13 Moons: Journal of a Natural Witch by Fiona Walker-Craven ~ Book Review


13 Moons is a rare thing: a ‘101-style’ book about Traditional British Witchcraft. It is clear that author Fiona Walker-Craven is directing this book to the novice witch. The books begins: ‘Assuming that you have no previous experience of working magic (other than to have felt a stirring of the blood that comes upon you when you have been casually walking in the woods, or even just cutting through the park on a spring morning), let’s begin…’ And ends with, ‘…we have only touched the tip of the iceberg, and there will be many wonderful experiences to come, but hopefully I have managed to pass on some of the essence of the old ways, enough to help you discover the witch within.’ The author uses the wheel of the year to teach basic Traditional Craft skills. Each chapter focuses on a main technique or lesson, and subsequent chapters build on these progressively.

January -- Wolf Moon – Finding a protective amulet, which you will be encouraged to use in all craft work

February – Storm Moon – A rite of purification

March – Chaste Moon – Cast a circle of protection, gather tools

April – Seed Moon – Roodmass (aka Beltane, although it is not called that in this book) – Lore, rites and traditions associated with

May – Hare Moon – Finding a familiar and shapeshifting

June – Honey Moon – Encouraging the use of honey and herbs, and the collecting of jars and other witchy bits and bobs, Summer Solstice

July – Mead Moon – Home-made mead, a Mead Moon bonfire ritual, gathering ritual tools, scrying

August – Wort Moon – Encouragement to study herb lore, gathering of herbs, herbal healing poppet spell, herbal remedy recipes

September – Barley Moon – Autumn Equinox rite, encouragement to learn about herbal prenatal care and midwifery

October – Blood Moon – Lord of Misrule lore, Hallowmass traditions and ritual

November – Snow Moon – the Wild Hunt, traditions and preparations for the long winter ahead

December – Oak Moon – more about the Lord of Misrule, Winter Solstice ritual

Thirteenth Moon – Witches’ Moon – Ideas for making this moon your own

Interspersed with all this, Fiona Walker-Craven includes personal anecdotes, commentary and tidbits of insight that you will find in few , if any, similar books. At the end of the book is an elaborate guided meditation called ‘Pathworking to the Sleeping Goddess.’

The book is filled with rather stern admonishments against laziness as well as warnings against straying from the solitary path. ‘If all this seems too much like hard work, ‘ she writes, ‘then forget the idea of being a witch.’ Personally, I appreciate her frankness. Witchcraft is not an easy path; it takes work, study, and practice.

‘Sometimes we have to face up to the fact that for the most part it is wiser to keep silent, to remain a little island, protecting those treasures we hold dear. Maybe this pure inner island that is our own natural magic is the real Isle of Avalon.' I find that a beautiful sentiment. A little later, she cautions that it is ‘almost impossible’ to get into a Traditional British Craft group, and warns against any group that seems too open to new members. ‘Keeping yourself to yourself,’ she counsels, ‘and well closed down, will enhance your magic a thousand times more than standing in a pseudo-group and effectively being vampirised. Stand strong, but stand alone for awhile yet, this way no one can spoil your magic.’ I think it is wonderful that she is forthright about the need to truly know, dare, will and keep silent. ‘There may come a time,’ she adds, ‘when you will meet someone with whom you can really work magic.’

Fiona Walker-Craven achieves her book's stated goal. This book will help to train you to develop your own magical craft. You will not find endless recipes for potions, pre-written incantations, or elaborate instructions for spells or rituals. Instead, you will be guided to experience the fundamental characteristics of each moon of the year, and explore what it means to you, how you will live it day-to-day, and how you will celebrate it. This is a book of personal magic, and even though it's for the beginner, this book should prove rewarding to just about anyone.

I have read and been disappointed with many well-regarded books for the novice witch, the typical commercially available variants of Wicca. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham, Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft by Rae Beth, Grimoire for the Green Witch by Anne Moura, and A Witch Alone: Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic by Marian Green. None of them has felt as right to me, personally, as this book. I don’t know why, but Fiona’s style just feels like I'm having a forthright conversation with a serious practitioner who is giving me the best and most direct instruction she knows how. I appreciate that so much. And the best thing is, I can go back and look at it over and over again. That's not to say that the book is perfect. There are aspects of it I find challenging to my personal beliefs. But the gems far outweigh the occasional raised eyebrow, for me.

I looked for this book for a long time before I finally got it. I'm not saying it's the be all and end all. But it's a damn fine book. I hope you find it cheaper than I did...but this in the book made me smile: 'When you do find the perfect items that look and feel right, be prepared to pay whatever it takes to get them.' How did she know? ;)

This book is out of print and hard to find. The copy I found promptly fell apart as soon as I started reading it. I have solved that by dismantling the book and reassembling it in an A5 ring binder, with each page now preserved in acid-free pockets. I actually prefer it this way, because now it lies flat, is protected from spills, and allows me to add my own notes, recipes, photographs, etc, very easily. I am confident this book will be a resource that I will refer to regularly every moon of every year, for many years to come. I am grateful to have found it, and I highly recommend you seek it out.


Glad you are enjoying the book Carla. The binding, or quality of it, has come up before as a cause for complaint.

I also enjoy her frank style and matter of fact way of writing. Even though I don't follow a typical path of witchcraft, much of what she writes resonates. Most of it comes down to common sense, learning, following your nose, being true etc. All the rest of the trappings and terminology are interchangeable really.


Well, I sought the book for so long, I thought people might be interested in what's in it.


Thank you so much for posting all this. I too would really like to own this book. It is not available at any library in my entire state :-( I'm going to have to see if I can get one of the libraries I frequent, to put in an out of state request.

I wish it were legal to scan and distribute OOP books.


So glad you found it, Carla!

I have been watching for a copy I can afford here in the U.S. Like you, I too have been disappointed in many witchy tomes. I know we have had this discussion. Because I haven't found my niche in the books I've seen, I've chosen to think of myself as a Wise Woman in Training :). But a rose by any other name....




Only hope

is finding at a garage or used book sale! I hope someday I will just come across one!


Thanks for the link, Milfoil.

This book is still on my wishlist but no way can I justify spending that amount of money on a 2nd hand book. :)