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A Witches' Bible: The Complete Witches' Handbook

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  3,077 ratings  ·  65 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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Wicca by Scott CunninghamLiving Wicca by Scott CunninghamThe Spiral Dance by StarhawkEarth, Air, Fire & Water by Scott CunninghamA Witches' Bible by Janet Farrar
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Francoise McKay
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
Amber dePixi
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
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
...more
David
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.
David Crawford
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.
Julie Decker
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
Georgia
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!
Kerie
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.
Feen
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.
Lady
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
Sybil
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
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
Brian Freeland
A MUST have for any following the path.
Rachel
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
...more
Kosjitov
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
...more
Kyle
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.
Therin
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.
Emma-Louise
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
...more
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.
Ashen
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
...more
Lo
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
...more
Michele
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
...more
KJ
Pictures aside, (NUDITY*) it's a good insightful book, a bit of a thick/heavy read, and a little bit dated but much of it still applies or can still be applied to modern variants. It is very traditionalist Wicca and certain-path-specific but still contains good information for the neopagan or eclectic practitioner.

*(Though if I recall it mentions nudity in practices as OPTIONAL, something which maybe the book should have reflected as having a picture less version isn't apparently.)
Sarah Fimmel
Other than the fact that the title is misleading (it is Wiccan, which is not necessarily synonymous with witchcraft) it's a good book for aspiring Wiccans and provides a reasonable amount of useful information.
Early Wicca drew heavily upon Western occultism and Ceremonial Magick, which in turn is made up of Hermetic, ancient Egyptian, Christian and Kabbalistic teachings.
Barry
Nov 23, 2008 Barry added it
This book is blowing my mind in its explanation of the deep science of witchcraft, the Hermetic Principles of Polarity and Levels, how all energy in the universe is interconnected, opposite yet the same, and the karmic principle of reincarnation and our energy continuing to manifest and come back in many different forms. Mind-blowing.
Chris
Although a very interesting read, that for the most part reflects my own beliefs,I found that the authors seem to write in an over-dramatic manner. Almost like an american soap opera.
I liked Stuart and Janets personal accounts as well as the accounts of their friends and other associates.
Saleris
I think this is a book for anyone as an introduction to Wicca and witchcraft. It isn't a path for everyone, and it's not as simple as waving your arms and chanting some words around in a bedroom. Think about what you want to do and what level of seriousness you wish to go to.
Cassie
THE BOOK on Wicca. Its really the only book you need. You may need someone more experienced in Wicca, however, to help you go through it if it is your first time reading it. You WILL understand it, though if you read it carefully, and try the exercises within it.
Erica Alex
Very dense. Would've liked something less saturated, though I still enjoy learning from it. Definitely keeping it close for any reference needs. Helps with my writing, which is always accepted.
Emerald Storm
Loved this book! This is an older book and I read it side by side with Progressive Witchcraft. Was nice to see how things were done previously and how much they've changed.
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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...
The Witches' Goddess The Witches' God Progressive Witchcraft: Spirituality, Mysteries, and Training in Modern Wicca Eight Sabbats for Witches: And Rites for Birth, Marriage and Death Spells and How They Work

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