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Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Pracitioner

Author: Scott Cunningham

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The late Scott Cunningham is probably second only to Ray Buckland when it comes to the volume of information he has published on Wicca and witchcraft. As a college student in San Diego Scott developed an interest in herbs, and his first book, Magickal Herbalism, was published by Llewellyn in 1982. It has since become known as one of the definitive works on the use of herbal correspondences in magick and witchcraft. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner came out six years later. At the time, it was met with some grumblings from Wiccans who practiced only under the initiatory coven system.

This is a book that everyone should read at some point in their studies, because it does offer an excellent perspective on what it's like to be a Solitary Wiccan. Cunningham goes in depth on gods and goddesses, rituals, ceremonies, and tools of the Craft. While many people are quick to point out that his tradition of Wicca isn't the same as every other tradition, Cunningham never denied that. His goal in writing this book was to make Wiccan philosophy available to people who might not otherwise have access to such teachings.

The second part of the book goes into detail about magical theory, meditation, divination, etc., and the last part is a copy of Cunningham's Book of Shadows that he created in ritual. There is detailed information about Sabbats and Esbats, crystals, herbs, and more. For someone new to a Pagan path, this is a great jumping-off point.

Despite criticisms that Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Pracitioner may be fluffy in nature and that blanket statements are occasionally made by the author, the fact is that this book has a place in history. It was one of the first books to hit the mainstream on the topic of modern Wicca, and to find its way into non-Pagan bookstores. It's easy to read, and a good start for any beginner's library.

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