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Suggested Reading


Let’s face it, there’s a lot of bad information available on subjects regarding the Pagan religions. I’ve been wrestling with this for thirty years now, and I though I might be able to save some people’s time by recommending some good books.

Some of these books are out of print. I sometimes think that the time a book on Paganism remains in print is inversely proportional to its reliability. These ones, however, are worth a little effort to find.

The obvious place to look is in out of print book stores. There are also on-line resources, some of which are in the section of links.

For those on a budget, most libraries operate Inter-Library Loan services which can obtain books they don’t otherwise carry. Some will even allow you to get copies of articles for the cost of photocopying.

Many colleges and universities, especially state-funded ones, allow non-students to use their libraries. That’s where you will find the academic journals in which the real work of scholarship goes on.


Ancient European Paganism

Primary Sources:
Gantz, Jeffrey (ed. and tr.). Early Irish Myths and Sagas. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1981. An easily available collection of some of the more important Irish tales.

Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica. trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914 (1936). Homer and Hesiod were the closest things that the Greeks had to scripture.

Homer. The Iliad. trans. Robert Fagles. intro. and notes by Bernard Knox. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1990.

--- The Odyssey. trans. Fitzgerald, Robert. New York: Random House, 1961. Homer was the other one.

Koch, John T.; Carey, John, ed. and tr. The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales. Malden, MA: Celtic Studies Publications, 1995. Another collection of Celtic texts. This one is especially interesting because it has non-Irish texts in it, such as "Preiddeu Annwn," made famous in a mistranslation found in Robert Graves’ The White Goddess.

The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales. tr. and ed. Patrick K. Ford. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977. This is the best translation of this collection of stories, more often called The Mabinogion.

Ovid. The Metamorphoses. New York: Viking Press, 1958.

The Poetic Edda. tr. Lee M. Hollander. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1962.

Sturluson, Snorri. Edda. tr. Anthony Faulkes. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1987. The two Eddas are two of our primary sources for Norse mythology.

Secondary Sources:
Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. tr. John Raffan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985 (1977). A great in-depth treatment of the subject which includes information on such topics as ritual and temples which is not found in the usual books that concentrate on mythology.

Davidson, Hilda R. Ellis. Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1988. Davidson argues here for an appreciation of the ways in which both of these share similar ideas.

Dexter, Miriam Robbins. Whence the Goddesses: A Source Book. New York, NY: Pergamon Press, 1990. The most reliable book on goddesses available.

Eliade, Mircea. The Sacred and the Profane. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1959. All of Eliade's writings are worth reading. This one centers on sacred space, cosmology, and the relationship between them.

Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, Inc., 1991. In earlier versions of this list, this was recommended as the book to start with. However, the author himself has stated that some of the archaeological material on which it is based is out-of-date, and he is no longer very fond of the book. In fact, he's said that he'd like to put out a new edition (assuming his very full plate allows it, of course), but he can't do that because this one is still selling too well. If you run across the book in a library, it's worth looking at for the way he works with the material, but otherwise do the poor guy a favor and don't buy his book. If it means that he'll be able to put out a new edition, you'll have done all of us a favor. Based on his other work, a new edition would be a marvel to behold.

MacCana, Proinseas. Celtic Mythology. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill, 1985. This is the best introduction to Celtic Paganism. MacCana was a highly respected Celticist, and he manages in a short book full of pictures to nevertheless hit on all the important points. It was the major text used in a course on Celtic Paganism that I took at Harvard.

Newall, Venetia.(ed.) Folklore Studies in the Twentieth Century: Proceedings of the Centenary Conference of the Folklore Society. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978, 1980. A collection of papers.

O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. Women, Androgynes and Other Mythical Beasts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1980.

Owen, Gale R. Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble Books, 1981.

Polomé, Edgar C. (ed.). Essays on Germanic Religion (Journal of Indo-European Studies Monograph 6). Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man, 1989

Puhvel, Jaan. Comparative Mythology. Baltimore, Maryland: John Hopkins Press, 1987.

Rees, Alwyn, and Rees, Brinley. Celtic Heritage. New York: Thames and Hudson,1961. A classic in the field. The brothers Rees interpret Irish mythology (with a small amount of Welsh, I believe) in an Indo-European, primarily Dumezilian, framework.

Trioedd Ynys Pryddain: The Welsh Triads. tr. Rachel Bromwich. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961. This is a primary text, but the translator's notes are the most valuable thing about the book.

