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The Truth About Witchcraft Today

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,269 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The Truth About Witchcraft shines a clear, revealing light on the traditions and practices of the folk magic and modern religion called Witchcraft, also known as Wicca. This book dispels common misconceptions about Witchcraft, illuminating its origins, beliefs, sacred calendar, rituals, tools and spiritual and magical practices.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 8th 2002 by Llewellyn Publications (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,269 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Christopher D
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I gave this book to my family and friends when I came out of the broom closet. It's a great reference for people who are really trying to understanding that I am not dancing naked at Black Masses or worshiping Satan. ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The Truth About Witchcraft Today is a good introduction to Wicca and Folk Magic, giving the basic information on the ideologies, practices, and how to get involved in the religion if one is so inclined. The only drawback is that it has a very defensive tone, as if expecting that the readers had been wallowing in misinformation and believing those who practice witchcraft to be Satanists prior to picking up the book. This is likely due to the fact that it was published in the eighties, when the ge ...more
Bad Tim
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pagan
five stars for nostalgia. i found this book after reading 'the mists of avalon' and it intrigued me enough to study further. cunningham has an eloquent writing style that makes his the best reads of any pagan books i've read so far.

now look at me, i'm a big ol' eclectic pagan.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love all of Scott Cunningham's books and therefore cannot give less than 4 stars. The book is a great overview on Wicca but as some others have mentioned it is rather defensive and even hostile towards Christians. I can understand where he is coming from but I am not sure how much this would help form a better picture about Wicca. At one point he states that Wiccans know that there is not the one way to deity and therefore accept all different faiths. Now it is true that Wicca was not as accep ...more
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been curious about Wicca since middle school, but after reading this book I'm even more sure that the religion isn't for me, even as someone who considers himself a polytheistic animist. As with Buddhism, there are too many rules for me, and too few deities. According to Mr Cunningham, the only deities in Wicca are a god and a goddess, and any belief system I'd want to partake in would have to have far more gods, goddesses, and other deities than that. It's possible that the layout of the b ...more
Apr 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is an informative book that would would be good to use as an introduction for family & friends, however, I personally find Cunningham to be very defensive and sometimes hostile in his attempt to clear up the misconception that witchcraft=satanism. Overall, tho, I thought it was interesting & worth the reading time.
Aug 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: magicgeneral
This is a good book to give someone if they are freaked out about the fact you are a witch. Other than that, though, it is really too basic for any other use.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
The 1-5 Star Review is the total of what I have to say about this book, specifically.

Caveat: This review is historical/archival in nature. 'Date read' is speculative.

This book is one of many books I have read about the occult/paganism/witchcraft. This was the readily available faith in my household as a child. Additionally, I worked for a company in this field, 2015-2016, and had to read an ocean of this stuff to do my job.

Like televangelists, and snake-oil salesman, these publishers prey on the
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm sure it's always difficult to understand another person's religion, but I'm not sure this book does the best job possible. I feel like I have a greater understanding of what Witchcraft isn't rather than what it is.
I guess I'll keep looking. If anyone has a recommendation . . . .
Sarah Goode
Aug 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was recommended books by Scott Cunningham but I have to admit that I didn’t like this book. I felt it was quite prejudiced, and had inaccuracies.

Thank goodness it was short!

I’m putting this back on bookmooch whcih is where I think I got it from.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This small books is packed with useful information for anyone interested in learning about Wicca and Folk Magic(of which I have been practicing long before I realized I was). My whole like I tried and tried to be a good Christian, but in my heart I knew I didn’t agree with it. Still I tried to rationalize it, modernize the text to fit my life, all to no avail. I never felt like a good Christian woman, my beliefs never fully aligned with the Bible, or other Christians. Knowing that the holidays w ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent introduction to Wicca and Witchcraft

