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Pagan Anger Magic: Positive Transformations from Negative Energies
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm embarrassed to admit that I've had this book for a little over a year and only read it this past weekend. My sincere apologies to the author, and I will be up front in admitting that I am personally acquainted with her. I'm not writing this review as a favor to her. If that was my intention, I would have made reading it a priority and reviewed it a year ago. I am submitting it now because I am truly impressed with her work although I had a few reservations when she first proposed the topic.

My main concern was that Tammy is not a "qualified therapist" - although she doesn't need a degree or license to write about a topic in which she has broad personal experience. I was concerned that this could have an impact on her credibility and may cause her to be attacked. I was also worried about some of the readers that the book would appeal to. In our community, we have steadily attracted a number of individuals who come to check out the path for the wrong reasons - and some of them are a little scary. After much discussion, I did and still do agree that any book dealing with magic falling into the wrong hands could be mis-used. After being given an opportunity to read some of the early drafts, I felt comfortable with the idea.

The final product is a fine example of hard work, dedicated research and the consideration of all angles coming together as a highly intelligent and useful reference tool. What impressed me the most is that Tammy explains anger for what it is - a defense mechanism that is a necessary part of the human psyche. Anger is as much a part of the "fight or flight" response as fear is, and anger has its roots in fear. Anger lets us know that something is wrong. It is said that "depression is anger turned inward." Anyone who has experienced deep hurt, tragedy, injury or trauma knows that when anger is consistently stuffed down and bottled up, it eventually has no choice but to attack its host. For some people, when this happens it can literally devour the mind, body and soul, often causing damage to everyone around them. By addressing this, the author validates the reader's feelings rather than reciting the trite little new age spiel that "we create our own reality." To an extent, of course we do, but the majority of gurus who generalize this to everyone have never experienced the level of physical or emotional pain that many people have. We are in control of our emotions to an extent, but some individuals have experienced such deep trauma that those emotions are smouldering even after years of therapy, such as in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Using anger energy in magic provides a healthy outlet for anger when the individual is in a mature enough place to handle it.

The most effective magic comes from a place of deep, strong emotion. Emotion is energy. In magic, we manipulate energy. It makes perfect sense to harness the energy of anger toward release, transforming it and directing it toward a more positive, healthy outcome.

I'm very impressed with the chapters dealing with mythology, correspondences and the rituals, spells and recipes. I own a fairly large library of pagan books and stopped spending money on them early on because I found them redundant. I was delighted to see that the information that Tammy presents contains some new ideas for using some of the stones and herbs. I do wish that some resources for obtaining them had been provided since the pagan store that we've depended on for years in my area recently closed and there's no slippery elm to be found. I'm also not clear on what "souring a situation" means and wasn't able to find an explanation in the book, although the index is excellent.

Personally, I have had a very trying year. I was forced into returning to work full time when my husband died a little over a year ago, and I was a long way from working through my grief. I have a 50 mile one-way commute to work and can drive up to 300 more miles per day in the course of my job. I've been forced to give up many of my creative and artistic pursuits and the incongruence is literally killing me. There have been a number of obstacles and the past few weeks have been like the Mercury retrograde from hell. All of this finally culminated in an emotional meltdown, and I know that the reason for that was that I had not dealt with my emotions for lack of time and energy. I don't even remember why I was browsing that particular bookshelf this past Saturday evening. The book just seemed to jump out at me among the other titles and I'm sure that I read it when I was meant to read it. I read the entire book in one evening and spent the majority of the following day meditating and performing a ritual that was a combination of several suggested in the book. I was blessed to have had plenty of graveyard dirt on hand and a great burial spot for the remnants. Although I'm not out of the woods yet emotionally, I feel strongly that continuing this process is going to be one of the most valuable tools in my magical closet. I've found that the most useful result of the ritual is that I now have a visual of things being put to rest that I can mentally refer to whenever I need it.

I did not find the author's cautions repetitive although they were stated each time a situation for using anger magic was discussed. While I feel that working with anger can be tremendously effective and healing, it is a volatile and explosive emotion and caution is necessary. My experience with new pagans is that they want to learn about it all - including hexes and black magic. This type of working is not for the novice in magic - or in the process of life. It should be attempted only by those who have a clear understanding of their own emotional state, rational behavior and the possible consequences of projecting negative energy.

This is one of the most important teaching and reference tools in the genre. Congratulations to the author for having the courage to approach a controversial topic and doing an excellent job.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am always interested in a new topic. Anger Magic is one I have never seen before. Since I seem to have a lot of my own anger bottled up inside of myself this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to do some work on myself as well as review a new book.

Ms. Sullivan tackles a touchy subject with great finesse. Many people are afraid to admit to anger much less deal with the consequences of out and out rage. Her book talks about recognizing your anger, where it comes from and how to maintain control over it. That is not to say you never ever get angry, but that when you do get angry that you are the one in charge of your actions, not the emotion of anger itself.

The author does spend a lot of time going into the ethics and karma involved in using one's anger in magical workings. At times it becomes overwhelming and repetitive. Since she states herself that this book isn't for beginners, I would think the long chapters and continuous reminders about ethics would be less necessary.

I especially liked the chapters that examined various deities and their mythos in relation to the subject matter. Most books shy away from discussing the Dark Gods and Goddesses to such an extent that their full personalities are often portrayed as less than 3 dimensional. This book attempts to give complete profiles on the better-known Dark Ones.

The final section of the book is a collection of spells recipes and rituals from the author's own Book of Shadows. The section itself is well worth a look at the book.

For the advanced practitioner, this is a good book, but I wouldn't recommend for anyone new to spell casting. The magic presented in this book requires a lot of focus and years of experience.

W. Lyon Martin Author/Illustrator of "An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child"
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I never really found a way to control anger that arose from those around me untill I read this book. Now, with help from this book, I can look at those who irritate me and scoff, because I now can control myself in a better way and look past them.

Since practicing the exercises for transforming the anger I feel much better and spend alot less time pondering on what has been irritating me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This sort of energy work is simply NOT addressed in any other book I've seen, and considering that anger is a form of energy we deal with consistently throughout our lives, shouldn't we acknowledge and claim it? She's spot on with the complexity of ethics and doesn't whitewash any responsibility on the part of the magick worker. At the same time, she's not afraid to address things like hexing or sex magick. Mature, astute, well-written and thought-provoking. Explores all aspects of the topic and includes useful correspondences, spells and recipes. My only complaint is that the chapter on deities consists only of goddesses and includes no gods.

It's definitely changed my perspective on my own anger and how I give away my power - but now I'm armed with many ways to harness it. Some of these exercises will no doubt become part of my personal practice.
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on January 10, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
First of all, the title of this book is iffy, and made my very-Catholic mother-in-law a little nervous. It doesn't have many useful suggestions for channeling anger, just a couple of good exercises. I wouldn't recommend this book, however I guess it's a good option for starters, as there aren't a ton of books on this subject matter.
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on December 2, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been wanting to get my hands on this for a while. Worth every penny as it's filled with fantastic tips.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book came to me in the condition as promised. I have only had a chance to read the first 2 chapters, but I like what I'm reading so far. Finally , someone has come out with a non-fluff book.
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