GAWR'S RECOMMENDED INTRODUCTORY TEXTS
These are books that by themselves or by reading a few additional
books will give you a good basic insight into Wicca and Witchcraft.
The Quest: The Search for the Grail of Immortality" Part 1 of the Quest
Trilogy, by Rhuddlwm Gawr & Marcy Edwards, $12.95 ISBN: 0595201245
Synopsis: a fascinating account of Cymry (Welsh) Witchcraft by a High
Priest of the "Craft of the Wise." The true story of the initiation of a
young man into the ancient tribe of Dynion Mwyn and the clan of Y
Tylwyth Teg, Welsh Witchcraft. The Quest contains a Book of Shadows
relevant to all Celtic Traditions such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian,
Celtic Traditional and Druidic. This is an amazing story of Magick,
Reincarnation and Spiritual Enlightenment and is good solid material
covering religious beliefs, meditation, nutrition, psychic healing and
spiritual awareness, among other topics. If you cannot find this title,
contact: New Leaf Distributors, 401 Thornton Rd. Lithia Springs, GA.
30057-1557; phone (770) 948-7845
Drawing Down the Moon : Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other
Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler; $16.95 Amazon Price:
$13.56, You Save: $3.39 (20%), Revised & Expanded Edition, 584 pages,
Penguin USA (Paper), ISBN: 014019536X
Synopsis: For nearly two decades, Drawing Down the Moon,
the only detailed history of a little-known and widely misunderstood
movement, has provided the most authoritative look at the religious
beliefs, experiences, and lifestyles of the NeoPagan culture. It's no
coincidence that Ms. Adler works for National Public Radio. Accurate,
scholarly, objective information about the craft in its many
manifestations. It helps the lay person and pagan alike understand the
various aspects of paganism. It is rich in detail, and represents Ms.
Adler's tireless interviews and investigation of various parts of
paganism. One of the 2 essentials on any Pagan bookshelf. This book is
so well written that it serves both as an introduction to Paganism and
as a reference to consult when questions arise. We value the new edition
for updates of resources.
What Witches Do: The Modern Coven Revealed, 2nd ed. by Stewart
Farrar. Phoenix trade paperback. $9.95; ISBN: 0919345174
Adler's book gives a comprehensive overview of modern American
Witchcraft, Farrar's is a complimentary look at traditional British
Witchcraft. Concentrating on the Alexandrian tradition (which is only
marginally different from Gardnerian, easily the largest Craft tradition
extant), Farrar lays stress on the actual working of Covens and the
integration of novice Witches into them. Also included is much of the
Gardnerian (via Alexandrian) Book of Shadows. There is plenty here for
someone who is beginning the practice of Witchcraft.
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess,
by Starhawk [Miriam Simos], (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979) second
edition 1989 ISBN: 0062508148
Synopsis: This book shifts back to
America again, this time with a slight emphasis on feminist Witchcraft.
It is a literate and sophisticated introduction to Wicca as Goddess
religion from an eco-feminist perspective, arguably the fastest growing
branch of the Craft.
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland. List:
$14.95, Amazon Price: $11.96, You Save: $2.99 (20%), 272 pages,
Llewellyn Publications, 1986, ISBN: 0875420508
Synopsis: British-born Ray Buckland can, with some validity, be
considered Gerald Gardner's American successor. Not only did he
introduce Gardnerian Witchcraft to the United States, but he also
founded his own tradition of the Craft, called Seax (Saxon) Wicca, which
has grown to worldwide practice. His early books, like
Witchcraft from the Inside, did much to dispel negative
stereotypes of Wicca in the 60's. The book is Traditionalist in
approach, making a nice counterpoint to works by Adler and Starhawk.
The Tree, the Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft, by Raymond
Buckland, List: $8.95, Amazon Price: $7.16, You Save: $1.79 (20%), 158
pages, Samuel Weiser Pub., 1974. ISBN: 0877282587
Synopsis: This is the book that introduced us to Saxon Witchcraft. Read
it for the background if nothing else, but also read it if your
ancestors were Saxons and you feel a call in that direction. Good book!
A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans, Jeffrey B.
Russell, List: $15.95, Amazon Price: $12.76 You Save: $3.19 (20%),
Thames & Hudson, 1982, ISBN: 0500272425
Synopsis: A great historical account for both the layman and scholar.
While there are many books to choose from on this subject, Jeffrey
Russell manages to both educate and entertain. Taken from a strictly
historical viewpoint, this book is both concise and poignant at times.
