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Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner Paperback – 1989
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Mr. Cunningham's Wiccan philosophy differs from other Wiccan authors. Other authors stress Wiccan history, Wicca's established rituals, coven membership benefits, and the apprenticeship required before Wiccan initiation. Mr. Cunningham's philosophy emphasizes attitude rather than organization. Specifically, Mr. Cunningham discusses specific Wiccan beliefs and goals: belief in the Goddess and God; concern for the Earth; social consciousness; and the right not to be dominated by others. He states that sincere living and supporting these Wiccan beliefs is more important than perfect performance of dogmatic rituals: "Ineffective ritual kills spirituality."
This philosophy seems trivial, but it mirrors (British philosopher) Bertrand Russell's statements that ethics are more important than religious dogma. Mr. Cunningham's philosophy is very relevant to individuals who have fled the dogma of organized religions and who seek a more personal form of worship within Wicca.
Mr. Cunningham's approach offers much flexibility. A sincere practitioner can perform their own Wiccan initiation or have no initiation. Brutal physical ordeals are not required within an initiation rite. An initiation rite uses spiritual tools (chanting, visualization, meditation, etc.) to achieve ritual states of consciousness.
The book's first section discusses Wiccan Theory.Read more ›
Scott Cunningham makes an excellent portrayal of the core philosophy of Wicca, although accentuated with his own shamanistic bent. Cunningham's clear, crisp writing style makes reading his book seem like there's a teacher in the room with you. Truly, if you have any questions about the religion and practice of Wicca, it won't take you long to find your answers in "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner."
Possibly the greatest aspect of Cunningham's book, however, is that over half of it teaches through demonstration. After detailing Wiccan theories and common practices, Cunningham delves right into his own Book of Shadows, giving you a real-life example of the spirituality. This, if nothing else, makes the book a unique and essential part of any neopagan bookshelf.
For those of you with no real knowledge of Wicca, I would suggest another book, such as Amber K's "True Magick" or Silver Ravenwolf's "To Ride a Silver Broomstick." However, if you've just started on the Wiccan Way, I highly recommend this book to round out your beginner's training and start you towards greater wisdom.
This book clearly outlines the principles of practice, but leaves specific interpretation up to the reader. This is a must, as in pagan religions there is truly no "right way". The standing stones book of shadows is an excellent guide to creating your own solitary tradition. What is truly impressive about this book is that all of the information can easily be trnsformed into group or coven practice.
An excellent supplement text is "Incense,Oils, and Brews", also by Cunningham. It will help spur your creativity with wonderful recipes for all kinds of concoctions from alter oil to magical soaps and powders!
Whether you are an initiate/novice, or third level priestess, this book can offer you insite into the solitary practictioner's world. I can not praise this book highly enough. I have been practicing for many years, and no longer am I solitary. Yet, my dog eared copy of Solitary Practioner is always a welcome sight, comfort, and wealth of basic information.
Merry Part and Merry Meet Again!
The book is for those who are very new to the Craft and do not have access to, or a desire to associate with, a working coven. Cunningham's descriptions of the primary magical tools are very brief (i.e. the athame and the bolline together barely take up a page of text), and really only serve to merely introduce the objects to the reader, rather than delve into the magical properties of them.
The Chapter on Magic attempts to disspell the myths of what Wiccans actually do during ceremony, that they do not cast spells of manipulation and harm. Cunningham also outlines a very basic prosperity spell in order to pay his bills. He strongly advocates the ideal of infusing one's magic with love.
Yes, it's all very "white light" and rather saccharine at times, but it is an early work and many authors have simply lifted from what Cunningham wrote about and put their own spin on it. This is not a book for advanced students; but, for those who are just starting out in the Craft and are still unsure where to look, it can serve as a useful tool.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An absolutely wonderful book! It's got a lot of teachings in it, as well as a sample Book of Shadows to help inspire you to build your own. Read morePublished 1 day ago by EJP
Great beginner's guide. Certainly some good info for those of us with more of a background too though!Published 14 days ago by Elle Catalano
I'm not sure what to write that hasn't already been written, but this was the resource that helped me start my path. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Sarah Israelson
I have dipped into this book and it is great to get me started on the Wicca path.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer