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Mastering Witchcraft Paperback – 23 Jun 1972

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; New edition edition (23 Jun 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552089923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552089920
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,938,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Huson is a British-born author and artist currently living in the United States. In addition to writing books about occultism and witchcraft, he has worked extensively in the film and television industries.

Huson was born on September 19, 1942 in London, England, the son of the author Edward Richard Carl Huson and painter and motion picture costume designer Olga Lehmann. In 1955 he took a turn at acting and appeared as Edward, Prince of Wales, one of the two Princes in the Tower in Laurence Olivier's film of William Shakespeare's "Richard III". From 1956 through 1959 he attended Leighton Park School, a Quaker school in Berkshire, England; from 1959 through 1963 he studied painting, theatrical design and film at the Slade School of Fine Art, University of London. Concurrently he studied the Western Esoteric Tradition with Dion Fortune's Society of the Inner Light. In 1965 he continued his studies with the Stella Matutina and Israel Regardie.

Television and Movies:

From 1965 to 1968 Huson worked as an Art Director for BBC Television and Columbia Pictures UK, before moving to the United States. Between 1969 and 1980 he wrote books and scripts for episodic television, then teamed up with scenarist William Bast to write and produce such television series and movies as "The Colbys", a spin-off from the Aaron Spelling series "Dynasty", "Tucker's Witch", "The Hamptons", "Twist of Fate", "The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake", "Danielle Steel's 'Secrets'", "Power and Beauty", and "The Fury Within".


In 1970 Huson wrote "Mastering Witchcraft", a practical guide for the would-be witch or warlock, followed by a study of tarot symbolism, "The Devil's Picturebook" (1971). In 1974 he wrote "Mastering Herbalism"; and an introduction to parapsychology, "How to Test and Develop your ESP" in 1975. Two fiction books followed, "The Keepsake" (1981), and "The Offering" (1984). In 2004 Huson wrote a second book on the history of tarot symbolism and tarot reading, "Mystical Origins of the Tarot". He generally illustrates his non-fiction books himself, and has designed a deck of tarot cards based upon his research, "Dame Fortune's Wheel Tarot"(2009).

He currently lives in Los Angeles with writer and scenarist William Bast, his partner and frequent collaborator.

References to Paul Huson:

Clifton, Chas, "Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America", Lanham, MD: Rowman Altamira, 2006, ISBN 0759102023.

Clifton, C, & Harvey, G, "The Paganism Reader", New York & London, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 041530352.

"Contemporary Authors" (Biography), Thomson Gale, 2004.

Farrar, Stewart, "Eight Sabbats for Witches", WA: Phoenix Publishing, 1988, ISBN 0919345263.

Freedland, Nat, "The Occult Explosion", New York: G.P.Putnams Sons, 1972, ISBN 0399109544.

Gunther, Max, "Wall Street and Witchcraft", New York: B. Geis Associates, 1971.

Luhrmann, T.M., "Persuasions of the Witch's Craft:, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-674-66323-3.

Valiente, Doreen, "The Rebirth of Witchcraft", London: Robert Hale, 1989, ISBN 0-7090-3715-5.

"Who's Who in Entertainment", Illinois: Marquis Who's Who, Macmillan, 1988.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Customer VINE VOICE on 16 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
'Mastering Witchcraft' is NOT about Wicca, if you want a book on "the Goddess" or "the God" and harm none etc. go look elsewhere you won't find that religious stuff here. This is one mans form of somewhat ceremonial Witchcraft.

This book has been on and off my wish list for months now. I kept hearing contradicting accounts of its worth and value but I finally bit the bullet and decided to see for myself what all the fuss was about!

I'm extremely glad I read this book as it's a refreshingly non-dogmatic. There's talk of cursing, seduction via magic, manipulative spells etc. all very interesting and more along the lines of a left-hand path. I actually liked that Huson did not tell the reader to not do such and such like most writers, rather he left it up to the reader's discretion to decide what was acceptable practice (morally speaking) and what was not. Although despite this, I did feel as though some parts of this book were written with a booming 'mwhahahaha' following some parts of the darker passages -- this does not however dent it's inherent worth as a text.

