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The Real Witches' Handbook: A Complete Introduction to the Craft

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  537 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A down-to-earth introduction to Witchcraft that gives plenty of practical advice on becoming a wiccan. Whether you want to join a group or work as a solitary, this is an invaluable guide to the wiccan lifestyle.
Paperback, 197 pages
Published February 5th 2001 by Thorsons
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  537 ratings  ·  32 reviews


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Sec
Apr 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'll start this review by saying that, I really hadn't heard of this author until I purchased this book at a used bookstore. I really had no idea what to expect, so I just went with it as read it as it was. As I was live blogging my reviews on things that I found within the book, I actually found that a lot of people knew this author. Not only knew this author, but liked this author. It got me extremely upset, to be frank. Why? That is because if we're giving this poorly researched, poorly addre ...more
Debra
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: for those who want a no-nonsense approach to witches and witchcraft study
Shelves: nonfiction
I knew almost nothing about Wicca, witches, and the practice of witchcraft, so when I came across The Real Witches’ Handbook it seemed like a good place to start research on this intriguing subject. Author Kate West (a High Priestess with over thirty years of Craft experience) does a great job of discussing the myths and reality of witchcraft, plus the Eight Sabbats. West also devotes a chapter on how to become a witch and includes a quick overview of each type of witch. Regardless of the style ...more
Mari
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I haven't read too much about Wicca, but I think it's a very sensible, unauthoritative and gentle religion. I like the connection with nature, individuality and the main principle of doing whatever you like as long as you're not causing harm. Wicca is emphatically equal, but perhaps a little pointlessly (binary) gendered.

I don't believe in magic or the supernatural in the same way Wiccans seem to do, but I could imagine performing a ritual or a spell as a symbolic tool to help myself orientate
...more
Ann M. Noser
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witchcraft
Full disclosure:

November 2015--rereading AGAIN--fun and helpful--admittedly, this was more of a scan for "special sections" :) Helpful again. Thank you.

I'm (re)reading this book as what I deem appropriate research for an urban fantasy, New Adult series I'm writing.
I appreciate the help, the inspiration, and the approachability of this text.
Kate West writes as if she were having coffee with you (although I don't drink coffee), and with all the little side comments (which are often amusing) I feel
...more
Julie Decker
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
This basic witchcraft book answers beginners' questions, outlines the general beliefs of the Craft, attacks misconceptions, and offers various definitions and philosophies. I'm afraid I felt it was simplistic--too hollow, not fleshed out enough--which is not to be confused with basic. For instance, Scott Cunningham has very simple, basic introductions, without too much confusion. But for some reason, with this book, the setup, tone, and presentation of this book made it feel more like . . . Clif ...more
Wiccanmoon JulieJenks
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing


This is my 1st Kate West book. I see that she has a large collection of books she has written. I'm already a fan. I like the down to earth form of writing. Not a lot of elaborate language someone new to the craft may not identify with. It also does not take her an entire paragraph to get her point across. And she begins by dispelling the common myths associated with our craft. I think I will probably continue collecting her books and learning from her.

I just bought this book yesterday (5/12/201
...more
Lisa Thompson
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witch-books


Really enjoyed this read! My first Kate West book, will definitely have to expand my collection!
Demi Nemorensis
The author, Kate West, is a prolific and well-known writer from the U.K. with over thirty years experience in practicing Witchcraft, both coven and solitary. Her credentials are solid, and her writing style is clear and approachable - her books are fun & easy to read; often described as “having a conversation over a cuppa.”

Originally published in 2001 by Thorson’s, this introductory guide to modern pagan Witchcraft comes equipped with all the issues of its generational peers. It uses the terms W
...more
Karen
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a non-fiction book--something I never read because I mainly read for enjoyment. I did not hunt this book down or read it for an assignment. I read it simply because I walked by it in the library and it caught my attention. I really enjoyed the book--the author's easy but informative writing style and the information contained within the book.

