Review: Wicca by Harmony Nice

Review: Wicca by Harmony Nice May 25, 2019

Harmony Nice is one of the leading voices in this latest incarnation of Wicca, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this book does what Teen Witch by Silver RavenWolf did in the nineties, both good and bad. Though I’m not its target audience by any stretch, I see myself twenty years ago in this book. Adult me is uncomfortable with that at times, but it’s the truth.

First, the good:

+Anything that empowers young women is a good thing in my book, and this book does that.

+Nice is very likable and open about her own inexperience. She states clearly that she has not practiced long and is not an expert—just a Wiccan doing her own thing. Whether or not I agree with her along the way, big props for that.

+It really is a beautiful book. This design team knew what it was doing.

+Nice is making Wicca more accessible to more people. This is good for all of us.

The not-so-good:

– Nice cites Cunningham almost exclusively, so there’s almost nothing new here. She also includes very little about her own practice, so we don’t get that added novelty.

-The editing is practically non-existent. It is not even clear whether or not “Wicca” should be capitalized. Run-on, awkward sentences are the norm. If you had told me this book was self-published without a professional editor, I would’ve believed you.

-For Nice, Wicca is a centuries old tradition, and she refers to Wicca’s antiquity in passing more than once.

-She makes several statements about contemporary traditions and practices that begin with “It is thought…” or “It is believed…” as though there is no way to know. Any research at all would have verified (or not) some of her speculations.

Final Thoughts: I might consider recommending this book to older children and young teens, but with supplements. Young women seeking solidarity will also find a supporter in Harmony Nice, and that’s no small thing. For most, I would still choose Cunningham and RavenWolf over Wicca by Nice—both offer much more readable books with better resources and, yes, even better history. Those interested in coven-based traditions should look elsewhere.

I’m interested to see if Harmony Nice will write more in the future—I hope she does, at least in part because I feel like she represents a major trend that’s shifting the witchcraft scene and I want to see where it goes. This book has a very rushed feel to it, and I’d also like to see what she can do with more experience under her hat.

Hi, readers! The above is part of a review series I’ve been doing for the last two months on Instagram. There are a ton of new books on the market, from presses and author that many of us may be unfamiliar with, and, selfishly, I wanted an excuse to read as many of them as possible. Also, I see a tendency in Pagan social media to focus almost exclusively on the positive. We want to be gentle and encouraging, but sometimes books need to be criticized and their authors questioned. With that in mind, I’m including both the good and the bad, as I see it. These reviews are designed to be short, quick reads, written in accordance with Instagram’s character limit, so if you have additional thoughts please add them to the comments! And check out @thornthewitch on Instagram for more.

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