- A Guide to Spell Writing by intrepidcrow-girl
- Candle Color Meanings from natural-magics
- Cannabis Witchcraft by intrepidcrow-girl
- Creating a Sigil by intrepidcrow-girl
- Cursing Stones from hellboundwitch
- Enchanting and Charming Items by cindernook
- How I Do Crystal Grids by gardenofthequeen
- How to Make a Curse Vessel by intrepidcrow-girl
- Important Factors to Consider when Writing a Spell by thiscrookedcrown
- Knotwork Guide by nyphele
- Magic/Sigil Circles by gardenofthequeen
- Quick Curses by intrepidcrow-girl
- Tips on Charm/Item Placement in Spellwork from natural-magics
- Watercolor Binding Technique by naturalenchantments
- Web Weaving How-to by fractalcaster
- Witches, Jars, and Burrying ‘em by thiscrookedcrown
- Witches’ Ladders by intrepidcrow-girl
by Nick Farrell
I started this game young – I was 17 and I irritated my “elders” too. But in a completely different way from the way I am irritated now. I was the eternal student. I listened and asked questions and wrote a lot down. I remembered what was told, often reminding teachers what they had said in the past, or what others had said. If I struck what I thought was a contradiction I would ask about it.
I did manage to swallow a lot of rubbish from a lot of my teachers, some of it has only be countered recently and there might be other material lying below the surface waiting to be challenged.
But the fact that the information is there at all is a testament to the patience of those who taught me, and might even have been down to my own diplomatic abilities. I might be an arrogant shit but most of the time I knew when to keep my mouth shut and be loyal to who was teaching me.
Sometimes that loyalty was rewarded and other times it was not. Sometimes a teacher would get a bee in their bonnet about me and it was time to exit. It is the way of occult groups and teachers. The most sainted occultist will always have trouble at some part of their magical career. Teachers can be unbalanced, and you should be prepared to forgive them as you would any friend. Sometimes you can become dangerous to the political games of people in a group and be knifed in such a way that you have to leave a group. Other times you have to be the one who takes the teacher to one side and point out they are off the rails (normally when the inner calls upon you for that function, your shelf life in a group is short).
But I was still taught and although I had some bad experiences with teachers there was not a single one who I would have avoided. So here are ten tips for young occultists to actually learn something. It is going to go down like a lead balloon but when you hit 50 and are still an occultist you will realise that it is right.
1. Realise you know nothing. No one aged 20 to 30 knows anything about people, life or has put in enough man hours to understand magic. If you are training at that age you are lucky and have more time to learn. Once you have a few years under your belt you will have stories to tell. But even then you still know nothing and will have something to learn. Those people you think know nothing actually have pissed off far better people than you and stopped making the same mistakes you are doing 20-50 years ago. Even Jesus did nothing meaningful before he was 30 and he was supposed to be a god.
2. Stop talking. Your theories on occultism, magic or anything are not really worth much. There will be people around you who know much more than you and they will never speak while you are talking. While you are talking you are only able to express your very limited understanding.
3. Listen. One of the things that are really good about the Internet is that you have access to teachers who know what they are doing. If they are talking listen. When you are listening and I mean really listening, you remember it all. A “lesson” might be too advanced for you now, but it will go in and not be forgotten.
4. Do not use questions to assert your own ignorance. Ask real questions related to the subject and its implications. Good teachers allow questions and debates because that is how they learn. Unquestioned teachers make emphatic statements which will have to be challenged later.
5. Realise that you are unimportant. You and your ideas will only become important when you have refined your ideas and found your “voice.” The world is full of people who think they are teachers – an occult teacher is someone who is forced into the role by circumstance and other people, you shouting “pay attention to me” disqualifies you. If you want to teach, you should never do it.
6. You can learn a lot from some real cunts. One of the thing I noticed that that me and a lot of occultists have been trained by people who have been real arseholes. They may be brilliant magicians but dealing with them requires the patience of Job. Fighting with such a person is easy – getting on with them is often the challenge of learning.