Wait, G. A. Ritual and Religion in Iron Age Britain (BAR British Series 149 (i)). Oxford, UK, 1985.

Celtic Paganism

Brunaux, Jean Louis. The Celtic Gauls: Gods, Rites, and Sanctuaries. tr. Daphne Nash. London: B. A. Seaby, 1988. This book is very hard to find, but well worth the effort. The amount of information on the religion of the continental Celts, from archaeology and the Greek and Roman commentators, is far larger than for Ireland and Wales. This is a nice introduction to that material. It's short on references, which is a problem, but they would almost all have been in French or German and hard for Americans to get hold of.

Carmichael, Alexander. Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations. Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1992. This contains the English translations of prayers collected by Carmichael in the Hebrides in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. There is some debate as to how much he "improved" them for publication, but they are indeed beautiful. Even better, he gives some good descriptions of how they were used, providing some very good ritual material.

Cross, Tome Peete, and Slover, Clark Harris (ed. and tr.) Ancient Irish Tales A highly respected collection of many of the important Irish medieval texts.

Danaher, Kevin. The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs. Minneapolis, MN: Irish Books and Media, 1972. Danaher goes through the seasonal festivals of traditional Ireland. A must for those wanting to write Irish-based rituals for the seasons.

Davidson, Hilda R. Ellis. Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1988. Davidson argues here for an appreciation of the ways in which both of these share similar ideas.

Gantz, Jeffrey (ed. and tr.). Early Irish Myths and Sagas. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1981. An easily available collection of some of the more important Irish tales.

Koch, John T.; Carey, John, ed. and tr. The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales. Malden, MA: Celtic Studies Publications, 1995. Another collection of Celtic texts. This one is especially interesting because it has non-Irish texts in it, such as "Preiddeu Annwn," made famous in a mistranslation found in Robert Graves’ The White Goddess.

Kruta, Venceslas, et. al. (ed.). The Celts. A collection of papers, originally to accompany an exhibit of Celtic artifacts. Unusually for books on the Celts, the emphasis is on the continent, and thus primarily on archaeology rather than literature. The articles are uneven, some clearly written by scholars for whom English is not their first language. Many are tedious, and have little to do with religion, being rather about material culture. All are worth reading, however, and even with my criticisms of the style of some of the authors this is an important book which I highly recommend.

The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales. tr. and ed. Patrick K. Ford. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977. This is the best translation of this collection of stories, more often called The Mabinogion.

MacCana, Proinseas. Celtic Mythology. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill, 1985. This is the best book to start with if you are interested in Celtic Paganism. It is an easy read, with good pictures, but is respected enough to be used as a textbook at Harvard.

Rees, Alwyn, and Rees, Brinley. Celtic Heritage. New York: Thames and Hudson,1961. A classic in the field.

Ross, Anne. Pagan Celtic Britain. Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers, 1997. Originally published in 1967, this is a book that has held up through the years. It is packed with information, and some darn good pictures as well. She sometimes speculates without identifying it as such, however, so be careful when she makes parallels between the various Celtic traditions.

The Táin. ed. and tr. Thomas Kinsella. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. The standard translation of the greatest of the Irish epics.

Trioedd Ynys Pryddain: The Welsh Triads. tr. Rachel Bromwich. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961. This is a primary text, but the translator's notes are the most valuable thing about the book.

Mithraism

Unfortunately, good information about Mithraism is hard to find. For most of these you’re going to have to find a good college library you can use. Two easily available books are Ulansey and Clauss.

Actes du 2e Congrès International, Téhéran, du 1er au 8 septembre 1975. (=Acta Iranica, 17) Leiden: Téhéran-Liège, 1978. Yeah, I know the title’s scary, but it’s just a collection of papers from a congress on Mithraism. A lot of them are in English.

Beck, Roger. The Seat of Mithras at the Equinoxes: Porphyry, De Antro Nympharum 24. Journal of Mithraic Studies 1:1 (1976), 95-98.

--Cautes and Cautopates: Some Astronomical Considerations. Journal of Mithraic Studies 2:1 (1977), 1-17.

--Mithraism Since Franz Cumont. Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt II.17.4 (1984), 2002-2115.

--The Mysteries of Mithras: A New Account of their Genesis. Journal of Roman Studies 88 (1998), 115-128.

Clauss, Manfred. The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and his Mysteries. Tr. Richard Gordon. New York: Routledge, 2001. The best overall introduction to the subject in print.

