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on March 29, 2005
Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft is a reprint of the 1974 book, "The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft", also by Raymond Buckland.

Saxon Witchcraft, commonly called Seax-Wica was developed by Raymond Buckland in the early 1970's and given to the public with the publication of "The Tree" in 1974. Mr. Buckland certainly deserves full credit for developing this tradition of Saxon Witchcraft and making it available to seekers of the northern way, but we should also remember that a like tradition exists in the Vanna-Troth and the practice of Seidr.

Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft discusses the Deities `Woden' and `Freya' and the beliefs of Reincarnation and Retribution.

The hierarchy of Seax-Wica is explained with its three levels: `Theows' - those who do not actually belong to Seax-Wica, but may attend as guests and friends of the tradition; `Ceorls' - neophyte members of the tradition, in training which eventually leads to initiation into the Seax-Wica; and the `Gesith' - an initiated member of the tradition and a Saxon Witch! Every Saxon Witch is a Gesith, and there are no degrees of advancement beyond this (i.e. no 2nd or 3rd degree, no "Witch Queen" or "Witch King", etc.).

Buckland's Book of Seax-Wica also includes a number of Rites, including a `Self-Dedication Rite' allowing anyone who is unable to find a Seax-Wica Coven to initiate himself/herself into the Seax-Wica tradition.

Finally, the book touches on `Galdra' (Magick), `Hwata' (Divination) and `Lacunuga' (Herbal Lore) and closes with appendices of Magickal Alphabets, Seax-Wican Songs, and Seax-Wica Recipes for Wine, Beer, and Ale.

Overall Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft is an excellent introduction to Seax-Wica. It peaked my interest to such an extent that I sought out the formal training in Seax-Wica offered by CrowHaven House in New York. If you have an interest in the Old Ways and the Northern Tradition then Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft is a "must have" for your library!
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on November 21, 1999
Mr. Buckland's book discusses Seax-Wica, the Wiccan religion of the British Saxons. The book discusses Seax-Wica history, Seax-Wica beliefs, and presents "The Tree", the Seax-Wica Book of Spells. Unlike other Wiccan disciplines Seax-Wica has *no oath of secrecy*, the Book of Spells is available to all, and Mr. Buckland incurs no penalty by publishing the Seax-Wica Book of Spells.
The Saxons were commoners who suffered poverty, and who suffered indenture due to crimes and debts. Prisoners of war mixed with the Saxons. By my interpretation, that Loki did remove a "silver circlet" from the Goddess Freya's neck indicates that the Goddess Freya herself at one time was enslaved (pg. 19).
Seax-Wica reflects the Saxon love of freedom and the history of persecution by permitting Free Will in Seax-Wica rituals and worship. _Seax-Wica witches do *not* require external assistance and control._ If no local Coven exists or if the local Coven members' philosophies disagree with one's own, Seax-Wica contains a "Rite of Self Dedication" that allows a sincere one to initiate one self into the Craft as Priest/ess. The sincere one then may form a new Coven, and other Seax-Wica Covens will recognize the sincere one's initiation and the new Coven. The sincere one also may choose to enter Solitary Practice.
Similarly, a sincere one may choose to be initiated into the local Coven by her/his parents instead of the local Coven's Priestess and Priest. And a Seax-Wica Coven member may leave or rejoin the Coven at any time with *no penalty*.
Seax-Wica appears to stress fertility less than do other Wiccan disciplines. A 50-50 mix of female-male Coven members is not required, and Coven members are not paired. Based upon my interpretation, fertility symbolism is minimal except within the Spring (pre-planting) Sabbat (pp. 66-67). Open elections for Priestesses and Priests are held periodically, preventing incumbents from acquiring tenure and excessive influence.
Mr. Buckland's book also discusses Divination and Herbal Lore. The Appendices discuss Magickal Alphabets, Seax-Wican songs, and Recipes for Beer, Wine, and Ale.
Seax-Wica allows a sincere one to utilize Free Will. A sincere one can worship with local Coven members, can form a new Coven, or can engage in Solitary Practice. The lack of an Oath of Secrecy, the ability to leave and rejoin a Coven at any time, and the lack of penalties provides an openness and freedom that other Wiccan disciplines lack. Frees *will* find their own path with Seax-Wica.
I enjoyed reading this Book. It is a pleasant and well-written book that discusses a nice Wiccan discipline.
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on April 9, 2005
Buckland's Book Of Saxon Witchcraft was one of the first books to serious explore Wicca and was written to correct abuses that Raymond Buckland (one of the fathers of the modern Wiccan movement) saw occurring in covens. It was Buckland's purpose to offer Wiccan seekers an informed and informative introduction to Saxon witchcraft (Seax-Wicca) which could be practices alone and did not need a group or coven support. This 30th anniversary edition (originally published as "The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft") once again makes available to interested readers authoritative descriptions of Saxon deities and explanations of their primary beliefs; an introduction to the magical runic Saxon alphabet; a selection of original Pagan songs; a selection of Seax-Wiccan recipes for intoxicants; instructions for initiation ceremonies, the eight Sabbats, marriage, birth, and death rites; an explanation of the art and practice of Saxon Galdra or magic, and the divination and herbal lore used for protection, love potions, and healing; and the Seax-Wicca Rite of Self-dedication, allowing individuals to form their own covens and initiate themselves into the Craft. Very highly recommended for Metaphysical and Wiccan Studies collections.
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on March 29, 2013
...when they say "You can't judge a book by its cover". The interior of the book, and all of the writings of Raymond Buckland were as I expected them to be: A wonderfully refreshing take on the religion of Wicca ("Wica", even though written in the 1970's, when I was still in High School), with a fascinating perspective on the Craft, which I resonate very closely with. Being a 2nd Degree Gardnerian (and once having been offered an elevation to 3rd, which I refused politely), I have many of the same opinions, dissatisfactions and experiences that Mr. Buckland has had over the years, with the Gardnerian gyno-centric tradition, and I find that his writings and presentation of Seax Wica suits my household's Wiccan needs very well indeed. But what about the cover, you may ask? Whoever was tasked with creating cover art for this edition clearly loves using computer-generated imagery a little too much, methinks. The female blazoned on the cover looks like nothing less than a blind, non-human and hideous android, with every appearance of looking she's about to walk straight into a wall. It is an insult to the material contained within the cover, and I will likely soon be acquiring one of those wonderfully-crafted leather book sleeves to correct the aberration (one with the Tree of Life would be best, as I'm sure you'd agree). So, if you want to find a path to study Seax Wica as it was originally scribed and presented by the author, this book would be a valuable asset for those wishing to work in a Seax Wica circle, or as a Solitary. Just give the book a chance, and don't let the off-putting cover deter you. Five stars for the book. Zero stars for the cover. Blessed Be!
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on December 11, 2006
WHile it's easy to try and discount The Tree as "made up", it discounts from its ground-breaking accomplishments. Mainly, that you could self-iniate yourself as a witch. When this book was published, that notion was almost, well, heretical!

