display | more...
American Wiccan. I'm not intimately familiar with her work, but she seems to be the Wiccan equivalent of a Christian creationist fundamentalist. She has written several thick books of the sort all religions produce, which are perhaps only intelligible by people who already understand the faith. She has also produced at least one guide to Wicca for young people - Teen Witch, or something. In this book, she asserted that the European Witch-hunt was a form of genocide against indigenous pagans by the church. She provides a convenient side-note describing the period as the Dark Ages - which she regards as an accurate historical term for the period from 410 to 1066 CE. Never mind that most witch-hunts were later than that, and did not target pagans, or that the period mentioned was in fact a time of considerable cultural output by pagans and Christians alike. Beowulf, the works of Bede, the early forms of the Nibelungenlied, the rise of Byzantium...

Ms RavenWolf (see BiCapitalization) has also written a series of novels about teenage witches, and a number of pamphlets of spells. I am reliably informed that my sampling of her works has been unfortunate, and that her books for adults take a more reasoned and reasonable line than 'Teen Witch'. Apologies to any fans of her work out there. I'm an ignorant cynic, but I know when I see an obvious error. :-)

Wuukiee's WU below is a more balanced critique, perhaps.
Silver RavenWolf (1956-present) is a well-known and oft-recommended author among pagan and Wiccan communities. She is also a very active member of the pagan community in the United States and her local community in Pennsylvania, where she is a respected pagan teacher and priestess. She claims a direct teacher to teacher lineage from Gerald Gardner, one of "the" early prominent teachers in modern Wicca. She has also spent a good deal of time studying astrology, folk magic, and "Pow-Wow" (a fairly unknown German-based Pennsylvanian healing tradition). She is also the director of the Black Forest Circle, a group of covens dedicated to teaching and training pagan clergy. She frequently travels around the country with her husband to give talks. She is also the mother of four teenagers.

She has written a good number of informative books on magickal religions, and was the first author to really try to target the younger teen generation as well as current practitioners. Many pagans recommend her highly and tout her as a community activist working hard to get correct information out, but some consider her a "sellout" because she churns out so many books they question if her motive is to provide information or to cash in on a growing trend (some also feel this because she writes "witch" fiction as well). Whatever the reason, she is a prolific author who many people find exceptionally readable. (It seems to be you either love or hate her writing style. There's not much middle ground.) Many of her predecessors like Starhawk and Scott Cunningham write excellent books, but leave many absolute newbies confused. RavenWolf offers a more basic place to start for those completely new to the religion. She, like many other pagan authors, is printed by Llewellyn Publications. She became famous with her To Ride a Silver Broomstick, a basic "Wicca 101" book.

Works by Silver RavenWolf:

(f) = fiction
(tf) = teen fiction (series)
* 'silver broomstick' series
** 'Silver's Spells' series

  • Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System (with Anodea Judith) -1987
  • To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft - 1993 *
  • HexCraft: Dutch Country Magick - 1995
  • Beneath a Mountain Moon - 1995 (F)
  • To Stir a Magic Cauldron: A Witch's Guide to Casting and Conjuring - 1996 *
  • Angels: Companions in Magick - 1996
  • The Rune Oracle Kit: The Runes' Inner Mysteries Come Alive, Vol. 25 (with Nigel Jackson) - 1996
  • Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation - 1998
  • American Folk Magick: Charms, Spells and Herbals - 1998
  • To Light a Sacred Flame: Practical Witchcraft for the Millennium - 1999 *
  • Witches Runes: Insights from the Old European Magickal Traditions (with Nigel Jackson) - 1999
  • Silver's Spells for Prosperity - 1999 **
  • Halloween: Spells, Recipes and Customs - 1999
  • Silver's Spells for Protection - 2000 **
  • Witches' Night Out - 2000 (tf)
  • Teen Witch Kit: Everything You Need to Make Magick! - 2000 (Teen Witch book plus basic supplies)
  • Murder at Witches' Bluff: A Novel of Suspense and Magick - 2000 (f)
  • Silver's Spells for Love - 2001 **
  • Witches' Night of Fear - 2001 (tf)
  • Witches' Key to Terror - 2001 (tf)
  • Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, from 1996 - 1998 , with additional authors


information from amazon.com and silverravenwolf.com


My view on Silver RavenWolf is a fairly neutral one. I've read or skimmed several of her books--Silver Broomstick was one of the first Wicca books I ever picked up. I personally don't like her writing style, it's at once too flowery and too vague. I prefer Starhawk and Scott Cunningham, both more straightforward and practical. This isn't to say her books aren't informative or useful, just that she's not at the top of my list for pagan authors. She has good, easily used, cross-referenced information and sometimes makes excellent points not found elsewhere. Her Silver Broomstick series I would recommend anyone studying should read; her other magickal books I have not yet looked at but have heard good things about.

Where I do have a serious problem with her are all her Teen Witch work and her "Silver's Spells" items. While I personally think the "teen witch" book is fluffy-bunny worthless tripe, it has two good uses. First, it does present Wicca in a way very young teens (say 12-15, tops) can understand enough to decide if they want to study it fully or not. It's far better to give these folks a guideline rather than have them wander off on their own magically and possibly get themselves into a deal of trouble. Second, it's an excellent thing to give to parents of preteens and teens to convince them that Wicca isn't "devil worship" or any number of evil horrendous things. (For explaining it to parents or clergy that don't have children in this age, please use The Truth about Witchcraft Today by Cunningham. If I at 20 were to hand my parents "teen witch" I’d be insulting their intelligence. But for that stage in life it's a good "oh look this is harmless!" piece of literature.

However the "Teen witch" Kit, which includes the book and very basic tools for spells and whatnot, seems like shameless merchandising to me. It's really not very useful at all, but costs twice as much because it's a "boxed set" with a purple bag, some candles and salt. Same goes for the "teen fiction" series of stories, based on the characters on the cover of the book. While I suppose they're useful to give younger practitioners "role models" or stories to read about people like themselves, it's just something that rubs me the wrong way.

I feel much the same about the Spells series. Selling or profiting from spells in particular is something a lot of pagans consider unethical. And in some ways dangerous, because someone wandering through, grabs a book of Love Spells having no knowledge of magic or paganism as a religion... this is what's called a Bad Thing (TM). Many magical traditions look down upon this too, since the spells from their book of shadows are considered private coven matters and not for public consumption. I'm still undecided on the "ominous" part, although I've seen enough young teen and even college girls mess themselves up on "love spells". But I'm more upset about the blatant merchandising bit. Books of spells like "How to Be a Wicked Witch: Good Spells, Charms, Potions and Notions for Bad Days", "Spells for the Witch in You", and "How to Turn Your EX-Boyfriend into a Toad: And Other Spells for Love, Wealth, Beauty and Revenge" have become MASSIVELY popular in the past 2-5 years. I just feel like RavenWolf's jumping on the bandwagon here, since 'everyone else' has one on the market, she should too.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.