Wicca 101

Complete Book of Witchcraft

Raymond Buckland
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In this book Buckland covers a wide range of topics, from history and philosophy through to rituals, sabbats and magic. It’s an interesting read, sometimes for the things it doesn’t say as much as the things it does – don’t read it believing that it is complete, or unbiased. Buckland presents interesting information, not absolute truths! That having been said, the book does have some useful information in it and is thankfully devoid of ‘airy fairy’ feelings. For the most part this is a beginner’s book which will give you a solid foundation from which you can further explore the ideas he presents.

Drawing Down the Moon

Margot Adler
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This is an old book by Wiccan standards, first published in 1979, however it provides valuable information about modern Paganism. The charm of the book lies in Adler’s objective style and clear writing; this book will give you information about the history and formation of neo-Pagan faiths, as well as explaining the basic beliefs and ethical viewpoints of each. This book is a good companion to the more recent, ‘how to become a neo-Pagan’ style books which tend to favour practise over study.

Essential Wicca

Paul Tuitean & Estelle Daniels
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This is a very neat introductory book which covers the basic information you should know about Wicca along with common sense advice and tips, and good historical information. Tuitean and Daniels have also provided an extensive glossary which alone makes this book worthwhile.

Full Contact Magick

Kerr Cuhulain
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As introductory books go, you could do a lot worse than this one. Cuhulain doesn’t really cover much material that you won’t find in other Wicca 101 books, but it’s his style of writing that makes this book a good choice. The book is well laid-out, with accurate historical information and a good deal less fluff than many similar works. One criticism would be that Cuhulain also presents many opinions as facts – a common problem when dealing with Wiccan literature for beginners, but if you approach the book with a critical mind it will prove a useful starting point.

In the Circle

Elen Hawke
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Yet another beginners book, this one manages to stand out from the rest due to its easy reading style and clear presentation. Hawke organises her information into chapters based on the Sabbats, giving them more attention than is common to find in Wicca 101 books and it makes a refreshing change. Her writing also avoids much of the fluffiness than normally accompanies introductory books, and there are fewer innaccuracies than usual for this kind of general book.

Pagan Path, The

Janet & Stewart Farrar & Gavin Bone
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This is a different kind of introductory book. It is not a how-to guide, it is not fluffy, and it is not something you should read without critically evaluating. That having been said, the information which it does present is largely useful and relevant, including descriptions of some of the main Pagan paths.

Self-Initiation for the Solitary Witch

Shanddaramon
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This book is not a guide to a self-initiation ceremony; it takes you through the basics of Wicca, from concepts and ethics to group ritual and encorporating Wicca into your daily life. Quite nicely written in that the author introduces ideas as possibilities, or examples, and not as the way to do things. The book is organised into chapters from ‘The Dedication’ to ‘The Fifth Degree’, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this book will teach you everything you need to know. An additional criticism would be that some of the historical information provided is simply inaccurate, and you would do well to find a good book on history to accompany this guide.

Spiral Dance, The

Starhawk
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This is another old book on Wicca, having been published in 1979, and as a result there are some innaccuracies in the history it presents, as it was written when those misconceptions were common place. That having been said it is still a valuable book to have in your collection as it both gives an insight into the early days of Wicca and gives you a good understanding of Wiccan basics. Starhawk does express feminist views in this book, which has earned her a lot of criticism as Wicca acknowledges a God and Goddess – keep that in mind and you’ll find this a useful and interesting reference.

To Ride a Silver Broomstick

Silver RavenWolf
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If you Google for ‘Silver RavenWolf’ you’ll find the rest of her books easily enough. RavenWolf writes easy to read books, which have been criticised for containing a lot of her personal opinions, disguised as fact. RavenWolf’s books also tend to present Wicca as a sweetness and light religion, ignoring the fact that it is a faith that places great importance on the idea of balance. Having said that, she does write in an appealing way for those new to Wicca, and her books (also; To Stir A Magick Cauldron and To Light A Sacred Flame) cover a wide range of information, with plenty of examples and ideas for you to work through.

True Magick

Amber K
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This is a nice introduction to magic, with a Wiccan flavour. Amber K takes you through the basics, from history and first steps to ritual and spellcraft, even including a chapter on magic and science which provides great food for thought. Also included are exercises based on the material and further reading lists, and overall the book is very easy to read and understandable.

Wicca

Vivianne Crowley
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This books gives a very good overview of Wicca, whether you want to become a Wiccan, or simply want to improve your knowledge on a sometimes misunderstood religion. Crowley writes in a fluid style, and covers a wide range of introductory material as well as presenting her own insights into some interesting ideas you may not have considered before.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Scott Cunningham
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A very good introduction to Wicca, especially considering it is aimed at those who may not have a coven to rely on for direction and further information. This books contains information for both theory and practise, along with Cunningham’s own Book of Shadows. I think this is a very good starting reference – there’s nothing too fluffy in it, and it will give you a basic grounding in Wicca. My only caution would be to bear in mind that as it is a beginner’s book it does not go into great detail on any topic, instead giving the reader a broad overview – for a better understanding of each topic you’ll have to find more specific books.

Witch Alone, A

Marian Green
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This book is a very good introductory book, covering a lot of information in an easy-to-work-through format. There are thirteen chapters, intended to last you the thirteen lunar months in a year, each with exercises and a reading list for you to both expand your knowedge and actually put it into practise. The only criticism would be a tendency towards inaccuracy in the history, but if you back this book up with a decent history book, it will serve you well.

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