The modern practice of Witchcraft is no longer the closed and impenetrable system of natural magick that it once was.
In the introduction to his book ‘Wicca: Another Year and a Day’, Wiccan High Priest and Craft leader, Timothy Roderick – a practitioner of over 30 years, describes the hard task that he faced way back in the 1970s and 1980s when trying to find out more about this often misunderstood aspect of occultism.
As he reminds us, back then few good books were available on the subject, at least in America, and even few opportunities existed to become actively engaged with Witchcraft through a coven.
A great deal has changed in the openinfg up of the whole world of Wicca since then – a fact that is evidenced by the very publication of this book and the secrets of Second Degree instruction that are contained within.
The Great Wheel Turns
Wicca: Another Year and a Day is the follow up to the author’s previous highly successful book ‘Wicca: A year and a Day’ which was written to self-initiate anyone with an interest in Wicca into the First Degree.
This follow-up explores the Wiccan system found within the Second Degree. Once again it is set as a course of initiation that follows through the spiritual cycles of the year and which aligns to the waxing and waning of the lunar tides.
Each cycle of the Moon is partitioned into roughly fourteen cycles in the book with specific activities integrated into the dynamics of which ever phase the Moon happens to be in.
First and Second Degrees
Roderick explains the difference between the first and second degrees in this way.
The First Degree initiation represents Goddess energy. It is your formal entrance to the Witch’s pat, and because it aligns with the Goddess, there is special attention to nurturing and developing the new Witch.
The Second Degree initiation elevates trained initiates to the status of autonomous teachers, with the ability to train and initiate others.
The author also explains that the Third Degree comes later on in your magical career and has the specific role of aligning the twin God and Goddess energies within the student.
Opening the Year
Roderick begins his manual of instruction by explaining the reason behind the need to develop silence within your life.
In todays hectic world this is not an easy skill to develop but, as the author explains, remaining conservative in your vocalizations is a pre-requisite for holding onto the spiritual force that resides within yourself and which requires constant monitoring and control.
Remaining silent is a costless exercise but in contrast to this the author does list a number of important magical tools that you will to purchase ready for the continuation of the work.
Once you have them – or even better, have made them for yourself, then the work of the year can begin.
A Modern Approach
Roderick offers his reader a very modern approach to ‘The Craft of the Wise’. He recognizes that the roots of Witchcraft are both stronger and deeper than ever,
Rather than simply concentrating upon natural magick by using traditional practices such as spells and rituals the author believes that the practice of Wiccan is not only an initiation into the mysteries of nature but that it also is a process of exploration into one’s self.
In the introduction to his book he explains to his reader how through his teachings you are more able ‘to develop a deeper connection to the earth, to deity and to yourself.’
The tools that he includes in Second Degree work are, therefore, somewhat unorthodox and feature other Pagan disciplines drawn from earlier, historic periods of occult practice.
This includes the use of magick squares, letters and pentacles as well as upholding a strong emphasis upon traditional ritual invocation.
Wicca: Another Year and a Day closes with advanced instruction on casting the circle – opening and closing it, instruction on formulating a dedication rite that is appropriate to your current path, a list of the magickal tools that are required throughout the Thirteen Lunations and other advanced magickal instructions.
Today’s Wiccan system is clearly as vibrant and alive today as any point in its long and checkered history.
This is evidenced by the fact that this book of instruction is a long way from the Gardnerian school which so many original Wiccans cut their teeth on – it is most certainly a book of magick for a new generation of adepts – those who are perhaps rather less hung up on strict dogma and practice.
Within its pages the reader is introduced to a wide range of diverse occult traditions that includes Egyptian god-forms, Solomonic Talisman magick, even Planetary Kameas. – all of which, I am sure, will make the old guard recoil in horror.
No matter, if a system contains key elements that strengthen a Witch’s work then why not employ it.
Wicca: Another Year and a Day is a book that offers a great deal of magickal instruction – no matter what its tradition. This includes a diverse collection of rituals, meditations, invocations, protections, incense blending, circle casting, exorcism and energy clearing.
All of these techniques are presented in a clear and practical way with accompanying tables, charts and diagrams that aid the student in their quest to push forward into those higher levels of magickal attainment.
Whilst Wicca is not a book for the novice nor for the undisciplined or merely curious, there is little doubt that it is a powerful, richly-rewarding and insightful publication that no one seeking to progress past the initial stage of Witchcraft would want to be without.