Recommended Witch Books:

Tag: magic

Golden Bough, The

The Golden Bough: The Classic Study In Magic

4 stars
Sir James G. Frazier (1890 et seq.; this reprint by Papermac, 1990)

Review:

Magical myths, folklore, customs, and practices of cultures worldwide compiled by a Scottish anthropologist. While its material is sometimes scattered or specious, it remains a valuable resource. (Actual book cover not shown.)

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Witchcraft Basics

Irish Cures, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions

Irish Cures, Mystic Charms, & Superstitions

4 stars
Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde (1887; Sterling reprint, 1991)

Review:

Enchanting, authentic, archaic folklore, magic, omens, prophecies, and proverbs compiled by the mother of author-wit Oscar Wilde.

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Witchcraft Basics

Folklore and Odysseys of Food and Medicinal Plants

Folklore and Odysseys of Food and Medicinal Plants [Illustrated Edition]

4 stars
Ernst and Johanna Lehner (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1973)

Review:

Pen-and-ink illustrations of ancient Pagan glyphs and plants decorate this exploration of ancient, medicinal herbal lore and the magical uses of food.

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Witchcraft Basics

Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Three Books Of Occult Philosophy

5 stars
Henry Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (written 1509-10; tr. by James Freake, 1651; ed. by Donald Tyson, Llewellyn Publications, 2005)

Review:

Illustrated, archaic, authentic, essential: De Occulta Philosophia (Three Books of Occult Philosophy) is the most influential book on magic ever written. Agrippa was a Renaissance German knight, theologian, feminist philosopher, and defender of witches who wandered the courts of Europe learning about and advocating for magic as the true synthesis of religion and science. His celebrated and persecuted grimoire and textbook on magic was an inspiration for The Goodly Spellbook. Editor Tyson’s well-researched explanatory notes and illustrations more than make up for Freake’s awkward 17th-century translation from the original Latin, which unfortunately remains the only available version in English of all three volumes.

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Witchcraft Basics

Necronomicon

Necronomicon

1 stars
"Abdul Alhazred" (numerous editions by various authors)

Review:

Marketed as real but utterly fake, the Necronomicon (“Book of Dead Names”) existed only in H.P. Lovecraft’s horror fiction, and even there only by allusion to its eldritch-sounding title. But if you’re a Lovecraft fan like *Diuvei, you’ll want to have it on your bookshelf just for its own sake — and to observe who does or doesn’t recognize it for what it is.

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Witchcraft Basics

Ask-A-Priestess

Ask-A-Priestess: Magic Answers and Spells From a Real Witch by Lady Passion of Coven Oldenwilde

Ask-A-Priestess: Magic Answers & Spells From a Real Witch

5 stars
Dixie Deerman (Lady Passion) (Smashwords e-book, 2010)

Buy From Smashwords

Review:

Wish you had a wise woman on-call for spells, spirituality & solutions to stresses? Lady Passion answers magic questions from folks worldwide — empowering all to work Witchcraft to help themselves and the planet thrive. From jobs to Jesus, fairies to flying ointments, and pets to persecution, no topic is taboo for this R.N. Witch counselor!

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Witchcraft Basics

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Greek Magical Papyri

The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Including the Demotic Spells, Volume 1

4 stars
2nd edition, trans. by Hans Dieter Betz (University of Chicago Press, 1996)

Review:

The title word “Demotic” isn’t a typo of demonic: That material is Coptic. The illustrated main corpus is a collection of 2nd-century B.C.E. to 5th-century C.E. Egypto-Greco-Roman magical spells, rituals, and invocations from ancient papyrus spellbooks, many of them found in the tomb of a magic man in Thebes. Also known as the Papyri Graecae Magicae, or PGM.

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Witchcraft Basics

Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells

Review:

Extensive guide about more than 1,000 magical alphabets, phrases, symbols, and words that will help you pronounce, understand, and use them for maximum power; written by a respected occult author.

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Witchcraft Basics

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

Buckland’s Complete Book Of Witchcraft

4 stars
Raymond Buckland (Llewellyn, 1990, 2002)

Review:

The famous “blue book” features illustrated, authentically traditional magic authored by the first Gardner-trained Third Degree Witch to publish such material in America. However it cannot, as promised, impart the reader “the equivalent of Third Degree.”

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Witchcraft Basics

Witchcraft: The Old Religion

Witchcraft The Old Religion

5 stars
Leo Martello (Citadel Press, 1973)

Review:

Magic that rings true, rare interviews with seminal Gardnerian figures, and a fascinating 1970s-era view of the challenges that Wicca’s burgeoning popularity posed the Craft community; written by a Strega practitioner and ground-breaking activist for Pagan and gay rights.

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Witchcraft Basics

Spiral Dance

The Spiral Dance A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess

3 stars
Starhawk (Harper-Collins Publishers, 1999)

Review:

An eclectic primer about ancient and modern Goddess-worship and Pagan cosmology; written by a contemporary magical practitioner and co-founder of the Reclaiming trad.

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Witchcraft Basics

An ABC of Witchcraft

ABC of Witchcraft

4 stars
Doreen Valiente (Phoenix Publishing, 1973)

Review:

Alphabetized information about Craft beliefs, traditions, lore, and practices; written by a witness to the modern rise of Witchcraft.

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Witchcraft Basics

Good Magic

Good Magic

4 stars
Marina Medici (Fireside, 1989)

Review:

Teens to adults will like this guide to Pagan candle, herb, natural, and basic ritual magic; written in lyrical, non-dogmatic fashion, it’s illustrated with mood-enhancing photographs.

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Witchcraft Basics

Drawing Down the Moon

Review:

Craft history, information about diverse magical practitioners, groups, and Covens, and resources; written by a traditionally trained Gardnerian Witch; the author included information about Coven Oldenwilde in this 20th-anniversary update of her 1986 original edition.

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Witchcraft Basics