I’ve made a lot of blog posts and videos in the past about favorite books: advanced books, beginner books, books for people interested in taking things in a new direction, classics I think everyone should read, and books that I’ve got in my personal to-be-read pile. But I was recently asked to share my thoughts on which recent releases were important, or would have an impact for people exploring witchcraft right now. In other words, if you couldn’t recommend anything written more than two or so years ago, what would you pick?
We’re lucky today, because there are so many exciting new books coming out all the time. It can often be difficult to choose (and if you don’t have to choose, please read them all)!
I decided to limit myself to four, but then threw my own book in at the end as a fifth, because I wrote it to do something very specific, and I believe that thing is important.
The video below goes into more detail, but I know some of you prefer a list, so here you go:
Psychic Witch by Mat Auryn
Too often we get so caught up in the outer practice of witchcraft that we fail to appreciate how important it is to learn the basics. That cornerstone of magical practice that doesn’t even require tools: psychic ability. Mat is an approachable new voice, and this book is applicable for all kinds of witches. There are almost 100 exercises, and all of them are legit useful no matter where you decide to go next in your practice.
Transformative Witchcraft by Jason Mankey
Few popular Pagan writers can match Jason’s skill as a researcher and storyteller. It’s crazy how much this guy knows! This book is awesome because it delves into some of the things that you’ll see over and over again in other books (the great rite, drawing down the moon, raising power, etc) but that don’t really ever get explained in detail. Have you ever read a ritual on paper that told you to raise a cone of power or draw down the moon, and you thought, “How the hell do I do that?” Then this book is for you. The history section alone is worth the cover price.
What is Remembered Lives by Phoenix LeFaeDevotion is central to my practice as a witch. I may have come for the spells and the spooky tools as a young teenager, but I stayed because of the gods, the spirits, and the relationships I was building in other realms. I’m pleased to see that more books are coming out that take these relationships seriously, but Phoenix really brings it home, discussing deities, ancestor work, spirts, and the Fae with a level of care that is often missing.
What We Knew in the Night by Raven Grimassi
The final book before Grimassi’s death in 2019 (and released afterward), this book would be well-received by beginners as well as more experienced practitioners. Raven has always had a romantic, inspiring way of approaching witchcraft, and I think this book brings back a lot of the beauty and mystery that we sometimes lose as we become more critical in our approach to magic. This book is about what Raven sees as the Old Ways—the spiritual thread that we sometimes drop as we become so focused on personalizing things. Here is encouragement to look to the past and discover a spiritual history that I think many of us need to be reminded of from time to time (or introduced to for the first time).
Traditional Wicca by Thorn Mooney
Okay, so it’s my favorite because I wrote it, but I wrote it to meet a need I saw in my own communities. It started because I was a young covenleader who didn’t have a single book that I could recommend to the people who would approach me and ask about initiatory, coven-based Wicca. I knew that people weren’t really reading some of the classics I would recommend, because they found them difficult, lengthy, or unrelatable. I wanted something clear, easy, and contemporary. Our community just doesn’t look the same as it did in the fifties, the seventies, or even the nineties, and I wanted to give seekers a stepping stone to that older material, as well as practical guidance for actually finding a coven and figuring out if this path is for them.
What books would you choose from the last couple of years? Are there any upcoming releases you’re looking forward to? Let me and the rest of your fellow bookworms know in the comments below.