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To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft Paperback – September 8, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

Silver RavenWolf is one of the most widely recognized names in circles of witchcraft, and with good reason; she has written some of the best guides to contemporary Witchcraft available. To Ride a Silver Broomstick is a handbook aimed at the beginner, and doesn't get bogged down in history, dogma, or gender roles. It is a workbook for the individual, whether one is a solitary practitioner or part of a coven, that covers the basics of the craft--from useful vocabulary to setting up an altar--and briefly delves into more advanced concepts such as astral projection and telepathy. To Ride a Silver Broomstick may not be the most comprehensive single volume on the subject of witchcraft, but RavenWolf focuses on the aspects most important to a beginner, and keeps her introduction to the craft approachable and easy to follow. --Brian Patterson

From the Publisher

        Every so often, a book has a special spark. That is the case with To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf. Sure, it is an excellent source of information on Witchcraft, but it's also much more. It is a personal book that shares RavenWolf's heart and soul. And that is one of the reasons I believe this book has become so popular.
        RavenWolf tells some amazing stories in here. Her description of her first experience at a clothing-optional festival is hilarious. Her frustrations during childhood while searching for her spiritual path are touching. Her tale of a woman who assumed that the help she received from RavenWolf may have been the cause of a health problem (it wasn't) leads to thinking about modes of healing and the importance of the mindset of the person being healed.
       What an incredible delight this book is! Not only is it personal and fun to read, but it also presents its facts so effortlessly that I was surprised at just how much information there really is in this book. She covers all of the basic theology, including the God and Goddess and the celebratory Wheel of the Year. Most of the book, however, is focused on magick. She gives numerous rituals and rites, and shows how to design your own. She also gives many spells that anyone can work. Other topics include healing, the Tarot (including timing, a rarely discussed subject), color and candle magick, and much more. I especially liked her lexicon of Witchcraft words. Knowing these terms would make a person more comfortable at any Pagan gathering.
      I really hope you will consider getting this book. I have no doubt that you will find it enchanting and entertaining as well as astute and wise. I know you'll love it!


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; New edition edition (September 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087542791X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875427911
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Silver RavenWolf (Pennsylvania) is a nationally recognized leader and elder of Wicca, and through her writing has been instrumental in guiding the future of one of the fastest-growing faiths in America today. The author of seventeen books, she has been interviewed by The New York Times, Newsweek Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, and her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Bust Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, the St. Petersburg Times, the National Review, Publishers Weekly, Body & Soul Magazine, and Teen Lit Magazine.
Her many titles include the bestselling Solitary Witch, Teen Witch, To Ride A Silver Broomstick, To Stir A Magick Cauldron, To Light A Sacred Flame, American Folk Magick, Angels: Companions in Magick, Silver's Spells for Prosperity, Silver's Spells for Protection, Silver's Spells for Love, Halloween, and the Witches' Night Out teen fiction series. Her new book Hedge Witch is forthcoming from Llewellyn in September 2008.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

362 of 414 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
Having read many of the reviews, you can tell which reviewers of "To Ride a Silver Broomstick" are coven-based Witches. Having seen a recent survey on the Witches Voice web site, I can say with certainty that the great majority of practicing witches in the U.S. today are NOT in Covens, but solitary practitioners who have no teachers, and no guidance as they begin. This sort of "this-is-such-a-schmucky-book-because-it's-not-written-by-Raymond-Buckland-and-doesn't-revolve-around-a-coven" talk should really be left to the more mainstream religions. In the Craft, all paths are paths to the Goddess. It's also not realistic; most of us can't find people willing to teach us, and may not feel comfortable even if we could. Buckland's books are great, but they don't speak to Witches who are outside the coven group. (I also didn't know there were such things as "real" rituals...are my rituals less real because they're written by me and not by Buckland or Gerald Garner? That sounds remarkably Medieval Roman Catholic Church-like to me....) For those of us who are not lucky enough or choose not to be in a Coven, this book is a strong foundation, provided it's used correctly. If you simply read through it quickly, it will be informative, but it won't function as a basic course in Witchcraft. If you choose this as your main text (and there are other books that will be equally good depending on who you are), then you should really follow it closely to get the full effects: buy your notebook, take your time, do your exercises, and most importantly...READ the supplementary texts suggested at the end of most chapters. Read them between your chapters in "Broomstick". They will give you more insight and enhance your study, and will also give you ideas of the directions you want to take as you grow.

If you do this, you will find yourself better prepared to tackle the mountain of information available on the Craft. I know I sure did.
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123 of 144 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I read when I started off on my path as a Pagan Witch (note: not Wiccan). I thought it was pretty decent and wondered why people thought it was crap....until I had a few more books under my belt. The reason becomes quite clear.
The book, simply put, is only so-so as a beginner's book. It's OKAY. There are better, there are worse. This one in particular leans towards the "Fluffy Bunny" side pretty heavily. (Fluffy as in taking up lots of space but having little substance)
There are several things about "Mamma Silver" I dislike intensely [...] Mainly, her smugness in her superiority. This manifests itself several ways, for example the insulting term "Once Borns" used to describe Christians in this book. Another example is her little quote on her site regarding her Teen Witch book:
"Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX to place your order, or bug, bother and pester your neighborhood book store till they can't stand it any more. Oh, and for the adults that don't like this statement? Maybe you don't care about their future, but I do."
To me this isn't about someone's future, it's about common courtesy - she pretty much demands crews of teenagers harass booksellers into carrying her book. This indicates to me that she has a lot less concern for things like free will and courtesy than she has for things like money, and more money. "Momma Silver" indeed!
All in all, I feel the nickname "$ilver" is appropriate for this author. This book is okay to read just so you can judge for yourself, but make sure you read several other "beginner" books before you decide to purchase any more Ravenwolf books. There is not one useful thing in this book that isn't presented a lot more thoughtfully and with beter references elsewhere.
And honestly, I had a hard time *giving* away my copy.
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197 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Juliana on November 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm 18. I bought this book when I was 15 and it turned me off Wicca for nearly 2 years. It alarms me that people will actually recommend this book to anyone.

The tone is EXTREMELY condescending. After reading the book, I honestly felt as if I could never be a real Wiccan unless I purchased all her books and completed all her exercises. And I'm not sure where she found her "historical" information, but it's inaccurate AT BEST.

The exercises were insulting to my intelligence. Copy out a glossary of "Magickal Jargon" (most of which was completely irrelevant) word for word? Imagine what the God and Goddess look like?

As far as her teaching goes, I think I learned more about $ilver than I did about Witchcraft. (Or should I say Wicca? Apparently, they're interchangeable. She prefers Witchcraft because the word Wicca reminds her of wicker furniture.) There is no such thing as objectivity in $ilver's plane of existence.

This brings me to my biggest problem with the book: bigotry. When it comes to her opinion of Christianity, $ilver's about as subtle as a two-by-four to the face. She makes ludicrous claims and prattles on about "The Burning Times" like there's no tomorrow. I thought Wiccans were supposed to accept other belief systems and respect all of the Goddess's children. (Maybe Christians were adopted?) Even as a non-Christian with no Christian friends raised in a non-Christian family, I was extremely offended by her cutesy little fairy tale of how Satan came to be.

I would recommend that all would-be Wiccans stay far, far away from this book. $ilver Ravenwolf holds a great deal of responsibility for the commercialization of Wicca and the stereotypes that plague it.
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