- Religion and Philosophy
Suggested Reading List For The Beginner Wiccan
Beginner's (Brief) Reading List
So you wanna be a Witch, eh? ^_^
You have my congratulations, then! Despite a LOT of negative stereotypes over the past several centuries, more and more people are coming to find that not only is Wicca not an evil religion, but that it's actually quite a beautiful one! But where to start reading?
I went through this same confusion back in 2003 when I developed my own interest in Wicca. I'd go to the bookstores and look at their New Age selection and hope that SOMETHING would jump out at me. It's rather daunting when you have a thirst to learn more about this religion but no one to guide and teach you.
Depending on the area you live, you might even have some covens nearby that, if they're accepting new students, you could join, but even just trying to find a coven or a circle to join can be rather daunting in and of itself. A good resource to use to try to find other Wiccans and Pagans in your area would be to go to www.witchvox.com Once you sign up and specify what area you live in, you can view listings of not only Witches in your area, but also different groups, be they covens, groups, circles, or even New Age churches like CUUPS, which usually meet at Universalist Unitarian churches.
However, sometimes it's just good to arm yourself with some general information beforehand so as to better guard yourself against any groups that might try to feed you misinformation.
So, here we go:
Helpful Links for Finding Other Witches
- Covenspace - a Pagan social network
Covenspace is a social network (like Myspace) for Pagans, Wiccans, witches and anyone else following an alternative spiritual path.
- Witches\' Voice Inc. - 03 September, 2009 - 1:04:16 AM
The Witches' Voice offers the latest (updated daily) in news and networking for the Modern Witch, Wiccan and Pagan Community.
Good Books For Beginners
There are actually many books that are great for beginners to read! The reading list above is only a few books out of many that are great for beginners, but they're some of the ones that I personally recommend the most.
- Elements of Witchcraft: Natural Magick For Teens -- Even if you're not a teenager, books that are written for teenagers, such as this one, are still great beginner's books, and Ellen Dugan is one of my most favorite Wiccan authors in the entire world. ^_^ She is straightforward, easy to read, engaging, funny, and, of course, very informative. She is also very emphatic on working closely with nature. In this book Ellen covers the basics ranging from the ethics of working magick, discussing the dangers of dabbling, she teaches about the 4 elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) and gives spells that you can do to work with them as well as meditations to become aquainted with the Elements. All the spells are simple, easy to do, and effective. Ellen teaches that magick doesn't have to be grandiose and complicated in order to be effective. Sometimes simple just works best. This is a VERY enjoyable book!
- Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick -- Book 3 in Ellen's Witchery series. I would actually recommend all of them even for beginners (they are "Garden Witchery", "Cottage Witchery", "Natural Witchery", and, most recently and will be coming out in October of 2009, "Book Of Witchery") but this one is actually conducive to teaching beginning basic magick to the beginner. She teaches you about your personal power, enhancing your intuition, and she even gets into teaching about working with a coven and even starting your own circle as well as how to keep said circle organized. While every book of Ellen's is a favorite of mine, this one is definitely one of my most favorites.
- Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences For Every Day of the Week -- This one, as of yet, has yet to come out. According to Amazon.com, this book should be out at the beginning of October. After reading the synopsis of it, it looks like this book is to focus on how to practice magick every day. Yeah, ok, so that could even be deduced from just reading the title, but seriously! Check this out on Amazon! ^_^ It looks like it's going to be a kickass book, and I myself can't wait to get a copy!
- Teen Witch: Wicca For A New Generation -- Silver Ravenwolf was the first author I ever started reading as per the recommendation of my ex-husband. Many Pagans either really like her or really hate her. Some of her information is a little skewed, but from my own observations, she has all the basics correct and reading Silver Ravenwolf's books REALLY helped me. She answered a lot of my questions and put my mind at ease where my confusion was concerned. And, once again, though this is a book specifically written for Teens, there is still a lot of good information that is useful even to the beginner!
- To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft -- The first book of Silver's that I read. I grew up as a Christian and reading this book put at ease a lot of my confusion, such as wondering what I was supposed to do with the things I'd learned under Christianity that I felt still applied to me. It was this book that assured me that just because I had an interest in Witchcraft didn't mean that I had to just completely give up everything I'd ever learned under a different religion. Silver is quite informative, in my personal opinion, and her other books are also really good, though it's been a long time since reading them, so I can't really give a detailed description of them anymore. However, though I didn't add it to the Amazon list up there, also check out her book "Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows For The New Generation". It's a HUGE plethora of information that I believe should be a staple in any Witch's library.
