Mastering Witchcraft – A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks & Covens. Paul Huson; Perigee Books, New York, NY. Second Printing, 1980. 256 pages.
Being a 'newbie' to witchcraft these days seems NOT to be something worthy of boasting; not that I am in any way, shape or form new to this path. It seems everybody is either an amateur historian/psychologist or been at it so long they know EVERYTHING. Far be it for a curious individual to be drawn to this way of empowerment, either through a natural tendency already inherent or a genuine passion developed over time, people come to the witches' path with a thirst for knowledge. I remember when things were new to me as well, I poured through every book I could get my hands on in those days...but I quickly learned to be a more discerning reader and to tread carefully in unfamiliar territory.
The question is always: what books TO READ then? What are the foundational books which most people in the community have read, and often recommend? Those trends tend to change, but some books remain a steadfast compass, pointing in the right direction which to pursue a more practical witchcraft. One book I have heard come up again and again in conversation circles, especially in recent years, has included Paul Huson's “Mastering Witchcraft”. Every time I heard someone mention it, I was more embarrassed for having never picked it up.
Huson is VERY practical in his approach and this is why the text has become such a classic. Covering all the popular areas of love and protection spells, he also emphasizes the use of ritual; making every act sacred and meaningful. The exorcising and cleansing involved in each ritual object is stressed upon, along with emotions at the forefront for proper magical projection; all acts which take some amount of time. People tend to rush through their spellwork these days... keeping their magicks at the same instant gratification level as everything else in our lives. But just like fast food, you get what you pay for: if you want cheap, pre-packaged plastic magick the results are going to be just as shabby. Huson gives detailed instructions on practicing witchcraft as an Art, for it is a craft to hone and not a talent to waste on trifles.
Without delving into too much information on the different deities suggested, Huson jumps right in on invocation and working with these specific beings; something I found just a little too careless. I prefer to investigate and research well known spirits before asking for assistance with spell work, but to each his/her own. However, this is my only real complaint about the text...everything else was delightfully detailed and relevant for both newcomers to traditional witchcraft practices and for those who may be a little more seasoned. “Mastering Witchcraft” has something to offer everyone and I now understand why it is recommended on so many 'must have' lists.