Wicca & Magic
Twenty years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find any books on Wicca, paganism, or magic in a suburban, mainstream bookstore. Today, you can’t go anywhere without running into a vast array of such books, from the ridiculous to the sublime. With a nod to Sturgeon’s Law – ninety percent of everything is crap (including books on the above subjects) – herewith follows a suggested reading list of quality books that are worth reading (in no particular order).
Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon (somewhat academic, but a thorough and readable treatise)
Raymond Buckland, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (dated, but still good)
Peter J. Carroll, The Apophenion: a chaos magick paradigm, (Carroll’s work can be a bit deep on the physics at times, but is highly recommended)
Phyllis Curott, Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman’s Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of the Goddess (interesting story of how a Manhattan attorney became a witch)
Ramsey Dukes, SSOTBME Revised – an essay on magic (A discussion of existence and being and the meaning thereof, masquerading as a discussion of magic; this book will challenge the way you think about a great many things. If I had to recommend one book on magic, this would be it. Even if magic doesn’t interest you, but you want to learn how to really THINK, this is the book for you).
Lon Milo Duquette, My Life With The Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician (funny and provocative personal account by a modern Thelemic magician)
Cynthia Giles, The Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore (one of the best overall books on tarot cards)
Raven Grimassi, The Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings (Grimassi is a highly-regarded author who has written many books on witchcraft that are worth reading; this is just one)
Ronald Hutton, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Although Hutton is a respected academic and this book is heavy with footnotes and bibliographic references, he approaches the subject with neither disdain nor wide-eyed enthusiasm, just a clear researcher’s eye. Very readable, if dense.)
Ursula K. LeGuin, the A Wizard of Earthsea trilogy (Although a work of fantasy fiction, the books describe a very Wiccan approach to the morality of and limitations to the use of magic.)
Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe (an easy to read book addressing the intersection of modern physics and paraspsychological phenomena – highly recommended)
If you’re looking for books of spells and such, most of what is commercially available is tripe churned out by authors just looking to make a quick buck off people who don’t know any better . Most of it truly is crap. If you are interested in a specific book, email me at wiccapundit at redstatewitch dot com and ask. I probably have a copy in my library, or read it and liked it, or read it and threw up.