Wicca: Another Year and a Day: 366 Days of Magical Practice in the Craft of the Wise, by Timothy Roderick
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738745503, 232 pp., 2015
Traditionally, it takes a student a year and a day to complete their Wiccan initiation. In this sequel to Wicca: a Year and a Day: 366 Days of Magical Practice in the Craft of the Wise, Timothy Roderick has combined his background in psychoanalysis and his knowledge of mythology, folklore, eastern philosophy and Wiccan practices to produce an in-depth, practical guidebook to the second level of Wiccan initiation.
The first book was aimed at solitary students looking to learn the core content of Wiccan practice through the natural wonders of the changing seasons, the shifting tides of time, and the mystic wisdom of the ancient ones. This time around, Roderick has created a workbook that draws on a greater level of spiritual insight, beginning with an exploration of practical magick right at the outset. This book is for Wiccans who have already read the first book, or who already understand the basics of magick and are ready to expand their knowledge and experience to more advanced practical workings.
I believe that any form of initiation undertaken with a strong desire and a spiritual intent can spark growth and an authentic spiritual journey. ((p. 17))
Roderick’s words neatly sum up the aim of Wicca: Another Year and a Day: 366 Days of Magical Practice in the Craft of the Wise, his second book of Wiccan daily practices.
This second degree of training is fairly advanced, though it does provide daily lessons, exercises and meditations related to magical rituals, magical tools, herbs and healing, protection, Wiccan rites, and divination. Roderick provides as much spiritual guidance as is possible without a one-to-one teacher to steer the reader to spiritual-experiential growth.
Do not be tempted to skip ahead with this workbook. It’s important to maintain a steady pace and to follow the lessons and practices in the order they are presented. Why is it crucial? Because the book is specifically divided into 13 sections, each one corresponding to one of the 13 lunar cycles. It is designed to help you time your activities so that they are in sync with the waxing and waning moon. You simply commence at the start of the next waxing moon. I like the fact that Roderick has based the lessons on the lunar calendar cycles because it emphasizes the importance of the moon in Wiccan practices. The waxing moon phase (from the dark moon to the full moon) marks a period of re-birth, growth, creativity, and reaching maximum potential; while the waning moon phase is symbolic of a slowing of growth, shedding of skins, and death.
Though the layout of exercises and lessons are very similar to the first book, there is one significant difference. In this second degree of practice, Roderick sets aside time for several two-day moon-wise retreats. These retreats do not require that you isolate yourself from friends and family, but do mark a shift in consciousness that allows you to distance yourself from the habitual routines of daily life and observe a peaceful silence.
A broad range of Wiccan essentials are included in the lessons and exercises, such as pentacle magick, sigil work, magick squares, advanced incense and oil magick, psychic development, sabbat mystery plays, magical condensers, and exorcisms. Some of the more challenging subjects under study include: how to perform planetary magick, channeling deities, and aligning with the forces of nature.
An exemplary exercise is Knot Magic, this is one of the earliest forms of folk magick, and its practice can be found in cultures worldwide. All that you need for this exercise are three thin nine-foot lengths of cord and your circle casting materials. Once you have identified the cord colour that matches your magical purpose (a colour chart is provided), you are ready to begin some diminishing magick. The exercise goes on to explain how to braid your cord, how to focus your intention, and how to create knot spells and charms over the next two days.
Wicca: Another Year and a Day: 366 Days of Magical Practice in the Craft of the Wise is a great book for a solitary Wiccan who wishes to advance to second degree magical practices. You will find complete and detailed instructions with every lesson, simple lists of all the items that are needed for each ritual, and in-depth explanations about the purposes of each exercise. Roderick also provides an informative appendix listing invoking and banishing pentagrams, necessary magical tools and their possible alternatives. Overall it is an impressive workbook for those studying the second degree.
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