The first thing Dorothy Morrison hopes to establish in The Craft
is what the Craft is not. "It has nothing to do with canned magic, or flying through the air, or snapping lightning from your fingertips," she explains. And no matter how practiced you are, Morrison assures readers it won't give you the power to "turn your enemies into toads so you can set them on the highway." Explaining what the Craft actually is takes more time and thought--both of which Morrison offers in her typically warm, humorous, and concise style throughout this all-inclusive handbook.
Wiccans, who are the main practitioners of the Craft, have one overriding commandment, according to Morrison: if it harms no one, do what you will. It is a reminder that every action, thought, and spell has a ripple effect, so be sure that all your work is for the good. This responsible attitude seeps into every page of this practical magic handbook. Expect a highly detailed account of spells, wand skills, sample blessings, altar setups, invocations, and examples of how to use a cup, pentacle, cauldron, and athame (a double-edge knife that should never be used to draw blood). Morrison closes with a Craft calendar, listing celebrations and rituals for every month and season of the year. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Wiccan expert Morrison (Everyday Magic; Yule: A Celebration of Light & Warmth) begins by asserting that "the Craft is not for everyone." Indeed, many adherents of Christianity and other "mainstream" religions would agree that the Craft, or Wicca, is not for them. Morrison, however, deftly exposes some common ground. For example, "Magic... [is] a simple matter of channeling focused energy toward a specific goal. In fact, Christians do it all the time. They pray for something and they get it." With a few more notes of apologia, she quickly proceeds to explain the seriousness of Wicca as a religion and outlines its basic philosophy of "And it harm none, do what you will." Morrison has written a solid, valuable primer, covering not only the more familiar territories of goddesses, gods, elements and the seasonal calendar, but also the construction, consecration and use of wands, cups, athames (black-handled, double-edged blades) and other ritual tools. Stones, herbs, flowers, trees, scents and colors are also addressed in this excellent source book, aimed for the novice to this "continuation of an old Pagan religion" that is closely aligned with nature. Morrison provides exercises and chants in simple rhyme to enhance the practice of the path that she calls "accepting, generous, and loving... an ethical way of life that, once embraced, brings immeasurable joy and wonder to everyday living." (June) Forecast: Although she doesn't have Silver Ravenwolf's trademark humor or recognizable name, Morrison is becoming a witch to watch in the fast-growing market of Wiccan books. Llewellyn is aiming this for "female newcomers, 18-25," and will promote the book with a five-city tour and national print advertising. Morrison's The Craft Companion: A Witch's Journal will be released in July.
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