Author: Kevin Saunders
Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Green Magic
Publication date: 2003
Price & More Info: Click Here
This book draws from a wide variety of inspirations from "traditional"
Wiccan sources to Jung. It details symbols and ceremonial magick. The
author is a Gardnerian Wiccan who has attempted to present his view of what
Wicca can be in the 21st Century. It has a traditional foundation (in fact,
several traditions), but is not limited to "the way it was." He presents a
vision of Wicca as a group function (although acknowledging necessity for
individual activities), based on a thorough self-knowledge.
The author presents complex concepts (e.g., the charkas [energy centers],
and the Tree of Life). In terms which are easy to understanding although by
means simplistic. He shows their relevance (even if they have been imported
from other cultures) to a system developed from a Celtic-based belief
If you are an individual who sees Witchcraft and Wicca as two entirely
different, and opposed, concepts rather than as simply different
developments from a common source, you probably won't like this book. If
you are such an individual, I urge you to pick up a copy of this book and
read it. It may offer you some interesting ideas to explore.
This is obviously intended to be the start of a series exploring various
Wiccan spiritual concepts. As such, it is designed to stimulate the
interest of the reader and leave him/her wanting more. Mr. Saunders
succeeds in this intent, in my opinion. He also succeeds in conveying the
idea of individual responsibility for our own development.
Even though this is an introductory book (being the first in a series), it
is by no means a "Wicca 101" book. The concepts presented, and the
exercises outlined, move far beyond that level. Careful study and work are
required to gain the maximum benefit from this offering.
The author makes repeated statements regarding the connections between
Gerald Gardener, Wicca and Aleister Crowley and treats these connections as
if they are proven, indisputable, historical facts. As far as I know, they
have not been "proven," whatever circumstances may seem to indicate.
His views on the Wheel of the Year are probably going to provoke a great
deal of debate - and probably a fair number of rants on both sides. Whether
or not his concept of a twelve-spoked wheel as opposed to the "traditional"
eight-spoked wheel is correct, his statement (on page 110), that " Just
because he system has been repeated parrot fashion by numerous authors,
including some of the most respected and influential, does not make it
correct," is very valid. Over the past several decades accepted "truths"
about Wicca and Witchcraft have been modified as more detailed knowledge of
the past has become available outside of the field of specialists. This may
be another area where changes will occur.
He makes some statements that I flat out disagree with, but if they work for
him all I can say is that I personally disagree with him. I suspect that
there will be more of those statements as this series progresses.
There are a fairly large number of spelling and typographical errors in this
book, which I found disappointing (the errors, not the book itself). The
spelling errors are probably simply the result of using a spell-checker
rather than physically editing the text; and the typographical errors are
normally dropped words or twisted syntax. The errors do not detract from
the overall value of this book, which is high in my opinion.
Overall, I found this book to be thought-provoking and moderately
controversial. It is a welcome addition to my library, and should find a
place in the book collection of any Wiccan or Witch who is interested in the
evolution of our religion.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason