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am 24. Oktober 2004
"Der Hexenkult als Ur-Religion der grossen Göttin.." übt auf Hexeneinsteiger eine faszinierende Wirkung aus.
Es werden ausführlich alle wichtigen Details des Hexenlebens, vorwiegend im Hexenzirkel, aber auch als Solitaire, angesprochen.
Im großen und ganzen ist das Buch leicht zu verstehen, bis auf einige Schachtelsätze.Insgesamt ein gelungenes Werk, für Neulinge.
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am 26. Juli 2000
As with so many other reviewers, this is the book that started me out in the Craft. The rituals and exercises presented gave me a solid basis for developing my own practice, and five years later much of the basic meditation and ritual material I use comes from Starhawk.
Still, I must agree with many of the more negative reviews that characterize this book as opinionated, sexist and completely political. Starhawk had an agenda in writing it, and the agenda was not to simply present Wicca to the world. Her feminist philosophy is founded in a version of history that was weak in 1979, and is just plain wrong in 2000. She ties religion to politics which is something that I am firmly against, but I can say this- she's honest about it.
This book is an essential text of Wicca, any way you cut it. You will undoubtedly (and hopefully) disagree with some of it, but the author's views are clearly stated, and the exercises and ritual material is not "tainted" by political sentiment. Read the book as the record of an era, and pick and choose what parts to incorporate into your own practice.
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am 29. Juni 2000
With the exception of chapter two, this book is actually pretty good. The only problem I had with chapter two (The World View of Witchcraft) and some other parts of the book was the psychological references. Start talking about my different "Selfs" and I start to blank out. I got over the feminist perspective fairly quickly and found the book to be rather entertaining.
Spiral Dance is a very positive, peaceful, calming look at Witchcraft. I don't think it would have killed Starhawk to include some more information on the God in chapter 6, but something is better than nothing.
I could see this book being very empowering for a woman, but for the male it could do either of two things. The book could make men get upset about the excessive feminism, or feel closer and more in touch with the Goddess aspect of Divinity. I'm glad to say I fit into the latter category.
I really like the 20th anniversary edition for the fact that I can read her comments from ten and twenty years after she wrote the book. It's interesting to see the different ideas between 70's Starhawk, 80's Starhawk, and 90's Starhawk.
The book has a lot of good exercises for the beginner and those who really like to do exercises.
Not a good starting point for the absolute beginner, but defiantly something for someone fairly comfortable with the basics of the Craft. A great book.
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am 24. Dezember 1999
I was stunned when I read some of these reviews that were critical of Starhawk's celebration of the female (feminism, the earth (ecology), and political action. The backlash against women's liberation is upon us surely....and as someone who runs a battered women's shelter, I know what the backlash looks like..
No, you cannot separate Starhawk's feminism or devotion to preservation of the earth, the rivers, the ocean, and other species from her witchcraft. Nor should you. This is part of her dynamic, fascinating, compelling message that has drawn countless people into becoming a witch.
The first book I read was Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon. The second was Z Budapest's the Holy Book of Women's Mysteries (which IS female centered and exclusively female). The third was the Spiral Dance.
The Spiral Dance is very specific about spells, rituals, and how to practice. It's a basic book about witchcraft. I keep returning to it, when I need to dedicate an athame, or practice grounding. Every witch should read it.
Thank the Goddess for Starhawk. Otherwise, I would have been stuck with having to have male/female polarity in my rituals. I would have been told (as I have been by others) that if I don't circle with men I can't be a witch. Etc. etc. etc. Ironic, isn't it, that Starhawk is in a mixed gender coven, now practices with her husband, etc. etc. But to the anti-feminists, all focus on the female must be anti-male. It does get tiring.
I also highly recommend Truth or Dare to all witches.
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am 21. August 1999
First, this book comes from a tradition of feminist witchcraft heavily focused on creating positive change not only in the individual, but in the greater society as well. If that offends you, go read some white-light Wicca 101 fluff. This book is beautifully written and is a very useful resource for both the beginning and experienced Wiccan. It definitely makes you think, and inspires you. My only complaint is that it leans too heavily towards group, or coven, work and not enough to individual, solitary work. I consider this a Craft must-read for its focus on creative, rather than static, ritual, magic, and exercises and its focus on a personal relationship with the Goddess and God. Too few beginners' books do that. Even if you are not a feminist pagan (and this book is *not* overly feminist, no matter what the other reviewers may say) or do not share her political views, you can get a great deal out of this book anyway, because those aspects of her practice are not the main influences on the book. She shouldn't be ostracized for having opinions, especially since she does not try to present her opinions as the one-and-only truth. Her personal beliefs instead add a very human touch to the book.
