Cunningham s classic introduction to Wicca is about how to live life magically, spiritually, and wholly attuned with nature It is a book of sense and common sense, not only about magick, but about religion and one of the most critical issues of today how to achieve the much needed and wholesome relationship with our Earth Cunningham presents Wicca as it is today a gentle, Earth oriented religion dedicated to the Goddess and God Wicca also includes Scott Cunningham s own Book of Shadows and updated appendices of periodicals and occult suppliers


10 thoughts on “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

  1. jade jade says:

    Books on Wicca religion by author Scott Cunningham are often recommended to me, and this particular one is generally considered to be his most popular and best sold one It s often recommended to beginners instead of advanced practitioners, and I, curious to see what all the fuss was about, decided to check it out.I have to say, it s definitely not my favourite book on Wicca, and there are much better books out there intended for a beginner s audience I have some issues with the way Cunningham Books on Wicca religion by author Scott Cunningham are often recommended to me, and this particular one is generally considered to be his most popular and best sold one It s often recommended to beginners instead of advanced practitioners, and I, curious to see what all the fuss was about, decided to check it out.I have to say, it s definitely not my favourite book on Wicca, and there are much better books out there intended for a beginner s audience I have some issues with the way Cunningham presents Wicca as being either light or dark good or bad He is firm on the fact that a Wicca would never do anything to cause another being harm, and tells aspiring Wiccans to stay away from the dark side of magic From what I ve gathered, Wicca is about recognizing both the light and the shadow of life and nature, accepting them as a cycle, as one whole two sides of the same coin also existing within a person, by the way I don t think Cunningham s is a balanced or healthy approach, and not typical of Wicca, either.Another problem I have with this book, is that Cunningham really doesn t seem to delve into the spirituality philosophy behind Wicca, nor behind its rituals, its tools, its materials, and its incantations Of course, there shouldn t be too much depth in a beginners book, but here he makes it come across as if there s nothing behind it at all, except some sort of vague connection feeling to and for Mother Earth His chapter on magick was especially lacking since he didn t explain the reasoning philosophy behind it all nobody just looking into it can grasp the concept of magick and how it s used in Wicca from the way he s written that particular chapter A lot is missing, too where is the chapter with practical and specific information on elemental magick, for example And when he does give away a bit of helpful information on a specific topic, he does so scattered throughout the entire book he s constantly referencing different chapters pages both back and forth, which seriously made me question the sequence in which he penned down this book I consider Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner to be far too fluffy, presenting an unrealistic, sweet, and good view of Wicca It s also vague and broad, not even touching upon the different traditions existing within Wicca at times, it feelslike a book on general paganism new age than on Wicca itself I also have a bit of trouble with the fact that Cunningham sometimes claims things without backing them up, and throws around out of context sentences that seem to make no sense unless one conjures up a skewed explanation reasoning for them such as the comment that both love and the field of para psychology fall in the water category of spells p 43 Again, this is also an example of titbits of info hidden away in one or two sentences throughout the book I did, however, very much enjoy his chapter on music, dance, and instruments I thought this was executed rather well, made some nice references to elemental magick, and covered a subject that I don t come across that often in general Wicca books However, again, this information is useful for paganism in general, not specifically Wicca Sadly, this isn t a very good book in my opinion, and not one I would specifically recommend as it paints an unbalanced and incomplete view of the Wicca religion There s still other books by Cunningham that I wish to read, which have higher ratings as well his works on herbs, crystals, incense oils, etc , and I certainly hope that they ll be better than this one.If you re a beginner looking for a good start, I would rather recommend Wicca for Beginners Fundamentals of Philosophy Practice, by Thea Sabin It s muchcomplete, especially in the philosophy beliefs section, and paints a realistic picture of Wicca It s also doesn t push the author s personal opinion on its readers as much as Cunningham does in his book


  2. Tamora Pierce Tamora Pierce says:

    Where would I be without Cunningham His view of Wicca and of magic in general shaped mine His practice is where mine begins and ends.


