'Advanced' level books for witches are few and far between; mostly we have a collection of books that purport to be advanced but aren't. I suggest that '201' books have to actually do more than re-write the precepts outlined in a '101' book -- they have to go deeper, discuss more, be less certain far more encompassing, and much more detailed, all at once. Initiate: A Witch's Circle of Water is one such advanced-level work.

Following up on her excellent (see my review from 2008) book Dedicant: A Witch's Circle of Fire, Calafia has successfully deepened the reader's knowledge and understanding of Witchcraft. moreover, she does it in a refreshingly unique way. Her system uses the natural cycles of the moon and sun to guide the reader through a series of reading and exercises that will lead him or her into a deeper exploration of energy, the Self, and the Divine.

Calafia sees Dedicant work as the foundation, Initiate level work as the house itself. Her forthcoming Adept will describe the path of Service, and there is a final book in the series, Master (and I'm wondering what that will be about.)

This series is written as a course of study for the self-taught and self-motivated witch. She presumes you do not have many sources to call upon, and her program is complete in and of itself. (Although, she does have an extensive reading list that would make for an excellent foundation.) The lunar and solar lessons are designed to be done together, which makes for a lot of effort and focused attention.

Which is how it should be.

Wicca is a religion of clergy, we are our own Priest/ess, and not much is *needed* to be able to how that role for ourselves. But if we want to develop our skills, really work the energy, and be more than just a self-identified with, Initiate is an excellent resource for you.

Highly recommended.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Thuri Calafia
Llywellyn Worldwide, 2012
pp. 452, $22.99

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