Beyond Wicca 101: TOP 25 Witchcraft Books to Advance Your Craft
Ready to advance your craft? Maybe you’ve been reading beginner witch books and wiccan books for the past year or more. Maybe you’re ready to further your knowledge and practice. I’m here to tell you there’s more to the craft and the old religion than just the information in the Wicca 101 books. You’ve read the Cunningham and Ravenwolf books, time to move forward. The advanced witchcraft books might not be labeled as “witchcraft books” or “Wiccan books” but they’re waiting for you nonetheless. Here are my top 25 witchcraft books to take your craft to the next level!.
TOP 25 Witchcraft Books to Advance Your Craft
I’m breaking up my book recommendations in sections so that you can easily find what subject you’d like to focus on. I recommend picking a topic and reading all there is to know about it, as well as practicing it day in and day out. Once you’ve mastered that topic, move on to the next. The craft is ALL about learning something new, retaining that knowledge, and then weaving it into your practice the rest of your life.
Ancestor Witchcraft Books
1. The Mighty Dead by Christopher Penczak
In my humble opinion, there’s not enough emphasis on ancestors in the craft or in Wicca. And ancestors are incredibly important as Christopher Penczak demonstrates in The Mighty Dead. In this particular book, Penczak puts major emphasis on invoking the ancestors of the craft, specifically, not just our own blood ancestors. The ancestors of the craft are the witches, wizards, and magic people who came before us and paved our way. An excellent read for those wanting to move beyond Wicca 101.
2. Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes
If you haven’t done your DNA through 23andMe, I recommend it for this one reason – if you’re a woman, you can find out your maternal haplogroup. This information coincides nicely with Bryan Sykes’ DNA research of the Seven Daughters of Eve – seven “clan mothers” proven to have lived 15,000 to 45,000 years ago in Europe. If you have European ancestry, you descend from one of these 7 clan mothers! It really puts primal ancestry into perspective and makes it a tangible part of your witchcraft practice. Get this book and do your DNA.
3. Saxons, Vikings and Celts by Bryan Sykes
Are you sensing a theme here? Diving into your ancestral roots will bring your beginner witchcraft practice to a whole new level. If you have European ancestry (again), check out Sykes’ other book on the origins of Saxons, Vikings, and Celts and how they all meld together.
Other Ancestral Recommendations: If none of these appeal to you, please search out books on the history and beliefs of your ancestors.
Folklore Witchcraft Books
4. The Silver Bullet, and Other American Witch Tales by Hubert J. Davis
Folklore is readily glanced over in the realm of witch books recommendations, and it’s a SAD thing! Folklore offers us and our practice so much. We not only get a sneak peek into the past, into what our ancestors believed before us, but we also get a chance to become inspired by folklore. To weave some of the past into our modern day practices! Want to learn what a real witch ball was in Appalachia in the late 1800s? Read The Silver Bullet, my FAVORITE witch lore book on the market (compiled in the early 1900s).
5. The Encyclopedia of Norse and Germanic Folklore, Mythology, and Magic by Claude Lecouteux
Perhaps one of my favorite folklorists of all time is Claude Lecouteux. A French man with a passion for European folklore of old, Lecouteux’s work is reminiscent of Jacob Grimm’s work, but goes far in depth with each subject at hand. The Encyclopedia of Norse and Germanic Folklore reads like an encyclopedia, but if you have any interest in learning about Norse or Germanic mythologic creatures, gods and goddesses, and traditions, you’ll want to have this book on your shelf for entertainment and reference.
6. Teutonic Mythology (Volumes 1-4) by Jacob Grimm
Yes, the Grimm Brothers wrote Fairy Tales, but did you know Jacob Grimm was a scholar on Germanic folklore too? People think of fairy tales and they think of Disney, but those fairy tales were once dark, raw bits of folklore that Jacob Grimm and his brother compiled a hundred or more years ago. In addition to the Fairy Tales, Jacob Grimm wrote my favorite work – Teutonic Mythology. In this four volume set, you’ll read about the fairy tale creatures in Germany, the forgotten goddesses like Eostre and Berchta, the Wild Hunt and its leaders Wotan and Berchtold, the Devil in German folklore and more!
