Featured Books

No Mythtake

Legendary Tales
Stephen Fry
Norse Mythology
Neil Gaiman
Indian Mythology
Devdutt Pattanaik
Picking up the retelling trend on behalf of the Greeks, Fry provides an entertaining and accessible canter through the classics. It’s Neil Gaiman. Telling viking stories. I really shouldn’t have to say any more (but there’s a review here, just in case). And for something a little different (for most of us Westerners, anyway) enter the exotic world of the Hindu pantheon.

May 2018
Fiction Fusion

Why have one genre when you can have more? Magic meets history, mystery and horror
The Bones of Avalon
Phil Rickman
Harm None
M.R. Sellars
The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult
Lon Milo DuQuette (ed)
Elizabethan England, and the Queen’s magician, astrologer and all-round go-to-guy John Dee is tasked with finding the bones of King Arthur. Historical fiction with a bit of mystic spy-thriller thrown in. I love me a good whodunnit – chuck in some evidence of the esoteric variety and I’m hooked! Worth a look if you’ve read and enjoyed Butcher’s Dresden Files (previously reviewed here) Scary stories with that extra edge from masters of their craft(s). Includes tales of terror from Edgar Allan Poe, Dion Fortune, Bram Stoker, Aleister Crowley and of course H.P. Lovecraft.

April 2018
Sticks and Stones

Druidry: Barking Up the Right Trees
The Druid’s Primer
Luke Eastwood
Druidry and the Ancestors
Nimue Brown
The Greener Shore
Morgan Llywelyn
What it says on the tin: a practical introduction to contemporary druidry based on available Celtic history and lore, particularly from an Irish perspective. Well researched and accessible. Throughout her writing Nimue Brown brings a personal but relatable warmth and wisdom, often tackling issues and insights not normally par for the course. Not your typical tome on druidry, be prepared to be challenged! Fictional yarn depicting the trials and tribulations of the Druids of Hibernia following their flee from Caesar’s invading armies and must come to terms with the mysterious forces that share their new home.

March 2018
Perfect Primers

Ideal Starters for the Otherworld Challenge
Nature Mystics
Rebecca Beattie
The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick
Judith Hawkins-Tillirson
The Crystal Bible (Volume 1)
Judy Hall
Literature about literature! Part of the Pagan Portals series and therefore short and accessible, it’s also something a little bit different to inspire you on your reading quest! Looking for something more practical? Pursuing herb lore provides a great balance between not only acquiring new knowledge and skills but putting them into practice and having something to show at the end of it. More reference book than ‘reading’ book, these are a great resource that you can dip in and out of as the mood takes, with practical application should you want it.
(And as a matter of interest the April workshop will be on crystal grids…)

February 2018
Magical Arts

If a picture tells a thousand words, these stunning compilations embody high literature as well as great beauty
Of Shadows
Sara Hannat
Memento Mori
Paul Koudounaris
Witches & Wicked Bodies
Deanna Petherbridge
Gorgeous book cataloguing 100 objects from the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall with detailed notes to accompany the amazing photography. A perennial favourite, images from over 250 sites around the world provide a journey of insight and exploration into our concepts and treatment of death and the dead. Produced by the National Galleries of Scotland after their successful exhibit of the same, it encompasses a range of representations of witchcraft in art from the 16th century to the present.

December 2017
Good All-Rounders

                                                    Solid Selections for When You’re Just Not Sure
The Magical Year
Danu Forest
The Woven Word
Romany Rivers
Webs of Power
A journey through the Wheel of the Year with thoughts, inspirations, recipes, rituals, crafts and lore. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this book is both a treasure and a trove. Subtitled ‘A Book of Invocations and Inspirations’, whether reading it as practical wordsmithery or simply something to absorb and enjoy for its creativity it provides both insight and templates for meditations, ceremonies, celebrations and more. Not strictly pagan per se, but a thought-provoking examination of corporate globalisation, environmental justice and what we can do about it from the much-loved author’s own experiences, views and perspectives.

