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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 11:45AM #1
yogi34
Posts: 1
I think the title explains my situation. The top of this thread already states many books that I should read, but theres so many. I don't know which to get first, or where to start, or anything. I've already purchased Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" because I've read that it was a good starter book. But I have no clue where to go from here.

I really want a book about candle magic, but theres so many to choose from I don't know which would be the best to start with. Also, herbalism and cooking, those really interest me and I was wondering what a good book about those would be.

Also one or two history books, but I've seen so many different history books...

So what I'm really asking for is a simple list of maybe 5 books, that would be considered good books. After that I'm sure I can find my own way.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 12:08PM #2
AshtarothKarnim
Posts: 92
ilu shelem!

the same problem was faced in makkah for Hubal and Uzza soo... the ever ready method of guidance was found in the casting of lots.

A black no a red yes a blank..ok to keep it simple just the yes and no on either sides of  one lot and then kneel in the shop before the books and cast lot for each one, and so on until only one left...

in the magic section they should understand after all they get a sell!!

salem! and good luck!
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 4:31PM #3
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
TOo be a little less "cloaked in shadow" for you... if you want advice on magic, go to the witchcraft boards. There is a reccommended reading thread on this board I suggest you start up upon. The different recon board shave their own reading lists as well. Posting specific questions can aid us in giving you an educated, realistic response. No need to repost old questions when the answers are in front of you.

Join us in teh C&C for good company and your favorite beverage.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 4:34PM #4
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
Thought I would pop in here for a moment and point out that Wicca and Paganism are not the exact same thing. Cunningham's book is geared to Wicca, and treats things differently- with more specific answers than general paganism will have.
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 6:25PM #5
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
[QUOTE=yogi34;326966]I think the title explains my situation. The top of this thread already states many books that I should read, but theres so many. I don't know which to get first, or where to start, or anything. I've already purchased Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" because I've read that it was a good starter book. But I have no clue where to go from here.

I really want a book about candle magic, but theres so many to choose from I don't know which would be the best to start with. Also, herbalism and cooking, those really interest me and I was wondering what a good book about those would be.

Also one or two history books, but I've seen so many different history books...

So what I'm really asking for is a simple list of maybe 5 books, that would be considered good books. After that I'm sure I can find my own way.[/QUOTE]


I would also add to SG’s comment that Cunningham’s interpretation of Wicca often leans far more to his own opinions than to how this Religion was conceived and meant to be practised. However, everyone does have to start somewhere and Cunningham’s books on herbs can be very useful despite the occasional dangerous medicinal recommendation or too rare or expensive suggested ingredient.

If you would like an electronic starting point for herblore, try A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve Again, some dangerous assumptions and medical instructions on various plants and one should never take one source as entirely credible. Still it is a very handy searchable and downloadable text of her two-volume, 900-page herbal that was, originally published in 1931. I prefer the approach of focusing on what one can grow and use, learning about what one could buy already prepared and keeping an archive to refer to on the exotics that one may never see, use or be able to buy.

Do keep in mind that herbalism, candle magic or indeed any form of spellcraft is not required for the practise of the Religion of Wicca. Consider it this way.  Any Wiccan engaged in the religious practise of that Religion may also choose within his or her personal practice as a Witch to embrace such practises or others such as divination and healing. Same with cooking, I know some folks have published Wiccan or Pagan cookbooks but you can get much the same recipes that have been so labelled for free off the Net.

Coloured candles physically did not exist before the Industrial Revolution therefore coloured candle magic is and remains a modern practise. Historical magical practices involving candles are not copyrighted to paganism and obviously not to a modern religion such as Wicca. Most books on candle magic I have seen are pretty much modern and and usually books on Pagan Witchcraft seem to include something on this practice as well. As this type of magic isn’t part of being Wiccan, I would suggest that you just find a book that visually appeals to you. Try what is written, see if it works for you and if not, try elsewhere.

As for history, that depends on whether you want to research documented history or the mythological history that is so often found as being 'the history' of such. Actually one really needs to research both the documented and mythological as understanding one without the other ends up being biased one way or another. As a starting point on the history that can be documented, try Ronald Hutton’s “Triumph of the Moon” or at least check out his 72 page bibliography for further reading. For the mythological history, go back to the conception of Wicca in the last century and read the earliest books by Gerald Gardner or Doreen Valiente as a starting point. You can also go here for his Gardnerian Book of Shadows.

To evaluate the usefulness of a book (or website) on the enactment of the Religion of Wicca, ask yourself some of these questions:

Does it use universal or imperative statements?  (Singular perspective, please keep researching)
Does it emphasise one’s relationship to the Gods of Wicca as the reason for enacting this Religion? (Don’t get caught up in a focus on trappings or those other practices mentioned earlier…)
Does it deal with core beliefs like these - Core Discussion and Expansion on the Core?
Does it provide basic information about how to enact being Wiccan such as celebrating the Sabbats and Esbats, setting up an altar, creating sacred space and ethics?

Hope something is useful,

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 11:58PM #6
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
You know Creaky, you should post that as a sticky on the welcome boards. I think it was an awesome criterian to judge the usefulness of books and other sources of inspiration.
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2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 8:11AM #7
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,498

If you study books, you learn books. But I am not into book religion.

Come all ye rolling minstrels
And together, we will try
To rouse the spirit of the earth
And move the rolling sky


Fairport Convention


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