Title: Pop Culture Magic 2.0: The Evolution of Pop Culture Magic
Author: Taylor Ellwood
Pages: 226 pp
I volunteered to review Pop Culture Magic 2.0 because I’d never heard the term before and was intrigued. This book is a continuation of Pop Culture Magick, written eleven years ago, and includes portions of another book by the same author, called Mass Media Magick.
If you are unfamiliar with the term “pop culture magic,”, this book could certainly tell you about the phenomenon. Basically, it’s using anything in pop culture as a base for magical practice. I started reading this imagining folks who were Dungeons & Dragons players, especially a particularly creepy Rona Jaffe book called Mazes and Monsters, in which a group of college students play something like D&D in tunnels near their college and one character becomes psychotic, believing the game is real.
But back to reality …. As I read the book, however, I realized how wide-spread pop culture magic is, even if the specific term isn’t used. I think of thousands of kids obsessed with Star Wars, using “the Force,” and how acting out stories and characters using weaponry and key facets of personalities is very close to this author’s definition. This book also made me think of the Harry Potter phenomenon, and the “witch-izing” of the US. So many folks who might say they don’t really believe in witchcraft, nevertheless would recognize and harness various energies and personalities found in the Harry Potter books. The power of pop culture magic, I believe, is its accessibility, and creating a base for focus and energy.
My biggest challenge in this book : I found it simply longer than I would’ve liked. I wish it had been cut in two, making it an easily accessible book, almost like a comic book, instead of a multi-hundred page treatise. It read a bit like a college textbook to me. Obviously, this is the way to get information about the topic, but I believe that its size would scare some interested folks away. Otherwise, an interesting and thought-provoking read.
[Reviewed by Alaina Zipp.]