by Gwinevere Rain
Llewellyn Publications, 2002, $12.95 US
Review by Daven
I must say this up front: This is a cute book. The lime green cover and the pink dress on the female figure on the cover is cute. The interior decorations on every page is cute too, stars, diamonds, circles, pretty hearts and so on make this book cute.
Gwinevere does succeed where Silver RavenWolf didn’t in her book “Teen Witch”, this is MUCH better in describing what a Wiccan is and how we worship. This book is not just spells, spells, and more spells. There is actually practical advice, suggestions, thoughts and lessons.
I think Llewellyn is capitalizing on Gwinevere’s age to sell this book. Most of the content can be found in any other Wicca 101 book out there, and “Teen Witch” gives such information as is not covered in this book. It is my supposition that Llewellyn is trusting in the novelty of “a book on Teen Witchcraft, written by a teen” to sell this one. That and how cute this book is.
There are some things that are irritants. The author makes the same mistake so many others make in perpetuating the myth that ALL magick is Wiccan in origin. She states repeatedly that the magick’s rules will insure that one gets back what one puts out and that it can’t be used for harm (the Rede and Threefold Law). While the author states that these moral constraints are Wiccan, she does so without informing her readers that there are other magical traditions available for study.
Perhaps my discontent stems from the fact that this book is written by a teen for teens and yet seems to assume that its audience is so lacking in perception that “cuteifying” the book will cover up the dearth of content. ALL this information appears in other places, many of them the “standard works” of Wicca like Buckland’s Book, Cunningham’s works and so on. The only thing that is new is the layout and the spells.
I’m not saying that Gwinevere did a bad job of presenting this information; on the contrary, she did MUCH better than Ravenwolf. It’s a good introduction to Wicca and I daresay that teens WILL be attracted to this book (especially the girls) because it is so cute. While I was reading it, however, I felt as though someone had spilled a box of “Lucky Charms” on the pages while it was being printed. After the first few dozen pages, the additional graphics are a distraction.
In short, most of my objections to this book are not directed at the author, but rather at the publisher. I do think the author messed up and presented this as a guide to Teen Spellcrafting, a “how to”, when all that is presented is another Wicca 101 book. I’m reluctantly giving it 3 stars out of 5. It’s not total trash, and teachers of the Craft would be advised to be familiar with the contents so they know what their students are reading, but it is useful if you have never come across Wicca before. I believe that this book and “Teen Witch” would do well together.