Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 10 - Books for Beginners

Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 10 - Books for Beginners

Episode 10 can be found here and on YouTube here. Books are linked here.

S: You're listening to episode 10 books for beginners. We have a lot of books to recommended so we decided to split it into two podcast episodes. today is gonna be all about beginner books and some intermediary ones that contain a lot of general information, so the next week we will discuss all of her recommendations for either more advanced reading or books Specific to certain types of witches and witchcraft or just more specific instead of these broad general ones are talking about today. So I am going to let Tara take away with her list of beginner books I'll jump if I have anything to add and then we will get to my list.

T: So I want to preface this by saying that I read all of these beginner books a long time ago and the ones I'm recommending are all the ones I kept. So I read probably several dozen books within the span of 10 years and these are the ones that I found to be the most useful, that I was referencing a lot, and so I've kept him to this day so I still have all of these books, so keep in mind that general knowledge never goes out of style, like even if as advanced as you get, it still good to go back and look at these once in a while. so with that and I will just start at the top and unlike Steph these are not alphabetical so you're welcome world. No particular order except these are literally the order I found them.

It starts with a Complete book of witchcraft by Raymond Buckland. this book is amazing. it goes into so many different things and when I first read it I found it really really fun that it's an unusual size book, like it's a strange bright blue and it's larger than normal and it has just so much in it. I really recommend it for anyone just getting started. it touches on so many different things and then if you're interested anything it recommends other books and other ways that you can look more deeply into any topic in it.

S: this is the one that's recommended across-the-board if you talk to a lot of witches and ask their beginner recommendations, they are going to recommend this one and they're going to call it big blue. that's what it's called it's called big blue.

T: then this one it's a little harder to get through but again really good knowledge, and I still have it, I really like it. I apologize because I know I'm gonna miss pronounce the last name so I should just say I'm gonna miss pronounce a lot of words sorry about that. but A Witches Bible, a Complete Witches Handbook by Janet and Stewart Farrar this one is not as easy to read as a complete book of witchcraft but it has again just so much knowledge. It doesn't reference as much other works, But it definitely tells you a lot of basics and it gives you really good insight on where you can go and seek additional knowledge. it just doesn't reference as many other books as big blue.

S: and this is another one of that pretty much all witches have heard of and recommend and I'm going to put his disclaimer out there I don't know that I need to, but this book is not for minors yeah no don't know that I need to put that out there because I don't think we have any listeners that are minors, we're really not meant for minor audience, but the reason I say that is because this book does talk about Skyclad rituals and it does you have the imagery. So there's naked people in this book and I feel the need to put that out there you know if you're offended by those things like there's naked men and women in this book, so I feel like I should just let you let you know that.

T: Because it goes so much into depth about ceremonies, it is harder to read through. Unlike a complete book of witchcraft is it's not an easy read, but it flows very nicely and the word choice is easy. this one not so much it's very in-depth. yeah think encyclopedia

S: it's very much like you want to kind of know what you're looking for and then find it in the book and read that section for reference

T: yes it's a lot more like that an encyclopedia of knowledge it's very dense. then Wicca a guide for the solitary practitioner by Scott Cunningham. it's brilliant. and Scott Cunningham when we get into advanced I'll have more recommendations from him, I find his writing style completely easy to read easy to absorb I really like it. this really helped me discover that I was not for the coven lifestyle. he has a lot of good suggestions also for rituals that you can modify and how to modify spells and things for yourself even if they were originally written for a coven, so I recommend This one if you want to look into the solitary path. even if you are coven based and you want to coven based, it's still an interesting read just to kind of see what the differences are.

next up is the craft a witches book of shadows by Dorothy Morrison. this really help me and how I set up my book of shadows. it talks about ways to set up books the shadows, what you should and should not put in one, basically anything you feel should be in it should be in it in anything you don't feel should be in it leave out. but again really easy really interesting it wasn't as easy a read as Scott Cunningham or Raymond Buckland, but it flows really nicely and it has a ton of knowledge. and so recommend that one if you were thinking of setting up your book of shadows, just because it does help a lot in what can you put in it what should you put in it what's important to record, it has a lot of ideas and suggestions it even has like kind of writing prompts, so I found it very helpful.

