Please avoid it! View all 3 comments.
I'll start by saying that I am not Wiccan. I've no real interest in Wicca anymore because it's become as lopsided as Christianity, but at the opposite end. But, "Uncle Buckey's Big Blue Book" is designed for someone who wants a serious, orderly, introductory study into the esoteric arts of the occult aka Wicca and a basic understanding of many of the celto-centric, reconstructionist pagan beliefs in practice today. It is THE textbook with which to start.
I have an earlier addition and I underst I'll start by saying that I am not Wiccan. I have an earlier addition and I understand some of the criticisms I've brought up in another review have been addressed in the newer reprints.
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Buckland took a very methodical approach to teaching the magickal arts. He presents a chapter, describes what you need to know and then has you write down answers to what you learned, your thoughts and impressions of what has just been taught, and the overall effectiveness of what you've done. In other words, he has you start your BOS properly.
While there is some of the "you must do this" and the "you have to do that" within the book, it's not quite as bad as the contradictions in other almost-direct plagerizations of this work such as those taught by a certain "corvus corax metalic grey canis lupis" that contradict the teachings here as well as contradict what you've learned in a chapter previous Buckland's book, while not perfect and certainly preachy at points, is still the best starting point, along with the books by Cunningham.
Once you have read and utilized this book, you will understand the difference between CALLING yourself a pagan or what I call "fluffy-bunny" and actually understanding what it means to BE one. Dec 14, Rosemary Bloom rated it it was ok Shelves: spirit.
I have never really been into Gardnerian Wicca or the similar traditions, as far as adopting it as my personal system, and this book really encompasses all of the reasons why. The ritual scourging, binding and blindfolding, the ceremonial feel to things, how the author gives you a way to do things and why and why others ways are wrong "but feel free to do whatever you like. He mentions that the best altar is a tree stump - but wouldn't that be benefiting from the killing of a tree? He continually mentions that being a solitary witch a witch who works alone "and often lives alone," in his words is sub-par and goes further to say that if you are not initiated into a tradition you are not actually a witch but a "cowan" or a similar word, I don't remember quite.
The circle must be this many feet wide - your wand must be this many inches; eh. Not my thing. Also, the author really sounds super arrogant and self-serving - almost all of his sources are his own books! Jan 31, Jill rated it it was ok Shelves: spirituality , challenge , kindle.
A lot of it I skimmed over as his suggestions are not pertinent to how I practice, which is alone and clothed, nor did I listen to his suggestions on how to ruin my stove by making my own athame. While I understand the magic and connection by making something yourself believe me, my passion is crafting and making things from scratch , metal working is not something I would suggest to a novice or anyone unfamiliar with crafting Feb.
While I understand the magic and connection by making something yourself believe me, my passion is crafting and making things from scratch , metal working is not something I would suggest to a novice or anyone unfamiliar with crafting or outside of a workshop area. I digress. History section is laughable and worth skipping. Another annoyance was in his herb section. He mentions that a common medicine was extracted from foxglove, which was an herb used by village wise-women in days of yore.
He also forgot to mention that foxglove can be highly poisonous and shouldn't really be used or ingested. He didn't put it in his poisonous herb section either. I'm pretty irritated with his chapter on "Magick" chapter I feel like if I don't do it his way, then it's so obviously wrong. I don't feel that his way is right for me. There is a little too much structure to his style and I'm a very "come as you are" person. There are sections that I find helpful, meditation being a big one as I have trouble with it. But when it comes down to it, this isn't the beginner witchcraft book for me.
I have to stop getting Wicca-influenced books, I think. May 12, Julia C. A dear friend and mentor who meant well gave me this book about 17 years ago when I was relatively new to the pagan path. I must agree to disagree as to its value. While it has a few good spells for the beginning witch, it unfortunately also includes a "history" of Wicca that has absolutely no grounding in historical records; creating new spiritual traditions is fine but one must be completely honest about their provenance.
If you want to learn good spells, there are many other, better books available. Jan 19, April-lyn rated it it was ok Shelves: occult. Would recommend this to newbie pagan folks, but only to those who can take everything with a grain of salt and with well-honed BS radar. Apr 04, Steve Cran rated it really liked it. I have read count less Wicca books, yet no one should pass through their basic Wicca education without having read Raymond Buckland's classic.
