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The Illustrated Guide to Wicca

The Illustrated Guide to Wicca
by Tony Grist, Aileen Grist

When Gerald Gardner, a retired British colonial administrator, introduced Wicca to the world in the 1950s, he compiled a volume of spells, rituals and magical lore that he called the Book of Shadows. The Grists, a British couple who converted to Paganism (he is a former Anglican vicar, she is a magistrate), offer this pleasant and profusely illustrated volume as a Book of Shadows for a new generation. Unlike Gardner, who emphasized group work, the Grists are concerned particularly with the solitary practitioner. Free of dogma, church and liturgy, Wicca is "a do-it-yourself religion," say the Grists. Although they provide a number of sample rituals, the authors urge their readers to "be quirky" and follow their own paths.

This book may serve as a signpost to those paths, with brief discussions of spells, deities, temple architecture, annual festivals and other essential information. Even experienced practitioners will value the Grists' sensible advice. For example, the authors suggest their readers forsake pilgrimages to sacred sites in faraway places and instead make their own neighborhoods enchanted spaces. They also note that Wiccans should not drive home after a ritual until they are fully "earthed," lest the spirits make them reckless. The Grists address other sensitive topics with characteristic good humor. While those seeking to move beyond the basics will need a more detailed road map, this illustrated guide is a fine introduction. (July)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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