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4.6 out of 5 stars233
4.6 out of 5 stars
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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 1999
I was given this book, ironically enough, for Christmas when I was fifteen. After reading it, I found that I had learned enough abot Wicca to choose my path. I think this book is aimed at the person who is considering Wicca, but either is not ready for a coven in their mind or does not want to join one. It is also for the practitioner who is disappointed with their coven or thier present solitary workings. Those who know a bit about Wicca may find the first few chapters redundant, but will find that even they learn some specifics. I learned more about Wicca, but wouldn't call it a book for those who aren't considering the Craft to read for reference- the author wrote a book just for that purpose. I especially enjoyed the rituals he included. Cunningham makes it clear to the reader that they are not required to follow the rituals point-by-point to have effects, which is EXACTLY what I was looking for in my religion. I still use it monthly and recommend highly to the said people.
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126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 1998
I have been interested in and practicing Wicca for over twenty years. The first book I read about Wicca was Sybil Leek's book The Complete Art of Witchcraft. After reading The Charge I knew that this was for me and I wanted to learn more. Several years later I obtained the Witches Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar but I couldn't find anyone interested in starting a Coven in my area and although they pointed me to Doreen Valiente's Witchcraft for Tommorrow (which is also a book for solitaries), the Sabbats were lacking. I also read Spiral Dance at this time and again it is very well written but it was geared towards group work.I had been reading Scott Cunningham's other books and they were all very helpful but when I found this one I was forever grateful. He clearly showed how one could write their own ceremonies to perform and he gives many good exercises. Unlike To Ride a Silver Broomstick he doesn't ignore the Goddess or the Holy Days for that matter. Instead of just explaining them in one paragraph (the Sabbats) he gives actual ceremonies that can be performed and he says that you can also write your own with excellent pointers to other books for study. He will be truly missed by many in the Wiccan/Pagan community.
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88 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2001
This book is an excellent source book for the solitary Wiccan, particularly as Scott Cunningham is far from dictatorial. Having been rather put off, in the past, by books that made very specific demands, this is a breath of fresh air. Solitary Wiccans individualistic by nature and generally prefer to develop their own rituals and magickal practices.
This book is ideal for the beginners as it provides a simple and very workable Book of Shadows at the end. The other two section are based on theory and practice respectively.
The Practice section includes some very valuable exercises and magickal techniques as well as a fully explained self-dedication ritual for those who do not feel fully Wiccan without one and a whole chapter on designing rituals.
The first section on Theory covers everything you might want to know about Wicca from Shamanism to Deities, Tools to Rituals, Days of Power to Circle Work.
For the perfect pairing. Read through this book first and then go on to Living Wicca, Scott Cunningham's new book in which he explains how to celebrate the feast days even in difficult circumstances and how to create and design your own personal path.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2005
When someone says "Wicca" there are probably two names that come immediately to mind. One is Gerald Gardner, the man who brought together the magic and the spirituality and gave this new religion based on the old religions the name we know today.
The second name that comes to mind is Scott Cunningham. This gentleman brought Wicca out of the broom closet and gave it to the masses with one incredible book: Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.
The book is divided into three sections, covering Theory, Practice and a Book of Shadows. The sections follow logical progressions and contain much actual working material. Even the Theory portion contains information that can be easily worked into everyday practice.
I know many solitaries who have hand written many short notes from this Book of Shadows into their own Books of Shadow, to be treasured and meditated upon many, many times. There is much here in the way of instructions and food for thought. There are Scott's personal chants, spells, recipes, rituals to build on and celebrations to start you off. There is a small herbal guide, a stone and crystal guide, some symbols and signs you may want to paint on your tools or include on your altar or write in your own Book of Shadows. There is also a basic explanation of Runes and some spells and chants.
This is THE handbook that started it all. The solitary practitioner, in my experience, makes up the majority of Wiccan Practitioners today and this is the book that many of them keep on their altar, their night stand or in their bag. It is still as indispensable today as it was when Scott wrote it in 1988. And I have recommended it again and again as the best first book a solitary practitioner could buy when they take their first steps on the Wiccan Path. boudica
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2006
I have read many books on the Craft in the last five years and when you're a beginner, it can all seem a little daunting.