This is a very thorough explanation of what Wicca and Witchcraft are and are not. This book is short sweet and to the point. Very easily read in an hour or two. Simple to understand language without a bunch of unexplained jargon and it is also totally comprehensive.
If you are curious about the Craft or the religion of Wicca this is the book for you. I have been a Wiccan for nearly 3 decades and after all this time whenever someone expresses interest
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I love Cunningham, but this was just not my cup of tea. Overall, this is for someone who wants to learn about Wicca and magic but not necessarily wanting a how-to manual. This book is definitely for people who have very little knowledge of Wicca and witchcraft and are accustomed to the "Witchcraft/Wicca=Satanism" ideal. I felt that he overemphasized the difference between Wicca, folk magic, and Satanism. Over and over and over again. ...more
Jesse James
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simple, straight to the point information. Although there are a few controversial statements in this book -- not everything is true -- it is good learning material for beginners. Scott Cunningham has condensed helpful knowledge, including other books to help you on your journey. Just take what you read with a pinch of salt.
Jul 20, 2020 marked it as to-read
Wow. Just the sight of this cover fills me with SO much nostalgia! I really want to reread it. Also, this is such a LOOK! Like she’s on her way to a board room to curse some oil company CEOs. What a queen 👑
John E.  Meredith
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have a reprint edition from '98. Very short and to the point. I've fallen more into the agnostic camp as time has passed, but this is an excellent intro. ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this book last year, Loved it!
Farhana Baki
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A decent beginner book for learning about Paganism.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing book that calmly explains that the Craft is and who it's people are. It doesn't talk down to anyone or places blame. Yet it still delivers the centuries long truth and offers some insight into the future. A must read! ...more
Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it
About four years ago, a Wiccan with whom I was involved in a long distance relationship gave me The Truth About Witchcraft Today to read, in the hope that it enlighten me somewhat as to the nature of Wicca. It isn't that I didn't want to read it, only that titles by Elmore Leonard, Bukowski, Michael Chabon and pretty much every other book that was in my apartment looked more interesting. I probably shouldn't date spiritual people. Since I saw fit to bring it with me when I moved, and its competi ...more
Julie Decker
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is for people curious about Wicca or witchcraft, but are not looking for a manual on how to practice. Before this book, people who wanted to know what modern witchcraft was had to either read texts rife with instructions for believers/practitioners OR believe uninformed outsiders' overwrought descriptions of Satanic influence. But this book is designed to introduce people to what witchcraft is without any kind of invitation to practice or--of course--any language that sounds like prose ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.
1st Read: May 1, 1996 - May 3, 1996 (**** Rating)

This is a great introductory book on how to begin your quest into Wicca. It removes all the myths of the negative things said about witchcraft and brings a light to those that thought they knew it all. That is from the movies in Hollywood, to the religious rite of many churches and from other people and enterprises/organizations have had you believe. What does it matter to anyone but yourself what religion you practice and God/Goddess you worshi
Nov 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book highly for people who have begun to practice the Craft and want a way to tell their loved ones about it. First off, it's inexpensive, so it's an easy book to buy a few of and then just lend out or even GIVE out in order to help explain to people who don't understand. Most of the book just lays out what Witchcraft is and isn't, addresses lots of misconceptions, and explains the typical core beliefs while drawing attention to the fact that not all people who practice necessar ...more
Aug 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: newbie witches, anyone with a passing curiosity
This is a good, basic book on witchcraft, specifically Wicca. It's a small book and a very quick read. I recommend it for any witch's library or for those who are curious about or new to the path. Since the information is basic, it's old (pointy?) hat for most witches, but's it's great if your sentimental or you like Cunningham. I keep it in my library even though I'm not Wiccan, but because I like the introductory information, the explanations for those who believe witchcraft = satanism and fo ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Simple and straightforward text useful for handing to loved ones or friends who may be worried that you're practicing Wicca.
Practitioners will have no use for the text other than as an informational/educational tool.
Written during the eighties and spends plenty of pages drawing lines between Wicca and Satanism, which was what eighties Christians thought Wiccans were actually doing. Watch some talk show clips in which Wiccans are allowing themselves to be interviewed and you'll see what the fuss
Nov 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The first book by Scott that I ever read. I was browsing the bookstore and saw the name and said, "Gee, I know that name!" Then I realized it was a neighbor of mine from San Diego back in the late 70's! Another great "beginners guide" to alternative spiritual paths, it influenced me quite a bit in the late 80's. ...more
Arlene Allen
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
I often wonder what Cunningham would think about the movement - which to me seems to be dwindling under the onslaught of radical Christian fundamentalism and megachurches. And I can't believe I have been in the community this long. I'm almost a crone.

Wait - did I just say that? can't be.
Heather Fryling
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Countless books, movies, and TV shows talk about witchcraft, but they're usually written by outsiders with little to no knowledge of what real witches do. If you're curious to compare pop culture with reality, I recommend this book. The Truth about Witchcraft Today is short and factual, and it's fun to see where Hollywood has gotten it wrong. ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I friend of mine suggested this book because I was curious as to what it meant to be truly Wiccan. I had just finished reading a series of books where the main character was Wiccan and was curious. It's a great overview and piqued my curiousity enought to delve into it some more. ...more
Lea Patrick
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever been curious about this religion at all: read this! If you are a member of this religion and sick of explaining yourself: give them this! It is for Wicca what A Wrinkle in Time is to quantum physics or what Illisions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah is to life. ...more
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Scott Douglas Cunningham was the author of dozens of popular books on Wicca and various other alternative religious subjects. Today the name Cunningham is synonymous with natural magic and the magical community. He is recognized today as one of the most influential and revolutionary authors in the field of natural magic.

Scott Cunningham was born at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michi

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