Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scott Cunningham, book and video

The foundation of my Wiccan path was laid by reading many books. The most profound of these books, for me, are written by Scott Cunningham. I believe I have most of the books he wrote, some of which I have read so many times that they are dog-eared and worn. The words are as fresh today as when I began reading them years ago. Scott Cunningham wrote in a simple but passionate style, bringing alive the world of herbal magick, as well as other aspects of Wicca.

My son Nicarus gifted me with Cunningham's Book of Shadows recently. This is a recently published book. The book was not completed before the author's death in 1993. The publisher has done a wonderful job of bringing this book to us. As I read through the first few pages, I found myself becoming rather emotional, eyes welling up. Hard to explain. Cunningham's words move me.

Yesterday my son and I sat down together to watch a video. Another purchase by my son. It was produced in 1986 and as far as I know the only video Scott Cunningham made. A rather low-budget, low-tech production filmed in San Diego. The quality is not the best and Scott seems at times uncomfortable, a little out of his element. But he soldiers on. What I found exceptional about this video was watching Scott talk about magickal herbalism, seeing him harvest herbs, crush herbs and make blends for  incense, charms and oils. It was truly a pleasure, informative and amazing. We chuckled a few times as Scott stumbled over a few words here and there, made attempts at humor and looked at the camera through very large glasses. I think the intention of this video was to try to show how simple but sacred gathering herbs, learning about their properties and using herbs in magick can be. Scott's knowledge was well-rounded and researched meticulously. He wanted to show that magick is not a complicated undertaking. With intention and energy, using common tools, magick happens naturally.

The bottom line: practice magick. If you can, grow your own herbs, work with them, feel their energies; Scott shows you how do that in this video. The more you do it, the more confident you will become, the more you will learn and the stronger your passion for this Path will become.

Watching this video was a little surreal. Seeing Scott Cunningham talking about magick was so wonderfully amazing. Having only read his words, to see him speaking about all these magickal things was an interesting, moving experience for me.  A little funny due to its age and low-key production, but still a joy and privilege to view. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in herbal magick, and definitely for those who have read and love Scott Cunningham.

Bright Blessings. Robin.

Cunningham's Book of Shadows; The Path of an American Traditionalist by Scott Cunningham. copyright 2009 by Scott Cunningham. published by Llewellyn Publications, 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-2989 (

Scott Cunningham's Herb Magic (video), copyright 1989, 2010, Llewellyn Worldwide.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, he always cut right through all the mumbo-jumbo BS and presented things in a straightforward way that everyone can relate to.

Sandy Sandy said...

Interesting stuff, Robin. Maybe you could share some herbal magick info. with us here sometime. I use sage and sweetgrass for cleansing / healing and ceremonies quite regularly.

Linda Wildenstein said...

I love your energy in this post. Your enthusiasm and commitment are both evident. You are a gem, BB. Oma Linda

mrsduncanmahogany said...

I think I have mentioned before that Scott Cunningham is the one I turn to when I need to find my answers. His were the first books I picked up 100 years ago when I first started down this path, and his will no doubt be the last. I must get that BOS!!! Thanks for the great post!


Wendy S. said...

S. Cunningham was so incredibly accessible for all of who follow the path and his grimoire is also one of my fave. books. Great for beinngers and more seasoned witch's alike. The video sounds interesting even if it was a bit old. I'd love to see it. Don't you wish we could sit down and have a conversation with him? I guess we can "talk" to him through his books.

The Year of the Cats 

Anonymous said...

I have one of his books that he wrote and I must say that I really do like it!

mxtodis123 said...

Scott is truly one of the greats. I am anxious to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Robin, thank you so much for this post. I adore anything by Scott Cunningham, may he rest in peace, and I have just ordered these two items that you have shown here! YEA!!! More wonderful Wiccan "stuff" to look forward to in the mail :)


Aine said...

Scott's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs was one of the first Pagan books I purchased and I've repurchased over the years several times. It is wonderful. I agree that working with the herbs and practic in general is how we learn and grow in paganism. This was a wonderful post.

Magic Love Crow said...

Wonderful post Robin, thank you ;o) I just got an Amazon gift certificate! I'm glad I didn't use it yet ;o) Hugs ;o)