If you were to consider witches as a group, I think the one thing we would all share in common is an overflowing bookshelf. While the community is changing, witches, Wiccans especially, owe a great deal to books. In the pages of each and every ‘witchy’ book is an abundance of truths, truths that bring many of us to a sense of comfort, validation, and reflection. Since this is my first post I thought I’d share a little more about me, and yet try to be a little unique. So, instead of telling you I’m an x, y, and z witch, I thought I’d share with you the books that shaped my perception of witchcraft at the beginning!
My Year and a Day Through Books
Like so many other people, Scott Cunningham’s book was my introduction into Wicca and witchcraft. Working up the courage to purchase the book, by itself, was an initiation of sorts. Reading through it, absorbing the information in its pages, made a huge impact for me. Even still, this book has to be my most worn out one. Positives of this book that I’ve found now upon reflection are the overall structure, suggested reading list, and correspondences.
Since I’d read a book on solitary practice, I thought it only fair to find a book on covens for myself. While many people find Buckland’s ‘blue book’, I found this one instead. Now, that’s not to say I don’t love Buckland’s books (I do), but I hadn’t discovered them. Instead, I got this book. I’m glad I did, because I’ve grown into it over time. Positives of this book would be the approach to teaching by the author, the scope of information included, and the overall philosophy.
At this point, I admit, I thought I knew everything. This was foolish, and when I tried to put it all together for a year of observance, I discovered myself quite confused regarding ‘holidays’ or sabbats (don’t even think I knew esbats yet either). Somehow, in all this, The Wiccan Year found me. For the only book available on the subject at the time, I really needed it and found it amazingly helpful. Positives would be the great ritual recommendations, mythology stories, and astrological information.
This book sits on my shelf as a reminder. See, I bought it trying to stereotype my astrologically assigned element to my magical practice. While this book is great for anyone interested in, for lack of a better word, Kitchen Witchcraft, it wasn’t a good resource early on. I’ve since grown to appreciate this book. Some positives are the correspondences, recipes, and the breakdown of seasonal information. Still, the overall lesson I learned personally at this point in time was invaluable.
Yes, I own this book. Yes it’s helpful at times. I bought this book as a reference, and for that, it’s great. However, it is huge and a bit cumbersome to lug around. I did manage to carry it, and a notebook, around long enough to form some notes. I know people don’t like Silver Ravenwolf, but it did help me at a stage in my practice. Positives, for me, were the abundance of information, correspondences, and for those short on money, it’s a good deal over her other book series.
This book is one that found me years too early, as I didn’t even know Hedge Witch was a thing (poorly put I know). At the time, I’d simply bought all the ‘popular’ witch books from the bookstore and needed to expand my knowledge with something… anything. What I got was to be found amazing to my future self. Positives of this book are too many to list. I love the seasonal correspondences, the simplicity, and the wheel of the year based recipes.
I know many people in reviews love this book, but I just didn’t connect with it. Granted there is a lot of information in it some might find helpful. For me though, this book was one I’d rather ‘trade in’ for another. Positives are difficult for this one because admittedly, I didn’t finish it. However, it does have quite a comprehensive assortment of spells, history (I haven’t rechecked the accuracy of it), and comprehension. Maybe I’ll try re-reading it after so many years now!
This book I grabbed, again, because it happened to be on the shelf. I love this book. I want this book to always be on my shelf. Out of all the books I read initially, this was the most helpful. Perhaps I just needed everything to finally come together for me. Either way, the book is easy to read, great for busy people, and slowly helps build a functional well grounded ‘book of shadows’ ‘grimoire’ or ‘spell book’.
When I decided to really try to observe a full year and a day faithfully (each and every sabbat), I purchased my first almanac. I was acquainted with regular farmers almanacs, so I kind of wondered what would be so special about a ‘witches’ almanac. The book did not disappoint. The benefits to this book are numerous, specifically, the recommended spells, correspondences for overall practice, and a diverse set of familiar authors (and maybe some to be discovered).
This book marks, for me, the end of my initial ‘new witch but not quite a witch’ stage. To give you some idea, I’d spent years with only these books on hand. It was a struggle, and I was quite surprised when this book found me. I wasn’t looking to teach others at all. What I gained from this book was a profound understanding for what I wanted in a teacher myself. It also is a great resource for those looking to teach themselves, not just others.
To conclude, I think these books represent a wide range of seeking and finding. While it’s difficult to convey what I took away, at least ultimately, I’ve found some books connect certain groups of people together. I’m hoping to do quite a few more updates on my books, because I think it shows stages of understand and depth. However, until then, I’d be curious to know what you’d like to see on this blog. Let me know, and I’ll be happy to work it in somewhere (if I can)!