The Real Witches’ Book of Spells and Rituals
by Kate West © 2009
$21.95 (U.S.) $25.50 (Canada)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason
I need to point out that, while this is the first publication of this book by Llewellyn, this book saw print originally in 2003 (by Harper Element) and thus some of the contact information and such in the back of the book may need updating. Take a few minutes to check things out.
I find myself saying this every time I review, or discuss, and of Kate West’s books, but it bears repeating: The “Real” in the title does not imply that this is the only way to “do it.” It implies that this is the way witches in the “real” world (with families, work outside the home, social obligations beyond the coven, school, errands, etc.) deal with things in the opinion of the author. Your way of dealing with issues may, and probably will, vary. Ms. West simply provides one option.
Unlike many “Wicca 101” books (of which this is definitely one) which focus most heavily on the arcane aspects of how and when to do magick, this book emphasizes the why and when – with the primary emphasis on the WHY. As well as the usual suggestions for attracting new people into your life, and finding work (especially relevant in today’s economy) there are suggestions for improving communications with family members, improving your memory, and other day-to-day topics often overlooked in other books.
Perhaps the single most surprising sections of the book occur on pages 149 through 152 where Kate gives advice on coming out of the broom closet (she doesn’t recommend it) and ways of keeping your personal beliefs hidden from public notice.
Like the majority of “basic,” “101” books this one contains a large variety of sample rituals which are designed to stimulate the reader to modify them and create their own personal variations. With these, however there is an emphasis on practicality – not only creating and dismissing sacred space but physically preparing before and cleaning up afterwards.
I thoroughly enjoy Kate West’s writing. Every single book is a source of inspiration and completely enjoyable reading. If you haven’t read any of her other books, this is an excellent place to start. If you have read others by her, you will still want to add this one to your collection.