I read many books about witchcraft every year, and each one is greeted with the same questions: Will you open me to a new perspective? Will you show me an unexplored avenue of my religion? Happily, The Inner Temple of Witchcraft does just that, especially when combined with the CDs. Penczak believes that a Witch is a walker between the worlds. As such, he focuses on many levels of reality, showing the reader the links between magic and modern science, particularly the physics of magic, helping us understand magic within a universal model.
Although there is very little specific information about the many deities, Penczak clearly explains how the god/desses are aspects of the All, like facets of a diamond. I also found his explorations of chakras to be one of the most through I have ever seen. The meditative practices are much better than many and the "auric cleansing" exercise alone is worth learning. The meditations and exercises are designed to help the reader understand the concepts described. Early on, he teaches us how to shift into a magical mindset at any time. The meditations culminate with the goals of the last two chapters. The first of those is helping you find your own Inner Temple, the place inside yourself where you can gain access to other realms of consciousness, heal, work magic, or just relax. The second goal is teaching how to do a self-initiation into the Wiccan religion and life as a Witch. Penczak asserts what many of us already know: that only the Goddess and God can make a Witch.
Like many “101” books, this one is intended to be experienced, not just read, and the four CD set of meditations are a wonderful companion to the book, providing an easy way to work with the readings without needing to refer to the book during the mediations. Mr. Penczak's voice is lovely and the melodic fill does not distract from the words.
The many exercises are scheduled to be completed over the course of a full year, and it is not an easy course of practice. Although it could be completed in less time, trying to rush through in the interest of “quicker progress” will likely result in cheating yourself of some of the benefits of experiencing your growth in a slower, more expansive setting.
I recommend the book and companion CDs to anyone interested in expanding your life as a Witch, newcomer or experienced. I’ve been a practicing witch for decades now, and learned something new with each chapter.
~review by Lisa Mc SherryAuthor: Christopher Penczak
Llewellyn Publications, 2002
pp. 352, $17.95 (book) and $24.95 (CD)