Traditional Wicca: A Seeker's Guide by Thorn Mooney
A Book Review by Lord Tanys
I have been noticing comments on Amazon and commentary on YouTube that many of the Wicca-Witchcraft-Pagan-Magick books I had grown up with are considered “out of date.” So, I bought a few New Generation type books to see what is going on out there, and which books I may want to recommend, rather than the ones I love so much.
I listen a lot to Thorn Mooney’s videos on YouTube, while I drive around all day. She has a very chill, easy going style that quickly becomes a serious discussion of a huge variety of topics of interest to Witches, Covens, and leaders. She is highly educated, highly motivated, and her schedule sounds impossible- exhausting at least. She has covered many of these subjects (excellently) in her book Traditional Wicca.
Being a Solitary (now called Eclectic) Witch-Wiccan-Magician or joining a Coven-Circle-Lodge etc. has always been an issue for people like us. They both have their pros and cons. I know people who will only practice if they are part of a group, and I know a lot of people who have no interest in practicing with anyone else.
Thorn, having been a Solitary and a Seeker, an Initiate, and a Coven Leader, answers many of the questions these people will have, and makes it clear what to expect from each of them. In this regard, it is a good book for Coven Leaders to know how to respond to Seekers. It can help Seekers organize their search for and approach to Groups. Clearly, this is a book for all types of Wiccan.
I really enjoy reading about peoples’ journey, and hers is all throughout this book. She also includes other Witches’ stories, thoughts, and concerns, called “From The Circle,” as well as a brief bio of these contributors in the back. I love stuff like that.
It’s not a huge book, but wow, there’s so much in it. This may be because it doesn’t have any pictures, diagrams, or Rituals in it. It is straight talk, right to the point, and isn’t that what we all want? Maybe this book will inspire you to take that step, and initiate contact with a coven. Maybe it will help you realize you don’t want to deal with other peoples’ schedules, and so stay solitary. Maybe it will help people who don’t lead groups understand, somewhat, the huge responsibility we take upon ourselves, to provide training, and leadership to our members.
Reading Traditional Wicca, just as listening to her YouTube videos, I often found myself saying “Yes!” And then I would ask myself if I could have said it any better. No, usually not.
A subject, on which we differ, is curriculum. On page 72, she says,
”There’s no prepackaged curriculum for training Witches or passing our tradition.” Inner Circle Sanctuary absolutely has an established curriculum, and we show the new student the syllabus at their first Intro Class. Sometimes it frightens them off, which is of course, just fine. Everyone gets the same training in ICS. No matter how long it takes any, (our students progress at their own pace) they learn varying amounts of patience and perseverance.
Also, she mentions learning rituals “by rote.” Inner Circle Sanctuary Rituals are always performed by rote. This is a good thing. When a Witch can say the lines without worrying about which word comes next, they start visualizing, feeling the qualities of the Elements, and moving energy. This is also good for the Coveners supporting them, and sharing in the experience. And really, would you pay to watch a movie wherein the actors read their lines? A Heavy Metal show, where the bad boy singer read the lyrics? I hope you answered no. When people start talking about “Advanced Wicca,” or whining that Wicca is too simple, I suggest memorizing your lines, even as a Solitary, and rocking that shit! But, that is an essay for another time.
Put on your big kid pants for “Becoming A Student,” because she really lays it out there, what a Coven Leader thinks. Then take her advice for seeking a Coven, if that is what you want. The chapters on Initiation and Hierarchy are excellent, as is the whole book for that matter.
Traditional Wicca is a book well worth reading. It is well thought out and organized, it is very well written (and I only found one misspelling!) and answers questions I didn’t even know I had. It is unique, and I appreciate that. Every Wiccan will benefit from reading this book.
Find Traditional Wicca: A Seeker's Guide by Thorn Mooney on Amazon. ISBN-10: 0738753599 - ISBN-13: 978-0738753591
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.