- Witch: A Magickal Journey -- Fiona Horne is another favorite of mine that is really good for beginners. She tells not only of her own personal journey into Witchcraft, but also has a LOT of good information. She even has an entire chapter dedicated to giving recipes for making your own personal hygiene items like shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Fiona is also one of the few Witches I've ever seen that's had the guts to even bring up controversial topics like using drugs for magickal purposes. She does not advocate them personally or in her book. She just covers the topic and explains why using drugs is just NOT a good idea and is actually quite lazy. I absolutely love this book, personally. I'd recommend it to anyone.
- Sabbats: A Witch's Approach to Living the Old Ways -- Wicca is a joyous religion and we Pagans just absolutely love our holidays. So, while this isn't a book about beginning Witchcraft, I find this book to be a wonderful book to learn more in depth information about the holidays (or Sabbats, as they are called), ideas for celebrating them, and even recipes for different foods and drinks to make for different ones! I highly recommend this book!
- Wicca: A Year & A Day: 366 Days of Spiritual Practice in the Craft of the Wise -- If you're wanting a book with structured lesson plans, this is the book for you! If you look around at different covens, you will find that most have a period for initiates called the Year and a Day of learning before they can really be initiated into the coven. This book enables you to do this at home on your own time. The lessons are split into 30 day portions, in which Timothy gives you a shopping list of different things you're going to need for the next 30-day set of lessons. He covers EVERYTHING; Getting to know the God and Goddess, different deities, the Sabbats, different divination techniques, how to make your own wand, etc. This is definitely a wonderful book to add to your Witchy library!
Intermediate Reading List
Books for the Intermediate Witch
The list of available books out there for Witches that have progressed beyond the Beginner level is just as expansive as the books available for Beginners. Again, a few of the ones I personally recommend are listed here:
- Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft -- This is actually the book that I, myself, am personally learning from at the moment. My boyfriend is teaching me. The Big Blue Book, as we affectionately call it, has some beginner information, but it reads a bit more confusing than the books that I listed as being good for beginners. Raymond Buckland has a LOT of great information divided into Lessons complete with quizzes and tests. There are ritual outlines in many of the lessons, he gives a history of Witchcraft, he teaches how to make many of your own tools if you have the availability and the ability. I'm on Lesson 6 presently, so there's not much that I can really describe about it, but I will definitely say that I highly recommend this book.
- Scott Cunningham -- Rather than listing his books piece by piece, it'd just be easier to talk about the man himself. While every author I've listed here I would recommend all their books that they've written, Scott Cunningham is one of those that I would SERIOUSLY recommend aquiring all his books. He is an author that is practically a staple to every Witch's library. I listed him on the Intermediate list because, while he's got a plethora of wonderful information in all his books, he does, in my personal opinion, tend to read a little dry, kinda like stereo instructions. I would recommend him when people have a bit more of the basics down, and it's kinda hard to get the basics down when you find your eyes crossing after only reading a few pages, which is why I listed the easy readers first in the Beginner's list I compiled. Scott Cunningham was a wonderful Witch and he really knew his stuff. His books go into in depth detail, especially on his books like "Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs", "Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic", and "The Complete Book of Incence, Oils and Brews". All I can say about Scott Cunningham's books are GET THEM!!! They are wonderful additions to any Witch's Magickal Library.
- Janet & Stewart Farrar -- Another good couple of authors. Even if you're not into the Gardnerian Tradition, which they primarily teach in their book "The Witches' Bible", they still have a lot of good information. And I highly recommend their books "The Witches' God" and "The Witches' Goddess". In each book, the go behind the history of the different deities, including the God in the Christian view. Definitely a good way to get to know the different deities, especially if you're seeking your Patron and Matron deities.
I hope that this was a good help to any who are seeking to learn more about the Craft. If this list of recommended reading has helped even just one person, I'll be thrilled. And, of course, there are many more books out there than just what was listed here. This list didn't even scratch the surface of all the books that are out there. Overall, even if you find that none of these books are for you, keep searching and go with what grabs you.