Witchcraft: Rebirth of the Old Religion DVD by Raymond Buckland

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    Witchcraft:  Rebirth of the Old Religion  DVD   by  Raymond Buckland   ©  2005  Llewellyn  ISBN  0-7387-0622-1  (120 minutes)  $24.95  (U.S.)  $39.95  (Canada)

    Two years ago I reviewed the videotape that was the predecessor of this DVD.  That tape ran about one hour, and composes about half of the current DVD.  The additional content is composed of an update on Wicca, deleted scenes, out-takes and more.  The material has been digitally remastered and the clarity is vastly improved.

    One of the things I liked about this DVD is that nothing of the original tape has been altered, not even those things which have been proven wrong over the years (the claim of nine million executed during The Burning Times).  The tape was originally produced in 1989 and, obviously, much has changed in the past decade and a half.

    Ray Buckland makes the point that the lineage of the Craft is not important.  What is important is that it continues to evolve and to grow.  And this comes from the man most responsible for bringing Gardnerian Wicca to this country.

    He shows example of many of the tools, as well as circle casting.  Being able to see and hear it, and hearing how and why is occurs is a definite advantage.  Reading about it is one thing, but being able to see examples of real people doing it makes a much more vivid impression.

    His presentation is somewhat lacking in polish, which tends to make him appear more like a “normal” guy; he mis-speaks and corrects himself with no apparent feelings of self-consciousness (and that isn’t reserved for the out-takes).

    The additional material includes a “making of” segment, which gives us an opportunity to see the faces behind the cameras and get a feel for the fun which went into the creation of the tape.

    There is a segment dealing with an update regarding what the Craft has evolved into over the years.  Ray acknowledges the spreading of interest at younger and younger ages, while acknowledging that some of this is simple teen rebellio9n.  He explains the differences between Wicca and Witchcraft.  I’m still not sure how I feel about that perceived dichotomy, but it is a fact of life, I guess.

    He recommends reading as much as you can, from the “early classics” to the most modern books.  “Some are good and some are terrible,” as he says.  But you need to read them all to find what works, and is right, for you.

    There is a collection of still photos, as well as music videos which certainly help one to identify with the people and scenes.

    It is easy to see why Ray is so impressed with the growth of Wicca and the Craft.  This DVD showcases much of the best of what the Craft can, and should, be.

    There is a short video biography of the author, which basically consists of written material overlaid on a forest image, as well as a few of his more than 40 books.  Realistically, this could have been put on the wrapper of the DVD; it really didn’t need to be included on the DVD itself.

    And what would a DVD be without a “Blooper Reel”?  I wish there had been more to this segment, but then it probably would have needed to be a multi-DVD set, I’m sure.

    I would have gotten this DVD, even if the original tape had not been included since, in my opinion, the update and additional material are well worth the price.  If you have the original tape, you will enjoy the additional material.  If you don’t have the original, the entire DVD may be a revelation to you.  Enjoy this excellent DVD.


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