Many Witches differ in regard to what they consider to be the “best” books about Wicca, paganism and magick. These are the books that I recommend:
The Essence of Magick: A Wiccan’s Guide to Successful Witchcraft by Amaris Silver Moon
My own book, The Essence of Magick delves deeply into spellcraft and the driving forces behind magick, teaching you how to tap into these forces and energies to actively shape your ideal reality. Containing numerous techniques and exercises, this book will help you create the joyful and magickal life you have always dreamed of. Bringing a fresh take on Wicca, this is an easily accessible and helpful guide to the novice as well as the advanced practitioner.
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
Cunningham’s classic introduction to Wicca is about how to live life magically, spiritually, and wholly attuned with nature. It is a book of sense and common sense, not only about magick, but about religion and one of the most critical issues of today: how to achieve the much needed and wholesome relationship with our Earth. Cunningham presents Wicca as it is today: a gentle, Earth-oriented religion dedicated to the Goddess and God. Wicca also includes Scott Cunningham’s own Book of Shadows and updated appendices of periodicals and occult suppliers.
To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft by Silver RavenWolf
Silver RavenWolf is one of the most widely recognized names in circles of witchcraft, and with good reason; she has written some of the best guides to contemporary Witchcraft available. To Ride a Silver Broomstick is a handbook aimed at the beginner, and doesn’t get bogged down in history, dogma, or gender roles. It is a workbook for the individual, whether one is a solitary practitioner or part of a coven, that covers the basics of the craft–from useful vocabulary to setting up an altar–and briefly delves into more advanced concepts such as astral projection and telepathy. To Ride a Silver Broomstick may not be the most comprehensive single volume on the subject of witchcraft, but RavenWolf focuses on the aspects most important to a beginner, and keeps her introduction to the craft approachable and easy to follow.
Which Witch Is Which?: A Concise Guide to Wiccan and Neo-Pagan Paths and Traditions by Patricia J. Telesco
Once you decide that Witchcraft is the path you wish to pursue, there are many questions still to be answered. In the first section of Which Witch Is Which? Trish helps you answer the first-do you want to practice alone or with a coven? There is no “right” or “wrong” decision here, and this section explores the pros and cons of both paths. The second question is answered in the more extensive second section of the book: Which Wiccan or Pagan tradition (if any) is for you? Which Witch Is Which? gives you the detailed background of the most popular traditions and the help you need to choose among them.
From the very earliest time, people have watched the moon’s mysterious and fascinating nocturnal sky show with amazement and intrigue. Even in today’s modern, busy world there are many of us who have taken a step back, looked upward, and wondered: What is it made of? How was it formed? What does it look like up close? In The Moon Watcher’s Companion, urban shaman, writer, and teacher Donna Henes enlivens the imaginations of those who have contemplated the moon by providing poems, drawings, stories, ancient wisdom, and scientific findings from a diverse blend of people and cultures throughout the world.
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick) by Raymond Buckland
This 1986 classic is not only an excellent introduction to the Wiccan religion and earth-based religions in general, it’s also a workbook that can take the serious student to the equivalent level of third-degree Gardnerian. Though Raymond Buckland was a student of the late great Gerald Gardner, this manual does not adhere to a specific branch or denomination of witchcraft, but rather seeks to teach the elements and philosophies common to all, whether Celtic, Saxon, Finnish, or what have you. Buckland is credited with bringing the “old religion” to the U.S., and covens and solitary witches practicing the craft in the U.S. today have him to thank for getting it out of the closet. While Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft is a must-have for any serious Wiccan practitioner, it is full of down-to-earth spiritual wisdom, which makes it a wonderful addition to the library of any broadminded seeker on the path toward the One.
“Power of the Witch” is an extraordinary account of the beliefs and practices of a contemporary witch, known as the “offical witch of Salem”. After the disappearance of the ancient matriarchal societies, witchcraft endured bitter presecution from the middle ages to the 17th century and still encounters ignorance, fear and loathing today. Breaking her faith’s tradition of secrecy, Laurie Cabot refutes its roots and history, its rich and powerful feminine mythology, and its kinship with the earliest magic and with nature. She explains the weird and wonderful techniques to work magic – preparing potions, casting spells, charging objects – and reveals it to be very much a practical craft and one focused on healing, protecting and neutralizing harm.
Modern neo-paganism is primarily an urban movement. This book aims to show how every disaffected urban pagan can use magic to survive and make good in the city. Humorous, sometimes irreverent, the book is full of serious, practical information for any tradition, from ceremonial magicians, to Goth teens, to biker pagans, and to kitchen-sink witches. Here, readers will learn how to use magick to find an elusive parking space, understand the symbolic meaning of various body piercings and discover spells for unearthing treasures in a junkyard. There is even a chapter on the magickal properties of urban weeds such as bittersweet, dandelion, kudzu and ragweed.
Successfully performing a spell is an art that comes about with practice. The better you are at working with magickal energy, the better your results will be. The Essence of Magick is a guide which teaches you how to cast spells that work.