November 2017

                                                    For the Booklover Who’s Read (Almost) Everything
The Pop Culture Grimoire 2.0
Taylor Ellwood
A Brief History of Nakedness
Philip Carr-Gomm
Our Gods Wear Spandex
Chris Knowles
For both the practitioner looking for a new perspective and challenge and the layman seeking an accessible introduction, the Pop Culture system blends the traditional and contemporary to provide insight and innovation. Religion, politics and culture without clothes on. A fascinating look at how views on nudity are evolved, manipulated and subverted according to the order of the day from a fantastic author. Superheroes and the occult all together? Yes please! A quirky look at the esoteric influences on the caped crusaders and there nemeseseses.

October 2017
Samhain Special

                                                     Something Wicked This Way Comes…
Memento Mori
Paul Koudounaris
Edinburgh After Dark
Ron Halliday
Thomas Olde Heuvelt
OK, so I know I featured this one the same time last year but frankly it’s just too gorgeous not to! Beautifully bound tome of death representations from over 250 sites in thirty countries taken over the course of a decade. More local interest than particularly pagan or occult, a guide to Edinburgh’s ghouls, spooks and spectres. If scary fiction is more your thing, indulge in the tale of the Black Rock Witch, a 17th Century spirit haunting the residents of picturesque Black Spring.

September 2017
Back to School

                                                       A more academic look at paganism and the past
Paganism: A Very Short Introduction
Owen Davies
Pagan Britain
Ronald Hutton
Britain BC
Francis Pryor
Exploring the meaning of paganism through a chronological overview from the ancient world through to the present day A look at paganism through history with particular regard to ancient British sites A look at ancient Britain based on archaeological finds

August 2017
Away With The Faeries

Up The Airy Mountain and Down The Rushing Glen…
Morgan Daimler
John Matthews
Lords and Ladies
Terry Pratchett
Written as a manual of ‘fairy witchcraft’, including myth and folklore as well as how to deal with the fae as part of your working practice A gorgeous tome filled with fairy lore from around the world, beautifully illustrated and crammed with little surprises The Witches take on the Fair Folk. And there’s Morris dancing. The REAL kind…

July 2017
What I Did On My Holidays

Enhance your summer adventures with some inspiration and information
Land of the Gods
Philip Coppens
Ancient Stones on Old Postcards
Jerry Bird
The Isle of Avalon
Nicholas Mann
Explore the local landscape of the Lothians and Borders, find the ancient trails and markers and decide for yourself whether this area could once have been the Camelot of legend A beautiful book featuring images of old postcards of ancient landmarks and the stories surrounding them – may well encourage you to seek some of them out for yourself! Many will flock to Glastonbury for one reason or another over the summer – this book sets out some of the myths and mysteries to be experienced in the landscape while there

June 2017
Esoteric Delights

No, I Definitely Mean Esoteric
The Golden Dawn
Israel Regardie
The Lesser Key of Solomon
Joseph H. Peterson (ed)
The Kybalion
Three Initiates
First published in 1937, Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn has become the most influential modern handbook of magical theory and practice. In this new, definitive edition, noted scholar John Michael Greer has taken this essential resource back to its original, authentic form. With added illustrations, a twenty-page colour insert, additional original material, and refreshed design and typography. Described as “the most complete and accurate edition of this famous magical grimoire”, Peterson used fresh translations of earlier magical texts and newly discovered Hebrew manuscripts of the original Key of Solomon to provide new analysis of the text. Another “definitive edition” with an introduction that establishes its true authorship and history (published for a long time under only the mysterious “Three Initiaties” the actual writer has since been uncovered as William Walker Atkinson). Also features a previously unpublished work by the original author.

May 2017
Classically Controversial

Must-read titles in spite of  (or because of?) their contentious standing
The White Goddess
Robert Graves
Aradia: Gospel of the Witches
Charles Leland
The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradly
Described as ‘a scholar-poet’s quest for the meaning of European myths’ and subject to much controversy around interpretation and academic legitimacy, this tome has nevertheless inspired many neo-pagans, poets and scholars alike. Another tome that has been much challenged and debated over its claims to be an accurate expose of the history of witchcraft, it is still widely considered essential reading – you can make up your own mind as to its provenance and authority! A fictional account of Arthurian legend told from the perspective of Morgaine, this much loved title introduced many to earth based magic and spirituality, but it’s popularity has been marred in some circles by scandalous allegations against the author made after her death.

