Beyond The Book of Shadows: Advanced Ritual Practice
Author: Lynden Clark
Published 2010 by Green Magic Publishing
ISBN-10: 0956188605
ISBN-13: 978-0956188601
Paperback, 180 pages
List $18.95
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Reviewer: Mike Gleason

This is a book which steps beyond the basic Book of Shadows of Wicca. As such it is about magick in a religious setting. It is not to stand on its own, but rather to be used in conjunction with training already received.

This is a highly focused and specialized book. There are only two topics covered within its pages erecting a Magick Circle and invoking divine forces into it. That's it. It is assumed that the reader is actively involved in the religion of Wicca and is proficient in the rituals that entails. If that does NOT describe you, this book won;t do you a lot of good

If you are looking for instructions in the more mundane aspects of the religion of Wicca, I can recommend a few books and authors to check out (contact me off-list, or start a separate thread for that)., this book is not going to help you on that quest. This book is intended to deepen understanding of makes a ritual succeed.

Although it has been pointed out repeatedly, books can't teach you magick! What they can do is to inspire you, in the words of one of my instructors, "to recognize the knowledge that you didn't know you already had." (Kinda like a Homer Simpson "Doh!" moment.) Since everyone has unique life experiences, it may take a different perspective to awaken what lies within.

He offers alternatives to the traditional elemental placements as well as a variety of invocation styles, carefully explaining the reasoning behind the alterations, and suggests several other possibilities. He draws his inspiration from hermetic sources as well as from various Wiccan traditions.

His presentation is interesting and informative, but not so boring that you will have trouble following his thought patterns. For some people, I suspect, it will be a case of overkill, since there are many acceptable formats available in a wide variety of other source materials. However, for the individual who is looking to explore other possibilities, this book brings together a variety of ideas, without the dogmatic "If you do this, then you MUST do that" that many authors seem to favor. It also avoids the "anything goes" attitude of many eclectics, since it stresses research into why you choose to do something in a particular way, and also strongly suggests that you experiment with changes on a continuing basis in order to be able to judge if they really work for you in the long run one or two tries are not particularly conclusive.

For the novice, this book will serve little purpose, but more experienced practitioners will surely find that it deserves to be in their library. As I said earlier, no book can teach you magick, but this book may open your eyes to other possibilities and ways of approaching the subject.