With so many books floating around out there for purchase, new witches face a difficult task in sorting what to buy. Add to this the idea of budgeting our purchases, and well, choosing what to pass up can be quite difficult. There are plenty of book recommendations and reviews, but what about direction? Are there any good resources to help you sort through what you need? Well, I’m hoping this will help you do just that. I’ve made a list of various types of books you, as a beginner, should look for. What you pick is ultimately up to you, but this should help guide you just enough to get started.
Different Book Types To Look For
Book 1 – Introduction To Your Craft
Since you’re starting out, you’re going to want a typical ‘Wicca 101’ book. This can be anything from Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner to Melita Denning’s Entrance To The Magical Qabalah. The main purpose of this book is to give you your foundation in whatever Craft or Tradition you choose (not even necessarily Wicca). The book should be your initial ‘go to’ source. This is, in other words, a very simple beginning. There are plenty of introductory books to choose from, and odds are, if you’re interested in witchcraft, you already have one of these books in mind.
Book 2 – A Good Mythology Book
Don’t neglect this as a must have resource (whatever your practice). Whether you’re choosing a specific book on mythology, like Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, or something more broad, like National Geographic’s Essential Visual History of World Mythology. This book should be a resource you go to once in a while, or something you can spend time reading (instead of quickly devouring it). In time, as you develop your practice, the book will become more and more of a resource. Witchcraft does include history, at least to me, and this can be one of the more subtle yet fun books to pick out. You may already have one of these books, don’t be afraid to utilize it if you do!
Book 3 – Divination Research or Resource
This is a resource that’s generally overlooked initially, don’t do that to yourself. The one complication picking out a divination resource is you may not know which method you prefer yet. If that’s the case, try getting those small little gift sets common in bookstores. They’re usually only a few dollars, and great for getting a feel for specific types of divination. If you already have a method in mind, opt for the better resource. Personally, I love tarot, so an option might be Dennis Fairchild’s The Creative Tarot. There are also a ton of recommendations for specific books in your divination area of interest, so don’t hesitate to look those up either before deciding.
Book 4 – Correspondences Consolidated
However you choose to connect to divinity, or whatever method of witchcraft you practice, odds are you’re going to want a correspondence resource. Whether you’re using a simple book of herbs, planetary tables, or much more, you’ll want one book to consolidate it all. I do like Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences, though it can be a bit cumbersome to drag around. Another good option is to simply make your own using the free resources online. If you choose to make your own, don’t hesitate to get creative. Notebooks like these are often personal, and there’s no rule against adding color, art, or whatever you can think of. The important thing is simply to have one resource to go to for all your correspondences.
Book 5 – An Expansion or History Book
At times, we can’t always anticipate what to expect. Certain books seem to find us at certain times, and I’m all for listening to that. I try to always expand my knowledge by reading an extra book on the history of witchcraft or a book specific to Wicca. There are some moments though where I find ‘other’ books filling that gap. Books like The Spiral Dance, Everyday Witchcraft, and The Key of Solomon don’t always fit into a specific category, but are certainly great reads. I think this is what makes this category so important, it can be highly personalized. That said, there’s plenty of debate surrounding some elements of history these days, so be careful what you pick up.
This is only meant as a guideline to selecting your initial books. I know for me it was a little disorienting to simply go to a bookstore and buy whatever I found on the shelf. It is still possible to buy whatever you want and forget this advice completely. However, if you’re short on money and looking to get all the basics in five simple books, this might help you out a bit. Everyone seems to talk about being a well-read witch, but I see so few ways to be just that. So, I don’t know, maybe this will help or maybe it won’t. At the very least, you’ll learn which direction you want to go, so why not get started?