Early in my journey, I decided the best thing to do would be to go to Manchester Central Library, get everything out of the ‘Occult’ and ‘Alternative Religion’ sections, and just read. I spent hours in the study room, which was honestly so quiet I could hear the guy nearest me breathing. When looking up images to use for this article I actually found a picture of the very room I was in!
Anyway, when I read these, I had to go through a lot of filler – by filler, I mean, I read the whole of Malleus Maleficarum on the offchance I found some spell or whatever. Hint: I found one.
So: what books are helpful? Here’s my top five easy to digest books!
The Almanac by Lia Leendertz
I can’t rave enough about this book. This is a yearly publication, like a diary, and it takes you through each month. I bought the 2020 edition and you’d better believe I’m going to buy the 2021 edition too!
Whilst it doesn’t have spells and isn’t necessarily a grimoire/spellbook. it does have information on moon phases, historical seasonal recipes and even a ‘song of the month’ with the sheet music included! The great thing about this book is that there’s no expectation for you to believe one thing or another – it just gives you information that you can work with. 10/10.
The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
For a beginner, this is a great book as a starting reference point for herbal magic, and just getting to know your ingredients. If you start off using this like a recipe book, you’ll notice certain herbs popping up and then you begin to learn properly through doing!
The introductions to each chapter go into depth on the actual magic used, so if you use this and the Almanac in tandem with each other, you can come up with some pretty potent spells!
Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman
It wouldn’t be in character for me if I didn’t fangirl over Pam at least once, would it?
I read this book after I became a regular listener of The Witch Wave podcast (also a must listen!). This book is more for /reading/, rather than a reference point like the other two are. It reiterates how magic can be in everything, and how magic is art and art is magic. It also made me feel more comfortable actually identifying as a witch, as culture nowadays tends to see it as a trend that will come and go. A must read!
Seasonal Occult Rituals by William Gray
When people ask me where they can find spells and feel connected to the power of words, I always say ‘read poetry!’ And this book is a collection of rituals, songs and poetry that really make you feel connected – at least they do for me. I use these in my personal practice, and for any group rituals I lead, and there are some really beautiful contemplative verses in here. These aren’t necessarily labelled as pagan or witchcraft, and sometimes need to be edited to suit your individual beliefs, but as a starting point these verses can form great building blocks for if you want to write your own spells.
HausMagick by Erica Feldmann
I’m unsure if I’ve made a post about it before, but my whole home is my altar, in that, I don’t have a specific space, but I use my whole home.
This book is great whether you’re a hearth witch or even just want to decorate in a nice way! It gives advice about what to put in your home, where to position different ornaments for peak energy flow, and loads of other really useful house things! Perfect for beginners and witch experts alike!
Do you have any recommendations? Leave a comment!