The Study of Witchcraft
by Deborah Lipp
Weiser Books, 2007
Noted Wiccan priestess and author of Elements of Ritual and The Way of Four Spellbook, Deborah Lipp brings solid credentials to her latest project, The Study of Witchcraft. Years of being a practicing Wiccan, of study and research as well as participation in Pagan culture, make Lipp a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide into the compelling, but at times The Study of Witchcraft is a concise, accessible, and enjoyable introduction into the core beliefs, practices, and history of Wicca and witchcraft.
Lipp does a remarkable job in distilling a huge, arcane topic into a book that is neither overwhelming nor dumbed down. Certainly, the history of Wicca and all its associates is far too broad a topic to be fully captured in a few short pages, but Lipp does manage to introduce the key players and their relationships to each other very clearly and eloquently. While she provides no spells, meditations, rituals, or tables of correspondence, Lipp outlines the various practices and skills one needs to acquire to be an accomplished Witch. She skillfully addresses many controversial topics without adding more heat to the feuds that have arisen from them.
One of the most helpful, and healing, aspects of this book is that Lipp breaks Wicca down into three streams: Traditional, Radical, and Eclectic. Most of us fall into one category more than others, and Lipp writes very candidly about the benefits and drawbacks of each approach. She also outlines what each type can teach the others, and what it can learn from other magickal approaches and venues. While Lipp mentions the various magickal skills a Witch should be trained in (divination, dream work, ritual, meditation, shielding, etc.), she doesn’t provide in depth training in her own tradition. Each chapter includes a resource list and some suggestions for “homework.”
The Study of Witchcraft delivers what it promises: it inspires all Craft folk to deepen their practices and to enrich Wicca through study and exploration.
RATING: 5 Broomsticks
» Originally appeared in newWitch #17
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