What a disappointment! Lipp is very thorough; however I find her a bit rigid and closed minded on some aspects of ritual. Lipp outlines the steps she feels are key to a ritual in this book and asserts each is absolutely necessary for the ritual to be valid. Many of her ideas and concepts are well thought out, but her assertions feel inflexible and conventional. Lipp discusses one step of ritual as consuming cakes and wine in a communion style ceremony. The way she describes it seems to stem more from Christianity than Pagan or Wiccan beliefs.
One thing that really annoyed me was Lipp’s vehemently insistence that to go widdershins is an insult to the Gods and Goddesses. For many casting a circle deosil is done when the energy is to be sent outward – it is like creating a spiral up and out from the group. While going widdershins the energy goes down and inward to the Earth or to those doing the ritual. It is a way of grounding, of bringing the energy back to self for healing or decreasing stress. There are times in life when everyone needs to send energy to self.
On the back cover it is asserted this is an intermediate book but Lipp talks to her reader as if they were beginners. The concepts are not new and not more complex just very formal. Overall this book is informative but her unyielding stances are hard to overcome. While Lipp is a good writer and her style is easy to read, the message is a bit too stuffy without really introducing any more advanced concepts. This might be useful for a reference book but the reader will have to wade through the dogma Lipp has put in to get to the good parts.
~review by Eileen Troemel
Author: Deborah Lipp
Llewellyn Publications, 2003
pp. 273, $16.95