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Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Advanced Wiccan Spirituality Search

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Book Review:
Advanced Wiccan Spirituality: Revitalising the Roots and Foundations

Author: Kevin Saunders
Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Green Magic
Publication date: 2003
List: US$16.95
ISBN: 095429632X
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 system.

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

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