Old Books On Magick And Witchcraft
I love witchcraft books, and I'm a collector of old books on witchcraft. I've been collecting them for several years now, ever since I've become interested in the occult and the more esoteric branches of life. I am not Wiccan though, just a person interested in learning about the craft - especially the old, original one.
You will find here many interesting listed books for a person wanting to learn the old ways of witchcraft. You can read more about books on spells, history of witchcraft including the witch trials, and so on.
Note for the Wiccan: If you are a Wiccan, you might find some of these books outrageous, too 'strong', too 'out there' or plain not aligned with your path. While Wicca is a rather newly recognized religion, withcraft (traditional withcraft) has been practiced for thousands of years.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of Wiccan books out there today, which are full of uplifting, positive spells and thoughts, staying away from anything dark, negative or otherwise uncomfortable, so if you want books for the Wiccan practitioner, may I recommend these books instead:
These are books that any modern Wiccan can read and they are sanctioned by the Wiccan community as well.
In the old times, people who were practicing witchcraft didn't have "books on witchcraft" to rely on. They were handed down everything from one generation to the other. When they were practicing witchcraft, they were in fact practicing something called 'Magick". So you will find here several books on magick, folklore, herbs, history and legends. These are the very books that were studied and followed by witches of times past, before Wicca became such a popular religion and modern path to follow.
Image credits: purchased at istockphoto.com
Al Azif: The Necronomicon
by Roger Bacon
De Nigromancia, or, Concerning the Black Art, is a Latin manuscript attributed to Roger Bacon, first appearing some time in the 16th century.
The text is concerned with Goetic summonings, especially of wraiths. Goetia is the common name for that branch of Ceremonial Magic that deals with the conjuration of infernal spirits or demons.
At Amazon currently the book can only be found as second hand, and it's not cheap either. However keep checking back as you might get it at a better price by another seller who decides to sell his own copy.
by Francis Barrett
Regardless of the Amazon ratings, The Magus is a required book for anyone interested in witchcraft, grimoires, spells and learning more about magick and the occult in general.
The Magus speaks about the natural magic of herbs and stones, magnetism; talismanic magic; alchemy and other means of creating the philosopher's stone; numerology; the elements; and biographies of famous adepts from history. Recommended reading!
Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy - by Cornelius Agrippa
The Grimoire of Armadel
Translated from a 17th century manuscript stored in Paris, this is an ancient but still useful book of popularized Christian magic. It is illustrated with intricate sigils, containing many of the important seals and sigils of the various demons and planetary spirits.
Short, but helpful, this is a must for the beginner-advanced magician, but also well-rounded for the non-denominational invocational magician or no matter what your preferences are, this book is still a must for your collection of texts and a great addition to your library of related matter.
The Call of the Horned Piper
by Nigel Aldcroft Jackson
This is quite a short book at less than 200 pages, but it is packed full of mythology of Witchcraft, legends, stories that will keep any witchcraft practitioner busy for a long time.
It is a recommended book for all students of witchcraft, being a modern classic based on hereditary witchcraft, very different from the modern term Wicca.
A "must-read" for anyone who follows oldcraft practices or who has an interest in folklore, it is one of the best books to ever properly explain and describe the beliefs and practices which are held within traditional Witchcraft.
ARADIA: Gospel of the Witches
Mastering Witchcraft - by Paul Huson
Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft
by Sir Walter Scott
The original book was first published in 1830 as written by Sir Walter Scott to his son in law about folklore, superstition, and witchcraft. If you want to learn about the history of witchcraft, about fairies, banshees, about court cases against witches from Scottland and Europe in general, you will find this book engrossing.
What is interesting is that Sir Walter Scott is coming from a rational, rather scientific background, yet this book seems to show that he did believe in the folklore tradition of the witches of the time.
Salem: A Tale of the Seventeenth Century
Caroline Rosina Derby
This is a book first published in 1874. While it is a book of fiction, it is worthwhile reading as you get a glimpse into the life in Salem of the time - a grim time indeed. It describes what Alice and other women on trial for witchcraft felt and how they went proudly with their heads high to the place of execution.
"The last terrible moment had come. The sun had climbed to the mid-heaven as if to look down upon the sacrifice, when the door of the prison was opened, and the unhappy prisoner came forth - not led forth, for the brave and dauntless old woman came out unsupported, and walking with a firm, unfaltering step."
Welcome To The Old Books On Witchcraft Guestbook! - Are you a practitioner?
Reaching_Apex on January 09, 2014:
No, but I've been wanting to read some of the books listed above and explore more witchcraft and magical practices, especially ceremonial rituals and helping others reach their own true potential - pagan, witch, or not. For the most part, I feel that positive magic is the way to go, and I feel that learning about the old ways and other religions and philosophies can help me understand and home in on my own psychic gifts, as should many who want to use it to help others in a positive manner. There's no shame in being yourself, but I've only found us psychics/witches "coming out" on reality TV and connecting online, thus far. It would be great to meet the like-minded, and even form a coven, though.
riverdark on November 10, 2013:
Ooh, a very nice selection and a couple of real rarities, De Nigromancia in particular. The Call of The Horned Piper is a new one on me and looks worthy of further investigation. I love web pages / lenses like this and look forward to .seeing what else you add here.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on October 29, 2013:
I collect old housekeeping books and books of manners from the 1800s. So interesting to see how life was back then. You have an interesting collection here.
moth3rnatur3 on October 04, 2013:
i was very dedicated to the craft then changes made it hard for me to practice. now im at a point in my life where i want to re-dedicate myself to the craft n start practicing daily n correctly but im not in a living situation where i can. i share a 1bdrm apt n don't have a quiet, secure place yet. but promise once i do....im back on 110% because my life hasn't been the same since.
allen-alberson on July 27, 2013:
Great article! I may have to check some of these out
karMALZEKE on March 03, 2013:
I had no idea there is some much information out there. This is a great lens.
sudosu44 on September 26, 2012:
What great information on witchy books. Can't wait to start my collection. Thanks for the details.
anonymous on June 09, 2012:
Ever since I have read Harry Potter's wizardry, I find myself enchanted with witchcraft. True or not , it is marvelous and exciting. Hope someday I see more of real witch-craft.
C A Chancellor from US/TN on May 26, 2012:
Interesting! I recognize a few of these titles from the Bast mysteries (a series of Wiccan murder mystery novels). I go through phases of wanting to learn more about Pagan religions... I'll keep these books in mind next time my curiosity strikes.
bobby150 on February 11, 2012:
Years ago I bought some of these books and found themm fascinating to read and study.Aspiring Magie Musn't forget that Israel Regardie's "The golden Dawn" is a legitimete work on Magic but contains "booby-traps" for the lazy browser who refuses to study the material thouroughly. Good lens, thanks a lot for this. Sean
flycatcherrr on January 21, 2012:
Due to a number of ancestors in the New England Puritan camp, I'm intrigued by the history around witchcraft and witch trials: there's a number of books here I'd like to read.
TeacherSerenia on December 24, 2011:
Even if I don't believe in all that stuff, there are still some very interesting books I wouldn;'t mind reading for the history. Interesting lens
anonymous on December 24, 2011:
"Spell-binding"! This is for serious collectors and very well compiled and reviewed!
DuaneJ on December 24, 2011:
Very well presented, Marcia!