From lucid dreaming to tarot reading to real-life ghost stories, this list suggests a little something for everyone.
Getting ready for your first summer getaway? Make sure you pack something to enhance your magical practice!
I included the link to Amazon for each book for your convenience, however, I strongly recommend you check your library first, particularly if you live near a major metropolitan (but even if you don’t). My local library consistently surprises me with what they offer in terms of occult volumes and books about witchcraft.
In no particular order:
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold. If you’ve never experimented with the soul-rocking experience of lucid dreaming, this book belongs on your night stand. Start it at the beginning of the next lunar cycle for a bite-sized breakdown of how to dream lucidly—and yes, you can learn it.
The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyer. One of the few books to include both the metaphysical (“magical”) properties of herbs, and the medicinal, this definitive guide finds an indispensable place on the herbalist witch’s bookshelf.
The Moon: Myth & Image by Jules Cashford delves deeply into the rich historical symbolism of the moon and its cycles.
The Haunted: One Family’s Nightmare by Ed Warren. A chilling, well-documented book about a family that claimed to live in a haunted house in Pennsylvania, this nonfiction account makes a page-turning read for anyone with an interest in the paranormal.
A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics & Pagans. I’m always interested in books about witchcraft written by non-practitioners. This one focuses mostly on the roots of European witchcraft, which puts important context to the art of the modern practitioner.
Garden Witch’s Herbal: Green Magick, Herbalism & Spirituality by Ellen Dugan. This lovely introduction to green witchery presents earth magic in friendly and approachable format.
Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carol. This classic-yet-still-edgy fairy tale takes the reader to an alternate reality of enchanted rabbit holes and articulate, hookah-smoking caterpillars. Alice in Wonderland inspires even the most practical witch to imagine the unseen worlds around her.
Kitchen Witch: A Year-Round Witch’s Brew of Seasonal Recipes, Lotions & Potions for Every Pagan Festival by Soraya. If you tinker with the idea of bringing your magical practice in the kitchen, this book aims to crack open your creativity and get you started.
Learn Calligraphy: The Complete Book of Lettering & Design by Margaret Shepard. With today’s generation all but driving even basic cursive to extinction, the art of calligraphy remains on the endangered species list of education. But it’s a wonderful skill for anyone who keeps a paper version of their Book of Shadows.
Sea Magic: Connecting with the Ocean’s Energy by Sandra Kynes. If you plan to head to the coast this summer, let this book inspire you to work with the energy of the ocean. As an avid sea witch, I enjoyed the author’s imagination and enthusiasm for the growing art of sea magic.
Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal by Rosalee de la Foret. This recent-release and instant hit in the herbalism community maintains a 5-star rating with almost 1000 Amazon reviews—no easy feat in any genre. Check out this excellent introductory guide to the most natural medicine in the world.
Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life by Pauline Campanelli. In a way, this book inspired Moody Moon’s blog. Campanelli’s intuitive approach to the turning of the seasons sparks creative ideas and infuses everyday projects with a warm, magical glow.
Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams & Salves by Petra Ahnert. Nothing beats making your own ritual candles from scratch. Even if you already developed and honed candle making skills, this book still makes a lovely addition to the candle maker’s library.
Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads (Special Topics in Tarot Series) by Teresa Michelson. Or any book in the Special Topics in Tarot Series, which I discovered years ago and still refer to as a professional tarot reader now.
Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self. If you consider yourself a “natural witch” and love to make your own body care products, this book offers the best recipes for homemade body care. You won’t find subtle, intricate techniques like this on Pinterest.
Your Book of Shadows: How to Write Your Own Magickal Spells by Patricia Telesco. For the newbie witch. To the frank annoyance of more seasoned practitioners, many new to witchcraft eagerly go about requesting spells for very specific purposes that generic spells fail to cover adequately. This book makes an easy answer to those requests: Why not write your own?
Utterly Wicked: Hexes, Curses & Other Unsavory Notions by Dorothy Morrison. Morrison bravely covers the topic of hexes and curses, a subject that pagan writers before her refused to “touch with a ten foot pole” (as she explained in her recent interview with me.) Morrison uses techniques from hoodoo and voodoo traditions, as well as other eclectic ideas, to fill this long-standing gap in pagan nonfiction.
Warrior Goddess Training: Becoming the Woman You Are Meant to Be by Heatherash Amara. While not specifically written for neopagans (I suspect the author intended to reach a broader, more mainstream audience), this book clearly draws on modern goddess spirituality to inspire confidence and strength in your life.
Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists by Tony Perrotet. If you plan to head to Europe this summer, toss this one in your suitcase. In this unique travel book, Perrotet & his girlfriend follow the path of ancient Roman-pagan tourists to historical sites that continue to draw crowds today. I love the premise so much, I wish I thought of it myself!
Talking to the Other Side: A History of Modern Spiritualism by Todd Leonard. Did you know Abraham Lincoln’s wife regularly invited spiritualists to the White House to communicate with the dead? If you ever wondered how the Ouiji board rose to fame and found a place in the mainstream American household, this fascinating history of spiritualism covers the topic thoroughly.
Wicca Essential Oils Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Working with Magical Oils, with Simple Recipes & Spells by Aleena Alastar. This freshly-printed potion-making guide introduces the concept of using essential oils for magical purposes.
The Interfaith Alternative: Embracing Spiritual Diversity by Steven Greenebaum. This much-needed endorsement of religious tolerance reads especially relevant in the current climate. Although written primarily for people of major world religious faith, the lesson is a universal one. Particularly recommended for those on an “eclectic” spiritual path.
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods & Heroes by Edith Hamilton. This classic read introduces the basics of the major European pantheons.
Witchy Mama: Magickal Traditions, Motherly Insight and Sacred Knowledge by Melanie Marquis. As a recently blessed mother of one “witchlet-in-training,” I discovered surprisingly few books on the subject of raising a child in the Craft. This lovely volume makes a wonderful gift for the expecting pagan mom.
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer. This clever approach to tarot reading offers something for the beginning and advanced reader alike.