'Mastering Witchcraft' would make a good test to use on self-proclaimed 'witches'. Indeed if they find the whole thing too dark and immediately want to burry it in the back garden, asking that "the Goddess" please enlighten this misguided Satanist then obviously they're not a real witch. If you come out of this book having appreciated it then, pat yourself on the back, you have the stomach to study Witchcraft. If one cannot cope with the material presented within this book then there's something very wrong; people who call the practices in Husons text 'satanic' really need to get back into the new age fluffy book section of the bookshop.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jan Pellow on 4 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
This has been a perennially popular book among witches since its original publication in 1970 due partly to its clear ritual instruction and partly because of the interesting lore it contains.

In a recent documentary Professor Ronald Hutton described this book as "The most notorious text of modern witchcraft" ..."unashamedly about gaining power and completely amoral when it comes to hurting people".

So all in all a good and interesting book on witchcraft, just as long as you aren't looking for overly moralistic wiccan stuff.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. G. De Filleul on 20 May 2010
Format: Paperback
When i first read reviews for this book i was put off but the mention of traditional witchcraft made me desire the book so i ordered it. When it arrived i flicked through finding reference to stuff i havent heard of and finally a book that actually conects jersey channel islands stuff, ok so its not alot but its allowed me to widen my search for traditional jersey craft.

I begun to read the book and there where things that i dont personally follow but the spells and rituals work, the witches tools are correct. but anyway i began reading it at 9 at night well lets just say when it hit 5 in the mourning i knew it had to be a good book. WORTH HAVING EVEN JUST AS A REFERENCE BOOK ON YOUR BOOKSHELF!! i found it well worth it. remember this is a personal opionion everyone is entitled to there own opionion :-)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Z. L. Reynolds VINE VOICE on 23 May 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an amalgamation of many diverse practices with some theological eyebrow- raisers. There are elements of wicca, traditional Craft, gypsy and folk magic, hermetic ritual etc. etc. It has much valuable material for those who know how to fish for it.
There has been much herrumphing about the 'Lord's Prayer backwards' ritual in the book. I believe that those who find this offensive are missing the point somewhat as it is meant as a symbolic shedding of one's previous religious background which has been a factor in the traditional craft a considerable while longer than this book's been around!
Some wiccans may be offended by the numerous formulae for cursing as it goes against their 'rede' whereas others will be delighted to add more magical weaponry to their arsenal!! Not for the faint-hearted!
Paul Huson's style is entertaining and lighthearted with some laugh-out-loud moments (without trivializing the subject matter) making this book a delight to read.
Although many witches (both wiccan and traditional) have criticized the work for it's lack of theological consistency it appeals to many for it's down-to-earth style and directness in contrast to the overwhelming quantity of fluffy, new-age material on the subject.
I would not disagree with those who say this is a catchpenny book on witchcraft as it is a 'love spells and curses' number, but there is much of interest here and many of the spells are indeed traditional. Huson also manages to drum home some magical fundamentals for beginners which the 'white light' books tend to overlook.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
I couldn't agree more with a previous reviewer that the witchcraft presented in this book is most certainly male-orientated and not full of all the feminist overtones you get in most. While I wouldn't say this tradition is older than Gerald Gardner's, it still has a medeival ceremonial magical air to it, and alot of themes and ritual syles have been adopted from medeival Grimoires and blended in with country witchcraft. I especially liked 'The conjuration of Barrabas' ritual and 'The operation of grand-bewitchment', the author seems less concerned with concealing the dark-arts, and urges you to embrace it. I think the reciting of the lord-prayer backwards is an excellent affirmation for the initiate to renounce former faiths and practices, so much so, I have adopted using it in my coven. Personally I tend to be more of a traditional country witch with a natural and simplistic approach, I'm not fond of endless rituals and ceremonies, but just take what you want and leave the rest.
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