Recommended Witch Books:

Rituals & Spells

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key of Solomon

The Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Solomonis)

4 stars
ed. S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers (Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1972)

Review:

Illustrated ceremonial magic spells and techniques.

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Witchcraft Basics

Long Lost Friend

The Long Lost Friend: A 19th Century American Grimoire

4 stars
Johann George Hohman; ed. Daniel Harms (1820; Llewellyn Publications, 2012)

Review:

A goodly scholarly treatment and reprinting of the most famous American book on spells and herbal remedies — the authentic, early 19th-century Pennsylvania Dutch grimoire The Long Lost Friend. Edited with added spells from alternative versions by anthropologist Daniel Harms, and a foreword by Esoteric Archives curator Joseph H. Peterson.

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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

Sarava: Afro-Brazilian Magic

Saravá! Afro Brazilian Magick

4 stars
Dr. Carol L. Dow (Morwyn) (Llewellyn, 1997)

Review:

Thorough, illustrated explanation of Brazilian mystery religions such as Amer-Indian, Candomblé, and Umbanda, etc.; written by an experienced Wiccan Priestess.

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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

Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

3 stars
Scott Cunningham (Llewellyn, 1988)

Review:

Simplistic stuff marketed to practitioners who work Witchcraft alone and, thus, can easily believe contentions posited by this magically untrained author.

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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