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16 Magical Books: An Interview with Edna and Hagan


by ptyxia

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     In anticipation of all of Neopia’s witches most anticipated holiday, I sat down with everyone’s favorite witch Edna and resident book expert King Hagan. We had a long conversation about the most important books, tomes and volumes for a young witch to own in order to grow on her magical journey.

     —

     EDNA: The most important book a witch can own, the one she would save in a fire, is the Shadow Tome (sometimes called a Dark Book). Each witch owes it to herself to maintain her own Shadow Tome, in which she will record not only her spells, rituals, and recipes, but also her personal feelings. It is a magical journal; a repository of magical savoir-faire, a compendium of a witches innermost thoughts, fears, beliefs and dreams. It is crucial for any witch, but especially a beginner, to keep a thorough record of her journey. The Shadow Tome is the place to do so. Many a year from now, you will still revisit entries from early on in your exploration of witchcraft and you will thank your old self for her work on this crucial tome.

     HAGAN: In my opinion, the most important reference manual for a witch’s library would be a Bestiary. There are many such volumes available across Neopian shops. I am thinking for example of the absolute classic, a Guide to Petpets, which any self-respecting intellectual ought to own a copy of. This is a book to annotate, study, reread and discuss. The discerning warlock might also attempt to uncover a used copy of Professor Hugo Fairweathers Guide to Petpetpets. Petpetpets are an oft neglected element of a well-rounded witch’s education, but they are, in fact, absolutely essential, not only as familiars, but, as providers of key ingredients for brews and spells. I must confess Professor Fairweather is a close friend of mine. He has a brilliant mind, and is an expert in many fields of study. Finally, the eccentric or already well-rounded witch will want to look into more esoteric volumes, such as my personal favorite, 101 Balloon Petpets.

     EDNA: Many a witch first began her journey when she came across of inherited an age-old grimoire from a magical relative or neighbor. Not many people know this, but I myself became a witch only after I found a dusty tome in a derelict antique store. A grimoire is not entirely unlike the personal Shadow Tome, but it is not a personal memoir. It is a published tome filled to the brim with tables, charts, astrological and numerical references, color correspondences, spells and hexes, recipes for potions, elixirs, philters and other concoctions, moon phase meanings, herbaries, botanical properties, and much more. There are several such volumes available around Neopia. The wealthy (and wannabe wealthy) will turn to the Hidden Tower to purchase the Grimoire of the First Order, the Grimoire of Prosperity, or the Grimoire of Affluence. However, those are more limited in scope than the Grimoire of Thade, written by my good friend Eliv and a true treasury of magical information from around the Haunted Woods. Those who are drawn toward a more dangerous magic could turn to the Darkest Faeries Locked Grimoire, but I must advise even the powerful to exercise caution. It is no small trifle and using such a manual could have… unexpected consequences. I will also use this opportunity to pitch my upcoming volume, Ednas Grimoire of Magical Stretching, which I have developed over the years with the help of many helpful Neopians who have assisted me in collecting rare ingredients from all around the world.

     HAGAN: This advice is not only for witches, but they will find it particularly useful. I am of the opinion that any magical practitioner ought to keep a private journal. This goes beyond the use of the aforementioned Shadow Tome, which is typically kept to magical information. A journal is a place not only for one’s every innermost thought and feeling, but also to record quotidian and historical happenings as they occur. In that sense, they are invaluable to the historian such as myself. Where would our understanding of the history of Sakhmet and Qasala be if Princess Amira had not graciously made Princess Amiras Journal available to the public record? For another example, you may also want to peruse The Golden Journal Vol. 1, a record of events in Brightvale from Y6 to Y7 (an eventful year for us) written by none other than myself. I am working on Vol. 2 at the moment, but I must say, I am a thorough, and therefore slow, writer. An example for the young witch who isn’t sure what to record would be the Diary of a Forgotten Neopian. The author may be forgotten, but her diary remains an inevitable reference.

     EDNA: While this is not a universal rule, many, if not most, witches draw their powers from the Moon. As such, Shenkuu’s lunar temple is a place of pilgrimage for many of us and the Wise Old Gnorbu one of our closest allies. I would not dream of being caught unawares without my Lunar Chart, which I use to make predictions about the coming weeks and decide which new spells and potions to brew. A more inexperienced witch would also need a copy of How to Read the Lunar Chart in order to make good use of their chart.

     HAGAN: I recommend all magical beings also own a copy of Chesterdrawers Antique Almanac Vol. IV (or the most recent edition, for those reading this in years to come). An almanac is an important companion to a Grimoire and Lunar Chart, as it is an annual calendar of important information such as astronomical data, tide tables, weather forecasts and patterns, as well as planned festivals, events, celebrations and rituals. An Almanac is not only useful for the witch who likes to grow her own herbs and ingredients, but also for all who choose to plan their magical year according to the many special dates that ripple across the Neopian calendar.

     —

     After this delightful and educational chat, I ran swiftly to the Neovian Press to begin my own shopping frenzy. I know once this article is published, many of the volumes quoted above will run out swiftly, so I had to get my hands on them before this goes to press.

     Happy bewitching, witches of Neopia!

 
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