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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Real Witches' Handbook: A Complete Introduction to the Craft
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82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2006
I've had this book for many years and I'm a 30 something young woman, who wanted to learn more about Witch Craft through curiosity. I don't belong to any faith but am very spiritual. I found this book insightful and beautifully written. If you're a High Priestess or Priest then this book would most defiantly left you wanting. However, as an introduction to the curious I really can't fault it. It's provided comfort in it teachings, and a sense of belonging in its philosophies. I think most people that read this book will take something from it even if they choose not to embrace the faith. It's very positive and as a result, without wanting to gush, I have made very positive changes to my life. I found the Chapter where she discussed to concept of bad luck very enlightening. There is much, much more to Witch Craft than this book has to offer, but as an introduction is absolutely perfect. Enjoy.
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2005
Although I am not Wiccan and would consider this book to be it was filled with useful information as well as aesethetically pleasing, but most of all extremely easy to read!!!
Kate West is so arcticulate and excellent at expressing herself, you could literally give this book to a child to read, (although it is not a childrens book)!. It is aimed at an absolute beginner and doesnt assume that you have any previous knowledge of the craft, its like "back to basics" if you like, and you may just find that you are re-educated in some ways!!
Although Kate West is definitely Wiccan, and I am on a Traditional Witchcraft path I could not recommend this book highly enough, and I intend to read more from this author in the very near future!
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2001
This book is affordable and incredibly practical. Kate West truly knows that for some people it can be difficult to follow an alternative religion with a poor reputation. The book takes this into account and gives many suggestions for solitary witches living in an environment where it may be dificult to express true opinions - say if your parents are commited Christians!
The book is aimed at teenagers, but does not try and force anyone to do anything they don't want to do. The book is a gentle, inciteful read, which opens your mind. It is not like other books on the Craft which state you must do this and you must do that. West allows readers to develop their skills and to make an informed decision. It makes a delightful read - with no pressure on readers
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2004
Kate West has out-done herself this time, this book covers everything you need to know if you are new to the religion and its even useful for those itermediates/experienced witches out there. The rituals are short and sweet but will put your on the path to knowledge of the beliefs and ways of a wiccan.
This book will widen your knowledge of this fast growing religion and tell you what its really about. I have one piece of information for you, if you cant be bothered reading it or just skim to the magic parts then maybe this religion isnt for you, I couldnt put the book down once i started to read it, its a treasure to anyones library and it is a book that I will refer to for years to come! Hopefully you will feel the same, I strongly reccomend this book for your first book or even as an experienced witches guide.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2001
I was interested in becoming a Wicca, but didn't know what it entailed. This book gives you all the know-how to investigating this religion. Not for people who want an 'easy' entry into Witchcraft. More of a starting point for someone who has no idea what to do first! It gives insight into Wiccan myths, tools, herbology, the eight Sabbats and a whole lot more. A fantastic read; interesting, funny in places and utterly enthralling! And guess what? The author is English! What a real plus! I was worried all the references would be to the US and American culture, but it's just right for the British beginner!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2006
This was the first book I ever bought on the Craft and it set me up fantastically. It's especially great for younger people who perhaps share a house with people who are not into this kind of thing. It shows you how to be discrete without compromising your journey.

There is a section at the start that dispels the Hollywood myths of Magic and sets the new comer straight on all things Witchy. West goes into to detail about all the Sabbats and ways of marking them. She speaks about the morals in Magic, the tools, forms of divination (but not in too much detail) and there is a section on herbs and one on spells. She has also included a getting in touch with other like-minded people section. There's even a "coming out of the broom closet" section!

All in all, great for beginners as it gives you all the basics. West is definitely about passion and not fashion as she says.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2001
kate west has a lot of different sections in this book which covers everything. It does not contain many spells, yes, but thats not what paganism or wicca is all about. I have read books by a few authors including scott cunningham and i would still have to mark this as one of my favourite books. It tells you EVERYTHING you need to know for a begginner and it gives you a few rituals for the sabbats etc. A truly wonderful book, try it.
blessed be
xxx
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2001
This book is a refreshing insight into the practice of witchcraft, and exceptionally easy to read and understand. It is well presented and details magical and herbal spells, folk law, the changing seasons and festivals of the year. Kate West is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Hecate; she has been a practising Witch for over thirty years. Her extensive experience becomes apparent in this book, which contains sensible and practical information that is aimed at both the newcomer and experienced practitioner of the craft. The author's claim that this is a book for real people with real lives is well founded; it is very rare to find a book suitable for those in shared accommodation or living with their parents. This book shows you how to practice Witchcraft with a minimum of fuss and props, perfect for the busy student with no private space. In conclusion this is an excellent book and great value for money, I highly recommend anyone to read it.
Merlyn
Children of Artemis
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I like Kate West's writings, because she is very thorough in how she explains things. I know that part of the beauty of The Craft is that followers can use their imaginations and follow their intuition as to how best to 'do things', but as someone who followed a very strict, Patriarchal religion for 12 years and then left to return to Witchcraft, it feels good for a while at least to have someone say, this is exactly how you can do this. Once you're a bit more confident, then it's different. Kate writes in a conversational style which is really readable, and this book is also suitable for younger readers who might want to pass it on to worried parents :) This book is a nice intro to The Craft which is easy to read and reassures the reader that Witchcraft is available to everyone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2002
Although I have been casting and energy working for over a year, it is only recently that I have decided to dedicate myself to the craft, and this is a great first read.
West writes in a easy to understand style and tells you everything you need to know about the craft when you are first getting started on your path.
The information on the Eight sabbats I found particularly useful, and thankfully there is no 'fluffy-bunnyness' to be found.
All together a brilliant first read. I recommend reading it through once and then referring back to chapters when the need arrives.
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