Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recommended Reading for the Intermediate Spellcaster

Several years ago, I was asked to provide a recommended reading list for those attending the first meeting of our local Pagan Council.  I took to this in a very serious manner.  It's not just about what books I  felt were good or the authors whose style I enjoy reading; we're talking about books that teach the most, have the most unique voice, and offer insights not found elsewhere.  And when I decided that I would make my list only for Intermediate studies (since I was fairly certain the other offerings wouldn't be), well, things really got cooking.

The reason that there are so many 101 books on the market is because we all like to help those who are clueless (they tend to be the most appreciative) and--quite honestly--writing intro stuff is a cinch.  Think about the differences between discussing addition and trigonometry.  Which one can you illustrate with apples?  How long do you think you'll spend explaining 2+2 versus 2 Sin2X + 2 SinX CosX - 1= 0?

Now I'm not busting on 101 book authors.  They do their thing because not everyone will respond to the same methods, so new books come out to show old information from a new angle (or to just put a new coat of paint on it).  But being a witch who sees a greater number of intro books than advanced ones on the shelves every year, I've grown tired of them even sharing such precious real estate.  So, I chose to dedicate my reading list to those who, like me, had to work irritatingly hard to find books which would offer useful information in an accessible way to those who already have spellcasting experience under their belt. 

Naturally, this list became complex, featuring whole books beside scattered chapters, old grimoires beside those freshly printed, references for learning the community and those for learning the practice.  But it's all here--the books I feel that I've learned the most from, the ones that made the greatest impact on how I use magic and why.

History of Magic, Witchcraft, Occultism and the Neo-Pagan Movement and General Information

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler

Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson

Natural Magic by Doreen Valiente

Witchcraft at Salem by Chadwick Hansen

The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies and Magic by Migene Gonzolez-Wippler

Not in Kansas Anymore by Christine Wicker

Clues, Myths and the Historical Method by Carlo Ginzburg
  “Witchcraft and Popular Piety” (pg. 1-16)
  “The Theme of Forbidden Knowledge in the 16th and 17th Centuries” (pg. 60-66)

The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton

The Satanic Mass by H.T.F. Rhodes

Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall

Practical Information, Various Types of Magic

Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft by Kathryn Paulsen

  (Excepting the following, due to irrelevance in practical magic --)
  “The Rites of Satanism and Witchcraft” (pg. 17-21)
  “The Magic Ceremony” (pg. 22-37)
  “Divination” (pg. 38-41)

Long Lost Friend by John George Hohman

Crone’s Book of Charms and Spells
                                                                               }  by Valerie Worth
Crone’s Book of Magical Words

The Black Pullet   (Author Unknown)

The Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Agrippa

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode

The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes

The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey

The Anna Riva Books, especially:

The Modern Herbal Spellbook by Anna Riva

Secrets of Magical Seals by Anna Riva

Techniques of High Magic by Francis King and Stephen Skinner

Charms, Spells and Formulas by Ray Malbrough
  Chapters --
  3: Dolls and Magic
  5: Folk Spells and Miscellaneous
  Formulas Section (chapters 6, 7, 8, 9)
  “Using Psalms for Solving Problems” (pg. 146-148)

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham


Secrets of Modern Witchcraft by Lady Sabrina
  Chapters --
   4: Air, Fire, Water, Earth
   6: Beneath a Silver Moon
  11: The Color of Magic
  12: Herbal Lore and Wisdom
  13: Treasures from the Earth
  14: Objects of Power and Domination

Everyday Magic by Patricia Telesco
  Chapters --
  1: Magical Boosters, (the sections of) The Winds, Days of the Week, Colors
  2: The Gifts of Nature, (the sections of) Trees, Stones
  Appendixes A and B

American Folk Magic by Silver Ravenwolf
  Chapters --
  10: Indigenous Herbs
  16: Magical Psalms, Seals

The Magician’s Companion by Bill Whitcomb

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

A Dictionary of Symbols by J. E. Circlot

Self-Help, Mental Exercises

12 Positive Habits of Spiritually Centered People by Mark and Sarah Thurston

The Orange Book by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

The Grimoire of Shadows by Ed Fitch
  Part VII: Magical Training

The Satanic Witch by Anton LaVey

Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle
  Especially the Devotional Dances

Creative Visualization
                                                                               }  by Shakti Gawain
Developing Intuition

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