People often ask me for book recommendations. Here is a short list of my favorites. These are all books I consider essential building blocks of a good Pagan library. Of course, my own library has many more than these! But these are a great start. If you notice certain authors appearing over and over, it’s because their reliability and clarity warrants my trust. Don’t forget my own work here.
Introduction to Wicca
- “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margot Adler
A personal favorite, and the one that introduced me to Wicca: This is an overview of the many aspects of the modern Pagan movement. A bit dated, but still informative and lively. A must-have!
- “The Truth About Witchcraft” by Scott Cunningham
A small paperback, designed by the author to be the sort of thing a Witch could hand their parents.
- “The Pagan Path” by Janet & Stewart Farrar and Gavin Bone
A recent and up-to-date book, written shortly before Stewart’s death in 2000. An excellent introduction to who Pagans really are.
History of Wicca
- “The Triumph of the Moon” by Ronald Hutton
This is an extraordinary work; thorough, meticulous and informative. Hutton is a professor of history and his understanding of his discipline gives the book rigor lacking in other sources. Highly recommended!
- “Witchcraft: A Concise Guide “, by Isaac Bonewits
Lively and informative, written by a scholar of Paganism who was also there at many of the movement’s seminal moments.
How-To Books (Practicing Wicca)
- “A Witches’ Bible” by Janet & Stewart Farrar
This superb how-to of traditionalist (mostly Alexandrian) Craft is controversial because it purports to reveal oathbound secrets. It is nonetheless ten times more thorough, thoughtful and interesting than most available books. A grain of salt is wise with any book, of course, but this one is so worthwhile. My copy is well-thumbed from years of fond use.
- “The Spiral Dance” by Starhawk
If A Witches’ Bible is the best traditionalist how-to, then Spiral Dance is the best eclectic how-to. This one gives you a real understanding of an approach that bypasses rules and comes straight from the gut.
- “Witchcraft for Tomorrow” by Doreen Valiente
A wonderful, poetic guide by one of the great Ladies of the Craft.
- “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham
Scott’s gift was to simplify his material into clear, concise, accessible instructions, and this one is no exception.
- “Rites of Worship: A Neopagan Approach” by Isaac Bonewits
Isaac approaches the creation of Neopagan rituals from a lifetime of experience. A wealth of knowledge in a slim volume.
- “Magical Rites from the Crystal Well” by Ed Fitch
This is a sweet and straightforward book, with a wide variety of rituals, by a true founder of the American Wiccan movement
- “Wicca Covens: How to Start and Organize Your Own” by Judy Harrow
This book is simply unique, and uniquely valuable. It approaches a coven as an entity with needs of its own. Where most books simply assume that Wicca is Wicca, whether practiced solitary, as a couple, or in a group, Harrow recognizes that groups interact in particular, and sometimes difficult, ways.
Books on Gods, Goddesses and Myth
- “The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines” by Patricia Monaghan
An extremely thorough reference volume, scholarly and entertaining. It’s usually open on my desk. Goddess worshipers owe Pat plenty of thanks for this work.
- “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell
If you’re really interested in the topic of myth, I don’t see how you can skip this one.
- “Hindu Goddesses” by David Kinsley
An intelligent and fascinating introduction to the topic.
- “Goddesses in Everywoman” by Jean Shinoda Bolen
An excellent introduction to the Jungian approach to Goddesses.
- “The Goddess” by Christine Downing
Another Jungian, this is a far more personal work.
- “Gods in Our Midst” by Christine Downing
Ten years after writing about The Goddess, Downing took on the Gods of Greek mythology for a rare examination of the male mysteries.
- “Inanna” by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer
This is the joint effort of a scholar of Sumerian texts and a professional storyteller. It is simply exquisite.
- “Aradia: Gospel of the Witches” by Charles G. Leland
An indispensible resource for those who wish to learn more about the history of modern Wiccan goddess-worship. This is one of the places where it all began.
Books on Magic
- “Real Magic” by Isaac Bonewits
Still an indespensible classic. No one makes magic seem more sensible and non-mysterious than Isaac.
- “Spells & How They Work” by Janet & Stewart Farrar
Exactly what the title promises. A no-nonsense, very Wiccan approach.
- “The Healing Craft” by Janet & Stewart Farrar & Gavin Bone
The first book by modern Witches to focus on this essential art.
- “Inner Work” by Robert Johnson
Johnson has written several books that approach myth from a Jungian perspective. This one is different. Half of it is devoted to dream analysis, the other half to active imagination. Both are powerful tools for transformation, very applicable to solitary or coven work.