Book of the Week: Spiral Dance

This week’s book, Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess by Starhawk is one of my all time favorite books on religious Witchcraft.

Though Spiral Dance was originally written in 1978, the copy I reviewed for this website was the twentieth anniversary edition. I found it very interesting to see how Starhawk’s ideas and practices had changed over two decades.

The guided meditations in this book are written in a manner that pulls you in as you read them, and many skills that you may find barely mentioned or even omitted in other books are covered in detail. Practices such as scrying, trancework and aura detection are laid out in simple, easily followed exercises.

The many spells and rituals are written for coven work, but can be easily adapted for the solitary practitioner. There are some great trad-specific myths and legends. My favorite was the Reclaiming/Feri ‘Wheel of the Year’ story.

Many Pagans find Starhawk too political (specifically feminist), but I believe that this is the book to pick up if you are looking for a brand of Witchcraft without the heterosexual centered, male/female polarity that is found in many more traditional forms.

It is important to remember that Starhawk practises Reclaiming Witchcraft. And while at one time all Witchcraft was synonymous with Wicca, that is no longer the case. Reclaiming is an offshoot of Victor Anderson’s Feri Tradition*.

Even if the only thing you take away from this book is the knowledge that the Reclaiming tradition is not for you, it is definitely worth the read. I know that I have learned much from Spiral Dance, and consider it a valuable addition to my library.

*You can learn more about Feri from T. Thorn Coyle’s Evolutionary Witchcraft – to be reviewed at a later date.

2 thoughts on “Book of the Week: Spiral Dance”

  1. I purchased this book a long time ago and haven’t as yet actually read it, but having read your article and seeing that it covers a lot of subjects I would like to learn more about I will have to go and pillage my library to find it again and have a read!



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