The Three Rays of Witchcraft, by Christopher Penczak
Copper Cauldron, 9780982774304, 205 pp., 2010
This is the first offering from a new publishing venture, Copper Cauldron. The idea of publishing an offering from Christopher is a good one. With over a dozen books and a half a dozen CD sets under his belt, Christopher is not only prolific, but knows how to convey his information without talking down to his readership.
Christopher presents a triple-themed approach to his subject, which is less about Witchcraft and more about the relationships between the three main branches of evolutionary development as he sees it – the divine, the human, and the devas or demigods. Whether you agree with his approach or not, you will find yourself challenged by his writing. It is, in many ways, the antithesis of much modern “occult” writing, which tends towards obscurity and density. Christopher writes clearly and makes no attempt to appear superior to his readers. The information is conveyed clearly and succinctly.
His goal is to help weave together many of the disparate parts which have made their way into the modern Witchcraft movement. Because of the dominant “anything goes” attitude among many practitioners there have been bits and pieces collected from around the world and from numerous cultures, with n o attempt made to fit them into a workable model of the universe. Christopher tackles this obvious need and, while it might be tempting to think this is simply another “new” system, he takes the time and effort to show how the various parts actually relate to one another. Does he succeed? That is for you to decide. Not everyone will agree with all he has written. Still, he has taken the time to put his thoughts out there for evaluation, and he deserves a fair chance to be heard
He has provided numerous charts, but no so many that they overwhelm the text (or the reader). He has also, as is his wont, provided numerous exercises and meditations to help you integrate what you are reading into your own world view. If you are familiar with some of his other books, you know what to expect from these; if not, simply know that his goal is to help you feel comfortable with your workings, and he succeeds admirably.
If this is your introduction to Christopher and his work, you will not be disappointed. If you are a long-time practitioner of the Craft, you will find things here which may be unfamiliar (on the other hand, they could have been ricocheting around your mind for a long time without quite jelling). There are also some things which may seem obvious to you.
Take the time to read this work, do the exercises, and allow yourself to experience a new view of the universe.
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Mike Gleason (1951-2012) dedicated his time to sharing his knowledge and opinions with others, and spent years reviewing books for the Pagan, Wiccan, Witch and magickal communities.