Book review Bucklands Book of Saxon witchcraft

51dNl7KQrIL.SY346

Book Title and Author: Bucklands Book of Saxon Witchcraft

Status?** : Finished

My overall rating of the book** : 3/10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?:
I wanted to learn about how to incorporate my heritage into my practice

My personal thoughts/opinions:

I found this book to be one of the most difficult wicca books i have read to date. Its very coven focused so isn’t really suitable for a solitaire. At times i found this book to be very dogmatic. This book is more suited to someone who has been walking the path for some time and definitively not suited for a beginner or someone who has never read a book on wicca before if anything i think this book would actually scare a lot of people away from the craft. At times i would read it and find i would get really uncomfortable. With phrases like " may the blood drain from your body should you do aught to harm the gods or those in kinship with their love." and " priest/ priestess anoints the forehead, breasts and genitals." for initiation ( this may be potentially triggering for someone who may have experienced sexual assault etc or just isn’t comfortable with someone being that close to their proximity.) I think it would of been better to allow the member to do that to themselves if they deem necessary. This book has very set strict practices and doesn’t give much flexibility or suggest how to rituals alone.

An interesting quote from the book:

" Usually no opponents fight more bitterly and to the death than warring religions. True, the winner will sometimes wear its opponents creed like scalps but not around the waist: every effort is made to obliterate the memory of whence the creed came and the scalp is worn like a toupee and passed off as real hair. The Christian religion had done this in the very beginning when it was struggling for dear life against the Hellenistic faiths of the Mediterranean and Christ was duelling with Attis and Adonis and Osiris and especially Mithras; Christianity adopted alien ideas again when in England the missionary monks acted on the advice of of pope Gregory and and incorporated heathen customs into the conduct of the Christian year. Once Christianity was accepted in England the church had no compunction about obliterating the memory of the heathen origin and maintaining the custom of yule-tide and harvest festivals for instance."

All in all, would I recommend this book?:

No, this book was too dogmatic for me and my taste. It didn’t really dive into Saxon culture like I expected it to. The emphasis is very much on Buckland’s way of coven worship and he places heavy emphasis on the gods Woden and Freya. At times this book drags on and has parts where you wonder why its even necessary and doesn’t seem relevant to Saxon witchcraft. There isn’t a lot of history in this book either which is disappointing. There isn’t much suggestions for how to incorporate Saxon witchcraft into your everyday life nor does it really explain what makes it particularly Saxon it seems to be more what Buckland would want to be Saxon I found. Its writing style I didn’t find particularly engaging and I had to push through my own reservations towards the material to finish it.

5 Likes

I’m sorry your book didn’t thrill you. Buckland’s books were mostly written years ago though and he was very set in his ways so maybe that explains it. I’m gonna have to search my wish list, I think this was on it and it doesn’t sound like I’d enjoy it either. Thanks for the honest review!

3 Likes

About those passages: Anointing the body is considered a token of honor. The genitals are anointed in some traditions to symbolize fertility.

Each coven may have its own practices: Not doing that at all, being optional, or being done by someone you trust in the coven. Just like practicing skyclad, not every coven follows the same practices. In any case, I don’t think it should be weird as long as there is trust in the coven.

Buckland is very much into coven Wicca and this book is the inner workings of his own tradition so that’s probably why it feels so dogmatic.

I have this book in digital format but haven’t read all of it, so I may be wrong!

3 Likes

This is a very helpful and thoughtful review- thank you, @Kira-Marie! And a special pat on the back for sticking with it even though it wasn’t your cup of tea :clap: . I hope you were still able to find some useful bits and pieces despite the tone and approach not resonating with you! :open_book:

From your pointers, it really looks like this book is geared towards a particular type of reader and practitioner. It doesn’t look like something that closely aligns with my personal beliefs too- I’m with you in this one, Kira. But I’ll glad to know a bit more about the book- so thanks again for sharing your thoughts! :blush:

I hope the next book you choose to read feels like coming home and is much more comfortable to get into :books::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

4 Likes

Brightest Blessings,
Uncle Bucky’s Big Blue Book was my first Wiccan book back in 2007. The Coven I was in followed it pretty closely. The you tube videos are particularly helpful. It certainly isn’t for everyone.
The Wiccan term Blessed Be stems from the five fold kiss of initiation.
Spells8 is more suitable to the modern craft. We were pretty wild in the 70s and 80s. We lived under the cloud of the Cold War. The world could be blown up at any moment.
Buckland did bring Wicca to America and we American Wiccans owe him some gratitude for that. I have always wanted to see the Buckland Witchcraft museum in Cleveland, just have a difficult time finding the time.

4 Likes