One of the changes happening in witchcraft as we go more mainstream (or at least come further out of the hidden closet) is that we are becoming more aware of the intricacies of our work. Specifically that which the public sees: our rituals. Most of what we do remains one on one, or in small group settings, but when we come together at festivals and show our faces in public, it is the ritual that non-witches come to participate in. (For example, Spiral Dance in the Bay Area which attracts 1000s of people.)
Here, right on time with her usual prescience, Amber K (along with her partner Azrael Arynn K) has created a detailed document for ritual. This is not a great book for beginners, unless they are one of those people who really can learn from a book. But for those of us who have been doing ritual (leading and participating) for more than a few years, this is a great reference.
Solitary rituals, group rituals – large and small. Street theater, even. Ritual Craft is dense with practical and magical information. Other books on this topic usually focus on the magical parts but tend to leave you wondering about how to get it done (for example, how will you be heard by 300 people unless you shout?) The Ks sense of humor is wonderful and their writing style is clear and concise. Up until now, Greycat’s chapter on large scale ritual in Deepening Witchcraft has been my favorite. The Ladies K have taken that chapter and expanded it to fill half of a huge book, and so I have a new favorite.
I especially appreciated the lack of ritual details. There are outlines, and more complete rituals than I expected from the authors statement at the beginning of the Introduction: “This is not a recipe book of ritual outlines.” But the meat of the book is about thinking through the basics of ritual: why do you want to hold a ritual, what are the essential points of focus, how will the ritual flow, where will it be held, and who will do what?
This is a wonderful book, and is highly recommended to anyone interested in doing ritual.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Authors: Amber K and Azrael Arynn K
Llewellyn Publications, 2006
pp. 552, $24.95