Post Reply
Page 2 of 3  •  Prev 1 2 3 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Calling all Witches!!!!
6 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2008 - 9:22PM #11
Gladish-heart
Posts: 23
Oooohhhh.
That makes sense. Thank you, Feinics! Do you have any thoughts on books I should be looking at?
Jen
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2008 - 9:34PM #12
Feinics
Posts: 2,539
no prob!

nah not really sorry! there mentions of books on these boards and on the pagan faith board by wiser folk then me!
plus i follow a celtic path so most books I trawl  through arent really obviously witchy or even neoppagan so wont be much use to ya!
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2008 - 10:59AM #13
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Jen,

As a Goddess Scholar in the Tradition I follow, I have to review publications although I never get to every book even on the subject of Witchcraft and certainly not Wicca, which isn't my religion. So let me share what I can. It is and remains your choice as to what you research and walk away with afterwards. Looking at the books you have recently purchased, I would say that first, you have managed to purchase (with the exception perhaps of Singer’s book) some of the better Neo-Wiccan/Pagan Witchcraft publications written from within the greater circle I mentioned earlier. Now given your stated disinterested in organised religion itself, some variation of Neo-Wicca may perhaps be where you would be more comfortable and should explore further as opposed to delving deeper and closer to the Religion of Wicca as it was meant to be practised. Many people craft strong and profound religious practices from the many offerings out there within Neo-Wicca despite the challenges of being recognised as practitioners of the Religion of Wicca itself. Let me make this suggestion to you. After you read TOTM (Hutton’s book), do some serious thinking about how you see the relationships between the circles I have used as a visual. Decide for yourself how you see these and where you see yourself being called to practice. That will determine what you should invest your money and time in. Nothing read is ever wasted but one still has to be able to extract what is useful from that which isn’t. And trust me,...no one has enough money to buy every book at there! Sometimes I buy (and I live IN a bookcase with walls) but I have also trained myself to quick read through a book in a few minutes at the bookstore, put the book back on the shelves and walk away with enough info to write a decent review. And quite frankly, a lot of books on Wicca and Pagan Witchcraft are so repetitive, that is all the time one needs to invest in them.

So, brief reviews and please keep in mind that these are my opinions only and I tend rather strongly towards the orthopraxic definition of the Religion so I do have filters that may not be valid for you or anyone else.

(Sabin's "Wicca for Beginners”) Thea Sabin is considered one of the better writers and is held generally to be practical and inspiring. She can be rather skimming-the-surface at times or interpretative but she is scarcely the only author to do so. Sometimes her terminology isn’t that clear as I recall. It has been a while since I looked at this book and you have it on hand…does her Wiccan history lean more towards the mythological (ancient…) or the actual history(British, early 20th century)?  I do recall that she emphasises ethical practices, which is excellent but also that she does go into magic, spellcraft and tools a fair bit. Definitely worth reading, see what works for you in practice and keep what is useful.

(Singer's "A Witch's Ten Commandments") Congratulations, you have now been Llewellyn-ed along with so many others. Now as nothing is wasted, perhaps the most useful lessons you will walk away with will be considering the approach used by the author and her background as relevant to this book. IMO, Marian Singer writes very firmly within the Neo-Wiccan circle and I have no doubt she is sincere and believes in what she writes. Her background is as a self-taught practitioner of seemingly every major type of Neo-Paganism, she has dabbled in New Age and she is now currently involved, I believe, in modern Wiccanesque-based Stregheria. This may explain her rather smorgasbord approach to how she self-defines being Pagan and a Pagan Witch.  Like Silver Ravenwolf, Singer appears to court the media. The unfortunate organising approach of this particular book is obviously meant to make modern ‘witchcraft and Wicca’ a more comfortable fit for those from a biblical Christian background. She does place an emphasis on ‘pagan’ ethics…except Pagans and Pagan Witches don’t have commandments or rules or laws that they must obey. The challenge here is that no one can define pagan ethics for others….Neo-Paganism isn’t a religion and neither are many traditions of Pagan Witchcraft and each individual/Witch self-defines what that means including the ethics. Those that she lists are common but not universally accepted amongst self-identifying Neo-Pagans. So perhaps consider this book to be about Singer’s personal ethical code as a self-identified Pagan and take what you can from it.

(The Wicca Handbook" by Eileen Holland) Another author who I consider to be in the greater circle of Neo-Wicca. She writes well and this book can be practical for those who follow similar definitions of the Religion and of Pagan Witchcraft. Her target audience seems to be the ‘non-lineaged, non-mystery, non-initiatory’ book-taught generic traditions of Neo-Wicca and solitary practitioners – those pursuing Wicca as a path or lifestyle rather than a shared mystery religion. Of course these folks also need practical and useful sources although the use of the term Wicca for such remains problematic for me. Much of what she writes is far more relevant to Pagan Witchcraft Traditions and for a ‘Wicca Handbook’, she places far too much emphasis on magic, spells, correspondences, props and potions. I was taught that the ‘only tool a Witch needs is herself or himself’ so you need to decide if you want to invest money and space in her textual shopping lists. Again, as you have this book, I seem to recall that her history seemed rooted in the mythological with the usual ‘ancient’ validation claims but I could be mistaken. Now there are those that find this book very helpful and I say, great. I might not recognise what they end up practising as being the Religion of Wicca but certainly as some definition of the Craft within Pagan Witchcraft.