Hansman, John. A Suggested Interpretation of the Mithraic Lion-Man Figure. Acta Iranica 17 (Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Mithraic Studies) (1978)

Hinnells, John R. (ed.) Mithraic Studies, Vol. II. Manchester, UK: University of Manchester Press, 1975.

--(ed.). Studies in Mithraism. Rome: L'Erma di Brotscheider, 1994.

Jackson, Howard M. The Meaning and Function of the Leontocephaline in Roman Mithraism. Numen 32:1 (July, 1985), 17-45.

Martin, Luther H. Roman Mithraism and Christianity. Numen 36:1 (June, 1989), 1-15.

Acta Iranica 17 (Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Mithraic Studies) (1978), 335-343.

Roll, Israel. The Mysteries of Mithras in the Roman Orient: the Problem of Origin. Journal of Mithraic Studies 2:1 (1977), 53-68.

Schmidt, Hanns-Peter. Indo-Iranian Mitra Studies: The State of the Central Problem. Etudes Mithraiques. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978.

Swerdlow, N.M. Review Article: On the Cosmical Mysteries of Mithraism. Classical Philology 86:1 (Jan, 1991), 48-63.

Ulansey, David. The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Ulansey has a new theory on the central secret of Mithraism being the precession of the equinoxes. His theory is taken quite seriously by Mithraic scholars, and may well be right. Keep in mind as you read this book, however, that he is presenting the evidence with the thought in mind of proving his theory. This is therefore not the best introduction to the field, but it could be worse, and it is available. I’d recommend reading Clauss first.

Vermaseren, M. J. The Miraculous Birth of Mithras. Mnemosyne 4:4 (1951), 285-301.

Proto-Indo-European

The sections of the PIE pages each give important sources for their part. The general Pagan books are also very useful, since there is so far no book-long treatment of PIE religion; you'll have to do some of the work yourself.

As far as the language is concerned, there isn't a "How to Speak Proto-Indo-European" book yet, so understanding the language, and particularly writing in it, requires consulting a number of them. Here are the essentials: Beekes, Robert S. P. Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1995. Especially good for morphology.

Fortson, Benjamin W., IV. Indo-European Language and Culture: an Introduction. Especially good for morphology and syntax Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Gamkrelidze, Thomas V. and Ivanov, Vjaceslav V. Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. tr. Johanna Nichols. New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1995. Long, controversial, hard to find, and expensive. But if you can find a copy have a look; it’s simply packed with information and ideas. Also very good for culture, including religion.

Mallory, J. P., and Adams, D. Q. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. Excellent for vocabulary.

Meier-Brugger, Michael. Indo-European Linguistics. New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2003. Especially good for syntax.

Rix, Helmut (ed.), with Martin Kümmel, Thomas Zehnder, Reiner Lipp, and Brigitte Schirmer. Lexikon der Indogermanischen Verben. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2001. The required book on PIE verbs, it gives the roots of the various tenses and aspects of each. It's in German, of course, but each verb is defined with a word or two, so it can be used easily with just a dictionary.

Culture and Religion:

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th. ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. There are two appendices of interest. One gives the PIE roots that are found in English, together with the words formed by them that are found. Another is a great summary by Calvert Watkins of what we know about PIE society based on the reconstructed language. This summary is a great introduction to PIE culture.

Benveniste, Emile. Indo-European Language and Society. tr. Elizabeth Palmer. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1973 (1969). As the name implies, Benveniste is dealing with how what we can reconstruct of the language tells us about PIE society. However, this includes a lot about the religion.

Larson, Gerald James (ed.), C. Scott Littleton and Jaan Puhvel, (coed.). Myth in Indo-European Antiquity. Berkeley, CA: University of Californian Press, 1974.

Lincoln, Bruce. Myth, Cosmos, and Society: Indo-European Themes of Creation and Destruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.

--Death, War, and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology and Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Lincoln’s early work has been very influential in Indo-European studies. In his later work, represented in the second half of Death, War, and Sacrifice, his Marxism begins to show.

Mallory, J. P. In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1989. One of the two best introductions to Indo-European studies.

O’Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Puhvel, Jaan. Comparative Mythology. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987. Puhvel treats a number of the different Indo-European traditions separately, and then covers some of the common Indo-European themes. It's particularly good because he covers the often left out Iranian tradition. Unfortunately, he doesn't give many references.

Puhvel, Jaan (ed.) Myth and Law Among the Indo-Europeans. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1970.

