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Old Books On Witchcraft

Updated on December 29, 2013

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:

Wiccan books for beginners

Wiccan spell books

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

Al Azif: The Necronomicon
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",[1] written in 1922, though its purported author, the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred, had been quoted a year earlier in Lovecraft's "The Nameless City".[2] Among other things, the work contains an account of the Old Ones, their history, and the means for summoning them.

 
de nigromancia
de nigromancia

De Nigromancia

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.

the magus
the magus

The Magus

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

Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy
Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy

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
The Grimoire of Armadel

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
The Call of the Horned Piper

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

ARADIA:  Gospel of the Witches
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

Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens
Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens

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
Letters on Demonology and 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
Salem: A Tale of the Seventeenth Century

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."

Are You Interested In Reading Books On The Old Ways Of Witchcraft?

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Welcome To The Old Books On Witchcraft Guestbook! - Are you a practitioner?

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    • profile image

      Reaching_Apex 3 years ago

      No, but I've been wanting to read some of the books listed above and explore more witchcraft and magical practices, especially ceremonial rituals and helping others reach their own true potential - pagan, witch, or not. For the most part, I feel that positive magic is the way to go, and I feel that learning about the old ways and other religions and philosophies can help me understand and home in on my own psychic gifts, as should many who want to use it to help others in a positive manner. There's no shame in being yourself, but I've only found us psychics/witches "coming out" on reality TV and connecting online, thus far. It would be great to meet the like-minded, and even form a coven, though.

    • riverdark profile image

      riverdark 3 years ago

      Ooh, a very nice selection and a couple of real rarities, De Nigromancia in particular. The Call of The Horned Piper is a new one on me and looks worthy of further investigation. I love web pages / lenses like this and look forward to .seeing what else you add here.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I collect old housekeeping books and books of manners from the 1800s. So interesting to see how life was back then. You have an interesting collection here.

    • profile image

      moth3rnatur3 4 years ago

      i was very dedicated to the craft then changes made it hard for me to practice. now im at a point in my life where i want to re-dedicate myself to the craft n start practicing daily n correctly but im not in a living situation where i can. i share a 1bdrm apt n don't have a quiet, secure place yet. but promise once i do....im back on 110% because my life hasn't been the same since.

    • allen-alberson profile image

      allen-alberson 4 years ago

      Great article! I may have to check some of these out

    • karMALZEKE profile image

      karMALZEKE 4 years ago

      I had no idea there is some much information out there. This is a great lens.

    • sudosu44 profile image

      sudosu44 5 years ago

      What great information on witchy books. Can't wait to start my collection. Thanks for the details.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ever since I have read Harry Potter's wizardry, I find myself enchanted with witchcraft. True or not , it is marvelous and exciting. Hope someday I see more of real witch-craft.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      Interesting! I recognize a few of these titles from the Bast mysteries (a series of Wiccan murder mystery novels). I go through phases of wanting to learn more about Pagan religions... I'll keep these books in mind next time my curiosity strikes.

    • profile image

      bobby150 5 years ago

      Years ago I bought some of these books and found themm fascinating to read and study.Aspiring Magie Musn't forget that Israel Regardie's "The golden Dawn" is a legitimete work on Magic but contains "booby-traps" for the lazy browser who refuses to study the material thouroughly. Good lens, thanks a lot for this. Sean

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Due to a number of ancestors in the New England Puritan camp, I'm intrigued by the history around witchcraft and witch trials: there's a number of books here I'd like to read.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 5 years ago

      Even if I don't believe in all that stuff, there are still some very interesting books I wouldn;'t mind reading for the history. Interesting lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      "Spell-binding"! This is for serious collectors and very well compiled and reviewed!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      Very well presented, Marcia!