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Finnish Magic (Llewellyn's World Religion & Magick) Paperback – February 8, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Llewellyn's World Religion & Magick
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (February 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567184898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567184891
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was raised in the flat, big-sky country of the Panhandle of Texas. I have always been a reader and like many readers have always wanted to write. I have been fortunate to travel widely including living three years in Korea and traveling to Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Peru. I have also been to all 50 states and Canada. Language have been a passion for me and I speak several to varying degrees of fluency. I have degrees in Asian Studies, Counseling, and Psychology. As a counselor I have worked in schools, mental health agencies, private practice, and the U.S. Army where I served as a chaplain. I have climbed several mountains, lived on a sail boat. Served in the U.S. Marine Corps both as an enlisted Marine and as an Officer. I have even walked on hot coals. My interests are many and diverse.

Customer Reviews

As hopeful as I was for this book ,I found it lacking both in content & in credibility.
Liam Sauer-wooden
Nice try, but not much more... All I got out of this book was a couple of good laughs, plus a feeling that it had been put together in a terrible hurry.
"jemkat"
That's my theory, because it certainly doesn't have much to do with bonafide Finnish history or culture.
Roger Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
It is nothing but a shallow blend of wrong assumptions about the ancient finnish people. He mingles some of the Edred Thorsson interpretations of the nordic runes (which have nothing to do with finns). I found a lort of mistakes, very inacurrate things and even print errors, such as the very same sentence duplicated in one paragraph. He wrote that with very few (about 3%) valid sources that concern the topic, and a lot of non-related sources concerning amerindian shamanism, records from his own family and so on. You better read the Kalevala and interpret it your own way than read the ramblings of this so-proud-to-be-a-"Ph.D."-author (in psychology, which has nothing to do with the book topic). For the first half of the book, he tries to tell the reader how many Finns came to live and settle in America. In a way, he is trying to sell american readers the idea that the finns were important to american history, so they must buy this book if they want to achieve magic. This was definitely an attempt to cash on in the trends of neo-paganism, written under the style of many Llewellyn books, but with almost NO content. Email me if you want a more detailed review and a list of inacurracies and blatant stupidities contained in the book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "jemkat" on September 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Nice try, but not much more... All I got out of this book was a couple of good laughs, plus a feeling that it had been put together in a terrible hurry.
For starters, the book contains instructions on how to build your own sauna (!) that go pretty much like this: 1. Get some logs. 2. Build the walls. 3. Get a heat source and throw some water on it. Uh... if it really is that easy, what do we need builders and electricians for? Secondly, the Finnish phrases and even single words are so peppered with typos it may sometimes be hard to tell what the originals were supposed to be, especially for a non-native reader. And what's with the ä's and ö's? Did the author think the dots were merely decorations, or did Llewellyn's staff screw things up? "The God Nakki" (whose name is, of course, _Näkki_ and definitely not Nakki!) suffers most greatly of this oversight - without those bothersome little dots over the a, he instantly turns into "Sausage". Sigh.
Now I may be just a nit-picker, but I still think a person attempting to write a book about a foreign culture can't afford to overlook such things as getting that culture's primary language right. Consider this: what if some Finn wrote cheapie books about Americans claiming that they worshipped "the Grate Spirit"? -_^
This would have been an OK book if it only had more to do with the actual Finnish traditions and less with that weird mixture of Norse mythology and the basic Llewellyn-flavored Neo-Pagan stuff. As it is, I've got a hunch the author ran out of authentic material and threw in just about anything that came from farther up North than California. In my opinion, you are better off saving your money until something more worthwhile comes along.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Roger Williams on March 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I just had to loan this book from the local library to see if the reviews here were at all accurate. They are. I'm not sure what the aim of this book is. Is it to give Finnish-Americans with an interest in new age gibberish some sort of connection to mythic, mystic past? That's my theory, because it certainly doesn't have much to do with bonafide Finnish history or culture.
The authors carelessly intermingle Sami and Finnish cultural traditions, misspell or misuse Finnish words, and even worse, create something of a mockery of Finnish culture by creating this bizarre, frankly non-existent mismash of cultures and positing it as "Finnish". All I can say in conclusion is that I wish I could get back the time I wasted reading this horrid book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Liam Sauer-wooden on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
As hopeful as I was for this book ,I found it lacking both in content & in credibility. Far too many pages are devoted to trying to prove that Nordic (or Asatru) & Finnish are closely related due to archetype-overlap (Ukko & Odin), and far too few are devoted to the qualities of Finnish magic which would make its practice unique. The suggested trancing methods in the book, while viable, are associated with Finnish belief by weak inference rather than by historical precedence. The suggestions on how to pronounce Finnish words are grossly inaccurate & inadequate.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Zekeriyah VINE VOICE on March 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm tempted to lean towards one and a half stars for this but E-bay doesn't really let us do that.
Anyway, this isn't a horrible book. It certainly does not give any insight into authentic Finnish (or Saami) traditions, it does give some insight into modern "neo-shamanic" beliefs that are built around a historic base... and the inherent weaknesses within. In my mind, there are several great problems with the book. Not the least of which is that the author appearently doesn't speak Finnish! Aside from that, he blurs the line on the differences between Finnish, Saami and Scandinavian culture and mythology. That he calls the Saami "Lapps" (an antiquated term which many consider offensive) MIGHT be overlooked, but to claim that the Saami and Finns borrowed all their cultural beliefs from the Norse is far worse. This is not new amongst neo-Pagans, many of whom are quite intent on stealing native cultures for themselves, often strainin them through a Eurocentric medium. I can think of countless New Age gurus who claim ancient Native American or Maori secrets, often made up at the spur of the moment. So definately avoid thinking that this book provides any information on authentic Finnish culture.
Also, his other great error is that he relies far too much on literature. While the Kalevala may indeed be an excellent source for pre-Christian Finnish beliefs, it seems that he based a large portion of his book off the great epic. Again, this is rather sloppy scholarship. It would have been better to include a greater focus on archaeological studies, or even making educated guesses based off studies of other Finnic cultures. Furthermore, the fact that the book is written with a "do-it-yourself" attitude strikes me as potentially dangerous.
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