The Perfect Book to Give Your Friends and Family!
by Winter Wolf
(Pleasanton, Kansas, USA)
Book Cover Image
The Truth About Witchcraft Today
By Scott Cunningham
Published By Llewellyn Publications
Price - $4.99US and up
The book can be found at amazon.com
As well as the Metaphysical or Spiritual section of your local bookstore.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I will gladly recommend any book written by Scott Cunningham. He was one of the few authors who, when writing a book, never assumed the reader had any knowledge of the material he was writing about. This means that you can pick up any of Scott's books, and know that when you are done, you will have been given a thorough teaching of the material.
The Truth About Witchcraft Today is unlike any other book on Witchcraft or Wicca. This book isn?t meant to teach the student already interested in the Craft. It's meant to be given to those, be they friends, family, or just the curious, to teach them what Witchcraft is, and more importantly, what it is not.
Originally, this book was a 32 page pamphlet, published by Llewellyn, in 1987 under the title The Truth About Witchcraft. Because it appeared as an Educational Guide, Scott Cunningham was not credited as the author. It was decided after the initial release, that Scott would write an expanded version, which is 185 pages in length.
The book is divided into three sections, Folk Magic, Wicca, and a Summary. Each section is further divided into chapters where he discusses details of each in some depth. The back of the book also has what was at the time, a comprehensive bibliography of books about Witchcraft and magick. Each entry has a brief summary as well as the publishing information, so that anyone can find the appropriate book for their interests.
The book was written for the mainstream. Any buzz words are completely explained in plain English, so that anyone should be able to understand. This is a book written for the student to give to family and friends, who may be concerned about what the student has gotten into. It is a gentle, easy to understand explanation of the Craft, to ease the fears of family and friends.
To this end, Scott begins the book with descriptions of everyday people gathering to worship and do magick. He places them in familiar surroundings, doing unusual things.
"Night. The curtains in the upper-class home are drawn against prying eyes. Candles gleam in the living room. Incense smoke swirls. Robed figures, chanting in a long-dead language, swirl around a rustic wooden table. On it, between the candles, sit sacred images: a robust Goddess wearing a crescent moon on Her fore-head, a God holding a spear in His upraised hand...This is Witchcraft"
He goes on to describe...
"Two thousand miles away, a fifteen-year-old girl affixes a green candle to a Polaroid photo of a friend. In the darkened room she lights the candle. She closes her eyes. Within her mind, she visualizes a glowing purple light surrounding her boyfriend's broken arm. She chants an impassioned healing incantation. This, too, is Witchcraft."
The book uses familiar ideas to explain unfamiliar events. He talks about how people saw things they could not explain. How water just fell from the sky, light from the clouds started fires, wind ripped trees from the ground, and the ground sometimes moved. He also explains how those early people sought out answers to why these things happen, and how they discovered through observation that the world around them held the answers to their questions.
The world was full of Deities, each in charge of some mystical force. The stars moved through the heavens in patterns that could be predicted. Plants could harm or heal, if you knew how. He writes of how Folk Magic used natural objects in ritual ways. He also makes the link between today's science, and yesterday's magic.
By explaining how magic, ritual, religion, and science came about, the book throws light into the shadows of Witchcraft. By showing how individual magic became tribal ritual, and how that then changed into more familiar concepts of religion, Scott brings the reader along a historical path that holds no fear in the light of day.
The book then goes on to describe Witchcraft as it is performed today. The rituals, the magick, the spirituality. With each new discovery, Scott links back to those ancient people, and how they knew things we have yet to rediscover through science. After all, if aspirin is simply bark from a tree, isn't it possible that people do have the ability to manipulate energies that science can't yet detect or measure?
The value of this book isn't to the student wishing to gain information, it's to the family and friends of that student. This is a book that you can give to Grandma Lil, and after reading it, she will understand that while what you do is different from what she knows and understands, the basis is really the same.
This book explains that Witchcraft is just another way to become more Spiritual, and connect with Deity.