Saturday, 11 May 2013

Beautiful, Clever, Dangerous

Review of Apocalyptic Witchcraft courtesy of the highly respected Clive Harper and The Wiccan

This is a beautiful book.

This is a clever book.

This is a dangerous book.

This is a beautiful book. The copy I have is an attractive hardback book, bound in rough black linen cloth, stamped with a dule of white doves. For afficionados of fine book-arts, I understand that there will be an even more sumptuous edition, comprising of 81 slipcased copies bound in hammered gold morocco (ed note: sold out). For those with less extravagant tastes there is also a paperback edition at £15 and for those who prefer e-books, there is a PDF version at £10.

This is a clever book. Citing authorities as disparate as De Lancre and Debord, Ginzburg and Grant, Parsons and Plath, the author's erudition underscores his graceful prose. Written with verve and brio, is is rightly described as "a polemic... not an exhaustive history" Time after time one reads sentences with a jewel-like clarity, for example he brilliantly encapsulates the traditional outsider status of witchcraft - "You will find the witch at the end of a pointed finger".

This is a dangerous book in that it makes you think. Grey challenges many of the 'givens' of contemporary Craft. As he puts it - "Witchcraft casts its glamour through these pages, but it will not be prettified. The sickle moon cuts. The curse harms. The wound bleeds. Without these there is no life in witchcraft." Acknowledging the place of drugs, sex and malefica, this is no book for an interfaith gathering. It is however a book which will inspire, provoke thought and excite!

- Clive Harper 

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