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The Witches Qabala: The Pagan Path and the…

The Witches Qabala: The Pagan Path and the Tree of Life

by Ellen Cannon Reed

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This is one of the first books of its kind that I have read. I picked it up because of The Witches Tarot by Ellen Cannon Reed. There's a beautiful version of the Charge of the Goddess and the presentation of the information shed a lot of light and provoked a lot of thinking. ( )
  Silversi | May 6, 2011 |
I am a witch interested in the roots of my religion which lie in the Qabalah. I have studied the Qabalah before, using the more traditional approaches of e.g. Dion Fortune, and I was expecting this book to be a kind of missing link between the highly esoteric approach and the more down-to-earth pagan viewpoints. I also bought the book to learn how to apply Qabalistic concepts into my own spirituality.

Both my expectations were never fulfilled. "The Witches Qabalah" is a very easy read, but that is exactly why it can never be a good treatise on anything as profound as the Qabalah. And it isn't; the Tree of Life is presented in a matter-of-fact way with a great many number of correspondences, some of them of interest to paganists but certainly not all of them. The various diagrams are useful, but all-in-all it left me a little dissatisfied. Still: it is a good introduction to the systematic approach of the Qabalah to spirituality, but for those already acquainted with it it will leave a sense of superficiality.

But what I found worse than that is that the title does not keep its promise. The Qabalah is discussed (or, rather, presented) in the traditional judaeo-occult framework. Witchcraft and wicca concepts sporadically enter the discussion, but this happens far to infrequently to justify the title "Witches' Qabalah".

To me the book appears to be simplifying the Qabalah - sometimes to the point of dogmatism- and embellishing it with some remarks and elements that will cater and appeal to the pagan community.

The author also seems quite preoccupied with the traditional Angels, Archangels, Names of Power and other typically Qabalistic ideas. This is all OK for ceremonial magic users, but of less immediate interest to the average witch or pagan who hopes to gain a deeper understanding of his or her own path, rather than learning about the assets of a different path.

My final assessment of this book: a nice and quick read and a nice and readable introduction to elements of the Qabalah. The treatment of the relationship between Qabalah and Witchcraft or other pagan paths I found highly unsatisfactory, however. ( )
  BajorRon | May 8, 2007 |
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