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on July 13, 1997
"A Witches Bible" contains, in one volume, Janet and Stewart Farrar's two books, "Eight Sabbats for
Witches" and "The Witches' Way." These two books are classics in the genre of New Age literature and a
necessary addition to the library of every Wiccan and Pagan. Together, these two books provide the best
published manual on Wiccan practice ever printed.</P>

The first section describes the meanings, history and ceremonies of the Wiccan holidays. The eight
Sabbats are described in detail just as they are practiced by the Farrar's coven. To the fragmentary rituals
of Gerald Gardner's "Book of Shadows," the Farrar's have added their own material. Based on extensive
research and practice, the result is a rich and powerful tradition rooted in the most ancient of lore.</P>

The second section deals with the rest of "The Book of Shadows." The Farrar's detail the initiation
rituals, lunar rites and magickal workings which form the core of Witchcraft. Included is extensive material
on divination, astral projection and healing. This book also gives important advice on working with others
and on running a coven responsibly.</P>

The Farrar's have provided an informative work that is more than just a how-to. They have captured
the spirit of "The Old Religion" and it's relevance in helping people to live in better harmony with nature
and themselves. This classic helped to establish modern Witchcraft as a religion that focuses on the values
of personal growth, sexual equality and love of Nature.</P>
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on December 15, 1997
I was so pleased to find this book. After pages and pages of the happy-trippy stuff that clogs the market these days, I am simply thrilled with the Farrars' in-depth look at what Wicca is really all about: a religion that demands respect for others and for the world in which we live, as well as personal responsibility for our lives and the decisions we make. (There's also an excellent essay by Doreen Valiente about the search for Dorothy Clutterbuck.)
The Farrars are writing for group practitioners--Wiccans who are in covens, thinking about joining covens or even thinking about starting a coven of their own. I am solitary by choice, with no plans for joining a coven anytime soon, but I still find this book an invaluable resource. Most of the rituals and spells included in the book can be adapted to solitary practice, and it also gives the solitary who has never been in a coven an idea of what to expect. Quite a bit more detailed than the standard beginner books (Ravenwolf, Cunningham et al), but definitely worth reading and keeping on your shelf for consultation.
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on August 15, 2000
I really wish more non-pagans and non-wiccans would read this book. It has a ton of information, yes, it is a little advanced, the first time I had read it though was after 8 years of practicing. There are no spells in there, so its not for someone who is looking for Wicca or paganism as a way to practice magick and be different from their friends, but a look at true religion. It has history, and ethics and practices and beliefs, something everyone should know. Even beginners should read this book. I have never read a book yet that has absolutly everything in one. Though one really good book, and the first I ever read, is the ABC's of Witchcraft. It also gives a ton of great information, in a little bit easier to understand format. But I think everyone should read this book. I agree that the word bible through me off in buying it, only because I didn't want to look like I was trying to be one of the wanna be wiccans who are interested in it because its a big black book with two words that stand out, Witch and Bible. But I am extremly glad that I did buy it. My copy is doggeared and stained and dusty and looks as well used and read and loved as any ritualistic book should. all I can say is buy it, read it, if you don't understand it the first time, read it again. If that still doesn't work, keep it, and read it after practicing longer, and after reading some of the easier to read books. But keep this book. :)
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on February 7, 1999
However, if you want to learn and read up on the 'traditional' British Witchcraft that is so readily ignored in this country these days, read this book. It is not a spellbook or a how-to be a Witch book; it is not a recipe book for the beginner to pick up and start practicing, it takes thought and study. Sure, this book is likely out of date compared to the plethora of Wicca and Witchcraft books popping up in the mainstream ad nauseum that speak more to the modern society as a whole, but the basics are covered among other things that are not covered in many books today (exploring sex and Witchcraft, for one) and is just another view, history and background and well as another sect of Witchcraft all together. No, it is not really geared towards eclectics or solitaries, but it is information that can be read, digested and altered into one's own practices if desired. I read and refer to it in order to incorporate and learn more well-rounded info from some of the forefunners of the modern Craft that carried over to the US from more traditional practices in Europe, and the Farrars are that, among others. This book is not for everyone and definately not for the beginner, but if like me, you are weary of all the fluffy-bunny Witchcraft 101 books that the market is saturated with that insult your intelligence and treat you like a child, pick this up and be prepared to learn and be challenged by some of the old traditional ways of what Witchcraft was and still is in some trads; trads that are rapidly being forgotten or altered in today's modern Craft movement. I think this book still has a place and is valuable, if one reads it with an open mind and can see it for what it is. The title is misleading, it is not the 'Bible', no book on Witchcraft of Wicca can truly claim that in any form; I see it more as this book has a multitude of information...background, history, practice and teaching rolled into one book
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on January 4, 2001
This is one of the best books on witchcraft I have ever read. It gives the reader a wonderful understanding of wiccan practices, beliefs, and history. I love this book to pieces, it's one I frequently return to. It dispells so many myths, challenges so many perceptions, but sacrifices none of the mystique so often associated with Wicca. I was impressed by its beautiful style, it is very easy to read and absorb, the words stay with you long after you have finished reading them, which shouldn't take too long, because its one of those books that's just so hard to put down you'll wonder where your weekend went. I'd recommend it as a first book to anyone interested in pursuing wicca as a faith (or indeed to anyone seeking an understanding of wicca), because it doesn't fill the readers head with notions that witchcraft is all about sticking pins in things and messing around with noxious poisons. It shows the reader an ancient and elegant form of worship to higher powers- not a quick and easy way to get back at your ex- illustrating the ethics of witchcraft (and the reasons getting back at your ex isn't really such a good idea). The authors don't style themselves as the only authorities on witchcraft, and include a vast glossary of reccomended reading, as well as generous praise for other authors and witches they admire. The witches bible offers a complete fundamental understanding of the basic principles of witchcraft, and for this reason I consider it very aptly named. It truly is a witches bible. Unfortunately there's only 5 stars for me to give it.
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on April 13, 2000
"The Witches' Bible" is one of my favorite books. No, it is not a bible. Witches do not have bibles, it is a combination of 2 really good books, put into one. It has a lot of information and that is why they call it a "bible". Someone else wrote that the reason they didn't like it, was because it didn't have any spells in it. Witchcraft is a religion. It is not all about spells. If you are just looking for spells, then you're right, don't read this book. If you like a book that has a lot of information about what real witches do, then read this book. It has beautiful rituals, and a lot of very good information. It is a book that emphasizes the Gardnerian tradition, and every witch should own it and read up on all the different traditions.
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VINE VOICEon July 30, 2001
There are some people who have reviewed this book and critisized it because it depicts Wicca (or more traditionally Wica) as it was practiced before the deluge of "spell recipe wicca books" came on the market.
I have been involved in Wicca for more than 10 years now and have this to say: This book represents Wicca as it was practiced before Buffy the Vampire Slayer, before Charmed and before the movie the Craft. It represents Wicca as a religion that was not affraid to talk about death, taught that the act of sex is sacred and that being nude before the Gods was the greatest way to confront self-hatred and say "I stand before You and hide nothing." If you believe that Wicca is primarily about casting spells and working magick and you are not ready to confront the Goddess in her dark aspect (the wanning moon - the crone) then don't bother with this book. It's over your head.
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on January 20, 2006
You know, over the years, Janet Farrar has built an amazing reputation as the "be all" and "end all" of the Craft. However, upon having practiced many paths and Magicks over the last 41 years, I have to say that this book, while it held a great place at one time, is nothing more than a keepsake memory now.

