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Dr. Crowley presents a readable and concise introduction to the fundamental concepts of the Wiccan religion. The publisher's review cites this book as "The only introduction you will ever need." Unlike her earlier works, which were written expressly for Wiccans and Pagans, this book is aimed at a larger population. Anyone who is curious, who needs reliable information, or who is just beginning to explore the Wiccan path will find this book invaluable. It is also a very good primer for practitioners who are teaching neophytes. The book explores Wicca, past and present, presents an overview of the general cosmology, and provides practical and useful exercises at the end of each chapter. Particularly helpful in the understanding and teaching of the fundamentals of magic is her discussion of the concept of morphic resonance.
Repetition is important for other reasons. There are traditional words that are used in Wiccan ritual, but we are not bound by these. We can write our own, or we can make them up spontaneously as we go along. Different groups and different individuals have different preferences. However, morphic resonance is an important concept for understanding how ritual works. Morphic resonance is a term coined by biologist Rupert Sheldrake (1990) to explain the phenomenon that every species appears to have a collective or group memory which each individual of the species can access. This is not only true for biological species, but for groups of crystals, molecules and cells. Once a substance has crystallized a certain way, or a species has made and evolutionary leap, every member of the same substance or species is likely to experience the same sort of changes. This explains a well-known scientific fact: when something has been done once in the world, it can be done more easily a second time, and even more easily as time goes on.
Morphic resonance is a similar idea to what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious, the group mind of humanity. The collective unconscious is the level at which we lose partly our individual separateness and merge our minds with those of others. Plants called rhizomes appear to be separate, but deep beneath the soil is a common root. At the everyday conscious level, human beings appear separate, but there is a deeper level in which we are all connected. It is via this deeper level of ourselves that clairvoyance, telepathy and precognition occur. In some people the door between the conscious and unconscious mind is permanently open. They are constantly aware of all sorts of unseen thoughts and energies around them. Others can open and close that door at will. In some of us, the door only opens when there is great danger or emotion. Thus people who are never normally clairvoyant may have strong premonitions if a loved one is in danger, particularly when there is a deep connection such as between parent and child.
The knowledge hidden within the collective unconscious is available to all of us. What has been done once by a human being can more easily be done by others elsewhere. This means, of course, that we can communicate information between our own species in ways that are not yet understandable by science. It confirms telepathy. It also means that the sum of the total of human knowledge is where Witches have always said it was — within us.