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Book of Shadows (Anglais) Broché – 5 octobre 1999

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Thousands  of years ago, the Sumerians created a legendary collection of  invocations to the Goddess, ordaining their magical corpus of poetry and  songs a "Book of Shadows." Over time, Book of Shadows has come to  refer to a Witch's journal, a record of spiritual wisdom, a diary of  spells, songs, chants, rituals, and invocations. This is my Book of  Shadows, the story of my first encounter with the ancient ways of the  Goddess. It is the true story of a modern woman's spiritual journey into a  realm long forgotten by Western culture. It is a chronicle of discovery,  challenge, and transformation.

Over the past two decades, as a High Priestess and a teacher of the Old  Religion, I have found when I mention the word Witch, it often  brings to people's minds images of hurly-burly hags casting spells,  licentious young women consorting with the devil, and wizards commanding  supernatural demons to appear. On the lighter side, they might think of  glamorous Veronica Lake in I Married a Witch, sexy Kim Novak in  Bell, Book and Candle, or the adorable TV Witches in Bewitched  and  Sabrina lending some desperately needed excitement, as  well as some unexpected morality, to the American suburbs. Or perhaps they  will remember, with a child's delight, The Wizard of Oz and Glinda,  the Good Witch of the North, who tells young Dorothy the power to find her  happiness, and her way home, has been with her all along. This last image  comes closest to capturing the real and unknown truth about  Witchcraft.

Like most people, there was a time when I thought Witches existed only in  the realm of make-believe. Whether they were real, and whether they  actually had magical powers, were not questions I even considered as a  philosophy student at Brown University, and certainly not later as a young  practicing Manhattan attorney. After all, why would a well-educated,  professional  woman be interested Witches, let alone willingly become  one?

Then, twenty years ago, a series of mysterious coincidences led me to a  world where I discovered the answers not only to these questions, but to  questions buried at the center of my soul--questions, it turns out,  millions of people also want answered, for the answers are the hope for  humanity's future as we enter a new millennium. How are we to find our  lost souls? How can we rediscover the sacred from which we have been  separated for thousands of years? How can we live free of fear and filled  with divine love and compassion? How can we find and fulfill our magical  destinies? How can we restore and protect this Eden, which is our fragile  planet?

The answers were not found in the domain of make-believe, but in the  place one might least expect to find them--in the hidden world of real  Witches.  But contrary to the clichÚs in fairy tales and Hollywood  films, Witchcraft is not a subculture of satanic rites enacted by wacky  spinsters or mad demonologists. It is an ancient, elegant spirituality  that revives the magic of being alive--the kind of magic we have always  longed for, but sadly assumed only came true in storybooks.

Wicca, as Witchcraft is most often referred to by contemporary  practitioners, is the renaissance of a pre-Hebraic, pre-Christian, and  pre-Islamic Goddess spirituality. The word Witch actually comes  from the old Anglo-Saxon word wicce, meaning "wise one," a seer, a  priestess, or shaman who is able to work with unseen, divine forces.  Witches were the singers of sacred songs, the midwives and healers, guides  and teachers of the Goddess's spiritual wisdom. Like Native Americans,  Taoists, Australian Aborigines, the Yoruban tribes in Africa, Eskimos,  Hawaiians, Lapps, and other indigenous peoples, the people of old Europe  and the Fertile Crescent lived close to the earth and respected their  relationship with nature as sacred, for they experienced their world as  the embodiment of the divine.

The shamanic practices of the Old Religion enabled women and men to  attune their psyches and their daily lives to the cycles of nature and the  mystical wisdom found in the earth's profound rhythms. A spirituality of  divine empowerment, the holy magic practiced by Witches, shamans,  priestesses, and mystics celebrated an enlightened connection to the  earth.

Their sacred truths have been passed down by magical orders and within  families, who carefully preserved the religion of the great Goddess. Those  who practiced the old ways--in southern Italy, in the small towns of the  British Isles, and, several centuries later, in rural parts of West  Virginia and New England--were forced to do so secretly, having been  driven underground nearly five hundred years ago, when accusations of  Satanism first arose. From these accusations came the "Witchcraze," the  Church's crusade to suppress the  Old Religion of the Goddess and  establish religious hegemony in Europe.  Hundreds of thousands were killed  in an unholy campaign, most of whom were women, who suffered great losses  in economic and social power. But this was not the only wound to Western  culture. The ancient knowledge of the village wise woman, and man, was  nearly lost, as the sacred rites that maintained the connection between  people, the earth, and the divine were rent asunder.

