Author: Anna de Benzelle and Mary Neasham
Trade Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Green Magic
Publication date: 2002
Price & More Info: Click Here
This is an extremely short and basic book. It epitomizes the concept of a
"Wicca 101" book. The second chapter (page 9 through 12) gives a very
workable checklist of "13 Steps to Becoming a Witch." I don't agree with
everything here, but the final paragraph of item 10 (actually item 11, but
the numbering is messed up) says it all "As a rule, remember KISS. Keep it
simple, stupid." Far too many "101" books emphasize the need for this item
or that item. This book avoids that pitfall.
The more I read of this book, the more I felt it might even be a "pre-101"
book. For someone with even a basic pre-existing knowledge of the Craft
this information is repetitive. It puts everything into very simple terms.
The authors include some very basic correspondence charts (which I like),
and some basic spells (which I don't like). Unfortunately, to my way of
thinking, the authors put too much emphasis on the idea of spells too early
in the book.
They also include a couple of chapters providing basic insight on the topic
of divination (which I liked) and a chapter on "Romantic Sun Signs" which,
while not going into any great depth, provides a description of the types of
people born in each astrological house, how to "catch" one, and how to keep
them interested. I understand that this book is aimed at the teen market,
but these last two items seem to reinforce misconceptions about Wicca, and I
would have preferred different titles at the very least.
The last four pages of the book list Pagan links and Websites for further
information, many of which are aimed at Celtic and European background (not
too surprising as the book is a U.K. production), and a short bibliography
(only 15 titles).
The bibliography surprised me a bit, having a quarter of the title listed
being productions of a single company. The bibliography continues the
light-weight theme, with a couple of exceptions.
I wasn't terribly impressed with this book, but it certainly fills a niche.
It contains enough good information to help dispel some concerns, but the
title might put some people off. It is not, in any conventional sense, a
Book of Shadows, but it is "An Introduction to Sympathetic Magic," with an
emphasis on "Introductory."
Reviewed by Mike Gleason