge.

There is so much to learn from this book; from junk oracles, to cursing, to using live animals in spells (without harming or disturbing them, of course), to focusing on the many subjects on which it may be difficult to obtain information, or the things you might be curious about but were previously afraid to try.

In many ways, due to the huge amount of information contained in this masterpiece, this book serves as a shadow magick Grimoire, and Freuler acts as High Priestess; guiding you, and showing you the way with honesty and encouragement, but leaving you, quite rightly, to do the work. Her honest and direct approach personally appealed to my straightforward nature, and there is no time – or need – to dissect these subjects further, or get overly emotional about them; the information is simply provided for you to do with as you wish.

I feel like I have become more connected to my craft by having the blanks filled in, and I don’t hold back in saying that for many this book is likely to be a game (Craft) changer, something that became apparent only a few pages in.

I absolutely loved this book, and got totally lost in it. It was like a trip to a bazaar or an antiques shop – so many treasures to sift and sort through, some unusual surprises, unpredictable, and thoroughly enjoyable.

About Wren La Fey: Wren is a Traditional Witch from the South of England, living in a cemetery, and enjoying the beautiful arable landscape around her as a source of inspiration. A lifelong student of the Craft, she is a forager, hobby herbalist, fire spinner, tarot reader, and qualified Holistic Therapist. She has modelled for pagan-based artists such as Chris Down and Neil Geddes-Ward, appearing in seven paintings, a tarot deck, and on the front cover of Chris Down’s book “Otherworld: The Collected Works of Chris Down”. Wren is fascinated by the magic of colour and can be found on Instagram and Facebook

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