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An Entire Occult Journey On Paper
By Ghia Vitale
Reading …and the willow smiled by Jacob Moses lets you peek into a neighboring dimension that’s made of poetry. The poetry in this book primarily focuses on spirituality and the occult, so it’s a perfect read for anyone who’s into mysticism.
I’m a poetry geek who appreciates many different kinds of poetry out there. Indie writers, publishers, and presses offer perspectives that you wouldn’t often find in poetry that’s published by a major publishing company. Needless to say, I was excited to receive a copy of …and the willow smiled in the mail. I recently published a poem about Kirby by Jack M. Freedman that I loved, so I was eager to read his other work.
Jacob Moses (who is also known as Jack M. Freedman) takes you on a tour through a wilderness of symbols and the occult transcendence of reality. The writing style in this book is descriptive and forward. The text is so alive, it practically takes on a life of its own. Still, the font is very readable and the text is very coherent, so the reading journey is still smooth.
In this book, Moses draws inspiration from various spiritual traditions. For example, he references Jewish spirituality and Kabbalah in select poems such as “13th Floor.” In “13th floor,” Moses explores Kabbalistic meanings behind the number thirteen. It’s one of my top favorites in this book because it demonstrates the power of numbers, symbols, and even superstitions. Thirteen is a number that’s ripe with magickal power, so I’m glad Moses took the opportunity to explore this.
I asked Moses about what aspects of his spirituality contributed to this book the most. He said, “The occult contributed greatly to the crafting of this book. ‘13th Floor’ explores the Kabbalah interpretation of the number.”
Another poem from this book I really enjoyed reading is “Diamanté: Robins + Crows.” This poem focuses on the concept of birds as messengers from a spiritual realm. As someone who spiritually connects with birds, I appreciated this poem. It reminds me of the times I performed divination with crows. In Moses’s own words, “‘Robins + Crows’ conjoins the realms of life and death.”
I couldn’t agree more and I think he did a great job at portraying this concept through poetry.
Many of these poems are influenced by Moses’s lived experiences. This includes “Bestiary,” a poem that was inspired by Moses’s own spiritual practice.
“‘Bestiary’ was inspired by a grimoire I made to document my craft,” said Moses.
I think “Bestiary” is fiery and raw. I relate to it because of my experiences as a witch. It reminds me of how I sometimes catalog faeries, demons, and other spirits in my book of shadows. I also like how in this poem, Moses uses the word “beast” as a term of empowerment instead of something to fear or repress.
This book is short and sweet. In other words, it dunks your head into a fountain of poetry and pulls you out just in time for lunch. I highly recommend this book if you’re someone who’s interested in exploring occult spirituality through poetry. As a seasoned magician, this book resonates with me deeply, but you don’t need to be an experienced magician to appreciate this poetry. I think Moses’s writing style appeals to a broad audience and doesn’t alienate his readers with overly cryptic references.
If …and the willow smiled interests you, buy the book here or on Amazon. This writer is not only talented, but he’s a cool person as well. Supporting indie writers keeps the publishing world fresh, so it’s worth every cent you’ll spend.
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