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Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner Paperback – 1989

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,014 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
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  • Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is the essential primer from one of the best known authors on Wicca. Focusing on the importance of individualism in your spiritual path, Cunningham explains the very basics of Sabbats (holy days), ceremonies, altars, and other nuts and bolts of Wicca that a solitary practitioner may have trouble finding elsewhere. While Wicca shouldn't be your sole point of reference when considering Wicca as your way of life, it is one of the best starting points. --Brian Patterson

About the Author

Scott Cunningham practiced magic actively for over twenty years. He was the author of more than fifty books covering both fiction and non-fiction subject matter; sixteen of his titles are published by Llewellyn Publications. Scott's books reflect a broad range of interests within the New Age sphere, where he was very highly regarded. He passed from this life on March 28, 1993, after a long illness.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875421180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875421186
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,014 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mr. Cunningham has written a book for the Wiccan who is solitary either because s/he knows no existing local compatible covens, or because s/he has no compatible person with whom to practice Wicca. The book is very well-written. It is suitable for true beginners, but contains extensive detail making it valuable for the more advanced Wiccan.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit that, when I started my exploration of the Wiccan Way, this book wasn't the first on my list. I went through several other beginner's guides before finally ending up with Cunningham's work, and I definitely wish I'd come across it sooner.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Cunningham's Guide to the solitary practicioner is an absolute must. With this book and "The Spiral Dance" by Starhawk any beginning Wicca or pagan can learn the essential basics of practicing non-christian traditional earth based religion.
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.

dakotahblu
:)

Merry Part and Merry Meet Again!
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Format: Paperback
This was one of the first books on the Craft I bought (along with his earlier work, "The Truth About Witchcraft Today"). Cunningham does a nice job of presenting Wicca as a positive, pre-Christian, Earth-centered religion, and gives a very general (sometimes generic) overview of the Dieties, Tools, Symbols, and High Holy Days.
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.
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