The Well-Read Witch - Carl McColman
With so many books available on Wicca, how does someone figure out the best books to read? In asking that question, I got the idea to write The Well-Read Witch. I knew I would have liked a guidebook to help me find some of the better books that are available—especially ones that may not be bestsellers. Perhaps anyone who wanted to become well-read, or thoroughly knowledgeable, on the subject of Witchcraft would hopefully find such a guidebook useful. Becoming a well-read Witch requires reading much more than just books on Witchcraft, no matter how informative or useful such books might be. The Wiccan books that I enjoyed reading and collecting were only the tip of the iceberg. To thoroughly explore the Craft, one must learn about herbalism, study magick, develop psychic skills, and practice the art of meditation—and much, much more. With this realization, the concept of The Well-Read Witch fell into place. There are two ways to gain knowledge of the old ways, through the written word and through one or more teachers of the Craft. Anyone who is interested in Wicca will probably enjoy reading all they can on the subject and will also likely enjoy classes, especially if taught by a knowledgeable and responsible teacher. But amassing knowledge is only half of the process of embracing the Goddess. The other half comes through experience. This includes experience with ritual, meditation, vision quest, initiation, and psychic development. Of course, every person’s path is unique, and what I require to become mature in my spiritual path may not be the same as what you require. Nevertheless, it takes more than just reading a book to master the Craft of the Wise.
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The majority of people who are new to spell working will acknowledge that for them common sense backed up by practical action is normally more productive than theoretical or mystical thinking. In magical working, as in everyday life, when we have to handle a wide range of circumstances, common sense in dealing with them will normally produce the best results. However, when we are confronted with the unusual or difficult, or are faced by extreme anxiety, even the most practical minded among us will theorize in order to make sense of what is happening. We have not moved such a long way since those times, in the distant past, when our ancestors and people around the world routinely believed that if the crops failed then the gods must be angry. Practices carried out then are still with us in the form of many of the festivals and feasts, which still have relevance in the societies where they began. Some of you may choose not to use the spells in this section, but they do offer a return to basics and give fascinating insights into how our ancestors dealt with everyday challenges.
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