|About the Book|
Doreen Valiente has written 3-4 classics on the old religion that are considered the bedrock for practicing Wiccans and Witches. In it she gives a basic over view and enough material for the promising witch to get started. In this book is the described history of Witchcraft gone over in some detail and a through comparison to other religious systems that hail from the far east. Religions from China and India that predate Buddhism and Hinduism have a mother goddess and a horned god. I have been skeptical of this theory but I feel that now there may be some firm basis to this hypothesis put forward by Dr. Murray. Doreen Valiente then goes on to discuss the ethics of Wicca whos foundation is do what thee will but harm none . She discusses Crowleys use of it and where he got it from. Doreen Valiente also discusses the theory that Gerald Gardner got everything from Crowleys OTO. She puts the theory on its head by pointing out that Crowley was one time a member of George Pickinggills Witch cult maybe at around or the same time that Gardner was part of it. Crowley may have been expelled or left on his own. Either case Crowley was not deemed suitable for the group. He also was very sexist and did not like to be bossed around by women. Gardner only knew Crowley for a brief period of time and there is no way he could have copied from Crowley ye they come from the same source, George Pickingills teaching. The rest of the chapters will discuss content similar to what one will find in a beginners book on Wicca. Such items would include tools and clothing of the witches, the importance of a working site and the use of Witches alphabets like the celtic Ogham and Norse Runes. The book has a final chapter on Sex magick and using it to achieve magical goals and an ethical way to pursue the subject. The final part of the book has a book of shadows which gives good advice on how to cast a circle, certain spell craft and various chants and invocations to the God and Goddess. She gives a strong dose of her own opinion about the age of Aquarius and how we are ready for a new age. Her attitudes on sex are liberal but not promiscuity and she is in favor of naturism or nudity. A good book for someone contemplating following Wiccan teaching but if one were to get involved they would need to do much more exploration. The book is great fro what it is and the time period it was written. Cannot go wrong with this one.