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Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman's Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of Thegoddess [Hardcover]

Phyllis Curott
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1998
"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 is full of magic, you fall in love with the world."

When high-powered Manhattan lawyer Phyllis Curott began exploring Witchcraft, she discovered a spiritual movement that defied all stereotypes.  Encountering neither satanic rites nor eccentric spinsters, she came to know a clandestine religion of the Goddess that had been forced into hiding over the course of history.  Book of Shadows recounts Curott's remarkable initiation into Wicca (meaning "wise one") and shares her insights as a high priestess of an elegant, ancient spirituality that celebrates the magic of being alive.

An Ivy-league graduate and promising lawyer, Curott was a typical young woman in her twenties, determined to forge a law career within the burgeoning, male-dominated music industry.  But when she began having prophetic dreams and mysterious visions of ancient female figures and unfamiliar symbols, she discovered an unexpected world of magic and began searching for a rational explanation.  When her friend Sophia--a practicing Witch--suggested having her cards read by a Wiccan High Priestess, Curott instinctively dismissed the idea, but then forced her natural skepticism aside on the chance that this age-old practice might help her understand the unusual occurrences in her life.

Thus begins her journey into the magical world of Witchcraft, a religion originally practiced by priestesses, shamans, and healers that empowers our lives by working with the natural cycles of nature.  Fascinated by this pre-Judeo-Christian religion that honors women as the embodiment of the Goddess and emphasizes respect and love for the natural world, Curott began attending a local coven's weekly circle to learn the sacred arts.  Her Book of Shadows chronicles her ascent to the position of Wiccan High Priestess and her efforts to reconcile her newfound spirituality with her struggles as a woman rising through the ranks of the corporate world.  Along the way, Curott relates the history of Witchcraft and shares many traditional Wiccan practices, such as casting a circle, drawing down the Goddess, harnessing the powers of the natural world, and casting spells for health, prosperity, and love.

Engagingly written and rich with detailed rituals and techniques, this inspirational book traces a modern woman's spiritual journey into a realm of extraordinary experience and enlightenment.  Book of Shadows provides us with the keys to discover an enchanted world of divine empowerment so as to unlock the power that lies within us all.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (Nov 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767900545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900546
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,673,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing light out of Shadows 15 Dec 2006
Going against the stereotypes of someone who chose to become Pagan / Wiccan at 15, I have always been sceptical of so-called 'Wicca books'/ 'Witchcraft books' (there is no 'how-to' for becoming a Witch). But when I noticed the hardback edition of this one whilst browsing a small bookshop, I quickly realised this was something different.

Book of Shadows is part auto-biography, part guidebook, and part story.
The Author's Note at the beginning states:
"The story that follows is true. In an effort to safeguard the privacy of individuals whose lives have touched mine, all of the names and many of the identifying details of the people mentioned in this book have been changed. In some cases, composite characters have been created and some events altered for the purpose of further disguising the identity of individuals."

Phyllis Curott was a non-religious law student when she had her first experiences of the 'magical' world in the 1970's. At the time, she did not recognise them as such. When she graduated she left New York for Washington DC, but found that her premonitions, dreams and insights had stopped. A year later she was made redundant, and returned to New York.
She ended up managing a band, and met a fellow manager, Sophia, who called herself 'a white Witch'. Sophia introduced her to a group of women who were starting a womens circle, or 'coven'.

