American Indian Myths and Legends

Richard Erdoes & Alfonso Ortiz
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This is a well-structured book of entertaining and thought-provoking tales from the many different native cultures in North America. The stories are grouped into ten different sections based on theme, with an overview introducing each one, and are presented in an ‘oral history’ style, recorded as they would have been spoken. Erdoes and Ortiz also provide an extensive bibliography, with sources for each story.

Aradia: Gospel of the Witches

Charles G. Leland
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This is an interesting book from folklorist Leland. Considered unreliable by scholars today, as the origin of the text is debatable, it is nonetheless an important book for the Wiccan traditions which draw from it; a prime example would be a comparison between the Charge of the Goddess, and the final section in the first paragraph of the book.

Exploring Numerology

Shirley Lawrence
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This is a good introduction to numerology. Lawrence begins by talking you through constructing your numerological chart, and then continues to give clear explanations and instructions on how to interpret such a chart. Lawrence also provides plenty of examples to help you understand the ideas she presents, and paves the way for you to move on to more advanced texts with a good, clear understanding of the basic principles.

Grimoire of Lady Sheba, The

Jessie Wicker Bell
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Originally published in 1972, this book is definitely not a Wicca 101. Instead it is a valuable resource for learning more about traditional Wicca, as it was practised before it gained the popularity of today. Even in its time this book was not intended to be a beginner’s guide to Wicca, it is simply a collection of useful and interesting information, presented for those working as part of a coven. This book is worth purchasing as much for the insight into traditional Wicca as it is for the actual information contained within.

Magical Meditations

Yasmine Galenorn
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This book contains eighteen guided meditations that can be read to a group or tape-recorded and played back for yourself. Galenorn begins with a couple of generally useful meditations, before moving on to ones for each of the four elements, and each of the eight Sabbats. The meditations are written well for reading aloud, and have suggestions for further work included for each one.

Magical Use of Thought Forms

Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki & J. H. Brennan
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This book introduces the reader to the creation of thought-forms by manipulation of the astral plane. As introductions go, this one is fairly complete. The authors begin with an introduction to the astral plane providing you with a mix of folklore and science. They continue to cover the astral plane from a magical perspective and the use of thought-forms. There’s a lot of information contained in this book, but it doesn’t sound stilted or stuffy, making this an entertaining read.


John Greer
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This is an interesting book considering different entities which, for ease of use, are considered monsters, including vampires, mermaids and dragons. Greer begins with an introduction to what he means by monsters, and provides other basic information relevant to the subject matter. He goes on to provide descriptions, and possible origins and explanations for nine monsters, before introducing you to natural and ceremonial magic defences. More information and detail could be provided, but it’s still an entertaining read.

Out of the Shadows

John J. Coughlin
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I think this book is an interesting way to start thinking about the darker side of Wicca, and of life in general. Coughlin begins by introducing some dark subcultures, such as goth, vampires and BDSM. He goes on to dicuss other aspects of darkness, such as the night, the Shadow and demons. He also devotes a section to ethical considerations before moving on to dark spirituality and deities. The latter half of the book deals with magical theory and practise. Overall this is a decent book explaining the concept of darkness.

Pagans and Christians

Gus diZerega
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This book is an interesting consideration of the problems between the two religions. DiZerega has divided it into three sections; the first of which addresses mostly Wiccan spirituality, which may be a criticism given the title, the next considers some of the problems Christians have with Paganism, and debunks many of them using good arguments supported by quotes from the Bible. He finishes with a section on Pagan problems with Christianity and answers them with a similar style of reason and supporting references.

People of the Earth

Ellen Evert Hopman & Lawrence Bond
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This is not a how-to book, instead it is a collection of interviews with a wide range of Pagans, presenting their beliefs, opinions and insights on Paganism. The value of the book is in the fact that you can learn about many different traditions and paths from the perspective of the people who follow them, and not only that but you can learn more about some of the well-known names in Wicca today in their own words.

Real Witches’ Coven, The

Kate West
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If you are not part of a coven, it may be worth investing in this book to give you a glimpse into what it can be like. Designed as a guide for High Priestesses, this book covers the experiences you may have, the problems you may face and the rituals you may take part in as a covenor. It’s worth noting that the ‘real witches’ mentioned on the cover are not witches who know the ‘one true path’, instead they are witches that live in the real world.

Secrets of Western Sex Magic

Frater U. D.
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A well-written introductory guide to sex magic, not tantra, this book gives the reader a clear understanding of the basics, such as breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques, before moving on to practical examples, explanations, and group ritual, and finishing by mentioning the magical dangers of sex magic.

Spell of Making, The

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If you’re a bit unsure when it comes to writing rituals, you will find this book useful. Blacksun covers many aspects of creating a ritual, from what ritual actually is, to magical intent. This is a great reference, especially considering the many books which provide you with their creations and suggest you write your own without telling you how.

Tree of Life, The

Israel Regardie
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Whether you like this book or not will depend on your personal tastes. Regardie is very wordy, something which may make reading this book an effort, however he does eventually explain some fairly complicated topics, ranging from magic and the Gods, through to chapters like ‘Theurgy Versus Spiritualism and Black Magic’. The most recent revision contains commentary from Chic Cicero and Sandra Cicero, as well as bibliography, glossary and illustrations.

Witchcraft and the Web

M. Macha Nightmare
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This book is a brilliant guide to the internet for Pagans, covering all aspects of its use. Macha provides a basic explanation of using the internet, for the less technology savvy, before moving on to information on online groups and mailing lists, studying and conducting ritual online, and interviews with people from the online Pagan community. Also included are her own thoughts on Paganism online, as well as a good listing of important and popular websites.

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