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Author Topic: So, here's a question.  (Read 22617 times)
LuciaStar
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« Topic Start: February 19, 2008, 06:14:17 pm »

For studying and such, which books and authors do you recommend? Which ones should be avoid? I know SRW is one, but anyone else? Just to mention, I've read Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.

Not related to my question in any way, but I'm currently reading Witchcraze by Anne Llewellyn Barstow, which is non-fiction, and very interesting and historical. Though, I have a hard time keeping my attention towards the book sometimes. Today was an exception, though. I somehow managed to put my full attention towards it.
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« Reply #1: February 19, 2008, 06:34:50 pm »

For studying and such, which books and authors do you recommend? Which ones should be avoid? I know SRW is one, but anyone else? Just to mention, I've read Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.

Books on which subject? If it's Wicca books you're after (or ones such as the Scott Cunningham) then perhaps Kate West and her 'The Real Witch's handbook' collection. I find her books sit nicely on my bookshelf alongside the ones of have of Cunningham's.
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« Reply #2: February 19, 2008, 07:13:25 pm »

Yes, basically about Wicca, and Paganism in general, too.  I'll keep the author in mind next time I go to the library or the bookstore.
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« Reply #3: February 19, 2008, 08:30:02 pm »

Yes, basically about Wicca, and Paganism in general, too.  I'll keep the author in mind next time I go to the library or the bookstore.

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« Reply #4: February 19, 2008, 09:46:00 pm »

For studying and such, which books and authors do you recommend? Which ones should be avoid? I know SRW is one, but anyone else? Just to mention, I've read Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.

Not related to my question in any way, but I'm currently reading Witchcraze by Anne Llewellyn Barstow, which is non-fiction, and very interesting and historical. Though, I have a hard time keeping my attention towards the book sometimes. Today was an exception, though. I somehow managed to put my full attention towards it.

Barstow may not be someone you want to pay that close of attention to. Jenny has some excellent reviews on this site.

Witchcraze (review)

http://www.summerlands.com/crossroads/remembrance/_remembrance/witchcraze.htm
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« Reply #5: February 20, 2008, 01:33:32 am »

For studying and such, which books and authors do you recommend? Which ones should be avoid? I know SRW is one, but anyone else?
I don't like to simply dismiss a book or an author as "bad!  do not read!" (sometimes useful bits can come from even otherwise-unreliable books; and one doesn't learn how to discern the quality of books for oneself by only reading good ones, one needs to see bad examples too).  But at the top of my "money better spent on something else/read with lots of salt" list:

Sister Moon.  I'm only aware of The Wiccaning from her; may the gods grant there are no more.  This is as close as I come to "bad!  do not read!"; it's brimful of stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with Wicca.  If it presented itself as describing a different system, that wouldn't be so bad; we could judge that system on its own merits/demerits - but it doesn't; it claims it's Wicca.  It ain't - it ain't Traditional Wicca, it ain't Eclectic Wicca, it ain't even fluffy-bunny pseudo-Wicca.  Makes SRW look four-star.

(I won't try to do an extended list; it seems to work best when each of us picks their pet-peeve author and says why.)

What do I think well of?
Ronald Hutton, Triumph of the Moon.  Not a "how-to"; it traces where the components of Wicca came from and how they came together.  I put it first, because it's the basic antidote to Bad History - quite a few otherwise-excellent books were written at a time when such Bad History was the accepted idea in neoPaganism.  (Hutton's book had a lot to do with turning that around.)

Starhawk, The Spiral Dance

Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches' Bible

Ly de Angeles, Witchcraft in Theory and Practice

Ellen Cannon Reed, The Heart of Wicca

Vivianne Crowley, Wicca:  The Old Religion in a New Milennium

On a simpler level, Cunningham's followup book Living Wicca:  A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and Ed Fitch's Magical Rites from the Crystal Well.  (Fitch's A Grimoire of Shadows is also fairly good, but don't bother with The Rites of Odin; it's just Wiccish neoPaganism wearing a horned helmet.)

I haven't read any of Deborah Lipp's books, but they're high on my wish list; I'm slightly e-quainted with her and can vouch for the solidity of her background.  There are other books/authors that I haven't read but that others recommend highly, but I'll let said others cover them.  And I've stuck to Wicca/neoPagan religious Witchcraft since that's where I have the most book-familiarity.

Keep a bit of metaphorical salt handy for any book you're reading.  Even the best writers sometimes have odd tangents.

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« Reply #6: February 21, 2008, 12:23:02 am »

I haven't read any of Deborah Lipp's books, but they're high on my wish list; I'm slightly e-quainted with her and can vouch for the solidity of her background.  There are other books/authors that I haven't read but that others recommend highly, but I'll let said others cover them.  And I've stuck to Wicca/neoPagan religious Witchcraft since that's where I have the most book-familiarity.

I recommend The Elements of Ritual (thats her primarily Wicca book, I think). Its just so refreshing to see someone dissect and discuss and EXPLAIN things in such a decisive way. I really can't explain it better than its refreshing and one of the best Wicca "101" books I could ever recommend. Its nice being told WHY this does this, or why that came about, rather than being told do this this and this and this'll happen.

</insane gushing> Cheesy
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« Reply #7: February 21, 2008, 01:41:00 am »

I recommend The Elements of Ritual (thats her primarily Wicca book, I think). Its just so refreshing to see someone dissect and discuss and EXPLAIN things in such a decisive way. I really can't explain it better than its refreshing and one of the best Wicca "101" books I could ever recommend. Its nice being told WHY this does this, or why that came about, rather than being told do this this and this and this'll happen.

