Recommended Witch Books:

Tag: nonfiction

Influence of Animism on Islam, The

The Influence of Animism on Islam, an Account of Popular Superstitions (Classic Reprint)

4 stars
Samuel Marinus Zwemer, pre-1923 (facsimile reprint, Forgotten Books, 2015)

Review:

Exploration of the polytheistic animism that preceded monotheistic Islam, and its continued influence on the later religion and other cultures; written by a Princeton Theological Seminary professor.

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Witchcraft Basics

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

Great Mother, The

The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype

4 stars
Erich Neumann, trans. Ralph Manheim (Princeton/Bollingen, 1991)

Review:

Illustrated seminal classic on ancient Goddesses’ lore, powers, guises, attributes, affinities, invocations, hymns, oracles, and spells.

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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

Etruscan Roman Remains

Etruscan Roman Remains

5 stars
Charles Godfrey Leland (Cosimo Classics, 2007)

Review:

A facsimile copy of the folklorist’s authentic 1892 masterwork revealing the beliefs, customs, deities, formulas, recipes, rites, and spells practiced and prized by 19th-century Witches in Tuscany. Written by the President of the Gypsy-Lore Society, this classic is the only book to list names of pesky daimons that plague lonely men and women, etc.

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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 Today

Witchcraft Today

5 stars
Gerald B. Gardner (Citadel Press, anniv. edit., 2004)

Review:

An expanded edition of the 1954 classic by the father of the modern Witch renaissance. Covers myriad magical topics, including Picts, pixies, Pagan persecution, cauldrons, and Kabbalah, and includes a biography of Gardner and contributions from some Wiccan elders regarding the Olde Religion’s past, present, and future.

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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

Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

Ancient Egyptian
Book of the Dead

5 stars
Translated by Raymond O. Faulkner (Barnes & Noble, 2005)

Review:

Lavishly bound English translation of breathtaking facsimile illustrations from ancient papyri and carvings explaining how the dead should propitiate ancient Egyptian psychopomps and deities to earn rest and reincarnation.

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Witchcraft Basics

Meaning of Witchcraft

The Meaning Of Witchcraft

5 stars
Gerald B. Gardner (1959, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2004)

Review:

Authentic beliefs, customs, history, practices, and theology of followers of the Olde Religion; written by a public, trained High Priest who ran the Witch Museum on the Isle of Man and is responsible for the Craft’s popularity today.

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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

Goodly Spellbook, The

The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems

5 stars
Lady Passion (Dixie Deerman) & *Diuvei (Steven Rasmussen) (Sterling Publishing, 2nd edition, 2014)

Amazon Smile: Choose Coven Oldenwilde

Review:

Illustrated, definitive, fascinating guide to Witchcraft that explains how everyone can use common ingredients to work effective magic to help themselves, others, and the planet; written by trained, experienced Gardnerians.

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Witchcraft Basics

Amazon Smile: Choose Coven Oldenwilde

Witch Book

The Witch Book

4 stars
Raymond Buckland (Visible Ink Press, 2002)

Review:

Alphabetized, oft-illustrated information about magical practices, fads and traditions, and some ancient and modern occultists; written by a trained Gardnerian Witch elder who’d given our The Goodly Spellbook a rave review.

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Witchcraft Basics

Plato’s Republic

Republic

4 stars
Plato, translated by C.D.C. Reeve (Hackett, 2004)

Review:

A seminal tome by a Classical Pagan who argued that archetypal ideas govern matter and time, and explains magic’s philosophical bases.

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Witchcraft Basics

Witches Bible

A Witches Bible: The Complete Witches Handbook

2 stars
Janet and Stewart Farrar (Magickal Childe, 1984)

Review:

Illustrated with nude photographs, this book features modern British Alexandrian magic with an Irish emphasis; objectionable because: Its title is ungrammatical and contains an Xtian term, the term “complete” is arrogant, and the authors broke vows by including Gardnerian material forbidden to be printed.

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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

Alexandria: The Journal Of The Western Cosmological Traditions

Alexandria 1: The Journal of Western Cosmological Traditions

4 stars
Vol. 1, ed. David Fideler (1991 Phanes Press)

Alexandria 2: The Journal of Western Cosmological Traditions

4 stars
Vol. 2, ed. David Fideler (1994 Phanes Press)

Alexandria 3: The Journal of Western Cosmological Traditions

4 stars
Vol. 3, ed. David Fideler (1995 Phanes Press)

Alexandria 4: The Order & Beauty of Nature

4 stars
Vol. 4, ed. David Fideler (1997 Phanes Press)

Alexandria 5: Cosmology, Philosophy, Myth, & Culture

4 stars
Vol. 5, ed. David Fideler (2000 Phanes Press)

Review:

Explorations of Pagan topics such as the Life of Hypatia, an Orphic Hymn to Artemis, the Sacred Geography of the Ancient Greeks, The Science & Art of Animating Statues, and Pythagorean Harmonics, etc.; written by academic researchers and magical practitioners.

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Witchcraft Basics