This Cunning Craft – a review of ‘A Witch’s Mirror’

Whether you follow something called Traditional Witchcraft, or prefer a style of Craft more accurately described as Wicca A Witch’s Mirror by Levannah Morgan is a profoundly inspiring book. This slim volume documents the practical witchcraft of one of the most intellectually rigorous and experienced magickal practitioners I know.  This book is at once grimoire, a Still room book and autobiographical account of magick in action. There are sections devoted to the arts of making spirit houses, moon, sea and mirror magick, and many crafts that the skilful witch (or whatever variety) should be familiar with. There’s lots to do here – DIY tips that don’t cost the earth and indeed reverence it (or better, ‘Her’) in a gently yet passionately heart-felt way.

from The Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft collection

from The Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft collection

Levannah gives us something of her back story, her youth in the wild places of the British Isles and while she avoids any mention of her academic credentials, she does talk about her teacher Hereward Wake, one of the early Gardnerians. But Traditional Crafters shouldn’t switch off at this point by any means. Though this is Levannah’s lineage this book is worlds away from the formalised seasonal celebrations of the Farrar’s and their literary inheritors. Spellcraft in all its forms is very much in evidence, this is very much an operative witchcraft. Her other major teacher was Cecil Williamson, the founder of the original Museum of Witchcraft.

This book also serves, in my view, to dissolve the apparent divides in the witch-identifying community. The deeply animist or panpsychic approach of A Witch’s Mirror shows how much witchcraft is about an attitude to the world. It demonstrates that stylistic details – of whether one chooses to celebrate eight or nine seasonal festivals, to spell coven in the usual way or to opt for the more obscure ‘cuveen’ – are quite superficial matters. Levannah tells us of her craft, and invites us to get involved, with clear instructions and an open-ended approach that allows us to discover our own individual creativity. We’re not being told what to do here, or even what is supposedly the best (or oldest, or most innovative) way to undertake this or that practice, instead we’re encountering the wisdom and generous spirit of a skilled practitioner and knowledgeable teacher.

This book manages to be both a beginners text and a book which I firmly believe will also inform and inspire the experienced. More than that it manages to carry the heavy, mysterious scent of witchcraft within it without kowtowing to that modern habit of binding esoteric tomes in bat vellum.

An extraordinary text that is both a source book for jam-making and a guide to the spirit realm, A Witch’s Mirror will be a valuable addition to any magical library. You can get your copy HERE.

JV

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