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American Brujeria

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Member Reviews

American Brujeria by J. Allen Cross is a fascinating look into the art of Mexican-American folk magic. Cross gives a brief history about Mexican-American folk magic and then jumps into a step-by-step guide to spells, candle magic, and more. So much is packed into this book that readers will be astounded.
	Steeped in Catholic traditions, “American Brujeria” is a melting pot of Christian beliefs and magic. Growing up Catholic myself, I recognized many familiar tropes from the faith: praying the rosary and novenas, stories about saints and martyrs, and revering Mary the mother of Jesus. I knew nothing about this particular brand of folk magic and I highly recommend reading about it.
	I would have liked to see more of the history of Mexican-American folk magic included in the book, rather than delve into a how-to of magic. However, Cross wrote the book with a specific vision in mind. I do not practice magic, but those who are interested will find American Brujeria helpful and insightful.
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A truly unique book that addressed a topic I was always curious about as a Latina in North America. 

Great narrator and great writing.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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( I was given a free audiobook copy of this book from netgalley for my honest review. ) Learned many things from this book. Loved the narrator and the cover art is nice. Well worth the read.
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This is basically a history and how-to book. I really enjoyed the history behind the customs and beliefs. I recommend the audiobook if you are just looking for the history part and learning the beliefs of ancestors. If you are wanting to learn how to perform actually cleanings, blessings, etc. you will need the hard copy for reference. Because I have a history with Mexican American Folk Magic at times I felt like I needed to cross myself just listening to the book. Very informative and enjoyable at the same time. I received the audio from #NetGalley for review and I will be purchasing the hard copy.
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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Will never use this book in practice but it was a very interesting read non the less!
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Most of the book is specific rituals and spells and practices to keep away evil, which was less interesting to me.  But there were two parts of this book that I found very fascinating.  First, that they placed their practice as central to their Catholic faith.  The connection of spells and Christianity is pretty antithetical to what you see in white American protestant/evangelical religions. So it was really interesting to hear about Christian magical practices, and seeing the magic positioned as coming from saints or even more so from Virgin Mary.  I knew Mexico and Mexican Americans had a unique relationship to Mary, but it was great to hear the history of the Virgin of Guadalupe from the author and see how much Mary fueled his spiritual magic.  The practices don't interest me that much, but it's a fascinating folk anthropological experience!
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American Brujeria is part history book, part guideline, and all very interesting. I really appreciated how the author openly discussed how different cultures in Latin America while focusing on Mexican traditions.

If you want to learn more about Mexican gods and saints, this the book for you as it digs into the best saints to pray to versus the most popular. It's clear the writer did a ton of research with the Mexican-American community when putting the book together. You can hear the histories and folklore throughout the sections.

In fact, there's a section about La Santa Muetre, or Lady Death, and how it's important to know all facts before praying to a saint that may take more than a practitioner may want to give. Good warnings while also pointing to better options for what's being requested. Cross also mentions how to maintain a safe altar, including cleansing rituals.

I really appreciated the narrator and pacing speed of the book. Easy to listen to and digest when doing chores around the house. Easy five star with based on all the elements and introduction points mentioned.
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This was not the book for me, but that’s on me, not on the book. I should have read the description, not requested just because the title sounded interesting. I was expecting to read a sociological/anthropological/historical examination of American Brujeria, not a how to guide. Again, 100% not the book’s fault. In light of this, I’ve given it the star rating I think it merits based on what it sets out to do, not based on my enjoyment.
For those who are interested in learning more about this topic in a practical sense and are in search of guidance in their own folk magic work, I think this book is an excellent introduction and reference guide. This is especially true if the reader is looking to gain a deeper understanding of the history behind these traditions and understanding why various tools and ingredients are used the way they are.
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This was super cool and a total departure from my norm. This explorer Mexican folk lore in the U.S., with some background and even some instructions. I loved the prayers in both English and Spanish, and the nod to Catholicism. The love of the Virgin Mary, Guadalupe and Santa Muerte were covered extensively. Very cool. Thanks so much @netgalley for the E-copy! 🔮
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This book was a very interesting read of how "American Brujeria" is a well mixed combination of  American and Mexican folk magic. The author included this mix of magic to the Catholic religion which was fascinating. Many spell recipes, candle magic, spiritual cleansing and praying the rosary are discussed in this book. A very insightful read which I definitely recommend. Thanks to #netgalley for the advanced reader copy.
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As a thank you to Netgalley and Dreamscape Media, I write this honest review of J. Allen Cross's " American Brujeria: Modern Mexican American Folk Magic.” This audiobook narrated by Cynthia Farrell added an understanding to the nuance that is Mexican American culture. This was done by adding annunciation to the words spoken in Spanish and adding a vocal and clear tone throughout.  The audiobook was enjoyable for me, so much that I purchased the book to follow along. There are some areas in the book that need to be seen visually as in the names of folk saints, color associations in candles, and more.  I commend the author on encompassing over 212 pages worth of information into this novel. The book offered history, context, and instruction for those interested in the practice of Mexican American Folk Magic.  This novel adds to those interested in the anthropologic study of Folk faith in Mexican Americans. Overall, I cannot recommend this book for those interested in Mexican American culture, or who have an interest in practices of Folk Faith around the world. I give this book a strong 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and highly recommend it.
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I did not finish this audio book. It was not what I was thinking it was and I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I had hoped. I also was not a huge fan of the narrator. I feel as though there could have been more of the Mexican folk magic history added to the book to make it more educational in nature.
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DNFing this at 25% because this isn't what I had hoped it was. I was wanting to read a book about Mexican folk Magic/ culture and not a literal how-to folk magic book. This would be great for those who want to learn the practice but not what I was expecting.
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I received a free ARC of this audiobook by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have a passion for studying North American folklore and folk magic as a historian. Each type comes from a different immigrant group (unless it was practiced by the Native Americans) and have roots going back hundreds of years. It’s fascinating to look at the similarities and differences between practices and I like to try and trace back the roots. Wiccanism is relatively new, having been created in the 20th century, and I personally want to learn about what generations have believed and passed down. 