The text reads more like a personal account from a not-so-casual
observer while still managing to sprinkle in all the dry and sometimes
lurid details. This book is the best I have read on the subject. While
not a long book, there is more great information page for page than in
any other single book I've read on witchcraft. This is not the "be all,
end all" book that Drawing Down the Moon tries to be for the believer.
Instead it gives an excellent, engaging, account following a time-line
which allows the reader to take into account the atmosphere of the time
rather than remove the subject and give a disconnected sanitary synopsis
of a fear that grew over time.
To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft, by Silver
Ravenwolf, List:$14.95, Amazon Price: $11.96, You Save: $2.99 (20%),
First Ed. 320 pages, Llewellyn Publications, 1993; ISBN: 087542791X
Synopsis: Great beginner book. The author talks to you like few authors
can. You feel as if she's there teaching you personally. This a good
guide to understanding Wiccan Spirituality. I recommend it to everyone
interested, be it to learn the practice or just to understand it. She
touches the bases, letting you know what is possible but not pushing a
particular type of Wicca.
21st Century Wicca : A Young Witch's Guide to Living the Magical Life
(Citadel Library of the Mystic Arts), by Jennifer Hunter, List: $12.95,
Amazon Price: $10.36, You Save: $2.59 (20%), 219 pages, Published by
Citadel Press, 1997; ISBN: 0806518871
Synopsis: Written by a young witch in her mid-twenties, this book
provides a refreshingly modern approach to Wicca craft and practice.
Chapters cover spells, Sabbats, initiations, psychic abilities, everyday
magic, the effects of Wicca on relationships with others, being a
teenage witch, and much more. A series of exercises designed to both
teach and accustom the reader to the ways of witchcraft is also
included. Well grounded, modern approach.
The Truth About Witchcraft Today, by Scott Cunningham, List: $4.99,
Amazon Price:$3.99, You Save: $1.00 (20%), 208 pages, Llewellyn
Publications, 1988; ISBN:087542127X
Synopsis: A great introduction into modern Wicca, and a guide to one of
the fastest growing religions in the world. Cunningham does a wonderful
job of dispelling myths and putting the truth in the light where all can
see. The perfect book to introduce anyone to the ways of Wicca.
Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham,
(St Paul Mn: Llewellyn, 1988). ISBN: 0875421180.
Synopsis: Simple and
accessible introduction to the basics of Wicca, focusing on things one
can do alone. Basics of Wicca and many simple recipes for food and
incenses. Emphasis on daily connection. Contains a simple Book of
Shadows as appendix, bibliography by subject. If you enjoy this book
there is also a sequel, titled:
Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by
Scott Cunningham, (St Paul MN: Llewellyn, 1993); ISBN: 0875421849
Synopsis: A more detailed introduction, with info on ritual design and
consciously constructing one's own book of shadows. Discussion of basic
philosophy, including ethics of teaching, incorporation of Wicca into
Complete Art of Witchcraft, Sybil Leek, List: $5.99 Amazon Price:
$4.79, You Save: $1.20, (20%), Reissue Edition, Mass Market Paperback,
Published by New American Library, 1991; ISBN: 0451164210
This is the book a large number of people bought in the 70's to become
the Witches who have been in the craft for thirty years.
Magical Rites from the Crystal Well, by Ed Fitch. Llewellyn trade
paperback; ISBN: 0875422306
Synopsis: A book of rites, simple celebrations of land and water, wind
and fire. Rites of passage, seasonal celebrations, magical workings,
healings, and many more. Ed Fitch (one of the founders of Pagan Way) is
truly in his element here. And it is one of the most beautiful books on
the Craft ever published. The art work alone is worth the price of the
Book of Pagan Rituals, by Herman Slater. Weiser trade paperback;
Synopsis: These rituals were originally published in two volumes as the
Pagan Way Rituals. This extremely beautiful book is
just what it says it is: a book of rituals. Not authentic Wiccan rituals
but very nearly so, these rituals are often used by Covens in the
training of neophytes. The rituals were originally written by Ed Fitch
who did not give Mr. Slater permission to publish them. Enough said.
Trancing the Witch's Wheel: A Guide to Magickal Meditation, by
Yasmine Galenorn, List: $12.95, Amazon Price: $10.36, You Save: $2.59
(20%), 240 pages, Published by Llewellyn Publications, 1997; ISBN:
Synopsis: This book leads you gently through meditation. A
must for followers of the pagan path but a good read for those who
aren't pagan. No Metaphysical jargon to confuse you. This is a
fundamental work. We recommend it to anyone of all skill levels. You
don't have to be pagan to love this book. Try it...enjoy.
A Witch Alone - Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic, Marian Green
(Thorsons) ISBN: 1855381125
Synopsis: This book contains lessons for
those who are interested in Traditional English Witchcraft. It
really doesn't say anything new (but what book does these days!), but it
does give a good overview of English Witchcraft.
