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Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick) Paperback – September 8, 2002

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Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick) + Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner + Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice
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Product Details

  • Series: Llewellyn's Practical Magick
  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 2 edition (September 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875420508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875420509
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (465 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This 1986 classic is not only an excellent introduction to the Wiccan religion and earth-based religions in general, it's also a workbook that can take the serious student to the equivalent level of third-degree Gardnerian. Though Raymond Buckland was a student of the late great Gerald Gardner, this manual does not adhere to a specific branch or denomination of witchcraft, but rather seeks to teach the elements and philosophies common to all, whether Celtic, Saxon, Finnish, or what have you. Buckland is credited with bringing the "old religion" to the U.S., and covens and solitary witches practicing the craft in the U.S. today have him to thank for getting it out of the closet. While Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft is a must-have for any serious Wiccan practitioner, it is full of down-to-earth spiritual wisdom, which makes it a wonderful addition to the library of any broadminded seeker on the path toward the One. --P. Randall Cohan

From the Publisher

In the New Age book field, it is impossible to guess which book is going to be popular and which one is not. But when I looked at the manuscript to Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft I knew it was going to be something special! Few books have been as needed,  and as anticipated as this one-it's the first totally comprehensive, eclectic, and sensible guide to the art and the practice of modern Wicca!
I say "Wicca" rather than "Witchcraft" because it includes not only the Craft of the Wise but gives you a firm foundation for understanding the spiritual dimension that is the essence of this born again Old Religion for the Modern World.
There are so many Wiccan traditions today that it really doesn't matter what we call it any more. What matters is that it is a real, growing, living religion filled with love of the gods, magick, divination, healing and much more. And Ray's book has become the premier guide for all of those who wish to follow this spiritual path!
Beside the breadth of information covered in this book, the real key to it is the design. It is a workbook. You can use it by yourself or you can use it as a text for a coven. In fact, we have heard from many covens that use this as the source of their secret Books of Shadows.
Wicca, by nature, is a simple faith that has great depth. You can pick up this book and use it as a source for the external aspects of Wicca, or you can study it and plumb the magical depths of this spiritual path.
This book has become a key resource in the rebirth of the Craft. It is a must for your personal research and practice or for your coven's library.

More About the Author

In 1962 I came to the U.S. from England, where I'd written comedy scripts and was personal scriptwriter for a popular British comedian. Interested in the occult for over sixty years, in the past fifty years I've had over fifty books published (fiction and non-fiction), with nearly two million copies in print and translated into seventeen foreign languages. I've received awards for my work and had books featured in several national book clubs. I was Technical Director for movies, working with Orson Wells, John Carradine, Vincent Price and William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist). Of Romany descent, I'm an authority on Gypsies and have written several books on them. I've lectured at colleges and universities and been the subject of articles in newspapers and magazines: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Sunday News, National Observer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Look Magazine, Cosmopolitan, True, and others.

I've appeared on national television and radio talk shows and been on BBC-TV, England, RAI-TV, Italy, and CBC-TV, Canada. I appeared extensively on stage in England and played small character parts in movies in America. I taught courses at colleges and universities and have been a featured speaker at conferences and workshops. I'm listed in reference works including Contemporary Authors, Who's Who In America, Men of Achievement, and International Authors' and Writers' Who's Who.

Recent books include Atomic Sunrise, The Spirit Book, Buckland's Book of Spirit Communications, Golden Illuminati, and Solitary Seance. A DVD version of my Wicca video has also recently been released: Rebirth of the Old Religion. A prolific author, I just signed a multi-book contract with Penguin/Berkley for a Victorian mystery series. Today I live on a farm in north-central Ohio. Photo Credit: Gregory Ford

