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Wicca for Couples: Making Magick Together [Paperback]

A. J. Drew
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Nov 2002
In a world where Wicca is something one does as a solitary or with his or her coven, this book demonstrates how Wicca is something one experiences with kith and kin. It focuses on a modern context for pre-Christian fertility religions and examines such issues as Archetype vs. Stereotype, Real Ritual vs. Real Life, Clergy vs. Guru, and as its title implies Couple vs. Coven. In so doing, this book gives us the foundation for rethinking the focus of our involvement with this religion in the context of our own deeply felt needs and desires. The book focuses on a Wicca where the structure is founded on the natural bonding of a couple. It includes rituals for Hand Fasting, Wiccaning, and Hand Parting with a discussion of how these sacred rituals have been almost trivialized in Wiccan culture and what steps we can take to return their sanctity

Product details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: New Page Books,US (30 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564146200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564146205
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 13.2 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,333,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making A Circle Of Love 3 July 2004
This book helps form new ideas about how couples can practise magick together. It shows how you can build new bonds were solitary and coven groups may be lacking the information and support you can only get from your consort and soul-mate! Mr.Drew explains alot of great and misunderstood concepts that gave me a better understanding of my own faith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!! Something fresh!! 20 May 2011
only the second half is about couples but the first half is about love and other bits, which i liked even though i did expect the whole book to be about couples, it was something fresh and interesting to read instead of the same old crap you usually get in books. I think the author is quite opinionated which you just have to take with a pinch of salt and make your own mind up but i really like the book layout and the authors style of writing i couldnt put the book down!it does come to some couply rituals and stuff at the end
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1.0 out of 5 stars The weirdest...................... 18 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
book I;ve ever read about Wicca. If you are hoping for couple friendly rites and rituals then forget this book. I threw it away. I have no idea what the author was rambling on about most of the time but it certainly wasn't Paganism, Witchcraft or Wicca.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wicca for couples 17 April 2012
This is a great book,written in plain English so an easy read. The author shows insights into the Wiccan faith for couples. Whether both are Wiccan or just the one, this book will enable the couple to work together to improve there faith in practical and spiritual ways.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Title applies only to the second half of the book 8 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
If I had skimmed this book at a bookstore, rather than buying it based on Amazon reviews, I never would have bought it. I was looking for a book that emphasized ways that my partner and I could practice Wicca together. Based on the title, I thought that's what I was getting. I was disappointed. Before I address the specifics of my disappointment, I want to note that the second half of "Wicca for Couples" does contain beautiful ideas for couple-oriented rituals. The handfasting ritual struck me as especially lovely, and as something that could easily be modified to make non-Wiccans comfortable while still retaining spiritual aspects important to Wiccans.
A.J. Drew's point is that too often in religious communities-whether Wiccan or Christian-we tend to forget the family and neighborly focus. By turning covens into artificial families, we have tended to forget the everyday living of the ideas we express in ritual. He notes that originally these practices were based in real community, where extended families and neighbors participated together. While I agree that leaving religion behind at the ritual or at church is a common failing of several religions, I disagree with Drew's apparent contention that close-knit communities never really become like real family. My own circle of friends does act like family, caring for each other when sick, helping each other through difficulties, etc., to a greater extent than I ever experienced from my biological family.
Since few of my friends and none of my family are Wiccan, I appreciated Drew's idea that we can incorporate our spiritual practices into the real-life practices that we share with those closest to us. Drew provides a basic outline for Wiccan rituals with parallels to real-life practices. For instance, he likens smudging to putting guests at ease. He even suggests that if you want to actually smudge non-Wiccan guests as they arrive, you can honestly tell them that smudging is a Native American tradition.
I also appreciated Drew's reminder that we need to do more than pay lip service to the idea that we honor God along with the Goddess, and that we should honor them in their relationship to each other. He makes an excellent point that if we are drawn to a particular Goddess, we also should examine the relationship that she had with the God most frequently associated with her, such as Hera and Zeus, Shiva and Parvati.
I purchased "Wicca for Couples" hoping to find ideas for couple-based celebrations of the Sabbats. Drew does not cover this. He suggests rituals only for births, handfasting, handparting, and dating. Since his approach to ritual is to encourage couples to make up what's meaningful to them, his approach of only providing a few examples is understandable. Nevertheless, I tend to look to more specific examples and adapt, rather than making something up completely on my own. If your style is like mine, you might not find this book as helpful. If your style were more like Drew's, then you more likely would find his book useful.
Next, my disappointments:
Drew does not get to the "couple rituals" section until about 100 pages into the book. Since the book is barely more than 200 pages long, a substantial part of the book does not focus on what the title promises-"making magic together." Instead, Drew focuses on how Wicca developed from being a traditional fertility religion to effectively becoming "sterilized." He spends an inordinate amount of the book analyzing how the Farrar and Buckland approaches to Wicca diverge (the latter has not welcomed homo(...) and has removed references to (...) in the Charge of the Goddess; the former welcomes homosexuals and retains reference to (...) in the Charge).
I was looking for a book on how I could incorporate my partner into my Wiccan practices, not a history lesson. When I do read history, I especially appreciate an author who provides a good analysis of WHY things happened, not just what happened. Drew never gets to the "why."
Until he gets to the section on couple rituals, Drew's tone is VERY negative. I have never encountered such extremely critical and judgmental language in any Wiccan writings before. His style was far more reminiscent of what I encountered in my fundamentalist Christian upbringing. Drew could have made his same points in a far more positive, affirming way, rather than spending half his book condemning how others practice their religion.
Finally, I have to address a comment that he made in arguing that educators should be personally successful in the subjects they teach. For instance, Drew contends that successful marriage counselors should have successful marriages. He draws a parallel to parenting, and states, "Abused children tend to grow up to be child abusers; molested children tend to grow up to be child molesters..." (p. 65). Although Drew provides footnotes for the flavor of Granny Smith apples and his preference for rock salt versus sea salt in another ritual (p. 212), he provides no statistics supporting his perpetuation of the "abused becomes abuser" myth. I have professional training in this area. Sarah Buehl, a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence, states that while abusers typically were abused as children, to say that abused children tend to grow up to abuse is absolutely incorrect. I tend to believe Buehl rather than the owner of a pagan bookstore on this point. When I encounter such blatant inaccuracies, I tend to question other "facts" presented by the author.
Overall, if you skip over the first five chapters, "Wicca for Couples" is not a bad starting point for developing rituals that you can share with your partner and family. Drew does point out that more needs to be done within Wicca. Unfortunately, his book still leaves plenty of room for others to develop inclusive, affirming couple-based rituals. I definitely did not find what I was looking for.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought, Needed Criticism, and Some Nonsense 28 Dec 2002
By Terrie - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book because its title led me to believe it was a book that might give my husband and me some ideas and insights for making our experience of our religion deeper. The book turned out to have some interesting food for thought, especially about the books and authors and community leaders of our Craft, that paved the way for many of us to follow and explore. I didn't find it useful as a tool for Wiccan couples. It seemed to focus a lot on finger-pointing and "shoulds" and shouldn'ts". For example, a 6 month celibacy period is recommended at the outset of any courtship. Four stable marrieds, preferrably the four parents of the bride and groom should give their public consent before permitting the couple to handfast. A Wiccan should marry someone who is Wiccan. The priestess or priest who officiates at the handfasting shouldn't have any divorces or domestic problems in their past because like attracts like. And so on. This book was written by a man who repeatedly mentions in the text that he is not part of a "couple" but would like to be.