Divination Witchcraft Books
7. Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson
Looking to expand your knowledge and use of the elder furthark runes? I highly recommend Edred Thorsson’s book. Not only does he detail the magical associations with each rune, he elaborates on the mythology and origins of each rune which I feel is KEY to fully understanding the sacredness of the runes. He also gives stadhas (power positioning) to help learn each rune and take it into one’s physical being.
8. Palm Reading for Beginners by Richard Webster
One of my favorite forms of divination is palmistry, and Richard Webster does an amazing job of teaching the basics. While we are not beginner witches anymore, we will always be a beginner at something. If you’d like to learn how to read palms, read Webster’s book, take notes, and practice on your friends and family.
Advanced Witchcraft Books
9. Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher by Edain McCoy
Edain McCoy is a wonderful author of books on witchcraft and in 2004 she published this gem on Advanced Witchcraft. If you’ve already learned how to make a BOS, how to celebrate the sabbats and esbats, and how to cast basic spells, this book is for you. Edain goes over how to practice shadow work, how to work with familiars, and discusses how to banish and heal from an advanced level. Definitely a read worth picking up!
10. Power of the Witch by Laurie Cabot
Some might say this is a book for beginners, but I beg to differ. The information particularly on getting into an “alpha state” of mind for magick and ritual is perfect for anyone who wants to take their rituals to the next level. Maybe you struggle with concentrating during ritual. Maybe you don’t know how to get into the right state of mind to make things happen. Cabot teaches how to get into an alpha state in this book, making it an invaluable read for those advancing their craft.
11. Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda
Learning to advance in the world of witchcraft means learning how to cross the hedge into the other realms. This is a purely shamanic practice and one that is written about at length in Castaneda’s books. My favorite is Journey to Ixtlan where Carlos Castaneda initially meets the Yacqi shaman Juan Matus. Yes, this book talks of using psychotropic plants to view separate realities than ours. Don’t take that as an invitation from me, just read it and extract the useful information with a grain of salt.
12. Awakening to the Spirit World by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman
“Awakening to the Spirit World takes you through each step of developing a personal connection with your helping spirits to receive wisdom, insight, and healing energy.” Starting to dive into close relationships with your spirit allies? Want to go deeper into the other realms but be protected at the same time? Want to learn how to heal and work with your creative side in order to achieve goals? This book is for you.
13. Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
No one has a better grasp on animal signs and omens than Ted Andrews. I’ve yet to find a more exhaustive and accurate book on divine animal messages. I constantly get asked about animals signs and omens, but the truth is – this book taught me at least half of what I know. If you want to learn how to accurately read nature signs and omens to convey messages from the other side, get this book.
Witchcraft Fairy Books
14. Meeting the Other Crowd by Carolyn Eve Green and Edmund Lenihan
Why is learning about fairies and elementals important? If you follow any form of European paganism or witchcraft, MUCH of the fairy folklore and beliefs were essential to our ancestors for hundreds of years. Meeting the Other Crowd dives into experiences of people who have seen the “good folk” or fairies and demonstrates the importance of the good folk to the earth and to our lives.
15. A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk by Edain McCoy
My absolute favorite guide to fairies is written by Edain McCoy. She gives helpful pointers in the beginning of the book about how to invite benevolent fairies to your space and how to protect yourself from the malevolent fairies. The best part of the book is the Encyclopedia of fairies in the second half. I’ve had this book for years and it still sits on my shelf to be used as a reference from time to time. With Edain’s help, I’ve been able to identify numerous elementals I’ve had experience with over my lifetime.
16. Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by WB Yeats
There’s something about the older books on fairies that seem more authentic. Some of the fairy books today convey a sense of “fantasy”, whereas the older books on fairies like those written by Yeats, seem more real. More raw. Is this because people back then had a better understanding of the fay moreso than people today? I don’t know but I do know Yeats’ work should be read by anyone interested in diving deep into fairy lore. In addition to fairies, Yeats also details stories about shapeshifting witches. This book is cheap as an e-book…I think I paid 2 dollars!
17. Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by WY Evans-Wentz
Another older fairy book, written in the early nineteen-hundreds, and one similar to Yeats’ work. Evans-Wentz goes beyond the Irish tales and details fairy encounters and stories from all over the countrysides of Wales, Brittany, Scotland, Ireland, and Cornwall (among others). He solidifies the theory that fairies weren’t just a mere whim of fantasy to our ancestors – they were a part of their faith. Some tales are frightening – others are happy-go-lucky but ALL are amusing.
God and Goddess Books
18. Feast of the Morrigan by Christopher Penczak
Have you immersed yourself in god and goddess knowledge yet? Whether you have a matron goddess or patron god doesn’t matter. Reading detailed witchcraft books on certain gods and goddesses will help further your spiritual knowledge and craft. The Morrighan is a somewhat popular goddess to modern day witches and pagans. Learn why in Christopher Penczak’s book.
19. Hekate Liminal Rites by David Rankine and Sorita d’Este
Another somewhat popular goddess in the modern Wiccan world is Hekate (Hecate). Sorita d’Este writes alongside David Rankine in this 5-star-rated book honoring the mysterious origins of the pre-Greek goddess Hecate. In addition to learning the origins of this goddess, you’ll also learn how to work with her at the crossroads and how to make charms with her energy.
20. Pagan Portals: Pan Dark Lord of the Forest by Melusine Draco
For all the forest witches out there – time to learn of the dark lord of the forest, Pan. Melusine Draco takes us on a journey into the dark woods to encounter Pan. If you’ve ever been intrigued by forest spirits and green witchery, now’s your chance to align with one of the most well-known and omnipresent forest gods.
21. Thoth: The History of the Ancient Egyptian God of Wisdom by Lesley Jackson
One of the first patron gods I worked with was Thoth. He taught me much about the ancient wisdom now lost to the modern world. He also provided me with the drive to write about all things occult and prompted me to look into otherworldly origins of human beings. Lesley Jackson’s book is an in-depth look at the ancient Egyptian god of mathematics, writing, wisdom, magic and more.
Hoodoo & Folk Magic Books
22. Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode
If you’re interested in learning hoodoo, conjure, or root magic, start here with Catherine Yronwode’s book. If you need information on the magical properties of herbs, roots, animal curios, and minerals this book has it all. Keep in mind the magical properties might differ from Wiccan or other traditions because hoodoo is an African-American form of folk magic. In addition, Yronwode gives spells, charms, and other bits of useful magical info.
23. Pow Wows or the Long Lost Friend by John George Hohman and JJ Hitt
Ever heard of pow wow magic? It’s not Native American as it sounds. It’s actually a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk magic commonly practiced in nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Pow Wows is a book of compilated Pennsylvania Dutch remedies to common illnesses and charms to find lost objects, water, etc. If you’re interested in American folk magic, don’t pass up the opportunity to read this intriguing bit of Americana. You can get it cheap on Amazon or free at sacred-texts.com.
24. The Black Folder: Personal Communications on the Mastery of Hoodoo by Catherine Yronwode
If you enjoyed Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Yronwode, the black folder ups the ante. This book is actually a compendium of flyers, brochures, and teaching materials that have been compiled over the years by the Lucky Mojo Curio Company. The information is presented by various conjure folk and experts from all over the world including: Sister Robin Petersen, Valentina Burton, Catherine Yronwode, Conjureman Ali, and Deacon Millett.
25. Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph
I preach this book in nearly every article I write on books. Vance Randolph collected stories from all over the Ozark Mountain region of the United States back in the early half of the twentieth century. Information includes tales on yarb doctors, granny women and shapeshifting witches. As well as weather, animal, and common household superstitions. I’ve used this book for years as reference for my practice and writing.