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6 Degrees Entertainment

Book Reviews
Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices...
By: Frances Billinghurst – Moon Books, $20.95

Description: Today there is much misunderstanding regarding the different forms of modern pagan witchcraft, from the initiatory traditions, to various eclectic paths that are often labelled “Wicca”.

In this book, Billinghurst addresses misconceptions and outlines the foundational history, beliefs, and practices that define the tradition of Contemporary Witchcraft, inherited from Gerald Gardner et al in the 20th century.

Verdict: By tapping into the essence of the teachings handed down by Gardner, and later Alex Sanders, Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magical Life provides the reader with invaluable tools and techniques that will enable them to set a foundation upon which to build their ongoing magical and spiritual practice.

Regardless of whether the seeker is interested in joining a coven or not, contemporary witchcraft is about dedication and devotion in order for the greater mysteries to be revealed.

Thus this book, without a shadow of a doubt, offers a keen insight into how the non-initiate can achieve this in their own practices, because all novices should know the difference between the pagans’ Wicca and witchcraft.

Scholarly researched and using examples of Billinghurst’s training and perception of ritual and magic, each chapter is an eye-opening avenue of revelations for the reader to immerse themselves within.

Personally, I found the sections here – and that fall under the term “contemporary witchcraft” – to be the most enthralling for me, personally. For, as alluded to, they describe the more traditional and initiatory practice of the Craft which can be traced back to Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders, and thusly generally known as Wicca.

I mean, in all truth, if someone had realized back in the Sixties that they were a witch, I can say without hesitation that they would most likely have wished to conjure up a book much akin to this for not only tips on what to look out for, but signs to gravitate to!

Today, with the growing popularity of witchcraft/Wicca, it is perhaps even more important to have clear, precise guidelines to help the novice decide which path is best suited for them.

As we learn, Wicca came to the fore in the Seventies and Eighties and, with it, a tsunami of books covering every conceivable approach, all be they never too precise with their spiritual meanderings.

But here Billingshurst’s book gently leads the reader through the various paths and offers insights and workings that are safe and adaptable for everyone.

Ergo, Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magical Life is a great and highly informative read for a beginner that is easy to understand, easy to follow, and answers most all those pesky questions that lurk within the minds eye about such things!

About the Author: Frances Billinghurst is an initiated witch, ritualist and healer. She runs workshops on metaphysics, mythology and the occult. Frances is the author of several books, and she is the editor of Call of the God: An Anthology Exploring the Divine Masculine within Modern Paganism.

When she is not writing, Frances is attempting to replicate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon on her patch of Australian dirt, beading, and journeying between the worlds. More information about Frances can be found on her blog and at She lives in Parafield Gardens, South Australia.

Official Book Purchase Link