Author Topic: Book Recommendations  (Read 3799 times)

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Amanda1983

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Book Recommendations
« on: January 06, 2015, 09:21:15 AM »
I really do want to learn, I seem to have so many questions. I read things and take them onboard but I like to have advice from people who have used their skills and experienced the 'tools' longer than I have. That's why I seem to be constantly asking questions here. The advice I receive here is so helpful and really helps build my confidence and knowledge. I've been wanting to ask if anyone can recommend any books? :)

Offline tanith

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 11:57:16 AM »
feel Jehra, Mooncrone, and Moonshadow will be a font  of information on this front, if it has been worth reading they will have read it, I am sure they will recommend just what you need
keep an open heart and mind and love for your fellow man

Amanda1983

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 12:23:42 PM »
I shall I ask them the question. Thank you Tanith :)

Offline Lily

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 01:59:43 PM »
feel Jehra, Mooncrone, and Moonshadow will be a font  of information on this front, if it has been worth reading they will have read it, I am sure they will recommend just what you need

I second this.

And also have a look through the Book Reviews and Discussion section if you haven't already, not all the books mentioned there are to do with Paganism but there are a few which may be of interest to you.

I've been reading through some of Ronald Hutton's books (ok so I've read one and have a few others on the shelf waiting to be read  :))) - I've not long finished The Triump of the Moon, which examines the nature and development of modern paganism.  I found it a bit hard going, his writing style in my opinion is very academic, but I found it interesting.  There were elements of it that I argued quite a lot with, bits I disagreed with, etc but that's the same with any book I guess!   
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Offline Moonshadow

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 02:22:56 PM »
There are so many wonderful books on the various pagan paths Amanda , but my favourite authors for good sensible information are Kate West, she did several books The Real Witches Year, cook book, spells and rituals to name but a few.
Dorothy Morrison , Everyday Magic
D.J.Conway , Celtic Magic
Others on my book case are Scot Cunningham, Magical Aromatherapy and Encyclopeda of Magical Herbs
anything I can afford of Sybil Leek
And any of Michael Howard's book, he is also editor of a quarterly magazine "The Cauldron " which I subscribe to.
Not forgetting The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall.
I suppose it depends on your main interests, my main interests are witchcraft , herbs, crystals, Celtic magic ,Faery and the Fallen Angels.
Last year I discovered Celtic Faery Shamanism volume 1 and 2 by Catrin James she covers most of my interests including the dark angel.
Though there are so many books I still want to read, I feel even if I live to a very ripe old age I will still have so much to learn  :)
Always follow the path of your heart. X

Amanda1983

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 03:22:10 PM »
Thank you Lily. I'll look at the book reviews, I hadn't thought of that :) I'll have a look at the author you've mentioned, thank you :)

Thank you Moonshadow :) I think I'll be doing a lot of reading in the coming months. I have so much to learn, I'm looking forward to the journey though :)

Offline MoonCrone

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 04:59:43 PM »
Ask away  :) 
No question is ever a silly one,  :hug:  you will not be judged, or mocked here.   :) 
I'm not an expert, by any stretch of the imagination, I cannot provide definitive answers for EVERYTHING, just offer my mostly well informed or some gut instinct "take" on things as I see them...  but I've many years under my belt, and miles on my besom of looking into different aspects of the Pagan spectrum.   :)

As to books I would recommend, I guess it really depends on what you want to learn.   :)
I've always likened seeking the Pagan path for a newcomer is a bit like shopping in an Argos store when they've run out of catalogues and all the serve yourself  terminals are all down! 
How do you know what it is you want to learn until you know what there is to learn?  yet people always say "tell me what you want to learn, and we'll help you learn it"   :stars:   ::) ???
And it's not for me to tell you what you need or ought or should start to learn either, only you can know that.
Ask yourself, what calls to me (you)?  Witchcraft?  Wicca?  Shamanism?  Celtic Recon/Druidry?  Native American?  Greek/Roman? Egyptian? Viking?  Hindu?  Spiritualism?  New Age?  "just" tree hugging?  or "hippy-like" I love the Earth or Nature kind of thing?  Do angels figure in it?  Want to know more about healing herbs?  healing crystals?  alternative therapies etc....?  Do you want to learn about casting spells?  Do you want to learn how to read Tarot or Runes?  Do you want to learn about setting up altars, or making charms and talismens?  Meditating?  Writing a book of shadows? 

