By Mike Gleason
Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior, by Kerr Cuhulain
Llewellyn, 0738702544, 2002
To start with, I like Kerr Cuhulain’s writing style. His approach is very easy to read and understand. He doesn’t attempt to veil things in mystical mumbo-jumbo. Having said that, I have a major objection with this book. I’m sure most readers will not share this objection, however. And it is only fair to say that the only reason I even noticed it is because I had just finished his previous book, Wiccan Warrior, a few days before I started this one. There are entire paragraphs that have been lifted from that book and recycled into the current work. (At least Mr. Cuhulain can’t be accused of plagiarism, since he has lifted the material from his own work.)
Once again Mr. Cuhulain devotes far more time than most authors to using examples from outside of the “mystical” realm. He uses quotes from sources as varied as Bruce Lee and Albert Einstein’ from Longfellow to Robert Plant. He also devotes far more time and space to reminding the reader to make the information and techniques contained in this Book of Shadows a personal part of their life.
He shows the reader how to create and keep an effective Book of Shadows, without restricting the information to that which he presents. He is constantly reminding the reader to record his/her own impressions and the results of rituals constructed, dreams remembered, and meditations undertaken.
Perhaps the largest, and most important, portion of this work is dedicated to facilitating energy work. Let us make not bones about it this is probably the most neglected aspect of our religion. It is about time that an author takes the time and effort to explain it from beginning (which many authors do) through the mid-range (which far fewer do) all the way through to the higher levels (sadly neglected by most authors) in terms which anyone can understand.
On a “technical” level my only complaint about this book is that there are several typographical errors which are a little jarring when encountered, although they do not detract from the overall excellence of this work. They stand out to me only because Llewellyn has been in this field for so long, I expect more of their editors.
The Glossary contained in this book (comprising 28 pages) is one of the most in-depth examples I have seen in years. Containing a mere 55 words, it is none-the-less an invaluable addition to the book, and to a library.
I have a recommendation for those of you who are choosing between Kerr’s earlier work, Wiccan Warrior, and this one. Choose this one, since it is essentially an expansion of the earlier work. Without comparing it too closely, I feel that the vast majority of the earlier work is reproduced in this book. This book supersedes Kerr’s earlier work, in my opinion. It would make an excellent addition to the library of any aspiring Witch.