The Book Of Shadows by Lady Sheba

Price: $17.95

Magic: The Book Of Shadows by Lady Sheba

Title: The Book Of Shadows
Author:  Lady Sheba
Publisher:  Llewellyn
Year:  2006, 7th Printing
Isbn:  9780875420725
Format:  Paperback
Category: Magic

The Book Of Shadows by Lady Sheba. Stating that the time for secrecy has gone, and seeking to re-establish the craft's respectability, the author hand-copied this holy book of Wicca, traditionally handed down by word of mouth. It describes rituals, invocations, the laws of the craft, and eight ceremonies for the Sabbat.

Many consider this to be the authentic "bible" of Wicca! During the time of the persecutions, this holy book was handed down by word of mouth to new initiates. When Lady Sheba was initiated into her first coven, she hand copied The Book of Shadows. It now forms the core knowledge of every witch coven, and includes: secret initiation rites, laws of the craft, sabbat ceremonies, consecration rituals, invocations, and actual chants and dances for calling on the gods.

By Boudica
This review is from: The Book of Shadows (Paperback)
The Book of Shadows by Lady Sheba was originally published in 1971, and it started rumblings through the Wiccan Community that basically never stopped. There was talk about material that was stolen from so and so, oath breaking with such and such a tradition, who wrote what, who was telling the truth, who wasn't... and so on and so on. This book created quite a splash in it's day. First editions of this book are known to go for $400 to $500 at auction.

Llewellyn has re-released this book, and though it does not stir the controversy it created in 1971 (so I thought when I wrote this review, but it seems it's still "shakin'" the community), it serves a much greater purpose today. It is a "snapshot" of what Wicca was all about in 1971 and before, and we can gauge how far we have come by how much we still have in common with the material printed in this book.

If you look at the printed material of Doreen Valiente and Patricia Crowther and then compare it to Lady Sheba's (Jessie Wicker Bell) material, you can see the roots of the path known as Wicca and how it evolved into what it was in the 1970's. Taking a look forward, especially in the Laws section as well as the Rituals sections, we see how we have moved forward, keeping those things which touched the Sacred yet seeing how we have moved beyond those things that became superficial.

I have talked to some members of traditions which are "similar" to the Gardnerian, and much of this material is still remembered from initiations, or in the old practice of hand writing Books of Shadows.

Though not all the material was adopted by all traditions, the basics are there. So the book does have merit as being accurate to an extent. Not being of the Gardnerian tradition myself, nor a Wiccan, I found it interesting to look at the roots of this Spiritual Path and see where it came from.

This is a fine addition to anyone's library interested in the History of Wicca, or those who are just starting on the path of Wicca and are looking at what the basics were and still are today. I found it to be an interesting road sign in the evolution our religion.