Image

 

This is a weird little book and I’m about to do the thing I rarely do: give an exceedingly negative review.

 

We start right off with an incredibly condescending attitude towards non-Wiccans. All non-Wiccans, which is impressive, because that is probably 98% of the world’s population. Don’t believe me? Here’s the quote:

 

“Many people work very hard to make our world a little better for everyone; many people have absolute faith in their religious beliefs, and many people ask themselves this question: “If I don’t attend all the Esbats and Sabbats regularly, does this mean I am not religious?”

 

My answer to this is a definite “No!” You might be, and probably are, more religious than the many millions of people who do attend worship service regularly!” (from the Preface)

 

Ugh. I don’t like discrimination or prejudice in any form, and this level of Christian bashing is stupid, as well as rude. Along with this condescending attitude, Wiccan Prayers has a lot of grammatical/punctuation errors (see the above for an example, in fact), as well as an over-abundance of exclamation marks! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

 

Worse of all: if this truly were a collection of Wiccan prayers, I would come to believe that Wiccans are a graceless, loutish group of worshipers who lack the ability to craft words into glorious poetry and paeans of praise to their beloved God/dess.

 

I’m not asking that Wiccans compose prayers along the lines of:

My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.

Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.

Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.

O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.

For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;

I dare only to stand in Thy presence.

My heart is open to Thee.

Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.

Behold and lift me up!

In Thy presence I stand,

awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,

into which my mind cannot penetrate.

To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.

No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.

Teach me how to pray.

Do Thyself pray within me.

Amen.

 

~prayer of Philaret, Moscow - 1782-1867

 

Or even:

Angel of God,

my guardian dear,

to whom God's love commits me here,

ever this day,

be at my side

to light and guard,

to rule and guide.

~ Catholic prayer to the guardian angel

 

But can we please have something a little more uplifting than:

Dearest parents, Father God and Mother Goddess, I wish tot hank you for a truly wonderful day. I have experienced many ups and downs today, and with your help, I have gained much joy and wisdom along the way.

 

Thank you for my health, thank you for my friends and family, thank you for my faith, and thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your world.

 

Blessed be.

~ Evening Prayer of Thanksgiving, p 61

 

Mealy-mouthed, lacking rhythm, and just plain DULL. That is how these prayers ‘sound.’  I guess the good part is that if you were afraid to compose your own you will feel emboldened to do so (you can’t possibly do worse.)

 

Or call on the Celts:

Bless, O Mistress of Magic,
Myself and everything anear me,
Bless me in all my makings,
And keep me safe forever.

Keep me safe forever.

From every unclean spirit and sending,
From every evil wish and cursing,
From every wicked spell and glamour,
From every star that frowns upon me,
Save me till the end of my day.
That they may keep me safe forever.

Save me till the end of my day.

Let every nymph and faerie be my sister,
Let every troll and brownie be my brother,
Let every fairy-mouse and will-o-the-wisp befriend me,
That they may keep me safe forever.

That they may keep me safe forever.

 

~ from the Carmina Gadelica

 

My final ‘slam’ comes from a completely misleading and pointless story found in the Preface:

 

Here is a little story I am quite fond of and it strengthens my belief in the fact that one does not have to attend an organized worship service regularly to be religious or spiritual.

 

There was a little boy who was about eight or nine years old named Larry. His parents were very spiritual people, and so, Larry wasn’t raised in any organized or traditional religion. However, Larry did feel the need to “talk” to the God and Goddess on a daily basis.

 

(To save space I will condense the next part and reduce it to: Larry woke up every morning and happily said “I love you” to the God and Goddess, and did so once again every night. He never attended a regular or traditional religious service, but always spoke his prayers. One day he was playing softball with his friends and in running to catch a game-changing hit, he ran into the street.)

 

At the very moment of his winning catch, Larry was hit by a car!

 

As his friends gathered around Larry’s unconscious body, he heard voices from afar, “My Little Larry, this is the Lord and lady, we love you, too!” With this Larry died.

 

I was going to break this apart and analyze what’s wrong, but I believe my readers are intelligent enough to do so by themselves.

 

Avoid this book like the plague.

 

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Mark Ventimiglia

Citadel Press, 2000

pp. 154, $6.95

RocketTheme Joomla Templates