Hundreds of years after the Witchcraze, the archetype of the horrific hag  continues to hold tremendous power as a repository for modern culture's  fear of women, sexuality, and individual freedom. The repulsive crone has  become our guardian at the gate, challenging our readiness to enter a  world of ecstasy and enchantment. Those with courage, curiosity,  compassion, and a taste for adventure may confront her, and when they do,  behind the mask of the wicked Witch, they will find the beatific face of  the Great Goddess.

As a young woman at the start of my career, I began studying with  priestesses of the Goddess. They introduced me to the timeless arts of  spiritual transformation, imparting tools and techniques that anyone can  use to experience the divine within themselves and in the world around  them. I entered a realm of magic that was as ancient as the history of  humanity, and as modern as the theories of quantum physics. And their ways  enabled me to see the world as vibrantly, divinely alive, rich with wisdom  and beauty.

Since I first began practicing the secret arts of the sacred earth,  Goddess spirituality has emerged from the shadows of misunderstanding as  the fastest growing spiritual practice in the United States. I have  addressed the public, the media, the legal system, Church congregations,  the Parliament of the World's Religions, and United Nations conferences. I  have taught the wisdom of the Great Goddess. I have found a beacon of  truth, a torch that I offer for your journey into the future, into realms  of wonder, magic, and divinity.

We are entering a new era, an age of the Divine Feminine, when the  illumined power of women and men will bring new life to a dying world. It  is a time of critical change that depends upon our spiritual awakening, a  collective epiphany, a summoning of the sacred into our lives. Now is the  time for the Goddess's return, for the return of our lost souls. For the  return of life to a world laid waste by spiritual and environmental  crises. Through the re-empowerment of the feminine principle, our world  can become a holy vessel of connectedness, grace, and joy for all. With  Her return, we will rediscover the Paradise which dwells within and which  encircles us on this sacred, beloved planet.

Revue de presse

"This is destined to be a classic. The book is practical while maintaining that Wicca and magic are spiritual paths with a connection to the divine. I can honestly recommend it both for novices and the advanced alike."
--Janet Farrar, author of The Witches' Goddess

"A modern-day Persephone myth full of magic and mystery, Book of Shadows transcends the bounds of its genre."
--Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"An emotionally satisfying, riveting read, arguably the best--certainly the most unusual--memoir of the year. One might even be tempted to call it 'bewitching.'"
--Sonoma County Independent

"An engaging memoir of magic and self-discovery . . . [Book of Shadows] presents some fine insights into the role Witchcraft plays in the complex milieu of American religion."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Wise words from a smart and savvy priestess of the Goddess; the writing is beautiful, the rituals deep and compelling."
--Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 320 pages
  • Editeur : Harmony; Édition : Reprint (5 octobre 1999)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0767900553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900553
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,2 x 20,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 164.386 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Blue scarab le 14 janvier 2012
Format: Broché
Livre qui m'a réconcilié avec la magie. J'avais peur de ses effets et lire ce beau récit, être enrichie de tous ces renseignements que nous offre Currot m'ont aidé à dépasser mes peurs et à pleinement avancer sur la voie. Merci à l'auteur ! A lire aussi son livre " Witchcrafting"
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 159 commentaires
53 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Required Reading 6 janvier 2000
Par E. B. Davis - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is the most amazing book on Wicca that I have ever read. I finished it in one sitting and plan to re-read it soon. Book of Shadows affected me on a deep level. After years of reading rather cut and dry (albeit informative) books on Wicca, Book of Shadows is a breath of fresh air.
Most books will tell you which direction to face (north, south, east, or west) while saying specific words and making certain hand gestures. Curott's book goes deeper than this window dressing. She actually describes the emotions and visions a person experiences during a spiritual journey.
I found this book to be spiritually and practically superior to almost everything I have read to date, standing alone with Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon.
If there were a Wicca 100 Class. Ms. Curott's book should be required reading. This book captures the essence and feeling of Wicca rather than the mundance aspects.
I wish I were more eloquent so that I could better express how moving, informative, and essential is the nature of The Book Of Shadows.
38 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A beautiful alternative to "recipe" Craft books... 5 mars 2000
Par "carey_kat" - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is not an encyclopedia of spells, or essays of philosophy. This is a touching novel of a woman's personal journey into a misunderstood- and often poorly represented- religion. Moving, enlightening, and inspiring, it is a lovely introduction to witchcraft, and a great read on any level. The downsides: some events are a bit overdramatized to keep the novel 'exciting,' and it does occasionally border on new age fluff, and also touches on gynocentricity and male-bashing. But hey, you read a book written by a woman about a woman-centered religion, working in a male-dominated industry, and you're going to get an opinion or two coming through at some points. I applaud the way she bares her thoughts, her feelings, her experinces, her relationships, and her trials to the public. Ms. Curott is a courageous woman in so many ways, as is clearly shown in this modern-day initiation story. This takes you inside, to see 'what witches do' ...and what they don't. It is a journey of discovery and reclaiming the ancient symbols of women's mysteries. Heartily recommended for the curious, the beginner, the pro, or anyone looking for a touch of the mystical in the corporate world.
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inspires you to question your norm. 18 août 2004
Par nature girl - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Don't let the title throw you!

