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Witchcraft Today Paperback – April 1, 2004
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I found it fascinating to watch Gardner (GBG) alternate between the etic viewpoint of an anthropologist, describing the coven from an outsider's view, and the emic viewpoint of an initiate, the latter view often introduced by the phrase, "when I was inside." When he describes ritual, or places certain customs in context by reference to their effect on magick, he does not generally cite his own experience, but refers to "the Witches" as if he were not one. I suppose he is trying to project an image of objective scholarship, but it comes off more as coyness or ingenuousness to my eyes.
If you're an initiate of Trad Witchcraft, you already know much more than what GBG reveals here, and if you are not, you'll have to just respect the fact that he seems to have honored his oaths and not told any important secrets other than that the revived Craft existed (and, yes, according to the Ardanes, that is a protected secret), which I have to suppose was his intent, in which he succeeded, probably beyond his wildest imaginings.Read more ›
Meanwhile, if you are a serious student of the Craft, this book is for you. Many people say that it's a let-down because it doesn't spell out the how-to's of Wiccan ritual, or that its best quality is its historical importance. Yes, that's all true. It's also true that Gardner had a rather dry (if intriguing) writing style. However, better than giving the ABCs of writing a spell or ritual, GBG gives you an *understanding* of Witchcraft. This book makes you flex your gray matter and actually *think* about Witchcraft as more than just a Hollywood stereotype. There is a reason "Witchcraft Today" is on almost every recommended reading list for Groves and Covens: it is fundamental preparation for insights yet to come...
If you choose to follow this path in earnest, you will find that when you re-read this book from time to time along your way, you will uncover new riches each time that you did not notice before.
The first time through, do not be distracted or unduly annoyed by Gardner's dated and sometimes inaccurate amateur speculations on history and anthropology. Just pay close attention to everything he says about the Witches he actually knew, and what they said and did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is an excellent source of the witches history. It goes way back to the beginning in England and way beyond. My frustration with the book is in the grammar. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Zareda
This is a very insitefull. It's the corner stone of contemporary Wicca.Published on July 16, 2014 by mark bowser
I don't remember why i actually bought this book however it had some good information. The book was shipped quickly and arrived in great condition.Published on February 25, 2014 by Boris
Many believe Gerald Gardner founded modern Wicca with this book. A great resource and answer to many of the "why do we believe or do this" questions.Published on November 13, 2013 by Spyder Moon
Yes even tho' it was written years ago it is still relevant today. Very interesting and full of practical knowledge. Well worth the money.Published on October 2, 2013 by Dee Hackbarth
good history on witches and everything. I really enjoyed reading it. The history and where we are today with it is just awesome.Published on March 11, 2013 by Tammy
While I think that people should read this book, since it was the first of its kind and the basis of modern Wicca/Witchcraft, it's no "How to" book. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by M Huston