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A Witches' Bible: The Complete Witches' Handbook

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,410 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
The Complete Witches' Handbook.Everything you need to know is here! The Sabbats; Casting & Banishing the Magic Circle; The Complete Book of Shadows; The Great Rite; Initiation Rites; Consecration Rites; Spells; Witches' Tools; Witchcraft & Sex; Running a Coven; Clairvoyance;Astral Projection. This collection includes two books in one volume, Eight Sabbats for Witch ...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Phoenix Publishing Inc (first published April 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Francoise McKay
Jul 22, 2012 Francoise McKay rated it really liked it
A Witches' Bible is one of the first books I obtained on the Craft. Written by Gardnerian Craft authorities, Janet and Stewart Farrar, it encapsulates much of what the Farrars wrote in previous books, "Eight Sabbats for Witches" and "The Witches' Way". It is a very good overview and outline of how formal covens work, the structure behind them and a basic framework for these Rites within Gardnerian Wicca are included. When I was in a formal tradition, this book was one we referred to often. There ...more
David Crawford
Jul 27, 2013 David Crawford rated it liked it
historically this book does a great job going there the development of the Gardener tradition. However the feelings about homosexuals not being able to perform magic is very reminiscent of an oppressive Christian back ground. I recommend reading as a resource but not as a tradition for my homosexual brothers and sisters.
Amber dePixi
Mar 16, 2008 Amber dePixi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
When I was 13 and wanting to learn more about Wicca, my mom and I went bookshopping and got this. GAH! Naked old people!

Once I got over that, I realized that what is called "traditional wicca" was not for me, and that neopaganism was more up my alley.

Kelly Lynn Thomas
Dec 22, 2011 Kelly Lynn Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pagan
From both a practical and historical standpoint, this is an excellent and essential book. Not only does it provide the coven with a solid working framework for ritual and coven governance, but a realistic context and history of Wicca and modern Witchcraft. Doreen Valiente, who worked very closely with Gerald Gardner and wrote many of his rituals and much of the Wiccan liturgy in use today, worked with the Farrars closely on this book.

And aside from the practicality and historical accuracy, the r
Sep 16, 2015 Peter rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Fools, Vagabond Liars and Scoundrels (and matches)
Recommended to Peter by: A fool
I was given this by some friends who are into the occult with the assurance that I would find something of historical and cultural relevance. We shall see.....
(promised that I wouldn't mention the boobs and bums pictures).....haaa so difficult, sorry. If you are looking at this I will read it, honest!


Now this was to be a deep and somewhat meaningful review but no.

This book is a steaming puddle of horse piss....REALLY, you master your women and own them. Burn bits of
Jul 12, 2008 David added it
Shelves: back-shelf
Along with Buckland's big blue book and Cunningham's Solitary Practitioner, this book completed the trinity of my early pagan education. Could all of these books really be describing the same religion? It certainly kept me from blindly following any one take on Wicca. Of the three, the Fararrs certainly seemed the "witchiest" to me. Inclusion of actual photos makes the book all the more appealing.
Jul 13, 2013 Kerie rated it did not like it
Shelves: esoteric
If I'd known this was about Wicca I would not have tried to read it. I got three pages into it and they lost me at "as a man loves a woman by mastering her."

I don't take anything seriously that starts out with patriarchal nonsense.

Do not recommend.
Julie Decker
Aug 03, 2014 Julie Decker rated it liked it
The Farrars were instrumental in bringing Alexandrian witchcraft to the United States. This book discusses various practices used by traditional witches/Wiccans and outlines the tools and lore associated with the Craft, and the second half outlines rituals for Sabbats. Though this book was not particularly useful to me because I don't practice coven-based Craft and don't care for some of the traditions (or the emphasis on masculine/feminine roles), I thought the spotlight they put on the shape o ...more
Mar 31, 2008 Georgia rated it liked it
Ok...I will be honest...I am not sure where I stand on this book. In regards to efforts put into it, I believe it is a good book...I believe that it is just outside of my belief which is why I have a hard time enjoying it...but then this is how it is with us all...I appreciate this book for what it is and it does provide a good amount of information, so I take what I like and leave what I do not....I would recommend it to others, as I think that for some it could be an invaluable resource!
Lee Ann
Aug 26, 2015 Lee Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I read this strictly for research for a novel I'm writing. In general, it served its purpose and gave me some insight to the Wiccan philosophy and practice. I learned quite a bit about Witchcraft that I never knew before.

But this book was written in the 1980s and I can't help but wonder how -- indeed, I hope that -- things have changed in the Craft since then. For one thing, despite claiming to be anti-patriarchal, Wicca is, well... still very gendered, to put it frankly. Even a bit patriarchal.
Apr 09, 2012 Laine rated it did not like it
Crap. If you think magic tricks are real and merely saying words or burning paper will make your ex-husband fall over dead, then you're dumb enough to love this book.
Mar 20, 2014 Lady rated it it was amazing
This book is an old favourite of mine and I truly believe every Witch should own a copy! It came out back in the early 90s, and it is a combination of "The Witches' Way" and "Eight Sabbats for Witches," previously published. The Farrars reveal the essential rituals of Alexandrian Witchcraft and offer rituals for all occasions plus a good grasp of coven procedures and magick for the starting Witch. Read it for the historical value or read it to learn something; I still use their Wiccaning ritual ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Sybil rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about the craft from this text. It covers all aspects of Wicca specific to the Farrah's and their coven.
Gryffin Veritas
Oct 11, 2014 Gryffin Veritas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wicca
This is a misunderstood book. The Farrars present a very workable system that is very close to Gardnerian Wicca, and yet it's not. Many people think they have published the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, but they haven't, and it's very noticeable in the Sabbats. Many have tried to use the information in this book to pass themselves off as initiates, but it's very easy to see through these attempts. The value of this book can be found in using parts of it for Outer Court training. It enables folks t ...more
May 05, 2016 Elena rated it liked it
There is a wealth of information in this book--truly a bible in that sense; however, ***READER BEWARE--this book is not for every witch. I recommend only the discerning witch read/practice the rituals as outlined. In my opinion there are some practices that may border on dark or grey magic which I am not comfortable with. However, it is thoroughly researched and you will find within these pages a wealth of information, history and obscure rituals that you might not find anywhere else (including ...more
Brian Freeland
Aug 28, 2013 Brian Freeland rated it it was amazing
A MUST have for any following the path.
May 05, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Because this book is the compilation of two separate volumes, I'm combining my reviews of both for this edition.

