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Ms Curott is a very successful Manhattan attorney who has been involved with the Craft for over two decades, as an initiate, practitioner and High Priestess. Like many, she found the way (and the inner strength) to dance the delicate dance of living as a part of our materialistic society and yet living apart from it. She never hid her association with the Craft, but never put it on public display, either. With all of the trendy literature and media hyperbole of late, she felt it was time to bring some things back into perspective. This book is written in a novelized style that makes for both enjoyable and insightful reading. It is her personal chronicle of her journey along the path, her personal experiences, triumphs and tragedies — her personal transformation. The book also contains an abundance of practical and useful material, chants and rituals. Here are some particularly striking passages.

QUOTED PASSAGES:

There was one thing I suddenly knew with absolute certainty: magic is not something that you just do or make. It is something the universe does with you. It is our relationship to the divine. There is nothing more magical than the presence of the sacred in one's life. It changes everything. It is extraordinary, it is gorgeous, and it defies the limitations within which we lead our daily lives. Magic is the art of living a creative life that is graced with divine presence. It isn't something one does to the universe; it's what a living universe does with us once we have awakened to its divinity. It is the sacred dance we share. It is joyous, it is erotic, it is ecstatic, and when it happens roses bloom in December snow, butterflies fill the trees in Costa Rica, and lovers find each other across a river of time. I thought about the last several years and my longing for love. Most people know intuitively that when you fall in love, the world is full of magic. What they don't know is that when you discover the universe if full of magic, you fall in love with the world. (pg 89)

These were the unnatural, man made consequences of a cultural shift that began thousands of years ago, away from the sacred earth to a distant sky god. The religious beliefs of a culture defines its values. Its cosmology has tremendous impact on social and economic institutions, culture, history, the status of women, sexuality and countless other facets of daily life. We have become disconnected from the divine, from the feminine, from the earth, and from each other, living in a millennial alienation from the sacred. God was separated from man, man was separated from woman, and all were separated from the earth. For too many centuries, each has existed in painful separation from the others, and the world we have created expresses this terrible alienation. It also expresses our longing for reunion. (pg 126)

In circle, and in my daily practices, I learned how the Old Religion of the Great Mother Goddess honors and expresses a connection to the earth, the moon, the sun and stars, and the animals and plants that share the planet with us. Its rituals reinforce and give expression to the constant awareness of sacred relationship to all that is and to the divine as it is embodied in all that exists. Perhaps here in the scorched wasteland beneath the burning warrior sun, deep within our culture's shadow, I had finally come to a source of insight, to a wellspring where the sacred flowed in healing waters. (pg 126)

The alchemy of spiritual transformation remained protected and hidden by country clans and urban magical orders who secretly practiced Western mysticism. The Masons arose from this magical and intellectual lineage and it was their revolutionary brotherhood that founded the United States. They believed in the brotherhood of man, the existence of a divinity, and the immortality of the soul. Many of the treasured secret rituals of the Masons reflected those of the Goddesses at Eleusis and Delphi, and the most overt symbols of those beliefs decorate our flag, dollar bills and seals of high office. So often these days, as right-wing politicians and conservative Christians appropriate history for their own exclusionary political ends, they assert that we were founded as a Christian country. In fact, we were founded by magicians as an astounding political experiment, reflecting their equally insurgent, and ancient, spirituality. (pg 126)

I used to think Witches cast spells over people. Now I understand that true Witches work only to gain power over themselves. They work to accomplish self-mastery-- to achieve healing, wisdom, compassion and freedom, and to liberate themselves from the constraints that the world, or their upbringing, have trapped them in. Magic is a part of this process of self-awareness and liberation. To do sacred magic, we must come to know ourselves. And to see ourselves as we truly are, we must have a mirror. Among their many spiritual arts, Witches had long used a variety of mirrors to see into the deepest parts of their own souls, and those of others. They also looked into the heart of the universe. (pg 147)