Raven Digitalis' Goth Craft

Raven Digitalis' Goth Craft
by Lucifer Benway on 2007-09-22 17:36:47

I wanted to like this book. I really did. First of all, I was familiar with Messr. Digitalis’ online presence and thought he would have something really special to contribute to the ongoing community discussion re: old forms, new functions. However, I was increasingly disappointed with this book the more that read it. More than anything, I couldn’t figure out what the hell he was trying to do with this book- recruit goths to magick or make magickians interested in goth? Forget 101, this book is remedial magick.

The book devotes an incredibly large amount of time to explaining various goth subcultures. Their music, their clothes, their subcultural ethnology, etc. Presumably, if you’re familiar with goth you’re familiar with this and the book lacks the not-so-subtle wit of Voltaire’s What is Goth? The stuff on magick is truly sub-101 and not that things don’t bear repeating but the whole “most of this is available on teh internets” thing applies. The treatment of the subject material is very cursory, almost as if they were trying to pack in the most memes per square inches. The layout is gorgeous but who cares? The content is almost nonexistent and the style is pedantic.

And to what end is all of this song and fury? The book provides the reader with almost nothing in the way of rituals, let alone instructions for composing ones own. I’m really at a loss on this one. I don’t really get why it was written in the first place.

The Good: Great layout. Lots of pictures of good looking people. The best of intentions. The Bad: More fluff than an eight year old's sandwich. Lots of bullshit magickal rules (Ed: The next time some assholes tells you never to cut anything with your athame take it and slice the fucker's throat). Very little in the way of actual practice. The Final Word: Too much information on goth, not enough on teh magicks. Raven Digitalis definitely has a great book on magick inside him, but this ain't it. Spend your money on Nathaniel Harris' Witcha or a Joy Division record.

Goth Craft, Llewellyn Publications $16.95 300pp.