Someone recently asked what everyone’s favorite spell book was. This is so easy for me. I think the Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes is the best spell book you can get, hands down. Runner up would be anything else by her on the subject, such as her Big Book of Practical Spells and Magic When You Need It. If someone had to buy only one spell book in their life, Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells would definitely be my recommendation.
It covers almost every subject that you would want a spell on and contains spells that are new, old, and even ancient. The spells come from all around the world, which makes it even cooler. I’m typically not a huge fan of doing spells others have created, as there’s always something impersonal feeling about it, but this book gives such a comprehensive array of ideas of how different spells look, the main ideas behind them, and common spell elements for common themes. The book is such a valuable resource, that it’s inspired so much of my own spell-crafting and is sure to inspire any one else’s.
It’s also great when you’re unsure how to solve a certain situation and want to see what others have done for that topic from a credible source. The fact that it’s sort of like a cookbook (reminiscent of the Joy of Cooking) makes it such an easy to use and browse reference book. The book is so much more than just a huge compilation of spells though, it’s also a really good guide on how to cast spells, using magickal tools, ritual techniques, magickal theory to ensure that you have a strong understanding of how to effectively cast a spell. The formulary near the end of the book for oils, incense, waters, colognes, and inks would be worth buying the book alone for – as there’s some formulas that I’ve never seen in any other book.