Wicca is a religion of poetry, more than theology.* This view shines through The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess .
This is probably the best introduction to Wicca spiritual practice you can get on paper.
Starhawk's classic Wiccan text is a book for the conscious, adult Wiccan.
There is a depth of insight into the theory and practice of Wicca that is difficult to find from other authors.
In her introduction to the 10th anniversary edition, Starhawk explains that she sees her book as "a tool chest for visionaries," and I must agree.
The Spiral Dance offers guidelines and ritual ideas, while avoiding the common trap of laying out dogmatic rules.
If you're looking for black-and-white dictates and all-or-none doctrine, then this isn't the book for you.
But if you're wanting to understand Wicca -- and yourself! -- more deeply, this is a powerful tool for that pursuit.
Yet without being autocratic, Starhawk still offers training for the chief skills that the beginner needs. A few examples of the hundred or so exercises are . . .
Starhawk's informed and obviously deeply-explored vision of Wicca is inspirational, even after decades of my own experience in the Craft. There are insights within The Spiral Dance that one could spend a lifetime integrating.
The 10th anniversary edition is especially worth reading. In it, Starhawk has included comments from her current perspective, making a classic text completely relevant to today's Witch.
The Spiral Dance is simply the most important book on the foundations of Wicca spirituality that exists to date.
If you were only going to have one book on Wicca in your library, this is it.
Excerpts from The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess
Ultimately, the reemergence of the Goddess religion is a conscious attempt to reshape culture.
* Paraphrasing Starhawk's words, "Witchcraft has always been a religion of poetry, not theology." p 22.
Rating: 5 Stars
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The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess , by Starhawk. HarperSanFrancisco, 1989. ISBN 0-06-250815-6.