The Witches Coven
by Edain McCoy
I haven't read any of Edain McCoys other books, so this was my
first introduction to her writing. I have heard various opinions
about the value and accuracy of her research, but since this book
is essentially one of personal reminiscences and advice, and not
an instructional book they had no influence on my reading.
Within the first half a dozen pages I found out a couple of things.
The first was that I was probably going to disagree with the author
on some points, which isnt too unusual since we came into the Craft
in different ways. The second was that I liked her style of writing
This is a re-issue of an earlier work and would benefit from a
bit of updating there are no internet websites listed, and the networking
section at the end of the book could stand to be updated as well.
At the bottom of page four is a statement which is understood by
everyone and seldom stated in print: I do not, and would not try,
to speak for all Witches. Everyone knows that Witches are independent,
covens are autonomous, and there is no central governing group for
our religion. It is nice, however, to remind the newcomers of this
fact. And, that the reminder comes so soon is an added bonus, in
Her choices, which she is quick to point out are personal, do not
always agree with my own, but that is a function of personal opinion.
She makes clear why she has chosen certain options, and that is
far superior to many authors who state their opinions without an
explanation. Taking the time and space to explain her choices makes
it easier for a newcomer to feel good about their own choices.
Occasionally Edains writing reminds me of some of the oral teachings
I have had from some of my teachers during my years of studies,
especially her remark: None of us is the ultimate authority on Craft
matters, and we all have something to teach and something to learn,
no matter how long we have studied out path. (page 44)
She let people see the good side and the bad of coven experience.
Many authors try to gloss over the disadvantages of coven work (and
there are some). She avoids this without any attempt to sugarcoat
the experiences she has had.
As a record of one individuals experiences with coven working,
and as a broad overview of such, it succeeds in being both entertaining
and informative. It is definitely going to find a place on my recommended
for beginners list, when I finally get around to making one ;-).
Reviewed by Mike Gleason