Wicca Book Reviews

To Light a Sacred Flame: Practical Witchcraft for the Millennium

Author: Silver Ravenwolf

Paperback, 300 pages

Publisher: Llewellyn

ISBN: 1567187218

Rating: 7 out of 10

Elder, Writer, Director, Healer, Mother. Silver Ravenwolf is either loved or despised … depending who you speak to. Fortunately for Silver, the latter is a small minority and their dislike purely stems from the notion that her work is ‘fluffy’, a little bit repetitive and has a self-marketing feel from time to time.

In To Light a Sacred Flame: Practical Witchcraft for the Millennium, the author offers an overview of Craft Laws of the Craft, a guide to personal empowerment and the creation of a harmonious environment, how to make spells work for you; and explains ritual format and design. She also offers information on the pantheons, correspondences and recipes.

This book is aimed at intermediate practitioners, and from a personal development perspective there is some really great information, exercises and meditations. Personally this is the part I liked best. The rituals, devotionals and spells deserve mention, because these make a handy addition to any Witch’s repertoire. The only critique is perhaps some regurgitation of information already contained in To Stir a Magick Cauldron and To Ride a Silver Broomstick. The correspondences and pantheon sections are a little superfluous too considering that the book is aimed at those who have been practicing the craft for a while.

As usual, her writing is an easy read, her information accurate, her approach open and her teaching style, ‘you need to think for yourself’. This certainly is a book, not only well worth the read, but also well worth the purchase!
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Isis Magic

Author: M. Isidora Forrest

Paperback: 625 pages

Publisher: Llewellyn

ISBN: 1567182860

Egyptian Witchcraft

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

So, who is Isidora Forrest? She has been a devotee of Isis for 21 years now, and priestess of the 15,000 member strong international Fellowship of Isis. She is also an Adept in the 100-year old Hermetic magical tradition. This author knows her stuff ….

Isis Magic is a hefty work – both in quantity, and – importantly – in quality. It is a two part initiatory journey that systematically takes the reader through the fascinating ‘House of Isis’. In Part One of the book, the author provides information on the various aspects of the Goddess Isis, the Creation Myth, magic, history and worship. In the second part, she the reader through explores the various developmental stages until finally becoming adept: Votary, Handmaiden, Magician and Prophetess.

The first part is out of necessity, theoretical. The author really spends time to recount the tales of Ancient Egypt, to point out similarities to other Pantheons’ Goddesses, assists with pronunciation, offers excerpts from various ancient texts, quotes Formulae and explains what it will take of the Seeker to become a follower of Isis.

In the second part of Isis Magic, Isidora Forrest provides full details on each of the progressive roles, including the ritual robes, basic ritual, invocations, purification and consecration, initiation etc. Meditations, posture and energy work is added during the Hand Maiden stage. Advanced ritual, natural magic and healing is added during the Magician phase. Advanced Magic, Oracular work, incubation and Alchemy are added during the Prophetess Stage.

Isis Magic is not Wiccan. It is hard-core, requires absolute dedication and strict self-discipline. Like all Egyptian Heka (magic), the magic of Isis is neutral and can be used for both light and dark practices. The choice is that of the individual. Isis Magic is, in my opinion, the definitive work on Isis worship and feminine Heka! Not only is it really well written, but it is also well thought through and well sequenced. If the Isis aspect of Egyptian Witchcraft appeals to you, this is not just recommended reading. It is an absolute necessity.

Be a Goddess

Author: Francesca de Grandis

Paperback: 312 pages

Publisher: Harper

ISBN: 0062515055

Celtic Witchcraft

Rating: 9 out of 10

Francesca de Grandis’ claim to fame is not only being the founder of The Third Road ® where anyone, from delivery people to doctors comes to learn and participate in the mysticism of Goddess Spirituality. She is also the daughter of a Traditional Sicilian Witch and has completed an extraordinary seven year apprenticeship to become a Celtic Shaman in the Faery Tradition.

Be A Goddess is neither a reference work nor a ‘What Is” book, but rather a 15 Lesson introductory course to authentic Celtic Shamanism, complete with a certificate of completion at the end. These lessons struck me as more than purely shamanistic lessons, but also as valuable lessons in mundane life. Each Lesson contains information, rituals and prayers. Like many of the non-Wiccan books, this one too is not intent on being politically correct in any way and avoids all the normal fluff and padding. It is truthful, to the point and – if carefully followed – highly effective.

If Celtic Shamanism and the Faery Faith appeals to you, then this is the real thing. A highly recommended book, written – for a change – by a real expert.

Of Water and the Spirit

Author: Malidoma Patrice Soma

Paperback: 311 pages

Publisher: Penguin Compass

ISBN: 0140194967

African Witchcraft

Rating: 4 out of 10

Malidoma Patrice Soma is a West African, an initiate in the ancestral tradition of his tribe, a medicine man and a diviner in the Dagara culture. His book draws directly on his own experiences as he was growing up – and runs from just before he was abducted by the Jesuits. From Chapter 10 onwards, his return home after a fifteen year absence is described and from Chapter 14 onwards his training and initiation into the mysteries of his tribe. This is the journey that he covers in Of Water and the Spirit.

The book was more insightful than it is instructive, much to my regret. The cover promises “Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman” and is adorned with a large golden seal stating: “Body, Mind and Spirit Award of Excellence”. Unless I am wrong then, the front cover creates a fair assumption that spiritualism, ritual, magic and initiation will be the core focus of the book. Instead, these topics are only covered – albeit superficially – in the final 100 pages of the 311 page book. Of Water and the Spirit is in truth an Autobiography. This is where the maxim “Never judge a book by its cover”, really applies.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is very interesting from an Anthropology and Sociology perspective. For this reason, it is advisable to steer clear if mystical insights into African Shamanism, is your goal.

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Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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