Paul Huson‘s Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks & Covens, originally released in 1970, is a classic masterpiece of witchcraft publishing. If you’ve made it this far along the path without reading it (egads, that’s like saying you’ve never read Doreen Valiente!), I urge you to go out and procure a copy immediately. There are still many first editions in circulation and it was recently reprinted as a modern paperback.
It was my witchcraft teacher who told me I must read Huson, he being of the older generation when the book first came out and I of the newer generation raised on Starhawk and Hutton. I delighted in reading it; here was a book that finally matched my darkly witchy soul and was unashamed of speaking of power, darkness, spirits, and necromancy. I ate it up and thirsted for more as it differed so greatly from the goddess-power-do-no-harm books I was used to finding in bookstores and the library. Instead of giving a message of “not to do any real magic because you can’t be trusted to make the right decision”, Mastering Witchcraft gives out the message that the responsibility of your actions lies with you alone and that guilt and shame have no place in spellwork if it is to be effective. After all, why fight our nature? We are what we are – might as well own up to it.
Trothwy over at The Used Key is Always Bright has been hosting a weekly book club for a couple of months focusing on Mastering Witchcraft and now that it’s reached its conclusion she’s put together an online discussion featuring an assortment of witch personalities who will be guest blogging their thoughts on each chapter for those who couldn’t attend the book club in person. The guest posts start with me covering the Introduction and Jason Miller giving his thoughts on the first chapter. Other witch personalities who will be participating include Harry, Hyperion, Deborah Lipp, and Peter Paddon. This project is meant to foster discussion, so if you’ve read Mastering Witchcraft, comment away!