Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Trade Paperback, 162 pages
Publication date: March 2000
Price & More Info: Click Here
When I saw Wiccan Warrior on the shelf at the local Barnes & Noble, I decided I'd buy it. I expected a certain level of quality, as Kerr's articles are informative, well-written, and very respectable. For the first part of my reading I was very much pleased with the book. Ideas of beneficial self-change, taking control of one's life, following one's spirituality in a sense of self-reliance without escapism. All wonderful ideas. I was hooked... And then, just as I began to really like it, I got the old Shanghai. Kerr begins cutting into anyone not like himself. Prefacing every judgment with "everyone is different" and while that's certainly true, it is not and excuse for the continuation of popular Christian-bashing. Moreover there seemed an outright drive in the book to invalidate Christianity, by demonizing it. Expressing the worst possible parts of it, and leaving out all but one example of the inspirational side.
This isn't limited to Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions either, Traditional Wicca gets the treatment as well. The book is full of contradictions, in fact too many to list. One of the most profound being an attempt at invalidating the Gardnerian challenging of the initiate with a blade, then in his initiation ritual, having the Warrior initiated by being confronted by Boudicca who prods them with a spear. Later the initiate is also confronted by Cuchulainn who also brandishes his weapon around the Initiate. Followed by Scathach ordering them still, and should they be distracted by other Coveners (who are intentionally trying to distract them) Scathach then goes on a tirade, with (you guessed it) a blade in hand. In a customized initiation ritual (included as an example) he removes pretty much everything that signifies initiation, including a group into which one is initiated. Everything that remains is quite moving, and inspirational, however ... it's followed by a rather pointless and mocking list of problems people had with the ritual, and why they were wrong (but hey, everyone's different!).
The book, being aimed at the beginner, rehashes a lot of Wiccan common knowledge. Certainly a lot of principles in this book should be addressed in the middle of one's first or (at the latest) second year. This isn't a pitfall, however, as one can always use a refresher course in the basics.
Kerr pops in the Rede almost as often as he pops in with "Everyone is different," without realizing that, gee, everyone is different. The emphasis placed on the Rede goes beyond it's being a guideline, and pushes it to the point of dogma.
Kerr also seems to be exaggerating situations, or paraphrasing his quotes to make them fit into his personal ideals, something he lashes out at early on in the book. The advanced principals of psycho-drama, mental training, and physical discipline are a welcomed break, but fit awkwardly with an otherwise 101 book.
Little of the information is truly useful, most of it is the opinion of the author (which is to be expected) interlaced with his credentials, and iced with a sweet-tasting archetype. Before I give my closing, I will say that I did enjoy the inspirational parts of this book. In my opinion, it's pretty much worth the cover price. I did enjoy seeing things from a different perspective, and did enjoy seeing older, and eastern principals brought in to a Wiccan context, but I'm not entirely sure I enjoyed it to the tune of $12.95.
This book could have expressed a path complimentary and contemporary to the existing branches and traditions of Wicca, rather than fighting them at every point, but it simply didn't. The ideas expressed in the book are obtainable in other areas without the bitter taste this book leaves. In my opinion, a Wiccan Warrior would not need this book, nor would one write this book. A Wiccan Warrior would walk the path, and lead others by his or her honor alone.
Reviewed by SahtYinepu