A list of books which I have come across which may be of interest to anyone finding their way on the Pagan path and those looking for something new to read, (Wicca, Witchcraft, Magick, Spells, Crafting, Divination, Crystals, Herbs, Natural home remedies etc). I have listed the Title, the Synopsis (usually written by the Author) and my own review as appropriate. Remember we are all different so something I’m not keen on, you may find enthralling and a book that I believe is fantastic may not resonate with you at all.
NB. It is worth noting that many Authors use the terms Witch, Wiccan, Witchraft and Wicca interchangeably, so check the synopsis and any reviews before buying, especially if you are only interested in one particular path.
A Witches’ Bible – Janet and Stewart Farrar
Synopsis – Everything you need to know is here – The Sabbats, Casting & Banishing the Magic Circle, The Complete Book of Shadows, The Great Rite, Initiation Rites, Consecration Rites, Spells, Witches’ Tools, Witchcraft & Sex, Running a Coven, Clairvoyance, and Astral Projection. This collection includes two books in one volume, “Eight Sabbats for Witches” and “The Witches’ Way” and is the most comprehensive and revealing work on the principles, rituals and beliefs of modern witchcraft.
Review – This book is full of lots of facts and information, personally I found the writing style quite heavy going, so if you prefer a lighter read, maybe this is not for you. However, it has a lot of interesting information, especially about the Sabbats and I use it as a reference book. It is based around religion, rituals and beliefs so perhaps a good book for learning about the Wiccan craft.
Crafting a magical life – Carol Holaday
Synopsis – CRAFTING A MAGICAL LIFE outlines twenty magical/spiritual items that you can craft yourself, thereby utilizing the focus of your desire and intention to improve your spiritual connection and bring the mystical and magical into your life. Each chapter contains fascinating background information and provides easy to follow step-by-step instructions and illustrations to help you create your own powerful objects of intention, without having to spend big bucks on mass produced magical tools. You’ll even find sample prayers, chants and techniques you can employ to stimulate your imagination and help you focus your intent so that you can experience receiving the desires of your heart and craft the magical life of you have always dreamed of. With a little help, anyone can craft and build their own sacred items, imbue them with the power of their dreams, wishes and intent, and employ their own spiritual and magical techniques to attract love, luck, wealth, health and happiness.
Review – Some lovely little simple crafts, the book also has a few lists at the back, including tree, crystal and colour properties, Elder Futhark runes etc. A good book for the beginner.
Origins of festivals and feasts – Jean Harrowven
Synopsis – Festivals and Feasts played a major part in the lives of our ancestors. Jean Harrowven a Froebel trained teacher, now retired, approaches the subject in a lively and interesting manner by recording the customs, superstitions, games and recipes today’s children can relate to (1996).
Review – I found this book in a charity/thrift store and although it is not a pagan book, it is nonetheless an interesting read. It not only explores the origins of the dates we celebrate today but has lots of other snippets, like the origin of some of our modern words, ancient beliefs and some fun activities.
Runes – Soraya
Synopsis – Soraya has found that the runes, time and time again, are the most accurate of all the esoteric disciplines. Each of the 25 ancient symbols tells its own centuries-old story and in this book, Soraya explains the stories to help you use them for divination. Her stories also help to make the stones more memorable. She gives a background to the origin of the mystic alphabet and explains how to find and use your own runes.
Review – It is a little different to most Rune books in that the main section of the book has stories about each rune which is an excellent way to help remember the meanings. If the stories are of no interest to you then there is also a section on General Guidance, allowing you to just go straight to the short definition of the Rune you seek (given for upright and reversed). The book includes a brief history, sample spreads, using, understanding and working with runes etc. I have used this book more than any other book about Runes as I found the short interpretations in the general guidance section allowed me to use much more of my own intuition, whist still being able to look into any stone in more depth if I chose.
Runes – A Beginner’s Guide – Kristyna Arcarti
From the Back Cover – Whether you are wondering whether the time is right to move home of whether you need advice with more spiritual matters, try consulting the runes for their wisdom. The art of the runes dates back to Viking times and is used to form a bridge between our logical mind and our unconscious. Runes – A beginner’s guide introduces you to this fascinating subject by explaining their alphabetical links, history and how they can be used to increase your personal awareness and stimulate your growth. Practice section throughout the book consolidate your understanding of the subject and will give you the confidence to try the runes for yourself. Read this practical introduction and let the runes guide you on your journey of self discovery.
