Recommended Reading

  • In the Circle. Elen Hawke.

No idea what on earth I am talking about? Elen Hawke weaves stories and practice into an excellent account of her earth religion, Wicca. This is the first book I give someone if they are simply curious.

  • Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Witchcraft. Ronald Hutton.

Paganism is plagued by those who do not have a good sense of its history — it’s embarrassing and dangerous. It is not uncommon for people (or whole traditions) to create false histories in an effort to legitimize themselves, especially when faced with dominant religions that can point to a continuous presence for thousands of years. Some people never look beyond contemporary writers who affirm this fake history — read Ronald Hutton’s work, the first historian who took modern witchcraft seriously.

  • Witchcrafting. Phyllis Curott.

    Book of Shadows. Curott. (the story of her path to witchcraft)

Phyllis Curott, a lawyer and Wiccan High Priestess, has a perspective grounded in contemporary thought. From quantum physics to ritual guides, she lays out a well-explained, contextualized approach to Wicca.

  • Natural Witchery. Ellen Dugan.

Natural witchcraft can be understood as a practice focusing on herbs/stones/trees, etc. Or it could simply be a specific way of working, where you immerse into the universal rather than form a circle and stir up energy. Dugan created a part-explanation, part-journal book that might feel simplistic to an advanced practitioner (or could fill in some gaps), but could be a helpful introduction.

  • Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex and Politics. Starhawk.

Starhawk’sSpiral Dance inspired a generation. Check out her approach to politics and group structure.

  • The Complete Art of Witchcraft. Sybil Leek.

Sybil Leek was a famous American psychic and witch from San Francisco, particularly in the 60s. She even was on television often. This book is largely theology, a rare thing in contemporary texts, but her main fault is claiming to be descended from a long line of witches — impossible, considering the historical development of modern practice. Still worth reading, at least for perspective.

  • Prayers for a Thousand Years. Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon.

When doing interfaith work, I was sometimes asked to offer a prayer before dinner, which, for someone who does not exactly pray, can be an awkward thing. This book is a collection of poems and prose written in recognition of the new millennium. You can draw from any of the sections, but there is a brilliant one about the earth.

One Comment to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Thanks for the list! I am also a fan of book lists and reviews. If only the time to read them all…

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