By Many Authors
New Page Books, 2005 $15.99 US
Review by Erin
Well, as I have stated in another review, I generally don’t think that books written by committee will sell. This book, however, is the exception that proves the rule.
While it looks to me as though the articles were not subject to editorial approval of the other authors, this book does have multiple contributors. Each brings their own unique perspectives to this work, and each has their own “voice”. Each can also be considered to be an “elder” of the path.
There are Big Name Pagans like Raven Grimassi, Starhawk, M. Macha Nightmare and also relative “unknowns” like Tehom, Gus diZerega and Oz, but reading what they have to say will be an eye opening experience for many.
The articles presented are relevant to what people are looking for now. There is more depth to the work and less “fluff”. This is only to be expected as this is supposed to be a book that continues the teachings of previous decades onward. It builds on the foundation of the 101 teachings, and I LOVE this trend.
The concepts in here are not that different from what is explored in just about every other book. This time, however, it is not just ONE author’s voice talking about a topic. It is many authors and elders saying the same things. While the 101 books will tell you the basics on how to create a ritual meaningful to you, Macha Nightmare goes in depth and tells you WHY it’s important to make the ritual meaningful to you and HOW to do so with a minimum of fuss. While Cunningham has a whole book dedicated to the joys of being solitary, Kristen Madden and some friends talk about the disadvantages as well as the advantages of being solitary and how the disadvantages can be overcome.
This is a book that the market has been asking for for some time now.
That’s what I liked, now to tell you what I didn’t like.
There were some problems I had with the content. I didn’t always agree with what one of the authors was saying. This is a good thing as it made me think about what I felt in the same section the author was working with and it made me define what I feel so I could disagree with it. So while this can be turned into a plus, it’s not something I can dismiss out of hand. BUT, that being said, it’s not affecting this review that much. It’s the difference between my preference for the color indigo and the author’s preference for the color forest green. It is a difference in opinion and personal gnosis.
So, over all, I think that this book has earned 4 stars out of 5. While this seems to be low for the esteem I hold this book in, I will state that there are areas that can be expanded on, there are some that are covered too in depth and which start repeating themselves slightly. Make no mistake, this is an EXCELLENT book on it’s own merits, but I think there was room for improvement. I do highly advise this book to be bought by those who are looking for more depth to what they already know.