Witchcraft: An Alternative Path
There are few books about witchcraft that one can recommend without reservation. Witchcraft by Ann Moura is one of them.
Ms. Moura has given the best definition for “witch” I’ve ever read. Her simple and straightforward manner dispenses with the “flowery” language so prevalent in other introductory books. Her overview of witches’ beliefs is clear and concise, without any extraneous “fluff,” and can be applied to any Pagan tradition.
Most people interested in witchcraft are mostly interested in spells. Chapter 5 — “Creating Spells” is the best introduction to spellcraft I’ve read in 11 years of being Pagan. It should be read several times to fully understand the dynamics of spells and spellwork. Dispelling the myth that spellwork is all about waving your wand and mumbling the “magic words,” it explains how the subconscious mind is utilized in magic, and explores a complex theory of altering future events (the very purpose of a spell) based upon the “Spiral Theory” of time. The chapter further explores the different types of spells, something rarely examined with such depth and clarity in other books.
While most of the interest is going to be on spellwork, Ms. Moura also emphasizes the distinction between religion and spellcraft. She introduces religious ideology by exploring the main tenets of pagan belief, the concept of the divine “All,” the Esbats (full moon rituals), Sabbats (yearly holidays), meditation, and the tools of a witch. Her Esbat and Sabbat rituals are succinct yet meaningful, and emphasize the connection with nature. She encourages the reader to trust his or her own instincts, and to fully enjoy the celebration of nature, which provides the foundations of Pagan tradition.
The integrations of affirmations and blessings into daily living are examined, as well as Pagan life. Also explored is whether to remain in the “broom closet” or to come out, and how to ease the news to close family and friends.
There are four appendices in the back • a list of deity names, mail order and Internet sources, a glossary and a selection of recommended books.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in witchcraft, be it for a guide to their spiritual path, or one who is curious about its beliefs and practices. This is an excellent introduction and a must-read for any novice.