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am 16. Mai 2000
I encountered this book when I was fourteen years old, back in the days when this was possibly the most individual-oriented, approachable book about modern Paganism you could find. Since then, I've worn out the covers and dog-eared every page.
Starhawk's approach to magick is the most rational, socially responsible one I've seen. Reading Spiral Dance, I never forgot that what's being described isn't just a self-help system, a political movement, or a system of ritual magick, but a religion.
But about ten years ago, I stopped recommending this book. The historical sources Starhawk used in 1979 were accepted then, but they've since been thoroughly discredited, and I didn't feel comfortable with the idea that all the beautiful poetic discussion of Faith rested on a flimsy (even false) interpretation of Fact.
Now that the twentieth anniversary edition (with explanatory notes and updates to the history) is out, I can recommend this book with a clear conscience and a glad heart.
am 24. August 1999
About 3 months ago, I met someone who recommended this book to me. Truthfully, I've been studying Wicca for about two years, and have always craved more knowledge than each book I read can offer. Starhawk's "The Spiral Dancer" can be confusing at times and even lose your interest. Some blame this on her writing style as it takes a dip towards psychological expressions, but Starhawk's message is still relevant no matter the depth of her words. "The Spiral Dancer" discusses the God deity, but focuses mainly on the Goddess deity (and Starhawk warns you of this, early on in the book), so if you are seeking knowledge as a male, you could feel slightly uncomfortable reading this feministic work. I must admit that I did feel uncomfortable at times, but after reading this book I feel much more connected to the Goddess than ever before, as well as a sense of understanding feminists' and the futures they strive for. Anyone seeking further knowledge in Pagan ritual and/or Wicca should definitely attempt to read this book. Starhawk offers exercises for you to practice growing closer to the Goddess and God. If you have problems reading books deep of thought and detail, you may require pushing yourself to read this book. The first time I attempted to read "The Spiral Dancer" I quickly lost interest mid-ways through. My second attempt though, gained my undivided attention and opened up my mind to the Goddess and Pagan/Wiccan beliefs. Maybe there are better books to read for beginners of Wicca/Pagan paths, but at some point in your studies you may find (as I did) Starhawk's "The Spiral Dancer" interesting and helpful. I give this book four stars for Starhawk's efforts, but I would suggest she either update and republish this book, or start anew.
am 10. August 1999
This is a very interesting book, yet in some parts (and I have never said this about a book about WitchCraft) it gets a bit boring. I didn't read word by every word like I usually do. I like her update and it's nice to know how she changed and how she has developed spiritually, but she has so many new things to point out maybe she should have re-written the whole book, but she does put her updates in an interesting to read manner of being. Her book really doesn't talk a lot about modern Wicca, but more about Feminist religion and WitchCraft. Yeah, before you read this you should know that Starhawk is a political ecofeminist, and she seems to write this book specifically to women, but she doesn't constantly put down men and she doesn't constantly put women above men. Remember once again, she is a FEMINIST. In fact, she knows men so well, that it's incredible. She has some interesting exercises in this book, some which are actually appliable! She knows WitchCraft very well, but I think I should point out that there is something experimental about this text and she has a different way of doing things. In fact, and I know this may sound strange, in the book Starhawk reminds me of how I would be if I was writing a book on Wicca. I am still a beginner, and in this book, although she stands firm on her beliefs, it seems to be noticeable that she might still have a lot of learning to do in some areas or may still be new in some areas. Also, as I said the way she performs rituals is a bit different than the way a lot of authors put in their books. It seems like there is a lot she if forgetting in her ritual process, but there's not, she just does it in a different way. I'm actually glad she included some spells and correspondence information. Some spiritually based book like this one on WitchCraft seem to leave out any spells or correspondences all together. But she does have some spells, and once again, they are bit different than the kinds of spells you have probably read about or seen before. She has some nice spells though including some topics other authors either forget about or avoid all together. She has a spell for loneliness, one for self acceptance when one has done wrong, binding an enemy, even becoming friends with your womb. As you can see, she explores some interesting topics in her spells. They are good spells too, just have fun finding a SHARK'S TOOTH *laughs* or other similar grindable object. I once told a woman I know about that spell and she honestly knew a man who had access to a lot of shark teeth. *laughs* Incredible. On to something else....I see her points about the power of group