BOOK REVIEW: Earth Power by Scott Cunningham

When I was a pre-teen/teenager, I found myself moving away from the faith in which my parents raised me (Judaism).  I’m convinced it has to do with my anger at the G-d I’d known, since this was just after my Mom died.


Tangent: Some Jewish people don’t write the word G-d out, because it might get destroyed or damaged, which is seen as a sin.  It’s a habit I can’t seem to shake.  Curious to know more?


Why am I rambling on about this in a post?  Well, that’s where I got this book!  I love telling you all what led me to read a book. 

Please tell me if you enjoy this part of the reviews, or if you think it’s silly – I’d love to hear from you!

I started leaning towards Wicca, earth magic, & paganism in my early teens.  It helped me to connect religion & faith to something I could experience viscerally – the wind blew my hair, the water made my hair curl up, fire warmed me, earth got under my fingernails.

So, I gathered several books on Wicca.  I never read them, but I had them on hand for reference to do my “spiritual activities” (or “spells,” as Wiccans often call them).

Now, I’ve added them to my selection of religious texts.  Alongside The Torah & The Koran (which I haven’t read yet, but my Dad has a copy), I’ve read books like Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook & Cat Magic.

Let’s get on to Earth Power, shall we?


Spoiler-Free!  All the flavor, none of the spoilers!


Unfortunately, Earth Power fell short for me.  It’s possible I may not have liked it as much because I have a monotheistic bias.  I fully understand & admit that possibility.

I also admit that my lack of faith in a higher power – or, at the very least, a serious anger towards said power – affects my reading of this book.  Probably all religious texts.

Then again, there were a couple of other elements of the book that made me dislike it:

  • Inconsistent capitalization.  Sometimes the word “Magick” is capitalized, sometimes it’s not.  Some words in a sentence are capitalized, then a word like “earth,” meaning the planet, isn’t capitalized where I think it would be appropriate.
  • Text waffles between “magick” as a spiritual or meditative process & a religion with form & deities.  If it can be both, which it seems, in my reading, it is, I think that’s something Scott Cunningham could have addressed.  It seemed like he was unsure of it himself without the necessary clarification.
  • Many sentences are very repetitive.  In fact, entire paragraphs – one following the other – say the exact same thing only slightly reworded.

Final Score:

2.5 out of 5 stars!  Cunningham gives some decent advice for scrying – a form of meditation using a visual aid, like a stream, lake, or mirror – which sounds interesting.  But the questionable grammatical choices & repetition annoyed the crud outta me.

Like I said at the start, my biases may impact my reading.  However, I’ve thought better of other Wicca-based books.

Scott Cunningham does use some nice pictures in his books, though.

12 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Earth Power by Scott Cunningham”

    1. Thank you!! Hey, since you’re the only one to comment thus far, can you answer the question from my post (I’ll repost here so you don’t have to hunt & peck through all that word-vomit):

      Why am I rambling on about this in a post? Well, that’s where I got this book! I love telling you all what led me to read a book.

      Please tell me if you enjoy this part of the reviews, or if you think it’s silly – I’d love to hear from you!

      It would really help me to know at least one person’s opinion!

      I know some people who use “G-d,” I know some who don’t. Since I think that, in many cases, the reason Jewish people don’t write the word out – either in English or in Hebrew – is because the paper on which it’s written might get destroyed. Rabbis saying it doesn’t count so much in the computer age doesn’t fly with me.

      I mean, the word could be deleted. The computer could get destroyed or get a virus. To me, that’s against the commandment warning against the destruction of the name of G-d. 🙂

      Also, when you’ve been writing something one way for a long time, it’s hard to start writing it differently. Copying quotations from Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide made me a little twitchy because they used the Canadian/British spelling of words. LOL

      Like

  1. My mom’s death was another big push for me away from the faith I’d been doubting since around the age of eight (she died when I was 14), though I still went to church for a few years afterwards, probably just going through the motions. I was very angry, too, but I’d been questioning for a long time.

    I still have religious habits, too! Whenever someone tells me someone is of a very old age, I’ll always say, “Aw God bless them!” because it’s something I heard growing up, people of older generations like it, and I’ve always been good at putting on that show lol. I also kiss my hand and touch my blinders whenever I make a yellow light, but I crave empirical evidence. It’s so interesting what we take from our childhood even if it’s part of something that’s can be hurtful.

    That’s a shame the book wasn’t good, but I bet this post will spark some good conversation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. We have a lot in common. I mean, a lot of it sucks, but we do have a lot in common. I went to Temple after my Mom died too – I got Bat Mitzvah’d (because that’s what she would have wanted), finished out my Hebrew school career, & even went to Hebrew high school for… like… a week (mostly because I thought a Hebrew school teacher who also taught at the High School was cute, but I’m a weirdo… plus, they served falafel in the cafeteria. LOL)

      I do the same “kiss my hand & touch the visor” action when I run a yellow light too! I do it twice when I accidentally go through a red. I have no idea where I got that habit from – does it have a religious basis?