The reason for this feeling is due to the fact that once you have practiced any path for a time, you realize that many paths lead to a dead end. You read diligently and study dedicatedly only to discover there is precious little out there regarding "high" magick. Oh, there are books. Laws Yes! there are books. But none of them really get to the meat of the matter.

Even though that is the case, there are still greater, much more comprehensive works out there available to us. Farrar did debunk many of the stereo-types, but only to Pagans. Honestly, who else will read this work? We already know who and what we are.

However, if you are just starting out, this is a great springboard. I would also recommend "Drawing Down the Moon" by Margot Adler to accompany this work. But please remember that this is only a beginning, and every word in this work is not "gospel." Read all works with a grain of salt [salt to protect you from ignorance]. Glean from them what is YOUR truth, and don't accept the author's truths as your own until you have tried them and found them to be true...for you.

She quotes Gardner and personally, I have a huge problem with him. He claims to have created an ancient path. That statement, in itself, is an oxymoron. He can't "create" something ancient, and before Gardner, there WAS no Wicca. He took the word "Wicce" which translates loosely to "Wise One," and built a path using a little of this and a little of that.

Her having quoted Gardner as a reliable source, to me, devalues what could have been a great work. Unfortunately, Farrar seems to suffer from what I call "SRW" syndrome, in that she regurgitates already-known information while adding in very little of herself.
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on May 30, 2003
In America, Wicca has by and large degenerated into silliness, choked on crystals and blinded by white light. This is unfortunate; the religion of Gerald Gardner (and later Alex Sanders) and generally had solid scholarly roots. While some of those roots have since been disproven -- notably Margaret Murray's "Witch Cult" theories -- there was real intellectual activity, and real philosophical rigor, behind this religion. These were serious people who weren't afraid to visit a library, and who even included some decent poetry in their rituals.
*The Witches' Bible* is compiled by two of the most famous of the Alexandrian Witches, Janet and Stewart Farrar. The title does not lie: it truly is a complete witch's handbook. After reading this, you will know everything you need to hold a circle and to practice Wicca. You won't be an initiated Wiccan -- that can only be done by someone who possesses the lineage to do so -- but you will be able to serve the God and Goddess in a Wiccan style. You will also be ready to study for initiation and to reap its benefits and fulfill its responsibilities.
This book isn't perfect: I disagree with some of their views on gender polarity, while their views on "Gay covens" are quaint at best. Still, it deserves 5 stars merely because it stands so far above its competition. This volume will prove more useful to you than any of the silly fluffy-bunny trash which pollutes so many Newage bookstores today. It's Wicca as it was, as it could be, and as it should have been. No Neopagan should be without it.
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on January 11, 2001
This book is wonderfully written in many aspects, expelling many beliefs (or misguided beliefs) related to The Craft. Fantastic information on the Sabbats, rituals etc...however, only minimal information pertaining to those of us who are Solitary by desire or need. This book relates to Covens, the running of Covens and rituals performed by them. There is very little for the Solitary in this book. While many rituals can be adapted to the Solitary doing so with this publication IMHO would be lengthy and difficult at best. I highly recommend this for those seeking to join a coven, however, I do not recommend it for the Solitary practitioner. Blessed Be
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