Six Books for the Beginner Witch
updated Dec. 2022!
It's a question we get all the time here at the shop -- folks are just beginning their foray into spirituality, witchcraft and the occult, and they want a guide. Though the craft branches off into many directions, it's reasonable to want a starting point, and we're always happy to make a recommendation!
Here's Bookseller Victoria's round-up of the best titles for baby witches. As the shop's resident witch, manager, book-buyer and practitioner of witchcraft & occult for many moons, she's got the scoop on a ton of titles, and these are her favorites.
Witchery by Juliet Diaz
"This book by working and ancestral witch Juliet Diaz somehow manages to cast off so many of the preconceptions of similar beginner books. Yes, it has spells, potions, rituals. Yes, it has the typical psuedo-Pagan history. But, it also -- and more importantly -- has the real shit. It is straightforward, it does not get bogged down in particular branches of witchcraft, and it also asks the reader to consider the origins of witchcraft: a tool of the oppressed. Diaz asks the reader to always take this into account and look to see where cultures may be appropriated within the craft. This title also tasks the reader with digging deep into themselves, understanding who they are, in order to practice. Know thyself, witches!" Available in paperback for $16.99, shop here!
How to Study Magic: A Guide to History, Lore, and Building Your Own Practice by Sarah Lyons
"A lot of witchcraft-seekers often come into the shop looking for one book that will give them everything they'll ever need. This sentiment usually comes from a place of enthusiasm to get started, and I understand that. But witchcraft is work. In this book, Lyons lays out a fantastic method for diving deep into both history and folklore to build a practice that is unique to you--and built by you." Available in hardcover for $20, shop here!
Self-Source-ery by Lisa Lister
"There are different aspects of the practice we broadly refer to witchcraft that are appeal to everyone. If you're less interested in the more traditional workings of deity worship, wheel of the year, and magical ritual, and more interested in discovering the magic innate in your body and surroundings, Lister's book is for you. This title encourages you to look inward to reveal the magical practice you've been looking for all along." Available in paperback for $16.99, shop here!
The Ultimate Guide to the Witch's Wheel of the Year by Anjou Kiernan
"There's really not many wheel of the year books that accomplish as much as Kiernan does here. With gorgeous photography and a thorough walkthrough of the high holidays and accompanying rituals, this book is an excellent guide to beginning to connect with the seasons and deepen your witchery. This book is heavily entrenched in the four seasons in the best way possible, so may not be as well-suited to folks in climates that don't reflect the changes in nature." Available in paperback for $26.99, shop here!
Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman
"There's a good amount of books on the market that will walk you through basic Neo-Pagan or Wiccan ideals, show you some basic rituals and introduce you to a few deities. There are much fewer books, however, that explore the very idea of being a witch -- and what that has meant sociologically and politically throughout history. Grossman -- of The Witch Wave Podcast, which I definitely also recommend -- meditates deeply on what mean it means to be a witch in this part-memoir, part cultural analysis. It was an instant classic in this community." Available in paperback for $14, shop here!
The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
"My Catholic schoolteachers could probably place at least thirty-percent of the blame for me turning out to be a witch on this book alone. The title that brought Goddess worship to the forefront of the witchcraft resurgence, this seminal book offers deep, sweeping ideas, meditations and ritual framework to call the Goddess in. The best part? The Goddess in Starhawk's book is an idea, an archetype, a very real but very malleable force. Substitute any deity you wish to work with and you're good to go. All these years later, I still frequently use one of Starhawk's circle castings." Available in paperback for $17.99, shop here!
Want a recommendation for something more specific? Send us an email! One more thing: as a small bookshop, we don't always have 30 copies of every title, so if you see the book you'd like as sold out, have no fear! We're likely getting more copies in our next shipment, or occasionally, titles may be on backorder. You can always email us to check in on the restock status at firstname.lastname@example.org.