Review of “The Real Witches’ Handbook” by Kate West

Cover of "The Real Witches' Handbook: A C...
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The Real Witches’ Handbook: A Complete Introduction to the Craft
By Kate West.
Published 2008 by Llewellyn Publications.

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 Witch/Witchcraft and Wiccan/Wicca interchangeably. It makes huge generalisations and factual claims without providing sources. It focuses a lot on the what and how, rather than the why, of Craft practice. These sorts of problems are pretty common to books of the period.

With that in mind, let’s dig into some of the issues in more depth.