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YatBooks Podcast!

The “process” portion of today’s Podcast discusses Goodreads and some strategies we’re using for Hidden Talents on that platform.

Book Review – Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Written by the late, brilliant Scott Cunningham, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is still the best “how-to” book for those interested in Wicca as a religion. The book has three sections, Theory, Practice, and a Book of Shadows. The chapters in the Theory section explain just what Wicca is, how it’s practiced in a group/coven structure, and how the reader/seeker can modify that practice to become a “Solitary Wiccan”. The author explains the basic tenets of the religion, defines magic, the Goddess, the God, and the days of power. Cunningham’s presentation of the “Wheel of the Year” is solid, giving the seeker a framework to begin a year’s worth of Wiccan observances.

The Practice section outlines a basic format for Wiccan ritual: preparing the sacred space, casting the circle, calling the Gods, the Work itself, and closing the ritual and breaking the circle. Cunningham’s style is simple and clear, giving the seeker what they need to pick up at any time of the year and start “being Wiccan”. The stories of how he acquired some of his tools are wonderful.

The third section of the book is a fully-developed Book of Shadows, which is the Wiccan equivalent of a Christian prayer book, like a Roman Missal or the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The “Standing Stones Book of Shadows” isn’t merely a template. It’s possible for the seeker to run with this BoS as-is and do good Work.

Cunningham’s language may, in some spots, seem a bit dated. Wicca was about group/coven practice. To be Wiccan, you sought initiation in a coven. The two main “traditions” at the time were Alexandrian and Gardnerian. Cunningham explains how those traditions are not the only paths to the God and Goddess.

From a writer’s perspective, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner gives good information for character development. While writing about coven dynamics and interpersonal relationships in a group are a challenge, this book gives the writer the ability to develop robust characters as individuals.