A Pagan Reading List
Basic sourcebooks for a start along any Path
Listed below are books which we feel should be part of every magickal library. While this is not an all- inclusive list, it is a list of some of the better books. Included is also a section of books that we do not recommend; for one reason or another, we feel that these books are a waste of money. All books listed can be special ordered through The Mystic Gryphon.
Frazer, Sir James George (1922). The Golden Bough. (Author's Abridged ed.) New York: Collier Books. 864 pp.
If you can find the unabridged, 13-volume edition, get it. Otherwise, this highly
abridged one volume version will do rather well.
Graves, Robert (1948). The White Goddess. New York: The Noonday Press. 511 pp.
- One of the best translators of the Greek Epics tries his hand at untangling Taliesin's
Cad Goddeu, the Battle of the Trees, giving several versions of the Celtic tree
alphabet in the process. Also some insightful views on the origin of the Celts in Asia
Minor and their migration through Europe to Britain.
Pretty much anything by Jung on dreams and archetypes. This is heavy reading, but
extremely helpful in interpreting symbols. Most books that deal with dream
interpretation will include bits of Jung already digested for you so you can absorb it
Murray, Margaret A. (1931). The God of the Witches. (reissued 1952 ed.) New York: Oxford University Press. 212 pp.
Explores the Witch Cult in England that has saved it from invasion by the Spanish
Armada in the late 16th century and invasion by Germany in World War II. Also
looks at the involvement of the Royal family in the craft through the Order of the
Garter, and the Sacred King/Divine Victim archetype.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Buckland, Raymond (1986). Buckland's complete book of witchcraft. Llewellyn's practical magick series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 253 pp.
Cabot, Laurie and Tom Cowan (1989). Power of the Witch. New York: Delta. 312 pp.
- Excellent historical bits. Includes Cabot's Science of Witchcraft .
Clifton, Chas S., Ed. (1994). Witchcraft Today, Book One: The Modern Craft Movement. St. Paul, Llewellyn Publications.
Clifton, Chas S., Ed. (1994). Witchcraft Today, Book Two: Rites of Passage. St. Paul, Llewellyn Publications.
Clifton, Chas S., Ed. (1994). Witchcraft Today, Book Three: Witchcraft & Shamanism. St. Paul, Llewellyn Publications.
Cunningham, Scott (1988). Wicca: a guide for the solitary practitioner. Llewellyn's Practical magick series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 218 pp.
- This is a very good series of essays and articles on various aspects of paganism.
- EXCELLENT book. I prefer it to Buckland's cookbook method to ritual.
Pollack, Rachel (1986). Teach yourself fortune telling: palmistry, the crystal ball, runes, tea leaves, the Tarot. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc. 144 pp.
- A great introduction to several forms of divination: Tarot, palmistry, crystal scrying, tea leaves.
Royal, Penny C. (1982). Herbally Yours. Hurricane, UT: Sound Nutrition. 127 pp.
- Excellent herb book. Non-magical uses of herbs. Many "recipes" for ailments.
Andrews, Ted (1992). How to See and Read the Aura. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications.
- Very good method for learning to see auras.
Melody (1995). Love is in the Earth A Kaleidoscope of Crystals: THE reference book describing the metaphysical properties of the mineral kingdom. Updated edition. Wheatridge, CO: Earth- Love Publishing House. 488 pp.
- If the stone isn't in this book, you probably don't need it. This is the best reference for
crystals, their properties and their uses.
Three Initiates (1912). The Kybalion: a study of the Hermetic philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece. Chicago: The Yogi Publication Society. 223 pp.
- This the philosophy and physiology of witchcraft, not the religion. The seven Laws
described in this book outline the way magick works.
Starhawk. (1989). The Spiral Dance: a rebirth of the ancient religion of the Great Goddess. 10th aniversary edition. HarperSanFrancisco. 288 pp.
- This is a very good introductory book. If you are a feminist, this is probably THE introductory book for you. The only drawback is that Starhawk is very much a feminist, to the exclusion of any positive mention of the God.
Brennan, Barbara Ann (1988). Hands of light. New York: Bantam Books. 294 pp.