environment, but I don't think joining a coven is as important as she thinks it is. She seems to claim that one cannot raise the power they do in a coven as a solitary. She focuses heavily in this book on covenwork when she needs to realize the possibility of the majority of readers being begginning solitaries. She gives many examples of rituals, yet they are all for covenwork, which a solitary is not in. I think she probably realized when she was writing this book that many solitaries would be reading this, I think she just chose to focus on what she liked and was interested in, covens. Her information on the god and goddess are pretty good, I think she could have done a little better on explaining the concept of the Triple Goddess of the Cycle of Rebirth, but she has a whole chapters on both aspects of divinity, so I don't think she does really a bad job. Her information on Trancework isn't bad either, but she doesn't really do a good job explaining about Astral work or techniques of Astral Projection. If you like Trancework itself, then this book will defineatley get you going! I like her chapter on Creating Religion, a philisophical topic that either authors avoid or see no reason to write about. And they a point, most authors aren't striving to create a specific tradition and ways of being. In this chapter she speaks about Feminist Religion, it's aspects, and what it has already and what needs to be done to make it stronger and interesting to more women. As you can tell, Starhawk belongs to the Dianic tradition, which focuses specifically on the Goddess. The end of her book is mainly correspondences as well as a nice glossary and a very interesting bibliography. If you want to make this your first book on WitchCraft that is fine and I don't exclude this on men, but I think there is better material out there for absolute begginers! Happy Reading! Bye.
am 19. März 1999
This book is a must have. It not only contains higly effective magical insight but it looks into some of the over all views of male and female energy and the way the world views them. Adding this book to your library could most definatly change the way you look at societys roles of gender as well as how you work in a coven. This book was one of my first beginning books and I wouldn't have traded it for any of the other books I've read to date. The " Spiral Dance " helps explain some of the enigmas behind and in magick. Starhawk sets down a very realistic and tangable over-view of what magick is and how to attain it. There is much depth on the Gods and Goddesses relation to male and female energy and what each is a representation of as well as how it relates to each individual ( man or woman ) Reading this book will help you to understand how the masculine and feminine energys work in the world and lay some serious questions about how society catigorizes and stereo types us all. It most deffinatly will help change the way you view the patrearchial system. It also lays a good foundation for the spiral dance. What it is, how it's celebrated and how it relates to the world we live in on a daily basis. The spell craft, oil, insence, tinicturs, brews, candle magick and meditation formulas are a most deffinate must for any witches library. This book will lay a firm foundation for anyone who is new to the craft as well as help advance an intermeadit or just plain lend some new insight or ideas out to thoose who have practiced craft for years. Without this book I would not have come so far is so short of time. I concide myself to be an intermeadit witch but don't think I would have gotten there without Starhawks exqusit book. It layed a positive foundation for my craft work to grow, and my hat's off to the author for providing what I have found to be one of my most helpfull and freaquently used reference books. I truly love this book and I'm sure any true seeker of the craft will find it helpfull. May this book help many others on the quest for knowledge, as much as it has me. Merry meet, Merry part until we meet again. BLESSED BE!!!!!!!!!! Tobie Heideman
am 17. Mai 1999
This book was my intro to the world of paganism and Earth-centered religious life. It's a good, if biased, sourcebook for witchcraft under the name of Wicca, and like all books about living the Wiccan's life it is extremely gynocentric and strident in all of its basic assertions about women and religion. Don't buy into this though, you do not need to worship a goddess in order to be a witch, you do not need to lead a leftist political life to be a witch, you do not need to believe in pre-Judeo-Christian matriarchal societies in Eurasia to be a witch. This book makes many assumptions about women and what they need in their spiritual lives, and after living a witch's life for the past 15 years, I no longer use this book because it comes across as extremely narcissistic (another reviewer says it's no coincidence that many of these women are of the baby-boomer generation, this hits the nail on the head), and places self-importance on the same pedestal as personal/political power. It's easy to forget that we belong to the earth when reading this book. If you are a feminist in need of a politically-motivated and self-esteem-boosting life-path, by all means get this book. If you are a level-headed woman who simply wants to acknowledge where she came from, you're better off reading Yasmine Galenorn and substituting appropriate nouns for every utterance of the word "goddess".