Posted in [witchy reviews]

[Witchy Review] “In Focus Numerology” by Sasha Fenton

Full Title: In Focus Numerology: Your Personal Guide
Author: Sasha Fenton
Published: August 2020 by Wellfleet
Genres: Nonfiction, Numerology, Fortune Telling, New Age,
Edition Details: 144 pages, hardcover
Source: ARC – Requested by me
Rating: {4.5/5 stars}

First Glance

I hadn’t heard about this book in particular until I ran across it on NetGalley as an ARC. In my personal experience with books on numerology, I’ve been disappointed by a lack of depth. However, I decided to take a chance and try another volume on the subject.

Positive Bits

Aesthetically, this book is appealing. While not necessarily important to the topic itself, I think it’s always a sign of focus when a book is designed to be pleasing to the eye as well as informative. Think of it as an artistic investment in seeing the book reach more readers.

The author managed to cover far more numerology applications than most books I’ve run across previously. The usual suspects based on your name and date of birth are present, but then she dove into using numerology to check on specific times and dates, as well as your karmic focus for this life and your hidden passion. It even had a section on higher numbers, something I appreciated as some food for thought (particularly in a system that usually condenses all numbers down to single digits). The tidbits of historical references were well integrated, giving my researcher’s brain a place to look if I’m curious about where the basis of each practice evolved.

Another small but important feature is the inclusion of the alphabet-to-number table at the beginning of each chapter. I don’t know how many books require you to write it somewhere, memorize it, or keep a finger on the page that has that information while you move forward to learn about using it. Not having to flip back repeatedly is convenient.

Less Enjoyable Bits

This is more my personal preference than anything else, but I wish there’d been more detail on the history of numerology and the references to historical sources were explained with more depth. I like knowing the where, when, and why behind practices I use today (particularly in an effort to respect source cultures and avoid appropriation). Some of the referenced materials are familiar, like the Hermetica, so I knew more about the topic than the author shared, but overall it felt like crumbs when I wanted a full loaf of bread.

I didn’t do a word count, but it felt like some numbers received less detail in various sections. It wasn’t enough to render their information unhelpful, but it was just noticeable enough to make me wrinkle my nose. However, it might’ve also been a formatting issue, as I’m looking at an ARC. Perhaps the numbers will be formatted into individual pages, in which case an extra (or missing) paragraph will be moot (or at least less obvious).

While the overall style of the book is aesthetically pleasing, I did find some of the clipart out of place. Most of it is in the minimalist line-art style, so there’s a flow to it. But here and there, we get random pencil sketches? In Chapter 9 on The Birth Day Number, for example, there’s a section called “Day Number Crystals” with a sketch of a crystal cluster and then below that a section called “Fruit, Vegetables, Herbs, and Spices” with a sketch of a couple of apples. They aren’t bad sketches, but I flipped back through the book and found zero other sketch-styled art among the minimalist images used in other chapters.

Tidbits Worth Repeating

Sorry! This book is relatively focused on defining numbers based on what aspect of your life you’re trying to divine details from. Other than sharing the numbers that applied to me personally, I don’t think there are necessarily quotes I felt the need to share. I will note that I read all of the numbers rather than just my own, and I found them to each have a balanced amount of positive and negative details included.

Is it worth the coin?

Yes – if you want a starting point in the topic that’s not just the bare minimums, I think this book is a good resource.

Author:

bookdragon, poet, witch

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