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Witch Crafting: A Spiritual Guide to Making Magic

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,523 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Phyllis Curott’s first book, Book of Shadows, was an inspirational, spiritual memoir that chronicled her journey from Ivy League-educated, New York City attorney to Wiccan High Priestess. By inviting readers of all faiths to share in her own personal transformation, Phyllis debunked many of the myths surrounding Wicca and revealed it for what it really is: a spiritual move ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Harmony (first published September 11th 2001)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,523 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wicca-paganism
This was the first book on Wicca that I picked up when I was 15 or so. I still have it, if that means anything. This is a great primer on the Wiccan religion. She covers the fundamental Wiccan beliefs, holy days, traditions and lists correspondences for spellcraft. This book's tone is predominantly spiritual/religious, so if yer lookin' for an intro to spells, either casting or writing, I suggest perhaps looking into something else. I found Power Spellcraft for Life to be helpful, and the Elemen ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Phyllis Curott is utterly sensible in her writing style, and I appreciate that, especially since a great deal of pagan books are way less down-to-earth. This is a great practical handbook for both beginners and oldbies like me (I've been pagan for almost 14 years now), giving explanations of why we do what we do that are easy to understand and often not discussed. Some of us, particularly practitioners who have never been part of a coven, don't get these theological explanations of how and why s ...more
Oct 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Zane, Elizabeth, Christine, Molly
The way everyone first read - or was told to read - Starhawk's Spiral Dance in the 80s when seeking Witchcraft books, well, this is the book everyone I know suggests today. It's ALWAYS one of the main books used in my WC apprenticeships. The part about quantum physics is great at explaining magic; I like that the energy of the Universe is Divine Love and not neutral as other books say; the reasons for getting rid of the scare tactics of the 3 fold law are amazing (getting rid of all poorly under ...more
Ami Gallier
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read. This author backs up magical lessons with science, while not getting entangled in it!
Lavoie Lianne (The Towering Pile)
As someone who had never read anything (besides online) about Wicca, I learned a lot from this book. It gave a very good overview of one tradition of Wicca, The Tradition of Ara. While before reading this book I was interested in paganism in general, but not specifically Wicca, Witch Crafting has caused me to consider Wicca (though not necessarily the Tradition of Ara) as a potential path. It also contains some very helpful exercises in meditation and visualisation, as well as lots of useful tab ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
One of my favorite books on the subject, I love the way Phyllis breaks things down and describes them, she makes the subject so accessible. I like that she challenges notions blanketly accepted by Wiccans today, like the Law of Three. The chapter on how quantum physics supports the concepts of magick is also particularly interesting.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent Witchcraft how-to of use to the folk Crafter and the Kitchen Witch especially. Very rich in sensory experience and hands-on work and imagery, acquainting oneself with the natural world, etc. I still use a variation of Curott's ritual bath formula to clean ritual clothes and altar cloths. ...more
Rebecca Wright
Jan 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an OK book. Not my style but nothing really wrong with it. I think it is misleading that she really does not have any real magical workings in the book, it is all more spiritual based. But like I said, not a bad book.
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best beyond the basics books on witchcraft that I have ever read.Perhaps even the only beyond the basics book I've read that, in fact, goes beyond the basics. I borrowed it from the library and didn't want to return it. ...more
Sum Merland
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Neither bad, neither good, just Currot's take on her americanized wiccan tradition. Certain exercises are more or les interresting, still i didn't consider this book as an interesting work for someone who has been around wicca for a while.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-loans
I picked this book out of curiousity and nostalgic reasons. It wasn't *that* bad, but didn't bring anything new to the table.

I'd recommend it to a beginner. The author gets the basics explained and offers some advice and examples of ritual structures, etc.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I should preface this, once again, by saying that this was never going to be a book for me. In many ways I am just not the target audience, and that is okay. It'll be good for someone, I'm just not that someone.

That said, I did eventually start skipping whole sections because I could not engage with the material on any level. Philosophically I agreed with enough of it often enough that I couldn't even engage in a mocking way, but of course it didn't resonate with me nearly enough to be positivel
Bianca Beland
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
A solid guide to American Witchcraft and Wicca through the eyes of a once-skeptic. It tries to explain witchcraft through exercises and explaining the why behind them, but I feel like it may have fallen short in some places, for me personally.

