Posted by: Nyxks | August 7, 2007

Wiccan Spirituality

Wiccan Spirituality
by Kevin Saunders © 2002
Green Magic
ISBN 0953663167
200 pages
Paperback
$16.95 (U.S.)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

Kevin Saunders presents, in this book, an introduction to, and an overview of witchcraft and Wicca as they move into the 21st Century (if you accept the split between the two terms). His work has been well-received by witches and pagans in Britain and should find such acceptance here in the U.S., even though some of views may seem slightly anachronistic.

His is not a dogmatic approach. He knows the value of modifying the basics provided by Gardnerian and Alexandrian training to make them relevant to your individual needs. He quotes from “traditional” Books of Shadows, without demanding slavish adherence to the written text. His attitudes, however, are very much those in vogue amongst British Traditionalists at the time I got involved in my study of the Craft 30+ years ago: covens should be composed of approximately equal numbers of males and females; cowans (outsiders) should only be permitted at celebratory Circle, not ones working magick; and that one should advance through a degree system. Such attitudes will probably not sit well with many of today’s eclectics, who may feel a total disregard for the established traditions.

Several of his attitudes have become anachronistic, but as they form part of “traditional” lore, they deserve to be passed along. As always, when it comes to determining what is “right” or “wrong”, it is up to the individual to decide.

He provides lots of basic information in a format which allows it to be pieced together like building blocks to form a variety of rituals (an excellent idea for the newbie who is still unsure of his/her ability to write an effective ritual) while encouraging the reader to tinker with the wording to find what feels comfortable. Using the format he supplies will make sure that essentials are not forgotten, while the use of personal working will tailor the ritual to the individual. Unlike many “101” books, he dispenses with the archaic wording and spelling, opting for clearer understanding and ease of working.

This is NOT a Book of Shadows, although the information contained in it can certainly serve as a good foundation for one. He goes into enough detail on the Sabbat rituals that even a relative new-comer can feel comfortable putting one together.

The appendices are not very extensive, being simply a few Celtic gods and goddesses, some basic correspondences, and names given to the lunar months.

I do not like the bibliography format, but that is a matter of personal preference, and shouldn’t weigh heavily in deciding the value of the book.

Overall, I found the book to be informative and useful, especially for those unfamiliar with the British Traditional Wicca forms. If you are looking for a good overview of the topic, this book is a good place to start.

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