Re-posted from: http://facingnorth.net/Animals/-Totems/skin-spirits.html
Even casual readers of this blog should understand that Lupa is a friend of mine. But don’t let that make you think that this means I am going to slant this review in her favor. Having said that, this is an excellent book.
I took my time reading this work. It is dense, filled with information and should be a must-read for anyone who decides to work with any kind of animal parts in their practice. It has every relevant bit of information to keep you from getting in trouble either ethically, legally or magickally that I can think of.
See, there are a lot of laws, from the federal level right on down to the local city level, that govern the use of animal remains. Those laws not only govern how they can be used, but if they can be shipped to a friend as a gift. Simply sticking it in the mail can get you fined, something you may not want to deal with. Lupa has assembled the regulations that you may have to deal with so you can reference things easily. She also gives you tools to look up things in your local area to make sure you aren’t running afoul the local regs.
She goes into depth on how to clean a skin magickally to either work with the spirit inhabiting it or how to get rid of the spirit altogether. The ethical section talks about using a skin if you don’t know where it came from, and how much trust you should put in a dealer of such items. For example, what kind of consequences might there be to using a skin off the cat that was run over by a car. I can’t say enough that is good about this book. If you are dealing with ANY kind of animal parts, you need this book. If you work with animal parts in your ritual magick, you also really need to read this book, it could save you a lot of trial and error effort. This is normally the place where I talk about what is wrong with a book, but in this case I really can’t criticize this work. While nothing is absolutely perfect, what this book attempts to do is to inform the reader about these topics. In that, it achieves its goal. Because of that achievement, and the fact that it is about as complete as it is possible to be, I can’t criticize it.
As such I give this book 5 stars of 5. This is the highest rating I can give to a book, and this one certainly earned the rating. Granted this book is of limited use to others. It is something that should be read by anyone who is either into shamanism, animal spirits or who is thinking of becoming so involved or uses any animal parts in ritual.
~Review by Erin