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The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows Paperback – Unabridged, June 8, 2001

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The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows + Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick) + Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The first thing Dorothy Morrison hopes to establish in The Craft is what the Craft is not. "It has nothing to do with canned magic, or flying through the air, or snapping lightning from your fingertips," she explains. And no matter how practiced you are, Morrison assures readers it won't give you the power to "turn your enemies into toads so you can set them on the highway." Explaining what the Craft actually is takes more time and thought--both of which Morrison offers in her typically warm, humorous, and concise style throughout this all-inclusive handbook.

Wiccans, who are the main practitioners of the Craft, have one overriding commandment, according to Morrison: if it harms no one, do what you will. It is a reminder that every action, thought, and spell has a ripple effect, so be sure that all your work is for the good. This responsible attitude seeps into every page of this practical magic handbook. Expect a highly detailed account of spells, wand skills, sample blessings, altar setups, invocations, and examples of how to use a cup, pentacle, cauldron, and athame (a double-edge knife that should never be used to draw blood). Morrison closes with a Craft calendar, listing celebrations and rituals for every month and season of the year. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

Wiccan expert Morrison (Everyday Magic; Yule: A Celebration of Light & Warmth) begins by asserting that "the Craft is not for everyone." Indeed, many adherents of Christianity and other "mainstream" religions would agree that the Craft, or Wicca, is not for them. Morrison, however, deftly exposes some common ground. For example, "Magic... [is] a simple matter of channeling focused energy toward a specific goal. In fact, Christians do it all the time. They pray for something and they get it." With a few more notes of apologia, she quickly proceeds to explain the seriousness of Wicca as a religion and outlines its basic philosophy of "And it harm none, do what you will." Morrison has written a solid, valuable primer, covering not only the more familiar territories of goddesses, gods, elements and the seasonal calendar, but also the construction, consecration and use of wands, cups, athames (black-handled, double-edged blades) and other ritual tools. Stones, herbs, flowers, trees, scents and colors are also addressed in this excellent source book, aimed for the novice to this "continuation of an old Pagan religion" that is closely aligned with nature. Morrison provides exercises and chants in simple rhyme to enhance the practice of the path that she calls "accepting, generous, and loving... an ethical way of life that, once embraced, brings immeasurable joy and wonder to everyday living." (June) Forecast: Although she doesn't have Silver Ravenwolf's trademark humor or recognizable name, Morrison is becoming a witch to watch in the fast-growing market of Wiccan books. Llewellyn is aiming this for "female newcomers, 18-25," and will promote the book with a five-city tour and national print advertising. Morrison's The Craft Companion: A Witch's Journal will be released in July.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (June 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567184464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567184464
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on October 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I do not give many good reviews, but in my belief, this book deserves a great, glowing, FANTASTIC one, even though I did not agree with some of the correspondences and dream meanings( who ever does?). Most Wicca 101 books have the same thing over and over: history, tools, ethics, sabbats, and a couple of spells. This book covers each of these subjects in *complete* detail, (in all my time of Wicca, I have never seen a book have the entire Book of Law, Rede, creed, and analyses each throughly) but it also includes research on the elements, time influences, color meanings(goes beyond basic colors), wind, flower, herb, tree, and stone meanings. She includes daily activities and "lesson plans" in each section, which I found incredibly helpful and soothing.
It talks about *each and every* full moon esbat and how to celebrate each one! I have studied for years and never found knowledge on the moon esbats! I didn't even know they had names, let alone specific rituals! When she covers sabbats, it gives research/celebration ideas, a ritual, and it's correspondenses. Her chants and rituals are well thought out and poetic. In the back, she lists specific herbs, flowers,trees, and deities for specific types of spells so you can write you own! She includes a suggested reading list in the back for even more extensive research. If there is one book on Wicca to get, this would be my choice. Blessed Be.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on January 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best books i have come along
in my study of the craft. This book contains information on Wicca
(ex. The Wiccan Rede, principeles, creed) including the book of law in the Appendix. There is information on the elements, and exercises to help you with them, correspondences, herb/flower/tree information, and rituals to help you with Sabbats. It even provides information on ritual tools, but gives information on how to make them! It explains magickal timing, like the different moons, Sun and Moon times and the connection to the God and Goddess. Although dream symbols are different for everyone, it provides
information for some basic things that helped me. This book has things that i before had no clue about and I've been studying for years! All in all, GET THIS BOOK! Whenther you're just starting out or have been studying for years!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Craft" is a basic 101 introduction to Georgian Wicca (The form of Wicca practised by Ms. Morrison).
I wish to commend Ms. Morrison on the following sections of "The Craft".
"The Craft" is one of the best Wiccan books I have read dealing with the ethics of magick. (I wish more magick books dealt with the ethics of magick)
Page 3-4: "The Craft is accepting, generous, and loving. It's gentle, unobtrusive and supportive. It's an ethical way of life
that, once embraced, brings immeasurable joy and wonder to everyday living. Simply Put, the Craft is a serious religion."
Page 4: "Magic on the other hand, is defined as the change of any condition by ritual means. It's nothing more than a simple manner of channeling focused energy toward a specific goal. In fact Christians do it all the time. They pray for something and they get it. Whether God answers their prayers or not is anybody's guess" (I wish to thank Ms. Morrison for having the courage to put this in print, and taking magick out if the supernatural arena.)
Page 7-8 lists a fairly complete version of the Wiccan Rede.
Ms. Morrison Suggesting that people use what they have as substitutions. Here is one such example.
Page 61 "If you can't find dried chamomile, don't fret. Just pick up a box of Celestial Blends Sleepy-Time Tea at the supermarket. It's made of chamomile and will work just as well."
(Scott Cunningham (another Wiccan author) in one of his books relates the story of using a butter knife to cast a circle after forgeting his athame. The power is in you. Not in powerful spells or that you use expensive tools. If the Wiccan path resonates with you. Start where you are.)
Throughout the book Ms. Morrison cautions people about various herbs that are dangerous. ( I am very glad to see that.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By B. Couture on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was to happy go lucky for my taste. She got her point across but not in the way I would like it to be presented to me. The best part and the redeeming quality of this book is the actual tool making process and how to go about obtaining and also creating them from scratch. I do not recall any other book that has this specific and detailed information in it as far as how to make/construct your ritual magic wand and pentacle. She also gives very good ideas/points on how to go about the process and stresses the point of taking your time while hand crafting the magickal wand and pentacle from natural earth sources. The author also gives tips on where to look for a chalice and athame which is also part of the witches tools. This is important because the tools of the trade are the witches way of directing and or banishing positive and also negetive energy. They also assist the witch in bringing out the desired out come/change by altering their conscious during ritual and spell casting. The value of this book is the tool part , the rest of the book is o.k. but I did not like the tone. It is , however , a beginers book so maybe that was probably the authors intent. It also had very good visualization excercises in it and that takes some practice/time to master which can be challenging to say the least. One may feel silly and stupid for trying/doing the excercises but they are for good reason. The reason for this section is to assist/gear the practitioner to "visualize/see" his/her desired goal/physical manifestation so clearly in perfect detail that it brings it (the goal) into frusion when coupled with appropriate ritual and spell casting. These mind excercises will take practice. They are a real mind bender. But that is what witchcraft/magic is , "The mind" and how you condition it an alter it from normal conditioned thinking.
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