Watkins, Calvert. How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. A lot of this book is fairly technical, but it beautifully covers how Indo-European poetry was constructed.

West, M.L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. The book to read. It's a bit expensive, but when you figure how many other books you'd have to buy or articles you'd have to photocopy to equal it, it's a deal. Of course, the large number of sources will have you buying and photocopying even more, so maybe it will end up costing you more. If you're interested in PIE religion, buy it.

Woodard, Roger D. Indo-European Sacred Space. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006. Woodard compares Vedic and Roman rituals of sacred space. It was very influential on my sacred space ritual.

Ritual (primarily Indo-European)

Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles. The Greek plays, especially the tragedies, contain large amounts of information of ritual, especially prayers.

Bell, Catherine. Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Boyd, James W. and Firoze M. Kotwal. Worship in a Zoroastrian Fire Temple. Indo-Iranian Journal 26 (1983), 293-318.

Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. tr. John Raffan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985 (1977). A great in-depth treatment of the subject which includes information on such topics as ritual and temples which is not found in the usual books that concentrate on mythology.

Carmichael, Alexander. Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations. Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1992. This contains the English translations of prayers collected by Carmichael in the Hebrides in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. There is some debate as to how much he "improved" them for publication, but they are indeed beautiful. Even better, he gives some good descriptions of how they were used, providing some very good ritual material.

Chandler, Daniel. Semiotics for Beginners.

Danaher, Kevin. The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs. Minneapolis, MN: Irish Books and Media, 1972. Danaher goes through the seasonal festivals of traditional Ireland. A must for those wanting to write Irish-based rituals for the seasons.

Drury, Naama. The Sacrificial Ritual in the Satapatha Brahmana. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1981. Short descriptions of the rituals in the major Vedic ritual handbook.

Eliade, Mircea. The Sacred and the Profane. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1959. Very important for sacred space.

Gonda, J. Vedic Ritual: The Non-Solemn Rites. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980. Vedic rituals connected with the home.

Grendon, Felix. The Anglo-Saxon Charms. Journal of American Folklore 22 (April-June, 1909), 105-237.

Grimes, Ronald. Beginnings in Ritual Studies. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987.

Hagg, Robin; Marinatos, Nanno; Nordquist, Gullog C. (ed.). Early Greek Cult Practice. Stockholm: Paul Astroms Forlag, 1988.

Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica. trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914 (1936). Homer and Hesiod were the closest things that the Greeks had to scripture.

Homer. The Iliad. trans. Robert Fagles. intro. and notes by Bernard Knox. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1990.

--The Odyssey. trans. Fitzgerald, Robert. New York: Random House, 1961. Lots of prayers in both of these, and a fairly complete ancestral ritual in The Odyssey.

Linders, Tullia and Gullog Nordquist (ed.). Gifts to the Gods: Proceedings of the Uppsala Conference, 1985. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell International, 1987.

Modi, Jivanji J. The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees. New York: Garland Publishing, 1979 (1922). (available online at Avesta.org). Zoroastrian ritual is underappreciated within modern Paganism. Although the theology of Iranian Paganism was replaced by that of Zoroaster, the ritual remained relatively unchanged. It therefore provides a detailed look at a several thousand year old form of Indo-European Pagan ritual. This book contains detailed descriptions of all the important Zoroastrian rituals. Highly recommended.

Neff, Mary Susan. Germanic Sacrifice: An Analytical Study Using Linguistic, Arc-haeological, and Literary Data. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1980. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1982. This, and other dissertations, can be ordered on line at Dissertation Express.

O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. (ed. and tr.) The Rig Veda. New York: Penguin Books, 1981. There are those who criticize this version, but for the use of the average person it is satisfactory.

Ogilvie, R. M. The Romans and Their Gods in the Age of Augustus. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1969. Contains a good summary of Roman sacrificial ritual.

Ovid. Fasti. Ed. and tr. James George Frazer. London: MacMillan and Co., 1929. Roman calendar ritual, for the first half of the year. (Ovid unfortunately didn't finish the book.)

Poultney, James Wilson, ed. and tr. The Bronze Tablets of Iguvium. Baltimore: American Philological Association. These are ritual instructions in Umbrium for an Iguvine priesthood, and make up the only ritual handbook surviving from Pagan Europe.

Satapatha Brahmana. tr. Julius Eggerling. Sacred Books of the East, vol. 12, 26, 41, 43, 44. ed. Max Müller. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1986 (1894). Instructions for and commentaries on Vedic ritual. Tedious but valuable.

