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Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(3 star, Verified Purchases). See all 1,103 reviews
on June 13, 2009
If you think about it, Wicca is a sandbox religion--open-ended, do what you want, with very few common denominators, much like the "sandbox video games" (like Grand Theft Auto, Oblivion and Red Faction) with the same characteristics.

To me, an entry-level Wicca book should aim to cover the common denominators and maybe offer some suggestions as to the other options. Below I'll cover the three main sections of this book:

THEORY:

Overall, I felt the basics were covered, but there were some topics where I felt a more in-depth discussion would have been beneficial.

Most are aware of the Wiccan Rede, basically, "Do what you want, but harm none". The question a beginner might ask though, is, What is Harm? Can a Wiccan use natural drugs? Smoke a pack a day? If I think that fat tire around my stomach is harming my self-esteem is it worse to try different, perhaps extreme diets to lose it?
Unfortunately, this book answers none of those questions.

The author doesn't come across as very confident in magic. He mentions a candle ritual to help pay a bill. What strikes me is this: Why a hypothetical scenario and not an example from his own experience of ~10 years (at the time of the writing)?

His chapter on "The Spiral of Rebirth" has a few problems for the beginner:

"Wiccan teachings have always been vague on this. Basically, the Wiccans say that after rising upon the spiral of life and death and rebirth, those souls who have attained perfection break away from the cycle forever and dwell with the Goddess and God." (page 76)

Wiccan teachings? What Wiccan teachings? Is there some All Things Wicca book that every beginner is supposed to read or is it just Oral Traditon? And why are these teachings vague on their take on reincarnation? What is perfection? Helping 100 old ladies cross the street?
Again, he answers none of these basic questions.

PRACTICE:

The Practice section of the book is the shortest but walks you through a basic solitary ritual.

I read some reviews where people say, "Why read this book when the basic information can be found on the internet?" That is true, now, but not when this book was written, 1988--the internet didn't become widespread until a few years later.

THE BOOK OF SHADOWS:

To me, this is the strong point of the whole book. For anyone who's ever wondered what the contents of a Book of Shadows are, this section answers those questions very well. It gives one basic information on Festivals, Recipes, Rituals, Magic, Symbols and a few other things.

In summary, the book is not as simple as Step 1, do this, Step 2, do that, but it comes close and does a decent job of explaining Wiccan practices and beliefs to beginners.
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on February 5, 2010
If you can I would check it out at the library before buying. I love his to the point easy to read writing style, but he leaves a lot out. He also boasts about wanting to teach the solitary practitioner only to seem to be bullied out of it by "True" Wiccan friends of his. The book of shadows seems cleaned up and written just for the book, I don't buy it. A true book of shadows is not as clean cut and is full of trial and error. It's a good reference book and is informative to those who know nothing of Wicca.
A book that I do recommend buying of his is The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham and David Harrington. I would also go to Llewllyn's web site. They have a lot of books on Wicca and solitary witches. Two that I have are Sabbats Almanac and Llewllyn's Magical Almanac.
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on December 27, 2015
Not as good as other books I have read. Good introduction to the Wiccan/Pagan beliefs and ideals. Arrived quickly in great condition. The included book of shadows is a good starting off point for getting an idea of how to put together your own rituals.
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on October 6, 2016
Charming and some information that I didn't know before. All in all, I'm neutral about this one.... His other books are great!
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on May 8, 2014
Not bad overall. Very basic information is presented. Better for someone who has just begin studying. The Book of Shadows that is included is a good baseline for starting your own. Easy reading book
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on February 9, 2015
Got it on time. Very beautiful. The only thing I had an issue with is that I thought I was buying the 1988 version but got the updated looking one. This is why I rated only 3 stars.
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on February 19, 2012
I found this book to being a great starting point full of excellent technical materials. However, if you've already read up on the basics, you'll find it a tad shallow. The author's writing style lends itself perfectly to self education and I would read another piece by him without much provocation. In summary, I just wished it was longer. Blessed Be!
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on October 19, 2014
A really good book for those serching the path of Wicca.
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on February 16, 2013
I liked some aspects of it but it didn't follow what I prefer but it is a good start for newbies
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on October 14, 2002
Much of this is similar to other books and suggestions for those starting out...as well as a good reference for those of us who want to refresh our memories. Personally, if you already have Living Wicca by this author, you don't need this as well. The two overlap considerably.
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