Tuesday, January 8, 2013
B is for Books
I have always found books to be magical. Well before I began my path as a pagan I was an avid reader, and found the escape and wonder that books can provide. Through books I could travel to magical lands, find answers to questions, and learn what kind of person I wanted to be.
So, when I was 16 and I began looking into wicca/witchcraft the first place I turned was books. I bought my very first books from the walden books in my local mall. The books were the witches almanac and True Magick by Amber K. The almanac went over my head in many ways. The correspondences meant nothing to me. True Magick, was a more interesting story. I read the book clear through multiple times, and truly related to many things about the religion she described, but she talked also about having to have specific tools, and only wearing natural fabrics, and not eating meat, and suddenly I wasn't at all sure about this new religion. Let me say clearly that True Magick is not a bad book, but it was not the book I needed as a seeker.
I never gave up on this new religion, but I became a dabbler for several years until I signed up for a class called Wicca 101 at a local metaphysical bookshop in my hometown. I remember that first day, feeling like an impostor, and being so nervous that everyone would be able to tell how green I was. But instead I found a group of great people, and a teacher named Heather, who explained everything, and made the religion more real, and the things more unnecessary. Over the course of the class, which was once a week for a month, she walked us through making holy water, finding a magical name, basic spell work, and it all culminated with a beltane ritual that included a may pole dance. It was amazing. I knew I had found my place.
Heather had book suggestions, and for a brand new witch she advised To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf. This book, and it's two accompanying books, To Stir A Magick Cauldron and To Light a Sacred Flame, would become my lifeline for years. They would also lead me to find Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and many other famous authors.
Having been a practicing witch now for 13 years (wow, that's a shocking number to me) I now have a list of favorite books and authors for different subjects and studies. Here is a list of some of my favorites. If you have something to add or have any thoughts, please comment on the post and let me know. Otherwise here is the list.
Animal Magic and Totems: Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Herbs: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Garden Witch's Herbal by Ellen Dugan
Stones: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham
Books for Beginners: see above, plus
Witch by Fiona Horne
The Witch's Guide to Life by Kala Trobe
Spells: Everyday Magic: Spells and Rituals for Modern Living by Dorothy Morrison
Sabbats: Season's of Witchery by Ellen Dugan
Lewellyn Holiday Series by various authors
I could keep going on and on and on, but I am going to cut myself off here. I will also add that I love pretty much anything written by Ellen Dugan and Scott Cunningham, but there are also many other amazing authors out there. I find the best thing to do is go to your library or local bookstore and get reading to find the authors who speak to you the most.