- Excellent book on aura and chakras as well as auric healing.
Cavendish, Richard (1967). The Black Arts. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 408 pp.
- If you can get past the title, the section on numerology is pretty complete. Also has
the basics of Cabalism and High Magick.
Cunningham, Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 240 pp.
Cunningham, Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 336 pp.
- Penny Royal is good for herbs in general. This one gives you the magical uses of
Cunningham, Scott (1983). Earth Power. Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 153 pp.
- More of Scott's down to Earth magick (yes, I intended that pun).
Denning, Melita and Osborne Phillips (1980). The Llewellyn Practical Guide to Psychic Self-Defense & Well-Being. (second enlarged edition (1983) ed.) St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 277 pp.
- Highly recommended for learning protection methods.
Fitch, Ed and Janine Renee (1984). Magical Rites from the Crystal Well. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 147 pp.
- Another source book for Neo-pagan rituals.
Hewitt, William W. (1991). Astrology for Beginners: An Easy Guide to Understanding & Interpreting Your Chart. Llewellyn's Modern Astrology Library. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 278 pp.
- I don t know much about astrology. This title looked promising to start with.
Kraig, Donald Michael (1988). Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. Llewellyn's High Magick Series. St Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 557 pp.
- If Ritual or High Magick intrigues you, this book is a good introductory course.
From this you can branch out to Golden Dawn, Enochian and other kabbalistic
Ryall, Rhiannon (1989). West Country Wicca: A Journal of the Old Religion. Custer, Washington: Phoenix Publishing. 99 pp.
- An altertative (and rebuttal) to Gardner. This is a What do the simple folk do?
book. Magick as practiced by working farmers and blacksmiths, not by dilettantes
with too much time on their hands.
Smith, Steven R. (1989). Wylundt's Book of Incense: A Magical Primer. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser. 300 pp.
Weinstein, Marion (1980). Earth magic: a Dianic book of shadows. (Revised and Expanded Edition (1986 ed.) Custer, Washington: Phoenix Publishing Inc. 101 pp.
- Nice little book with a great housecleaning ritual.
Whitcomb, Bill (1994). The Magician's Companion: A practical & encyclopedic guide to magical &
religious symbolism. Llewellyn's Sourcebook Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 592
- Tables of correspondences, magical alphabets. Eastern, Western and American
magickal systems! Excellent resource.
A Little Course in Dreams
- Jung Light. This is a good start for dreamworking and dream analysis.
Exploring Your Path
Buckland, Raymond (1992). Scottish Witchcraft: the history & magick of the Picts. Llewellyn's Modern Witchcraft Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 235 pp.
Conway, D. J. (1990). Norse magic. Llewellyn's World Magic Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 244 pp.
Conway, D. J. (1991). Celtic magic. Llewellyn's World Magic Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 208 pp.
Conway, D. J. (1994). Dancing With Dragons: Invoke Their Ageless Wisdom & Power. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 296 pp.
Cowan, Tom (1993). Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit. San Francisco:
Harper SanFrancisco. 222 pp.
Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh (1993). Persian Myths. The Legendary Past. Austin: University of Texas Press. 80 pp.
MacCrossan, Tadhg (1991). The Sacred Cauldron: Secrets of the Druids. Llewellyn's World Magic Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 272 pp.
Mann, Nicholas R. (1995). HIS Story: Masculinity in the post-patriarchal world. Llewellyn's Male Mysteries Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 295 pp.
- Finally, a book for rediscovering the God without all that drum-beating.
Monroe, Douglas (1992). The 21 Lessons of Merlyn: a study in druid magic & lore. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 431 pp.
- The title says it all. Monroe claims to have tapped into the oral tradition of the
Druids and was allowed to publish it in story form. Whether authentic tradition,
channeled information or simply deductive reconstruction, the lessons are a great
start for modern Druids.
Schueler, Gerald and Betty (1984). Enochian Magic: A Practical Manual. Llewellyn's High Magic Series. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 268 pp.
Fenton, Sasha (1985). Fortune-telling by tarot cards: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Future usingTarot Cards. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, UK: The Aquarian Press. 160 pp.
