Nice Girl's Book of Naughty Spells: Get Rich, Get Lucky, Get Even
by Deborah Gray
Published by Tuttle
1999, 128 pages
Buy it online
Magic for the Masses
Reviewed by Linda L. Richards
It's not exactly a highly refined science. Or so I think. Despite the positive blast from "Australia's good witch," Deborah Gray, Nice Girl's Book of Naughty Spells deals with a lot of stuff that some of us consider to be less than inscribed in stone. Gray's credentials, however, may well be in stone so written. According to the publisher's bio, Gray was "initiated as a teenager in the Ancient Druid Circle," (something that manages to sound fun and frightening all at once). It also says that, "after over 20 years of dedicated study, [she] inherited her knowledge of parapsychology and alchemy from one of the world's few remaining Druid Masters."
Of course, there's no real mischief intended or harm done towards anyone. It's all about rebuilding your self-esteem, opening yourself up to love and success, and completely letting go of any resentment and bitterness. The results are absolutely amazing! You'll be back to your perky self in no time, bringing closure to old worries, glowing with positive newfound energy and ready to magically take on the world.
So, OK: it seems to me that Gray's message and her "naughty spells" are more about rebuilding torn self-esteem and organically re-energizing low spirits than they are about magic. And there's really nothing wrong with that. In fact, Gray makes it all sort of fun. The book actually consists of more not naughty spells than naughty ones. For example, the "spell" to help you get a good price for a car you have for sale goes as follows:
Mix in a teaspoon of lemon juice to a bucket of sudsy water.
One could, quite easily, argue that the success of this spell -- like many of the other 47 in the book -- could rely on the fact that energy has been placed toward the result (in this case, the physical energy of washing a car) and that positive, emotional energy has been expended in a way that will possibly bring the desired end. Or it could be magic. Either way, Nice Girl's Book of Naughty Spells would make a fun little gift for the woman who doesn't yet have everything, but desires the means to gain it. | October 1999
Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.