If You Want to Be a Witch: A Practical Introduction to the Craft

Edain McCoy, Author, Michael Maupin, Editor . Llewellyn $9.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-7387-0514-9

According to self-initiated witch McCoy (Witta; 16 other related titles), "some researchers and pollsters have dubbed the Craft and its many expressions to be the fastest growing religious movement in the western world." Whether it is indeed the fastest-growing religion or not, many people will find this straightforward, clearly written primer a useful tool in helping them decide if this is their spiritual calling. McCoy makes clear from the outset that witchcraft is a religion whose "primary purpose is the worship of and the seeking of reunion with the being or beings who created all life." The first three chapters delineate the history of Wicca and are embedded with unexpected etymological nuggets, e.g. "mantra" is Sanskrit for "instrument of thought." Never stuffy or academic, the tone is suitable for teenagers and adults. Five chapters address material found in many other books: the sabbats and esbats, divination techniques, the place of ritual, etc. Chapter seven stresses ethical standards within the Craft and also emphasizes the need for mature personal responsibility. While containing a fair amount of commonly found information, this work distinguishes itself by continuing to ask readers if they want to be witches, and then providing a variety of touchstones to guide them to an honest answer. One hundred questions in a final chapter probe psychological, intellectual and moral dimensions for adherents to ponder. A solid appendix contains information on herbs and gemstones, astrological connections, supply sources, publications, online contacts and a glossary of terms. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
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