This book may have its detractors (whether Wiccan hereditaries, covens or people that expect more) - but it softly eases you in to a very spiritual, honest and loving way of becoming a witch. He keeps it simple - because the religion is all about the individual having the chance to deal with the Gods and Goddesses one to one.

Cunningham reminds you once in a while to do what YOU feel and not to slavishly follow either his words or others. This is a beautiful and simple start.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2001
The Nature religion of Wicca is developing and evolving at a surprising rate. Initially created as a reconstruction of the pagan "Old Religion", the Goddess-worship/religious witchcraft of ancient history, Wicca has had a hard time making itself accepted in a society brimming with religious bigotry, dogmatism and prejudice.
Taking advantage of today's (slightly) more tolerant outlook, this book presents many of the basic tenets and practices of various Wiccan traditions, complemented by the inclusion of the author's own Book of Shadows as a personal point of view. It provides a basic overview of the ideas behind the ritual, the mechanics behind the magic, and the issues that need to be considered by those walking the Wiccan path.
Those keen to know whether this is a "better" or "worse" book than Buckland's "Complete Book of Witchcraft" would, I think, do better to consider it simply "different". Cunningham's approach is not to handle the reader as his own student, as Buckland does, but to provide general information and answers on non-tradition-specific questions which might be asked by the newcomer or the simply curious.
Like Buckland's "Complete...", this is not a "spell book" for those raised on a pop-culture diet of "Charmed" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" - look to Titania Hardie for those - although neither is it solemn or grave. Wicca is, after all, a celebration of life. But to get the most out of this book, as with so many others, it's important that you are able to treat Wicca with the respect due to all religious traditions.
Overall, this is a fine reference tool, as well written and much more freeform than Buckland's "Complete..." - you can dip into this book more or less as you please, rather than having to work through a set curriculum. For those looking for general information rather than a specific course, this is ideal.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2003
I brought this book about ten years or so a go and I still think that it is the best book for us lone witches.The first part of the book is about the basics of wicca and the second part is a book of shadows.It has everything that a up and coming witch needs to get started on the path.Scott's writing is friendly and he gets you to think for yourself.He may be the besom that gives you the ability to fly,but you decide how high,low,fast or slow you want to go.Scott is greatly missed.Its amazing that he's been gone for ten years now.
My advice to you is to buy this book!...its brill!.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I was bought this as a present, sadly rather misguidedly as I am a Natural Witch of over 35 years standing and don't really subscribe to Wicca. Having said that, this little book is actually very good in places and has some interesting chapters. Also the author is not dictatorial in his approach or rather he wasn't as he sadly died a number of years ago. I would think that any of Scott Cunninghams books would be an ideal place for a newcomer to Wicca to start from.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2006
This is a very inspiring book and is just perfect for a beginner. This was my first reading and it was NOT DISAPOINTING at all, on the contrary, it inspired me so much. After reading this book i started growing on Wicca's path. Scott puts things in such a simple but efective way... It's all there and you understand it all, seems all so simple, and it actualy is if you take one step at a time. Be patient and enjoy the way you grow.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Recently learning that paganism is the worlds fastest growing religion I had to find out more and therefore came to the subject with only the most basic understanding.
This is one of those rare books that takes you by the hand in a friendly but not condescending manner and guides you through the complexities at a natural pace.
Being extremely careful not to be prescriptive Cunningham does provide details of his own practices, but always emphasising the personal and fluid nature of WICCA, and that they are examples for you to adapt or ignore.
Although sub titled "A guide for the solitary practitioner" I personally viewed the book as a great introduction to the subject and not in any way advocating solitary practice, merely stating it is the only option for many Wicca.
This is a truly excellent book, no wonder it has sold over 400,000 copies.
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Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick)
Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick) by Raymond Buckland (Paperback - 31 Dec. 1986)

Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham (Paperback - 31 Oct. 1993)

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