For a small book, The Heart of Wicca contains a big message Reed observes the growing trend for Wicca to become a spiritual quickfix for people who take one Wicca 101 course or reads two or three Pop Wicca books and think they have earned the right to call themselves “Lady Feathersniffwinterwing” and begin initiating witches into their coven This short, but beautifully written book will surely guarantee Reed’s passionate cause continues long into the development of modern day witchcraft.Although Reed is firm in her acknowledgement that misconceptions and false histories (e.g Margaret Murray’s Neolithic pagans) pervade Wicca, she frequently refers to the “old ways” and states that we have “roots so far in the past” in her introduction and conclusion It can appear to be contradictory without explicitly distinguishing between past, as referring to the pseudohistory espoused of the continuous matriarchal religion and past, as referring to the echoes of shamanic practices in NeoPaganism.I would recommend this book highly to people who are open to the idea of Wicca but question the words and beliefs of itspublic practitioners with whom they have encountered My friends and family have beenfrequently exposed to the Lady Feathersniffwinterwing’s or the Lord Darkcrystalspheresnowglobe’s and this is the perfect piece of literature with which to enlighten them of the resilient integrity, honour and passion in the Craft Moreover, this book is heartening for those who seek to practise the examined religion but like Reed, have seen the religion they love in the past decade be bent and manipulated to suit the trivial motives of its dabblers Reed’s vision that we witches ought to uphold a relentless sense of responsibility, strict selfdiscipline, and a lifelong dedication to learning, is a noble and worthy one, and I for one, relish her challenge, even though I have long left the path of Paganism. I posted a whole review about this on my website, but I did not like this book at all The tone was condescending and elitist The author wrote a 127 book ranting about how her path, her covens, and the students / initiates of those covens are the only ones who truly walk the magical path, and are open to the mysteries of the universe I completely disagree I personally do not think that the Universe looks down on those who don't belong to a coven or who don't walk the path alongside this author There are many ways to greet, witness, and take part in the higher energies There are many ways to be a witch, to cast a spell, and to embody magick Reed's way is not the only way I am not trying to take anything away from the path that she walked Her experience and contributions can speak for themselves She created a tarot deck, and has written numerous books This is the only book I have read, and I have only seen reviews on the original deck created To be honest, I find the court cards to be lazy in that deck Each figure is in the exact same pose and posture with simple color and elemental tool changes, but I digress I was hoping to gain a deeper understanding of some of the principles tenets and creeds about Wicca Although I am not Wiccan, and never will be, I want to learn the principles, philosophies, and traditions from many different pantheons This book just did not do it. This reads like an open letter to preinitiates of Wicca, or hopeful postulants anyway Though I agreed with the content, it did come in a rather grouchy tone However, a lot of this is a message that I believe should be shared, so I shall. What a breath of fresh air It has been a very long time since I have read a book about what Wicca is and how it should be practiced that did not irritate me While never cruel, Ellen Cannon Reed makes clear that Wicca is a Mystery religion with its own set of specific traits She then goes on to either give examples, based on two different covens, include articles or excerpts from others, or to simply explain in her own words the various points she wants to get across.There is no whitewashing of Wicca going on here I look forward to reading some of her other books. The Heart of Wicca opens the invisible doorways that lead toward a deeper understanding of the mysteryfilled world of Wiccan beliefs and practice It takes us far beyond the currently popularized images and surface understanding into a world that few are privileged to enterEllen Cannon Reed guides us past misunderstanding and false conceptions into the lifestyle, mind set, and religious dedication to spiritual growth that lie at the heart of this lifetransforming practice She talks about life in a coven, the magical family of brothers and sisters who love and care for one another, who work together magically, circle together, study together, celebrate and laugh together, and lift each other up when one fallsFrom the wisdom developed through many years of Wiccan practice, she talks about the nature and complexity of symbols, and explains how their layered, deeper meanings are vehicles of communication that bypass ordinary conscious thought and go directly to our deep or unconscious mind She says that we can develop a personal relationship with the Deities, for that is the very soul of Wicca Learning to honor the ancient Gods and Goddesses through study, meditation and other forms of magical or ritual dedication, opens up direct communication which leads to everincreasing levels of healing and guidance She discusses about practical issuesfinding a teacher, coven leadership and tradition, training, rituals, the various types of initiation, the ethics of spell casting, and the importance of the Wheel of the Year the eight SabbatsThe Heart of Wicca is like having a personal conversation with a wise crone The title is perfect for that book The writer is not holding back She expresses her thougths without fear, in all chapters of the book Though it is a small one, ig gives a lot of food for thought Good thought on Wicca, something we no longer find in new books High Priestess Ellen Cannon Reed will be missed a lot We need books like this to remind us boundaries, education, logical thought, application, initiation and why at the first time we were drawn to Wicca It is a great book. Fabulous BookI cannot express how much I loved this book For anyone interested in being in service to the gods, this boom will not only hep you find good teachers, it will let you know how be one! If you only read one book about Wicca ever, this is the one to read I only wish I could have met the author She had an incredible way of seeing our path.