When I See the Wild God – Ly de Angeles – June BBBR

When I See the Wild God: Encountering Urban Celtic Witchcraft
Ly de Angeles
Llewellyn, 2004
288 pages

This is one of those books that seems to have lost its focus. Some of it appears to be aimed at modern pagan men’s mysteries and the God aspect of the Divine, but then there’s also the (by now stereotypical) Celtic aspects of it. However, the bulk of the book is a rehash of Wicca 101, with the usual ritual tools, casting the circle and calling the quarters, etc. And the book doesn’t flow particularly well; sometimes the progression of chapters seems rather disjointed.

Because of this, I found myself skimming the book a lot, more because it was very familiar material than because it was poorly written. I actually like de Angeles’ writing style; she’s an excellent storyteller, and it perks up the fiction quite a bit. If it were just marketed as a Wicca/witchcraft 101 book, it’s be one of the better-written ones on the market. All the basics are here in an easy to read format.

Unfortunately, I just really couldn’t get into the book as I think it was meant to be. The male aspects are primarily a little bit of talk at the beginning of the book, and a mention of some gods. The Celtic flavoring is no different than in other books on “Celtic Wicca” or similar modernized systems with Celtic names in it. Granted, she does a decent job of Celtic mythology 101, but it shouldn’t be taken as genuine Celtic culture, just the usual mash-up.

If you’re looking for a basic book on Wicca 101, this one is a good intro, but if you want men’s mysteries, check out The Pagan Man by Isaac Bonewits or King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Douglas and Gillette.

Two and a half pawprints out of five.

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3 Comments

  1. bwitch said,

    November 15, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I do believe that this book is based on her earlier work: “Way of Merlyn: The Male Path in Wicca” (Ly Warren-Clarke), but updated for Llewellyn publishers. I’m glad that someone else was disappointed with this book. It could have been so much more.

  2. caelesti said,

    June 14, 2008 at 11:04 am

    At first I was intrigued by the title of that one, being both a Celtic pagan and interested in adapting paganism to an urban environment. When I skimmed through it in a bookstore there looked like there were a few unique ideas, but not enough for it to be worth my money.

    I have to say that I think it’s odd that a woman would be writing a “male mysteries” book, unless s/he was transgender or genderqueer.

  3. Atomboy said,

    December 12, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Hello, I’m reading “The Way of Merlyn” at the moment; it’s a sequel to “The Way of the Goddess” and Ly Warren-Clarke states very clearly that both books need to be read in conjunction with each other. In the intro to “Merlyn” she writes “this text should, perhaps be written by a Priest of our Art, but as none have done so, and the women are waiting for you, we shall do so on their behalf! (How’s that for a challenge?”. Maybe at the time the book was written there weren’t as many male mystery books around (there still aren’t that many now, to be honest).

    I am really enjoying “The Way of Merlyn” despite its terrible 70s New Age cover – the introduction to aspects of the Male deity integration in particular are really useful, although I do agree that it’s a bit Paganism 101 in places but the book has been written for a general audience I think?

    I am really surprised that you would think it “odd” that a woman would write a male mysteries book as encounters with the Horned God are just as prevalent as those with the Goddess regardless of which gender we identify with inside and outside sacred space. There are plenty of male writings about encounters with the Goddess so why not the other way around?

    I haven’t read “When I See the Wild God” so can’t comment on that, but I’ll have a look at it before spending my money 🙂

    xx


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