Celtic Witch Books: Our 15+ MUST-READS from Myth to Magick
To be a Celtic witch means to weave pagan Celtic spirituality and magick into your witchcraft practice. If you’re interested in adding Celtic myth and magick to your witchcraft path, here are our favorite Celtic witch books including Celtic mythology, Wicca, folklore and fairy magick.
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Celtic Mythology Books for the Celtic Witch
Before we get started, we’d like to say…you don’t have to follow a specific tradition or be in a certain coven to consider yourself a Celtic witch. You just have to feel it in your heart. Solitary witches are literally everywhere…and we follow our own rules and walk our own paths. Many of us feel drawn to the Celtic path of old. So come and walk the path alongside of me in spirit…
1. Celtic Myth & Magick
The late Edain McCoy is one of my favorite Wiccan and Witchcraft authors and with good reason. She makes Celtic spirituality and deities simple to understand and integrate in her book Celtic Myth and Magick. While it is a thick book, the way Edain breaks down the concepts is modern and helpful for any Celtic witch. In addition, there are Celtic deities and heroes in her book I’ve never come across in my years of study.
2. Element Encyclopedia of Celts
A handy reference to have in your Celtic witch’s library. Everything from Celtic holidays to Celtic heroes and historical information. If you want to learn how to be a Celtic witch and have a quick reference guide, this book is it! Keep in mind, some of it is a little biased so read it with a grain of salt and back it up with other Celtic resources.
3. The Mabinogi
One of the traditional, original pieces of Celtic Welsh mythology is The Mabinogi. Be ready for a heavy read, though – these are all Celtic myths. But if you’re a Celtic witch, it’s crucial to understand tales from the Celtic past. Rhiannon and Blodeuwedd (popular modern goddesses) make debut appearances in The Mabinogi.
4. The Four Cycles of Irish Mythology
Another important collection of Celtic mythology every Celtic witch should read is The Four Cycles of Irish Mythology. The Four Cycles include: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the Historical Cycle. If you want to know about Ireland’s pagan Celtic past, this is the collection to read (though it will take you some time to get through it, it’s worth it!)
5. Arthurian Magic: A Practical Guide to the Wisdom of Camelot
Though not necessarily considered “Celtic”, the Arthurian legends play a large part in England’s mythological past. And because England was once ruled by the Celts, it’s thought much of the Arthurian legends reflect even older Celtic legends and deities. This is a BIG book but a great one to add to the Celtic witch’s book collection.
6. Celtic Cosmology And the Otherworld by Sharon Paice MacLeod
I’m currently in the middle of reading this gem as I type this. At first, the scholarly wording with introductions and conclusionary paragraphs was a bit much for me. However, I pushed through and came back to it. And I’m SO glad I did! I’ve learned things about the Celtic cosmology, deities, mythology, and even the ancient Celts way of life that I NEVER knew or heard of before. I particularly like the chapter on the Celtic sabbats and the traditions held in ancient times. You won’t find this information much anywhere else.
Fairy and Folklore Books for the Celtic Witch
7. Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry
One of the first fairy folklore books I read was Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by WB Yeats. Yeats is mostly known for his poetry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but he was also interested in the occult and Celtic customs. Every Celtic witch should read Yeats’ folk tales.
8. A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk
A staple in my witchy library, A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk by Edain McCoy has been in my possession since I was 16. I recommend it to every one interested in working with the faery realm. There’s an encyclopedia of fairies, as well as ways to work with them and ways to protect yourself from malevolent faeries. A must-have book for the Celtic witch.
9. Carmina Gadelica
We’ve talked about Irish, English and Welsh Celtic mythology and folk tales, but what about Scottish? The Carmina Gadelica is a lovely collection of poems, incantations and tales of the Scottish variety. Much of it has a Christian tone; however, the more you read the more you realize these volumes are filled with incantations, charms, and remedies of an older, magical nature. You’ll see a lot of the “bride” mentioned throughout, which seems to be the Christian concept of the “bride” of Christ. Yet scholars and pagans believe it actually refers to Brigid, an ancient Celtic goddess of Scotland and Ireland. Read it for free here.
Celtic Magick and Witchcraft Books
10. Celtic Magic
DJ Conway provides the Celtic witch beginner with an overview of ancient Celtic traditions as well as Celtic deities. And how you can work with them in your witchcraft practice with spells, rituals, and meditations.
11. Fire in the Head
These days everyone gets up in arms when the word “shamanism” is used in reference to anything other than Siberian shamanism. Take the offense to the word out and you have an incredibly well-written book by Tom Cowan on the esoteric aspects of Celtic mythology and how to use it in spiritual journeying and healing. A must for the modern pagan.
12. By Oak, Ash and Thorn
Another well-written Celtic witchcraft book by DJ Conway focused mainly on esoteric “shamanic” concepts like shapeshifting, soul retrieval, the ogham and Celtic herbs. I read this book when I was very young and didn’t connect to it, but now that I’m older it resonates deeply.
Books on Celtic Spirituality for the Celtic Witch
13. The Mist-Filled Path
One of my favorite Celtic spirituality books is The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers and Seekers by Frank MacEowen. I’ve read this book more than once and always enjoy MacEowen’s approach to a Celtic spiritual path. If you want to learn innate natural beliefs of old Ireland and Scotland, this book is for you.
14. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
I don’t have enough good things to say about John O’Donahue’s Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom. Yes, there are mentions of the Christian god and Jesus Christ within; however, it is few and if you can set biases aside this book offers every human being a wealth of knowledge and insight. I can’t remember how many times I highlighted quotes in this book. O’Donahue examines the Celtic spirituality of the past and applies it to the modern world in a profound way.
15. Tending Brigid’s Flame
Another Celtic pagan book that I read recently is Tending Brigid’s Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone. Even if Brigid isn’t your matron goddess, you will gain something from this book. Weatherstone’s deep relationship with the Irish Celtic goddess Brigid shines through and really pulls the reader in. As a Celtic witch, it made me want to travel to Ireland in search for the goddess herself.
16. Artio and Artaois
Did you know there was a bear goddess in ancient Celtic culture? Author Andrew Anderson wrote an entire book on his experience and spiritual practice seeking and honoring the bear deities Artio and Artaois. Artio was an ancient Gallo-Roman bear goddess whose cult was once centered in what is today parts of Switzerland and Germany. Artaois is a little more obscure but still just as fascinating. If you’re drawn to bears and Celtic lore, this is your book.
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