Old Books On Witchcraft
Old Books On Magick And Witchcraft
I love witchcraft books, and I'm a collector of old books on witchcraft. I've been collecting them for several years now, ever since I've become interested in the occult and the more esoteric branches of life. I am not Wiccan though, just a person interested in learning about the craft - especially the old, original one.
You will find here many interesting listed books for a person wanting to learn the old ways of witchcraft. You can read more about books on spells, history of witchcraft including the witch trials, and so on.
Note for the Wiccan: If you are a Wiccan, you might find some of these books outrageous, too 'strong', too 'out there' or plain not aligned with your path. While Wicca is a rather newly recognized religion, withcraft (traditional withcraft) has been practiced for thousands of years.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of Wiccan books out there today, which are full of uplifting, positive spells and thoughts, staying away from anything dark, negative or otherwise uncomfortable, so if you want books for the Wiccan practitioner, may I recommend these books instead:
These are books that any modern Wiccan can read and they are sanctioned by the Wiccan community as well.
In the old times, people who were practicing witchcraft didn't have "books on witchcraft" to rely on. They were handed down everything from one generation to the other. When they were practicing witchcraft, they were in fact practicing something called 'Magick". So you will find here several books on magick, folklore, herbs, history and legends. These are the very books that were studied and followed by witches of times past, before Wicca became such a popular religion and modern path to follow.
Image credits: purchased at istockphoto.com
Grimoires & Spellbooks
Al Azif: The Necronomicon
The Necronomicon was written in Damascus in 730 A.D. by Abdul Alhazred. An alternative derivation of the word Necronomicon gives as its meaning "the book of the customs of the dead"
It was made really popular with the masses in H.P. Lovecraft's 1924 short story "The Hound", written in 1922, though its purported author, the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred, had been quoted a year earlier in Lovecraft's "The Nameless City". Among other things, the work contains an account of the Old Ones, their history, and the means for summoning them.
by Roger Bacon
De Nigromancia, or, Concerning the Black Art, is a Latin manuscript attributed to Roger Bacon, first appearing some time in the 16th century.
The text is concerned with Goetic summonings, especially of wraiths. Goetia is the common name for that branch of Ceremonial Magic that deals with the conjuration of infernal spirits or demons.
At Amazon currently the book can only be found as second hand, and it's not cheap either. However keep checking back as you might get it at a better price by another seller who decides to sell his own copy.
by Francis Barrett
Regardless of the Amazon ratings, The Magus is a required book for anyone interested in witchcraft, grimoires, spells and learning more about magick and the occult in general.
The Magus speaks about the natural magic of herbs and stones, magnetism; talismanic magic; alchemy and other means of creating the philosopher's stone; numerology; the elements; and biographies of famous adepts from history. Recommended reading!
Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy - by Cornelius Agrippa
Cloth edition of a famous grimoire translated by Robert Turner.
Complementary volume to "The Three Books of Occult Philosophy." Stephen Skinner's introduction and notes clarify the importance and use of this work.
The Fourth Book appeared in Latin some thirty years after Agrippa's death. Johann Weyer, a student of Agrippa's in his Praestigiis Daemonum, denounced this work to be spurious, and that evaluation has rarely been questioned.
The Grimoire of Armadel
Translated from a 17th century manuscript stored in Paris, this is an ancient but still useful book of popularized Christian magic. It is illustrated with intricate sigils, containing many of the important seals and sigils of the various demons and planetary spirits.
Short, but helpful, this is a must for the beginner-advanced magician, but also well-rounded for the non-denominational invocational magician or no matter what your preferences are, this book is still a must for your collection of texts and a great addition to your library of related matter.
Modern And Old Books On Witchcraft - Non Wicca!
The Call of the Horned Piper
by Nigel Aldcroft Jackson
This is quite a short book at less than 200 pages, but it is packed full of mythology of Witchcraft, legends, stories that will keep any witchcraft practitioner busy for a long time.
It is a recommended book for all students of witchcraft, being a modern classic based on hereditary witchcraft, very different from the modern term Wicca.
A "must-read" for anyone who follows oldcraft practices or who has an interest in folklore, it is one of the best books to ever properly explain and describe the beliefs and practices which are held within traditional Witchcraft.
ARADIA: Gospel of the Witches
The text is a composite. Some of it is Leland's translation into English of an original Italian manuscript, the Vangelo (gospel). Leland reported receiving the manuscript from his primary informant on Italian witchcraft beliefs, a woman Leland referred to as "Maddalena" and whom he called his "witch informant" in Italy. The rest of the material comes from Leland's research on Italian folklore and traditions, including other related material from Maddalena.
Mastering Witchcraft - by Paul Huson
If you're interested in learning pure witchcraft, this is a must read book. This book represents one of the best attempts from the late 60's/early 70's period of "edgy" occultism (before everything got so 'nice' and watered-down) to construct a workable modern synthesis of "witchcraft" drawn from a number of cultural sources
Witch Trials, History Of Witchcraft
Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft
by Sir Walter Scott
The original book was first published in 1830 as written by Sir Walter Scott to his son in law about folklore, superstition, and witchcraft. If you want to learn about the history of witchcraft, about fairies, banshees, about court cases against witches from Scottland and Europe in general, you will find this book engrossing.
What is interesting is that Sir Walter Scott is coming from a rational, rather scientific background, yet this book seems to show that he did believe in the folklore tradition of the witches of the time.
Salem: A Tale of the Seventeenth Century
Caroline Rosina Derby
This is a book first published in 1874. While it is a book of fiction, it is worthwhile reading as you get a glimpse into the life in Salem of the time - a grim time indeed. It describes what Alice and other women on trial for witchcraft felt and how they went proudly with their heads high to the place of execution.
"The last terrible moment had come. The sun had climbed to the mid-heaven as if to look down upon the sacrifice, when the door of the prison was opened, and the unhappy prisoner came forth - not led forth, for the brave and dauntless old woman came out unsupported, and walking with a firm, unfaltering step."