Return to Cauldron Home Page

Please donate now to pay our monthly server fees:
Donate to The Cauldron
[More Info]

Community Menu
Community Home

Message Board
Board Home
Board Rules
Board Extras:

CauldronMUX [Client]
Sister Forums:
   Asatru Lore


Site Info & Rules
Site Archives
Volunteers Needed
Advertise Here

Pagan Supplies
Buy Pagan Books
Buy Pagan Supplies

Books & Media
Books Home
Games Home
Music: Free | Pagan
Online Books
Pagan Book Browser
   Academic Books
   Divination Decks
   Fiction Books
   Pagan Books
   Speculative Books
   DVD & Videotape
Submit Review

Pagan Features
Article Library
Chat Log Index
File Library
Pagan Holidays
Pagan Primer
Pagan Rituals
Pagan Supplies
Pagan Youth
Spell Grimoire [Blog]
Web Resources

Pagan Living
Cauldron Cookbook
Take Political Action

Back Issues

Other Features
Greeting Cards
Syndicated Articles
World News/Opinion

Cheap Web Hosting
Doxy's Bazaar
Witchcraft Course

Old Indexes
Article Index
Webcrafting Index

Network Sites
Cauldron and Candle
Cauldron's Grimoire
RetroRoleplaying: The Blog
Software Gadgets
The Terran Empire

Site Search
Entire Web
The Cauldron

Member - Pagan Forum Alliance
Charter Member

Get Firefox! While this web site is designed to work in all major browsers, we recommend Firefox.

This site hosted on
a Linode VPS
Formerly hosted by

Why Use Dreamhost?

Site copyright
© 1998-2009
by Randall

Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Essential Wicca Search

Order from
Buying books via our links helps support The Cauldron.
Book Review:
Essential Wicca

Author: Paul Tuitean & Estelle Davis
Trade Paperback, 444 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: 2003
List: US$24.95, C$39.95
ISBN: 1580910998
Price & More Info: Click Here

I was a little amazed when I saw, on page 17 ".(Ninety percent of Americans read less than one book a year.) The average Wiccan reads one book a month, usually lots more." I didn't realize that the average American read so little. No wonder people misunderstand our beliefs. And reading 12 books a year (which seems a little low to me, based on familial experience), I'm not surprised that Wicca is evolving at a rapid pace.

The short history of Wicca they provide (about 8 pages) is one of the best summaries I have ever seen. It condenses the past 40 years or so of Wiccan history (post Witchcraft Today [1954]) into an easily digested, if slightly sanitized, form. It misses mention of the "Witch Wars" of the '80s and '90s, and tends to make the evolution of modern Wicca appear smoother than it actually was, but for all of that, it is fairly accurate.

When they describe the workings of magick I have one minor quibble, and that stems from a personal attitude. They say you need "...the belief that what you are doing will work." Personally, I feel that should be amended to "...the knowledge that what you are doing will work." Belief, in my experience, is what comes before knowledge. I don't believe that magick works, I know it works. They acknowledge this same fact a bit later, but I wish they had used the acknowledgement the very first time they used it.

This is a wonderfully practical book. It contains plenty of sample rituals, and clearly explains not only the steps in those rituals, but the reason for those steps. It is broken into three broad divisions: 1) Wiccan Basic, 2) Everything You Need to Know to be a Wiccan, and 3) Wicca A to Z.

The first segment gives a broad overview of Wiccan thought, history, philosophy, etc., while the second contains sample rituals as well as the basics of Wiccan worship. It also contains valuable advice on setting up a study group, coven, etc. It covers techniques for ritual planning and all the little things that "everyone knows" but no one takes the time to discuss normally.

The final chapter before the Wiccan Glossary is probably one of the most valuable I have ever seen, simply because it is filled with common sense tips about items which normally aren't covered in books - such as practical tips for selecting an athame or sword; the age appropriateness of rituals (there are beginning to be more families with children in Wicca); Circle etiquette; and how to handle "Crash Grounding." It is beneficial to consider all of these items in a leisurely manner rather than at a stressed time, but they are the very topics that get put on hold until they suddenly get shoved into the limelight.

The third segment consists of a fairly extensive Wiccan glossary. The more than 1000 entries cover 132 pages and run the gamut from abracadabra to zoomancy. It is extensive enough that it could stand alone as a book in its own right. This glossary is followed by "The Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame" (ABCDEF) which can never have too much dissemination, in my opinion. Anyone considering involvement with any sort of group (religious, fraternal, or whatever) should have a copy of this document available, and use it, before committing to join. The 16 items on the checklist are invaluable in separating the beneficial groups from the destructive.

I was more that somewhat surprised by the thoroughness of the coverage in this glossary. There were entries that I definitely didn't expect to see. I have come to expect that newer glossaries will include "muggle," but I have seldom seen "fadic numbers," "turifumy," or mention of the Church of the Eternal Source mentioned in books I have been reading. This glossary definitely increases the value of the work (an it's valuable even before reaching the glossary section).

I have no hesitation is saying that this book belongs on the bookshelf of everyone interested in Wicca, whether solitary, self-Initiated, or a member of a lineaged group.

Reviewed by Mike Gleason

Top | Home | Message Board | Site Info & Rules | Report Site Problems
Thanks to Cauldron Sponsors
(Sponsor The Cauldron!)

Cheap Web Hosting Report | Pagan & Magick Supplies
Witchcraft Course
Download Hundreds of Magic Spells