Another non-fiction read today! I jumped at the chance to review Harmony Nice’s Wicca, as I’m so interested in witchcraft – both the history of witches and the application of it in today’s world. This book is a beginner’s guide to Wicca, aimed firmly at the teen crowd, but it’s got a lot of good stuff in it!
Book: Wicca by Harmony Nice
Read before: No
Ownership: Hardback review copy provided by Orion for fair review. All opinions my own.
First off, look at that amazing cover! This book is absolutely stunning – my picture does not do the beautiful rose gold foiling on that soft matte grey any sort of justice. This is the kind of book that winks at you from the shelf and calls out ‘Buy me! Love me!’. It makes me wish I had space on my shelves to face books outwards! The book is also beautifully illustrated inside, with pictures of tools and herbs dotted among the text, and a few full-page images of witches doing their thing.
There’s a lot of information packed into this slim book, but I found the third section most helpful, as this is where the practical information about Sabbats, tools, spells and the practicalities of taking up Wicca can be found. It’s important to remember that this is very much one person’s view of Wicca, and it’s rather a glossy one. The book doesn’t touch on the history of Wicca at all, beyond listing a few branches, and I feel that it paints it in a very rosy, instagrammable light where there is actually a fair bit of unpleasant history, especially around the men who were involved early on. There’s a brief mention at the end that you shouldn’t try to take Wicca up as an aesthetic bit of fun, but take it seriously as a faith, but I felt this should have been centred more in the introduction, as it felt like an afterthought. I did like how central the Wiccan Rede was: an it harm none, do as ye will. That’s a powerful statement that is so important to the witches’ view of the world, and I liked that the author kept coming back to it.
I think that the book presented Wicca in a lot of the ways that I see modern witchcraft – as a way of grounding yourself in a fast-moving world, a way of connecting with nature, a way of giving yourself space to breathe and focus. Yes, this comes across as slightly pinteresty and trendy, since it ties into hygge and self-care and so on, but it’s a good way for teenage girls to channel their passion into something that can help them with their mental health, whether you call it witchcraft or meditation or self-awareness. A lot of this isn’t specific to Wiccan faith, but I liked that the author presented a lot of options, and seemed to have a very eclectic path herself – there’s a real focus on taking what works for you and using it how you feel is best.
Wicca is a great introductory read – I don’t think it’s necessarily the single best text for young people interested in the faith side of Wicca, but it may well spark some interest that can be followed up with heavier research. It would make a beautiful gift, and would be a useful basic reference book for those interested in the subject, with its well-laid out lists. And as the story of why Wicca works for this one author in particular, it’s a fascinating read. Four out of five familiars!