The Importance of Books

Emma Kathryn Wild Witch the house of twigs witchraft books book review recommendation

Finding a teacher, a witch to share her knowledge, isn’t an easy thing to do. Wouldn’t it be lovely to find an old crone to guide you along your path, sharing her experiences, passing on all she has learnt.

It sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

For many though, this is nothing more than a dream. Not that there aren’t any witches to learn from, but if they aren’t close enough to travel to often enough, or not willing to take on an apprentice, then how does one go about learning the art of the witch?

When I first started out, I didn’t know any other witches or occultists. Now I know loads! But in those earlier days, I had no one to ask questions to, no one to recommend books or advice, or to just bounce ideas off.

In those early days, books were my teachers. 

Let me say right now, there is nothing wrong with learning from books, especially when other options are limited. At some point you’ll have to put the books down and get practical, but learning from books is okay. Sometimes it’s the only option available.

Firstly, read a wide variety of books. Read about the myths and legends of the Gods, even if you are agnostic. So much of their imagery is used in many Pagan and witchy books, and often their stories act as parables. And you never know, you may find yourself taken with a particular God or pantheon.

Read books you wouldn’t normally consider, from outside your areas of interest. I am a witch, but like to read a wide range of esoteric books. I have read books on Druidry, hermeticism, Eastern and Western philosophy, as well as books about rewilding, nature, plants, craft books, I could go on but the point is I have taken something from many of these books, and in varying degrees, they have impacted my witchcraft for the better.

And you’ll want to read books on witchcraft too!

There are plenty of witchcraft books out there today, the good and bad. It is inevitable that you will come across more than a couple that you just cannot get on with. I remember my joy at finding a Scott Cunningham in my local second hand bookshop. I’d heard his books were a must have for witches and couldn’t wait to get home to dive right in.

But I didn’t like it! I just couldn’t get on with it, didn’t like his writing style. I thought it was a little bit on the preachy side (don’t be offended any Cunningham fans, this is just my opinion!), and just didn’t like it. I kept on with it though, because I thought the problem must have been with me, after all, it was a Cunningham book and I was a witch. Turns out I just didn’t like the book! It did teach me an important lesson, however.

I didn’t like it, but the factual information inside was sound. And that’s an important point to remember. Give those books you don’t like a chance. Take what you need from it and discard the rest. You may go through a whole book, and only take away a little something. You may go through the book and think it is terrible and take absolutely nothing from it, either way, there are lessons to be learned. At the very least you’ll have a clearer picture of what you want and need. You’ll learn more of yourself and of the witchcraft you want to practise.

I include here a brief overview and description of some of the books that have been pivotal in my own witchcraft. I do so to highlight how vastly different each book is from the next, but from each of them I have incorporated some of their lessons into my own witchcraft.

The Kybalion: This was the first book that I read and thought ‘Fuck yes!’. The Kybalion deals with the seven hermetic principles and how the seeker can use these principles to master themselves and the world around them. The principles include the principle of mentalism, the principle of polarity, the principle of vibrations and so on. I would definitely recommend this text to all seekers, or at least to familiarise yourself with the principles and how they affect life on this plane of existence.

Ritual: This books is written by druid, Emma Restall Orr, and though it is very much rooted in Druidry, I like it because of the poetic way she describes the celebrations, the turning of the wheel, and how she relates this to nature worship. This book takes the reader on a spiritual journey without being obtrusive; it gives the reader tools to create their own ritual. Whatever our traditions, nature is mother to us all, and this book does a good job of bringing worship back to her.

Tell My Horse: Written by Zora Neale Hurston, this books gives an insight into Haitian Vodou and Jamaican Obeah. She gives honest insight into what she has experienced for herself, and though this book will not be for all (though it is one of my favourites), I include it here to highlight that not all books need to be ‘how to’ guides.

A Witch Alone: Written by Marian Green, I particularly like this book because the author encourages the reader to get out in their own community, within their own places, to learn more about where they live. It is a books that isn’t designed to be read all in one go, instead there are thirteen lessons to be worked over thirteen moons, giving the would be witch much needed practical exercises.

Waking the Witch: Written by Pam Grossman is a fab little book that documents the rise of witch not only in herself  but through popular (and not so popular) culture. Whilst not a how to book, it gives great insight into the figure of the witch and how she has been and is currently viewed.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft: By Peter Grey is perhaps one of the books that has had the biggest impact on me. On the first reading, I remember feeling that the author had read my very soul and written it down on paper, capturing the elusive essence of witchcraft so much did it resonate with me. I cannot recommend this book enough!

OrishasGoddesses, and Voodoo Queens: The Divine Feminine in the African Religious Traditions: Written by the fabulous Lilith Dorsey, this is a must for anyone interested in African Religious Traditions and more importantly, written by a woman of colour. Lilith’s writing style is so easy to get on with and her information is tip top.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I will say though that try and include books written by those marginalised voices as it does give a real breadth to your reading list and more often than not makes you look at an old issue in a new light. I promise you will take something positive from the experience of widening your perspective. Read far and read wide, take what you need, what is useful and discard the rest. Remember though, that at some point, you’ll have to put the books down and put into practise all you have learnt from them. That’s when the real lessons begin!

  • Author Posts
My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
  • animism the house of twigs samhain dead spirit fall autumn season of the witch
    Animism, Witchcraft & Spirit Work

    This garden and every living and dead thing within it. The earth, the grass, the trees, the soil, all alive and filled with spirit and as I immerse myself in it, my soul soars, my spirit rises and rejoices, connecting me with everything and everything with me.

  • The Importance of Building a Relationship with Nature

    The deep, dark wild woods, mysterious and magical, have an almost mythic status amongst Pagans. Indeed there is something so alluring about losing oneself beneath the canopy of the forest. However, for the beginner, the best place to start is somewhere close to you, somewhere you can visit daily or weekly. It can be a garden if you have one, or a local patch of trees, whatever. What is important is that you can get there as often as possible.

  • Emma Kathryn Wild Witch the house of twigs witchraft books book review recommendation
    The Importance of Books
    Finding a teacher, a witch to share her knowledge, isn’t an easy thing to do. Wouldn’t it be lovely to find an old crone to guide you along your path, sharing her experiences, passing on all she has learnt. It sounds romantic, doesn’t it? For many though, this is nothing more than a dream. Not […]
  • Fear of the Craft Obeah Woman Whispers Emma Kathryn Wild Witch The House of Twigs THOT Witchcraft School
    On Fear in the Craft – Part 2
    Finding a teacher, a witch to share her knowledge, isn’t an easy thing to do. Wouldn’t it be lovely to find an old crone to guide you along your path, sharing her experiences, passing on all she has learnt. It sounds romantic, doesn’t it? For many though, this is nothing more than a dream. Not […]
  • Obah Woman Whispers Spring
    Spring Awakening – A Meditation.
    Finding a teacher, a witch to share her knowledge, isn’t an easy thing to do. Wouldn’t it be lovely to find an old crone to guide you along your path, sharing her experiences, passing on all she has learnt. It sounds romantic, doesn’t it? For many though, this is nothing more than a dream. Not […]
×
My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
Latest Posts
  • animism the house of twigs samhain dead spirit fall autumn season of the witch
  • Emma Kathryn Wild Witch the house of twigs witchraft books book review recommendation
  • Fear of the Craft Obeah Woman Whispers Emma Kathryn Wild Witch The House of Twigs THOT Witchcraft School

RELATED POST

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Commons License
This work by The House of Twigs / Author of Article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.