I've been reading (and reviewing) occult books for several decades now, and it's a pleasure to have a new group of authors who have such fresh voices, and Ms. Murphy-Hiscock is the best of the current group.
Aimed at people who are no longer newcomers to witchcraft, Wicca: A Modern Practitioner's Guide, takes thirteen chapters to go through the basics of witchcraft:
History of Wicca
Chapter One: sacred space
Chapter Two: casting circles
Chapter Three: spells and energy work
Chapter Five through Seven: rituals
Chapter Eight: wheel of the year
Chapter Nine through Eleven: rites of passage
Chapter Twelve: drawing down and aspecting deities
Chapter Thirteen: Wicca today
I like how the author asks questions and then discusses possible answers, allowing the reader to come to their own decision about how to handle many aspects or magickal practice. For example, "Should I cast a circle for every operation, or not? What are the alternatives to casting a circle?"
Overall, the information presented seems accurate (that Wicca is not an ancient religion, that grounding is a foundation technique for casting a circle) and its presented without an agenda. I was a little disappointed in how little time the author spent on online communities and practices (in Chapter Thirteen), especially since that has turned into a rich resource in these pandemic times.
Overall, I enjoyed this, the latest in Ms. Murphy-Hiscock's collection of writings about magic and witchcraft.
~review by Lisa McSherry
Author: Arin Murphy-Hiscock
Adams Media, 2019
pp. 288, $15.99