Serith, Ceisiwr. A Book of Pagan Prayer. York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2002. What can I say, I think it's a good book. The first part is theory, and then there are several hundred prayers for use.

Stambaugh, John E. The Functions of Roman Temples. Temporini, Hildegard, and Haase, Wolfgang (ed.) Aufstieg und Niedergang der Romischen Welt 16:1. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 1978.

Stevenson, Margaret. The Rites of the Twice-Born. New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, 1971 (1920). Detailed descriptions of Hindu rituals.

Watkins, Calvert. How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. A lot of this book is fairly technical, but it beautifully covers how Indo-European poetry was constructed.

Williams, Ron G. and Boyd, James W. Ritual Art and Knowledge: Aesthetic Theory and Zoroastrian Ritual. Not primarily about Zoroastrianism; it uses the Yasna and Afrinagan rituals (which it describes in good detail) to illustrate their theories about how ritual is organized, especially sacred space.

Woodard, Roger D. Indo-European Sacred Space. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006. Woodard compares Vedic and Roman rituals of sacred space. It was very influential on my Proto-Indo-European sacred space ritual.

Wicca

Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986. This is a survey of Neo-Paganism in America in its various forms, with a concentration of Wicca. Some find it a little dry, but even if you do keep at it; it is the best book for an overview of Wicca and other forms of Neo-Paganism.

Buckland, Raymond. The Complete Book of Witchcraft. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1986. Sort of a blend between Traditional Wicca and Eclectic Wicca. Some find him pompous; I find the book to have a good collection of exercises which will give the reader some self-discipline. Even if you decide that Wicca is not for you, a little self-discipline won't hurt.

Cunningham, Scott. Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1988. I must admit that I am biased against this book. It began to "do what you want" dumbing down of Wicca, pulling all the guts out of it and making it so nebulous that it could be anything. But that's just me, I guess. You should probably read it, though, since it is the root of much of what Wicca has become.

Farrar,Stewart. What Witches Do. Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing, 1991.

Farrar, Stewart; Farrar, Janet. The Witches Way. London: Robert Hale, 1984. Before Wicca was an eclectic, do what you want religion, there was actually some structure to it. It was even an initiatory religion. Really. These books are about Alexandrian Wicca and Gardnerian Wicca (Gardnerian Wicca was devised in the late 40s/early 50s, and was the first kind of Wicca), which you should know about if you want to know anything about what Wicca was and can be.

Huson, Paul. Mastering Witchcraft. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1991. This is a rather odd little book. The date of publication is rather misleading; it was originally published in 1970. That means that it predates the modern explosion of Neo-Wicca started by Scott Cunningham. As a result there are things in it that upset many modern Wiccans; I have heard it called "satanic." It certainly is different, but hardly satanic. Its emphasis is on spells rather than religion, and it shows a strong influence of ceremonial magic. Some of the rituals are quite nice, and it is worth reading as an example of a very different kind of witchcraft.

Hutton, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. The best book on the history of Wicca to date. Hutton traces the origins of the religion, systematically eliminating possibilities along the way. Because of this I think it reads like a detective novel. Very highly recommended.

Kelly, Aidan A. Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1991. This is a very controversial book. How controversial? There was never a Book II, and this one was allowed to go out of print after its first printing. In it, Kelly publishes the various editions that the Gardnerian Book of Shadows went through in its early days, and traces the way it was developed. Some of his conclusions are a bit much, and Gardnerians in general were livid that he had published what they consider oathbound secrets, but if you’re interested in the history of Wicca it’s indispensable.

Slater, Herman. A Book of Pagan Rituals. York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser, 1979. A very nice collection of rituals for public use, although I do think it odd that it includes the Buddhist Eightfold Path.

Starhawk. The Spiral Dance. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1999. A light version of feminist Wicca. Good read, with lovely rituals, and some good exercises.

Valiente, Doreen. Witchcraft for Tomorrow. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978.

--The Rebirth of Witchcraft. London: Robert Hale, 1989. Valiente was one of the founders of Wicca, entering it after Gardner had started things but while the system was still in a state of flux. Because of this, she is an important source of information on Wicca’s early days. She also has a good insight into traditional Wicca, and she essentially writes from that point of view. Witchcraft for Tomorrow is a treatment of traditional Wiccan practices and beliefs, but includes a system for practicing it outside of the Gardnerian line of initiation. The Rebirth of Witchcraft is her account of the religion’s early years.