This book is an excellent book to read if you are searching for a religion or faith that is natured based. It has nothing to do with the devil or S
...more
Stimpy Price
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. Mostly just the basics for the beginner on modern Pagan Witchcraft and a good book to perhaps show concerned friends or relatives who have watched too many movies and think you’re worshipping the Devil (who Pagans don’t even believe in as he’s a Christian belief) or flying around on a broomstick in your spare time (if only we could it would save on transport costs!). It clearly explains the basis of this path is working with & respecting the natural world, following and cele ...more
Betina Jackson
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Kate

S great reference guide for beginners & experienced witches. Very informative,non judgemental & doesn't insist you do this or that, just encourages you to find your own way
...more
Monika
Sep 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: witchy
Very basic. With few errors f.e. Wiccan does not equal Witch. Not all Witches are Wiccan and not all Wiccan are Witches.
There are many other much more informative books for beginners.
Shanna
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have not been able to read
Jade
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was my go to guide as a young teenager into wicca, which I recently re-read. When I was younger, this book was my guide and teacher, along with others, but the format of this book connected with me at the tender age of 12.
Looking at it later on, I think it is still a great resource in the witchcraft library. It does not cover everything, and it does need the reader to do more research.
The irony of the title, does not escape me. Inside the book, the general message, is that to be a part o
...more
Julie Jenks
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my 1st Kate West book. I see that she has a large collection of books she has written. I'm already a fan. I like the down to earth form of writing. Not a lot of elaborate language someone new to the craft may not identify with. It also does not take her an entire paragraph to get her point across. And she begins by dispelling the common myths associated with our craft. I think I will probably continue collecting her books and learning from her.

I just bought this book yesterday (5/12/2012
...more
Westly
Apr 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Brand spanking new Witches
Alright,

Absolutely nothing new. A few "huh...?" moments here or there. I really wasn't impressed at all with the book and felt that it was written for 14 year old's, not someone who's laid claim to the name Witch for nearly 16 years.

I didn't particularly like any of the invocations, or any of the spells that were presented. They felt very uninspired.

The whole book, I was just kind of waiting to finish it, and I'm hoping the next book, 'The Real Witches' Craft' is a little more interactive, rat
...more
Swankivy
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
I checked this out from work because I glanced at it and saw it had a funny page of misconceptions people have about witches in it, but it didn't have anything on it that I hadn't already put on my own list, and then the rest of the book just wasn't very worthwhile, though maybe I only say that because it was an introductory book and I was frustrated that I didn't learn anything from it that I didn't already know.
Tasneem
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pagan-new-age, magic
Kate West is super. I find her explanations of the craft so well done. I get her vision for the way we should practice love of our planet. Really nicely presented. I think so much more suitable for those interested in the craft in the UK. It is much more suitable to this place. It doesn't jar as much as some of the other books that are meant more for a US audience.
Deadhellhound Icey
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All ages
Kate West is a fabulous no nonsense writer, If you want to learn more about the craft and its traditions etc, this is the book for you, and any of her books I would recommend, in the past ive recommended her book especially to teens, doesnt leave any mystery
Lisa
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone that wants to learn about Wicca or wants to continue practicing.
This is a book that I return to throughout the year to help me remember why I'm Wiccan. I love the way Kate goes through each sabbat, giving you ideas for your own celebration, as well as ways for you to make it uniquely your own.
Cara
Nov 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I checked this out from the library on a whim. It's definitely what I'd call a "101" book. Lots of basic info. I ended up only flipping through the book and skimming it because none of the info seemed new to me... but for someone just starting out, it might be a good book to read.
Mia Morrison
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on starting in the craft that I have seen - not only does it speak more on the morals than on the spell work it provides a good thumbprint of history, personal stories and practical applications. I would strongly recommend it for anyone who wishes to approach the Craft.
Zeynep
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recently finished the German translation, as language practise. Content-wise, it is a pretty standard intro to Wicca, which should be useful for a beginner. It does have a good amount of detailed instructions and contact info for various organizations.
Amy
Jun 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, religion
Okay text if you don't know much.
Whitewolf
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone studying theold ways
This has been one of the many of the truly best books to learn of the witch way,i am learning alot from this book as I can,while I am in my year and a day study before my initation.
Nikki Chi
Not overmuch that I hadn't heard before, but enough to satisfy my curiosity.
Srna
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
it's an okay book for beginners, but there are better ones out there...
Shana Gray
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was thorough and gave a great understanding. I read for research purposes and found myself quite engrossed and intrigued.
Katt
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic starter book into the craft. Would advise to anybody interested to read this easy book with beautiful truths.
Bernice
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is very helpful for those who think they may be interested in Witchcraft. It has a lot of information without being overwhelming.
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The author of over a dozen books, Kate West (United Kingdom), has become the U.K.'s most successful author on Witchcraft. She is the recipient of a Lifetime Contribution to Witchcraft award and has been recognized as the most popular factual writer on Witchcraft by Children of Artemis, the fastest growing Witchcraft organization in the U.K. and Europe. Formerly the Vice President of the Pagan Fede ...more

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