Want to find out more about being a witch? Here are my top witchcraft books for those just starting out on the path.
When I started practising witchcraft many years ago there were not many witchcraft books available for new witches. Now there are hundreds of witchcraft books to choose from, which is great. However, the choice can be overwhelming for new witches. Which books should you buy? And what should you do if the books contain contradictory information?
One of the most important things you need to learn as a beginner witch is to trust your intuition. Every witch’s path is unique to them and as such there are no right or wrong answers, only what is right for you. If you choose a structured path, such as Wicca then there will be more ‘rules’ to follow. But even then you are free to tailor your practice so it works for you.
When looking for witchcraft books as a beginner witch, I recommend choosing one that covers the basics. Choose something that explains a bit about what witchcraft is and its history. This is always a good basis for building your practice. I would avoid ‘Spell Books’ until you have familiarised yourself with basic practices such as grounding, centering, protection and raising energy.
The following books are excellent resources for beginners. However, they have all enriched my practice and helped me learn and grow even as a more experienced witch. I have chosen books from a range of paths so you can find one that suits your needs. Read the information here and then follow your intuition to see which ones you are most drawn to.
So, if you are ready to choose your first, or next witchcraft book, let’s begin.
Craft: How to be a modern witch, by Gabriela Herstik
Gabriela’s book is fun, sassy and very informative. If you want to get lots of information about witchcraft without trawling through dusty old tomes, this is the book for you. The book includes a brief section on the history of witchcraft and what witches believe and this provides a good grounding in the practice. The book also has a section on deciding which kind of witch you are: green, Wicca, eclectic, chaos etc…
Gabriela then goes on to explain the basics of the craft in clear, straightforward chapters. These chapters include information, rituals and spells. There is a section on tools for the witch and an introduction to all the festivals in the wheel of the year. The book covers the tarot, earth magick, moon magick, crystals, sigils, candle magick, chakras, auras and astrology. The tarot section is particularly thorough for a general witchcraft book. There is also a fascinating chapter on glamour magick that is perfect for the modern witch.
The book includes a range of rituals from grounding and casting a circle, to working with goddesses. There are spells for protection, self-care, abundance and manifestation. Gabriela has also included a basic outline to create your own spell. The book uses simple ingredients so you won’t be spending a fortune on herbs and crystals. The book also includes guides on creating sacred space as well as developing and consecrating your grimoire. It includes instructions for creating your own spells and brief tables of correspondence to help you.
Overall, this is one of my favourite witchcraft books. It is modern and uplifting but still contains a lot of valuable information – no TikTok witchery here. If you are looking for a book with lots of spells already planned out for you then this is not the book for you. However, if you want to get a thorough grounding in many areas of the path and learn how to create your own rituals and spells it is perfect.
Best for: Beginners who are not yet sure where their interests lay as it covers such a range of information from tarot to chakras and astrology to candle magick.
The Modern guide to witchcraft: Your complete guide to witches, covens & Spells by Skye Alexander
This is an excellent book for the beginner who has no knowledge about witchcraft and wants a thorough grounding in the practice. More experienced practitioners may find that the early chapters cover subjects that are obvious – such as that witches are not all old hags that worship the devil! However, the later chapters offer a lovely variety of spells that make this book of value even to the more experienced witch.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part is an explanation of the basics including an explanation of what witchcraft is and a definition of the terms witch, witchcraft and magick that is useful for the beginner. There follows a history of witchcraft in the west that is a solid grounding for new witches. Further topics covered in this section include the varieties of different paths and types of magick.
One of the standout features of this book is its comprehensive discussion of working with the elements. Skye offers lots of information about how to work with elemental magick and tons of ideas for correspondences and items to include in an elemental altar. There are also several great chapters on sacred space, altars and shrines which include setting up sacred space, cleaning, purification, consecration and casting a circle. Further chapters in part one include a chapter on tools, one on plants and one on gemstones.
Part two of this book is a grimoire of interesting and useful spells. Skye covers the usual topics such as love, prosperity, success, protection and healing. She also explains how to make charms, amulets and talismans.
This section of the book is designed to make you think. Each chapter has a comprehensive introduction to the subject from a magickal point of view with lots of thought-provoking ideas. It covers the best phases of the moon to cast certain types of spells and useful additional information such as creating a witch’s herb garden. There then follows a range of spells, incantations, oils, baths, elixirs and rituals.
