Advantages Covers all the Pagan holidays, good info on trance/visualisation, cheap!
Disadvantages Tricky to get info from, you may not like the style of writing - personal is it is.
As Roald Dahl says in The Witches, witches do not wear silly black cloaks or ride broomsticks. In fact, real witches are amongst us every day, just like anyone from any religion – I’m one, in fact. There are two schools of thought on Wicca – one that it is a silly, made up amalgamation of many different practices, and the other that accepts it as such (after all, most religions *are* a combination of stories and rituals) and get on with it. Thankfully, Rae Beth is of the latter mindset. And she done gone writted a book about it! Yowza!Before any of the major religions took hold, people were known to have worshipped both a Goddess and a God. Early cultures embraced and respected the need for duality in their lives – man needs woman and woman needs man. This same principle is applied to nature – the sun is the God, the moon is the Goddess and so forth. This belief has survived longer than any other, and has done so through pagans (another name for a witch) passing their knowledge from one to another. You may well be familiar with the concept of villages in olden times having a “wise woman” – these old ladies may well have been witches, and would pass their knowledge to an apprentice through word of mouth, or by bequeathing their “Book of Shadows” (a pagan’s diary and spell book) to them on their death bed.
It is this same tradition that Rae Beth keeps alive in this book. Initially a series of letters to a pair of apprentices, Beth realised the same year she wound down her regular correspondence (1988) that these letters would provide a useful set of resources to any other would-be witches.The book kicks off with Beth’s introductory letter to Tessa and Glyn, where she answers the question “what is witchcraft?” for the pair. This may well dispel a further few myths for the casual reader, pointing out as I have that this is the most ancient of all practices. Yes, there *is* a guy with horns involved, but he is not the devil (a Christian invention to denounce paganism), but rather the Horned God, partner to the Triple Goddess. Now, there was nothing in this introduction that I found useful, mainly because I’ve read up on this subject time and again, but as a brief summary of pagan principles, it’s pretty good.
It’s around this point that you may be put off by the book. I often read back the opening two letters and wonder why I still enjoy them. There is a good deal of information to be harvested from these pages, but the style of writing may well be a stumbling block. This being a series of letters, it is presented as exactly that. Therefore a lack of editing, which I freely admit may have taken some of the warmth from these letters, means that some paragraphs refer directly to the recipients, and not the reader. This could well distance some people, as this is not a reference book of the usual order – finding information takes time. There is no index, no contents are provided, and there are no chapter headings.After pondering for a while, I realised that whilst being an unusual conceit, this actually works surprisingly well.
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