Author: Amber Laine Fisher
Trade Paperback, 268 pages
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: April 2002
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Strengths: Beautiful writing, examination of subjects that aren't covered in other books.
Caveats: A personal interpretation of Wicca that is not traditional, not a handbook to teach Wicca.
Amber Laine Fisher's Philosophy of Wicca describes her interpretation of the philosophies necessary to the practice of Wicca. The book is unique in that it doesn't endeavour to teach the reader how to practice Wicca nor is it meant to be for those who have never been exposed to Wicca, as Fisher explains early on. It is a thoughtful exploration of Wicca, rather then an informative work, meant to encourage the reader to consider their beliefs and question their spirituality. Fisher covers such subjects as the immanent, transcendent, and archetypal divine, and the roles of nature, balance, sex and gender roles, the soul, magic, and comparative religion in Wicca. She discusses the Wiccan rede and magician's manifesto at length, and also examines some of the areas where Wicca has "room for growth" in her opinion.
While recognizing that Fisher is not writing about Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions, she highlights some concepts of these religions that have made their way into Wicca and her practices including angels, bible passages, etc. This may be uncomfortable for some readers however I found it very enlightening. While Fisher points out that traditional Wicca can only be taught in a traditional group and not in her book, she comments on the beauty and validity of trad Wicca, while stressing the need for honour and respect of the teachers and practitioners who made Wicca what it is.
Unlike many books on the market today, this one does not offer spells or for that matter instructions on creating them, nor does it seem to suggest that magic is a quick fix for any problem as some books do. It explores ritual and components thereof including the circle, watchtowers and elements. The book is true to it's title, being a discussion of philosophy and not a spellbook or set of procedures to follow to be Wiccan.
I would not recommend Philosophy of Wicca to someone who is looking for a handbook to learn Wicca, or someone who is looking to traditional Wicca as it is a very personal interpretation of what Wicca is and doesn't fit into a specific tradition. I would recommend this book to a practitioner who has some experience in Wicca already, and would like to further explore the philosophies and theologies of their beliefs in a book that is a pleasure to read. People who aren't looking at this book to teach them the mechanics of ritual or spellwork, but for a collection of works discussing Wicca as a beautiful religion that connects them with the Goddess will enjoy this book.
Reviewed by Rain
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