Originally written back in this book foresees the needs of many beginner Wiccans more adequately then what is being cranked out today. Some of his info is dated and there are more complete instructions else in other beginners books of this magnitude but I still learned a lot. Raymond Buckland was trained and initiated in Britain by Gerald Gardner I have read count less Wicca books, yet no one should pass through their basic Wicca education without having read Raymond Buckland's classic. Raymond Buckland was trained and initiated in Britain by Gerald Gardner himself and then he brought it over to the states.
He quotes the standard line that it was the God and Goddess who created the planet and it's inhabitants. All goddess names are just label for the goddess herself in her many different aspects. Same goes for the god. Behind the Goddess and God is the concept of the all that is, an unnameable and unidentifiable source of everything. Buckland aptly states that the paradigm of the God and Goddess are ways of seeing the reality and cosmos and that other ways of viewing reality are just as valid.
Some examples would be found in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the European religions. But he is also respectful enough of different beliefs to state that there were differences to this as well. The year is divided into two parts. The Spring and summer are belonging to the goddess and are dedicated to harvesting and crops. The Winter when the crops no longer grow and the animals hibernate belongs to the horned God. Funny I also thought the reverse.
But hey Wicca has no central authority and is thus open to much interpretation and reinterpretation. The book is thorough and I learned a lot. Of course there is the usual on circle casting, calling quarters and the well outlined rituals that are well scripted out and this includes not only the sabbats but also new and full moon rites. The book includes tons of information on divination, herbs, channeling, secret alphabets and magic. The book also gives different traditions of Wicca which allows the newbie to choose which to go to or at least peruse the options.
Great adanvatage You do not have to be a witch too practice magic. Such people are called magicians. The book has some drawbacks, however. Raymond Buckland has a habit of quoting, well of course, Raymond Buckland. Peppered quite profusely through out the book are quotes and sayings from his other works which he published. I would say he is a bit full of himself. He also pulls from some of his other paradigms which he call Seax Wicca and uses that as gospel.
Seax Wicca is something that Raymond himself has to admit he came up with himself. Some of the instructions on Talismans, especially the seals of Solomon could benefit from more thorough instructions. I have read other magic books that I would consult for this matter. Another drawbacks and this would depend on your point of view are the couple of pictures that show nudity, especially included in the initiation section. Definitely not suitable for children or teens. If you are a parent with children you might not want to leave this lying around. Other than that great book. Feb 11, Spider Goddess rated it it was amazing.
This book was my first foray into magick. I picked it up in the very early 90s. It will always hold a special place in my heart as it is a very good book for the beginner. Apr 02, Edward Taylor rated it really liked it Shelves: religion , occult , pagan. Buckland, like Gardner and Cunningham, is considered to be one of the father's of modern Wicca and the Rede that many people follow to the tee. I find that the old ways are the best ways and if this is the place you start, then it is a good one. Clear, concise, and some of the easiest lessons to follow his work on personal shielding is one I still use to this day but this is also where I run into an issue with Ray's works: it's a bit too simple.
A solid practitioner does not have to follow the Buckland, like Gardner and Cunningham, is considered to be one of the father's of modern Wicca and the Rede that many people follow to the tee. A solid practitioner does not have to follow the Wiccan path, they do not have to follow the laws of return of thrice, they should follow what they believe what is right for them as being a pagan is more than following a preordained path, but of the freedom to choose what works for them.
If you want to be eclectic, the by the gods do so. If you choose to hex someone, then do so but be aware that it can sometimes come back to bite you in the arse. After 20 years of following the path, I started to see that there were others out there and my own personal philosophies were much different than those written by the big three and folks like Silver Ravenwolf, etc. There is no right or wrong way, just the one that works for you. Feb 07, Carrie The Butterfly Reader rated it liked it. More epic reviews here: The Book Goddess I've read quite a books on Wicca and witchcraft for research, everyone recommended this book to me.
Even Goodreads said this was a book I needed to read. I think it's very informable and he does go into so much detail. It's all laid out there for anyone to pick up and follow. I enjoyed this book and learned so much. I do have a few gripes though. I know some people don't have a problem with Skyclad worship and such but I think it's totally unneeded. What y More epic reviews here: The Book Goddess I've read quite a books on Wicca and witchcraft for research, everyone recommended this book to me.
