Witchy Words: Three Wicca Book Reviews

Practical Candleburning Rituals, by Raymond Buckland
Format: Paperback (ISBN: 0875420486)
Date Published: 06/01/1974 (published by Llewellyn Pubns)
186 pages

Having been the leading bible on candle magic since 1970, Ray Buckland’s Practical Candleburning Rituals is a classic. Encompassing both Christian and Old Religion spells; there are sections on low magic and the dark voodoo magick.

Tables in it include: Astral colors, symbolism of colors, and days of the week. This is particularly handy to have all together so that when you are preparing a ritual you don’t have to get going back to different texts for correct information.

Buckland has written over twenty five books and was technical advisor to many films and videos. Not one to dabble lightly in the occult, he is a forerunner to be trusted, and this book is definitely one (if not the) best.

Pros:
tables, charts, graphs, rituals

Cons:
basic knowledge only

Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evolution of a World Religion
Format: Paperback (ISBN: 1567186483)
Date Published: 10/01/2000 (published by Llewellyn Pubns)
282 pages, Illustrated
Co-Author: Ann Moura

Ever wonder where the Wicca religion came from? Where the roots of the old religion came from? And where the pagan path is based?

Ann Moura in Origins of Modern Witchcraft, published at $14.95 from the leader in Pagan literature (LLewellan New World) sheds new if not controversial light in the Old Ways. Did you know that the earliest known human civilizations came not from Egypt but from an area of the Indus Valley known as the Sind? or that deep in the heart of the Indian subcontinent was the beginning of the Old Religion? You would if you had read Origins.

The history of Paganism has been hushed, it has been quelled, and it has been shunned in Western civilizations. In today’s predominantly Christian society most Pagans and Pagan history buffs have no sense where they belong in history.

Ann Moura makes Origins a new and updated version of the popular Dancing Shadows book, providing meditations and spells, and other useful info on the path of discovery. If you want an informative book with plenty of history and Wicca culture, this is for you. A wonderful read.

Pros:
Practical useful information

Cons:
none

The Bottom Line:
a great guide for information

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham
Format: Paperback (ISBN: 0875421180)
Date Published: 12/01/1988 (published by Llewellyn Pubns)
Scott Cunningham is synonymous with Wicca. Having practiced Wicca for over two decades, he is a front runner in the published texts.

“Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner” is part of Llewellyn’s Practical Magic Series. Concerned with the Craft of Living, the book summarizes the basics in a thoroughly enjoyable overview of Wicca practices.

The book breaks down in sections entitled:
Theory
Practice
The Standing Stones Book of Shadows

“Theory” tells of the Deities, the forms of music and dance, as well as Magic, Tools, Rituals, and Initiations. Explanations of the types and names of the deities was, to me, the most informative of this chapter with the Ritual guide following as the close second. There is also an overview of Shamanism, the “first religion”. The book describes the awareness shifts, the use of tools in their rituals, and their role in today’s Wicca.

“Practice” talks of the Exercises and self-dedication service. For those not in a coven and wishing to practice alone, self-dedication instead of a coven initiation is discussed. I thought that the Exercises were very well done and gave me a lot of knowledge when I was first starting out.

“The Standing Stones Book of Shadows” is a book of shadows listing the seasonal festivals, recipes, crystals, a small herbal guide, etc… DEFINITELY not a thorough and complete Book of Shadows, but good information for a beginner. Does have nice recipes for things like oils and incenses, because making your own does make it nicer than store-bought items.

All in all, I would say that if you are just starting out in Wicca, or just want to learn a little more about the religion, that this is a good book for that.
If you are already well into your Path, then this book was probably already read, and if not, you already know this information by now.

Pros:
a good book for a beginner

Cons:
not all inclusive, but not designed to be

The Bottom Line:
If you are just starting out on the Path, this is a good book for you to get.

Tina Samuels is a freelance writer and book author out of Rome, GA. You can reach her at tinasam69@hotmail.com.

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