Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Witch's Library

I'm a librarian by trade, so surely you knew this post was coming eventually.

There are hundreds of books about witchcraft available on the market today, and it can be difficult to sort out the useful works from the tripe!  Complied below is a list that I personally recommend for beginning witches, or those looking to expand their knowledge of Craft.  This is by no means a complete list, as I can only recommend those books which I myself have read and gleaned some good from.  Please add your own suggestions in the comments.

Books Central to Our Tradition
These writings are recommended to anyone who seeks to practice AFW.

The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves
Call of the Horned Piper & Masks of Misrule by Nigel Jackson
The Writings of Roy Bowers (Robert Cochrane)
The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Wright

Trad Craft Basics
These books will give you a good introduction to Traditional Witchcraft practices.

The Roebuck in the Thicket by Evan John Jones & Robert Cochrane, editor Mike Howard
Witchcraft: a Tradition Renewed by Doreen Valiente and Evan John Jones
The Forge of Tubal Cain by Ann Finnin
Grimore for Modern Cunning Folk by Peter Paddon
The Witching Way of Hollow Hill by Robin Artisson

General Witchcraft
These books, combined with a few others from each section will give you an excellent foundation in Craft.

Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks & Covens by Paul Huson
The Rebirth of Witchcraft, Witchcraft for Tomorrow, & Natural Magic by Doreen Valiente
Witches All by Elizabeth Pepper
Witchcraft: a Mystery Tradition by Raven Grimassi
Wheel of the Year by Pauline Campanelli
Courting the Lady: A Wiccan Journey, Book One: The Sacred Path by Patrick M. McCollum

Wiccan Classics
These books are unabashedly Wiccan, in the sense that they can trace their way back to the practices of Gerald Gardner.

High Magic’s Aid, Witchcraft Today, & The Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner
The Witches' Way, Eight Sabbats for Witches (available collected as A Witches' Bible), The Witches' God, & The Witches' Goddess by Janet & Stewart Farrar

Craft History
Many of these books were inspiration for the modern Craft movement.

The Triumph of the Moon-A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft & Stations of the Sun by Ronald Hutton
Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches of Italy by Charles G. Leland (Pazzaglini Translation)
The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
Gods of the Greeks by Karl Kerenyi
The God of the Witches by Margaret Alice Murray
Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath by Carlo Ginzburg and Raymond Rosenthal

Totemic Information
If you want to know more about the totems of our tradition these are a great place to start your research.

Tree Wisdom: The Definitive Guidebook to the Myth, Folklore, and Healing Power of Trees by Jacqueline Memory Paterson
The Celtic Tree Oracle: A System of Divination by Colin Murray, Liz Murray and Vanessa Card
Druid Animal Oracle by Philip Carr-Gomm, Stephanie Carr-Gomm and Bill Worthington
Sacred Mask Sacred Dance by Evan John Jones and Chas Clifton
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

When you want to work magic this is where you should start.

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs & Book of Incense Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & The Element Encyclopedia 5000 Spells by Judika Illes
A Century of Spells by Draja Mickaharic

I also suggest you explore these trad-craft reading lists to inspire further book lust:
Probus Lecto: a Clan of Tubal Cain reading list
The Witch of Forest Grove's suggested reading list (Sarah Lawless also writes Pagan Bookworm, a witchy book-lover's blog)
The Ancient Keltic Church's reading list
Traditional Witchcraft Research Network reading list
The House Shadow Drake reading list
The White Dragon recommended reading list

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