Ravenwolf, Silver. To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft. (St. Paul, Minn: Llewellyn, 1993). 300 p.

A practical handbook for those beginning in the craft. Emphasizes the importance of creating one's own rituals and traditions. Exercises at the end of each chapter guide one through the studies described. Covers types of Witchcraft, Days of Celebration, deities, tools and working space, magick (including divination; working rituals; color, candle and sympathetic magic; gems and herbs; and healing), and psychic exercises. Occasional decents into old-fashioned paranormalism don't seriously impair the book's usefulness as a solid one volume handbook and reference work. Particular strengths are chapters on ethics ("There's no such thing as a White Witch"), coming out as a witch, and material on webweaving (networking with other pagans).

RavenWolf has come up the way of the solitary witch and she has the appreciation for its travails (for instance, her discussion on handling Christian holidays) and its joys (see her enthusiastic description of preparations for Samhain). One of the best introductions to practical paganism, wicca-based and goddess religions, and magickal practice for the neophyte, as well as a good reference for the experienced.


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© Jennifer A. Heise, September 30, 1996