Witchcraft is a profoundly transformative religion -- we practice to transform ourselves and/ or the world around us. At the core of that transformation are the Mysteries -- experiences so profound they cannot be truly described in words, verbal or written, but must be experienced; even then they are rarely understood. Transformative Witchcraft by Jason Mankey promises guidance in creating rituals to experience the Mysteries.
This is a book that is crammed with information, and that is both good and bad. The good is that Mankey has done a lot of research and there are a ton of footnotes bolstering the information presented. The bad is that it can feel dry and not terribly inspirational. Which is odd, because Mankey shares a lot of personal anecdotes and opinions (happily, these are clearly labeled as such), a technique that often rescues dry writing.
The reader will also find a lot of rituals and techniques illustrating the various pieces of information presented. Mankey demonstrates his many decades of practice time and time again. I found the chapter, "Initiations, Today and Yesterday" quite fascinating. I also appreciated the extra detail provided in the entirety of Part Three: Dedications, Initiations, and Elevations.
This is an odd book in that it isn't as advanced as it might seem to be, but skips over a number of basic ideas that a beginner would probably want before diving in. There is an too much comparison with Christian rituals and beliefs. Many of us were raised in 'religions of the book' and have issues to process and deal with as a result; it felt like Mankey hasn't finished his Work in that area, spending too much time devaluing the religion of his youth.
Mankey and I agree that the Mysteries of Witchcraft are real and can be experienced by anyone; Transformative Witchcraft may be just the right book to get you to a deeper understanding.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Jason Mankey
Llewellyn Worldwide, 2019
pp. 380, $25.99