1.0 out of 5 stars
Looked So Promising NOT TRADITIONAL
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 25, 2020
This book looked so promising! When I turned the back over and saw that it was written by a man, I was really worried it would be heavily wiccan-based. I guess I didn't think to wonder if the writer was male before buying it - I've had several men quote Wiccan Rede and rules of Wicca to me, so I was nervous it would be like that, so it sat on my shelf a few months. I needn't have worried! This person is not wiccan. Or at least, you can't tell that they are from the tone of their book! I read the first 10 pages, and about 30 more out of order because what stopped me in that first part of the book was that the writer seems to be a christian witch or at least have written the book for christian witches. I don't identify as a christian, or a wiccan - I'm pagan so if you're also not christian, this book is NOT for you! In those early pages, the writer says that "most of the famous spells have christianity and christian roots mixed with 'other deities'" .... other deities? Never goes on to mention those "other" deities, that i'm aware of - mentions several Christian spells, and seems to be one of those christian witches that thinks witchcraft did not exist before Christ was assumed to have existed - seems to be one of those writers who believes working with "other deities" is just that - mixing it with christianity. I was pretty offended! I was worried he'd talk down to me about how I was allowed to practice witchcraft as some wiccan practitioners do (oh! You can't do that! The rule of 3! Oh, you can't do spells on others without express permission of that person! Etc etc etc) and would be very New Age, whereas pagan beliefs and witchcraft have been around since before the written word, but to see this person try to say the "best known spells" have christian God and Jesus in them... give me a flippin BREAK!
I skimmed through hoping maybe that was just a small portion of the book but it actually wasn't, I saw several more references to christianity in the book and can only gather from that that this person called the book "The Crooked Path" because many christians believe witchcraft is against their religion (in fact being raised christian, I grew up hearing to beware soothsayers - fortune tellers - and that thou shalt have no other god before me - that God controls all and we have free will but that witchcraft is dangerous because it depends on power of self and nature not christian God) and so this book is basically a recruitment for Christian Witchcraft, at its heart and soul, and in my opinion. I am throwing it away, since it's too late to return it. That's the "Crooked Path" he speaks of! It definitely defends the practice of Christian witchcraft and if that's your thing, cool, do you, I certainly am never going to tell anyone how to practice witchcraft - and that's why I don't like that he did this to me. His arrogant implication that the "best known" spells have jesus in them .... I just could not believe anyone had the audacity to say that! Yes many people do incorporate their christian faith into spells - as is their prerogative. HIs implication that other deities are minor (never having touched on any of them) and that basically, as I understood his view, christianity is the heart of spells, is offensive, laughable, and offensive to my personal religious views. It is also, shall I point out, historically inaccurate! He lists all of 2 spells, 4 verses long, that have jesus in them - I'll add, as a practitioner for quite some time, but someone interested in magic most of my 31 years, spells I've NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE. That's right! These "famous spells" that are his reason to say that the most well-known spells have jesus in them - I've never heard of!
It did have a few spells listed, which was cool. If you're an atheist witch, those might interest you - again, they don't mention Jesus (so his statement about the most famous spells mentioning jesus or christian God, well, that didn't even correlate with his own listed spells in the book) they are nature or Source-based spells so if you're interested in adding another book with some references to your collection, it might not be all bad. I brought this book to the laundromat and it was such rubbish, I ended up just sitting in silence the 2 hours I was there instead of read any more of his historical inaccuracies. TO each their own but for a book that looks so beautiful and right up my alley, to be a recruitment for christianity or, at very best, written by someone with some misinformation about the origins of witchcraft, I was disappointed, to say the least. He never mentions the existence of African witchcraft (Voodoo) or Hoodoo (North American witchcraft with both native american and African roots developed in the colonies which did likely have some traces of this christianity he speaks of) - he does not mention paganism AT ALL in the book - except to say "jesus and other deities" .... several times. That was enough for me! Very ill-informed writer. I can understand if the book was called something to do with christian witchcraft but his implication that witchcraft is just a combination of christ and the myth of other deities to get things done is disgusting to me. His artist is a very good one though, the cover alone is why I bought the book and I would give the book 10 stars for the artwork, being both simple and also elegant and intruguing with just enough mystery to get me to fork over the money for a book I will now never finish. Someone needs to remind him of what the Crusades were and that yes, christians absorbed many pagan customs including witchy goings-on and ritual in order to spread, fact that he seems to gloss right over and say that christianity is basically the heart of witchcraft and anything else is myth - he doesn't call it myth, but he doesn't have to, I know what he meant. If I were so mad, I'd crack the book open and post a photo of his offenses but I never want to hold it again. I hate gatekeepers, I would 100% support a christian witch - but masquerading as an impartial storyteller and telling the story wrong, I wonder does this man even practice? Is he a historian? If so, he's a poor one. If he practices, he needs to talk to some other witches and get some things straight, broaden his horizons, and look up pagan history, especially in regards to the christian takeover that forced many pagans, soothsayers, and so on to take their practice underground and only in the shadows. This man is ill-informed and it's dangerous. It is one thing to write an opinion piece - that is 100% understandable, but to write your opinion as fact...? A novice witch without much knowledge might believe his unbelievable "facts" and that is where I've had to write the scathing review! For as much as Wiccan has rules I do not agree with that clip the wings of witches and are, to me, reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials in that way, trying to control how women live, this? This is worse. I respect wiccans, having many of the same beliefs, minus their rules - I do not respect this man.
Traditional Witchcraft? NO. Traditional witchcraft can be Pagan, it can be African, maybe it could even be Hoodoo if you start speaking of traditional witchcraft as it's practiced in the colonies where Hoodoo came together, but this is Traditional Christian Witchcraft, and rather poorly executed, at that.
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