  3. Heather Purri Heather Purri says:

    Difficulty Level BeginnerWritten for beginners.Pros It s a Wiccan classic.This is used by virtually all Wiccans At a bare minimum, you ll come away knowing how to erect an altar, write your own rituals, and initiate a relationship with the gods I highly recommend getting the ebook, so you can quickly find what you need It has a Book of Shadows in it.If you aren t ready to write your own Book of Shadows journal , he includes an abridged version of his If you have the ebook, you can copy Difficulty Level BeginnerWritten for beginners.Pros It s a Wiccan classic.This is used by virtually all Wiccans At a bare minimum, you ll come away knowing how to erect an altar, write your own rituals, and initiate a relationship with the gods I highly recommend getting the ebook, so you can quickly find what you need It has a Book of Shadows in it.If you aren t ready to write your own Book of Shadows journal , he includes an abridged version of his If you have the ebook, you can copy paste the Book of Shadows section of the book onto a word processor and edit it to include your own experiments, insights, etc If you do that, I recommend you write in a different color so that you know which parts are yours You re gong to want to eventually put your parts into your own Book of Shadows The invocations are beautiful.Cunningham s writing style was no frills and straight to the point, but his romantic, baroque his words dialogue for rituals and invocations for the gods is beautiful Liturgy is generally not a strong suit for Pagan authors, unless the book is a devotional a prayer book.Cons Like many Wiccan books, especially older ones like this, Wicca is described as a duotheistic one god and one goddess that encompass all gods and goddesses religion That was Wiccan theology when it was founded However, nowadays most Wiccans are polytheistic many gods, who are all autonomous spirits Beginners the target audience wouldn t know that they have the option to be polytheists or non theists no gods, but gods work as archetypal symbols to use in witchcraft Don t hold that against Cunningham because duotheism was the only option at the time This is just my disclaimer for beginners


  4. Maya Maya says:

    Wicca A guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham is an amazing book that was recommended by several wiccan pagan youtubers on youtube This is actually my first wiccan pagan related book that I ve ever read in my entire life I really got interested in the search of my spiritual quest when I discovered this wonderful pagan community in youtube Yet, I wanted to do a littleof research and just searching the net was too much work for my lazy ass I thought for me it would b Wicca A guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham is an amazing book that was recommended by several wiccan pagan youtubers on youtube This is actually my first wiccan pagan related book that I ve ever read in my entire life I really got interested in the search of my spiritual quest when I discovered this wonderful pagan community in youtube Yet, I wanted to do a littleof research and just searching the net was too much work for my lazy ass I thought for me it would be a little bit easier to start with a book Within a lot of book recommendations I choose this one I highly recommend this book if you are recently starting your spiritual journey into wicca, or paganism My thoughts on it was that wicca is such a broad religion that it s not covered completely in the book, yet it gives a phenomenal brief of what this religion is all about It s an easy read, easy to understand Overall it s an excellent short resource book that you could use to start a path in wicca.In general this book gave me an understanding because it brought me to realize how ignorant I was on this path And its such a wonderful resource that help me learn and comprehend about wicca, and paganism Though at times i felt that the book moved a bit fast leaving you shorthand on wanting to learnabout a certain chapter But then again this book is just an intro to what is Wicca about


  5. DJ Harris DJ Harris says:

    This is Scott Cunningham s attempt at simplifying all things Wicca for the newbie It does cover subjects with a common sense approach, but leaves out many needed fundamentals He does have a gentle voice, very inviting for the inexperienced, won t be appreciate by the seasoned pro.It is important to note that Scott Cunningham practiced Wicca 20 years and was the author ofthan 50 books He passed from this life on March 28, 1993, after a long illness He is missed.Blessed be.Get Your Co This is Scott Cunningham s attempt at simplifying all things Wicca for the newbie It does cover subjects with a common sense approach, but leaves out many needed fundamentals He does have a gentle voice, very inviting for the inexperienced, won t be appreciate by the seasoned pro.It is important to note that Scott Cunningham practiced Wicca 20 years and was the author ofthan 50 books He passed from this life on March 28, 1993, after a long illness He is missed.Blessed be.Get Your Copy of Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham onNow


