Metal Never Lies: An Introduction to Metal Magic
By Sam “Bo” Thompson
It’s a rare and wonderful pleasure to sit down, read a book cover to cover, and become fully engrossed. This happened when I picked up my copy of the book, Metal Never Lies: An Introduction To Metal Magic by Sam “Bo” Thompson, for this review.
The book itself is a pleasure to hold and read, both of which are important to me, personally. The font is pleasing, and the book is a good size to hold in your hands. The writing itself felt as if I was sitting around the fire, having a wonderfully long, in-depth conversation about metal and its relation to magic, ritual and spellwork with the author. Most chapters end with an Action Step, related to journaling or otherwise. It’s an engrossing look at how metals can enhance our magical practices.
Being devoted to Brigid, the Goddess of Blacksmithing, I honestly hadn’t paid too much attention to metals before. It just didn’t resonate for me. Other than placing coins or jewelry on my altar as offerings, I hadn’t really delved too much into the concept of metals. A few months ago, someone in a Brigid group mentioned anvil dust as an offering to our beloved deity. Hmm, I thought. Always on the lookout for varied types of offerings for my Brigid altar, I ordered a small vial from a place called Ravens Keep Forge. I put in on my altar, and didn’t give it too much thought. It turns out that the company is owned by the author of this book.
Now, thanks to Metals Never Lie, I am eyeing up that anvil dust and other metals around my house with fresh eyes. The author takes you on the journey of learning about the different metals, interspersed with stories of his own journey to metal-working. Bo’s metal workings are in devotion to The Morrigan, and his beloved deity urged him to write this book. I am so glad She did!
Thanks to the action steps at the end of each chapter, I have begun journaling about my personal history with metals, and it was much deeper than I thought. Upon finishing the book, I promptly put on a beautiful metal torc (a neck ring made of metal) that I had purchased months ago. I hadn’t really worn it, as I’d had plans to wear it for some future event that never happened. In a lovely bit of serendipity, it was created by Stephanie Woodfield, author of many books, including The Priestess of the Morrigan, and owner of the Forge of Awesomeness. Both Stephanie and Bo are active with Morrigan retreats. My life has many fun and interesting associations like that, a spiral of connections. The torc had just been sitting there, amongst my jewelry, waiting for the chance to be worn and appreciated. The cool of the metal against my throat feels different, now that I was so much more well-versed in its properties. I love learning new things, and this book does not disappoint. I felt Brigid’s pleasure at my wearing it, a metal neck ring with a point of citrine at one end, a triskelion at the other end.
Throughout the chapters, the acronym F.LO.W. is mentioned, which stands for Feel, Listen, Open and Work. Doesn’t that also describe how to open yourself up to working with a deity, or indeed, any sort of ritual and spellwork? Also included, should you be interested, is a list of tools that would be useful, should you decide to work with metals yourself. Bo gives a good and achievable list of tools to acquire, always urging to re-use, borrow, or looking at items with an open mind. He tells the story of finding a metal doorstop, and using it as a portable anvil for festivals where he vends. Creative and interesting stories like that are added throughout the book.
I recommend this book as an integral addition to your library. If you already have an interest in metals, all the better! Even if you haven’t really delved into the subject, I am sure you will find yourself engrossed once you start reading this book. The author provides anecdotes, advice, lists, things to think about, journal prompts, action items, summaries of chapters, as well as Endnotes that can lead you down the rabbit hole of research (as it did for me). It also includes a chapter on Tools, Projects and Rituals that have inspired me to look into blacksmithing lessons myself. I hope this book inspires you as it did me, and deepens your relationship with metals, as part of your magical practice or day-to-day life.