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Author Topic: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books  (Read 3489 times)

Alice

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Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« on: June 03, 2015, 11:22:02 am »
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?

Freesia

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 09:52:06 pm »
Quote from: Alice;175735
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?

 
I'm with you. It is really hard to find resources that aren't Wicca based. I just recently got Joyce and River Higginbotham's book "Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions." I wish I had found this book last year. I haven't done all the exercises yet. The book is for people who need to figure out what type of Pagan they are and get them on a personal path. It is spiritual based rather than magical/ritual based. I like this because I really didn't need another book explaining the Wheel of the Year.

I've heard that Christopher Penzak's "Inner Temple of Witchcraft" is a really good place to start. I have seen some good reviews on youtube. If you go to youtube and type in "pagan book recommendations/reviews" you will get a lot of videos. Always look up authors before buying books so you get a sense of the person and some of their academic and personal histories. Also check out the indexes of the books before purchase so you see who the author is sourcing. I have seen a lot of new books that are just rehashing Scott Cunningham. If the content interests you than just get Cunningham's books; they may be older, but at least they're tested.

I have "Condensed Chaos" and "Prime Chaos." I haven't read "Condensed Chaos" since high school. That copy disappeared along with my comic books and other Pagan/occult books (still crying). I had to get them on principal. Don't leave anything behind when you move out of any place; roommates, ex-boy/girlfriends, and parents are not to be trusted.  

I am heading into a Druid direction so the next book I get will probably be Greer's Druid's Handbook. Or I may breakdown and get Buckland's Big Blue Book since my old copy still hasn't resurfaced. I also got his "Candle-burning Rituals" just recently.

Good luck.

RandallS

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 07:51:51 am »
Quote from: Alice;175735
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?

I always recommend Paul Huson's Mastering Witchcraft.
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Demophon

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 08:32:31 am »
Quote from: Alice;175735
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?

 
What kind of witchcraft are you looking for? There's not really a unified definition of what witchcraft actually is, and no evidence of a historical tradition of witchcraft before Wicca. As has been pointed out elsewhere, a lot of "traditional witchcraft" is just modified Gardnerian Craft with things like the Rede taken out (which isn't a major part of BTW anyway, in my understanding), or things added which someone else besides Gardner has made up. Either way, a lot of similarities remain, such as the eight sabbats, casting circles, four elements, magical work around the moon phases, a moon goddess and/or horned god, etc.

Holdasown

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 09:44:39 am »
Quote from: Alice;175735
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?

 

I reviewed one of Peter Paddon's books here: http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?7726-Book-review-for-A-Grimoire-for-Modern-Cunningfolk-by-Peter-Paddon

Liber Nox: A Traditional Witch's Gramarye by Michael Howard

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 07:09:09 pm »
Quote from: Alice;175735
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?


That depends on what you mean with the word reliable. You have to remember that there didn't exist any self-identified witches to begin with, but since the last century it does. The pellars and cunning folk didn't identify as Witches, but as Christians.

Although I am not into Witchcraft myself, I have tried to keep myself informed about what the neighbours in the spiritual landsacape are up to.

In order to peek into what Robert Cochrane and his friends practiced in the 1960's, I would recommend:
Evan John Jones with Doreen Valiente: Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed
Robert Cochrane, with Evan John Jones, Michael Howard (ed.): The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft
Evan John Jones & Robert Cochrane, Mike Howard (ed.): The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of the Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition

A more recent title on the subject, which I haven't read, is:
Shani Oates: Tubelo's Green Fire: Mythos, Ethos, Female, Male and Priestly of the Clan of Tubal Cain

If, instead, Feri Witchcraft (invented by Victor and Cora Anderson in the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's) is what you are looking for, the following may be interesting.
Victor Anderson: Thorns of the Blood Rose
Victor H. Anderson: Lilith's Garden
Victor Anderson: The Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons
Cora Anderson: Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition
T. Thorn Coyle: Evolutionary Witchcraft

Madeline Sylvia Royals adopted the pseudonym Madeline Montalban and founded a loosely organized magical organization, Order of the Morning Star, which re-evaluated Lucifer. At least Michael Howard apply the term 'Witchcraft' on its practices. For this:
Michael Howard: The Book of Fallen Angels

Slightly related books are:
Nigel Jackson: Pillars of Tubal Cain
Nigel Jackson: The Call of the Horned Piper
Nigel Jackson: Masks of Misrule

For studies on actual old British folk magic, Emma Wilby's Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic may be of interest.

