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A Disappointing Sequel
am 19. Januar 2000
This book addresses no well-defined audience. The writing style assumes Wiccan background knowledge that solitary Wiccan novices will not have (knowledge that this book and its predecessor do not provide). Yet this book's discussions are not very useful for experienced Wiccans. This book is disappointing compared to Mr. Cunningham's excellent first book "Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner".
In this book Mr. Cunningham is careful (pp. xi, 87, 124, and 138) to state that he is assisting solitary Wiccans who lack access to Coven teaching resources. He also states that solitary Wiccans must carefully incorporate basic Wiccan principles into their worship. The reader wonders if Mr. Cunningham's first book was criticized for its free and open writing style.
Chapter 2, "Secrecy", strongly discusses a controversial Wiccan topic. Here Mr. Cunningham acknowledges past persecution of Wiccans, and discusses his own past dealings with non-Wiccans. He also discusses the role of secrecy in magical activities.
Chapters 3 through 7 deal with everyday Wiccan practices. Chapters 8 through 11 deal with Wiccan prayer and provide example prayers. These chapters' discussions are weak.
Chapter 12, "Magic and the Solitary Wiccan", deals with raising energy within the Circle and with directing it outside the Circle. This chapter's discussion relates primarily to Wiccan Coven members. Mr. Cunningham acknowledges (pg. 78) that the solitary Wiccans has few energy-raising options.
The remainder of this book addresses creating and documenting your own Wiccan tradition. Mr. Cunningham discusses the Wiccan Goddess and the God. His Wiccan God discussion assumes an alienation of affection not reflected in his first book or in other Wiccan literature. Mr. Cunningham also discusses ritual accessories, ritual design, and traditional Wiccan beliefs and rules (with example Sets). He discusses creating your own Book of Shadows. Mr. Cunningham ends with an excellent discussion concerning if and how One should teach Wiccan beliefs to others.
This book includes a comprehensive listing of Wiccan symbols (pg. 154). The book also includes a number of good and concise Suggested Reading lists (pp. 103, 125, 148, 180, and 185) and an excellent Annotated Bibliography.
Mr. Cunningham's first book allowed a Wiccan true novice to create a free and open Wiccan tradition. This book is organized similarly, but its discussions are incomplete and would confuse a Wiccan novice. In addition, this book so stresses Coven membership that Wiccan novices might question the validity of solitary worship, defeating the book's stated purpose.