  6. Jonathan Martin Jonathan Martin says:

    When I took my first brave step into exploring paganism this is one of the books I fortunately encountered Although I don t class myself as Wiccan now, it certainly provided a fantastic overview of this spiritual path and introduced me to elements of paganism that I have kept as part of my own belief structure ever since The ancient Celtic calendar, also known as the Wheel of the Year, is given an adequate introduction and there are some beautiful poems and blessings for each Sabbat, plus idea When I took my first brave step into exploring paganism this is one of the books I fortunately encountered Although I don t class myself as Wiccan now, it certainly provided a fantastic overview of this spiritual path and introduced me to elements of paganism that I have kept as part of my own belief structure ever since The ancient Celtic calendar, also known as the Wheel of the Year, is given an adequate introduction and there are some beautiful poems and blessings for each Sabbat, plus ideas on how to celebrate, what ritual is and the tools commonly used and their meanings It s a great reference book and ideal for beginners or just those with a curious mind


  7. Steve Cran Steve Cran says:

    Scott Cunningham one of the foremost experts on Wicca has written a book geared towards the beginner and solitary practitioner of Wicca Not every practitioner of Wicca will join a coven Another piece of good news is that Mr Cunningham has injected a spirit of individuality and freedom into the craft that does not bind one strictly to on way as the only way.The book covers alot of ground It covers Runes, rituals, Sabbat and different meditations It is a good companion for Silver Ravenwolf s Scott Cunningham one of the foremost experts on Wicca has written a book geared towards the beginner and solitary practitioner of Wicca Not every practitioner of Wicca will join a coven Another piece of good news is that Mr Cunningham has injected a spirit of individuality and freedom into the craft that does not bind one strictly to on way as the only way.The book covers alot of ground It covers Runes, rituals, Sabbat and different meditations It is a good companion for Silver Ravenwolf s Teen Wicca What I liked about the book is that it gave you the freedom to make your own way into Wicca Included in the book is an herbal grimoire, knowledge of Runes and what they mean, all of which In plan on photocopying before I return it to the library I have included some notes I have taken on the book below Excellent book Wicca was formerly closed off to society at large Now a days things are beginning to change Anyone who can read has access to the knowledge of Wicca The religion of Wicca is based on SHaminism which is one of the oldest religion around Shamnism came before societies were formed Shamanism enabled people to access altered states of consiousness via such tools as fasting, music, dance, herbs etc The Shaman or person who accessed these states often kept the information to himself and shared only a bit of what he knew.The religion of Wicca is based upon the reverence of the two deities The Goddess and God both are equal and one cannot have one without the other The same would go with both good and evil In nature there is this duality male and female The Goddess has many different names across a variety of different religions as does the God Ussually the Goddess is represented by the moon at night and the God is represented by the Sun during the day A good time to connect to the Goddess is when viewing the moon at night and saying a little prayer The same could also hold true for the God.The Goddess goes through three stages, as represented by the moon First she is the maiden as young woman in the full of life Her second stage is that of the Mother someone pregnat with life and giving birth Finally she is the crone advanced in years, nurturing and full of wisdom The Male God goes through three stages as well represented by the changes in the solar year First he starts off as a young boy being birthed on December 21 the time of Yule A young baby comes to manhood during the Beltane holiday and finally passing on dur9ng Samhain THe cycle repeats itself on the Yule.Wicca is a religion that embraces magic Magic is the projection of natural energies to produce a desired effect There are three kinds of energies or power The first type is Personal power This is the power that exists inside each and everyone of us The second power is natural power Natural power is the power contained in nature All elements in nature