Edition Reviewed: 1st Edition, 1st printing
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Series: Llewellyn’s Practical Magic Series
# of Pages: 220
Cover Type: Trade Paperback
Living Wicca is the sequel to Mr. Cunningham’s popular Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. It rehashes some of the material from this earlier volume, as well as expanding on some concepts. The main focus of Living Wicca is creating your own tradition of Wicca, with some talk of ethics, mysteries and tools thrown in for good measure.
Topics covered in Living Wicca include: Effective Prayer, The Wiccan Mysteries, Deity Concepts, and Ritual Design. The section “Tools of Learning” is an excellent piece for any confused or overwhelmed Solitary to read. Suggestions are given for categories of ideas to be fleshed out when creating a tradition, such as beliefs and rules. Examples of what many Wiccans believe are given to help get the reader started.
Mr. Cunningham has provided some excellent guidelines to help the Solitary Wiccan determine how they would like to practice. However, I don’t like the way he seems to be pushing the creation of your own tradition. It would have perhaps been better if this had been written as a book to help the eclectic focus their path, rather then as a tradition-writing book.
Living Wicca is written in Mr. Cunningham’s easy style, making this an enjoyable read. None of the ideas he presents are controversial in my opinion, although some of the topics are rather watered down or simplified (such as deity concepts). There are many typographical errors, inconsistencies with format, and layout errors in the edition I reviewed (1st Edition, 1st printing). These errors serve to greatly distract the reader, and make the book look less than professional. However, I believe most of these errors have been corrected in newer editions.
The material within the book is still relevant today, more then a decade later. Some of it has been covered more thoroughly in other books, but not in Mr. Cunningham’s wonderful style. However, I didn’t care for the way Mr. Cunningham continually referred to the Rede as just “Harm none.” This is a simplification that many Wiccans now try to avoid, and thereby serves to date the work.
Overall I would recommend this book to those wanting help putting their beliefs, coven rules, and deity concepts into words. Those looking for guidelines for writing rituals will also find this work useful. I don’t believe that it is a good book to teach the basics of Wicca to an absolute beginner however, due to the over simplification of some topics and the way it promotes creating your own tradition.
Rating: 3.5 – Good guidelines for path creation and ritual writing. Over simplification of important topics, and typographical errors are distracting.