By Ann Moura
Llewellyn Publications, 2002
Review by Erin
When I first got this book, I went into it with an open mind, willing despite her previous successes with Green Witchcraft series and failure with The Origins of Modern Witchcraft to enjoy this book. I’m glad I read it now.
This book does focus on the pure Witchcraft of her tradition, rather than on Wiccan magick or any other kind of magick, but that is not a detriment, but rather it is a help. Ann does a really good job giving the basics of a magickal system without much religion mixed in. There is, of necessity, some spirituality mixed in, but she presents a system of magick that is very interesting.
It is drawn from her experience with Green Witchcraft, and she reprises much of her writings from her first three books, but unlike those first three books, this book can and does stand on it’s own.
Visually, the cover and interior drawings are excellent and add quite a bit to the overall impact. It’s easy to read and the type is well designed for those who have trouble with their eyes.
Being a teacher of magick, I can appreciate the line Ann walks in presenting her magickal system, and never quite crossing the line over into “one true wayism” where her system is the only system of magick there is. She freely admits that this is what she learned and what she teaches, but that this is not the only way to do things.
There are some objections I have with the text however, most of which could be passed off for various reasons. For instance, she once again states that Wicca is the direct descendent of the Sind religion and basically represents the core belief of her book The Origins of Modern Witchcraft, which is full of inaccuracies. She does cross reference her own works again, but not to an extent that someone who has not read her works would be lost. The absolutely necessary information is there.
There are aspects of magick that are glossed over, such as ceremonial magick, but she is presenting her system, rather than one comprehensive book on all magick. The information that is in this book is accurate and well described, complete and whole. Her table of correspondences for subjective things like the Elements are presented as the only thing there is, but it is whole and takes up an entire appendix in the back of the book. But anyone reading any other book on the Craft or on Wicca will find a simmilar table in those books that do not necessarily coincide with what she put down.
Ann does advocate something that I’m not sure I like or approve of, that of doing spells for any and all reasons. In Chapter 6, she states:
“… The extension of energy to hold the traffic light green until you are through the intersection, the envisioning of the empty parking space at the crowded shopping center, the movement between the beats of time to arrive at work without being late, the shielding of the car through heavy traffic to ward off accidents, the holding off of the downpour until indoors, and the finding of a desired item on the store shelf that wasn’t there the first time you looked — these are all little spells that the connected Witch tosses off during a normal day’s routine, and opportunity to practice the Craft through living it.”
Ann Moura, Green Magick, pp. 93-95
While this statement is completely true and correct, and this kind of thing does happen every day for most Witches, I don’t know if it’s particularly wise to be advocating it for those who are new to this magickal path. But I tend to be a cautious person, making sure that those who would practice magick understand what they are dealing with, so some Guardian someplace does not have to come along and save their behind from something that was attracted to all the unshielded energy being tossed around. But that’s me. I would advise those who pick this book up and read it because of or in spite of this review to use some common sense in this area. Most of us who are practiced in this magick do, but she never mentions this to the reader.
For the experienced practitioner, Wiccan or another kind of magickian, I would recommend this book without hesitation, especially since the slanted areas are easily found and discarded. For the person just starting on the path of magick, I would advise some caution, or reading it under the tutelage of someone who is experienced who can give the proper perspective on the contents.
All in all, I give this book 4 stars out of 5. She did another wonderful job with this one, with very little for me to object to. It IS a good book, despite some of my comments, and the material in there is really good. I’m planning on advising my High Magick students to pick it up and read it when we do the chapter on Witchcraft.