Customer Reviews

This book is very informative.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is a beginner or solitary practitioner.
I do, however, agree that Buckland's tone is a little messianic.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Kashmir White on January 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I teach beginning students, I give them three books: this one, Cunningham's Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and the Farrar's Witches' Bible. I have seen a lot of reviewers saying they recommend using Buckland's book together with Cunningham's and I think this is excellent advice...the lessons are very good and quite thorough. I know of no other book that covers so many aspects of witchcraft. True, he covers so much ground there's not much room for depth, but it's a good starting-off place. He presents all the technical info: tools and divination and herbs and altar furniture and history and circle construction and dreams and meditation -- whew! Cunningham is a good balance for the more spiritual aspects. I think this is a good book to read through once or twice, using it as a starting point for further study. I think you'll also want to keep it on your shelf as a handy reference.
As with any book, remember to think for yourself and you'll get a lot out of it...
One last note -- the book covers so many different subjects, so many MECHANICS, that I sometimes forget how beautiful his Sabbat rituals are. He has included an entire book of shadows here, including seasonal rites, esbats, even a New Moon Rite. They are well-written and very poetic; for these alone I would recommend the book.
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156 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Matt on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although Ray Buckland's book lacks a lot of information on the spiritual side of Wicca it is a great reference book. Although very Gardnerian and coven based, the rituals can be easily adapted to fit the solitary practitioner who is of a different tradition.
I wouldn't recommend this book for those just starting, but for those that are more familiar with the basics and have had some prior exposure to Witchcraft. I suggest starting out with Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner." If interested in Alexandrian or Gardnerian Wicca, then move on to Silver Ravenwolf, this book, and then try the books by the Farrars.
One downside to the book was the quizzes. The quizzes were a bit knit-picky, but they at least helped get some of the information across to the reader.
As others have mentioned, Buckland does quote himself quite often, but usually these quotes are in the margin and if they don't reenforce and idea, they at least make for a good laugh.
I will give Buckland a lot of credit for not "dumbing-down" the material for the average 13 year old as some writers have. Wiccan books don't always have to be written for the teenager and I'm glad Buckland maintained a writing proficiency level that agrees with most adults.
Although not a "complete" book, it is a good starting point for many subjects like talismans, tarot, astrology, and herbalism.
Overall, a great book. I recommend it to any student of Wicca, particularly ones interested in Gardnerian and like traditions.
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Jet phoenix on December 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is set up like a workbook. After each chapter is exerices and/or quizes, with the answers in the back of the book.
There is an appendix of Wicca deominations--with a breif history and beleif summery of each, songs, and recommended reading list.
This book has all the basics, like the Wheel of the year, basic philosophy, tools, spells, and rituals. It also has some things that are not so basic (and that I don't recommend and the author strongly cautions!) like what he terms "Witches' Cradle", a form of sensory deprivation using a form of binding of the body. There are other historical tidbits as well.
This book also has several magickal alphabets, a bit on herbs, a dream interpetaion section I still find very useful, and ideas for covens or solitary practice.
This book is for the novice, or a refresher. Would probably be ideal for the person who has 'looked into witchcraft', and has decided to start studying in depth. It does make a GREAT refrence book, as Mr. Buckland has provided with extensive basic knowledge with the 'lingo' to aid in finding resources for further studies.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By ihartemis on August 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Buckland's Complete Book Of Witchcraft is just what it says it is, a COMPLETE book of Witchcraft. Obviously made for the student, it covers many important points in the whole of Witchcraft such as Herbalisism, History, Craft Names, Sabbats, Divination, and most importantly, the many practices of Magick. After a lesson, there are workbook questions given on the learning points covered in that lesson. This makes it extremely hard for a beginner not to understand the lesson, while also making it easy to remember the lesson. One note: a serious student may wish to buy a tape recorder or digital voice recorder for the questions as it is much easier to talk than write. If any person has bought the book and found it too technical, I suggest also buying beginner's books from Scott Cunningham, as he covers more of the spiritual aspects of the Craft. Overall, this book must honestly be considered a "must-have" for a Witch's bookshelf. -Ingrid
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Diana on February 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I first became interested in the practice of magic. I still refer to it from time to time. It is a good book for learning some of the basics. Please don't take this book (or any other) as the 'be all-end all' on the subject of magic (or any other). One big problem I have with the 'big blue book' is its lack of a good index. What's the deal with that? It's also very Wiccan in its approach. A good book on magic should not be so narrow.
I have seen that some other reviewers blast Buckland personally. I refuse to pile on. I do, however, agree that Buckland's tone is a little messianic.
Speaking of messianic, I'm sure that those interested in reading these reviews would rather that Christians expressed their opinions elsewhere. God(dess) knows there are plenty of Christian forums! This is a collection of book reviews...not a platform for the fundies. That off my chest....
This is a pretty good book despite its tone, lack of good index, and narrowness. A WAY better, more 'complete' book, you ask? The Magician's Companion by Bill Whitcomb is much broader, more complete, and...well...bigger (though not blue); yet, still okay for a beginner. Go check out the reviews there. Then decide.
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