Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Though I have a fair sized Wiccan library, there are two books I turn to time and time again. Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and Living Wicca A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Scott Cunningham is the author of these books, and quite a few more, that are essential for someone like me. I am a solitary practitioner of Wicca, and for the longest time knew no one else, either Wiccan or of any other pagan persuasion. These books taught me the basics of this religion and I like to think of Scott Cunningham as my "mentor".
First published in 1988 by Llewellyn Publications, Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner has sold more than 400,000 copies and has had 36 printings. It is a practical, common sense guide which explores Wicca from the "ground up". If you have no prior knowledge of Wicca, this book will explain everything you would need to know to have a solid understanding of this religion and its spiritual and magickal practices. Scott explains history, deities, magick, tools, music, ritual, the Sabbats, symbols, spells, the use of herbs, crystals, runes, and gives an excellent guide to developing your own Book of Shadows.
Written in a style that is calm, informative, without being dry, Scott teaches his Wiccan way in a manner that exemplifies the loving, gentle nature of Wicca. If he feels he might be confusing the reader, he will stop and explain in a different way. He was a wonderful writer and teacher, and I can not emphasize enough how important, essential, and valuable this book is.
In his introduction to Living Wicca A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham explains that in reading this book, he assumes that the reader has already become familiar with and has gained some experience with the practice of Wicca. He wanted to give the Solitary Practitioner as much information as possible, because at the time when Scott was writing this book in 1992, there was very little to be found for Wiccan solitaries. Today, there are many authors writing for solitaries, which is both good and bad, because sometimes there can be so much contradictory information. Thus, when I become confused, I simply return to Scott's two books, and usually find the answers I am looking for.
This second guide explores further the everyday practice of Wicca, how it becomes an integral part of our daily lives. He discusses tools of learning, magickal names, self-initiation, effective prayer, wiccan rites, more magickal practices, rules and beliefs, ritual design and so much more. The essays are heartfelt words of wisdom and can be used not just for educational purposes, but for spiritual uplift in times when there is a need for added inspiration or encouragement.
Scott Cunningham writes in the introduction to Living Wicca that he wrote this book for those "...who have become enchanted by the moon shining through trees; who have begun to investigate the sublime world that lies out beyond the fabric of daily life, and who stand in smoke-shrouded circles, raising aloft their hands to greet the God and Goddess as the candles flicker on the altar."
I hope that if you have not read either of these books, and have an interest or desire to learn about Wicca, or would like to find other ways to live Wicca more fully, please read these books by Scott Cunningham. His words will delight your spirit, and inspire your practice.
You can find these books online at Amazon.com, Llewellyn.com or at most booksellers.