Witchcraft...a single word that stirs the imagination and sends shivers down the spine. There is no doubt that the stereotype of a witch casting hexes and curses still exists in society, but thankfully perceptions are slowly changing and paganism in all its forms, including witchery, is now more likely to be viewed as the gentle practice it is. Of course there will always be the odd individual who insists that magic and spell-casting is evil, but on the whole society has become more tolerant and open to learning about alternative spirituality and different ways of doing things.
One of the things I love about paganism and witchery is the concept of the divine female; the goddess and the earth as our mother. Holding a female figure in a place of divine reverence naturally brings about greater respect for all women; and when the earth is regarded as our mother we are less inclined to cause damage and destruction, so pollution and environmental issues are faced with compassion for the planet we inhabit.
As a pagan author I have hundreds of titles on witchery, magic, spell-casting, divination and so on. Two of the large bookcases in my study are filled with magical tomes, some old, some new, some written by myself lol! I have encyclopedias of magic, histories of paganism in the UK, books on shamanism, herbalism and fortune telling. As there are so many books out there, and far too many in my study for me to post Book Nooks on each individual title, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite witchy books with you as Top Five's; splitting the books in to categories as I go. In this way you can explore and learn your chosen topics, but with a little guidance on side, as the sheer number of titles available can be confusing if you are new to the subject. I thought I would begin with hedge-witchery titles as this is usually one of the first paths new seekers discover and solitary practice is my own personal preference.
Top Five Hedge-witchery Books
1. Witch Crafting by Phyllis Curott
2. Craft of the Wild Witch by Poppy Palin
3. Natural Witch by Ellen Dugan
4. The Hedge Witch's Way by Rae Beth
5. Wild Witchcraft by Marian Green
I have listed these books in order according to how much I have enjoyed reading them and how useful they have been to me over the years. Phyllis Curott is one of my favorite Wiccan authors, and I enjoy the memoir style of her writings - it makes it very easy to for the reader to drop into her world for a while. As I am a girl who loves poetry, it being the very first kind of writing I ever had published myself, I adore Poppy Palin's book because it has been so poetically written; the blurb even describing this title as 'a poetic guidebook to the green-spirited path'. It is just beautiful and one of the books I turn to again and again whenever I am having a blue day and I need a gentle reminder of what matters most to me. Its not a book for neophyte witches though and you will need some experience to get the most from this tome.
Ellen Dugan's book is a great primer for the beginner. Its fun and fab, with lots of tips and tricks to get you casting right away. It is very accessible and gently written to lead you in to a whole new world of magic and wonder. Rae Beth's book is a delight to read, and is also a great beginners title, while Marian Green's is more of an intermediate book which will help you make the transition from dabbling to serious practice. There is nothing scary in any one of these books - all are gently written in accordance with the basic Wiccan Rede of causing harm to none. Each book also sports a rather lovely cover design and as a collection they will certainly enhance any bookshelf. Let me know if you plan to read, or have read these titles and what you thought of them, either in the comments box, or you can Tweet me using the Twitter link in the right hand sidebar. Its always great to hear from you guys.
PS: I hear Marie Bruce's books are pretty good too! lol Have a good week ;)