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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Pagan Path: Books for Beginners (2014 Revised List)

Over the years I have created quite a few "Newbie Pagan" and "Newbie Witch" book lists.  However, as I'm always reading and always growing myself, my "must read" books have changed a bit. So, I've decide to do an updated list.

Before I start listing authors and books though, it's important that you understand a few things about this list and me.  I am an Eclectic Pagan Witch.  I do not practice Wicca, but I do find that the basics of Wiccan belief & practice are a good place for most people to start.  The understanding of how the wheel of the year turns, how to connect with the moon, and the principals of the Law of Return (or Law of Attraction) as well as basic practices such as meditation, energy manipulation and spell working  are all beneficial regardless of the new Pagan or Witches long term path choice. Although some aspects of the basic Wiccan belief & practice are not transferable as is to other paths - for example not all Pagan groups follow the Wheel of the Year - they are a good starting place.  I tend to see Wicca as "Pagan-lite." So I suggest those who are looking to enter the world of Paganism start there before moving on to more in-depth practices. Because of this, a number of these titles are Wicca based, but I suggest that - as with anything - you should read these titles remembering to only take what fits your path... Use each new idea as a stepping stone, something to learn from, but do not assume that they are all knowing tomes of Ancient information.  Take it all with a grain of salt!

The first two Authors I tend to point everyone too at Kate West and Christopher Penczak.

Kate West's "The Real Witch's Handbook," "The Real Witch's Garden," "The Real Witch's Year," and "The Real Witch's Kitchen" will provide you with the basic understanding of How to connect with the Earth's energies, The Goddess & The God, Herbal Magic, Kitchen Magick and Sun (Sabbats) and the Moon (Esbats) and a great deal more.  All of these titles are easily read and understood, even by those who have no experience or previous exposure to Paganism, Witchcraft or Wicca.

Christopher Penczak's books focus more on Witchcraft than Paganism, however, they do it from the perspective of a Wiccan when religion does come in to play.  His "Inner Temple of Witchcraft" book & CD work solely on the witch in each of us, you will learn how and why to practice witchcraft fully from within yourself.  As with all the books in his "Temple of Witchcraft" series this book is set up as a 12-month course, making the entire series beneficial for a new, growing or even a witch of many years. Start with the "Inner Temple," followed by the "Outer Temple" the "Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft" comes third, and then you may wish to explore "The Temple of High Witchcraft," "The Living Temple of Witchcraft - Volume 1 The Decent of the Goddess & Volume 2 The Journey of the God."  By the time you finish the series (which I HIGHLY suggest you do) you will be just about as "masterful" as witches practicing twice as long.  Do NOT rush these lessons! And remember, it is better to take longer than the assumed 12-months than it is to rush the process and move on too soon.

While that may seem like a lot already, there are a few other books which are a good read through or

"The Everything Paganism Book" will give you an overview of numerous Pagan belief systems including Native American, Druidism and Asatru (Norse) Paganism.

"Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans" is, as the name implies, an exploration of the paths, practices and beliefs of 101 modern day Pagans.
which are a good addition to your growing library for reference if nothing else.

"Llewellyn's Complete Book of Correspondences"  is a must have for anyone who will ever write a spell.  This book is like the PDA for Witches!  Correspondences for Animals, Plants, Minerals, Gods, Spirits, Tarot and so much more... All at your finger tips!

"Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation" is written by Silver Ravenwolf, a sometimes questionable (in the community as a whole) author. BUT, the book is perfect for both reference and personal growth.  In my opinion, it's the only Book of Shadows beyond your own, that you'll ever need.

There are an innumerable amount of other books I could choose to list here.  Authors such as Ellen Dugan, Dorothy Morrison, and Starhawk are also worth checking out.  But due to the simple fact that I do not wish to completely overwhelm or over load you, I will leave it to you to explore their titles and choose which may or may not interest you.

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