When the nights are early in winter and the air chills to your bone, staying in and reading makes for an ideal activity. What better time to learn about witchcraft or brush up on your knowledge? The world may be frozen over but you need not be stagnant. Under the ice, new life is waiting. Even if you can’t get outside and connect with nature, you can still do something to further grow your craft. Or if you are new to witchcraft, this is the perfect time to dig into the literature and get started! These books are great for beginners and intermediate witches alike. Here are five witchcraft books to fill your winter with magick!
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religions of the Great Goddess by Starhawk
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A classic and largely influential witchcraft book, The Spiral Dance lives up to its status. I recommend getting the twentieth-anniversary edition with notes from Starhawk herself on things she changed her mind about that she wrote when she was a young author. It is written from a feminist Wiccan perspective so if you’re interested in an introduction to goddess worship and reconnecting with the earth once the weather warms up again, this is a must-read.
Starhawk writes well and her passion comes through so it’s hard not to be inspired by her ideas. Even if all the ideas are not for you — it is an older book after all — there are many ideas to choose from as you create your own witchcraft path. Within each chapter, there are also sample rituals for both solitary practitioners and covens.
Though this book is predominantly focused on the goddess, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the god and the importance of balancing polarities, and also places throughout about how men can benefit from the goddess religion and earth-based spirituality. It’s not your “love and light” type of book, but encourages a balance of darkness and light.
The following chapter focuses on the power of using words, symbols, and images in your magick practice and how to incorporate them for powerful spellcasting. Other chapters include energy, trance, initiation, moon magick, and the wheel of the year. Anyone who identifies as a witch should have this one in their personal library!
Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation by Mat Auryn
I’m always recommending Psychic Witch, I truly believe there’s something in this book for everyone! I reference it and come back to it often and use many of the exercises regularly. This is excellent for those who consider themselves to be “empaths” as there are exercises to help you control what you absorb.
In this book packed with information, you’ll learn about the clair- abilities and how you can improve your own, energy manipulation, meditation, reading auras, glamour magick, grounding and centering, energetic cleansing and protection, circle casting, working with the elements, just to name a few!
This book is also recommended in our article about shadow work, but besides the lower self, it also covers the higher self and the middle self and exercises that correspond with each and how to bring your selves into alignment.
Because each chapter contains several exercises, the best way to read this book is by reading a little bit each day and moving on after you’ve had the time to complete each exercise. Think of it as a psychic school book as if you’re a student of witchcraft. Keep coming back to the exercises until you master them. You will see your abilities improve and grow over time.
Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles by Yasmin Boland
This is a great moon magic book to read if you want to dive a little deeper past just the meaning of the different lunar phases. The author of Moonology, Yasmin Boland, is an astrologer who specializes in the moon. This book is perfect for those new to astrology and those familiar with it alike. We start out with what each phase of the moon means and how best to work with it. Then we move into, as the author puts it, “how the zodiac signs ‘flavour’ the moon,” and rituals for each, so beginners can learn and the intermediate witch can skim through.
Have your birth chart ready, because after that we’ll learn about your star sign and rising sign and what it means when the moon falls in each of your chart’s houses. This section includes rituals, affirmations and mantras, essential oils, numerology, chakras, archangels and goddesses, and more. There’s even a section for the daily moon and what it means depending on which of your houses it falls in. I also recommend the oracle card deck that corresponds with this book.
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
Odds are you’ve seen this one around, and for good reason! It’s more than a pretty face; this is a wonderful, comprehensive introduction into Green Witchcraft. It’s one of the very first witchcraft books I read and my copy is filled with tabs!
The Green Witch is part guidebook part reference manual. At the beginning, you are introduced to things like what it means to be a green witch, how a green witch practices magic, connecting with nature, working with the seasons, tools, altars, and more. It even includes a few basic practices such as purification, sensing energy, grounding, and invoking the four elements.
The second half of the book is filled with magical correspondences you can reference on trees, flowers, herbs, crystals, moon cycles, and gardening tips. My personal favorite is the section with tea recipes! You’ll also find incense suggestions, essential oil blends, and spell bags for the green witch.
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
This is a staple to every witch’s personal library, but especially the green witch. Originally published in 1985, Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs is a tried and true herbal reference guide in the witchcraft community. This book focuses solely on the magical correspondences of herbs, the history of uses, and how to use them in spellcrafting.
In this reference manual, you will find folk names and correspondences including powers, deities, elements, planets, and more. The sections on each herb are concise so you don’t need to take a lot of time understanding how to use each plant. And it doesn’t just include herbs, you’ll even find things like houseplants, fungi, fruits, flowers, and trees.
Scott Cunningham has written many witchcraft guides, but refers to himself as a magical herbalist, which shines in this book through his vast knowledge of magical herbs. If you could only pick one book as a guide to green witchcraft, this has everything you need to know!
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