Wicca: A Modern Guide to Witchcraft & Magick by Harmony Nice
A Book Review by Lord Tanys
I had 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and commentary on Youtube, that many of the Wicca/Witchcraft/Pagan/Magick books I had grown up with are considered “out of date.”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.
The first of these books is Wicca, by Harmony Nice. I drive for a living, and listen to Youtube programs for my own edification. Harmony Nice videos are well produced, with tight dialogue, and she is clearly very energetic about Wicca, and has inspired many people, especially new people considering the comments, to explore the Craft.
Would this translate to the printed page?
Yes, I believe so. Her book is hardcover, well produced, beautiful, with very pretty art work. Her writing style seems relaxed and considerate, much like her videos, and is well organized. The size of the book and its overall design belie the amount of information within, on a good variety of topics of interest to most Wiccans.
I love to read or hear about peoples’ journey, and she gets to that in her Introduction. Being so young, it is not a super long tale, but being an open book on Youtube, and a very public Wiccan, makes it very interesting. She does use the line “out of date,” and I would love to know what this means to her generation. She also mentions therapy, which I appreciate, as I think it is a very useful tool. It was for me, and most people I know who have been to therapy, and can only help in one’s Craft.
I don’t have any real disagreements with her information, but I have some questions. She states several times that any methodology is hers, and not necessarily universal, so the questions I have are more about statements I would just like to see expounded upon.
Some of these are: concerning the Wiccan Rede, and its authorship; her description of Gardnerian Wica; her meditation experiences she describes as “intense,” and why is Mantra Meditation best practiced outside; why are Equinoxes and Solstices still referred to as “Lesser Sabbats;” and the connection between Easter and Oestrogen seems tenuous to me- are we going back to Proto-Indo-European language for this?
I offer one correction- the Runes pictured on page 182 in the Witches’ Alphabet chapter is actually the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, rather than the Elder Futhark. This may have just been communication breakdown between the author and illustrator, and can be easily remedied in a newer edition. They (Anglo-Saxon Runes) are beautiful by the way, especially drawn by this book’s illustrator, Laura Shelley, and offer more options for spelling our modern language than the Elder Futhark.
There are many lists in Wicca, from Goddess and God names, herbs and crystals, as well as extensive correspondence lists for Sabbats and Esbats. Her take on Sabbats and Esbats is very interesting in its blending of Solar (Sabbats) and Lunar (Esbats). So many Traditions are Earth and Moon focused, or like ICS, balance the Sabbats between Masculine and Feminine depending on whether it is Solar or Terrestrial, and leave magical work to the Moons. Also, I appreciate her names of the Moons, which are not the generally appropriated Native American names we often see in America.
Her description of Sabbats and Esbats reminds me of the Campanellis’ books Wheel of the Year, and Ancient Ways. She doesn’t give scripts, but offers activities, decorations, scents, foods etc. that really put one in touch with the season.
The Ritual she describes is direct, unique, and done with forethought and using the correspondences she lists can be very moving. Insert a meaningful Sabbat observance and Esbat working in this ritual, and see what happens.
Do I recommend Wicca by Harmony Nice? Yes - mostly for new or young Seekers, or very creative people. It does not contain much ritual work, so for those who want to jump in a Ring and get to work, this may not be the book.
However, I think it will inspire the inquisitive, especially younger ones.
I also think it can revitalize older generations of Wiccans who are perhaps a bit set in their ways. I think both sets of Wiccans will enjoy this book, and I hope she writes more.
Find Wicca: A Modern Guide to Witchcraft & Magick by Harmony Nice on Amazon. ISBN-10: 1580059155 ISBN-13: 978-1580059152
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Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.