Author: A.J. Drew
Trade Paperback, 223 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: September 2002
Price & More Info: Click Here
Many books on Wicca today seem to do their best to try to be non-controversial and to cater to the desires (and even the fantasies) of the mass market. They often rehash the more or less the same information in basically the same manner, with only the author's style separating one book from another. A.J. Drew's Wicca for Couples: Making Magick Together does the opposite. This book seems to set out to be controversial and does not cater to the desires of the majority of eager seekers who snap up books by famous Wiccan authors as fast as they hit the shelves. It was a very refreshing read.
This book is based on two basic premises. First, that one of the fallouts of a "witch war" about who was really "wiccan" in the early 1970s was the removal of controversy-causing things like sex and fertility from the religion, particularly that form of the religion popularized by "famous" authors in very commercial books aimed at the mass market. According to Drew, this changed Wicca from a religion of love to one that was often cold and sterile. Second, and perhaps even more controversial, Drew suggests that a more natural organizational structure is families, not solitaries or covens.
Drew makes a good case for both of his premises. It is certainly a good enough case to make any thinking Wiccan stop and at least consider what the author is saying about the many problems the author sees in Wicca today -- even if he cannot agree with the author's proposed solution. And have no doubts about it before you pick up this book, the author sees a number of problems in Wicca. If you are looking for a book that tells you how wonderful everything is, this is not the book for you. Don't get me wrong, this book does not wallow in Wicca's problems, it simply refuses to pretend that they do not exist.
There is a lot of material in this book. From a discussion of when archetypes become stereotypes, to rituals for families, to a discussion of dealing with those who think and believe much differently than Wiccans do, Wicca for Couples covers a lot of ground. Amazingly, for the amount of material covered, this book does not seem superficial. Perhaps this is because while this book is presenting a horde of ideas, some of which have been lost along the way and some that are new, they are all interrelated ideas.
This book starts with a moving dedication to Tempest Smith, the young teen who committed suicide in 2001 because of abuse by her peers. When I first read this dedication, it moved me. But it wasn't until I finished the book that I realized just how much the event had affected the author. This entire book truly is, as the author hinted strongly at the beginning, an answer to what he feels is the underlying problem that led Tempest to commit suicide.
Wicca for Couples should be read by every Wiccan and Neo-Wiccan. If you are Wiccan, you owe it to yourself to read this book and to discuss its views and ideas with your co-religionists. While many readers will not agree with the author, reading this book will at least open the reader's eyes to some of the less obvious problems in the Wiccan community and possible solutions to some of them. If nothing else, this book is an excellent starting point for discussion within the Wiccan community of problems and ways they might be solved. For some, however, this book will give them a new way of looking at their religion and its place in the world. I wish more of the Wiccan books I review had the guts to be original and take a stand as this book has. The author and publisher deserve a round of applause for their willingness to take a chance and buck the trend of cookie-cutter Wicca 101 books.
Reviewed by Randall