7. A good teacher does not really care what you say, they are more interested in what you do. They will be looking at your diaries to see what experiences you have had with the system they are trying to teach you. Work flat out and when you are asked show them your results.
8. You will project your weaknesses onto your teacher. Everyone does this, but the younger you are, the more likely you are going to project whatever you feel about your patents on to your teacher. Occultism is full of people who want a mother or a father figure because the relationship with their parents was so bad. When you are younger this pain is closer to the surface. If you find that the teacher is suddenly becoming your worst nightmare it might be a good idea to evaluate your relationship with your parents before taking it out on your teacher.
9. Don’t just sit there help. A teacher can teach but organising an even often requires help. Walking into a room sitting down and saying “teach me” is expected but will not earn any friends from the teacher. You might have come from an environment where you mother did everything for you, but helping put out the chairs, making the coffee, washing up is more likely to attract attention from any teacher. I don’t mean glamourous stuff, like conduction a lecture or volunteering for a ritual role – I mean the shit jobs.
10. Never challenge the leader. If a group is bad, having you mouth off about it is not going to help. If you are unable to quietly take your concerns to the leader then you have to leave. Even if you take your concerns to the leader, be aware that you might be announcing your own exit. The problem is that when you are young you are going to get hurt and diced by magical group politics by people who are a hell of a lot more clued up than you. Remember that in games like that, you are just there to make up the numbers or be cannon fodder of more mature and politically clever people – it always ends badly.
Younger people seem more likely to want to change stuff. That would be ok but a lot of it does not need to be changed. If you review all the articles written by those who think there is something wrong with the Lesser Banishing (sic) Ritual of the Pentagram they will usually be under 30.
The desire to change stuff “to keep it fresh” is a good thing, however it cannot happen as fast as younger people moot. In this I include myself because I had the urge to change stuff slowed by Chic Cicero who handled me in a very interesting way.
I had been reading Dion Fortune’s diaries where she said that a lotus wand consecration was a bad ritual because it mixed too many forces in one place. She said this broke the rule of not mixing forces in a ritual. She made her lotus wand, consecrated and never touched it again.
I pointed this out to chic and suggested that maybe the ritual needed to be changed…. perhaps it should be broken down into 12 separate rituals to keep the energy pure as DF suggested.
Chic didn’t say don’t be stupid, or the tradition is sacrosanct. He just said to do the ritual both ways and write a paper comparing the two systems.
So I did 13 versions of the rituals (12 using my new and improved workings) and came to the conclusion that DF was wrong. Not only was it desirable to mix force there was a dynamic which was missing in the shorter more numerous versions that I could not duplicate in my “improved” workings.
The point here is that by being forced to research and make a comparison I discovered that the tradition was correct. I also learned that you had to be careful what you changed because sometimes the baby came out with the bathwater.
Now I was a little older at that point than most of the young occultists I have dealt with, so I was ok about admitting I was wrong. However as a more mature adult I actually have made changes to MOAA which takes it out of the GD framework.
In the GD changing things in one grade can break things further up and no matter how clever you are as a young occultists you can’t predict what will happen further up the tree. As a result most of my changes have actually been additions rather than deletions. On the rare occasion that something was removed it was replaced by something similar.
But this is a tricky business and some of the things I would like to get rid off have had to remain because they hold a pivotal part in the complete system. Some of this is down to the actual order contact saying “NO” and if you think that dealing with old farts is bad, you should see what it is like dealing with centuries old contacts.
Spells, Spellcasting, and Sigils
Crystals and Herbs
Spirit and Astral Work
This post was last updated on 5/23/2014. Most resources are from blogs who state that they are here to teach, but if for any reason a post of yours appears here and you do not want it here, please let me know and I will remove it. I am not an expert, a professional, or a doctor of any kind. I do not promise that all this will work for you 100% of the time. I myself am still learning, but thought I would compile a list of resources I have found to be particularly helpful. (http://henthark.tumblr.com/post/86663733734/miss-mangos-secular-witchcraft-tumblr-resource)
Anonymous asked: Could you please recommend any good books on witchcraft apart from those written by scott cunninham?
windvexer answered: Yesss. Yes.
Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson. It’s basically a modern staple – read it. This book is more ceremonial than some prefer but don’t disregard it.
Witchcraft for All by Louise Huebner. I believe this lady has the right attitude about witchcraft. Enjoy.
Neolithic Shamanism by Raven Kaldera and another author who’s name escapes my memory. This book is about heathen shamanism, not witchcraft. But they have some very great concepts about energy work, dealing with spirits, and a complete ‘path’ instead of just spells and learning. It significantly evolved my craft.
Practical Sigil Magic by Frater UD. He literally wrote the book on modern sigil magic. The school of sigil magic has evolved since then, but this book is such a fast read and you can easily find it online.
Psychic Self Defense by Dion Fortune. She is an occultist, not a witch. But this book I think presents fair realities of the dangers of occultist magic (and by extension, witchcraft). Don’t put this one high on your list but read it when you can.
The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook by Robert Bruce. This is a dense book, and not a quick read. But by god he’s done his research and he doesn’t pull any punches.
Protection and Reversal Magick: Beyond 101 by Jason Miller. I highly recommend for any novice witch or those looking to improve their protection skills. A quick read, full of tons of practical information. I am a Jason Miller fangirl. Really if you had to buy any book I would recommend this one first.
The Sorcerer’s Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick by Jason Miller.Basically a book of practical magic – the title suggest that a “sorcerer” is anyone who does magic, not just witches. So it is not a witchcraft-specific book. Great though.
Financial Sorcery: Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth by Jason Miller (yes I love his books so sue me). He gives not only money spells, but explains how to use magic to hold on to money. As many witches have found, money is easy to conjure but hard to hold down.
The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells (Or, the Elemental Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells – they are the same book sold under different names) by Judika Illes.The intro to this book has great information on real modern magic, and any beginner would learn a lot from it. I find the actual spells are best used as a point of brainstorming for your own magic, although some of the formulas are very nice to have.
Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Illes. I got this book for $3 on Kindle but the price has gone up. It is an incredible reference but it really doesn’t teach you much as far as practical magic goes.
Pure Magic by Judika Illes. It is her book about spell-casting. I don’t recall anything mind-blowing about this book but if you don’t quite know where to start, give it a try. If you have read her encyclopedias you will be disappointed to find that some of the material there is just copied over, so you may not get as much new material as you would have liked.
Complete Guide to Psychic Development by Cassandra Eason – to be clear, this is a New Age book. Like, every ritual uses at least 6 candles and if any problem ever arises she recommends imagining pink clouds to take it away. However it does have solid information on different psychic abilities and clear, easy-to-follow exercises to learn and expand on psychic talents. Just cut down on the candle count at your own discretion.
As far as herbs go, hit up your local library. There should be several books on herbal medicine, gardening, and identification. Pick up on on the chemical (medicinal) properties of the plant and research!
I hope this list helps. It is very basic but I think good for a beginner.
This list has been updated over the years and will continued to be updated over time. If you re-post this elsewhere, kindly credit me because it’s taken a long time to compile what I feel are useful resources on the following topics. The very basics are covered in my FAQ.
