reading ideas

This page is an attempt to answer “Where should I start reading?” questions I’ve gotten from people I don’t know. It’s focused on religious witchcraft practice (and most specifically Wicca and Wiccan-influenced paths.) Bear with my explanatory stuff for a moment, if you would.

A pause for definitions:

Wicca as a term is used in a wide range of ways. I like the Wiccan Church of Canada’s explanation of what Wicca is (and how as you move away from those, you’re less likely to be doing Wicca, and more likely to be doing something else.) Personally, I tend to refer to my own path as Wiccan-influenced, because of some differences in specific details that are too complex to get into here.

Books on these lists are coming from that perspective. I know lots of people on other paths, but I’m not them: I’d rather they recommend books for their path, not me.

About books.

I think books are a wonderful resource, but I don’t think they’re the whole answer. This is especially true for initiatory paths. I encourage everyone to find places to talk to other people who are on this path, whether that’s a local meetup, an online forum with experienced members and a range of opinions, or an intro class in their area.

Read my comments.
They’ll tell you why I recommend a particular book, and help you pick the best books for your specific interest. This is a good thing. (You can also ask me questions, using the comment feature.)

These books aren’t perfect. I also don’t necessarily agree with everything in these books. I recommend them because they are generally solid resources with good ideas, and that help you continue to learn more (and open up new options as you finish them, rather than closing options off.) I have included links to author websites where they’re available so you can find more of their writing and background.

Don’t draw conclusions about books that aren’t on here. Please ask! I might not have read it. I might not find it useful for this list. I might have other issues with it. And just because I recommend one book by an author doesn’t mean I’ve read or recommend everything else by them.

The list:
My book list is divided into several separate pages, for easier browsing (there are links to the others at the bottom, too!)

First, I highly recommend looking at my Critical Reading and Pagan Books essay: it talks about evaluating what you read and what to pay attention to as you’re looking at different books. You might also find the Helping Others Help You essay on asking for reading suggestions handy if you want to ask for more ideas.

Introductory books:

  • My top five places to start reading about Wicca and religious witchcraft.
  • Further good general/introductory books
  • A year of learning – books that can help you structure your learning over a year or more.
  • Some books likely to be in your local library with good information.

More details:

  • Books about ritual theory, design, or celebration
  • Books about deity and mythology
  • Group practice (covens, etc.)
  • Continued learning and development

Other things often worth reading:

  • Books of people’s personal experiences
  • Books about the history of the Craft, or that you may wish to read eventually.
  • Fiction relevant to Wiccan practice.