48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Llewellyn finally has decided to go beyond witchcraft 101,
By A Customer
This review is from: Witchcraft: Theory and Practice (Paperback)After having been a witch for 7+ years and going through the usual gammit of Wicca 101 books, all of which have great information and give one a foundation in the craft, I found this book actually made a valid attempt beyond the basics. I haven't seen the level of work from Llewellyn authors before. Usually they follow a set formula which leaves much to be desired in the form of oh... letting the reader think for themselves. I was surprised!
Though Ly's work is obviously an extension of wiccan belief (i.e. the constant reference to the goddess and god, the attention to the sabbats and esbats, not all ceremonial witchs follow either belief or practices), it covers topics of such things as direct energy manipulation, what subconscious and consious thoughts (realized or not) can do to a spell, the general forms of initiation and why they should be undertaken (as solitary or coven oriented), Then goes on to explain some aspects of the Qabbalah (this gets obscure because without an indepth knowledge of hermetic or golden dawn traditions I highly doubt this would make much sense with the brief gleaning given here, and Ly rightly says so on page 123).
From section three of part two, onward is where the book becomes interesting and goes beyond some of the basic ideas of what any basic witch (worth their magick cauldron and salt) should know. Entered into here are topics such as energy manipulation, psychic vampirism and attack, warding, seals, astral projection, hauntings, dreaming, familiars, and something less talked about the three degrees of initiation. It's the degrees of initiation I find interesting as there seems very little derivation from what I have heard from the community and what is written here through the years. It is obvious from the work she is coming from a definite coven/group work background, but this does NOT make the meaning of the work difficult to understand nor does she talk down to or insult the intelligence of the reader, and this by far is the best aspect of this book. She has gone to covering topics which are readily applicable but rarely talked about between witches in the community and in the craft. She makes you have to think for yourself, and DOESN'T just give you a list of spells to do verbatim. This is unique to llewellyn and a real first. I would recommend this book to anyone who has had several years in the craft and does not consider themselves wiccan, but has incorporated some ceremonial magickal practices to their ritual/belief retinue. The only reason I gave it four stars is that in places it does get a little fluffy, but then she redeems herself later on (IMO only in a few choice spots), otherwise it was a good quick and easy read.