I don't agree with all her conclusions (most notably where she places the cakes and ale, but I know there are others), but I agree - I really like the way she breaks things down and examines them (and encourages the reader to do the same.) It's a really refreshing attitude.
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« Reply #8: February 21, 2008, 11:53:21 am »

I don't agree with all her conclusions (most notably where she places the cakes and ale, but I know there are others), but I agree - I really like the way she breaks things down and examines them (and encourages the reader to do the same.) It's a really refreshing attitude.

Yeah, that part confused me. But at least she explained why she did it (she did, didn't she?). When I was reading it I thought it should be placed elsewhere, but for the life of me I can't remember where now. It's better, IMO, that she explained her reasoning rather than just throwing it out there and saying its the One True Way.
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« Reply #9: April 14, 2008, 02:53:31 pm »

I don't like to simply dismiss a book or an author as "bad!  do not read!" (sometimes useful bits can come from even otherwise-unreliable books; and one doesn't learn how to discern the quality of books for oneself by only reading good ones, one needs to see bad examples too).  But at the top of my "money better spent on something else/read with lots of salt" list:

Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches' Bible

Sunflower

This is one that's on my extended "to get" list, but first I have to read the half dozen (or more!) books that I've already bought but not yet read!  Cheesy

There's just one thing I find a little ironic about this book - the title. Now, it doesn't bother me, per se, but I wonder if some witches or wiccans might be put off a little by the naming this book a "Bible".  Of course I know that term has been extended in modern times to mean "a definitive work", and not necessarily have the Judeo-Christian religious connotations associated with it, but;  it is in fact, nevertheless, a religious book.   Wouldn't it feel just as weird (if not more) if it were called, "The Witches' Koran", or "The Witches' Talmud", or something similar?   Wink
Perhaps the choice of name is entirely deliberate - a book to supplant the "Bible".  Also odd is that it's not called "A Wiccan's Bible", because it is Alexandrian Wicca primarily, isn't it? - and Wicca /= Witchcraft.
But whatever..


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« Reply #10: April 14, 2008, 03:00:16 pm »


There's just one thing I find a little ironic about this book - the title. Now, it doesn't bother me, per se, but I wonder if some witches or wiccans might be put off a little by the naming this book a "Bible". 


Being a smartass here, I have to wonder if they'd be turned off by a book titled "The Automotive Bible."

Seriously. The term "bible" is just about interchangeable with the term "handbook" or "encyclopedia" or "everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask" in a whole lot of ways.
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« Reply #11: April 14, 2008, 03:47:44 pm »

Being a smartass here, I have to wonder if they'd be turned off by a book titled "The Automotive Bible."

Seriously. The term "bible" is just about interchangeable with the term "handbook" or "encyclopedia" or "everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask" in a whole lot of ways.

Ah, but there's no religious context with an "Automotive" Bible - thus my statement, " Of course I know that term has been extended in modern times to mean "a definitive work", and not necessarily have the Judeo-Christian religious connotations associated with it, but;  it is in fact, nevertheless, a religious book. "  "it" here meaning the Witches Bible. 

Actually, I'm more interested in why they didn't call it the "Wiccan's Bible" though.
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« Reply #12: April 14, 2008, 04:11:56 pm »

For studying and such, which books and authors do you recommend? Which ones should be avoid?

I really like Deborah Lipp, particularly if you are moving pat the "Wicca 101" stage. She delves into the meaning behind ritual and has great information about incorporating Wicca into your daily life. She's also a better writer than some out there.
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« Reply #13: April 14, 2008, 04:28:54 pm »

Ah, but there's no religious context with an "Automotive" Bible - thus my statement, " Of course I know that term has been extended in modern times to mean "a definitive work", and not necessarily have the Judeo-Christian religious connotations associated with it, but;  it is in fact, nevertheless, a religious book. "  "it" here meaning the Witches Bible. 

Actually, I'm more interested in why they didn't call it the "Wiccan's Bible" though.

There's no religious context with calling it The Witches' Bible, either.

Then again, I miss most of these "connections" since I'm neither a witch nor a Wiccan. I really don't have a dog in this fight, but I just don't see it as an issue.
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« Reply #14: April 14, 2008, 04:44:23 pm »

Now, it doesn't bother me, per se, but I wonder if some witches or wiccans might be put off a little by the naming this book a "Bible".

Probably some are -- that's a risk the publishers took when they published the two original books (Eight Sabbats for Witches and The Witches Way) under this title. However, I think those who object to a book based on a title are generally just being silly. They certainly have the right to object, but its a title.

Quote
Of course I know that term has been extended in modern times to mean "a definitive work", and not necessarily have the Judeo-Christian religious connotations associated with it, but;  it is in fact, nevertheless, a religious book.   Wouldn't it feel just as weird (if not more) if it were called, "The Witches' Koran", or "The Witches' Talmud", or something similar?   Wink

It would, but only because neither "Koran" or "Talmud" are used to mean "a definitive work" in English.

Quote
Perhaps the choice of name is entirely deliberate - a book to supplant the "Bible".  Also odd is that it's not called "A Wiccan's Bible", because it is Alexandrian Wicca primarily, isn't it? - and Wicca /= Witchcraft.
But whatever.

Back in 1984, the word "witch" was still claimed as solely meaning "British Traditional Wiccan" by some. However, I suspect the title was selected by the publisher's marketing people because they thought that title would sell more books.
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