As always, these opinions are mine. If they do not agree with yours, then so be it. smile I do not ask that everyone agree with me on all things. Think what a boring world that would be!
There are so many books that I would recommend to someone just starting out. Any of Scott Cunningham's books (published by Llewellyn) are particularly good. Do know that Scott is offering up a fairly gentle version of Wicca. As with all authors, he writes from his own personal point of view. Wicca as I know it is not as gentle as he would have you believe. I also highly encourage any students of mine to read archaeology, history, anthropology and other like texts. A firm foundation in history is very important to my Tradition. I have left out some good books, I am sure.
Let this be a beginning then and not an end. Remember...read as much as you can and always always listen to that inner voice. Thinking and reading critically are absolute musts!! These books are all linked (if they were available) to Amazon.com. If you choose to get one, I do get a kickback from Amazon. I like to be honest with you.
The Witches God: Lord of the Dance, Farrars, Stuart and Janet
This is a good book for God lore. I do like most of the Farrars works and this is no exception. For me, the God is overlooked in many books and webpages. I have a small God Lore section if you are interested.
- The Witches Goddess--Farrars, Stuart and Janet As with _The Witches God_ this book is focused on the Goddess. Rituals and poetry both are here.
- The Life and Times of a Modern Witch (out of print)--Farrar, Stuart This is actually the story of Stuart's first encounters with a coven. He was more interested in it from a journalistic point of view, but then joined the coven. I found this book fascinating and it was one of the very first books my HPS had me read during my pre-dedication months.
- Natural Magic--Doreen Valiente I haven't read this one in a while and I made the mistake of lending this and three other books to someone. This was a year ago as of 11/13/98 I will have to replace these books at my own expense now and that saddens me greatly.
- Witchcraft for Tomorrow--Doreen Valiente
- Witchcraft Today--Gerald B. Gardner
- The Meaning of Witchcraft--Gerald B. Gardner
- The Sea Priestess--Dion Fortune Fiction but very interesting in its presentation of magic.
- Moon Magic--Dion Fortune Fiction as well and some of the same characters from _The Sea Priestess_
- Lid Off The Cauldron--Patricia Crowther I love this book. Unfortunately it is one of the ones that went missing. Lots of information.
- Secret of Ancient Witchcraft--Patricia Crowthers
- White Goddess--Robert. Graves A book that is more poetry than anything else and difficult for me to read. I still have not read all of it, but I read at it sometimes.
- When God Was A Woman--Merlin Stone An amazing book if you can get past the feminist slant of the author. I think it is an important book that all pagans should read.
- Woman's Mysteries--M. Esther Harding Harding was a student of Jung's and this book is a trip into the unconscious mind of woman. I found it incredibly dry and sexist at times, but I would recommend it because of the depth to which she delves into the pysche of being female.
- God of the Witches--Margaret Murray I do like this book, but Ms. Murray's scholarship has been questioned quite a bit. She may have taken some artistic license with history. Not a bad thing unless you are presenting it as a scholarly work.
- Drawing Down the Moon--Margot Adler An absolute must-have and must-read for all pagans! An in-depth history of the Neo-pagan movement written by one of our most public priestesses. Very dry at times, but do read this one!
- Spiral Dance--Starhawk Newcomers to paganism will have this book recommended to them over and over again. Count this as one more recommendation. Starhawk has given our pagan community a gift with this work. Some will tell you it has an anti-male slant to it, but I truly did not find that to be true. Unless focusing on the Goddess is anti-male.
- Ancient Wicca --Doreen Valiente
- The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe --Marija Gimbutas
- The Language of the Goddess --Marija Gimbutas
- The Civilization of the Goddess --Marija Gimbutas
- Everyday Magic -- Dorothy Morrison This is a very fun book and very real! Dorothy offers magic that can be used now and not magic that must wait for the ninth full moon where you have to burn Dragon's Blood incense brought over on a slow boat from Bangladesh. She gives you things that are doable today. And she has a ritual of mine in there that she adapted. grin. So self-promotion goes on!
- A History of Pagan Europe -- Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick Just picked this one up and am enjoying it. Very dry, but has depth that many newer books lack. Hutton was an advisor on this so you can't go wrong with that.
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