While it feels like a bit of a cliche, The Coarse Witchcraft Trilogy are books the reader will either love or . . . hate.

Billed as "a squint-eyed look at what passes for Craft in many modern groups and just how much of the teaching has been dumbed down so that everyone can acquire rank" there are plenty of people who may well feel insulted by this "true" account of a British Traditional coven. The first two books are made up of episodic chapters, the final part, written much later, describes where the HPS finds herself now as she becomes a crone.

I am a fan of memoirs and (auto)biographies with a real fear that too many of our elders are dying before passing on their knowledge, both occult and historical. Too soon the day will come when no one was alive during the '60s to tell us what really happened (even if biased by personal opinion). One great pleasure with The Coarse Witchcraft Trilogy is that it provides another piece of our shared history in a way that may find you laughing at the odd antics (the scenes in Craft Working, chapter 10 were great). As well, while there is no 'training' given to the reader, there are a surprising number of deep truths and insights found in these pages.

With delicacy, let me mention the major problem: the utter lack of editing. I love a good 'voice' and the author has a strong one but it is completely fouled up. Seemingly stream-of-consciousness writing is a common failing of new writers, and especially when transcribing stories. But a good editor can craft those tales into a powerful narrative that enhances the author's voice, rather than allowing it to disappear in a morass of slang and repeated anecdotes.

In the end, The Coarse Witchcraft Trilogy provides the clearest account of the differences between Wicca, a modern religion, and British Traditional Witchcraft. Those differences are likely where the reader will find themselves enjoying the read, or repeatedly offended.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Melusine Draco
Moon books, 2013
pp. 254, $18.95

 

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