Over the thirteen chapters (representing the 13 moons of the year), we follow the first year of Phyllis' spiritual journey, as she tries to balance her profesional life in the male-dominated law world of 1980's New York, with her discovery and understanding of the world's oldest religion.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, and highly informative. 21 Jan 2002
First off, I'd like to say that Curott's writing style is very readable. She takes the reader with her on a journey through her initiation into witchcraft, and makes every inch of that journey interesting and enjoyable. If this book doesn't set your world on fire, it's because there's not a dry section of prose in there.
The style is that of a biography, set over a specific period of time. The information that is put across is generally expressed in terms of Curott's own thoughts and feelings about the events surrounding her, making this very personal reading.
Although this focuses on Curott's own journey, any events from her personal life tend to have relevance to the spiritual side, and there's nothing in there that could realistically be edited out. For those that take note, the book contains warnings of mistakes that can be made - if you decide this is the path for you, you will be forewarned about some of these by reading this book. I'd highly recommend it to anyone wishing to learn about witchcraft.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and thought provoking 11 Oct 2005
Book of Shadows is my favourite book of all time. Phyllis is inspiring and the issues she raises about belief systems, the world today, female power and self awareness are very thought provoking and made me see the world in a different light.I love the fact that she comes to Wicca with a certain amount of skeptisism that causes her to question and analize what she is being taught. This book is a must for feminists, witches and anyone seeking a different view on the world.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 July 2001
This book is excellent, the writer has written almost an autobiography of her beginnings as a witch, and yet she manages to keep us interested and make us anticipate every next paragraph. Her journey to initiation as a witch is inspiring to say the least, and the insight into areas of her family, social and work life is most welcome, as it shows how witches are not 'abnormal' or stupid, and most certainly are not evil. She was a completely normal young woman, and she still is normal, only now she is finally 'in tune' with herself, and with the world.
An excellent read for anyone, experienced or not in the wiccan ways.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are no words.. 2 Sep 2002
What can I say about 'Book of Shadows'? I read the book in 8 hours straight and then lent it to my sister, who impressed me no end as a non-wiccan and read the book in 4 days.
Curott involves you, the reader, in her journey from ordinary everyday laywer to ordinary everyday Wiccan laywer and she doesn't polish over her fears. She is honest and everything is included, the good and the bad.
I would describe the book as an autobiography, rather than a 'manual' as it were, but can not recommend it enough! Absolutley perfect for lending to your non-wiccan friends, as Curott explains everything beautifully, so matter of factly and down to earth, you can't help but be inspired.
Treat yourself, you really won't regret it!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I first read this book early last year and couldn't put it down. I'm now reading it again and am enjoying it just as much.
This book chronicles the life of the author, starting in college and how she was called to path of the Witch.
It's very much a personal interpretation of the Craft, but after reading many factual books it made a welcome and refreshing change to see something a little more "personal".
If you are looking for a good book on Wicca then this should definitly be in your library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
great story of a women way into the craft, some lovely writing
Published 15 hours ago by Mrs. C
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
arrived on time, yes

product photo, not as shown

vale for money, yes good buy

not had a chance to read it yet but looks ok original picture is... Read more
Published 14 months ago by suzanne
3.0 out of 5 stars getting there.
I have only just started reading and after the first few pages which i must admit were a little tiersome i gave it a chance and have now gotton into it. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by melody
4.0 out of 5 stars Lot's to love, but too fast in the retelling
This is a spiritual adventure akin to Eat, Pray, Love, except that the journey happens without leaving home in New York city, and it involves a whole gaggle of wonder-filled women. Read more
Published on 25 Dec 2011 by Brian Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars Really magical
I really enjoyed reading this book,while being the story of the author's journey into wicca-which is a fascinating and inspiring story,it is also a book in which you can learn... Read more
Published on 20 July 2011 by M. Tomlinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
Whether you believe or not this book allows you to journey into a magical and mystical time. Its spiritual path encourages and stimulates a mutual interest of foraging for a... Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by JDR
1.0 out of 5 stars Really disliked this book... A LOT.
I have lots of books on Wicca and Paganism and this has to be one of the worst books I have ever bought. I only read the first few chapters before giving up on it. Read more
Published on 9 July 2009 by Michelle BW
2.0 out of 5 stars Just another book on Wicca for me
As this book was the only book on magick recommended by Particia Kenneally -so called- Morrison in her site that thankfully does not exist anymore,well,I bought it. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2003 by Morticia
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
This book reawakened in me my interest in practicing Wicca, not as something to do but as my principle religion. Read more
Published on 17 Sep 2003 by Mr. R. A. Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Wiccan book ever!
This is my favourite book on the topic of Wicca, in fact it's so good I've read it five times! It's written like a novel and follows one woman's magical journey of scepticism and... Read more
Published on 9 Aug 2003 by Christopher Rogers
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