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3.6 out of 5 stars
Circle of Isis
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I just got this in the mail after dropping $3.99 + S&H on it (so about $10 total). Honestly, I think the book's a 'throwaway'- ie, not really worth the read.

PROS:
-I was able to verify, as I couldn't online, that Reed does in fact 'coin' "Tameran Wicca", which is a better label for Egyptian-minded Wiccan practitioners than "Kemetic Wicca", which is confusing as some might misinterpret that to mean blending Wicca with a Kemetic revivalist, Kemetic Orthodoxy or other Kemetic/Egyptian-based practice. Considering there are barely any Tameran Wiccan covens out there and I'm in the process of forming one, this is a big asset to be able to know exactly who started the phrase.

-The book is pretty solid in that it provides you with sections on who the main deities are, their themes/concepts, meditation/ritual sections, homebrewed divination systems, a Julian vs ancient Egyptian calendar (but no Gregorian, alas), and recipes for food/drink and ritual tools. One thing that was very cool was the inclusion of some tablature for songs, but not many people know how to read sheet music. I, for one, haven't since high school, so I couldn't quite 'get' the way the words flowed oddly with the notes.

CONS:
-I don't like that in the deity sections, there are often irrelevant personal stories and unnecessary references to Sothistar, her coven. While I do get that this book is largely a part of the result of their practice, using 'my coven' with a thanks to Sothistar Coven page or something would have sufficed. It felt more like I was reading an ego trip. Especially that interesting story on p. 17 which was already referenced in another review. The deity sections were too vague; Linda Star Wolf and Nicki Scully's books are a lot more in depth and comprehensive/easy to understand the deities than this book.

-A complete and total newcomer to Wicca would be confused. It is moreso a book for someone who already knows the process of Wiccan ritual. As-is, the book simply takes a "Hi, here are the gods, now come get to know them by reaching out with your intent to know them" approach- which is fine, but it's my personal opinion that if you're interested in Egyptian-flavored Wicca, you should understand solidly the religion first and then the flavor later. You can't make a good pot of chili by adding spices first- gotta start with the basic ingredients! :)

-Her tone bothered me a lot with her offhanded, parentheses-covered comments. They are peppered throughout the book, and oftentimes 'sound' slightly condescending, and to be honest, I don't feel they need to be there.

OVERALL:

I'm glad I read the book, I reviewed the deities. My recommendation: Study Wicca, study the Book of the Dead. Then find and read Nicki Scully and Linda Star Wolf, and then Rosemary Clarke's "Sacred Magic of Ancient Egypt". You'll get a much more solid understanding of Egyptian Wicca by rereading the Book of the Dead over and over than this book and by practicing the craft.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is actually a revision of an earlier book of hers called "Invocation of the Gods". Unfortunately, this was not indicated anywhere that I saw on the Amazon site, so I ended up buying a book that I already own. I was hoping for a more, well rounded,book on Egyptian Pagan rituals this time. Sadly, this was not the case with this book. It's hardly surprising though, as Llewellyn Publications, the book's publisher, has a history of reissuing their "under-performing" books under new titles. It's gotten to the point that if I pick up a book in a store, and I see their logo, I just put it right back. Considering how few books there are out there on Egyptian Paganism, I'd like to recommend this one, but, I can't.
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7 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2004
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
While the book is full of information, it is one of the worst written books I have read in my adult life. Ms. Reed's commentaries are, at times, preachy, conversational, defensive, and condescending. It's a very difficult read for someone looking for a scholarly text. Were I not as interested in the subject as I and hoping to glean some insights, I would have simply written down her references and read those books instead.
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12 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I had to give this book a star in order to review it, however if I had my way I would not have given it any stars at all. I DO NOT recommend this book to anyone, and this is the reason why I would not recomend this to any buyer or anyone serious about Wicca, Paganism, or Witchcraft.

"Circle of Isis", author Ellen Cannon Reed, pages 24 and 25,

There had been, I'm sorry to say, a sad incident in our community. A student in a group had been physically abused. The incident horrified the rest of us not only for the her sake, but also for the sake of community, as well as the craft. Most members of of our community were hard-working, devout Withches, and to have two groups leaders use their office to abuse a student in the name of the God and Goddess enraged and sickened us. ............................................................................................................................................................(paraphrase) Ra tells the author he will punish the group leaders.................................................................................................(back to authors own words) One of the problems of this situation was our helplessness, our inability to DO anything. If the authorities were informed about the incident, the Craft would be on trial, not the two people involved..(end)

I will not recommend this author or this book because my personal code of beliefs do not condone anyone covering up a crime for the "Good" of the religion.
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