Thursday, July 1, 2010

Goth Craft by Raven Digitalis

Yet another book that I picked up because I needed to keep going with fulfilling my Harry Potter challenge!   I feel the need to explain, since this really doesn't fit the kind of books I usually review on this blog.   However, I realized that it's July already, so I need to step it up!  So let's begin, shall we?

I had actually picked up this book when it first came into our library in 2007 because I thought it looked interesting.  And, I remember back then, finding parts of it to be enlightening --- and was wondering what else I'd get from the book this time around.  The author does make the statement in the introduction (p. 4) that " don't need to be Goth, or even necessarily Pagan, to get something out of this book.  It is designed for people who honestly seek to know the ways of personal transformation and expression, magick, and healing."  Goth culture is actually something I have a bit of familiarity with.  I used to find the Goth culture very appealing when I was in high school and college.  I mean, I already wore a lot of black by the time I was sixteen, and I liked the music...... what more was there, right?   Well, actually, as I started doing a little more research, there was a lot more to being a Goth than rice-powder makeup, black clothes, and a fascinating with anything put out on the Cleopatra Label.  The Goth culture, itself, is rooted in alternative culture, and actually tends to be rather introspective.  Some people might look at Goths and think they're all about Death, but it's really not about that at all.  The author points out that it's about embracing the darker side of things.  He states, "Goth, then, boils down to philosophy, to ideas expressed in numerous forms of art.  To be Gothic is to think, feel, act, and behave as a dark artist -- not because someone else told you to, and not to fit in, but because loving the darkness is simply your nature."  (p. 13).

This book covers a myriad of topics, including the different types of Goths (these range from CasualGoths, or "oldschoolers" to GlamGoths, and  beyond), types of magick, music, and other parts of Goth culture.   The author takes his subject seriously (or at least, seems to), and does a nice job of exploring the various topics in detail.  Admittedly, I checked his list of "suggested Gothic listening" on page 151 to see if I knew any of it --- and I knew most of it.   Not sure what that says about me, but I have a long love of gothic music (and industrial music).  In fact, I could have added several suggestions to the author's list that I think would fit nicely.

I don't know if this is a book I'd recommend for every single reader, but it is interesting.  If you're curious about Goth culture, this might be a book to just page through, or to read a chapter or two of.  If nothing else, it can be a great introduction to this culture, and a different way of seeing the world.   After reading this, I found I wanted to have a little listening fest -- Sisters of Mercy, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Razed in Black, Bauhaus......     :)

This book fulfilled one of the classes for my Hogwarts Challenge:  History of Magic

Where I got this book: Library!


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