Book Review: The Ultimate Wicca Handbook by Raven Starwind

 

“A detailed guide to Wicca and Witchcraft.” – Book Description from Amazon

Book Details:
* $0.99 for Kindle Edition (available on Kindle Unlimited)
* 36 pages long (no page numbers for quotes since I have the Kindle edition, and page numbers are weird in Kindle)
* Includes (in this order)
-Title Page
-Short introduction of what Wicca is
-The Wiccan Rede
-Brief description of magick
-Spell preparation
-Tools
-Casting a circle
-Moon phases
-Oils
-Herbs
-Spells (just three)
-Short list of deities from different pantheons
-The Witch’s Pyramid

This book claims to be an “ultimate” guide to Wicca and witchcraft, but it is anything but that. You can see by the list of things included that it looks like a lot, but keep in mind that this book is only 36 pages long. There is no detail, no spirituality, no depth, to this supposed ultimate guide book. It also seems to be very scattered in the placement of the sections. In my opinion, this book was written by someone who just wanted to write something quickly and put it out there to make money off of unsuspecting novice Wiccans. This is not an “ultimate” guidebook, and I wouldn’t even call it a guidebook at all. Let’s look at some quotes and I’ll tell you my thoughts on them.

“It was officially founded by a man named Gerald Gardner, who was a student of ancient Witchcraft, as well as the occult. His work was inspired by studying works of other occultists of his day and age, as well as speaking with those who actually had kept the ancient ways of Witchcraft alive secretly for generations.” (Introduction)

Nope, not really. It’s true that Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, but he was not a student of ancient Witchcraft or the occult. He was a British civil servant who, as he was traveling, developed an interest in the occult practices of Asian and Indian occultists. He wasn’t so much a student as someone with a hobby for learning about the occult. There is no proof that what Gardner studied was “ancient” and we don’t even know for sure that the peoples he learned from even called their practice witchcraft.

“Numerous systems have been developed over the ages to help us control our thoughts. A great amount of dogma, also, has been kicked around in an attempt to make us into better people. Magick (the occult kind, spelled with a ‘k’) is one of the oldest and most general of these systems. Magick is the study and application of psychic forces. It requires mental training, concentration, and a system of symbols to program the mind. The purpose of magick is to alter the self and the environment according to will.” (Magick)

One of the first problems I have with this section is that it implies that magick is dogmatic. It is not. The definition of dogma is this: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true (Google Dictionary). Magick has no authority and magick is not a set of principles, and therefore cannot be dogmatic. My next issue is that the section on magick and spell preparation come before any mention of the God and Goddess, Wiccan belief systems, etc. Wicca is not about the magick. Magick only plays a part in the faith and should not be the sole purpose of being Wiccan. Also, the definition of magick is incorrect. Magick is not the “…study and application of psychic forces” like mentioned in the book. Magick’s definition can be traced back to Aleister Crowley, who stated that magick is the “science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will” (Magick in Theory and Practice, Book 3 of 4 by Aleister Crowley). Magick also does not require symbols.

In the sections about oils and herbs, there is some useful information. However, there is no disclaimer stating the dangers of the essential oils (i.e. topical sensitivity, ingestion, allergies, medical conditions, etc.).

I have another issue with the section on herbs, and it might just be that I’m a modern Wiccan, but the herbs are assigned a gender correspondence. For me, that just bothers me. What about Acacia makes it masculine, as stated on page 17? What makes aloe feminine, as stated on page 18? Maybe its just me, but I don’t like the genderization of herbs. I feel that there are much better ways to describe the properties of different plants than to assign them a gender correspondence.

“To get someone to call you…
Take a piece of parchment or fine quality writing paper and inscribe the name of the target. Write it in a circle twice, so the ends meet. As you do this, concentrate on the person’s face and your desire that they call you. Then, while still concentrating, put a needle through the center of the circle created by the name. Place the charm by the phone.

The call will come within 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, depending on how well the spell was cast and how much will power was used.” (Spells)

While this is a very simple spell, I have a few problems with the way it is presented. Nowhere in the spell does it say why you’re doing what you’re doing. For a guidebook, simply copying down spells doesn’t do anything for the reader. The reader needs to know why you’re writing the name twice, in a circle, so that the names touch. The reader needs to know why you’re poking the paper with a needle. Also, nowhere in the spell does it give a time limit, so I don’t know where the author got the information that says the call will come in “…5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days…”.

Also, this spell is plagiarized. I found this spell through a simple google search on SpellsandMagic.com, which states it was submitted by someone named Mike Folka (Spells and Magic Source). This in and of itself makes the author lose all credibility in my eyes. I can’t take anything in this book seriously anymore, even if any of the information presented is good. Since this spell is plagiarized, I searched for the other two spells online as well. I could not find the other two spells online. However, that does not make me believe that the author did not find them in a book or somewhere else.

I’m not even going to bother with the rest of the review because of what I found about the spell above.

Put simply, would I buy or recommend this book? Absolutely not!

If you do want to check this book out for yourself, click the link below.

The Ultimate Wicca Handbook Kindle Edition


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