These are the titles and books that every witch should have in their collection, or somehow get their hands on and read. I am sharing this in reference to questions I have received from Instagram on book/resource recommendations. I have read many of these books and there are many that I have not read yet myself but are on my never ending to-read list. This is by no means super comprehensive, or an end all be all list, but it's a good jumping off point for those looking to expand their knowledge.
My reading list leans towards traditional witchcraft of primarily European origin. I lean in on my heritage and understand my ancestors and their pre-Christian traditions. Our ancestors are our greatest guides, they want to see us do well and we need to remember them because they are being forgotten. Folk magic is a huge part of my practice as well, so I do have an emphasis on reading about folklore and low down dirty magic. As well as Shamanism, mythology and working with spirits and gods. I'm a dirty ol' witch, pagan, animist and polytheist if you were wondering.
This list will also include books that have influenced my craft and some recently discovered zines and small independent publishers that I am super excited about! If I am missing anything of note, please leave a comment and I will add it.
- The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
- Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles G. Leland
- The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries by Evans-Wentz
- Dig through Sacred Texts and read up on Legends & Sagas, Animism, Neo-Paganism & Celtic Folklore
More Modern Classics
- Rebirth of Witchcraft by Doreen Valiente *a must read to understand the origins of modern resurgence in Witchcraft
- Natural Magic by Doreen Valiente
- Witchcraft for Tomorrow by Doreen Valiente
- Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks & Covens by Paul Huson
- Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson
- The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
- THE BLACK PULLET by anonymous
Witchcraft & Practices
- The Sorceror's Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick by Jason Miller
- Protection and Reversal Magick by Jason Miller
- Craft of the Untamed: An Inspired Vision of Traditional Witchcraft by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold
- The Witches Sabbats by Mike Nichols
- Spiritual Cleansing: A Handbook of Psychic Protection by Draja Mickaharic
- A Century of Spells by Draja Mickaharic
- Crones Book of Charms & Spells by Valerie Worth
- Treading the Mill: Practical Craft Working in Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Nigel G. Pearson
- The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Robert Cochrane
American Witchcraft, Southern African American Hoodoo & Conjure
- Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure by cat yronyode
- Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend: A Collection of Mysterious and Invaluable Arts and Remedies, for Man as Well as Animals by John George Hohman
- The Silver Bullet & and other American Witch Stories by Hubert J. Davis
- The Candle and the Crossroads: A Book of Appalachian Conjure and Southern Root-Work by Orion Foxwood
- Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson, 2005
- The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic by catherine yronwode
- Hoodoo in Theory and Practice An Introduction to African American Rootwork by cat yronwode
Magical Spiritual Herbalism & Witchcraft
- Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants by Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch, and Wolf-Dieter Storl
- The Pharmako Trilogy by Dale Pendell
- Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
- Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual by James Green
- Magical and Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs by Richard Alan Miller
- Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs by Richard Alan Miller
- The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines by Matthew Wood
- Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul by Ross Heaven & Howard G. Charing
- Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants by Elliot Cowan
- Medicinal Herbs of the Mountains West by Michael Moore *if you live in the western United States
- The Green Book by Heliophilus
Spiritwork, Ancestors and Gods
- Cunning-Folk & Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic by Emma Wilby
- The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland by Emma Wilby
- COMMUNING WITH THE SPIRITS: The Magical Practice of Necromancy by Martin Coleman
- Communing with the Ancestors: Your Spirit Guides, Bloodline Allies, and the Cycle of Reincarnation by Raven Grimassi
- Dwelling on the Threshold: Reflections of a Spirit-Worker and Devotional Polytheist by Sarah Kate Istra Winter
- Hekate in Ancient Greek Religion by Robert Von Rudloff
- Gods of the Greeks by Karl Kerenyi
- Hekate Soteira: A Study of Hekate's Roles in the Chaldean Oracles and Related Literature by Sarah Iles Johnston
- The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion by Daniel McCoy
- The Wise Wound by Peter Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle
- Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
- Pomba Gira & the Quimbanda of Mbùmba Nzila by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold
- The Red Goddess by Peter Grey
Small Presses, Zines and Publishers
- Hadean Press occult books, journals, and pamphlets in standard and handbound editions.
- Scarlet Imprint "Our work is intended to support practising magicians, students of the occult arts, the esoteric community and the fine book arts." Hands down one of the best publishers right now in the occult world. Incredible work and fantastic blog as well.
- GODS & RADICALS "Gods & Radicals is a non-profit Pagan anti-capitalist publisher. Our focus is simple: inexpensive print and digital works to inspire hope and rebellion." Fuck yeah!
- Three Hands Press The premier publisher of contemporary occultism and metaphysica, representing the new generation of esoteric scholars, artists and practitioners.
Blogs and Fellow Witch Folk
- Sarah Anne Lawless If you're looking for a much more organized and comprehensive witch reading list, hers are the best and she is far more academic in her approach than I.
- Blood and Spicebush Becky is rad as hell and has great resources on her blog.
- Banshee Arts
- Briana Saussy
- The Starry Cave
- Rune Soup
- Wolf and Goat
- The Woman Who Married a Bear
- Carolyn Elliott/WITCH
- Kymia Arts
And that my friends, is all I've got right now off the top of my head! I will likely update this and add to it over time. Again, if you feel there is something to add here, please leave a comment.