So many subjects, so many books  -  and lots of rip-off merchants so be cautious!   ;) :D

I always refer to the Sacred Texts website in the first instance, over books, which is free, and reliable as being "trustworthy" as a source of information and it saves on using paper, and avoids needing physical storage and after care etc...   
http://www.sacred-texts.com/ 
I particularly like the section called Book of Shadows, and I like the Celtic sections, I like the Gypsy stuff, and I hope to get through more of it as time allows   ;D

a couple of other sites with good links for other stuff here, if that's the direction you want to go down?

http://www.hermetics.org/texts.html 

http://www.esotericarchives.com/

http://www.witchvox.com/  their witchcraft 101 is very good, and there's an excellent article on candle magic somewhere on there too   :)  I think I posted the links somewhere on here before if you try a search   :)

Somewhere on the forum I've posted links to a few on-line freeview books, one of which is Raymond Bucklands' Big Blue book... that's very informative   :) 

Culpeppers Herbal is another   :good: 

As to the actual books I have read, this could take a while!

I started off by reading some books about Astrology written by Sybil Leek,  :) :good:  and followed it on with one or two others she had written more about her "take" on The Craft   :)  Sorry I don't recall the exact titles. 
I was very young at the time, they were in my GrandMothers' collection, and my Mother was totally horrified to learn I had been given open access to them.   ???  It caused an almighty fall out  :'(  a rift that was to take over 30 years to mend  :'(

Other books in her collection were about myth and folklore, Readers Digest books about ancient civilizations, Egypt, Greece, Romans, Vikings, The Aztecs, The Incans, The Mayans, books about early African spirtuality, Aboriginal "dreamtime,"  lots of that kind of thing...  historical, factual, reference material...
and plenty of early Scandanavian stuff about trolls, fairy tales, witch stories, elves, goblins, all the usual suspects  :) 
There was one she had, I can't recall the title, or author again, but I remember it was all about journeying, shamanic style...  found it absolutely "couldn't put it down"  ::) 
SO wish I could find it again.   :'(  I'm sure it'll turn up one day if it's meant to be, it'll find me   ;) :D

I also read Margot Adlerís "Drawing Down the Moon"   :)   
I got it from the local library,  ::)  and the lady who checked it out for me grabbed the crucifix hanging around her neck, and made the sign of the cross  ::)  :)

I also read "Witchcraft Today" by Gerald Gardner   :good:  Another of GrandMas "forbidden" collection   :)
and something fairly early by Alex Sanders, but sorry, I don't recall it's name.   :(  It had a picture on the front of skyclad ritual going on, around a bale fire  :)
I still have both these packed away somewhere in a box in the loft,  :)  I guess it might be good to go dig them out sometime and re-read them  :good:

My Mother In Law gifted me the Hindu "Bhagavad Gita" which has some beautiful images in it   :good: 
Very good if the Hindu way calls to you at all   :)

she also gave me a book about the "Carmina Gadelica" but I can't recall the title or who wrote it, but it spurred me on to find out more about it via some private study, although Christian, it contains a lot of what I perceive to be nature based stuff which I feel has Pagan subtexts running throughout   ;) :D

I remember one of the first I ever bought was Principles of Paganism by Vivianne Crowley   :) 
That was pretty good for an overview of the Pagan "scene" at the time, a bit dated now, but still has some "golden nuggets" contained within it's pages   :)

I also bought Crystal Bible 1 and 2 by Judy Hall, her "crystals of the zodiac" and her "crystal prescriptions", and her "Psychic Protection"   :clap: :clap: :clap: 
sadly I find her more recent works not so good   :(

I bought A Compendium of Herbal Magick by Paul Beyerl - which I think is a fantastic book, and doesn't get the recognition it deserves   ;D
I would like to get the follow-up "companion to" one he did if I ever come across it at a time when I have the cash available.   :)

I bought Scott Cunninghams "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" and "Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic"   ;D :good:
Some say his work is a bit...  simplistic, or "soft" but I loved it   :)

I borrowed my Mother-In-Laws Rae Beth book which I think was called something like "witch alone" I think, but I'm not too sure about that...  it was written in the form of letters going back and fourth between herself and somebody else, couldn't get "into" it, so gave it back half read  :cooler:   
Same with something by StarHawk...  think it had spiral in the title somewhere and was about "reclaiming" - not my cup of tea, I'm afraid, but I understand she is loved by many   :)

I did enjoy the books my Mother-In-Law loaned me by Caitlin Matthews, along the lines of Celtic Shamanism... sorry I don't recall the title, my head is terrible for retaining such facts but I find her work fascinating, some of it I take with my own "pinch of salt" mind   ;) 

She also loaned me something by Pete Jennings about Old English stuff Saxon Heathen etc 
It was ok but a bit... "dry" and "heavy going" didn't feel it called to me much

Same with the Druids book by Piggot   ::) :fedup:

I also began buying Llewellyn's Magical Almanacs year after year - wouldn't be without them, although one has to bare in mind the changes in time zones as it's USA based.   :)  The authors they get to write the other bits apart from the actual almanac are a varied bunch of leaned folks, there's alwasy something new going on and a great way to get a "feel" for the Pagan path from lots of different angles   :)  Plus if you are anything like me, I don't get out of bed without consulting starlore on a daily basis so therefore something of my "bible" on that score   ;D :good:

Love Emma Restall Orr's "Living Druidry", "Living with Honour", still trying to read her "kissing the hag"   :)  can't find the time yet...

