collapse
2019 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $650 (same as last year) to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 16 Sept 2019: $660 donated. $10 more our minimum goal! Let's beat last year's total of $99 more than the minimum!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf  (Read 1645 times)

Wandering

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 11
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« on: February 12, 2013, 04:33:53 pm »
I've heard good and bad things.  I've heard some people say that she's good for beginners but not in the long run, while others have recommended I flush the book down the john... or something.  

So, I want opinions on Silver and her books.  Is she good for the newbie but not over the long run?   Does her work just suck outright?  Inaccurate?
"I am not an unimaginable thing, my thoughts are tangible, though they\'re full of springs."

Automatonic Electronic Harmonics - Steam Powered Giraffe

Melamphoros

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2746
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 04:48:52 pm »
Quote from: Wandering;96121
I've heard good and bad things.  I've heard some people say that she's good for beginners but not in the long run, while others have recommended I flush the book down the john... or something.  

So, I want opinions on Silver and her books.  Is she good for the newbie but not over the long run?   Does her work just suck outright?  Inaccurate?

 
*digs through the article library*

This editorial is probably a good place to start on the many criticisms of Silver Ravenwolf:

http://www.ecauldron.net/opedtarnishedsilver.php

I've never personally read any of her books (nor much interested in the subject of Neo-Wicca), so I would have to defer to others.


Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3077
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 635
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 04:50:56 pm »
Quote from: Wandering;96121

So, I want opinions on Silver and her books.  Is she good for the newbie but not over the long run?   Does her work just suck outright?  Inaccurate?

 
Briefly, there is *much better* stuff out there these days, for pretty much any topic she's likely to cover. (and I am sure I and various other people would be likely to recommend, if you told us what you're looking for.)

The major problems - which is more prevalent in her early books than her later ones, but her later ones suffer from it too - run like this:

- Lots of generalisations, many of them imprecise and inaccurate in ways that limit people's further interactions with the larger Pagan communities in not-so-helpful ways.

- A strong emphasis (especially in her earlier books) that Good Witches never do anything remotely uncomfortable or societally challenging (which is problematic for a bunch of reasons.)

- A strong heteronormative model of explanation - and not from the "Wicca is a fertility cult, and biological fertility involves some biological implications" perspective, which is at least an internally consistent argument. but most of her examples/situations/etc. involve (presumably female) readers dating, marrying, having kids, etc. There are authors out there who do a much better job these days of broader examples, etc.

- In some of her books, encouraging teens to lie to adults in their lives about what they're doing, which is also not so cool.

- And in general, an awful lot of simplification. It's *hard* to write a good intro book, admittedly: there's a lot of assumptions about how religion works that intro-to-Wicca or intro-to-Paganism authors have to unpack - but at the same time, we have authors who've gotten a lot better at doing it in the 15 years or so since the earliest Ravenwolf books.

I still tend to encourage people to read at least one of them *eventually* because I think it's a critical piece of how conversation about Pagan religions formed in the US. But I recommend many other titles for actual initial learning first.

(My personal "If you want to read about religious witchcraft, here's where I'd suggest someone start without knowing anything else about them" list is over on my website. However, what I suggest for specific people changes sometimes, so again, more data, you might get more specific suggestions.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3077
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 635
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 04:54:09 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;96125
Briefly, there is *much better* stuff out there these days, for pretty much any topic she's likely to cover. (and I am sure I and various other people would be likely to recommend, if you told us what you're looking for.)


Replying to myself to link a discussion from last year that might be of interest - discussing the impact of Silver Ravenwolf on the larger community.
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

RandallS

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10141
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 241
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 05:40:26 pm »
Quote from: Wandering;96121
So, I want opinions on Silver and her books.  Is she good for the newbie but not over the long run?   Does her work just suck outright?  Inaccurate?

IMHO, her books on magic are better than her books on Wicca/Religious Witchcraft. However, there are better books by others on both. Her fiction, while not great, is readable and enjoyable.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
OSR.SPACE: Old School Tabletop RPG Community

Melamphoros

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2746
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 05:43:53 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;96131
Her fiction, while not great, is readable and enjoyable.

 
I thought all her books were fiction:confused:



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog

Wandering

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 11
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 06:25:43 pm »
Quote from: Melamphoros;96132
I thought all her books were fiction:confused:


 
Heh heh. :)

Yeah, I picked up To Ride a Silver Broomstick at the beginning of the summer (which should give some indication as to how much of a newb I am) and found it...  entertaining.    Honestly, in the beginning I was grabbing any book I could get my hands on just for the sheer thrill of having tangible reading material in front of me.  I've learned to be more careful about my resource choices since those dark ages, but at the time, her book seemed like a gift from the gods.  