Review – This book delves into the history of runes, how to cast them and even how to make them. Each Rune is listed with it’s name and a detailed meaning as well as reverse definitions. Practice sections are included to help those starting from scratch. There is also a section at the back giving additional information about bind runes, casting layouts and other basic info. A good book for the beginner.
The Green Witch – Ann Murphey-Hiscock
Synopsis – – The green witch is a naturalist, an herbalist, a wise woman and a healer. She embraces the power of nature; she draws power from the earth and the universe; she relies on natural objects such as stones and gems to commune with the land; she uses plants, flowers, oils and herbs for healing; she calls on nature for guidance: and she respects every living being, no matter how small.
The Green Witch guides you on this path, from how to use herbs, plants and flowers to make potions and oils for everyday healing to how crystals, gems, stones and even twigs can help you find balance within. You’ll discover how to find harmony in the earth’s great elements and connect your soul to every living creature. This guide also contains directions for mixing herbal blends and potions, ritual suggestions, recipes for sacred foods, and information on how to listen to and commune with nature. Embrace the world of the green witch and discover what the power of nature has in store for you.
Review – A lovely book full of knowledge about the world around us and how to harvest the power of nature without harming it. It covers the basics of a broad base of knowledge and is therefore easy reading as no subject is too deep. With facts, recipes, potions, lotions and rituals I would be happy to recommend this book, especially to beginners, as a good starting point.
The Pocket Book of Stones – Robert Simmons
Synopsis – This pocket edition is ideal for readers who are looking for a compact reference that they can carry easily. This book is an ideal introduction to stones and their energies for those who are new to the field, as well as being an invaluable portable reference for well-versed readers. Every entry contains a vivid color photo and quick-look list of key words, elemental and chakra correspondences, plus the beneficial physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities of each mineral, crystal, or gemstone. Below the quick-look list, Simmons provides a description of each stone, including scientific data and the story of each stone’s spiritual and healing qualities, as well as recommendations for other stones that combine harmoniously with it. The scientific information offered welcomes those not yet familiar with crystal energies by providing a familiar frame of reference and also broadens the knowledge of those who come to stones primarily for spiritual purposes.
The Pocket Book of Stones includes a comprehensive index of the healing qualities and the emotional and spiritual properties of all the stones in the book.
Review – I love this little book. It has every stone I could think of listed. Along with other info, it also lists their properties, correspondences, healing and spiritual purposes. It then gives scientific data and a fuller explanation of the above points on each crystal/stone. One item per page, with clear colour photos and in alphabetical order. Everything you need in this handy pocket sized edition. I use this more than any other book on this subject. 🙂
Witch Crafting – Phyllis Curot
Synopsis – Wiccan high priestess Curott provides readers with a guide to the spiritual principles and practices of Wicca. The text aims to offer advice on how to live an empowered, divinely guided, magical life. Written in a conversational, anecdotal style, the author distils the essence of this ancient yet thoroughly modern spirituality into simple, powerful precepts, providing a system of practices that readers can use in their daily lives. Many stories and personal examples within the book aim to identify with reader’s own struggles and accomplishments, as they master key Wiccan tenets and techniques. The author explains how magic actually works, showing how to use techniques, rituals, spellcasting, potions, divinations, herbs, oils and other tools, and explaining why witches use these various items. Each chapter focuses on an individual aspect of divine magic, and includes a wide variety of innovative techniques, exercises, and rituals.
Review – This book wasn’t for me. I am an Eclectic Witch and very much believe that witchcraft is a very personal path and that we should respect all paths even when they do not follow the same route as our own. My own fault for buying something based on the title and without reading about it properly first, if I had, I would have realised it was completely Wicca based, to the point of almost being biased. Having said that I have seen many other reviews that recommend anyone who is interested in Wiccan Practices to give this a read!
More reviews to follow ………