Next up Lisa Chamberlain's Wicca for Beginners. This one is religious based. the other ones are not as religion based versus witchcraft, this one's much more based off for religion so if you wanna explore the religious side of witchcraft I would recommend this one. if you are more like stephand you're just secular you might wanna leave this one off your reading list. it's a lot more into the religious base then some of any of these other ones I recommended so far.

next up this is a partial recommendation. so I read this and I still have it and when I was prepping for this I reread it and I did not like it as an adult. but as a child Silver Ravenwolf, Teen Witch was mide blowing to me. it's easy to read it's easy to understand. going back as an adult, she's so condescending like she has all the knowledge and you know nothing so as someone who didn't know nothing I love this book. As someone who's been practicing for 20 years, I did not. So keep that in mind, that's a partial recommendation. if you're completely new to the craft she has so much knowledge to share but if you have done any exploring, you might not like her style.

then one book that came up and I don't know why I've never read this but I wanted to just put it out there the spiral dance by star hawk is considered a classic. I've never read it. I don't know why. I know lots of people have read it it's been recommended, I have a copy they have kept, I just never made it all the way through. this book is really interesting because it's set up in a series of lessons, so it really helps you develop your own personal practice through 13 lessons over 13 moons. so it's a lot more personal and exploratory and recently had a 20th anniversary edition come out, which just has kind of a new foreward and some reworking up a few lessons but still divided up into 13 lessons and it really helps you find your own personal path but I seriously never read it but I hear only great thing so I wanted to put it out there cause I don't know why I haven't read it since I own it.

So those are my main recommendations for beginner beginner books. these are not the ones that are going to go into super lotta depth of, they touch on a lot of things and most of these books will recommend other books if you want more in-depth knowledge which is always what I recommended the beginning do the broad before you try to dive in because it's really going to help you later on find your personal path versus oh this is the path so and so gave me the spell and I have to do it on this day this way with this ingredient that's not how witchcraft works. What are your beginner books?

S: so I have my list and the same as Tara that these are definitely broad for beginners, I think they're really good place to start, so the very first one that I always recommend is Before You Cast a Spell by Carl McColman. It is the starter book of starter books and most people crucify for that but I will live and die by this recommendation. I feel like it's similar to the one that you were talking about Tara of the silver ravenwolf, that he is when you read it and you're not a beginner he can seem extremely condescending so you should know that going in to it but I still recommend it, I think essential for learning the basics of spell work, ritual and magic in general which we touched on before and the previous podcast episode that you have to build up ,you don't just like jump into spell work. you have to know what's going on behind it the whats and why and it is a great book for that you're not going to find any spell work in it and it's not even an option, it's just background things like energy, grounding, centering, energy manipulation, all the things we talked about just basic basic place to start and a lot of people hate it for that like why doesn't this have any useful information? It is useful! Crawl before you can walk.

the next one on my list is spellcasting beyond the basics by Michael Fiori and this would be the supplement to before you cast a spell and I think that's what people expect the other book to be which is why they dislike it so much. so spellcasting beyond the basics is laid out kind of how this podcast is. it covers a little bit of everything from correspondence to zodiac associations to working with the elements like all of those things it touches on so it's really great foundation and it does like spellwork and things in there so I think that this would be like the good supplement and next step to read after before you cast a spell but I think people expect before you cast a spell to have all these other things that spellcasting does read them together then you'll be less disappointed.

And next one on my list is besom, stang and Sword by Christopher Orapello and Tara-love Maguire. and O group this in books for beginners just because a breath of information that it has but it's probably not the very first place you should start, because the authors dive right in with the go do this mindset, where as the other ones are the foundation and you know here is the why behind it whereas this one is like oh you want to be a witch OK here's the things that you, here are the steps you take. so I wouldn't start here. but it's still very easy to understand and although it talks about traditional regional witchcraft, it specifically does it in a way that doesn't follow Wicca or the wheel of the year which is why I really like it. it's all about adapting witchcraft for a more modern era and using what's around you because the wheel of the year and those influences that we talked about with the Imbolc podcast and we have more episodes on all the Sabbats coming up but they follow that whole wheel of the year that's based around the harvest season but the fact is that most of us are not farmers anymore. So a tradtional way to celebrate the harvest is harvesting like the first like wheat crop and baking bread out of, it is like a traditional way to celebrate lammas, well we're not doing that. we're not farmers any more so we're not out there you know tilling all these crops up so this book focuses on the way that you can no matter where you are, it's not specific to a particular region, but it can make it work for you with things that you find in your own backyard. so it still has a very traditional aspect of witchcraft and working with nature and things, but it's adaptable to wherever you are whatever time of year it is which I think is it really interesting read.

