Thursday, December 10, 2015

Traditional Witchcraft For Urban Living

Traditional Witchcraft For Urban Living by Melusine Draco
  • Paperback: 152 pages  
  • Publisher: Moon Books (February 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846949785

The Blurb ...
For the witch whose career confines them to an urban environment, regular Craft practice may often seem like a futile gesture, especially if home is a small, gardenless-flat. Even the suburbs can be magically incapacitating, if there is constant noise from traffic and neighbours. People work long hour without having the opportunity to notice the subtle changing of the seasons. Weekends are a constant battle with family, domestic chores and socialising. It’s no wonder that the urban witch has little time left for magical and spiritual development.Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living deals with the constant barrage of psychic problems that confront the urban witch on a daily basis. Based on the teachings of a traditional Craft background, the author successfully manages to blend the Old Ways with practical contemporary practice. This book is part of the Traditional Witchcraft Series.

When I sought this book out I was drawn to it first by a blog I visited while researching Traditional Witchcraft topics. I can't for the life of me remember which blog it was though. But anyhow, I was hoping for something different. This book was just okay for me. Here is why ...

This book can be summed up with a history lessons in Saxon / Norman life, and how Christians took their sacred spaces and instead of destroying them, they put relics of their own God in them so that it wouldn't be so hard for the Pagan to convert themselves to Christianity. The same goes for the celebrations to bring in the changes in seasons; all of which were given Christian names so that the Pagans could celebrate their holidays at the same time Christians did until the old ways were so far back in history that they were obsolete. I knew all this, and really felt disappointed that 65% of the book was rehashing this instead of giving the information that I thought it was going to, which is ways to bring traditional witchcraft into city living and ways that one can put this into daily 'practice.' 

The truth is, there was very little 'practice' advice in this book. The author basically tells you to cast a circle, grow herbs on your balcony, sit in an old church to meditate, read tarot cards, and collect old poetry so that you can conjure better spells with the use of rhyme and rhythm. Also, if you live outside of the UK, you won't fully engage with the whole text because you will be bored listening to her talk about locations of churches and such. 

By the end of the book she makes some interesting statements about how others practice the craft and how meditating for hours only to end with a "feel good factor" basically isn't the craft and you are just kidding yourself. Even though I believe that magic is much more complex than that, she didn't mince her words any. So this might be offensive to some readers. She goes on to say that experienced witches don't work at the textbook level, and they learn to sense things much differently than seeing rainbows and unicorns. (well, I did put my own words there in summery, but this is what was meant to be heard). I get all this, because if I didn't I wouldn't be seeking traditional witchcraft books  in the first place. I get it. Stores are full of fluffy new age crap -- well duh. So tell me more about the stuff that isn't crap.

I guess I was hoping for more traditional ritual ideas because I find it difficult to bring the craft into my daily life. So far the only way I have found it possible has been through cooking. But hey, onto the next book, shall we?

I won't buy another of the author's book because of the yawning factor, but also because it is full of repetitive material, and typos. There is very little that is useful here. She talks to you throughout the text as if you are a beginner and then other times as if you already know everything. I hope someone comes out with some good books on this subject sooner, rather than later, but I have my doubts. 

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