Wicca Magickal Beginnings

Wicca Magickal Beginnings

Historical Study of the possible origins of the rituals and practices of this modern tradition of Pagan Witchcraft. 

By Sorita d’Este and David Rankine

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wicca_magickal_beginningsThe origins of the Wiccan Tradition have long been a subject of debate amongst practitioners and scholars alike. Did Gerald Gardner invent the tradition? Is Wicca a survival of a British folk magick system? Could it be a continuation of a European tradition of Pagan Witchcraft? Might it be that it evolved from Victorian ceremonial magick, or perhaps it is the modern manifestation of the medieval Grimoire Tradition?

In this book the authors explore the possible beginnings of the tradition by examining the practices in the context of magickal and spiritual thought spanning thousands of years.Through setting aside the endless debates about initiatory lineages, they look beyond the personalities of the people and instead focus on what they consider to be at the heart of the tradition – the practices. Evidence from many previously uncredited and unconsidered sources is examined. This clearly shows how all the significant component parts of Wiccan ritual and practice have roots reaching back, in some instances thousands of years, before its public emergence at the hands of Gerald Gardner in 1950’s England. They explore the sometimes surprising antecedents for key practices such as initiation, magick circles, ritual tools, the invocation of the Guardians of the Watchtowers, Drawing Down the Moon and The Great Rite. The precedents for the Book of Shadows, Wiccan Rede and Charge of the Goddess are also considered as part of this groundbreaking work.

Wicca Magickal Beginnings may well answer as many questions as it creates about the true origins and nature of what is probably the most influential of the Western Esoteric Traditions today. Through combining scholarly research with practical knowledge, the authors clearly illustrate that the future of the tradition lies in utilising the rich diversity of its past, through the appreciation of its magickal origins and the untapped potential inherent in it.

This book will be invaluable to anyone with an interest in the history, practices and beliefs of the Wiccan Tradition – and its links to Paganism, Witchcraft, the British Folk Traditions and Ceremonial Magick.

Extracts from Reviews:

“Fascinating stuff. Definitely a book worth getting if you’re at all interested in Thelema and Wicca.” Rodney Orpheus (Author of Abrahadabra: Aleister Crowley’s Thelemic Magick)

“… the New Forest coven, which some die-hard skeptics refuse to believe ever existed, was not a figment of Gardner’s imagination and that he did not just cobble together the rites of Wicca from books. Personally, I would go along with d’Este and Rankine. Highly recommended” Michael Howard (Editor of The Cauldron, and author of MODERN WICCA)

“Long awaited, and sorely needed in both the academic and Pagan community… Wicca Magickal Beginnings is, in one word, brilliant. In another word it is ‘orgasmic’ for the academic in me, ‘scintillating’ for the Pagan in me, and ‘un-put-downable’ (okay, so it’s technically not a word…) for the avid reader in me. ” Kim Huggens (Author of SOL INVICTUS and editor of ‘Vs.’)

“By emphasising the link to ceremonial magick, the authors actually reinforce Wicca’s connection to original European witchcraft… “Magickal Beginnings” pulls together all the subjects that will interest wiccans, but which are usually too diverse to be found in one place… a vital part of many wiccans’ bookshelves.” Stephen Blake (The Apple Branch)

“This is an excellent book, set to become a classic that will be found on every Wiccan’s bookshelf, alongside The Triumph of the Moon.. and Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration.” Vogelbere

“this is an exceptional book of references and one which I was hard pressed to find fault with. The material here will spark some interesting discussions, to say the least.” Boudica (TWPT.com)

With something of interest for both the newcomer and the scholar Wicca:Magickal Beginnings should find a place in any serious collection.” Pagan Dawn Magazine, Pagan Federation

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Interview with Sorita d’Este by KARAGAN for ON THE BLACK CHAIR, March 2014