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A WITCH ALONE - Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic

By Marian Green, published by HarperCollins at £7.99. 192pp. ISBN:1-85538-112-5

A most welcome reprint of what is quite simply the best introduction to witchcraft that I have found for folks having to work alone and work it out largely for themselves. The book is divided into 13 chapters each built around a theme, such as seeking out pagan traces in folklore and traditional beliefs, pathworking and otherworld journeying, herbalism and working with plants, the sacred cycles and dedication to the Old Ways (in which she raises some much-needed questions about some of the folks hanging around the pagan scene - and about their motives). The student is expected to work with one chapter per lunar month, using the exercises and suggested reading to deepen knowledge and understanding of each area.

I personally like Marian’s approach - her ideas and approach are down to earth and no-nonsense, with more of the flavour of traditional witchcraft than of wicca. Any book which omits "crystal healing" and chakras in favour of traditional herbalism and a knowledge of folklore and traditional belief is definitely on the right track.

My only quibble is the book’s sub-title. How anyone can seriously expect to master any form of magick in 13 months is beyond me, though no doubt making it all sound so easy sells lots of books. Otherwise very highly recommended indeed.