There are a wide variety of options in these chapters from deep journaling work to powerful healing spells to fun spells that involves baking a cake and painting your toenails. These are thoughtful and varied offering something for everyone. I found the spells for personal power to be particularly useful. There is also a great section on recording your spellwork so that you can refer back to it later. For me, this template is so useful as I am not the best at record keeping.
Overall this book is a super informative, powerful yet fun guide for the beginner witch but also includes plenty of information for more seasoned practitioners. The range and variety of spells make this book a worthwhile investment for any witch.
Best for: absolute beginners, those who feel the pull to work with elemental magick and anyone looking for some interesting new spell ideas
Mastering Magick by Mat Auryn
I mentioned in the introduction that I believe our use of energy is the biggest factor in how well our magick works. For this reason, I find books that cover this energetic exchange super helpful. Up until recently, these books were few and far between and those that were available were quite heavy and restrictive. Then along came Mat Auryn! Both of his books, The Psychic Witch and Mastering Magick are excellent. I have chosen Mastering Magick for this list because it has lots of practical rituals and spells to follow while developing your psychic and magickal gifts.
I can’t even begin to list all that you will learn from reading this book, however, I can guarantee it will change your magickal life. It has certainly become one of my favourite witchcraft books.
Mastering Magick covers lots of information in an easy and accessible way. The first couple of chapters focus on basics such as grounding, centering, entering alpha, developing your intuition, using sigils, and some simple spells and rituals. The next chapter covers the seven hermetic principles. There is also a section on the three souls, the three cauldrons, the three alchemical essentials, the world tree and the witch’s tree.
The following chapters include cleansing and protection, spiritual shape and spiritual spaces, inner and outer tools, synching with the Sun, Moon, and Seasons and the planetary energies. Overall there is a wealth of information in this book to guide beginner witches on their path and plenty for the more experienced witch too. I certainly gained a lot from reading this book and using the practices and will be dipping into it regularly from now on.
The book contains spells written by a range of practitioners which is lovely because they are all so different and each brings new energy to your practice. Plus you can find some new favourite witches to inspire you further. There is a list of the contributors and their books at the end of the book so you can find out more about them.
Best for: working on the energy behind your magick and developing intuition and psychic abilities.
Wicca by Scott Cunningham
I am not Wiccan, however, I know a lot of new witches are interested in understanding more about the Wiccan way, so I have included a classic book on this path in this compilation.
Scott Cunningham wrote many fantastic books on magick and Wicca and I have read several of them. I find it useful to understand different paths, as that can help us to find the practice that suits us best and feed into our own specific witch’s practice. According to Cunningham, ‘Wicca is a religion that embraces magic’. In this book, he gives us the structure to follow this religion but he also reminds us that we needn’t be chained to performing specific rites or rituals in a certain way. ‘As long as the rite attunes you with the deities, all is fine.’
The book explains how Wiccans work with God and Goddess. There is a section on magick and how it works with an example of a money spell using cinnamon and sage, a green candle and patchouli oil. Scott includes the words to chant while performing the spell.
The next chapters contain vast amounts of useful information on everything from the spiral of rebirth to magickal tools, runes and crystals. The book teaches us how to create rituals and spells as well as guiding us through the festivals.
If you are interested in following the path of Wicca then this is the perfect introductory book for beginner witches.
Best for: those who have an interest in the Wiccan path or want to understand more about it.
The House Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
I have included this book because, for many of us, much of our practice will take place in our homes. It isn’t always practical to visit a sacred grove to do our spell work, though it’s great if we can. Cottage witchery is an old path, but this book brings it up to date and creates a guide to using magick practically and spiritually to take care of our homes, ourselves and our loved ones.
Arin’s book covers all the practices we can undertake at home to create our ‘spiritual headquarters’. The book covers a range of subjects related to the home including the home as sacred space, using a cauldron as part of your house witch practice, kitchen witchery and creating your ‘spiritual hearth’. Arin pays particular attention to cleansing and protecting your home to make it a safe, comfortable and pleasant place to recharge. The book also includes a section on hearth deities. There are several lovely recipes for kitchen witches, a section on herbs and crafts, as well as a short chapter full of useful spells and rituals for your home. I love her simple ‘room blessing ritual’ and her outline for ‘spell bottles’.
This book covers house witchery very well but it doesn’t have any information on grounding centering, casting a circle etc. For this reason, you will need another book alongside this one if you plan to practice more ritualistic witchery.
Best for: witches who want to follow a simple, home-based witchcraft path, or create a secure base for their magickal practice.
I hope you have found this information useful. Whichever witchcraft books you choose, I hope your witchcraft journey brings you joy. Let me know your favourite witchcraft books in the comments below.