The idea was to creat a self-contained witchcraft path for those who could not find covens to join, or wanted to start one themselves but were unsure how to do so. It also marked a passage of witchcraft from people looking for sex, drugs, and Satan to peace, power and healing. Look at the openeing disclaimer to The Tree-Buckland is pushing the movement away from a counter culture fad to a serious, growing religion.

Although much is extrapalated from history and the works of his teacher, Gerald Gardner, Buckland is going for a feeling and spirit, not anthropology and history. What we know about the time period referenced in the book has probably increased 10 fold, it's important to realize that this book does not pretend to be a historically accurate recontruction of Saxon or Anglo-Saxon witchcraft. It was designed to open the door to witchcraft-a door that most of us probably went thru -that did not require someone else letting you in and initiating you.

read this book to see how much the Craft has changed, add the herbs and concoctions to you Book of Shadows, and take this book in as a major, quiet, turning point in witchcraft.
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on January 24, 2005
Dear Reader,

The slamming reviews you have seen are quite understandable. The folks writing seem to not understand the concept of history or religion.

History is not a science. Even anthroplogy, archeology, and sociology are based upon theories that come in and out of fashion. With this change of theory also comes the change in how data is perceived. If your looking for truth in any of these you will not find it.

Therefore, researchers are only making their best guess at what happened centuries before. Not only that, they are interepreting this data with a modern mindset which does lead to the possibility tainting the data.

Sometimes the answer is much simpler. Everthing was made up by someone sometime!

Gerald Gardner created his Wicca from his experiences in the OTO, Martinist Order, and the Ancient Order of Druids. Yes, Gardner created Wica. He made it up off the top of his head. Are the reviewers complaining about that? Nope! Why not pray tell?

Ray Buckland states it quite clearly in print and on video that he created Seax Wica. He even says that the history of Wicca is still in contention. Therefore he gave caveats to all who were reading/watching.

I do not know if Mr. Buckalnd has a ph.d. in history or even cares if his Seax Wica is 100% accurate. It seems to me, and I am quite well read in this genre, that he was simply looking to create a system of Wica to work. If during his time, he didn't wish to be part of th Hard Gard. or another tradition what does one do? hmm?

