In his Book of Shadows Gerald Gardner wrote of the Eightfold Way – eight pathways to altered states of perception that allow one to channel energy into their magick. These eight paths are (1) Meditation or Concentration (2) Trance, projection of the Astral (3) Rites, Chants, Spells, Runes, Charms, etc.(4) Incense, Drugs, Wine, etc. (5) The Dance, and kindred practices. (6) Blood control, Breath Control, and kindred practices. (7) The Scourge. (8) The Great Rite. High Priestess Sable Aradia brings depth and wisdom to these paths in her book The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power: A Complete Course in Magick and Witchcraft.
One of the things I loved about this book is that even though it comes from a Brit Trad. witch, the subject of the “Great Rite” (sex) is inclusive of non-cisgender and non-heteronormative sex. It’s also inclusive to aesexuality as she writes about the Great Rite as taking pleasure in the senses and not just sex itself. Drawing on the wisdom and practices of other cultures to deepen these pathways, Sable Aradia is very careful to acknowledge where these practices come from and give credit where credit is due. Another thing that I loved is that she doesn’t just share exercises to really tap into these currents of power, she shows them with photos such as when she shares the “Five Tibetan Rites” of yoga asanas practices by Tibetan Monks.
The author is also not shy to take on more “controversial” practices. In the section about the “Scorge” she discusses at length “pain as a teacher” as well as clear boundaries and the power of saying “no” – she also brings spiritual depth to this by viewing the scorge also as the power of shadow-work. She also dives into “Intoxicants” and the taboo subject of mind-altering entheogens used in a spiritual manner. This book is surely to enhance the levels of power any witch is working with and wielding into their Craft whether they are of a Wiccan leaning or not.