Saturday, 7 September 2019

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Witchcraft Introductory Books

A close up photo of a young girl's arm holding two vintage looking books, one green, one blue reading Little Book of Spells - the girl is wearing a gold and black witch's outfit with stars

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash.

Witchcraft Introductory Books

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After yesterday's post on How I Came to Study Witchcraft, today I'm going to share with you some mini reviews of the introductory books to witchcraft I've been reading.

The Little Book of Witchcraft by Astrid CarvelThe Little Book of Witchcraft by Astrid Carvel
Published: 8th June 2017 | Publisher: Summersdale
Source: Bought

Are you in need of a little magic to entice love into your life?

Maybe someone you know could benefit from a good luck spell?

Or perhaps you want to feel more in control of your destiny?

The Little Book of Witchcraft uncovers the mysteries of witchcraft and shows you how to tap into the positive natural energies of the cosmos to release your inner power. Learn about different realms of witchcraft and its fascinating history, its symbolism and the building blocks of Wicca, and how to perform simple spells to attract good energy, luck, love, health and happiness.
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

The Little Book of Witchcraft by Astrid Carvel is more of an entertainment/gift book than I realised, especially considering I read it after the Skye Alexander books below, which give a lot more information. It's a very quick read that I managed in a day, and a pretty good book for those who just want a taster, but still get some solid information. It has a great time line of witchcraft through history, and talks about a witch's tools, crystals, signs and symbols, the Sabbats, chakras, some basic spells, and advice on creating your own spells. It's also got further resources to check out if your interest has been piqued enough to find out more.

Practical Magic by Nikki Van De CarPractical Magic by Nikki Van De Car
Published: 5th September 2017 | Publisher: Running Press Adult
Source: Borrowed | Nikki Van De Car's Website

Practical Magic is a charmed introduction to the wonders of modern magic and mysticism, from crystals and astrology to chakras, dream interpretation, and, of course, a few spells!

Focusing on three primary areas -- healing, magic, and fortunetelling -- this books provides the perfect primer for sophisticated dabblers, with inviting text and spell-binding illustrations. Clear introductions on trending topics, like herbal tonics and astrological charts, are paired with home remedies, hands-on instructions, and suggested rituals in a chic, stylish format that will capture the imaginations of good witches of all ages.
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

Practical Magic by Nikki Van De Car is a good general introduction, as it talks a little about many different subjects: chakras, herbs and healing, magick and spells, horoscopes, tarot, palm reading and dreams. It is a little basic, though, and only really scratches the surface. However, it does go into more detail about chakras than The Little Book of Witchcraft, and has been the only book I've read so far that gives some insight into the meaning behind the various celestial bodies and the houses in your astrological birth chart - which has helped with what I've been reading online. It also tells you how to make healing tinctures, herbal oils, and poultices, which was interesting. I'd say it generally goes well with reading The Little Book of Witchcraft.

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft by Skye AlexanderThe Modern Guide to Witchcraft by Skye Alexander
Published: 31st July 2014 | Publisher: Adam's Media
Source: Bought | Skye Alexander's Website

Unlock your highest potential, achieve your deepest desires, and delve into the world of witchcraft.

Looking for an enchanting love potion? Want to create your own sacred space and promote good energy? The Modern Guide to Witchcraft helps you harness your own inner power so you can shape your destiny.

With the help of spellcraft expert Skye Alexander, you'll tap into your own magic and create incantations, potions, and charms. As she carefully guides you through each step of these witchcraft practices and details ways of personalizing them to your specific situation, you'll gain confidence in your own knowledge and inner force.

Once you learn to harness your natural talents as a witch, you'll discover that a whole new world of possibilities exists.
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

I originally had mixed feelings about The Modern Guide to Witchcraft by Skye Alexander. It's very thorough and provides a lot of information about the history of witchcraft, background into various types of witchcraft, how to create sacred space and cast a circle, the importance of an altar, lots of info regarding the Goddess and God, and deities, the various tools a witch may use and why, plus quite a lot of various spells for you to try out.

