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
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
About the Author
Kate West is the author of The Real Witches' Handbook and The Real Witches' Kitchen. She is Media Officer for The Children of Artemis and High Priestess of the Hearth of Hecate, which runs a popular email support and enquiry service for Witches around the world. A practising Wiccan for over 30 years, she has excellent international contacts.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Call upon the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, asking each to be with you. Next visualize the Goddess as an old woman (the Crone) and the God as Hunter and ask them to join you. Now light the black candle which represents the passing year and think about what has happened in your life and the lives of those around you in the last 12 months. Give thanks to the God and Goddess for the successes and consider what you have learnt from the problems and failures. Also spend some time thinking about any loved ones who may have passed away.
Next light the white candle, which represents the New Year, and spend a short while thinking about your hopes and dreams for the coming year. Ask the God and Goddess to give their blessings to your hopes. You can now perform some divination to help you focus your intentions for the coming year.
Now put out the black candle to say a final farewell to the old year. Thank the power of the elements and thank the God and the Goddess for their guidance. Now enjoy your feast. It is customary to set a place for the spirits of your loved ones at the feast and also take some wine and pour it on the ground outside as a libation. Let the white candle burn as long as you can but dont leave it unattended.