This seems to be one of the most popular books for novice Wiccans out there – indeed, it’s one of first books I read when I decided to become a Pagan, and it’s where I got the idea of creating this “Mirror Book” blog of my thoughts and feelings on my religion (although I’m sort of going against Cunningham’s suggestions by making it public rather than private).
I can see why it’s often recommended to beginners – it’s a light and easy read (you can read it in one sitting), yet there’s a surprising amount of information in there. One of the book’s strongest points is its inclusion of plenty of rituals and spells that can be performed very simply, even for an inexperienced Wiccans with few tools. In fact, when you include the author’s Book of Shadows which makes up about half the book, I would say that most the book consists of ritual and spellwork. Which is great, as so many new Wiccans are keen to leap straight in and practice their religion, rather than just read about them.
Plenty of the content has inspired my own rituals (especially altar layout, ideas for esbats and ritual structure), and there’s lots of other rituals in there that I’m keen to try at some point, including a self-initiation (after I’ve been practising for a year). I also liked the inclusion of music and dance into the rituals, as these are simple but very effective ways of heightening emotional awareness in rituals. The directory of herbs, flowers etc. at the back is very handy too, although it’s certainly not unique to this book.
Wiccans looking for the practical magic side of Wicca won’t be disappointed – there are plenty of spells in here, as well as a very interesting section on visualisation techniques for working magick. Actually, practising magic is of quite minor interest to me, but there’s plenty of other ideas in here for connecting with the God and the Goddess.
It’s a nice, concise read, and well deserves its reputation as a great book for new Wiccans.