Much of what he says in the book about the way The Craft has become trivilized and diluted I would agree with. Its trendiness and its treatment by current publishers as a fad do draw people to it that are not and never will be serious about it. However, many who are attracted to its sense of theatre and who at first seem to be focused only on the outer trappings of costume and romanticism are attracted to these things because they are creative, independent, sensitive and romantic souls who have not found their way in mainstream religions. To constantly put these searchers down and to use the petty names like newbies or, as this author does, "Rubs" meaning they rub him the wrong way, is arrogant and divisive and immature. This book brings up many things to think about and details some valid criticisms but I think it was less "frank" than it was insensitive in its way of pointing these areas of failure out. Many of the books and authors mentioned and criticized by A.J.Drew were extremely helpful and useful and while times and attitudes have changed since these books were written, they remain as valuable stepping stones along the path that so many of us have travelled. Along with the should and shouldn'ts in this book there is a lot of blame and a lot of mockery. There is some posturing as though, on one hand, there is one true Wicca and then on the other hand, there are the myriad lame ways that so many impostors do it. He gives us info on how to spot a Wiccan guru, ( guru being a negative term meaning phony, egotist, attention-seeker). These people aren't real clergy. Gurus are people who may have sent out public coven calls. Other times they may be tormented poet-philosophers. They are the outsider, the person no one understands. Their lives are either in neutral or reverse, never improving on their state of being. This author seems to indicate that the people who are fit to be clergy or leaders are the people who have it totally together and in this book's context that would be happily married couples. I think this book would make a wonderful series of debates within our community. I think it would be great to sit around a fire with some drumming going on steadily in the background and the stars wheeling overhead, maybe some mead being passed from friend to friend, and to share A.J. Drew's thoughts and feelings back and forth for examination and contemplation. I think it would be good for the community to take a close look at ourselves as seen critically by one of us and good for A.J. to get some feedback. I personally feel that some of his views are naive when it comes to couples and extended families, even communities. I think that in a world where so many are searching for a better way in their spiritual expression, that the purist (oh my, that sounds alot like Puritan)approach is just what we do NOT need. This book is interesting, in some ways helpful, because it questions and dissects, but keep in mind, it is not a text book or a witch's bible, and just because it was written by an experienced practioner of the Craft does not mean it's the way you SHOULD do anything. Unless it harms someone, that's up to you.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars very negative and tackless in its arguments 29 April 2003
By endamist - Published on Amazon.com
perhapse there are people who review this book and give it five stars and oddly enough many of those reviews come from people who put Mr Drew on a pedistool. I find that the arguments and attacks of other authors to be in poor tast and very tackless. This type of negativity only generate more negativity, something Mr Drew preaches but evidently does not practice. How many people really find it of any benefit to take advise on relationships from a man whom has no long standing successfull relationship?
I once thought that AJ was an upstanding author, but this book and these attitudes have lead me to see a very diffrent side of him. There may be many useful arguments, great debate matterial, valid and invalid points made, food for thought. however, I also see a man whom still has a lot of personal and emotional growth to do. Not that we all do not have that same kind of growth to do, we just do not take it and smear others in our attempt to get our point seen.
I gave this book only one star because as a useful book for couples it falls far short of that subject. I would not recomment it to anyone because it tends to breed to much negativity in it's finger pointing attitudes. It may be useful to those looking for debate matterial but there are other valid authors who, even if they do not state all the valid points made in this book, do touch on some of them.
I hope that Mr Drew redeams himself at a later time and I feel sorry for the pain he must obviously feel with in himself to be so negative in this book.
29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What nonsense! 22 Dec 2002
By Raymond Buckland - Published on Amazon.com
What a mish-mosh of misinformation, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding this is!
The man spends the first part of the book lambasting all the early pioneers of Wicca; those very people without who's work Mr. Drew would not have been able to open his store nor now publish his books. Drew displays an absolute ignorance of the state of things in those early days, showing no understanding of the necessity to present and to phrase books and articles on the Craft in a way that would be acceptable for the climate at that time. (For example, he wants to know why it wasn't shouted from the rooftops that sex was a part of Wicca! With 80% of the people who wanted into the Craft at that time wanting to come in just for sex, of course that aspect was downplayed or even denied!)
