RELIGION

10 Witchy Books To Learn More About Paganism

Add a little magic to your life.

Remember that mysterious girl in middle school who clutched a copy of The Mists of Avalon to her heart like it was a Bible? A powerful novel can have draw us in much like a religious text might and help us explore real, lived spiritual themes. 

Next up in HuffPost Religion’s new series ReligionReads is ten essential books to help you get acquainted with paganism. This broad, multi-faceted spiritual category contains dozens of sects and movements, each with their own canon of texts. This introductory list primarily dives into neo-paganism, Wicca and witchcraft, as they developed in 20th century Europe and North America.

Many thanks to pagan leaders and scholars Selena Fox, Courtney Weber, Laurie Lovekraft and Sam Webster for their input. 

Scroll down to see 10 essential books that should be on your shelf if you are seeking to add a little magic to your life: 

  • Modern Pagans
    <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Pagans-Search-John-Sulak/dp/1889307106/ref=sr_1_1?amp=&ie=UTF8&keywords=Modern+Pagan
    Amazon
    Modern Pagans by John Sulak and V. Vale includes dozens of interviews with practitioners from a wide range of pagan traditions, including witchcraft, Santeria, shamanism, Druidry and goddess-centered spirituality. Hear about paganism in all its richness from the people who practice it.
  • Drawing Down The Moon
    Margot Adler's <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143038192?amp=&keywords=drawing+down+the+moon&qid=1444858459&ref
    Amazon
    Margot Adler's Drawing Down The Moon is a must-read for those curious about paganism and witchcraft but are unsure where to start. Adler details a wide range of neo-pagan traditions, with information about their leaders, beliefs, rituals and relevance to the larger movement of earth-based spirituality.
  • The Triumph Of The Moon
    <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Triumph-Moon-History-Modern-Witchcraft/dp/0192854496/ref=sr_1_1?amp=&ie=UTF8&keywords=The+T
    Amazon
    The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton "brings witchcraft out of the shadows," according to Amazon. Pagan scholar Sam Webster describes Hutton's work as "the best single history on the development of the modern witchcraft movement."
  • Paganism: An Introduction To Earth-Centered Religions
    Joyce and River Higginbotham's <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Paganism-Introduction-Earth--Centered-Religions/dp/073870222
    Amazon
    Joyce and River Higginbotham's Paganism: An Introduction To Earth-Centered Religions is a true overview, as the title promises. The book is based on a course on paganism that the authors have taught for over a decade, and it comes with exercises, meditations and discussion questions for group or individual study.
  • The Tarot Handbook
    Not all pagans use Tarot cards or other divination tools. But many do, and Angeles Arrien's <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com
    Amazon
    Not all pagans use Tarot cards or other divination tools. But many do, and Angeles Arrien's Tarot Handbook is a great place to start learning. The handbook provides an in-depth, anthropological investigation of every card and can be used with virtually any deck, says Los Angeles-based priestess Laurie Lovekraft.
  • The Mists Of Avalon
    Marion Zimmer Bradley's sweeping novel, <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mists-Avalon-Marion-Zimmer-Bradley/dp/0345350499/re
    Amazon
    Marion Zimmer Bradley's sweeping novel, The Mists of Avalon, is a creative re-telling of the King Arthur legend from the perspective of the powerful priestess, Morgaine. Like any great novel, The Mists of Avalon has a way of getting under your skin and may pique your interest in magic and witchcraft more than any other book ever could.
  • Family Coven
    One of the biggest tests for any faith is its ability to endure generation to generation.&nbsp;<i><a href="http://www.amazon.
    Amazon
    One of the biggest tests for any faith is its ability to endure generation to generation. Family Coven by Lydia M. Nettles Crabtree is a guidebook for those interested in raising pagan families. The book "discusses boundaries and areas of respect," says New York-based priestess Courtney Weber.
  • The Charge Of The Goddess
    Named after Doreen Valiente's seminal work, <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Charge-Goddess-Poetry-Doreen-Valiente/dp/099284
    Amazon
    Named after Doreen Valiente's seminal work, The Charge of the Goddess is a collection of poems by one of the best known witches of the 20th century. "I am the soul of nature who giveth life to the universe," Valiente wrote in her "Charge of the Goddess." "All or parts [of the poem] may be recited at a pagan ritual," says priestess Laurie Lovekraft.
  • The Chalice & The Blade
    Riane Eisler's <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Chalice-Blade-Our-History-Future/dp/0062502891/ref=sr_1_1?amp=&ie=UTF8&keywo
    Amazon
    Riane Eisler's The Chalice & The Blade isn't specifically about paganism. But it traces the historical and anthropological evidence for an ancient goddess-centered society to which some modern neo-pagan traditions draw a connection.
  • The Spiral Dance
    Pagan priestess and teacher Starhawk wrote the first edition of <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Spiral-Dance-Rebirth-Religi
    Amazon
    Pagan priestess and teacher Starhawk wrote the first edition of The Spiral Dance in 1979, and it helped set the stage for a feminist, goddess-centered spiritual movement that evolved in the ensuing decades. The book offers "a guide to the life-affirming ways in which readers can turn to the goddess to deepen their sense of personal pride, develop their inner power, and integrate mind, body, and spirit," according to Amazon.

 

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