What you can do naked you can do just as well in clothes. He also mainly only touches on Coven worship. Most often today witches are solitary and so this book isn't quite as helpful for them. Lots of people hate on Silver Ravenwolf but she is better for the solitary witch if you ask me. If you like this path of witchcraft then Buckland's is the way to go. He really does seem to have all the details worked out and for that I give this book 4 stars. Jun 09, Melissa Maillet rated it really liked it.
A very informative look at modern witchcraft with a little bit of history included. I feel much more educated on the subject now that I have read it. A great reference book for beginners. It would be impossible for me to properly review this book and leave out my feelings about Raymond Buckland.
I found the author to be conceited, drawing on his own published texts for quotes and recommending his other works numerous times. There is no need to quote oneself. A quote should be used to either provi A very informative look at modern witchcraft with a little bit of history included. Quoting oneself contributes nothing. With my feelings about the author cast aside, I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about the Craft.
It touches on a lot of misconceptions and provides practical advice for Wicca in today's world. His writing is clean, consice and very easy to follow. I still refer back to it when doing some of those basics that one is not often called on to do. Re-consecrate my Athame? I haven't had to do that for years, lets see what Uncle Bucky says Completely recomended Apr 22, Jolie Bonnette rated it really liked it Recommends it for: people who suspect they may want to become Pagan.
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Recommended to Jolie by: a friend who was a high priestess. Shelves: read-occult-non-fiction. This is a book I usually recommend for folks who suspect they might be a Pagan of some sort but haven't identified a particular branch of the tree they might be comfortable on. It gives some decent base information on a number of subjects related to Paganism and witchcraft and also gives a nice directory of the different "flavors" of Paganism and witchcraft. It serves as a nice jumping off point for people who are just beginning their Pagan journey.
Nov 05, Amanda rated it did not like it Shelves: , wicca , witchcraft , occult. I finally read this book more thoroughly than when I first flashed through its pages over a decade ago. Touching on many subjects and thoroughly explaining none, this book is a disappointment. It may have been great for its time, but now there is much better available freely on the internet. It should no longer be recommended. Some points I'd like to comment on: 1 Witchcraft as a Religion Many people will want to distinguish between Wicca and Witchcraft. Many people want to clarify that Witchcraft I finally read this book more thoroughly than when I first flashed through its pages over a decade ago.
Many people want to clarify that Witchcraft is something you do and not a religion. I would argue that in Mystery Traditions, esoteric traditions and occultism, there is no separation between the sacred and the profane, the belief and the work. Witchcraft isn't part time, or something you leave in the temple, it's always.
So it isn't a religion, if religion is something you define is only for Sundays. I agree with Buckland here but cannot stand his explanation, or lack thereof. I didn't like the rituals published in this book. The liturgy is unclear. To me they lacked mystery and creativity, are devotional in a subservient way rather than in an empowering way. They are too simple - not in a relaxing way, but in an ineducated, uninspired way.
Did Buckland not at all know what he was writing about and wrote a simplified version of a brief experience? Did he simplify the work because he couldn't breach oaths of secrecy?
Very disappointing. Please see my other review on Crowley's "Illustrated Goetia" about my thoughts on idiots doing Sex Magick. They didn't belong in the book. I will at a future date write recommendations of books that I think should replace the whole of the content of this book. I can't deny it's made a huge impact on people, but I sincerely believe people today are more educated, more intellectual, more spiritually driven, more compassionate, and more life-experienced - even the young ones.
This book just isn't enough anymore. Jan 31, HorriblePumpkin rated it it was ok. I didn't find it helpful. Scanty on the "why" of Witchcraft, but specific about the "what," such as altar layout, tools, numerology, and palm reading. Don't use this book on its own to teach you about the Craft. That said, there is thought provoking material in here, which is why I'm not panning it. Jul 13, Kerie rated it did not like it Shelves: esoteric. My first impression was that Buckland likes to use himself as the authority he quotes.
That doesn't sit well with me; rings of egoism. There are lots of little interesting details in here, and great stuff on how to make your own tools; however, the religious end of things I am NOT interested in. Waaaaay too much is made of nudity, ritual bondage, and anointing My first impression was that Buckland likes to use himself as the authority he quotes. Waaaaay too much is made of nudity, ritual bondage, and anointing of genitals and breasts. No, thanks. Definitely won't be looking into Wicca.
Some of the scholarship seemed a little dubious as well, in the historical tidbits. The runes and alphabets were cool, though. I detected the faintest whiff of racism and white privilege. It was concealed, but very much there. I also find the whole "do what you will so long as it harms no one" to be incredibly naive.
