Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
on 14 November 2008
I ordered this a book a while back if only to see how one could distil such a vast subject into a For Dummies manual. The book certainly covers a lot of ground on Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism, but its only fault is in the subject matter; the writing is excellent, simple and informative, but as it concerns such a diverse subject I find the `neutral' approach to lack in the justice each facet of the belief/lifestyle/religion deserves.
It is an admirable, and successful, attempt at stepping back and stripping away the superfluities you find in different versions of the craft, much like stripping away top layers of an onion to see what's at the centre of it all. In that the author was most successful; the foundation of the craft is here, the building tools. I'd highly suggest this book for someone looking into the truth about Paganism, perhaps to dispel many of the misconceptions concerning it and certainly to enlighten the reader as to the (reasonably) mundane and grounded practices which constitute Paganism itself.
That said I see it as being of little use to a practicing Pagan, though I don't believe that the purpose of the material is to educate existing Pagans but to provide a sound, solid concept of what the Pagan faiths truly are, the differences between them all, the common beliefs they all share and perhaps to serve as a reference book for anyone interested in pursuing/ studying the craft itself, in any of its many incarnations. In all this the author was highly successful and Wicca and Witchcraft for Dummies makes for an excellent book even just to have in your library, if your interest lies in such things; though were anyone looking for more specific and detailed information on different aspects of the craft itself I'd suggest finding a less all-encompassing work which focuses on one path in particular.
On the other hand, this book is a must-have for anyone of the belief that Paganism is a blank canvas which can be defined by the individual, rather than the individual being defined by the faith.