Right, you don't have an answer except to make it up. That is what Ray Buckland did and people now follow Seax Wica as a spiritual path. They too will inevitably change it as their needs change. So it goes with all religions, historically speaking.

I hope this assists the beginner in their quest.
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on April 14, 2016
This has hardly any information for those looking into:
1. a detailed description of Norse mythology
2. Rituals or spells specifically designed for Norse gods. Eg invocations of Freyja or Odin are pretty much just copy and paste of their names into very basic and standard invocations.
3 it's not much for the solitary practitioner most of the rituals such as initiation and hand fasting rituals etc...are for full covens
4. Very little solitary practice information for those interested in Seax, or Norse rituals or spells.
5. The songs at the last part of the book can easily be found from a Google search into common Seax Wicca or Nordic Wicca songs.
6. The book states it offers information into the Sabbats from a Seax or Nordic point of view but all it states is that during the Spring Freya receives back her brisingamen necklace and During the winter months she loses it. I haven't seen this cited in any other books so I wouldn't suggest this book because it has a lack of credible sources of where Buckland receives his info.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS BOOK: I suggest any of Thorssons book or Leaves of Yggradisal by Freya Aswin. They contain way more useful information into how to apply the Nordic or Seax pantheon of Goddesses into a Wiccan rituals.

If you're looking for a solitary book get Bucklands book for the solitary practitioner has way more information for solitary and/or eclectic witches.
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on September 29, 2000
THE TREE is a very good book for anyone of Anglo-Saxon heritage who wants to reconnect with their pagan spiritual roots. I am a longtime student of Ray Buckland, as well as the founder of the Seax-Wiccan coven (The Coven of the Green Earth), and I can attest to Ray's knowledge and complete mastery of Witchcraft. Come visit our website to learn more: [...]
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on April 29, 2011
As a primer and handbook on Wicca, Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft  has more depth than this, and seems like a more complete work in every way, from depth of ritual and poetry, to explanation of beliefs, and to Wicca's history and controversies over that history (though still dated). To fair, Buckland's _Complete Book_ was about 10 years newer than his work on 'Saxon Witchcraft.'

Buckland's Seax Wicca concept may have been a slight revolution due to its idea of self-initiation, but today the concept is old-hat and there are many more recent books aimed at Wiccan 'solitaries' (namely Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner  and the more detailed Living Wicca ).

Buckland's book on Saxon Wicca seems like a poor adaptation of Saxon myth and culture to Wicca. Granted, the Saxons didn't leave as much records as the Norse, and Buckland didn't have much to work with at the time. Still, If one wants read of Germanic / Norse /Saxon paganism of some kind, there are much, much better researched books out there, such as, in general, Exploring the Northern Tradition: A Guide to the Gods, Lore, Rites, and Celebrations from the Norse, German, and Anglo-Saxon Traditions or Essential Asatru: Walking the Path of Norse Paganism or Hammer of the Gods: Anglo-Saxon Paganism in Modern Times.

Buckland's choice of Woden and Freya may be problematic, and in general, those two names are basically name-dropped into a generic Wiccan framework with no depth of understanding of who these gods were or the mythology (Freyr and Freya - names that mean lord and lady - would have made much more sense for a fertility focused Wicca than recasting Odin as an analogue to Pan / Cernunos). For those who, for whatever reason, want to focus on Saxon magical practices - the works of Alaric Albertsson (Wyrdworking: The Path of a Saxon Sorcerer and Travels Through Middle Earth: The Path of a Saxon Pagan) would seem to add depth and insight that Buckland lacks.

Ultimately, I don't think _Saxon Witchcraft_ adds anything that _Buckland's Complete Book_ missed, and thus I don't see much of a use for it. This is basically a generic Wicca book with some Saxon names and titles tossed in for flavor, something that a motivated person could probably put together on their own with a few trips to the library. Two stars for being of historical interest.
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on December 21, 2009
This is a hard review to write because I actually enjoyed reading this book. I have always thought Buckland had a style that reflected a certain mingling of reason and passion that appealed to me. You know...the kind of thing that I wish I could capture in my writing. And I cannot praise Buckland enough for that.


If you want to be a Germanic "Witch" and worship those Gods (and you have no idea how much I hope you do) this book is a mis-represntation of Saxon thought and worship. Too much Wicca...not enough Saxon.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...look at Witchdom of the True (A Study of the Van-Troth and the Practice of Seidr) and read my review of that book. I wish every Wiccan would make that the next book they read. Especially if your thoughts are already drifting toward a more Germanic experience of Witchcraft.
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