Now, I do some careful viewing of reviews and the like before I get into a book.   I'm learning.  Albeit slowly, but I'm learning.
"I am not an unimaginable thing, my thoughts are tangible, though they\'re full of springs."

Automatonic Electronic Harmonics - Steam Powered Giraffe

Cabal

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2012
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 1344
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Belgae Polytheism
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 07:10:13 pm »
Quote from: Wandering;96137
Heh heh. :)

Yeah, I picked up To Ride a Silver Broomstick at the beginning of the summer (which should give some indication as to how much of a newb I am) and found it...  entertaining.    Honestly, in the beginning I was grabbing any book I could get my hands on just for the sheer thrill of having tangible reading material in front of me.  I've learned to be more careful about my resource choices since those dark ages, but at the time, her book seemed like a gift from the gods.  

Now, I do some careful viewing of reviews and the like before I get into a book.   I'm learning.  Albeit slowly, but I'm learning.
No worries, when I started out I did the exact same, grabbing any book I could on the subject. You learn over time which authors to trust and which authors are just trying to make money.
"In Hell, everybody loves popcorn."

Lokabrenna

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 829
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 07:21:54 pm »
Quote from: Cryfder;96140
No worries, when I started out I did the exact same, grabbing any book I could on the subject. You learn over time which authors to trust and which authors are just trying to make money.


I was also in that boat. One of the few books I could find on the subject was Teen Witch which is the book where she encourages kids to lie to their parents.

I ate it up, but I also never stopped reading, and then I realized "Wow, what was I thinking when I took SRW's books seriously???"

Fireof9

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 937
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 07:35:20 pm »
Quote from: Wandering;96121
while others have recommended I flush the book down the john...

Absolutely do not do that. I keep my copy of To Ride a Silver Broomstick for lighthearted bathroom reading and for in case (gods forbid) I run out of tissue.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 07:35:53 pm by Fireof9 »
Really?  So, hey, want to go fishing?  I\'ve got a telescope, and it\'s going to be a dark night, so we should see the fish really well.
...what, I\'m not talking about fishing?  That\'s stargazing?  It\'s all doing-stuff, so it\'s the same thing, right?
-HeartShadow
 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery,Today is a gift,thats why the call it the present - Master Oogway

Finding the Owl -my blog
The Gwyddonic Order

Wandering

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 11
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 08:05:43 pm »
Quote from: Fireof9;96144
Absolutely do not do that. I keep my copy of To Ride a Silver Broomstick for lighthearted bathroom reading and for in case (gods forbid) I run out of tissue.

 
*Shrugs*  Seems legit.  Goddess forbid I continue down the newbie road, but I think I'm moving away from that... hope I am, anyway.  A lot of the books I bought in the beginning were Wicca books, mostly because that's was the majority of what the local bookstore sold.   I've tried to branch out to other subjects since then, and other, more recommended, authors.
"I am not an unimaginable thing, my thoughts are tangible, though they\'re full of springs."

Automatonic Electronic Harmonics - Steam Powered Giraffe

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Opinions on Silver Ravenwolf
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 08:51:45 pm »
Quote from: Wandering;96121
I've heard good and bad things.  I've heard some people say that she's good for beginners but not in the long run, while others have recommended I flush the book down the john... or something.  

So, I want opinions on Silver and her books.  Is she good for the newbie but not over the long run?   Does her work just suck outright?  Inaccurate?

 
It seems like everyone always has an opinion of Silver Ravenwolf, and no one every gets tired of regurgitating the typical arguments against her.

I enjoyed To Ride A Silver Broomstick and To Stir a Magick Cauldron, although I definitely wouldn't recommend them to a beginner, as there is a lot of misinformation, especially in To Ride and her teen books. They are light, enoyable reading on neo-paganism and magic, and some of her practical information is decent, even if the history she presents is inaccurate and just plain odd. If one is looking for information on traditional Wicca, it's best to look elsewhere. I do find she is pretty honest and upfront, and does state when something she has written is her own opinion and not necessarily right for everyone.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
1207 Views
Last post October 16, 2011, 01:28:42 pm
by SunflowerP
86 Replies
11552 Views
Last post May 07, 2013, 10:05:24 pm
by Tamina
Dia huit, I'm Silver

Started by SilverStar Introductions

3 Replies
702 Views
Last post October 27, 2015, 12:23:10 pm
by Micheál
3 Replies
514 Views
Last post October 19, 2017, 01:45:35 pm
by Figment99
3 Replies
279 Views
Last post October 24, 2018, 09:31:12 am
by RandallS

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 27
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 2
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall