14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Discover the real roots of witchcraft,
By A Customer
This review is from: Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed (Paperback)
This is a fabulous book for anyone interested in researching or just discovering the origins of early witchcraft. Forget unicorns and white-light- Doreen valiente and Evan John Jones present the Craft tradition at its most earthy and uncommercialised- and hey, that's what it's really all about isn't it?
Reader's interested in finding out why modern witches currently do what they do can learn so much here, as this book is a wealth of well-researched material on the essence & origins of ritual, ceremonial rites and working practices. I thought that the more philosophical sections dealing with the internal politics involved in belonging to a coven were also excellent- carefully balancing first hand knowlegde about the roles of coven members with thoughts on the obligations/responsibilities coven-based work brings to bear upon individuals. Likewise - this book is an invaluable reference tool for formal wiccan ritual use, giving readers initiated insight into the underlying framework of rituals and use of occult tools & regalia. I admit it isn't the sort of book for all readers as it demands careful reading and cross-referencing of source material. Despite this it will suit anyone seriously interested in Pre-Gardnerian and Pre-Alexandrian witchcraft/mystery religions. It probably won't appeal to neo-pagans as much as it is quite specifically meant as a personal and revelatory account stemming from the authors' deep knowledge of the history & origins of Witchcraft. It doesn't have "fluffy bits" but it does make a good job of disclosing and preserving knowledge about the original methods and purposes of witchcraft's rituals. That is it's strength; lest we forget, I suppose.
I greatly admire these writers for their steadfastness in the face of so much balderdash written about the Craft in recent years, but I also lament the passing of Doreen Valiente very much. There are few writers around at present who display the legitimacy and scholarship which she developed over years. She was truly the Witches Champion and her reputation and forthrightness supported the rights of all to practice witchcraft.
This book is a marvellous source written by two excellent writers with great scholarship and wisdom. I feel privileged to have read it and hope you enjoy it too. Many Bright Blessings