Thursday, June 2, 2011
Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (September 8, 2002)
So you are into Wicca and you really want to do magick. Well then this is your book. This book tells you the internal dynamics of doing magic. Now this is no Wicca 101 fluff stuff, in fact for a beginner and maybe even an intermediate this book can get a bit over your head. Good thing this book came about as all serious Wiccans know there is more to magic than just lighting candle, casting circles and chanting a few words.
The author, Raven Gimassi, first discusses the origins and the beginning of Wicca. This ancient new religion arose out of the roots of a Fertility cult that centered around the Goddess and God.The ancient mysteries of this cult precede christianity and are the very roots of Modern Wicca. The Ancients perceived a general cycle of birth , growth, death and rebirth. It was a repeating cycle in all forms of life and in the world itself. The ancients had Sabbats or celebrations to get into tune with this flow. Along with this they also observed certain technique to help them get from the deities what they so desired. Natural objects like herbs, stones and colors became associated with desired effects. this would develop into a list of magical charms.
Coming into tune with nature's vibration was the cycle of the slain God. It was believed that he did not die but rather that his body died and they he kept on coming back. Tree worship was also very widespread in Ancient Europe.The slain God used to be a sacrifice offered to the ground to help keep it fertile. Eventually this would grow out of practice and people graduated to animals and finally to herbs and plants. The person representing the slain god were believable to have been descended from the Horned God himself and people would eat off flesh to keep a part of him within them. This of course is no longer practiced but the cakes and wine are sometimes symbolic there of. Also partaaking off the flesh gave the person who ate the flesh the magical powers of the slain god. The mother goddess was associated with the moon. her phases were phases of the women. Going through youth, motherhood and then old age only to renew herself. Being such as Faieries and nymphs are inner forces that vitalize nature. To learn from nature and her patterns was considered a way to study divinity as nature or creation was a reflection of the creator.
The book does discuss folk magic and the use of herbs. However, our view of folk magick is rather incomplete. herbs were not magick in and of themselves. There were special techniques required in both their harvesting and growing in order to make them magical. Most of the secrets are lost.Most Pagans who practiced were poor folks and did not use such tools and the sword, pentacle,chalice and wand. These were taken from the Tarot cards and ceremonial magick. They represent the weapon off the knight. It should be noted that magic was not always considered taboo but back in the 15th century many philosophers and even Christians defended it.
According to Wiccan philosophy there are three realms of existence that someone practicing magic must be in tune with. The Astral Realm,elemental realm and the physical realm. When a Magical person wishes to effect change they first place and image into the astral realm and that image gets bathed in Astral light. later on the image descends into the elemental realm where the elements of Fire, air, earth and water give it their energy.Finally it comes to the physical realm. The author also goes on to discuss various energies both internal and external, feminine and masculine. This book discusses sigilization, energy work symbology and circle casting.
Raven has written an excellent book on a very difficult subject to comprehend. no summary ccould do this book the justice that it deserves. If you are serious about magic then go out and by the book. Mind you this is no spell book in it you will not find any spells but it will teach you how to cast them effectively with good solid techniques. The only draw back to this great work is that the author repeated himself several times. I would give this book 4.5 stars out of 5
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