Lisa Chamberlain’s spellbinding series of guides on Wicca magic: “Wicca Herbal Magic”, “Wicca Crystal Magic”, “Wicca Candle Magic”, “Wicca Book of Shadows”, among the rest, exude the magic of their own as they gracefully shepherd us into a Wiccan enchanting spirituality that draws a growing number of people to its circle.
Shrouded for centuries in secrecy, Wicca mode of connecting with nature’s has been gradually opening up, a petal after petal, What Lisa Chamberlain vividly illustrates is how to fuse all the petals of Wicca knowledge together, ushering her readers into the totality of a new kind.
Chamberlains books are especially valuable for the beginners as they open a gateway into Wicca’s splendid world, sparked by paganism and the occult. Hermetically sealed for eons, paganism was revived in the late 19th and the earthly 20th centuries when various esoteric and theosophical societies started popping up across Europe and the United States. As the famous occultist, artist and poet, Aleister Crowley, stated in his autobiography, “Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life . . .” However, back then, it was far from being actually wholesome, being rather conceptual than holistic. In that era, magic was a trendy concept. Practiced in chambers, it set the tone of art, poetry, and philosophy, shaping the cultural discourse in general. Among the noted intellectuals, engaged in the occult, was Arthur Conan Doyle who promoted ardently the reality of the fairy world. William Butler Yeats, on the other hand, was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, conducting magical experiments, inspired by William Blake and other mystics of the past. Immersion into the supernatural allowed him to adorn his poetry with a stunning tapestry of mystical overtones. As Yeats uttered,
“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the disheveled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame”.
And yet, in spite of a plethora of the occult societies at the dawn of the 20th century, the vogue for magic never was about paganism itself, but more about aesthetics of the pagan lore. Blending magic with poetry allowed the cultural elites of that epoch to bypass a taboo on the occult, greatly subdued compared to the “dark” medieval ages, but still quite strong to be practiced openly. Ironically, all these highly exclusive hermetic orders generated long-lasting ripples, shading with sort of elitist undertones our allusions to paganism. In the 60′ and 70’s, the era of magical realism in literature, Jorge Luis Borges, highly versed in theosophy and the occult, used the both to build his intellectual narrative, tricking magic into his exquisite mind’s labyrinth.
Today, when magic finally regained its natural attributes and is openly referred to by various influential gurus of humanity, a Wiccan version of paganism appears greatly absorbing.
In her “Wicca Book of Shadows”, Lisa Chamberlain shares an interesting overview of Wiccan history, tracing it back to “grimoire”, which is steeped in centuries collected knowledge on the occult. “In the late 1940s, when the religion now known as Wicca was beginning to take shape, one of its principal founders, Gerald Gardner, formed a coven called Bricket Wood. This was the first coven of what later came to be called “Gardnerian Wicca.”, she wrote. Highly proficient in “Grimoire, Gardner enriched witchcraft with his own insights and practices.
The first “Book of Shadows”, created by Gardner, was available to the initiates only as magic was still condemned and ostracized. Eventually, as humanity became more open-minded, a Wiccan Book of Shadows became more or less an open narrative, to share and inspire the others, especially via such a universal conduit as the internet.
Amidst the cornucopia of publications on the Wiccan Rede, Lisa Chamberlain’s guides are particularly illuminating as they highlight the most fascinating aspects of Wicca magic, dispelling the aura of negativity that cloaked the Wiccans for decades. Today, as a Wicca circle rapidly expands, one can only wonder why so many people gravitate to their mode of paganism. Studying Chamberlain’s books may allow us to find the answers. Firstly, as it appears, it’s the absence of must follow set in stone dogmas more and more people find both stifling and antediluvian. While Wiccans respect and adhere firmly to the Threefold Law, on the other hand, they never had to conform to any specific holy book, like “scripture”, for instance, explains the author. Instead, a Wiccan Book of Shadows emerges from their personal practices, oral traditions, journals, artwork, poetry and music. That’s what all these shadows are really about. They are intimate revelations of our inner magical powers, infused with incredible potentials for self-expression. After perusing Chamberlain’s guides, we realize that in Wicca Universe it’s no final or clear-cut reference points. Whatever we allude to, is fluid and spontaneous, allowing indefinite creative freedom for the highest good.
Another highly appealing feature of Wicca wisdom lies in the fact that its followers don’t seek the supernatural elsewhere in the higher realms, but find it on the earthly plane, emphasizing the intimacy in our daily interactions with the earth. That said, a Wiccan altar can be improvised as indoors as well as outdoors: on the beach, in the woods or a scenic hilltop. Whatever we pick up from the land, is already imbued with nature’s magic.
Today’s Wiccans act as the genuine co-creators of Mother Earth, setting a totally unique model of synergy for coexisting with the Earth in a balanced and harmonious way no other official religion has ever accomplished.
And, finally, Lisa Chamberlain’s thematic guides show the ways for connecting with nature’s elements effortlessly, attuning into healing and magical properties of its major elements: air, water, earth, fire, herbs and crystals by casting spells, setting intentions and performing sacred rituals. The importance of her books is not just about the helpful information they share in a simple and engaging way, but rather about articulating lucidly the life-transforming basics of a Wiccan spirituality for manifesting positive changes in our lives. Anyone who happens to read Lisa Chamberlain’s manuals, becomes profoundly interlaced with the fabric of magic of our blue planet, even without converting into a devoted Wiccan.