All in all, however, an easy and entertaining read and definitely helped me build my understanding of American Witchcraft and Wicca (although I likely will not become a Wiccan, myself).
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall a good book on spiritual aspect of Wicca. She does a brief overview on spellcraft and focuses mostly on building a spiritual relationship with The Divine. I wish the chapters were arranged a little differently but still a great resource, especially for those who are already familiar with the magic aspect of Wicca.
Stefanie Ellis
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best book on witchcraft and magic that I've read thus far. The author is relatable and really explains the "why's" to the practice, the intention, and how the Universe works. I'd recommend this to both beginners and experienced practioners alike. ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, warm, insightful and informative. One of the first books that I read on Wicca and still a favourite. A good mix of theory, anecdote and practical exercises for someone just starting out on their path.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was gifted to me, and I was very pleased with it. There is many forms of witchcraft, as well as other spiritual practices; and I think everyone can take something away from the book.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
action packed
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful information as a newbie to see what path I wanted to go on, but could have been a little more in-depth.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best!
Sarah Herrle
An excellent explanation of Wiccan belief.
Aenea Jones
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Interesting in regards to spirituality, even for people like me, who can't really identify with the concept of Wicca, but still like to bring more intuition and spirituality into their life. ...more
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was THE book that helped get me moving into pursuing a better learning of both my beliefs, of myself and of my path. Worth the read and will never lend this one out! Lol Its MINE!
Oct 04, 2016 added it
Picked this up for general interest and for research on WIP and whoa.
So much information. So much food for thought. Such detailed plans and lists and so on.
I loved this. I really did. I love her voice, I love her style. I love her reassurances and her encouragement. This is wonderful.
Returning my library copy and buying my own copy forthwith.
Summer Rain
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Phyllis Curott really takes a step back and gets to the core of the spiritual aspects of Wicca and Paganism, the whys and hows, which I find refreshing because a lot of books on the same subject tend to focus on spell work. She provides information in a clear and direct fashion and gives easy to understand techniques for seekers and long time practitioners alike. This is always the first book I recommend.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good, practical thoughts about the whys and wherefores of witchcraft. I don't think the Rule of Three is as sinister as she makes it out to be, though. I find the gendered duality of Wicca much more troublesome, but Ara's idea of substituting "Lover and Beloved" for "Lord and Lady" is a step in the right direction.

Bethany Frost
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book on Wicca I got when I was young. I let a friend of mine borrow it and they lost it! I have been looking for this book ever since! I am so glad to finally find it again!!! This book is great for new practitioners as well as seasoned ones. This book really helps you inderstand Wicca!!!
Sep 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
A poetic introduction to witchcraft 101; the book insists that you actively participate in the set activities which highlights what I largely agree with; that spiritual practice isn't just a spectator sport. ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked her voice in this book, which is why I took my time in reading it. And I also really liked her views on Wicca. She practices it in a free and fun way and I think that really helps in reading about it, as it's not just a list of things to do and say. ...more
Andrea Crossett
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think this was a great primer. It's aimed at those new to the Craft and sets out solid groundwork. A fuller review can be found on my website, A Less Travelled Path. ...more
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Phyllis Curott is one of America’s first public Wiccan Priestesses, an attorney, and an author whose groundbreaking books, published in fourteen countries, have made Wicca accessible to the world and awakened an entire generation to the Goddess. She is founder of the Temple of Ara, the world’s oldest shamanic Wiccan congregation, and was the Vice Chair Emerita of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s ...more

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“Since the 1960s, many men have struggled to find a new definition of masculinity, one that does not involve shutting down emotionally only to burst out in anger or violence once those feelings surface. In the 1980s, Robert Bly, a leader of the men’s movement, wisely and sadly noted that men don’t talk about their feelings because when they look inside, they cannot find them. And the common experience of the absent father is also a reflection of that distant God whom we can’t access—He came, He procreated, He went to the office, so obey the rules while He’s gone and He’ll be back on Judgment Day to punish you if you were naughty. Expressing most feelings other than anger is taboo for men, and many of us women also have this problem of repressed emotion, especially when we enter the once-forbidden work realms of men, where strong emotion is considered a weakness. Bly’s other great and wise suggestion was that the appropriate response to such an absence of feelings is grief.” 1 likes
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