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West Country Wicca: A Journal of the Old Religion
Pre-Gardnerian account of the Old Religion is "a real gem....The best book on witchcraft I have ever seen" (Marion Weinstein).
Paperback, 103 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Phoenix Publishing (WA)
(first published February 1990)
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I have just read some of the other reviews on this book and most of them pass it off as fiction. That's not the impression I got from this book at all...more I have just read some of the other reviews on this book and most of them pass it off as fiction. That's not the impression I got from this book at all. Whilst I am definitely not an expert on this subject, I am usually pretty good at sussing out bogus books. It's an account of a West Country Witch's practices in the Old Religion, and it's ...more
Jan 15, 2010 Holly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All proto-Wiccans
Recommended to Holly by: Curiosity
I adore the writing for this book. It is elegant to the point and powerful in what is presented. I recommend this book to all Wiccan's in training.
Rhiannon Ryall explains her experience of growing up in a family tradition of the Craft in Wales. There are some parallels between her upbringing and some of the traditions/beliefs taught in modern Wicca and other Pagan traditions, but for the most part it was its own sort of isolated, simply celebrated Earth religion. What's important to note is that a lot of the Crafting isn't tagged as religious practice or devotional exercise; it's blended in with everyday life, seamlessly. This book is a ge ...more
A fun to read and classical criticized book. Not a first book for anyone new to the path or even curious. Somehow the cozy cover just doesn't prepare for what's inside. It also doesn't contain practical information. It's mostly fiction passed off as history. And I think I saw that initiation ritual in some 70's Italian horror film.
I can't comment on whether this is a work of fiction or not, since I just don't know. It does have some interesting folklore, and a few simple recipes that are of interest. The style of writing is conversational, and subjects come up organically, rather than in any sort of structure. Some of the ideas about gender are not particularly palatable to a modern reader, but they are an account (whether historical or fictional) of about 70 years ago, so that is not unexpected. While this may be real or ...more
In this little book I found a glimpse of my childhood. I say those little things that my mother passed along to me that her Old World mother passed along to her when she was a child on a Canadian prairie homestead nearly a hundred years ago. I have seen reviews that debate if this book is a work of fiction or of fact, but in my view this does not matter. What matters is those glimpses that people like myself see that mirror their own experiences in contexts that may have been hidden or forgotten ...more
This is almost certainly not historically accurate. But it's beautifully written, and it's the book that officially got me started on the Pagan path, as opposed to being on the path without knowing it was a thing or what it was called. Regardless of whether or not it's factual, the stuff in it works, at least it worked for me, and I dearly love it to this day.
Some reviewers of this seem to doubt its authenticity. My response would be that if she actually is writing what her family and community truthfully did, then how can it be inauthentic? Yes, it may seem like intercourse plays too great a role in what she writes to be believable, but perhaps that could be Christian understandings of sex and biases against it that the readers have and not necessarily any fault of hers. She also states that she realizes that not everyone practices the same way that ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who have an interest in Old Religion
Recommended to Sarah by: Eclipse Bookstore
This book is short and it leaves you wanting to know more. It's about the Old Religion during the pre-Gardnerian days. Simple times, a few spiritual gatherings, and a strong sense of community is betrayed in these pages. I read it in 'one cup of soup', but re-read it many times there after.