When you’re starting out in the world of paganism and witchcraft, it may feel a bit daunting. There are so many places to start and aspects to remember. If you’re a beginner practitioner, there are a myriad of books that will help you explore and learn more about this spiritual practice.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it can be a good place to start when you want more information to guide you on your path.
The Penguin Book Of Witches By Katherine Howe
A great place to start is to get an understanding of our history. Understanding the progression of pagan faiths, pagans, neo-pagans, and other spiritual practices is fundamental because they all have many facets. This book features historical documents from the Salem Witch Trials, and the author explains their relevance to modern witches and pagans as we see them today.
Witches Of America By Alex Mar
This book is an in-depth memoir by Alex Mar, and it brings the readers along her five-year spiritual journey. She details the roots of modern paganism, where it started in the 1950s, and how it developed into what we see now. She also explains the beliefs in a simple way, which makes the text very accessible. In addition to general research into the foundations of Wicca, witchcraft, and modern paganism, this book can provide a personal view of someone’s spiritual progression.
Witchery: Embrace The Witch Within By Juliet Diaz
Juliet Diaz offers incredible information regarding the practice of witchcraft, and this book reflects her dedication to the craft and sharing her knowledge. It focuses on the initial steps. It elaborates on the various ways of accessing power and connecting to your intuition. It touches on several traditional tools, including crystals, tarot, herbs, candles, and spells. It also lists seasons and holidays and how they may aid your practice. It’s great for any Brujx who’s starting out.
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide To The Natural Magic Of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, And More By Arin Murphy-Hiscock
When you’re interested in nature and connecting to that green side of yourself, you may want to read The Green Witch. It elaborates on practicing in solitude as a Green Witch and how it differs from practicing as a Wiccan in some regards. It offers guidance on pairing Green Witchcraft with any spiritual belief and tradition. Arin Murphy-Hiscock talks about using plants in your practice, being environmentally responsible, and how the green suggestions are backed by science. The Green Witch is essentially green witchcraft 101; you’ll want to have it handy regardless of your practice.
Studying metaphysical energy can be a great way to begin, as choosing a single tradition is unnecessary. Mat Auryn discusses his perception of human energetic bodies, the universe’s cosmology, and psychic senses. The author describes each sense, showing what it is and providing exercises that help you connect to each one. He also discusses the different layers of auras and energy. Best of all, he does so in an easily digestible way. It puts practicing witchcraft into perspective. There are layers of spirituality woven into the book that you can observe through the author’s lens.
Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power By Pam Grossman
Waking the Witch is full of inspiration, insightful looks into witchcraft, and a study of how it appeared in popular culture. It sets the stage for newer witches and welcomes them to the table in an encouraging and uplifting manner. This book showcases the idea of being a witch and how that connects sociologically and politically to our history. Pam Grossman of The Witch Wave Podcast elaborates in great detail what it means to be a witch in today’s world. The book is part memoir, part cultural analysis, and it has seen great success throughout the witchcraft, Wiccan, and pagan communities.
The eight solar holidays of the year, called Sabbats, aren’t always depicted accurately in books. Witch’s Wheel of the Year has a plethora of footnotes and a long bibliography that help to provide additional resources and knowledge when you’re learning the history of these holidays. Several ancient cultures celebrated the Sabbats as agricultural markers of the year. These holidays offer witches a reason and opportunity to connect with the earth’s cycles and honor change, growth, and rest. The book also offers rituals for the solitary practitioner, a small group, or even a large coven.
Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Ceremonial Magic #14 in the series by Lon Milo DuQuette, David Shoemaker, Stephen Skinner, Dennis William Hauck, David Rankine, John Michael Greer, Brandy Williams, Anita Kraft, Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, et al.
Following your intuition and walking your own path is a huge part of what witchcraft and paganism are all about. However, connecting to the ritual structures that have been laid out can be a great way to determine what does and does not work for you. This book is an excellent guide to some ceremonial aspects of the craft. It walks the reader through the correspondences and why certain things are chosen for a certain effect or spell. Even for those who don’t believe rigid structure will be a large part of their practice, understanding all the ins and outs of the “rules” will allow you to shape them to your desires and needs.
Wicca by Harmony Nice
Wicca by Harmony Nice offers a look at the foundations of witchcraft and Wicca. You’ll find a guide on the Sabbaths and Esbats, rituals, spells, tools, herbs, meditation, visualization, and more. There are even sections on creating your book of shadows, joining a coven, writing a spell, and walking your path toward empowerment. Harmony Nice has a fantastic YouTube page full of insights, and this book compiles so many of them in one beautiful package.
This list in no way contains all of the top books for beginner witches. While you may certainly start here, the idea is to find books and traditions that call to you. Explore them, do your own research, and let each author and topic inspire and lead you to the next book. Spend hours in the bookstore, and walk endlessly through nature with childlike wonder. It’s all out there waiting for you. Go find it.