Last updated: 8/24/2014
- A Pagan Primer — For Those New to Paganism
- Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by River and Joyce Higginbotham
- Pagan Spirituality: A Guide to Personal Transformation by River and Joyce Higginbotham
- Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler
- Connecting to the Power of Nature by Joe H. Slate
- Exploring the Pagan Path: Wisdom from the Elders (a collection of articles, essays and general commentary from various pagan authors)
- ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path by River Higginbotham and Joyce Higginbotham
- Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe by H.R. Ellis Davidson
- Wicca for the Rest of Us
- Wicca Resources
- Wicca for Beginners by Thea Sabin
- Witchcraft Today by Gerald Gardner
- The Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner
- The Spiral Dance by Starhawk (most recent edition only, old editions have inaccurate info that has since been updated)
- Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water & Earth in the Wiccan Circle by Deborah Lipp
- Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (Scott Cunningham)
- The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft by Judika Illes
- Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes
- Crone’s Book of Charms & Spells by Valerie Worth
- Witchcraft: a History by P.G. Maxwell-Stuart
- Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery by Kris Bradley
- Candle Magic for Beginners by Richard Webster
- Master Book of Candle Burning by Henry Gamache
- A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk by Peter Paddon
- Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary and Jane Cox
- Non-Wiccan Witchcraft Reading List
- Witch of Forest Grove: Sarah Anne Lawless
- Welcome to Witchcraft – A Post for Beginners
Witchcraft by Type:
- Hedge Witchery Resources
- Traditional Witchcraft Resources
- Historical Witchcraft Books
- Sea Witchcraft Resources / Sea Witchcraft Tag
- Cottage Witchcraft Resources
- Kitchen and Green Witchcraft Resources
- Green Witchcraft: Walking the Green Path
- Kitchen in the Cottage
- Urban Witchcraft Resources
- College Witchcraft/Tips
- www.sacred-texts.com (free archive of online books about religion, mythology, folklore, and the esoteric)
- Mythology: Myths, Legends and Fantasies by Alice Mills
- Illustrated Dictionary of Mythology: Heroes, Heroines, Gods, and Goddesses from Around the World by Philip Wilkinson
- The Oxford Companion to World Mythology by David Leeming
- World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide by Roy Willis
Hellenic Polytheism and Greek Mythology:
- Hellenic Recon Beginner’s Guide
- Reconstruction of Hellenic Polytheistic Practices
- Hellenic Calendar
- An Outline for a Presentation on Hellenismos
- Hellenic Resources by Bayoread
- Hellenic Resource Download Bundle 1 by Elaphos
- Hellenic Resource Download Bundle 2 by Elaphos
- Orphic Incenses
- Hellenic Terminology
- Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli
- D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire
- Old Stones, New Temples by Drew Campbell
- Greek Mythology and Prehistory by W. Harris
- The Gods of Reason by Timothy Jay Alexander
- A Beginner’s Guide to Hellenismos by Timothy Jay Alexander
- Hellenismos Today by Timothy Jay Alexander
- The Complete World of Greek Mythology by Richard Buxton
- Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? by Paul Veyne
- Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored by Sarah Kate Istra Winter
- Homer’s Iliad, The Odyssey and Homeric Hymns
- The Homeric Hymns (PDF) and The Orphic Hymns (PDF)
- Homer’s Odyssey (PDF)
- Homer’s Iliad (Theoi.com)
- Hesiod: Works and Days (PDF version here)
- The Theogony of Hesiod (PDF version here)
Magic in Ancient Greece:
- Magic in the Ancient Greek World by Derek Collins
- Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds by Daniel Ogden
- Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds by Georg Luck
- The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (PDF)
- Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion
- Greek Folk Religion by Martin P Nilsson
- Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World by John G. Gager
- Magic in the Ancient World by Fritz Graf
- Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World by Matthew W. Dickie
Kemeticism and Ancient Egyptian Mythology:
- Kemeticism by The Twisted Rope
- The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson
- Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art by Richard H. Wilkinson
- Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch
Celtic Recon and Myth:
- Celtic Folklore on Sacred Texts
- The Celtic Recon FAQ
- The Religion of the Ancient Celts (Sacred Texts)
- What is Celtic? 101
- Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael
- The Celts: A Very Short Introduction by Barry Cunliffe
- The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales by Patrick Form
- Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend by Miranda Green
- Gods and Heroes of the Celts by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt
- The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles by Ronald Hutton
- Early Irish Myths and Sagas by Jeffrey Gantz
- Druidry – A Mega List of Resources
- Non-Wiccan Witches: Modern Druidry
- Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions (Sacred Texts)
Asatru, Heathenism and Norse Mythology:
- “Alright, I’m interested in this Norse stuff. Where do I even start?”
