Author: Frederic Lamond
Trade Paperback, 140 pages
Publisher: Green Magic
Publication date: 2004
Price & More Info: Click Here
At last, the book I have been waiting for; a book written by an individual
who was there when the Craft first came out of "the broom closet". He doesn't reveal any great mysteries in this book - he takes his oaths of secrecy
far too seriously. In fact, he raises more questions than he answers in
many ways. In the first chapter, alone, he questions the authenticity of
Gardner's version of the Craft. But, as he says on page 12, "It doesn't
matter! The Craft works for you. Does it matter whether the rituals that
brought you there are three or three thousand years old?"
The author is an initiated Gardnerian who has lived in the U.K., America,
and continental Europe. He shows how Gardner, most likely, "improved" the
ritual he received through the additional of Masonic rituals and sources,
sometimes without considering whether or not they agreed with the stated
purpose of the Craft.
He explains why, in his opinion, changes need to be made to the standard
rituals used in modern Craft groups.
The book is divided into three broad categories: Experiences, which detail
things which have happened in his life and their effects; Wiccan Success and
Failure, where we have gone wrong and right, and what we need to do to
improve our track record; and A More Mystical and Nature-Oriented Wicca,
which covers changes which he feels would benefit the Craft.
Some of the questions he raises are ones I have discussed, or heard
discussed by others; some of the doubts he raises also fall into this
category. Even if you decide his conclusions are wrong, looking at the
basics once again should stimulate you to think about why you were attracted
to this path in the first place.
He is not dogmatic about the Craft. He knows that our path is not
necessarily the correct one for everyone. He shows where our
individualistic spirit is both a benefit and a drawback.
I would have liked a bit more of the historical background of the early days
of Gardnerian Wicca, since I feel we could all benefit from a history of
Wicca written from the inside instead of from researchers from the outside.
Such writings will need to appear soon, since the first generation of Wiccan
are rapidly approaching a time where memories begin to dim, and the numbers
of those around who were actually there are thinning out,
Overall, I found this a fascinating book, albeit a bit short for my taste.
The bibliography and Contacts list were both fairly short, but should open
up new areas of exploration.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason