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An influential and revolutionary author
"Wicca is a joyous religion springing from our kinship with Nature", said Scott Cunningham, popular author of more than thirty books of both fiction and non-fiction. This was the first time that anyone spoke of Wicca in terms that I could understand. 'Kinship with Nature' certainly struck more of a bell than 'Religion'.
I picked up a book by Cunningham out of curiosity and found he had the ability to express his perspective and experience in a clear and forthright way on subjects which once brought scorn, ridicule and contempt.
It was all very simple. He believed that everyone's religion was deeply personal and invariably individual.
Scott Cunningham is now recognised as one of the most influential and revolutionary authors in the field of natural magic.
Cunningham's books are a constant delight
But not for traditionalists
Cunningham has his detractors - traditionalists say his books put forward an extremely toned-down, Disney version of Wicca, one which completely ignores the dark side of nature and the human psyche.
Accusations of 'insipid' have come from deeply serious practitioners who abhor Cunningham's steps in making the Craft respectable, but I love his books. I appreciate the clear and direct writing style and his exhortation to "employ whatever works in religious, spiritual, and magickal endeavours".
I enjoy the freedom of expression in present day spirituality and most of all, I delight in the little rituals of each day, of greeting the morning star, of holding my arms up to the rising sun and pausing for five minutes contemplation of the clear and beautiful Moon.
This isn't Wicca, this is relishing the world. Cunningham's books, with their reverence for Nature and wealth of folkloric detail and specific ritual, have been a constant delight to me.
I admire his simplicity of spiritual vision.
Cunningham's excellent introduction to the nature-based religion of Wicca. A primer for those of us who still see Wicca in images such as hags on broomsticks flying across the moon or satanists from a 1950s horror movie.
It was through Cunningham that I learned about this modern style of nature religion. I was taught all through my schooldays by Catholic nuns who, while otherwise excellent in their coverage of the classicist curriculum, neglected to include witchcraft in the studies of comparative religion. Witches were confined to fairy tales of the grim Germanic variety.
There are many varying authors on Wicca and the Neo-Pagan reconstruction movements. Quite often they wrote of subjects which brought scorn, ridicule and harassment from a world blinded by centuries of fear, and misconception.
Scott Cunningham's ability to express his perspective and experience clearly has helped many find and understand the true meaning of walking this path
How about you?
What do you think of Scott Cunningham?
© 2008 Susanna Duffy