Some books on being a witch seem trivial, more about fashion than faith, slightly dubious. Others ring out with authority. Kate West's The Real Witches' Handbook
is in the second category. West has been a witch for over thirty years, is high priestess of her own group of covens and, in a wider context, is former vice president and media coordinator of the well-respected Pagan Federation. She knows what she's talking about.
West's book is simple, straightforward and down to earth. She describes what witchcraft is actually about, what witches believe and what they do, and how to make the first steps, whether on your own or with others. She emphasises throughout that this is a spiritual path, and is careful to correct common misunderstandings and to avoid any sensationalism.
Although witchcraft, Wicca or the Craft is growing rapidly, and is gaining more acceptance in wider society, many people are still uneasy about it, for all sorts of reasons. West suggests caution and common sense in letting others know that you're a witch, even providing a sample letter as an example of how to explain your beliefs to concerned friends.
While this book is written for anyone interested in becoming a witch, West is clearly aware of the growing interest of teenagers in witchcraft. She is very firm about saying that most reputable covens will not accept anyone under 18, and provides guidance on where to go for further information. This is one of the most sound and sensible introductory books on becoming and being a witch, and is highly recommended. --David V Barrett
From the Publisher
A down-to-earth introduction to Witchcraft that gives plenty of practical advice on becoming a wiccan. Whether you want to join a group or work as a Solitary this is an invaluable guide to the wiccan lifestyle.
The chapters include:
* Myth and Reality what being a witch is all about, how it compares with the Hollywood image
* What Witchcraft is the beliefs and practices
* Moon worship, the elements, Gods and Goddesses, the cycles of death and rebirth
* The Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year
* Becoming a Witch what does it involve?
* Magic how it works and the responsibilites involved. How to avoid potential danger
* Spellcraft how to help you pass exams, attract partners, improve family relationships
* Herbal work herbs for skin, hair, scents, traditional recipes
* How to tell your family and how to make contact with groups and other teenage Wiccans