Books On Witchcraft to Understand it Better

A list of books to read if you want to know more about witchcraft, inspired by novice witches trying to hex the moon.

Did you hear they hexed the moon? Yeah, that was my reaction too.

It seems like the year 2020 wasn’t already crazy enough because apparently, a group of novice witches tried to hex the moon (yes, that moon), as well as the sun and the fae. This was upsetting to many people in the Witch community because, well, you’re not supposed to do that, but also because there is already a lot of misinformation as to what witchcraft actually is and is often treated as an aesthetic and not as a very real set of beliefs and practices that are a lifestyle for many people.

If you want to understand a little more about that whole moon thing, here’s a twitter thread explaining it:


And, if you are interested in learning more about witchcraft or Wicca, here are some books you can read about it:


Drawing Down the Moon by margot adler


Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by [Margot Adler]

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Since its original publication, Drawing Down the Moon continues to be the only detailed history of the burgeoning but still widely misunderstood Neo- Pagan subculture. Margot Adler attended ritual gatherings and interviewed a diverse, colorful gallery of people across the United States, people who find inspiration in ancient deities, nature, myth, even science fiction.

In this edition, featuring an updated resource guide of newsletters, journals, books, groups, and festivals, Margot Adler takes a fascinating and honest look at the religious experiences, beliefs, and lifestyles of modern America’s Pagan groups.



traditional wicca by Thorn mooney


Traditional Wicca: A Seeker's Guide by [Thorn Mooney]

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While there are many powerful variations of contemporary Witchcraft, traditional Wicca offers unique experiences for those who seek it out. This book explores structured, coven-based styles of Wicca, in which the practitioners typically trace initiatory lineages back to Wicca’s early founders. Discussing covens, initiations, lineages, practices, ethics, and more, Traditional Wicca shares tips and ideas on how to get the most from this profound approach to Witchcraft.


Buckland’s complete book of witchcraft by Raymond Buckland 


Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick) by [Raymond Buckland]

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One of modern Wicca’s most recommended books, this comprehensive text features a step-by-step course in Witchcraft, with photographs and illustrations, rituals, beliefs, history, and lore, as well as instruction in spellwork, divination, herbalism, healing, channeling, dreamwork, sabbats, esbats, covens, and solitary practice.



The Witch by Ronald Hutton


The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present by [Ronald Hutton]

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This book sets the notorious European witch trials in the widest and deepest possible perspective and traces the major historiographical developments of witchcraft. Hutton, a renowned expert on ancient, medieval, and modern paganism and witchcraft beliefs, combines Anglo-American and continental scholarly approaches to examine attitudes on witchcraft and the treatment of suspected witches across the world, including in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Australia, and North and South America, and from ancient pagan times to current interpretations. His fresh anthropological and ethnographical approach focuses on cultural inheritance and change while considering shamanism, folk religion, the range of witch trials, and how the fear of witchcraft might be eradicated.


The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic by owen davis (editor)


The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic by [Owen Davies]

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This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the extensive and complex story of witchcraft and magic. Telling the story from the dawn of writing in the ancient world to the globally successful Harry Potter films, the authors explore a wide range of magical beliefs and practices, the rise of the witch trials, and the depiction of the Devil-worshipping witch.

The book also focuses on the more recent history of witchcraft and magic, from the Enlightenment to the present, exploring the rise of modern magic, the anthropology of magic around the globe, and finally the cinematic portrayal of witches and magicians, from The Wizard of Oz to Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.



Witches by erica jong


Witches by [Erica Jong, Jos. A. Smith]

Image via amazon


With a mix of genuine fascination, passionate enthusiasm, and keen feminist insight, Erica Jong wades through a bog of myths, misinformation, historical hysteria, and contemporary Halloween costumes to offer a generous exploration and celebration of witches.

From their origins as descendants of ancient goddesses to contemporary practitioners of the craft, the evolution of the concept of “witch” has been as changeable as the centuries themselves. From evil crone to sexual seductress, they are the embodiment of both light and dark, fertility and death, divinity and paganism, baleful curses and healing cures. They have been scapegoated as the object of men’s worst fears and embraced as heroines of female empowerment. As muses, they have influenced popular culture from Shakespeare and Yeats to Anne Sexton and Ken Russell. With reverence and a hint of mischief, Jong reveals witches’ rites, rituals, and magical recipes, including authentic spells and incantations.

featured image via twitter