One of the most significant advances in contemporary spirituality has been the growing general acceptance of Wicca as a legitimate form of religious and spiritual expression.
On the other hand one of the most regressive and emaciating aspects to contemporary spirituality has been that core Wiccan principles have become dilitued in this move towards mass acceptance of the Craft through the addition of the many wish-washy philosophies of the New Age movement.
One of the more damaging elements to this change has been the sublimation of the Witches drive towards the desire for the attainment of personal power.
A Return to Core Values
Devin Hunter holds third-degree initiations in both the Northern Star Tradition of Wicca as well as the Duanic Tradition of Witchcraft. He is currently teaching with the Black Rose School of Witchcraft.
In his book The Witch’s Book of Power Hunter bemoans the transition of Wicca from an unashamedly bold practice based upon the search for personal power to the current state of weakened self-empowerment that it is in today.
In his publication he seeks to redress this by offering a vital new approach to Wiccan practice.
The book is formed from three separate parts. The first one includes three core concepts of power in Witchcraft. This focuses on Witch Power, or the frequency of power that resides within every magical person.
The Second part of the book Cosmic Power, looks at the frequencies of power that have modded you into the sort of person that you are today. This centres around the personal birth chart and the basics of astrology.
The final part of the book titled Allies in Power explores the process of working with gods and spirits in order to gain power. This includes familiar spirits, land spirits and spirit guides.
The book closes with a recommended reading list and an index.
Our Review of ‘The Witch’s Book of Power’ by Devin Hunter
Today, it seems to me, most books about Wicca and Paganism are simply failing to tackle many of the key aspects to self-empowerment. Here is, at last, – or so it at first appears, a book that seeks to challenge the notion that personal power is incompatible with modern Witchcraft values.
Sadly, though, I feel that the author has fallen into many of the same philosophical traps that ensnares the unwary – those who enter the Craft with the highest aspirations but end up losing themselves in a muddle of contradictions.
This is most evident in part two where a large slice of the book is taken up with Western Astrology. Now I am not saying that astrology has no part to play in Wicca because it certainly does but the planetary powers should be seen as energy centres that you work with and not seek to apply in the very general terms that they appear here in this book.
This is a problem that I have experienced throughout this book so that from its initial standpoint of offering a radical appraisal of modern Witchcraft it actually ends up drawing in the very same New Agey dynamics that it seeks to try and avoid.
Does this book have any redeeming features you may ask?
Well yes it does. When it truly breaks free of this layer of poor-mans (or woman’s) magic it forges new and exciting ground.
Within its pages practices such as Darkness Meditation, the Primal Soul, and the Tree of Knowledge Trance are the directions modern Witchcraft should be moving in if it is to stay in touch with its core essence and remain relevant to a newly emerging form of Pagan spirituality.
Many will buy this book and enjoy it – and I hope they do for it has a lot to commend it, but potential purchasers should be aware that until Witchcraft cuts its ties with drippy New Age nonsense it will fail to return to offering that raw, cutting-edge form of spirituality that it once was.