This article was originally written for Wyldwood Radio in 2017.
Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary
Published by Troy Books, Cornwall
If this is the first book on Traditional Witchcraft that you have read then it will help to give you a solid grounding in the history and practice of the path. If this is not the first book you have read on the subject, you will not be disappointed.
Gemma Gary’s writing style is easy to read and yet does not lose professionalism. The book is a great collection of lore, history and practice drawn not from speculation as are many books in Witchcraft and Paganism, but from historical accounts, years of study and personal experience.
The author takes time to explain what is meant by the term traditional, and to dispel many of the myths and misconceptions that it is entirely ancient or that it is a requirement to belong to any specific group.
The flow of the book is perfect, leading the reader on a continual journey of learning and although the book is not meant to be a “how to” guide, I feel that anyone looking for a grounding in the art would greatly benefit from this book and be set well on their way to learning more.
There is a lot of good information about tools used in the craft, places of importance and toward the end of the book, usage of those tools and spaces as the author gives examples of group ceremonies as well as lots of historical information to back up the reasons for each of the seasonal ceremonies covered. If your background is Wicca, Druidcraft or a more modern form of Witchcraft, you will not find the common wheel of the year here; rather you will be introduced to traditional Cornish customs which generally fall on or around the same dates but have definite historical backgrounds.
This book brings to life a tradition which is essential to preserving British customs. It is a joy to read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in an approach to Witchcraft which goes beyond that found in Neo-Paganism.
You can find more information on Troy Books on their website: www.troybooks.co.uk/
Or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/troybookspublishing/