- File Size: 1390 KB
- Print Length: 284 pages
- Publisher: Avalonia; Kindle Edition September 2014 edition (February 12, 2011)
- Publication Date: February 12, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004TGUCD6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
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- #541 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Occult > Occultism
- #547 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Earth-Based Religions > Wicca & Witchcraft
- #1167 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > New Age & Spirituality > Wicca, Witchcraft & Paganism > Witchcraft
Wicca Magical Beginnings: A study of the historical origins of the magical rituals, practices and beliefs of modern Initiatory and Pagan Witchcraft Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
D'Este and Rankine explore the basics of traditional Wicca from a historical perspective, focusing not only on Gardener and Crowley, but centuries' worth of literature, theology, and lore. They are almost scientific in evaluating material and the conclusions reached therein, and ultimately arrive at a plausible, workable theory regarding the origins of Wicca.
This is a book that a lot of witches have been waiting for!
Practice by practice the author's Sorita d'Este and David Rankine give the most recent history of each idea and then go back to it's most ancient historical practice. Starting with the emergence of Wicca the authors state the controversy of Wicca's beginning and then give you there hypothesis which sound rather agreeable. Gerald Gardner was initiated into a coven that practiced witch craft but when he released it to the public he added a whole bunch of stuff. Most of the material he added into his religion derived from the works of Aleister Crowley, Charles Leland,Key of Solomon and Frazier's Golden Bough. While many practices and chants were derived from these Ceremonial Magic sources.They also had antecedent many stretching back to Ancient Egypt and Babylonia.
The religion of Wicca may seem dubious for a variety of reasons. One is that Gerald Gardner himself made many false statements. The reasoning behind these false statements could be that Gerald Gardner was being unethical in trying to promote Witchcraft or was he merely protecting oath bound material.
What is the meaning behind Wicca? When was it used by Gardner? In fact he himself may never have used Wicca as a name for his religion, especially in his earlier works. The word Wicca goes back many centuries and the term "Wica" actually did mean witch or one who could bend reality. The meaning though was not positive as many societies even one that predated Christianity like the Norse and the Greeks had negative views of witches. Wiches were workers of evil. Something which Wiccans were not. big questions as to why he used the term witchcraft which carried such a negative connotation. If they had used a different term might Wicca have been more positively viewed. The practices of Wicca are more closely aligned to the practitioners in the Ancient Temple then they were to witches.
Charles Leland's book on Aradia was thought by many to be dubious and non scholarly. However, written works going back to the 14-15th century tell of witches dancing naked under the moon worshiping Diana at the shores of lake Nehme. In interesting side fact was that Diana was sometimes referred to as the "Queen of Heaven" and association given to many female deities from the Middle East most notable Ashtoret who was a Canaanite/Phoenician Goddess. Aradia was the name of a city founded by the Phoenicians in Tuscany before the Etruscans became a society. The influence can be most profound.
The idea of a mother Goddess who is all goddesses is nothing new. In Crowley's works there is Nuit the mother Goddess who came from Egyptians mythology. There is also Ashera from the Canaanite pantheon. The Shechina is god's wife in Judaism as Sophia is the Goddess of wisdom. In a work called the "Golden Ass" Isis is mentioned as the mother goddess of all. Then comes the question of a horned god. Most know of him as Cernunnos "The Horned One" the idea of a horned god was prevalent in many ancient cultures. Amon ra being a great example. In India there was a goddess and a horned god who died for part of the year and was reborn. Much like Cernunnos. In many Wiccan practices Cernunnos a Celtic deity is a paramour of Aradia, an Italian Deity. One wonders how this is possible. Yet archaeological evidence shows that Cernunnos had shrines in Italy.
This book is a profound addition to any collection on magical books. The reader will be blessed with an informative and very interesting read. The book is so interesting and written in reader lay person friendly manner that one will breeze through and be glad for the experience wishing it could go on longer. 5 stars out of five stars.
Instead of pre-judging Gardner as simply "a silly old man", or even as a bit of a perv, the authors of ths book set about analysing various key aspects within the Wicca belief in an attempt to determine not only possible sources but also connections and reason why - moving beyond the standard "dismissing" everything cos "old Gardner was a bit of a fraud".
As a result of this mature and indepth study, they conclude with not one but THREE possible conclusions, and whilst summarising with their own, leaving it open for the reader to make up their own mind. At the end of day, I guess no one can be 100% sure what Gardner's inspiration, motives etc were .. but the conclusions given are extremely pulsable and offers much thought.
But that is only one aspect of this book - what the authors have also managed to achieve is to offer possibly sources and reasoning behind the inclusion of many aspects of Wicca rituals - such as:
- Where the Drawing Down of Moon came from and its accruate history
- Where Alex Sanders may have gained his inspiration for his circle that contains migher magickal names and symbols
- Where the concept of "Perfect Love and Perfect Trust" came from
- Meanings behind terms such as "watchtowers", the elemental pentagrams, the athame ...
This book was a delight to read as it was not preachy, even at the end. It was apparent that the authors had given much research and thought into this project and presented all the evidence they discovered without forcing their own conclusion down the reader's throat - a conclusion, I should add, that might actually surprise a lot of the "Gardner-bashers".
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, beginner or advanced, interested in Wicca and its possible origins.
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In fact be aware this is not a guide to Wicca at all, rather a historic journey into...Read more
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