Can anyone give me some book titles that are good for someone who is just beginning Wicca? Also can you tell me what books I should stay away from? Someone told me not to get anything by Silver RavenWolf. Are there any others I should stay away from?
answer: Scott Cunningham, most any of his work but especially: Wicca, a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Especially avoid Silver Ravenwolf and DJ Conway (absolute avoid Celtic and Norse Magic books by Conway – garbage)
To Explore Wicca/paganism
1)Ignore the fundies saying you’ll go to hell and are opening yourself up to demons. We don’t believe in either.
2)Get the book: Wicca, a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham (Amazon.com used books is a great resource)
3)Avoid Silver Ravenwolf, DJ Conway and most Llewellyn books
4)Do NOT pay for lessons over the internet. You can’t ask for references. Do NOT give out personal information to anyone over the internet. Get a PO Box.
6)Learn and keep learning about various paths in paganism.
7) get the book: “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margo Adler (an older book that’s a little dated, especially concerning Asatru but a good resource) – it gives an overview on a lot of pagan traditions.
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Until you know enough about Wicca and paganism, avoid Silver Ravenwolf and Conway until you can tell where their research is shoddy, their advice is bad and where they’re mixing Wicca with specific paths (like Celtic paganism).
Best bets for beginners are Starhawk’s “Spiral Dance,” and Cunningham’s stuff on solitary practicioners.
Frankly, I’m not a big fan of Silver Ravenwolf, but I’m not as antagonistic to her as some are. I think she often does a nice, accessible job of bringing basic concepts to light and together. I don’t think she’s always done her research very well, though, and many in the Wiccan community see her as a little greedy and pandering. All the same, I have a couple opf her books, and I generally like the narrative and the recipes, and I generally avoid any spells or specifics from her.
By the way, Ray Buckland is often cited as one of the good ones, but I found his writing and philosophy to be far too rigid and far too doctrinaire for my tastes. Cunningham is far preferred, in my opinion.
Anyway, good luck, and Bright Blessings
Anything by Scott Cunningham, Margot Adler, Vivian Crowley or Ray Bradbury (but take what he says with a grain of salt because he’s a bit of an extremist).
Avoid anything by Starhawk and Ravenwolf. Starkhawk is childish, and Ravenwolf thinks she’s in an episode of Charmed, has a HUGE chip on her shoulder, hates anyone that isn’t Wiccan, and is wrong pretty much 99% of the time.
I am rather fond of “Wicca: A Year and a Day” by Tim Roderick. The author is a traditional initiate, but there are no oathbound secrets here, just a solid understanding of basic craft practice in daily bite-sized exercises. Take a year to work through it along side other materials. When you get to the bits on runes, skim it, then go get something my Freya Answyn (Leaves of Yygdrasil is great), as that is one of the weaker points of this book. Deb Lipp and Ellen Canon Reed are also on my recommended list.
My all-time favorite book for ‘beginners’ would be, seriously, “The Complete Idiots Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft.” This one book virtually covers it all from the history of witchcraft to magick to the Sabbats & Esbats.
As far as any-thing to stay away from, if it has anything to do with darkness or black, stay away! Silver is like many other authors in that she has her opinion of things as we all do. I have read some of her books as I have many others in my quest & I believe that we should always take what we need & leave the rest.
Don’t avoid Silver’s books. Read them, then decide for yourself whether or not you agree with what she says. The wonderful thing about Wicca is, there is no “wrong” Wiccan path. Whatever feels right to you and makes you feel closest to Deity is the path you should be on, regardless of how popular or unpopular it is.
“Exploring the Pagan Path” (numerous authors; published by New Page books) is a good introduction to Wicca, and to Paganism in general. It was my first book on the subject, though, so I may be a bit biased. 🙂
“Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham is pretty much THE beginner’s guide to Wicca. Highly recommended.
Buckland’s Dictionary of Witchcraft is pretty good. Bear in mind that some of the history mentioned is a bit fluffy-bunny–you may want to take some of the entries with a grain of salt. That said, there is a lot of good material in this book, so don’t discount it entirely.
If you’re interested in Italian Witchcraft traditions, try reading the works of Raven Grimassi. Grimassi also has books about familiar spirits, but those are NOT recommended for a beginner!
If you’re interested in Celtic-based Wicca or learning about mystical creatures, try D.J. Conway.
Stay away from books that promise to give you everything you want, or that pretend the only point to Wicca is casting spells on people. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it often is. And while there are some excellent guides published by Llewellyn Books, most books published by Llewellyn are to be avoided. (Note that some of the aforementioned books are Llewellyn. I said avoid most of them, not all.)
Authors to look up.
* Gerald B. Gardner
* Doreen Valiente
* Ed Fitch
* Paul Huson
* Ray Buckland
* Judy Harrow
These people are important authors. I suggest reading as many books as you can – excluding Ed Fitch of course. Some of his books aren’t too great. “Rites of Odin” come to mind.
* Amber and Jet Yahoo! Group – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/amberandjet
* The Wica – http://www.thewica.co.uk
* Witchvox – http://www.witchvox.com
NOTE: Actually( I must stress this) Wicca is NOT everything you want it to be, it’s not a catch all religion. Wicca is a mystery Oathbound religion. It stresses polarity and energetic balance as emphasized theologically by the Horned God and Star Goddess. The names of these deities are Oathbound. Please don’t fall under the assumption that Wicca is just “anthing”. It’s simply not.
You can probably find the books everyone has recommended at Half Price Books. I love to look at their witchy section. No need to spend full price when you can get a perfectly good book for less.
Here’s my list of book recommendations:
(The first books I consider especially important)
Here’s the complete list of my book reviews, including books and authors to avoid:
And here’s another person’s essay on some truly terrible books:
this is a good one… it’s the full e-book. Raymond Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft http://www.ritualmagick.org/tiki-searchr…
BB )O( STB