      Similarly, I hold my breath while driving past a cemetery. I even wrote a little one-liner about it, like a billion years ago: “Do not stand at the cemetery gates and sigh. The dead are restless and jealous of life.” Again, I have no idea where that superstition came from.

      I do hope this review sparks some conversation. Religion can always be a touchy subject.

      Regardless, I’m ecstatic that it sparked something in you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I kiss twice when I go through red, too! I don’t know where it comes from, but my cousins did it, and they drove before me so that’s where I picked it up. I think it’s just a superstitious thing, but it’s like second nature to me now.

        I never held my breath driving past cemeteries, but I’ve heard of that. I’ve done the holding your breath driving through a tunnel, but not while I’m driving hehe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s so weird – I don’t know where these superstitions came from either. Hmm… that gives me an idea. 🤔 🤗 🤩

        Tunnels don’t bother me too much. A little bit, but not as much as bridges. Even while driving, I start having awful thoughts on bridges. I try to keep calm, but it’s white-knuckles on the steering wheel all the way across. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Me too with bridges. Tunnels can scare me because I’m both claustrophobic and afraid of the dark. I remembering being told that you couldn’t honk your horn in this one tunnel otherwise it would collapse, but…now that I’m an adult I think that might’ve been bullshit lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Huh. I’ve never heard that people shouldn’t honk inside tunnels. I mean, obviously, I don’t think that it’s possible for a single horn could destroy the tunnel’s integrity. Even all the cars inside the tunnel honking couldn’t do anything, I think.

        Then again, I loathe to think how badly in need of repair our tunnels & bridges are. That’s why bridges freak me out so much! I think about the worst possible scenario & I can’t shake the thought no matter what I do.

        Still, gotta deal with it. Especially around where we live, right? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I literally have NO idea where the hell I heard that lol. I’m pretty sure someone was yanking my chain because I was gullible AF as a child. Still am as an adult, but I’m better able to catch it.

        When I was researching the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels the Wikipedia article said they were considered possible terrorist targets, which is absolutely terrifying. Being trapped in an underwater tunnel is nightmare fuel. The US’s infrastructure is horrendous, and yeah, I get that twinge from bridges, too. I try not to think about it and just speed over them as quickly as possible 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It does seem like a really weird – not to mention cruel AF – lie to tell a kid. 🤨

        Uggggggggggggh. Well, NOW I’m afraid of tunnels!! That’s a valid point, which should be common sense, that they’d be a big terrorist target. The bridges too, I’d think.

        I try to do around the speed limit when I go over bridges, mostly because I’m so freaked out. I don’t want to get into an accident & end up on the darned bridge even longer than I would’ve if I’d just driven normally. That doesn’t prevent the other people from driving like maniacs, unfortunately. 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your review. I’m curious which books on Wicca you rated higher. I decided some time back that I wanted to read about Wicca in detail from someone knowledgeable in the craft. Where to start? Every book recommended as a good first book also has a host of detractors saying it’s near-worthless and other books are better. By now I’m pretty familiar with the popular book titles, but choosing which to read has been difficult.

    Also, regarding the “G_d” matter, the Jewish custom with G_d is a very recent discovery for me. I’m sure my question must have been raised innumerable times before. Given that his (His, if you prefer) name is YHWH (Yahweh), the tetragrammaton; and “God” is simply a noun designating a deity, and the only thing that distinguishes him from Tammuz, Moloch, Zeus, Bacchus, and “the goddess” is that the “g” is capitalized–which means nothing if you don’t already know what that signifies–why is it that “G_d” is treated reverentially? I would think Jews, of all people, would appreciate the distinction between his name-identity YHWH and the common word, or title, that references him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment! I completely understand what you’re saying about not being able to find a “good book on Wicca!” I think, because Wicca doesn’t have a single holy religious text, there won’t be a consensus.

      Unfortunately, I stopped reading about Wicca after only a couple of years. As such, I don’t have any recommendations. I believe my affair with studying Wicca was just a fling, & I have a few unread books on the subject!

      Some Jewish people believe that G-d’s name requires a high degree of respect. It falls under the First Commandment to never take the Lord’s name in vain. Some other Jewish people believe this extends to translations of “His” name & stand-in names.

      I was taught never to write out the word G-d because the paper could be destroyed, making his name useless or vain. When computers became popular, I naturally extended the habit online. Current thought from more reformed Jewish groups is – the text could be printed out, then destroyed.

      Also, it’s a force of habit. 🙂

      Like

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