- The Eddas: The Keys to the Msteries of the North by James Allen Chisholm (PDF)
- The Poetic Edda (PDF)
- The Prose Edda (PDF)
- Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova
- Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs by John Lindow
- Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolf Simek
- Teutonic Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie
- The Nature of Asatru: An Overview of the Ideals and Philosophy of the Indigenous Religion of Northern Europe by Mark Puryear
Crystals and Stones:
- The Encyclopedia of Crystals by Judy Hall
- The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
- Crystal Healing by Judy Hall
- Rocks & Minerals by Chris Pellant (identification handbook)
- Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham
- Crystal Grids: How and Why They Work by Hibiscus Moon
- The Book of Crystal Spells by Ember Grant
Herbal (Magical, Medicinal):
- The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl
- Compendium of Herbal Magic by Paul Beyerl
- The Green Mantle: An Investigation Into Our Lost Knowledge of Plants by Michael Jordan
- The Book of Magical Herbs: Herbal History, Mystery, & Folklore by Margaret Picton
- A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
- Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham (good for quick reference, but not in depth information)
- The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
- A List of Threatened Magical Herbs
- Resources to Start Learning Local Plants
Notes: please take care before using herbs for medicinal and/or supplemental purposes. Many herbs are toxic (some authors fail to mention this!) and/or have harmful side-effects. Always do research and consult a professional before use.
Fae and Faerie Faith:
- Resources for the Fair Folk
- Fairy Faith 101
- Working with Faery (Info and Resources)
- The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y. Evans
- Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson
- Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology by Edred Thorsson
- The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Runes by Nigel Pennick
Authors to avoid (due to misinformation, historical inaccuracies, poor research, and/or failure to cite sources):
- Silver Ravenwolf (here’s why)
- DJ Conway
- Edain McCoy
- Ann Moura
- Ralph Blum (runes)
- approach Llewellyn-published books with caution — there are some great ones, but many aren’t well researched and may contain misinformation.
- if all else fails, Google the author and ask around to see what people have to say about them – many bad authors have entire pages or discussions dedicated on why to avoid them!
- always fact check information (especially if it involves ingesting anything or putting anything on the skin — just because an ingredient is natural does not mean it isn’t harmful/toxic)
- How do I know what to believe? Critical Thinking and Pagan Books
Meditation and Yoga
- Relaxing Melodies: mix nature sounds and music
- Relaxation Companion: mix nature sounds and music
- Meditation Timer
- 360 View Anatomical Yoga Pose Guide
Botany and Gardening
Rocks, gems, and minerals
Not the real thing, but…
Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel – William Buhlman
Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light – Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
Explorations in Consciousness: A New Approach to Out-of-Body Experiences – Frederick Aardema
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming – Stephen LaBerge
Far Journeys – Robert Monroe
A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics – Dylan Tuccillo
Journeys Out of the Body – Robert Monroe
Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self – Robert Waggoner
Meditation, Transformation, And Dream Yoga – Gyatrul Rinpoche
Out-of-Body Experiences: How to Have Them and What to Expect – Robert Peterson
Realities of the Dreaming Mind: The Practice of Dream Yoga – Swami Sivananda Radha
The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep – Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Ultimate Journey – Robert Monroe
A Witch’s Travel Guide to Astral Realms – D.J. Conway
- The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
- The Magus
- The Book of Ceremonial Magic
- Sixth Book of Moses
- Seventh Book of Moses
- The Key of Solomon The King
- The Lesser Key of Solomon
- Abratel of Magick
- Grimoire of Armadel
- Grimoire of Honorius
- Grimoirium Imperium
- Grimoirum Verum
- Libellus Magicus
- The Secret Grimoire of Turiel