His first target in his book (of course) is the late Dr. Gerald Gardner - an easy target since the man is now dead and so unable to fight back. His second target is myself. He starts out by accusing me of declaring myself "the Pope of all Witches"! Really? Where? When? Amazingly Drew has not noticed that in a number of my books I state categorically that there is no King, Queen, or Pope of Witchcraft. Not only that, but I have never claimed ANY title for myself, other than that of High Priest.
Drew makes a big point that covens were odd numbered, saying: "At the time Mr. Buckland wrote the book, covens were typically thought to contain an odd number of members: 13. Maybe Buckland meant that someone in every coven had to be a hermaphrodite." Yes, or maybe Drew should have read another part of "Witchcraft From the Inside" that he glossed over: "'But how can you have thirteen, an odd number, if witches always work in pairs?' The answer is that in witchcraft (or `the Craft', as it is usually shortened) there is a system of degrees of advancement." From there I go on to explain EXACTLY HOW you can have an odd number although working in pairs. But no, Mr. Drew ignores this.
Another bÍte noir to Drew is the subject of homosexuality, where once again he chooses to misunderstand. He also chooses to ignore my very detailed letter to "Earth Religion News," Yule 1973 where, in a front page article, I explain the "equal numbers" requirement of Gardnerian Wica and end saying "Homosexuality is today no more reason for exclusion from Gardnerian covens than is race or color." Oh no, Mr. Drew is very selective in what he quotes.
Accuracy is hardly Drew's high point. All the way through the book he refers to Steward Farrar! It's Stewart, Drew, Stewart. Drew says that Gavin Bone "was initiated into the Seax Wica tradition in 1986, but left that tradition after being informed that it was invalid as a tradition." Excuse me? According to whom? Not Mr. Drew, one hopes. (I wonder what Mr. Drew's "tradition" is?) He also states that "Although Buckland had been initiated into the Gardnerian tradition, he QUICKLY (my caps.) chose to part with many of the trappings of that tradition and form his own: Seax Wica." Quickly?!! I was TWELVE YEARS in Gardnerian before I founded the Saxon tradition! Twelve years! That's longer than Mr. Drew has been out of diapers . . . he is out of them now, isn't he?
Drew complains bitterly about the proliferation of "spell books" that flood the market these days (actually I agree with him there!), yet he pushes his own "Wicca Spellcraft for Men."
The main problem that Drew has is that he keeps comparing what was written in the late 1960s with what has been written in recent years, ignoring how very much the whole Craft situation has changed, and especially showing his ignorance of the climate of the times. He has absolutely no concept of the situation of the Craft in those early days, preferring to take cheap shots at Gardner, myself, the Frosts, Scott Cunningham, Sybil Leek, Starhawk, Silver Ravenwolf, and on and on. I have, myself, seen how things have changed and have, in later books, apologized for some of the attitudes I held in earlier ones. But if ever an apology is called for, it is here - from A. J. Drew. The gods preserve us from such as he!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A corner soapbox 27 Jan 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
While the title would lead one to believe that this is a book about relationships, it actually seems to be little more than a soapbox from which to criticize and ponificate. In the introduction the author writes: "I may not be the most famous Witch in the United States, but with your support I am certainly well on my way to becoming the world's most infamous." The author then concludes with a quote from Shakespeare "Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war." And we're supposed to take advice on relationships here!?
The main trust of this book on "relationships" centers on a criticism of author Ray Buckland, and authors Gavin and Yvonne Frost. I'm not sure what this has to do with "Wicca for couples" but if you like seeing other people's dirty laundry brought out in public, then you'll at least get that much from the book.
"Wicca for Couples: Making Magick Together" is disappointing, and contrary to the sentiment implied by the title. The original concept indicated by the title was interesting, and I hope to someday find a book that deals with healthy relationships between Craft practitioners. But I'm sure that I don't want to be guided by someone who delights in regarding himself as being infamous.
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