In the 1990's it became popular in UK to search for alternatives to Wicca, by mixing well-attested actual authentic folkloric beliefs and practices with highly personal Chaos magic in a creative way. If that sounds interesting, perhaps the following will be interesting:
Nigel Pennick: Secrets of East Anglian Magic

There's also the books written by Andrew Chumbley, nowadays only purchaseable at second hand book sellers at ridiculous prices.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 07:33:32 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;178467

Although I am not into Witchcraft myself, I have tried to keep myself informed about what the neighbours in the spiritual landsacape are up to...


Perhaps I ought to add, that, with the exception of Wilby's book, history with standard critical methods is not the forte of these books. I doubt, however, that the intent of the books is to produce what we normally mean with 'history'. What is produced is rather foundation myths easily used for symbolical-magical purposes, than descriptions of facts. It is good to be aware of this distinction. Magical symbols are not the same as historical facts.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 08:22:01 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;178467

Madeline Sylvia Royals adopted the pseudonym Madeline Montalban and founded a loosely organized magical organization, Order of the Morning Star, which re-evaluated Lucifer. At least Michael Howard apply the term 'Witchcraft' on its practices. For this:
Michael Howard: The Book of Fallen Angels

Slightly related books are:
Nigel Jackson: Pillars of Tubal Cain
Nigel Jackson: The Call of the Horned Piper
Nigel Jackson: Masks of Misrule


When I think about it, it could probably be a good idea to supplement Howard's and Jackson's books with David Goddard's Sacred Magic of the Angels (a second edition arrived in 2011).

Darkhawk

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 08:56:27 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;178467
If, instead, Feri Witchcraft (invented by Victor and Cora Anderson in the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's) is what you are looking for, the following may be interesting.
Victor Anderson: Thorns of the Blood Rose
Victor H. Anderson: Lilith's Garden
Victor Anderson: The Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons
Cora Anderson: Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition
T. Thorn Coyle: Evolutionary Witchcraft

 
The White Wand, Anaar

Also, Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, while not Feri itself, is Feri-derived.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Mellee

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 07:09:35 pm »
Quote from: Holdasown;175788
I reviewed one of Peter Paddon's books here: http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?7726-Book-review-for-A-Grimoire-for-Modern-Cunningfolk-by-Peter-Paddon

Liber Nox: A Traditional Witch's Gramarye by Michael Howard

 
These two have been on my "to read" list for a while! As is "A Deed Without a Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft" by Lee Morgan and "The Flame in the Cauldron" by Orion Foxwood.

I just finished Gemma Gary's "Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways" which was awesome & recommended. She has several other books including "The Black Toad: West Country Witchcraft & Magic" and "The Devil’s Dozen: Thirteen Craft Rites of the Old One" - available from Troy Books.

Melusine Draco has a bunch of trad craft books that I bought in ebook form from Amazon. They're short, but cheap & have some good stuff.

Judika Iles has a bunch of encyclopedia-style books (I only own "The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells" but it's very interesting) that are worth checking out. Valerie Worth has a some spellbooks too that are good - I recommend "A Crone's Book of Spells and Charms".

And A+ for FraterB's awesome book rec post - I agree with everything he listed!

Lilirin

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Re: Not-Wiccan Witchcraft books
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 09:33:58 pm »
Quote from: Alice;175735
Hey, I'm interested in learning about witchcraft, but most of the books I find are about Wicca. Are there any reliable books on witchcraft for beginners outside of Wicca?

 
This book has some of the same scheme as Wicca, but Wicca is not ever used in it. It details avenging spells, even, and goes into the history of the occult influence. Notably Kabbalah. I recommend it to fellow Wiccans anyway but I actually obtained it from a theistic Satanist. It is old. It's called Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson.  

Another handy book is Witchcraft & Practical Magic by Susan Greenwood and Raje Airey. It is general reference and covers the history and practices of a wide range of modern systems.

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