Mr. Drew is fairly well-known in the Witch community for having an unusual perspective of Wicca and Witchcraft, and his latest book is sure to raise more ripples. My own practice is unusual enough that I am not going to spend any time disagreeing with his perspective, but the reader should be aware that endorsing Mr. Drew’s books may provoke long arguments between Pagan friends, and probably should not be taken as the ‘one true way’ to practice Wicca.
The book is separated into three parts, "The Beauty of the World,” “The Paragon of Animals,” and “In Apprehension, How Like a God,” corresponding to the three initiations of Wicca. At first the reader is taken through rituals, creation myths, the history of human migration from Africa, and plant lore. In the second section we are given more rituals, calendars, the soul, and animal lore. Finally, we are treated to a series of exhortations about leadership and organizations in the pagan community, the afterlife, and a large collection of information about various deities.
Written with a multi-cultural readership in mind, which I find refreshing, I nonetheless have to wonder: how many non-white, European or American Wiccans are there? (I suspect, not many.)* A Wiccan Bible is not Wicca 101 and is definitely not the first book to read on the subject, and especially not the only book to read. It is however, well-written and I appreciated the exploration of many different subjects. Mr. Drew’s views are preceded by a disclaimer, and facts are supported by research and an extended bibliography.
Much of what is stated will strike the reader as unusual, even counter-intuitive. The reader may not agree with everything presented, but if the ideas are allowed to stew a bit, she may find herself encountering new perspectives and unusual points of view. I doubt many people will alter their beliefs because of this book, but the best value may be in taking the time to look at where and why we are where we are.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
* Please note: Wiccan is used very specifically to refer to a subgroup of the overall category of witch. Wiccans follow a European model of the seasons and base their traditions and beliefs on the religion of that area. This statement is not intended to be racist or pejorative, but an observation.
Author: A.J. Drew
New Page Books, 2003
pp. 430, 19.99