T: So if you are interested in the more religious aspect of the wheel of the year, I'm just going to throw in a recommendation Guide the Wiccan year by Judy ann Nock that has a more religious view of the year but has a lot of similar information I think to this one it's just a little less secular and if you're not sure which kind of witch you want to be I would highly recommend reading them together just to kind of see what the differences are.

S: The next one on my list it is a Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins and Leanna Greenaway and you've probably seen this because this one has been around a lot especially lately, the rerelease version is a black book with foil green lettering so it's all over Instagram because it's aesthetically pleasing. but Wiccapedia obviously wicaca. wicca-based but I think that that's good because you can't really learn all about witchcraft without getting some wicca knowledge in there, and even if you aren't going to follow the wiccan tradition, I think it's still good to know. it's good to have a background in basics and you don't necessarily know right off the bat if you if you like it or you don't. so I feel like this is a really good resource for people who are just starting out and not necessarily wiccan, haven't decided whether or not they're going to be this, is a good way to learn about it.

T: it's kind of again with the foundational, like we talked about the different types of witches in all of this you kind of have to know the more broad before you can narrow in on your path.

S: This is a really good is another one it's really good resource book to come back to you when you're able to go if you know you're looking for you can go and find that certain section and read more about that.

The next one on my list is it the modern guide to witchcraft by sky Alexander and I think this is a really fun read for new witches. it does have a few spells in it but mostly focuses on the what and why of witchcraft rather than the action and it's unlike the other ones not very wicca based it's just witchcraft in general. and it's a very quick read and something that you would sit down and read like from cover to cover because I find it it's really interesting really fun. I say for new witches but I think it's a good read for everybody. but yes lots of basics but fun to read.

T: I read this one not as a basic book and she's completely right it's written almost like a fiction novel like it's that entertaining.

S: It's just lighthearted and fun is a great read. and the last one on my list is that you may or may not of heard of is Wicca by Harmony Nice. so if you are involved or followed witchcraft community on YouTube or you follow a lot of witches then you probably have come across Harmony Nice because she's probably one of the biggest wiccan Youtubers. she is based in the UK and she's just, she has, it's not a her channel isn't totally wicca-based it's not like all of her videos are, but she has specific ones that are the traditions that she follows, she's super interesting, just has a great way of speaking and explaining things like she's just so sweet. Some people don't like books written by Youtubers or other influencers because they think it won't contain real knowledge or that they just got a book deal by having a lot of followers, but I actually think that makes them uniquely accessible. You can put a Face to what you're reading and then be able to go to her channel and learn even more. so I went into reading this having watched her YouTube channel just kind of thinking that this would be repetitive either with her channel or just like something like fun to read, but it actually contains a ton of information, it's a really good book it's well written. it is written how she talks so you're definitely going to know that it's her, I think that's a really nice quality and it has a lot of good information on wicca, like I don't think you should write this book off just because it was written by a YouTuber like she did her research she practices what she preaches, she did a good, it's got a good story so it's not so much as an encyclopedia some of the other ones are but really fun read as well.

T: and when you're first getting started don't underestimate the fun reads. you're still getting knowledge it's just easier to absorb sometimes, like the encyclopedia ones yes I've had them for decades, they're good, good references, but not the easiest to just sit and read as a beginner.

S: I think that covers everything on my list how about you Tara?

T: so I have more but as you said we're going to break this up so I think the other ones kind of get more deep dive into things so I will save them for next time.

S: we don't want to completely overwhelm you.

That is all we have for you this week for episode 10 but we will see you next week episode 11 for even more book recommendations.

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