With over 400,000 copies sold, ‘A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner’ establishes itself as one of the most successful books ever on the subject of Wicca, with its first edition published in 1998. Its purpose is to introduce modern Wicca – even to those who don’t know their athames from their amulets or their Sabbats from their scrying – presenting an earth-orientated religion which acknowledges the God and Goddess.
As the title would suggest, this book focuses on solitary Wiccan practices and emphasises individualism through the author’s own philosophy of spiritual flexibility. ‘A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner’ explores the opportunities for living life magically and with total attunement to nature but without rigid and restrictive adherence to ritual. The fundamental beliefs of Wicca are all here for those who want to learn about them – including the tools of the trade, magic circles, ritual practices, ceremonies and Sabbats – each is explained and discussed. However, Cunningham’s approach is to place more emphasis on sincere living and attitude with reference to Wiccan principles rather than getting too tied up by the confines of exact practice which he feels can actually stifle spirituality. Furthermore, as the book guides it also leaves all specific interpretation to the reader which truly allows for the individual to follow his or her own path.
One whole section of the book – The Standing Stone Book of Shadows – includes the author’s very own Book of Shadows which is used to offer readers insights into real life examples of Sabbat rituals.
Along with specific chapters bearing titles such as ‘The Deities’, ‘Ritual and Preparation for Ritual’ and ‘The Magic Circle and the Altar’, there are also exercises for developing magical proficiency and sections on such things as ‘Recipes’, ‘Wiccan Crystal Magic and ‘Spells and Magic. The latter section of the book includes appendices of periodicals, occult suppliers and suggested reading.
The Author: Scott Cunningham
When U.S. Born Scott Cunningham died in 1993 he was aged just 36 but for 20 years of that short life he had been actively involved in magic. His initial forays into the world of Wicca saw him as a member of The Serpent Stone Family coven where he received his Third Degree Initiation but in 1982 he decided to pursue a solo Wiccan path instead.
Highly regarded in New Age circles, Scott Cunningham was the author of more than 50 books covering both fiction and non-fiction genres. His esoteric themed titles are eclectic, covering a broad subject range which includes several on Wicca as well as earth power and energies and magical herbology. Titles, both lifetime and posthumously published, include ‘Earth, Air, Fire, Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic’ (1991), ‘Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner’ (1993) and ‘Cunningham’s Magical Sampler’ (2012).