The Outer Temple of Witchcraft Companion CD by Christopher Penczak

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    The Outer Temple of Witchcraft Companion CD  by  Christopher Penczak         ©   Llewellyn  ISBN  0-7387-0532-2    4 CD set       $24.95 (U.S.)  $38.50 (Canada)

    This set of CDs is a bit different from the previous set (“The Inner Temple of Witchcraft CD Companion).  Once again the average length per CD is about an hour but the individual range is much wider.  The shortest one (#4) consists of ten chants and runs a bit over 30 minutes, while the longest (#2) consists of four elemental journeys of about eighteen minutes each, for a total of almost an hour and a quarter.  The third CD consists of three separate tracks for Circle casting – the first with words, music and instructions, the second with words and music only (no instructions), and the final track with only the music.  The final CD consists of songs, chants, and the Charge of the Goddess.  Truthfully, the voices did nothing for me being, as would be expected, a mixture of qualities.  In fact, they sound about as you would expect from the average group of Pagans who are not professional singers.

    Unlike the first set of CDs I got, this time the cover (although of the same design) seems a bit better, although I would still recommend handling the case fairly carefully.  The cases (five and a quarter inches wide by seven and three-eighths inches high) are fairly thick (about an inch and a half), so they will easily stand out on your shelf.

    This set of CDs is designed to prepare you for, and guide you through, the casting of the Magic Circle.  I still don’t like the attitude that the Circle must protect us from dangerous forces.  I prefer to see it as a containment vessel, but that is because of the difference between how I was trained and how Christopher was trained.  I have been exposed to the same mind-set Christopher has, but find it encourages feelings of paranoia instead of power.  That doesn’t make his way wrong, it just isn’t right for me.  Try it his way and see if it feels right to you.

    The musical background for the circle casting is a bit slower than I would use myself, especially if working in a group, but again that is personal preference.  It is effective, and that is what counts.

    The first CD is composed of three separate meditations – with the Goddess and God, an elemental cleansing, and a spirit meditation.  Each of these meditations begins with a basic relaxation.  Then you are guided in a basic way and allowed to draw your own conclusions about what you see and experience.

    His elemental attributions are very different from what I was taught and, I suspect, from what many others have been taught.  You can easily make changes to reflect your own tradition and workings.

    The more I hear of Christopher’s meditations and rituals, the better I like it.  His voice is pleasant to listen to; his imagery is clear, and the music works well in the context.  Overall I would recommend this Cd set as an accompaniment to the written volume.  It expands the written word, and makes it more easily understood.


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