Enjoyed The Rebirth of Druidry by Philip Carr-Gomm which I have on loan from my friend  :)  must remember to give it her back soon  :-[ :D

Really love Kris Hughes "Cauldron Born", especially as he signed it for me   :)  looking forward to getting some more of his work later this year when Birthday prezzie cash comes my way if the fates are kind   :)

Better stop now or I'll be boring you   :-[ :D





The witches way is to find a way!

Offline Lily

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 06:15:38 PM »
Gah my book list has become even longer now  :))
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Amanda1983

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 06:51:20 PM »
You've listed so many amazing sounding books there MoonCrone! I'm definitely going to look into some of them!

I was drawn to paganism at quite a young age, although then I didn't realise it. When I was a kid I was told the story of cerridwen and taliesin and about Arianrhod. This was by my farther, he isn't pagan but he loves so many traditions and ethics displayed by people following paganism I think it'd be a perfect path for him :) Anyway, naturally I was told about Merlin and King Arthur all entertaining stories and completely mesmerising for a child. I took it upon myself too read a book about Albion and because it was mentioned so much I then read another book about druidry. I couldn't begin to tell you an author or title, it was about 20 years ago so it's long left my memory :)  I've always been drawn to Celtic traditions but I'm also drawn to witchcraft. I do use runes but I know there is still learning to be done there. I'd love to know more about herbs also setting up an altar and casting spells.

I'm not sure if that's a particularly odd way to be introduced to paganism but there was something in the stories and connecting to the earth that sounded wonderful and spoke to something inside me. In my decades of being 'odd' since childhood I've learnt what I'm sensitive to and the things I notice that the 'normals' don't. So, now I tell my son the lovely stories I was told :)

So, that's what speaks to me, if any sense can be made from that? Sometimes people ask what tradition or path I follow and the answer is always, I don't know :D

Offline Moonshadow

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 08:12:00 PM »
The book that started my interest in witchcraft was an unusual one Amanda, Wuthering Heights, I was only about ten when I read a mini version of it in a girls comic and begged my mum to buy me the book. It gave me a love of nature and moors that has lasted all my life and I was fascinated by the mention of spirits and witchcraft  :)
People always want to put a label around your neck, sometimes if I don't feel like explaining myself I have been asked if I am Wiccan and just said yes, other times I just say I am a follower of The Old Ones.
Over the years I have read many books on all different paths of paganism, just because I find them interesting even though they might not be for me.
Always follow the path of your heart. X

Jehra

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 08:19:33 PM »
I can't improve on Mooncrone slist or the advice on any one elses post other than to say with a bit of a blush...go read my workshops and other articles for a general feel of 'stuff' which should give you a broad spectrum of ideas and perhaps also some guidelines on making sure your safe when having a go at something new :)
Both Fingal (who is my ancient mariner ' when it comes to delving into historical and often wide reaching ideas and information and Mooncrone, post on here with deeper insights into various aspects of our pagan world and Darkmere posted a huge amount of information personally garnered all of which is helpful. Personally I would save myself a load of dosh by rooting through this website first then hit Gutenberg and Sacred-text for a boat load of free e books THEN when your ready...start buying your library.

I keep a lot of e books now and previously i waded through local libraries and took notes that ended up as a huge box of info I now no longer keep simply because it is pointless. Most of what you read is the affirmation of other peoples works so I try to find the earliest recordings of something then go tot he library and pick out the latest of the same subject and copare notes..99 percent of the time its the same stuff reworded....when it is original then I feel happy and take notes again and then do my own research.

One day I will write a book.until then all my stuff ends up here :)

Offline Lily

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 08:48:09 PM »
I can't improve on Mooncrone slist or the advice on any one elses post other than to say with a bit of a blush...go read my workshops and other articles

Oh my goodness I can't believe I didn't think to mention Jehra's workshops  :o   :-[ There is so much fantastic information in that section. These forums, and the Pagan Heart website itself, are full of stuff.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Offline Moonshadow

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 10:42:16 PM »
Same here Lily, I read them all and always mention them in my welcome message. Of course our forum is full of wonderful info  :)
Always follow the path of your heart. X

Jehra

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 12:27:04 AM »
give over guys  :-[ my twiddles and ramblings are just to make people feel at ease :) I try to keep it simple so as not to confuse issues but then sometimes I get carried away and go all technical lol but thank you anyways :D

Amanda1983

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Re: Book Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2015, 03:08:31 PM »
I've been meaning to reply since last night, my brain has been in trauma with post Christmas coursework though so I forgot :)

Thank you Jehra, I'll definitely read through your works. I've read a few bits already, you're a wealth of information. I'm trying to whittle down the things I'm interested in so I can research one at a time. I'm terrible for wanting to know everything all at once when it's something I'm really interested in.

I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into my reading. Thank you everyone for the suggestions :)