The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Runes
by Sirona Knight 2000
Review by Sweyn Plowright
On reading about the book, it looked like
a promising primer for beginners, but once again we were disappointed.
A small but thick paperback, designed to
look like a pocket dictionary, with the word "encyclopedia" giving
it an air of authority. The first flick-through looked impressive, and the table
of contents suggested that here at last was a well researched and well laid
out text book on runes. A great idea with great potential.
Unfortunately, the author did not go the
little extra distance to rise above the New Age pack. It does have much that
at first sight looks solid, but closer inspection reveals that these parts were
taken pretty much straight out of Thorsson and Pennick. The good parts look
much like thinly disguised plagiarism, and the bad parts are from her own Wiccan
& Tarot background, or lifted from other New Age writers. There are no acknowledgements,
references, or bibliography to identify her sources.
Her Wiccan habit of regularly mentioning
"the God and Goddess" (without saying which ones) would be particularly
grating to most Asatruar. She also presents the Wiccan sabbats along with the
celebrations of Imbolc, Beltane , & Samhain in the glossary, yet does not
mention Yule, the only Germanic celebration in the Wiccan calendar. For those
experienced enough to sort the wheat from the chaff, the book does not contain
anything of much use. As for beginners, like most of the New Age fluff, it is
as likely to mislead as to teach.
It must be said in her favour, that she
does at least present the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark in their correct order,
in their correct aetts, and without mention of a blank rune.
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