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Article: One Coven's Ways: a Book of Rites
One Coven's Ways: a Book of Rites
Title: One Coven's Ways: a Book of Rites
Published October 2010 by Capall Bann Publishing
Paperback, 156 pages
View this Book on Amazon
Reviewer: Mike Gleason
Over the years numerous "Books of Shadows" have been published, each purporting to be "all the aspiring Witch needs to begin their journey." Almost all of them have been either incomplete or have suffered from charges of "oath breaking." This book details the works of a no longer existent coven, written by an individual who helped to craft and write many of the rituals contained within it, thus negating (to a large degree) the charges of oath breaking. It does not claim to represent an entire tradition's working, merely that of a single coven. If the author is to be believed, and that is a determination which must be made by the individual reading this book, the coven existed for nearly a quarter of a century, thus allowing for an almost unprecedented amount of growth and evolution.
There are certain omissions, which Amerghin admits early on. He does not provide the names of the Goddesses his coven used. And he freely admits to omissions in several of the rites (which is pretty much standard in books of this sort, although not always acknowledged). The reasons for the omissions will doubtless fuel the "Modern initiated Witches think they're better than solitary Witches" arguments, but it is what it is. Regardless what you think of the attitude that "properly trained individuals will know what has been omitted" the idea that one should have to have some basic knowledge of their own before being given additional information is prevalent in most phases of education today. There are far fewer of these instances than in most Books of Shadows available in the marketplace today.
There are various rites which were not part of the routine worship cycle of the coven; rites which were either special creations, or occasional use only. While they don't have the background of the majority of the rites contained within this book they do offer insight into the thinking and ways of worship of this coven.
This book can serve as inspiration for the creation of rituals for those individuals who do not have access to a body of pre-existing rituals. While they are useable "as is" it would be better to have them serve as a basis for experimentation and the creation of more individualized rituals. Without a doubt, there need to be more books of this sort available. I'm not talking about the "average" Book of Shadows. I'm referring to books which record rituals which have stood the test of time; which have been used for extended periods of time; and which represent something other than the cookie cutter rituals available in any number of mass market books.
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Discussion of this book is welcome. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
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