Fifty Years of Wicca by Frederic Lamond © 2004

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    Fifty Years of Wicca  by  Frederic Lamond  © 2004  Green Magic  ISBN 0-9547230-1-5  140 pages  paperback  $16.95 (U.S.)

    At last, the book I have been waiting for; a book written by an individual who was there when the Craft first came out of “the broom closet”.  He doesn’t reveal any great mysteries in this book – he takes his oaths of secrecy far too seriously.  In fact, he raises more questions than he answers in many ways.  In the first chapter, alone, he questions the authenticity of Gardner’s version of the Craft.  But, as he says on page 12 “It doesn’t matter!  The Craft works for you…Does it matter whether the rituals that brought you there are three or three thousand years old?”

    The author is an initiated Gardnerian who has lived in the U.K., America, and continental Europe.  He shows how Gardner, most likely, “improved” the ritual he received through the additional of Masonic rituals and sources, sometimes without considering whether or not they agreed with the stated purpose of the Craft.

    He explains why, in his opinion, changes need to be made to the standard rituals used in modern Craft groups.

    The book is divided into three broad categories:  Experiences, which detail things which have happened in his life and their effects; Wiccan Success and Failure, where we have gone wrong and right, and what we need to do to improve our track record; and A More Mystical and Nature-Oriented Wicca, which covers changes which he feels would benefit the Craft.

    Some of the questions he raises are ones I have discussed, or heard discussed by others; some of the doubts he raises also fall into this category.  Even if you decide his conclusions are wrong, looking at the basics once again should stimulate you to think about why you were attracted to this path in the first place.

    He is not dogmatic about the Craft.  He knows that our path is not necessarily the correct one for everyone.  He shows where our individualistic spirit is both a benefit and a drawback.

    I would have liked a bit more of the historical background of the early days of Gardnerian Wicca, since I feel we could all benefit from a history of Wicca written from the inside instead of from researchers from the outside.  Such writings will need to appear soon, since the first generation of Wiccan are rapidly approaching a time where memories begin to dim, and the numbers of those around who were actually there are thinning out,

    Overall, I found this a fascinating book, albeit a bit short for my taste.  The bibliography and Contacts list were both fairly short, but should open up new areas of exploration


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