The Elements of Natural Magic, by Marian Green (Element); ISBN:
Synopsis: Another excellent book by Marian. For newcomers working
on their own, I would recommend this book followed by ....
Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense, by Justin Glass, List: $7.00, Amazon
Price: $5.60, You Save: $1.40 (20%), Published by Wilshire Book Co.,
1973; ISBN: 0879801743
Synopsis: This small volume carries more
traditional information about the Craft than most of today's
contemporary "Witchcraft Series" of "fuzzy bunny" books. In 1972, Justin
opened up a new world for a large number of Pagans who did not know what
Positive Magic, revised edition by Marion Weinstein. Phoenix
Publications trade paperback. ISBN: 0960412875
Synopsis: Although a
book about how to use magic to change your life could be extremely
tedious, this one is far from it. While it is true that Marion uses a
simple and direct style of writing, it is used on such difficult and
subtle questions as the ethics of magic. She draws upon her own
experiences to create a book that is truly positive. If I had to
recommend one book on magick, this would be it!
The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries: Feminist Witchcraft, Goddess
Rituals, Spellcasting, and Other Womanly Arts...Complete in One Volume,
by Zsuzanna Budapest, List: $17.50, Amazon Price: $14.00, You Save:
$3.50 (20%), Wingbow Press, 1989, ISBN: 0914728679
Synopsis: This is a classic text for all those interested in Goddess
religion. It is written by one of the founding members of the Goddess
Religion Movement. It should be read as an example of an early work.
Power of the Witch, by Laurie Cabot & Tom Cowan, List: $12.95,
Amazon Price: $10.36, You Save: $2.59 (20%), Delacorte Press, 1990,
Synopsis: Written by a practicing witch who conducts
classes and seminars on witchcraft, a religious means of power and
enlightenment, and a healing art;
Power of the Witch makes it's debut in trade paperback
form. Cabot is an engagingly intelligent witch who brings, on cogent and
simple terms, a strategic and scientific explanation by which one can
experience witchcraft to its fullest.
Secrets of a Witch's Coven by Morwyn, List: $19.95, Amazon Price:
$15.96, You Save: $3.99 (20%), Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 1994, ISBN:
Secrets of a Witch's Coven, the first in a seven-volume
series on Witchcraft and the Occult, presents an overview of an eclectic
blend of Witchcraft and Ceremonial Magick practiced by a coven for
generations. Learn about circle-casting, god/goddess worship, use of
herbs, crystals and precious stones, talismans, candle magick, symbols,
incense-making, Sabbat and Esbat rituals, and much more.
Earth Power, by Scott Cunningham. Llewellyn trade paperback; ISBN:
Synopsis: Scott was arguably the strongest of the young writers in the
immensely popular 'Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series'. Although Scott
has passed away, his books will be with us for a long long time. This
is, in fact, a book of spells. Practical, down-to-earth, useful,
everyday, garden-variety spells. Although I do not recommend a
'cookbook' approach to magic, this book will be extremely helpful when
used as a guide for creating your own spells.
True Magick : A Beginner's Guide (Llewellyn's New Age Series), by
Amber K, List: $4.95, Amazon Price: $3.96 You Save: $0.99 (20%) 272
pages, Llewellyn Publications, 1991, ISBN: 0875420036
Another good basic book on Magick. Amber K. is an excellent teacher.
Many covens have chosen to use True Magick as their textbook for
teaching beginning students of magick. We have heard only positive
Green Witchcraft : Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft, by Ann
Mooura, List: $12.95, Amazon Price: $10.36, You Save: $2.59 (20%), 1 Ed,
274 pages, Llewellyn Publications, 1996, ISBN: 1567186904
Very little has been written about traditional family practices of the
Old Religion simply because such information has not been offered for
Green Witchcraft meets readers' needs for a practice
based in family and natural Witchcraft traditions.
Beyond the Burning Time, by Kathryn Lasky, List: $4.99, Amazon
Price: $3.99, You Save: $1.00 (20%), Reading Level: Young Adult, Mass
Market Paperback, Pointe Pubs, 1996, ISBN: 0590473328
Lasky's docunovel about the Salem witch trials captures the mass
hysteria, the ignorance, the violence, the power struggle, and the
calculated self-interest that drove the New England community to execute
24 people as agents of the devil. The focus is on 12-year-old Mary Chase
as she tries desperately to rescue her mother, Virginia, who has been
accused of witchcraft and sentenced to hang. Good book for children who
want to know what the Salem Witch trials were all about. Grades 7-12.