Brujería and the lesser known term curanderismo are magical folk traditions from Mexico, which are practiced alongside Catholicism (however I don’t believe brujería is a term used solely in Mexico and is used across the Latin American world), but when referring to brujería in the United States it is in reference to the Mexican iteration. Cross made it distinctly clear however that the US brujería is no longer quite the same as the Mexican version and warns about going to Mexico and loosely throwing around terms when speaking to native Mexicans. You might not get the reaction you’re looking for. In general I have a lot of respect for how Cross approached this book. He states at the beginning that his intention in writing this book wasn’t to try and convert Neo-Pagans to adopt brujería, but instead it was to provide a guide for those of Mexican descent interested in exploring this side to their culture. He doesn’t gate-keep brujería to only those with Mexican heritage but does warn about the difference between respecting a culture’s practices and politely incorporating certain aspects into your faith versus cultural appropriation. This book was definitely not written with the Tik Tok brand of witchcraft in mind. It’s about the traditions of brujería as it’s practiced in the US and certain warnings are interspersed throughout the book but especially about trying to venerate Santa Muerte, which has become a popular in the last decade within some Neo-Pagan circles.

I went into this book with zero intention of practicing brujería (first I’m not mexicana nor am I Catholic). Cross makes it clear that it’s impossible to practice brujería without being Catholic. The Church, Saints, Bible, and Holy Trinity are such a foundational part of the practice that to try and cut those aspects out would be disrespectful. Instead I went into this book knowing a little about brujería, having grown up in a city with a strong Mexican immigrant culture, but wanting to expand my knowledge. I was a little disappointed that Cross didn’t dig deeper into the potential roots of brujería and how it differs from other forms of Latino folk magic but I don’t fault him for that. Instead he created a great beginner’s guide crammed full of information for anyone ready to dive into brujería. He goes into detail about almost all aspects of the practice and with American Brujería at hand I believe anyone who wanted to incorporate brujería into their lives would be able to with very little difficulties. I left the book with a strong understanding of the practice and a respect for the role it’s played in the lives of Mexican-Americans.

I listened to this book as an audiobook and although it was very well narrated, I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook if you intend to use American Brujería as an educational guide. With all the information included within this book, you’d want a physical copy so you could quickly find the exact floor wash recipe you’re looking for or uses for hyssop ( I use these two instances as examples) quickly. Audiobooks do not make the best reference books. But if you’re like me and have no intention of practicing brujería then the audiobook is great. 

Overall I rate American Brujería 4 out of 5 stars and wouldn’t be surprised to discover in a few years if was considered one of the premiere starting guides into brujería/curanderismo available to those wanting to explore these traditions.
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<i>American Brujeria</i> is a book of recipes – for lack of a better word – for how to perform various acts of magic in the Mexican American tradition.  I was not familiar with Mexican American folk magic prior to reading this book, and I enjoyed learning about it.  I would probably recommend reading it as a physical book rather than listening to the audiobook, though.  If you are planning to practice any of this magic, a physical book would make it easier to look up references as you need them.  In addition, the narrator for the book was pretty dry.  I actually went back and double checked after starting the book to make sure it was a real person narrating and not a synthesized voice.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me an audio ARC of this book.
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This was a very interesting and enlightening read! It was not at all what I was expecting. It was primarily instructional, and read just like a spell book with the exception of the intro and outro. Before reading this, I was totally ignorant to the deep involvement of magic in the lives of Mexican-American people. What was even more surprising to me is the connection between God and this type of magic. I am not religious myself, but can appreciate how faith can help people. I am happy to have had the opportunity to gain insight in to this niche culture, however, ultimately I do not feel that I was the intended audience, and so I will not be rating it. (NetGalley forces a rating, so 5 stars it is!)
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Really good book! 

Ok, so no, I am not using the spells, I just find different cultures extremely interesting and I enjoyed that a lot of the details explained the religious aspect of the culture and the magic. 

I loved the details on candles/novenas and the different parts for the magic and the use for each. Very detailed and a unique read!!
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This was a fascinating primer on American Brujeria for anyone who is interested. I do not plan to practice this but am very interested from an anthropological perspective. I was very pleased that the author took the time at the beginning of this book to discuss cultural sensitivity. I was growing concerned that I should not read this book for those reasons, as I am clearly not the intended audience. I appreciate her discussing how this book can fit in to culturally appropriate reading for a white person like me.
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This was such an interesting listen. I had so many great moments with it and had some moments that felt flat for me. 

Being an American citizen with immigrant parents from Mexico, I really connected with this story. There were so many relatable things said that happened in my life... like the chancla lol 

I really enjoyed the narrator and the way she would explain everything! She would also go into detail and I related to it even more.
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I listened to this audiobook, and I think it would be easier to understand as a written book. I enjoyed listening to the different spells, saints, and stories but there were points where the author suggests to go back and reference a past section which is difficult in the audio form.

This is a well-written in-depth look into Mexican-American culture and the adaption of traditions over time. It is a really interesting subject matter, and I appreciated the author including warnings about cultural appropriation and the dangers of approaching work that is not meant for non-Mexican people. 

There is so much practical and helpful information packed into this book. It is definitely more than a reference book, it is a love letter from Cross to his ancestors and everyone who practiced Brujeria before him. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who is interested in magic, spirituality, or even just learning about different cultures and their traditions.
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