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Those are the words of privilege. The words of people who have had relatively easy lives and don't know the way the exploited and oppressed live. Rather like the cries of "peaceful protest" from rich-living Westerners whose lifestyle requires the theft of resources, genocide, and exploitation of people of color and the environment.
Life is messy and half of it is "dark" for lack of a better term. All this sweetness and light stuff is rather misguided, childish and annoying in my own opinion. Every action we take, no matter what it is, will have effects on people and beings we won't be aware of. Perhaps Wiccans should look more towards their intent and not their outcomes. It is smug, arrogant, misguided and mostly useless. Feb 11, Jacqueline rated it did not like it. I remember being in High School and my older friends telling me this was the "advanced" book, once you'd gotten past the beginner stuff.
It's not. While I like the workbook format, there are better authors who've done similar things. Some of the older names in the industry need to send out revised editions, and Buckland's book could benefit from that, to get rid of a number of problems it has: 1. A magical life is filled with contentment, happiness and success, and I hope to reveal how you can achieve this by becoming a Green Witch.
I will show you ways to make manifest your own motivation and inspiration to aid your creativity. And for you to gain a sense of serenity and be more able to deal with and overcome everyday problems. And with this comes an improved self confidence so that you begin to wake up every day feeling really excited about your life and the happenings, people and events in it. Hopefully by the end of the course you will find all the advice, inspiration, motivation and help you need to create the magical life you want to lead.
Learning all you can is so vitally important so that you can gain knowledge. Knowledge is power and power can be used by you to enhance every aspect of yourself and how you live your life. The ways in which mankind has polluted, exploited and destroyed many aspects of nature, the oceans and the earth itself is simply despicable. The environmental impact we have made collectively and individually raise ethical questions of respect and responsibility to all life. People are being forced to think about their personal carbon footprint and about the ways they live every aspect of their lives.
More and more people are also rejecting consumerism and personal excess, eating organic foods, taking the holistic view to their own health and accepting personal responsibility. A Witch is simply an individual who respects and honours nature, the elements, the earth, the sun, the stars and the moon.
A Witch lives their life acknowledging and respecting the balance between themselves and all things within the Universe at all times. Witches can and do vary their worship, beliefs, practices and daily lives to honour nature in the ways of their choosing. Some Witches are Wiccans, others class themselves as Pagans. Witches can practice the Craft and worship in groups known as Covens or on their own as solitary Witches. Unlike some religions, rather than being told what you must think, feel and do, with a set of strict rules, laws and commandments to adhere to, Witches tend to abide by one main rule.
Being attuned to nature and treating the earth gently has always come naturally to the Witch. Using the gifts of Mother Nature ethically and the powerful energies of the Sun and the Moon Witches have been very environmentally aware in the ways they lived their lives and in their practice of Witchcraft.
They have always known how to harness the power of the elements and acknowledge, respect and celebrate the cyclical nature of life. There is nothing new in being a Green Witch; it is just now that more attention has been turned to this lifestyle choice. You will quickly and easily learn the basics of Witchcraft and Magic, including practical and useful skills that apply to everyday life.
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You will learn about the tools and ingredients needed for Magic and how to cast Spells. You will learn about the phases of the moon, the significance of the seasons of the year and the ways in which the elements impact our lives. The use of Magic can assist you in everything from getting the most from your daily life, to manifesting a new career, abundance and successful relationships.
It can help in ridding negative people, circumstances and experiences from your life. It can also help by drawing new positive people, circumstances and experiences "as if by magic" to suddenly come into your life. Your instincts and intuition should become stronger and more accurate. And this should have a positive impact on your life. You will be able to trust your intuition more and go with your instincts in decision making. And making the right decisions and choices in life is a valuable gift.
You need to be prepared to honour, respect and celebrate nature and take responsibility for your actions. The aims and principles of the Green Witches Coven are simple in nature and short in words. By taking this first step on this particular path you are well on your way to becoming a better you.
A more beautiful you - both inside and out. A wiser more accomplished and knowledgeable you. A more confident you. Someone who is attuned to nature and who is environmentally aware and has strong ethics. Someone that others will admire, respect and seek guidance from. But just like the sewing of an ornate and beautiful tapestry learning the ways of the Craft is perhaps more involved than you may first think.