(Uncle Bucky- "Wicca for One”) One has to take Raymond Buckland as he is and Uncle Bucky does tend to bring out strong opinions in others. He’s been around for a long time, definitely has a vested interest in the validity of the mythological history of witchcraft and tends to be a bit too eccentric on certain subjects to be taken seriously for my taste. Again, depending on how one defines Wicca, this book will either be ‘the best book I ever read’ or ‘somewhat useful” to “this is the father of American Witchcraft??” As for this book, my reaction is somewhere between the second and third reactions and I must say that I find it a rather dumbed-down generic source that was probably designed to sell well to those who are still thinking that they might want to be Wiccan. Again, for those considering Wicca as a path or lifestyle rather than as a shared religion. Now I don’t want you to feel badly about investing in it. Remember always…nothing is wasted. Its good points may be that as a 101 book for solitary practitioners of Neo-Wicca, it is a quick read that at least points the way to further studies. It isn’t as focused on spellcraft and magic as some others (mostly appendices) and he does at least cover most of the core beliefs of Wicca. Some of his perspectives are interesting and Uncle Bucky’s writing style is fairly uncluttered with emotive moments. So take what you can and keep reading.

I have a set of questions that I ask whenever evaluating the usefulness of any book (or website) on the enactment of the Religion of Wicca. Leaning more towards the Religion rather than Neo-Wicca, I will admit but these may be useful to you.

Does it use universal or imperative language and/or statements?  (Disregard those as valid or as validation, see what else the book offers…)
Does it emphasise one’s relationship to the Gods of Wicca as the reason for enacting this Religion? (Witchcraft, spellcraft, magic, trappings, herbs etc, these may be part of a Wiccan’s personal practices but they are not the reason for or the enactment of the Religion. In addition, the term Wicca might be used synonymously with Witchcraft and that is only accurate IMO re the specific definition of the Craft within the Religion).
Does it deal with core beliefs like these - Core Discussion and Expansion on the Core? (If it does, then definitely useful)
If it is a basic book, does it emphasise how to enact being Wiccan such as celebrating the Sabbats and Esbats, setting up an altar, creating sacred space and ethics rather than variations of what may or may not be included in the Craft itself?

Now, I can certainly offer you book recommendations on the Religion of Wicca itself but that doesn't seem to be where you are headed. Please let me know if you would like these.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2008 - 2:01AM #14
Gladish-heart
Posts: 23
Creaky, thanks for all your help!
I wish you a Blessed Ostara! I will be going to a park near my house that has a labrinth and lots of peaceful hollows in the forest. I want to be able to SMELL Spring coming! Take care, and have a wonderful time today!
Jen
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 4:51AM #15
Gladish-heart
Posts: 23
Thanks, Rockin'!
Have you read anything that really spoke to you? Do you have any suggestions for sources? This site is a wealth of info, and the people on it are extremely supportive- I have grown so much just from participating! Ever need anything yourself, just holler, k?
Jen
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2008 - 7:50PM #16
Sybilla1029
Posts: 15
GH, welcome to this wonderful, sometimes frustrating, time in your Journey.  As a very eclectic Witch, I found that reading the "staple books" was very beneficial.  It helped me to know that ceremonial magick is not for me.  May I recommend a few reads to broaden your perspective?  The Spiral Dance by Starhawk...anything Starhawk honestly.  You may not love everything she says, but it is thought provoking.  Also, Francesca De Grandis makes for a nice light read.  I found as a recoverig Catholic (Virgin Mary withdrawls) that I have a more Dianic focus, so I also read anything regarding Women's Spirituality voraciously.  Regadless, as you start upon the Path, I wish you all the joy & strength I am blessed with everyday of my Journey.     
Blessed Be!
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2008 - 10:34PM #17
Gladish-heart
Posts: 23
Merry meet, Sybilla!
Yes, I have purchased "Spiral Dance". I'm currently reading "Triumph of the Moon" for a little historical perspective. My reading list has filled out alot recently with the help of beliefneters, and is quite robust! I will look for Francesca De Grandis when I get the chance- Thank you very much for your suggestion! If you think of anything else, feel free to let me know!!
Blessings and many thanks,
Jen
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 4:28AM #18
Gladish-heart
Posts: 23
Thanks, Rockin'!
I did see "Magickal Household" in the book store the other day, and took a pass because I only had so much money, and there was a great book on Irish Witchcraft that I wanted... I'll be sure to order the Cunningham "Household" for my next payday! Still looking for the others. Will check Amazon...
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 8:04PM #19
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Purpose
Intent
Focus
Belief
Practise

Everything else is negotiable.

C.H.
(being unusually concise...;)
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 2 of 3  •  Prev 1 2 3 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook