By D. Wells
I came upon ‘Craft of the Wise’ by accident. I am not a witch; however my field is philosophy / psychology, and as I flicked through the pages I immediately recognised a number of the symbols that Vikki Bramshaw had included in the text and was intrigued. So, I read on, and I am glad that I did.
‘Craft of the Wise’ is a beautifully written introduction to witchcraft in the European tradition and, more specifically, in Vikki Bramshaw’s own coven. Ms Bramshaw, comes across as a wise, down-to-earth woman, with a good sense of humour as she guides the reader through the history of witchcraft, the tools of the craft, our relationship to the gods and goddesses, ritual and magic, astrology, magic and spellwork and much more. The book is made up of her own notes and coven training material, and she wrote it with the ‘purpose of giving the reader an insight into the true Craft’. I cannot say to what degree Vikki Bramshaw succeeds in this aim – as I said, I am no witch and therefore in no position to comment. However, from a philosophical / psychological perspective I can say that I was astounded and delighted to discover: (a) the relationship the Craft has towards the powerful energies that shape us and our world (which I know as archetypes / old gods / laws of nature / etc); (b) the way witches work with these energies (and have worked with them for millennia); and (c) that so much of what is written correlates with my own field of work. Indeed, I am certain that I shall be using ‘Craft of the Wise’ as a reference book for some time to come. Moreover, as I read ‘Craft of the Wise’ I performed many (though not all) of the tasks and I can verify that Ms Bramshaw guides the reader through some powerful insightful / transformative techniques, the effects of which should resonate in a person’s life / world for a considerable time.
In short, when I picked up ‘Craft of the Wise’ I knew next to nothing about witchcraft… and what I thought I did know was highly suspect! However, after reading the book I now hold the Craft in the highest regard: those old ‘mothers’ knew a thing or two, or so it seems. And as I have said, I am no witch – at least I don’t think I am, because with such a shared concern the boundaries between the magical and the academic have fudged a little bit more. Therefore, I can certainly recommend ‘Craft of the Wise’ to any ‘uninitiated’ reader, like myself, who wants to understand more about witchcraft, their own mind / soul and the world in which they live.