Our Favorite Books
There are a lot of books out there on the craft, some better than others. We have bought a lot of them over the years, some are amazing, some are nice reference books and some are real stinkers. We decided to create a page of book reviews on Witch Chest of our favorite books with links to them on the Indigo website. Rather than sell books, we would rather give you our honest feedback, without an agenda for you to pick a specific book and provide you with the benefit of prices only a large book retailer can offer. Why Indigo? Well for two reasons: they are Canadian and we like to support Canadian companies and because they have an amazing selection of books.
It would be awesome if you use our affiliate links, because we will get a small commission if you visit them through our links, but even if you don't use our links, we want you to get the right book for you, without spending a bunch of money on books that have great covers, but don't have great content (and there are a lot that fall into that category).
#1 Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. Scott Cunningham is a leading author in the realm of the craft, and their is a reason why. He doesn't mislead and he doesn't over complicate things, and for my money this is his pinnacle work. This is the first book I always recommend to anyone new to the craft. It isn't complicated or pretentious, and it gives the reader a really good understanding of the basics of witchcraft. Don't let the title scare you, it isn't about the rituals a formal Wicca, it is about the things you can do by yourself. It doesn't go into depth on any one topic, but rather gives you and nice broad overview of everything you need to know as a beginner. However, don't think it is a beginner read that after you read it once it will forever stay on a shelf, I go back and reference it regularly (when it is not being borrowed from a friend).
#2 BUCKLAND'S COMPLETE BOOK OF WITCHCRAFT by Raymond Buckland. If you want a formal understanding of Wicca, the rituals and the meaning behind them, this is your book. This book covers everything you need to know from initiation ceremonies to Sex Magick (that got your attention, didn't it). Often referred to as "Uncle Bucky's Big Blue Book", this is the go to guide for people wanting to understand Witchcraft and the various branches of Wicca, and it gives a terrific historical context. The writing style of this book is targeted at a mature audience, but while many books written during the same era feel very dated, the Big Blue Book feels as relevant today as it was 40 years ago..
This book does not dictate how Wicca is to be performed, but does let you know the many commonly understood practices. Raymond Buckland studied under the direction of the founders of Wicca, like Gerald Gardner, and was the individual who brought those teachings to North America, so when he writes something, you can trust that he knows what he is talking about.
Now, if your looking for a fun casual read, this may not be your first choice. It is a serious book and reading it feels more like reading a textbook than a novel. But if you want to learn and understand the basics of Witchcraft, you can't go wrong here.
#3 SOLITARY WITCH: THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF SHADOWS FOR THE NEW GENERATION by Silver Ravenwolf. This book is a new witch's catch all. Silver Ravenwolf's writing style is easy to read and she cover's every topic under the sun (and moon...). This is a big book, and you are going to need to spread reading it out over several sessions (558 pages plus notes). Solitary Witch covers everything you need, from alchemy to divination. It is great for everyone from the beginner looking to learn about the basics, to the pro, looking for correspondences to increase the intention of their ceremony. Solitary Witch is not as formal as Raymond Buckland's books, and as you read it you can tell that it is written in a style to appeal to a younger audience, but it gives good information on everything it covers. If you want to learn everything right away, I would first tell you that patience is an important part of the craft. After you ignored my advice, I would recommend this book.