- This is really the little book that usually comes with the deck, but in trade paperback
form. The book is meant to accompany a rather sterile deck. The only good thing
about the book is the last chapter on various types of spreads.
Warren-Clarke, Ly and Kathryn Matthews (1990). The way of Merlyn: the male path in Wicca. Bridport, Dorset, UK (Garden City Park, NY): Prism Press (Avery Publishing Group). 185 pp.
- Very cookbook This is THE ritual for...
- Manual for the male path written by women, so it is rather slanted. In defense of this book, the authors have listed several archetypes of the masculine.
Athena Starwoman & Deborah Gray. (1996). How to Turn Your Ex-Boyfriend into a toad & other spells for love, wealth, beauty & revenge. Sydney:HarperCollins Publishers.
- Beware anything cross-categorized with Humor. Many of the spells in this book are of questionable ethics. Remember the law of three-fold karmic retribution before you try any. This book does include some positive self-improvement spells, however.
Cooper, Susan. The Dark Is Rising sequence:
- Over Sea, Under Stone
- The Dark Is Rising
- The Grey King
- Silver on the Tree
- One of the best adaptations of British and Celtic legend to children's literature. No
real magickal techniques are to be gleaned, but those on the Celtic path will find the
background information on Celtic lore indispensable.
- Mary Poppins
- Mary Poppins Comes Back
- Mary Poppins Opens the Door
- Mary Poppins in the Park
- These are the original Mary Poppins books. Accept no Disney imitations. Mary P. is
most assuredly the Goddess (usually Mother and Crone, but occasionally Maiden).
Whenever any of her relatives has a birthday, expect the unexpected.
- Pick up any book by Misty and you will get a lesson in Magick. She has three major
series of books set in two universes (our own modern Earth, and her creation of
Valdemar). If you like High Fantasy, the Valdemar books (12 so far) will be a
wonderful treat. If you prefer something a little closer to home, there are the Urban
Fantasies where Elves drive fast cars and save children. Or there is Diana Tregarde,
- As with Lackey, any book by Kurtz will be full of Magick. But, where Lackey deals
mainly with natural, Earth-type magick, Kurtz leans toward the Ceremonial. Kurtz
has created an alternate Medieval England, where the Catholic Church has driven the
magical, quasi-celtic race of the Deryni from their place as Kings of the Realm to the
object of bloody witch hunts. The Deryni are born with the Gift, and can do basic
natural magick, but most were trained in more ceremonial magicks.
- Another series that Kurtz has created is The Adept. The series should include
an earlier book, Lammas Night, which is basically a novelization of the ideas put
forth in Murray's The God of the Witches. The Adept series proper is the adventures
of Sir Adam Sinclair, psychiatrist by day, Adept of a Scottish magickal society by
- The bio in all of her books lists Katherine Kurtz as a licensed hypnotist. None mention her
achievements as a ceremonial magician, but it is obvious from her writing that she is well-versed
and experienced in High Magick.
de Lint, Charles (1984). Moonheart.
- I "chanced" upon this one at a used book store. More Celtic magic, but based in
modern Ottawa, Canada. The appendix gives a description of a new Celtic
divination system, the Wierdin.
Deitz, Tom. Soulsmith (1991), Dreambuilder (1992), and Wordwright (1993)
- Still more Celtic-based fiction, this time drawing from Welsh tradition. The Welch
family has a deep connection to Welch County. Besides being the founders of the
county, the head of the family has a bond with the Earth. This is excellent stuff set in
modern Georgia. I especially like the divinition system developed in these books:
Butler, Octavia. Pattern Master (1976), Mind of My Mind (1977), Wild Seed (1980)
- Ok, I found something non-Celtic. Here we have African magick. Doro is an
immortal, a body thief. His descendants all have heightened psychic abilities. I read
these in my pre-Craft days, so I don t recall how much is relevant to Witchcraft, but
they are good reading anyway.
Abbey, Lynn. (1982). The Guardians
- A Manhattan apartment holds a Gate between the worlds. The resident of the
apartment must be the Guardian. Interesting depiction of magick and covens.
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