by Patricia Telesco
New Page Books, 2005 $13.99
Review by Daven
I was honored to have contributed to this book in one small way, I authored the article on Seax-Wica in this work.
This book is a compendium of information. It’s not designed to be a “let me tell you all about subject _____” like many books on the market. This is a book similar to what Raven Grimassi and others have written, dealing with a segment of Paganism as contributed to by the practitioners themselves.
Ray Buckland tried to do this with “Buckland’s Complete Guide to Witchcraft” back in the 80’s, but since Wicca was just starting out, he was unable to do as much. In this book, the promise of his appendix comes to fruition.
Trish has assembled many articles on different traditions together in this book, so that the new seeker can take a look and decide what they wish to practice. She sent a call out to the general community and asked for submissions so that it would be accurate, and she got them.
One of many things that I appreceiate about this book is that it does not JUST focus on Wicca. Hatian Voodoo and Santaria as well as Strega are all well represented in this work by people who actually practice these paths, so you get to read in their own words what their tradition is all about.
Keep in mind that this book is NOT an all inclusive work. I don’t think there could ever be a publication of any kind that could do that. It is current as of the publication date, but that’s all. Plus, there are many traditions that are not included simply because someone didn’t do a write-up of the tradition to be included. Most notable in it’s absence is the OBOD.
And there are some traditions that are included which I question. I understand why they were included, but I don’t like it. But I’m not grading this book downward simply because those questionable traditions are included. I don’t know if Trish could have been fair and non-censoring and not included them.
I do like the beginning portion of the book, before getting to the traditions. Trish puts her own thoughts on choosing a path of practice and some practical advice on doing so as well as picking a group to practice with. It’s a needed set of comments and I hope that others read them and take those words to heart.
All in all, even though most of this book is not written by Trish, I’m going to give this 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It is useful for novice and Elder both who wish to find out what is practiced out there, and with as many resources as are given for each tradition, finding more information is easy. Of course, for my own essay, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Everyone should read what *I* wrote…. 😉
Trish, I raise my glass to you once again.