Finally my first book review on here. I just finished this book, again. Decided why not give myself a break from the craziness happening and do a book review.
My thoughts: This book was really easy to follow and goes over each section of information one at a time. The author also includes journal exercises and other exercises so that you can form your own thoughts of what your craft is (which to me is super important considering all the information out there and newer witches unsure what the heck to follow). This is also very non-Wiccan, but I would recommend it as a way to enhance your views and knowledge.
Adaptions of Old: There is a good explanation of what tradition means, how tradition changes over time to fit what our needs are today. How we take old text and rituals and change the words and items used to make them useful in our practice. This to me is really important because it can explain why religions change, why deities change over time and through migrations of people.
History of Modern Witchcraft: This book does a good job diving into the controversial aspects of those who helped develop modern witchcraft. We read a lot of history of how those who founded today’s witchcraft were basically geniuses in the witchcraft community, but in fact they were just being people. Even though it does sound like the author is bashing Wicca and Gardner, the fact is there is not a lot of brought up issues on how Wicca came around and how covens were run back in when witchcraft was making a come back. Even with Cochrane, the author includes some of his basic rituals because they work, yet he has had so many pot stirring controversies. Which brings to the point that is is so important to understand the history of witchcraft and where it came from to where it is today.
Traditional VS Wicca: The author does go over the differences between both styles of witchcraft. In fact once I thought about it and made myself a little diagram on the differences it became clear to me how similar yet different each one was.
Witch Father and Witch Mother: Another important section in this book. Since most witchcraft honors a “God and Goddess”, it seems to be important to have these two subjects placed in their own chapter. Even though I myself do not honor any deities, I think this information is important to understand that many religions through out history has honored a main God or Goddess figure.
Good and Evil: Amoral is a word that is often used here. Nature is amoral, beings are amoral, spirits are amoral. This is no absolute good or evil. What one may see as good, another may see as evil. The author gives such a good explanation of ethics and they ask you to form your own ethics and rules for magic based off the explanations and examples given. They basically make you think before casting spells.
The 4 Elements and Tools: the 4 cardinal directions have different elements than what you would typically see floating around the internet. In fact from a logical (or whatever you want to say about it) standpoint, it makes sense to have as an example: Earth on the South point. Another important aspect they bring up is the use of tools. Tools can only help aid or add a little oompf to your magic, but your most powerful tool is you, as the book will explain (because let’s be honest, I actually want you guys to read this book).
Bioregionalism: There is a push towards this topic on this book. Which I actually quite agree with. Many modern witch books tend to push aesthetics and buying items that come from another region, when in fact you can pick up objects from your own back yard, park, county, state, where ever. For example, I have a lot of dandelions in my region (and several other people may have them too in the fields). Dandelions do have a lot of good useful properties such as: making teas/coffee, used in spells for wishes, and used as a divination aid. Even with stones there is a page on stone color and what shapes may mean from ones you pick up in your back yard, since today’s stone books focus on precious stones. The author encourages you to buy books on plants in the region and to learn about what you have in your back yard.
Spirits and Ancestors: The author has a simple yet good explanation of ancestors, spirits, and deities. The author also explains about the different worlds we can inhabit, the Otherworld, and how we can cross over there to visit and how spirits can come visit us. There is also basic information about the Fae, Fetch spirits, and Familiars just to name a few. The author does also encourage you to do your own research.
Celebrating and Worshiping: With bioregionalism in mind, the author does a good job about explaining how witches today celebrate the seasonal changes based off of holidays that may not match up with our region and worship deities from far away lands. The author asks you to look at your own region and tell what are the signs of changing seasons? What spirits rule the lands here?
Concluding Thoughts?: This is an excellent book to purchase if you are interested in traditional witchcraft or wanting to further develop your practice. The chapters are just the right length but pack just the right amount of information for you to have the basics. The book also encourages you to use items from the land around you (not suggesting to toss out items you bought, but incorporating both). With the journal exercises, this book makes you think about traditional witchcraft and forms your own thoughts on how to practice. The author does include a lot of basic information but also encourages you to do your own research.
My Final Words: This book is definitely recommended for those interested in traditional witchcraft and studying the land around them.
You can purchase this book off amazon as a digital copy or paperback.