"Eight Sabbats for Witches"

This book has been a source of inspiration to me for quite a few years, and it is one of the better books concerning the Sabbats available. The rituals are all written with a coven in mind, but a resourceful Solitary can adapt them for individual use with a little bit of creativity and serious thought.
Each Sabbat is covered in detail, with ample folkloric re
Mar 13, 2013 Kosjitov rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wicca-101
First off, Janet and Stewart were Alexandrian witches to start. Not sure why folks keep citing them as Gards, as they went on to call themselves reformed Alexandrians. (Pg. 25 of their own Introduction!)

More importantly, the meat of the book is interesting. I certainly wish this had been my first or second book read on the craft, though in saying that i would not have had the appreciation for it nor the discernment to pick out details that I now can. I would definitely include it on a list for f
Apr 06, 2014 Kyle rated it liked it
A good introductory and reference book to Alexandrian Witchcraft. The material presents a highly structured and hierarchical practice with many references to Gardnerian Witchcraft as well, but draws heavily on Christian and Kabbalic symbols and structures. One can equate this with "High," or ceremonial magick, rather than less structured and personal forms of practice. A great book on any pagan's shelf regardless of tradition practiced.
Mary Lynn
Jun 19, 2015 Mary Lynn rated it it was amazing
I've met Janet and Gavin on three occassions. They have been to my home on two occasions. Janet is the most adorable person you want to meet, and she and Gavin complement each other at lectures. I recommend all of their books. Janet Farrar is a very spiritual person, and very knowledgeable in her writing and her craft. A very dear friend. Love her.
Feb 05, 2015 Therin rated it liked it
A good book for beginners interested in the VERY traditional version of Wiccanism. As always, take any book on the Craft with a grain of salt as these are just the methods and practices that work for the people who wrote them. What path you choose to follow is tailored to you and your spiritual needs.
Once Upon a Darling
Jul 02, 2015 Once Upon a Darling rated it liked it
Shelves: witchy-books
I enjoyed this book. It isn't something I would treat as my 'go-to' for questions and I doubt I'd ever reread it, but it was good for learning about how a set of Wiccans chose to practice. I picked this book up because I was told the Farrar were the third piece that is the trifecta of Wiccan writers, the other two being Buckland and Cunningham. This particular book is more about ritual then every day life. Also is leans more toward the Celtic/Norse explanation of thing. Several of the rituals re ...more
May 02, 2015 Emma-Louise rated it really liked it
As someone who is curious about all religions in the general sense, I found this book quite absorbing. It not only gives a detailed account of the Eight major rituals (Sabats), but also has some fascinating passages from the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, as well as basics for those interested in or new to the Craft.

I agree with the book(s) philosophy that everyone should adhere to the principles of self-respect and togetherness regardless of their creed, race, religion etc. I am not Wiccan myself
Rena Sherwood
Damn -- this is a long book. It focuses on ceremonial witchcraft -- which makes magick far more complicated than necessary. I wasn't too fond of it in my wild, wacky witchy days and now I remember it with embarrassment now that I am an atheist.
Aug 20, 2012 Ashen rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal introduction to modern Witchcraft and Wicca practices. The Farrar's - both practicing witches - give a very detailed description of the philosophy and practices followed by their covens, and provide a voluminous amount of the background history and mythology their religion is based upon.

Janet and Stewart provide in depth instructions on preparing for rites and sabbats, collecting tools and artefacts, and describing the activities that they follow during their own sabbats. Th
Brittany Colombo
Oct 23, 2015 Brittany Colombo rated it it was amazing
I personally loved the book and order the other one off of amazon. Just a good insight on a different world lol
Aug 04, 2014 Lo rated it liked it
Shelves: pagan-studies
I was first exposed to this book almost 15 years ago, having only recently considered myself knowledgeable enough on the subject to form an opinion on it.

And that opinion is that... it's ok. It has its place in the library and going through it now and again usually yields something. It's an extremely Wiccan book, though, and not all that geared toward the actual craft. Very "love and light" stuff, very highly structured and ceremonial.

It's also a product of it's time, I guess? It's an extremely
Nov 07, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
The book was an essential read for those with interest in the Craft. There was a great degree of conversation about the coven's own rituals and their origins. This is a double edged sword -- while they talk only of their own experience and what they know, which I appreciate on one hand; they also limit themselves in scope.

The voices of the authors are secure and ring true in their own experiences. They describe rituals in detail and offer original material as able, as well as offering informati
Jun 07, 2015 Terri added it
Shelves: about-the-craft
This book was not for me. One for the goodwill pile.
Paulette Ortiz
May 23, 2016 Paulette Ortiz rated it liked it
No es recomendado para principiantes
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Janet Farrar, along with Stewart, is author of many books on witchcraft, and a well known witch who has appeared frequently in the media. She currently lives in Ireland and regularly tours the U.S.A. giving lectures and workshops.
More about Janet Farrar...

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