have power be they stones, fire or water Finally there is divine energy an energy that comes from the God and Goddess.To perform magic one needs certain tools or at least the tools are helpful The first on is a broom Brooms dispel negative enrgy and protect the home from bad vibes The next is the wand THe wand is used for invoking deities or powers At first a wand can be made of any material later onspecialized forms of wood produce abeneficial efect The next is a censer A Censer is what burns the incence You can take a vessel fill it with sand or salt to absorb the heat from the charcoal Sprinkling incesnce on charcoal is the preferred way THe next is the cauldron where many potions and things are made It is the most important and it represent the Goddess Your next tool is the athame or magical knife which is used to direct energies raised during your ceremony A white handled knife of Boine is used to carve your ritual item Other items include a pentacle, crystal ball, bell and book of shadows Through out the year there are several days of power Every full moon there are Esbats There are 8 Sabbats during the Years These are important The first Sabbat is the Yule which occurs on December 21 This is the birth of the male god It is said that the Persian God Mithras was born on this day and the Christians merely appropriated it This is also tghe shortest Day of the Year.Next is Imbolc This occurs roughly around the beginning on February It is meant to mark the Goddesses recover after giving birth In this Holidya the god is a young boy who fertilizes the earth It also acts as a purification from being shut in all winter It is known by several names and some Wiccans wear a crown of candle in celebration of this this holiday.Ostara Occurs around March 21 which is the Spring Equinox In this Holiday te Goddess awaken from her winter rest This is a time of expansion Animals and people are encouraged to reproduce It is a good time for doing spells that involve future gain or tending garden.Beltane occurs on April 30 This is symbolic of the Goddess becoming pregnatn from the God Phallic symbol are erected mostly May poles People would awaken at dawn gather flowers and there is dancing around the pole.Mid Summer Solstice on June 21 is when the powers reach their peak Both God and Goddess are awash in fertility. People leap over bonfire to encourage fertility, love health and love This is the perfect time for all sorts of magic.Lughnasadh happens on August 1 this is the first harvest It was when crops whiother and drop their seeds THe male God is losing his strength and the Goddess is feeling sadness.This is also known as August Eve or Feast of bread.Mabon occurs Septemeber 21 during the Autumn equinox and the day and night are equal Nature declines and her crop, bounty and goodness are being withdrawn The Male god wanes while at the same time growing in her belly.Samhaim which we know as Halloween occurs October 31 This marks the death of the male God This is ussually a time of reflection when peopl look back over the year and reflect upon what they have done and trhe concepts of life and death During this time animals are sacrificed in oreer to gurntee food for the winter.Most Wiccans believe in reincarnation as the God is born dies and then is reborn.There are 8 step to perfroming a ritual THe first one is purification of the self This is usualy done by bathing and getting one self cleaned Some can use music or allow themself to let the wind blow on them.This gets rid of the negativity.THe next step is to purify the space This isdifficult if the ceremony is being done indoors First one can sweep the area clean with a broom and can also sweep it symbolically using a witches broom One can also sprinkle salt along with different herbs to help purify a space Incense serves the same purpose.Next is to create the sacred space This is done by creating your circle calling your corner Next you invoke the deities to join you, observe the ritual, raise the energy, Earth your power, Thanks the Deities and then break your circle


  8. Abraxas Abrasaxtes Abraxas Abrasaxtes says:

    This book was the first one I ever read on Wicca as with most judging by the reviews It literally blew my mind and set me on a path that I have never diverted from since I was 13 Now in my 30 s I can t help but look back at this book with a sense of nostalgia and love for Scott Cunningham I would recommend this book to anyone starting out on the Witches Path as it is written in a simple and beautiful format that is easy to digest yet still covers all the essentials.


