Silver Ravenwolf was the very first author on the subject of witchcraft that I ever read as a child. In fact, almost every witch writer of my generation that I know has had the same experience with her work and holds her in a special place within their hearts. Her writing style is entertaining, witty and quirky. A good occult teacher to me is not someone who can string along a bunch of unnecessarily complex words (often misusing them) which when broken down means very little or absolutely nothing other than an attempt to look psuedo-intellectual and pretentious. A good occult teacher to me is someone who can take complex ideas and concepts, break them down and convey them in an easy to understand manner. This shows that they have mastery in understanding the idea or concept and are more concerned with the student understanding the idea than trying to come off as lofty and wise. Silver Ravenwolf is among these very talented teachers.
Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation by Silver Ravenwolf is fantastic for anyone who is new to Witchcraft, Wicca or Neo-Paganism. It provides a strong foundation for any seeker. It’s also a fantastic reference book for anyone who already has a practice. The strength of this Book of Shadows is that it’s aimed at the solitary practitioner, as the name suggests and provides the basics for anyone to have a full personal practice. Scattered among the vast amount of spells, rituals, information and instructions are those gems of deeply inspirational wisdom that Silver provides within her books if you’re paying attention. For example she writes, “To be a Witch, you must be brave enough to face everything inside of you, and have the courage to change the things you do not like. Being a Witch has nothing to do with spells, rituals, and unusual clothing – they are the fun stuff. To be a Witch is to desire personal transformation.”
Critics will often state that they don’t like her prolific work because they don’t believe or agree with this or that within her books. Absurd! I don’t agree with everything in the book – but I’m not sure if I’ve ever agreed 100% with any book that I’ve read on witchcraft or the occult. You don’t need to believe anything in the book, just soak it up and then give it a try. Witchcraft is about experiencing and knowing what works for you, not blind-belief. This is one of the books that I always recommend to those looking for a solid foundation into the craft, as well as those who want to revisit the foundational basics.