Review by Cat Gina Cole, Author of Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft.
I had the distinct pleasure to review this book before its release in August 2022 and the pleasure is all mine!
The Witch Compass is an amazing and comprehensive book on Traditional Witchcraft written by Ian Chambers. In the last paragraph of the forward Ian Chambers says he is an old witch that works by sight and is in constant contact with spirit allies and gods. This statement shows me he is a serious practioner and it piqued my interest even more.
As he writes he demonstrates that the witch compass is a tool for positioning the witch within this world and is a means to travel many worlds much like a portal. The book begins by exploring the historical and cultural usage of the witch compass and introduces you to the 8 winds then gives step-by-step methods to use them via Traditional Witchcraft.
The Witches Compass even touches on the great debate of modern paganism. “Is Wicca and neo-paganism connected to ancient magic?” Ian Chambers gives a focused and historic discourse on magic and how Christianity colored witchcraft that answers that debate eloquently. I really enjoyed his clear history of Gardner and others as he establishes the founding of modern witchcraft. In which he points out the similarities and differences of the Solomaiac, Free Masons, Traditional Witchcraft, and Wiccan practices. That discourse includes an impressive list of resources and grimoires that is valuable information for any seeker. I applaud and admire the courage of the author for stating clearly and boldly his thoughts as he encourages us to decolonize our craft and describes the concept of the devil as being an advocate of the oppressed.
I find the step-by-step instructions for seekers to follow complete in a true transgressive style of witchcraft. I have seen many books on witchcraft but Ian Chambers has found the language that takes the reader to the depths needed for a serious connection to the compass and Traditional Witchcraft, his words just grab you and take you to that place.
The Witches Compass even explores man’s discovery of the cardinal directions and names of the winds. In this exploration, you will find a history of the magnetized compass and illustrations from the grimoires of Agrippa and others. In this section, he connects the witch compass to evoking the directions and casting a circle as they were done in the ancient mysteries.
I loved the section that tells of the arrival of the cunning folk in society, and how they created a compass. Their compass has an alphabet that correlates to numbers, the zodiac, and the cardinal directions. Yay cunning folk! This allowed them to traverse the compass in the most remarkable ways as they applied the ancient mythos.
Ian Chambers then leaves nothing out as he writes about the five senses, the pentacle, and the crossroads. He demonstrates how they are connected to the witch compass and current magical traditions. The section on knot work and working with the winds is very intriguing and has a step-by-step exercise to teach the reader how to do this type of work, which I cannot wait to practice!
As you read Ian Chambers’s work, you begin to understand what the witch compass is and its importance to Traditional Witchcraft. and, that this book, The Witch Compass contains real and serious magic. A trend that continues throughout the book. This is an exciting and skilled book and every word captured my attention. I find The Witch Compass to not only be a step-by-step guide to the witch compass and Traditional Witchcraft but also a grimoire of spells and rituals and a true resource for any seeker, this book does not disappoint!