Even if you are not interested in Wicca, this is a great read. The writing is a little uneven in places, but it's easily forgiven.

On one level, this is an interesting novel about one woman's journey thru life's ups and downs.

On another, its an inspiring biography.

On a third level, its an interesting glimpse into the world of Wicca. The presentation is accessible and suitable for a large audience.

I also recommend this book as a gift for friends that need a gentle reminder that 'woe is me' doesn't solve problems. I found it very refreshing in today's world of 'blame someone else for your unhappiness'.

Ok, now I have to gush a bit: This book really opened my eyes. I'd been stuck in 'woe is me' mode for a couple of years when I stumbled on it. I don't usually read books and then sit and contemplate what I've read. But I did with this one. My life isn't perfect now, but I *was* inspired to take an objective look at myself and identify what was and was not working for me. And make some changes accordingly!
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Classic in Wiccan Literature 10 septembre 2001
Par Buanann - Publié sur
Format: Broché
In "Book of Shadows", Phyllis Curott, a well-respected member of the New York City Wiccan community and an internationally-known spiritual activist on the frontlines of defending the religious liberties of Witches, recounts her introduction through initiation in a Witches' coven (contrary to one reviewer's assertion,the word "coven" is mentioned several times throughout the book, see, e.g. p. 50) As a NYC lawyer and a Wiccan priestess for over thirteen years, I was ecstatic to read this book. Reading Phyllis' account brought tears to my eyes, as it reminded me of my own experiences of discovering the Craft.
Rather than present a dry, past tense biographical account of her life, Phyllis brings her story to life by making it first-person present novel, thereby allowing the reader to experience this spiritual journey through her eyes. She does not just passively describe what occurs in her circle, she poetically invokes ones senses so that the reader can feel what it was like to be a member of Phyllis' coven. Unlike so many books on Witchcraft, which merely describe magic and Wiccan practices in mechanistic terms, Phyllis shows through her life experiences while training to become a priestess in the Wiccan religion how making magic can be a rewarding spiritual practice.
Phyllis does not just describe her coven training, instead she interweaves the parallel story of her rising law career, thus showing how she discovers herself by taking her spiritual beliefs outside of the magic circle, and imbuing them through her entire life.
I have read this book several times now (both the hardcover and the paperback) and have put "Book of Shadows" on the top of my required reading list for prospective students. I'm looking forward to the sequel!
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Very Informative 7 septembre 2005
Par CuriousSoul - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Phyllis Currots writing style will captivate you. She is definitely one of my favorite authors, and writing isn't even her profession. Her style of writing is so beautiful, i cannot stress how great of a read this book actully is. This is not a book just compacted with information of tables and spells, it is a story, a true journey filled with information that will inspire you. I have read and re-read this book several times and i highly recommend it. Phyllis Currot's journey from a curious skeptic to a talented beleiver is magnificent.

Phyllis has covered it all. She provides so many great examples of history into the mix. She does not just state her opinions and beliefs, she supplies the readers with hard facts to back them up. I am no longer a skeptic because of this book. Again, i highly recommend it.

Thank You Phyllis, You have opened so many new doors in my life.
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