If you look back on the major events in my life, you can bet your bottom dollar that books are somehow involved. My childhood was spent sitting under a tree at the back of the library reading, my first conversations with the Hubbie were all book based, I even blog about books in what little spare time I have when I am not being the Green Witch’s apprentice and mummy to the Wee Girl.
So it shouldn’t really surprise you that the one thing that really started me on the path of Magick was a book.
Now I am not talking about a leather bound book that buzzes with mystical energy that I found in the back of a dark and incense filled shop or even one with an eye on it that seems to follows you around and answers to the name “Booooook” when Winnie calls.
Believe it or not the book that totally changed my life was “Teen Witch” by Silver Ravenwolf.
Having read many books on Paganism and Witchcraft since, this is not one that I generally recommend for anyone over the age of twenty, but at the time as someone in their late teens, this book was a revelation.
The year was 1996, this was before Practical Magic, Charmed and Witches in Buffy. This was the year that The Craft was released, but other than that there was very little in the mainstream media about being a witch.
I can’t even remember what made me pick the book up. I was with my mum in Blackwells in Oxford and we were looking around the Mind, Body & Spirit section. My mum, I guess you could call her a Spiritualist, attended a Spiritualist Church and read Tarot so I was already inclined towards looking at the world differently.
Mum brought me the book and I think it took me less than three nights to read it. I had been wearing a silver Pentacle ring for three years and often would take a walk with a friend on the nights of a full moon. To find a book that resonated with my life was for me a big “ok now I get it!” moment.
I announced to my parents I wanted to practice Witchcraft, my mum didn’t bat an eyelid, my dad being a very practical man ordered a small book from the internet called “The Truth about Witchcraft”. After he read it his only comment was “ [I] can see why you are attracted to it, its very you, just don’t burn the house down” (the small book by the way was by Scott Cunningham who would soon become one of my favourite author on the subject of Witchcraft and Paganism)
Words have power, we learn in Magick how choosing your words carefully can amplify your intent and really add the sparkle to what you are trying to achieve. For me books are truly magical, put me in a bookshop and I can get lost for hours. It is no coincidence that the only other job I have loved aside from The Green Witch was when I worked in a bookshop.
I think I will always have a thirst for knowledge and that is evident in the fact that I still continue to read books on Magickal subjects. My studying is far from done and I am open to reading books on many different Spiritual practices, but I will always have a soft spot for “Teen Witch” and the fact that it was the first stepping stone onto my magickal path through the woods.
Some of my Book recommendations…
Generally any book by Scott Cunningham, if you are just starting out read “Wicca” first. His “Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs” and “Incense, Oils and Brews” books are also never far from my hands.
“Sabbats” by Edain McCoy – a great guide to how the sabbats can be celebrated, she includes crafts and recipes too. A detailed view on Pagan holidays, not just British / American Pagans but she incorporates details of other celebrations that happen around the same time as the Sabbats.
“Hedge Witch” by Rae Beth – With so many books that are published being written by American Pagans, it’s great to find one written by a Brit. This is a collection of letters she has written to two students, answering their questions they have regarding paganism and their practice.
“Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman – If you loved the film I can highly recommend the book, it is a darker story than the film but just as brilliant.
“Garden Spells” by Sarah Addison Allen – A lovely tale of two sisters living in a small town in America, where everyone knows your business and every Waverly is touched by magic. Claire Waverly uses hers to run a catering company that uses herbs and flowers to influence the outcome of your social occasion depending on your needs. For example The fried dandelion buds over
marigold-petal rice, stuffed pumpkin blossoms, and rose-hip soup ensured
your company would notice only the beauty of your home and never the flaws. Food and Magic, you can’t go wrong!