Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: The Path of a Christian Witch

Image from Goodreads
All right. Bring out the lit geek hat... cause I want to talk about a book I've been reading, or trying to read, for a very long time now: The Path of a Christian Witch.

Now I was raised to believe that all paths are just variations of the same truth. Man's (and woman's) interpretation of the Divine, thus subject to flaws because we are flawed, and also subject to change because we are continuously growing and evolving as individuals and as communities. So when this book came up on my suggestion list, I thought, hey, why not? I'm open to the idea of exploring this combination.

I'm not finished the book. I am trying. Really. But I can't help myself because I have thoughts about what I'm reading and the biggest one is this:

Why is she trying so hard to merge Wicca and Witch into the same meaning and then superimpose it onto Christianity?

Can't she just be a Christian Witch? Why does she need to be a Christian Wiccan Witch?

I say that with the public disclaimer that I am a Wiccan Witch who doesn't believe that you need to be Wiccan in order to be a Witch, which is why I am so boggled by her need to cling to a framework that is Wiccan (or Celtic depending on your point of view) in nature. 

The other issue that is bothering me a lot in this book is the very scatological nature of the text itself. Chapters that attempt to delve into topics like "creating sacred space" "astral space" "a moral code" just end up falling flat because they lack a depth of analysis that would actually be helpful for newbies and seekers wanting to reconcile paganism with Christianity.

Even if you were to approach this book with the understanding that this is another's path (which I did), you'd likely find the way she movies from topics to be disjointed and somewhat trite. Honestly, I got way more out of Ravenwolf and Cunningham than I did from her own take on it. I feel like she's presenting Wicca lite through a manipulated lens of Christianity in an attempt to justify her own path.

But here's the thing, she doesn't really need to justify her path within Wicca so much. I'd be happier as a reader if she'd own her Christian Witchiness more!

The biggest irony to me is that underneath a lot of the fluffy bunny stuff of this book, there are hints that this woman has some experience and studying to add depth to her own knowledge. That said, I feel like it is likely lost on the reader because of the very topical and scatological approach she's taken and her need to merge 2 paths so much. If she concentrated more on the mystical nature of the Bible and the inner teachings of it as a text, I would find her pathworking so much more compelling than hearing about how she holds a dumb supper on All Saint's Day, just after the Witch Sabbat Samhain (so I can appreciate an overlap that I was already aware of, thank you very much).

Overall, I've found the book to be disappointing because it really lacks the depth that could have been exploited by the material in lieu of  reductionism and superficial story telling that really doesn't even give me all that much of a sense of who she is on her own path.

No, I'm not a nice reviewer but I'm honest!


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this review! It's refreshing to read honest reviews 'round the interwebs. It's also nice to read reviews that help expand my vocabulary - I actually had to look up "scatological" to make sure it meant what I thought it meant. (It did)

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