I bought my copy of Eileen Holland's The Wicca Handbook for 50 cents at the employee bookstore. It has a nice cover in shades of slate blues and greys. In the middle is a great big pentagram with a handy crescent laying on top of it. Maybe that convenient crescent is for "love" offerings. That central picture is surrounded by two neato arches, presumably to keep rain off any cash in the crescent. The arches are nicely decorated with neat leafy and chainy doodles. There's two triskele-like things in the top corners. And those are neat too.
The book reminds me of a nice text printout of the major sections of a web page. Maybe the very same web page touted in the author's bio. It's very convenient to have a text printout like this so one can learn what real Wiccans do even when one's parents or little brother are using the computer and you're grounded so you can't use a friend's computer.
Holland is very good about letting us know that Wiccans aren't the only kind of pagan around. Who those other pagans are is a bit vague. We are also told that Wicca is today's modern shamanism so even if it's a new religion it's an ancient one too. One can just type what she says whenever questions like that arise and presto! one will sound profound. Holland decrees that like all pagans, Wiccans are polytheistic and worship the Great Goddess. I was sad to hear no mention of the god. I guess that means I can't be Wiccan anymore.
She glosses over the different traditions of Wicca, just mentioning them so solitary Wiccans like her won't go "Huh?" when they're mentioned. She mentions the holidays of the Wiccans and our tools too, even arcane tools like scourges that she informs us solitaries don't need.
Ethics are given a look too. Basically Wiccans practice white magick because we follow the eight words of the Wiccan Rede which are "all we need." She informs us that black magick is a no-no, and that she won't even answer email from folks who do black magick. Green magick is okay because Celts and faeries do it, but grey magick is an illusion.
But enough theory. The bulk of the book is devoted to magickal correspondences. All kinds! Numbers, letters, days of the week, gemstones, elements, Watchtowers...a vast plethora of lists and connections with nary an explanation of why any of them might be so. After all, why clutter things up with speculation? There's already so many words to memorize in order to become a powerful White Witch.
But I can't complain. The book was worth the 50 cents I paid for it.
Reviewed by Seasons