But it also made me slightly uncomfortable in that I came to realise that some witches can be quite culturally appropriative. It talks about how you can invoke Gods and Goddesses from various cultures, and it discussed practicing voudon and shamanism, and other practices belonging to other cultures. While learning about them was interesting, I was a little disturbed by the idea that any witch can just pick and choose from other cultures what speaks to them. And then there's the fact that while it says a witch can be secular, and not believe in in the Goddess, God and deities - which is where I'm at - they were all involved in pretty much every aspect of witchcraft discussed. I've done more reading since reading this book, so I know I can adapt things as needed for myself, but it did feel very rooted in a particular kind of path, and so I kind of felt like I didn't quite fit.

Saying all that, I have since dipped in and out of The Modern Guide to Witchcraft for certain information I want to include in my grimoire, and it is hugely helpful, generally. It's definitely a good, thorough introduction. If you can read with a mind of ignoring everything to do with cultural appropriation and choosing to practice differently, then I'd recommend it. But if you're likely to be hurt by it, then maybe steer clear.

The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire by Skye AlexanderThe Modern Witchcraft Grimoire by Skye Alexander
Published: 1st August 2016 | Publisher: Adams Media
Source: Bought | Skye Alexander's Website

Discover the Power of the Grimoire!

A grimoire records your personal journey through the world of magick. It's where you record your favorite spells, chronicle your magical developments, and keep your most treasured secrets. And now, Skye Alexander, spellcraft expert and author of The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, teaches you how to create your own.

First, you'll learn the importance and history of the witch's grimoire. Then, you'll go step by step through the process of putting together your very own book. From selecting spells to blessing your grimoire, you will be able to personalize your book of shadows and tailor it to your specific powers.

With your own grimoire in hand, you'll be ready to continue your journey in learning the craft.
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

I was actually quite disappointed with The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire by Skye Alexander. I started reading it after finishing The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, and after finishing the first section with great info about what a grimoire/book of shadows is, why a witch requires one, how to choose or make one, and how you may want to organise it, the second section basically repeated a whole lot of what I read in The Modern Guide to Witchcraft - sometimes word for word. This book could have been a hell of a lot shorter, in my opinion - and yet, I guess maybe some of this information is actually really important, and if you hadn't yet read The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, then it's probably useful, but I was just reading a lot of what I had already just read.

Saying that, it did talk about symbols and sigils, runes, dreams, and occasionally built upon the information provided in the first book on crystals, for example. So again, I have dipped in and out of it since reading, to gather the information I want to include in my own grimoire (correspondences for planets, days of the week, moon signs, moon phases, colours, crystals, numbers, etc.). But I am quite wary of buying any more books by Alexander in this series specifically to do with witchcraft - she has also written The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book and The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells. If I had to choose between the two books I'd say maybe buy The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, but there are a few elements that are in one and not the other.

However, her writing, the depth of information, and how easy she is to understand has led me to order her The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot - I have a few books on tarot that I've been reading, but have been finding it difficult, so I'm hoping Alexander will help here.


So those are my mini reviews! I have read/am reading a few other books that I will be writing full length reviews for that I'll intersperse throughout my other YA reviews, so there aren't just witchcraft book reviews week after week for those who aren't interested. But I'm really excited to share my thoughts on the other books I've been reading, because they're pretty awesome.

Just before I end, if anyone is interested in learning more, I highly recommend visiting websites The Witch of Lupine Hollow and Lavender Moon. Both sites have been really helpful to me, especially when the books I've read are talking about things that don't particular fit with my beliefs - especially The Witch of Lupine Hollow, who very much focuses on witch's find their own spiritual path that's right for them. Definitely check them out if you're interested.

You may also like:

How I Came to Study Witchcraft

Over to you graphic

Will you be picking up any of the books above? Have you read them already? What did you think? Are there any other books you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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