The Living Temple of Witchcraft, Vol 1

The Descent of the Goddess

By Christopher Penczak

Llewelly Worldwide

ISBN 978-0-7387-1425-7


This is the penultimate volume in Christopher’s “Temple of Witchcraft” Series, which is a very comprehensive course in witchcraft. Christopher takes the student from a complete novice, to an adept witch through this series of books, and the first volume of “The Living Temple of Witchcraft” is the first step in taking what was learned in the previous four volumes, and fully integrating this knowledge in our lives.


Any course of study that one engages in after first grade has prerequisites. The Living Temple of Witchcraft is no exception. While it stands on its own as a course in advanced witchcraft, it’s not one to be undertaken by the novice. While the writing isn’t difficult the concepts involved will simply not be familiar to the novice.


Also, there are a number of references, especially in the various meditations, to the previous volumes of the Temple of Witchcraft series. While it’s possible to understand what’s going on, having these other volumes can make things much clearer.


The Living Temple of Witchcraft comprises seven lessons which are correlated with the seven Chakras, from the root to the crown. In traveling through these lessons, we travel with the Goddess Inanna as she divests herself of her raiment while descending to the land of the dead. In each lesson we encounter a meditation which helps us understand The Descent of the Goddess and its significance in our own lives.


One of the more interesting aspects of Christopher’s writing is his ability to permit us to think about things that may have been taboo. The lessons in this book are accompanied with lessons from the Left-hand path. While some people are so frightened by anything “sinister” that people who follow a left-hand path are actually banned from some gatherings, Christopher lets us see the real nature of such paths as something other than simply evil.


As a doctor knows how to harm as well as heal, and indeed such knowledge is important in order for him to heal, Christopher reminds us that good and evil are not always clearly defined as actions in and of themselves. Sometimes an action or spell is simply that. Good or evil are defined only by intention.


A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Companion CD series to this book. While what I wrote about that series stand, I’d like to add that these CDs are a tremendous aid to working through the exercises in the text.


If you’re new to Witchcraft, I’d recommend starting from the beginning, with “The Inner Temple of Witchcraft”. Even if you’re an experienced witch, going through the series isn’t a bad idea. Christopher’s take on things may be different than what you’ve encountered in the past. But for the experienced witch this book provides an interesting look into some of the mysteries of witchcraft. It helps us to understand the symbolism of the Descent of the Goddess and to apply this knowledge in our own spiritual paths. The correlation of the stages of the Descent with the various Chakras, as well as the various stages of training in some Left-hand paths, as well as theosophical thought, can shine a light in many places where one might have not previously considered looking.


Christopher has spent a great deal of time studying in a great many areas. He is a gifted writer and seems to answer our questions as we think of them. In his books, we become his students.


These lessons are not to be done quickly. One can’t become a witch by reading a book, or even a series of books. But with diligent study and completion of the exercises and meditations, one cannot help but experience serious growth. The Temple of Living Witchcraft, Vol. 1 affords a giant-step in that growth.