Review by Mike Gleason
Advancing the Witches’ Craft by Marcus F. Griffin © 2011
Regular readers of my slightly irregular reviews know that I have a couple of pet peeves, neither one of which I can do anything about, and neither of which is going away any time soon. The first is the deplorable state of editing (or non-editing) which occurs before books find their way into print (or onto the ebook reader). The second is the over-abundance of “Wicca 101” on the market. Sometimes it seems that the majority of books being published fall into this category.
This book is most definitely NOT a “101” book. The author makes it abundantly clear that he is not going to spend time laying basic foundations for the exercises he details. If you don’t already know how to meditate, or move energy, or visualize things, you will want to give this particular volume a pass. It is about time, however, that a book like this comes onto the market.
Mr. Griffin is also not afraid to call it as he sees it. Just because something is the “accepted) way to do or view, doesn’t mean that he has to accept it. You should (almost) never cast a circle widdershins, right? Why? Energy is either positive (good) of negative (bad), right? Who says so?
As you read this book you will be expected to take a long hard look at your beliefs and practices. You won’t be expected to change just because he says so; but you will be expected to evaluate what you believe and why you believe it. This is a book which is designed to be read over time (obviously, a luxury I can’t indulge in if I want to review it while it is fresh on the market), so I can’t evaluate its long term effectiveness and value. What I can say is that my first impression held up throughout the length of the book. It is a top-notch, well-written book which is worth every penny of the cost.
There are statements contained in this book which will upset many of the old-timers (like myself) because they contradict much of the “accepted wisdom.” Many of the newbies who come into the Craft are taught, as I was, that there are certain “requirements” for working magick. As they progress through their development they slowly become disillusioned as they realize that the “requirements” are actually more like suggestions. They end up feeling that they have been lied to when, in fact, the motivations range from “We can’t give this kind of information to a newbie until they have enough experience to deal with it” to “That’s the way I learned it. It was good enough for me and its good enough for them.”
This book truly is one which I feel belongs in every Temple/Grove/Coven library. It is definitely one which should be read by each and every individual who has hopes of advancing and eventually teaching students themselves.