  9. Amber Amber says:

    Classic, and outdated Nevertheless, I wanted a basic introduction to Wiccan and it delivered as such I found myself furious with the depiction of the Goddess This is not at Cunningham s fault, as it was is a widely thought depiction but here it is there is no reason to associate the Goddess solely as symbolic to fertility We know men can be fertile and affect procreation Rather, the Goddess is creator Is a male god even needed I was also bothered by the holidays and what they mean Classic, and outdated Nevertheless, I wanted a basic introduction to Wiccan and it delivered as such I found myself furious with the depiction of the Goddess This is not at Cunningham s fault, as it was is a widely thought depiction but here it is there is no reason to associate the Goddess solely as symbolic to fertility We know men can be fertile and affect procreation Rather, the Goddess is creator Is a male god even needed I was also bothered by the holidays and what they meant Cunningham begins with Yule and the birth of the god from the goddess, only to circle around at Beltane when the now older god impregnates the goddess with himself Anyone thinking of that horrible Ms Marvel storyline No Alright The Days of Power sprinkled between the fuckery all pertain to the growth and change in the god, but the goddess is always one affected and defined by the god, either mother or so such My feminists out there, are you cringing yet Of course, that is only one version of the many in Wicca Wicca itself is problematic looking at you, Gardner, and your secret society bullshit I ve been told that Wicca has evolved into somethingconscious of this problematic association, and that Cunningham is someone simply within their culture Yes, and what about all the people that were right about it That were perfectly woke Aiye More grievous is his history lesson on the first chapter, stating that shaminism was the first religion and then begins talking about our ancestors Whose ancestors without any sources to back him up Super oversimplified and inaccurate, disregard those statements please Now for what was good about the book, it was a very easy read and is a very good starting point I can disagree all I want with religion itself, but I feel like I got a good grasp of it, which is what Cunningham sought out to do Plus, he himself stresses about reading several sources and developing your own path I m sure there s a better book out there I ve been recommended a few goddess centric ones and am looking for suggestions , but I feel like for what it is, it was good and it s what was available to me.I don t know what kind of witch I intend to be, but I m interested to find out Stay tuned, ya ll


  10. sjams sjams says:

    Wicca is truly a beginner s book, and one of the best I ve read I haven t gotten much further than beginner books in the last ten years, so I might know The organization is really compelling by layout out theory before ritual and aspects of practice, rather than indulging the reader and jumping straight into Magick , the reader has a true chance to decide whether or not any of it aligns with his or her belief system There are so many useful little tips in this book that even though it c Wicca is truly a beginner s book, and one of the best I ve read I haven t gotten much further than beginner books in the last ten years, so I might know The organization is really compelling by layout out theory before ritual and aspects of practice, rather than indulging the reader and jumping straight into Magick , the reader has a true chance to decide whether or not any of it aligns with his or her belief system There are so many useful little tips in this book that even though it convinced me that I would not be happy as a Wiccan, I am happy to try many of the exercises Cunningham puts forth for trying to attune myself to a deity.In general, this is a very clear and easy book to read, with a good general overview of many, many things After reading the necessarily short section on the sabbats, I decided that I probably should get a proper book on those so I have a better understanding of some others points of view of them Then, of course, it has a large bibliography with a good range of books on Wicca, should you read this and then decide that this really is the path for you For me, when I began reading the rituals for the sabbats in the Book of Shadows portion, the nameless Goddess and God that were constantly invoked put me off I am now definitely a politheist I need names for the goddesses and gods in the ceremonies and I need them to be individual entities, not just names put on for show.A lot of the information confirmed a lot of the other intro books I ve read regarding Wicca, but done in a much better manner If I knew someone who was really into duality and I could see them becoming Wiccan, I would give them this book as a starting point but only as a starting point As Cunningham himself points out, it s a path of self knowledge and seeking, and in such a religion there is no sitting back and letting someone else do the work And that s one of the very good things about it