April 2017

Sage Advice in Thyme for Spring

Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants of Europe
Marcel De Cleene
 Letting in the Wild Edges
Glennie Kindred
 A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Plants and Herbs
Rachel Patterson
 The ultimate tome on herb lore, covering myth, mystery and practical reference information on trees, shrubs and herbs.  Learn how to both forage and grow essential herbs for remedies and recipes.  At once informative and accessible, Rachel Patterson’s Kitchen Witch books are absolute treasures.

March 2017
The Greatest Hits

Top Titles from the First Year
Good Omens
Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham
Witches and Wicked Bodies Deanna Petherbridge
This may be because I advocate (OK, insist) that everyone reads this as much as possible, but make no apologies as it’s a fantastic book. Not one of my personal favourite recommendations for new or aspiring witches, but its continued popularity is undeniable and it does provide a solid introductory foundation. Beautiful, beautiful book documenting some of the amazing artwork and explanations previously on display at the National Gallery so not surprising it made the top three.

February 2017
Spring Is Sprung

Brigid May Be Holding Court, But The Cailleach Still Holds Sway
Courtney Weber
The Cailleach
Rachel Patterson
The Fires of Bride
Ellen Galford
A comprehensive look at the Goddess of Imbolc in all of her aspects. Part of the Pagan Portals series, a short introduction to the mysteries, myths, legends and magic of the ancient hag goddess. A mysterious Scottish island that only appears once every hundred-odd years is the setting for a boisterous tale of folklore, feminism, spirituality and self-discovery.

December 2016
‘Tis the Season

Wassail, Wassail, All Over the Town
 Franklin - Yule Brackston - Winter Witch Gilman - Cloud and Ashes
Anna Franklin
The Winter Witch
Paula Brackston
Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales
Greer Gilman
A gorgeous title dedicated to all things Yule (the title is the giveaway) including the origins, customs and traditions of the festival, and with practical ideas on rituals, feasts, herb craft and much more.  Unusually we have two fiction titles this time, because it’s definitely the time of year for curling up with a good story. This is book two in the acclaimed Shadow Chronicles series.  Award winning and beautifully evocative, three short stories crammed with symbolism and sensation.

November 2016
Voodoo Child

You Remind of the Babe…
Anderson - Hoodoo Alvarado - Voodoo Doll Spellbook Swain - How to Make a Zombie
Hoodoo, Voodoo and Conjure Jeffrey E. Anderson The Voodoo Doll Spellbook Denise Alvarado How to Make a Zombie
Frank Swain
Written for students and general readers, this book is a convenient introduction to hoodoo, voodoo, and conjure.
Fab title, gorgeous book.
Drawing not only on New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo traditions, Alvarado also presents doll spellwork from ancient Greece, Egypt, Malaysia, Japan, Africa, and the European grimoires of old magic. Join a notorious pop science punk as he investigates real zombie reports from around the world. I heard the author speak during the festival a few years back and was so impressed I kept a note of the title all this time!

Samhain 2016

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble…
Koudounaris - Memento Mori Day - Witches Book of the Dead DuQuette - Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult
Memento Mori
Paul Koudounaris
The Witches’ Book of the Dead
Christian Day
Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult
Lon Milo DuQuette
 Through photos taken at more than 250 sites in thirty countries over a decade, Paul Koudounaris has captured death around the world.Stunning book, beautifully illustrated.  The Witches’ Book of the Dead explores the enduring relationship between Witches and the dead. Learn about Witches of legend who have raised the dead, the tools of necromancy, methods of spirit contact, rituals, recipes, exercises, and more.  Looking for a thoughtful fright? Or perhaps a frightful thought? Packed with stories selected by one of today’s leading esoteric scholars, this book will do more than make your toes curl and your skin crawl. These tales reveal hidden truths, inspire forbidden pursuits, and divulge the secrets of magical initiation in the guise of fiction.

Trial and Error – 5th October 2016

The Witchcraft Trials in Fact and Fiction
Roper - Witch Craze Maxwell-Stuart - Satans Conspiracy Crowther - Witches Were for Hanging
Witch Craze
Lyndal Roper
Satan’s Conspiracy
P.G. Maxwell-Stuart
Witches Were For Hanging
Patricia Crowther
 A historical account of the trials and punishment of those accused of witchcraft in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with particular regard to Germany. A study of manuscripts, transcriptions and reports from sixteenth century Scotland with interpretation and suggestions towards an informed view of the Scottish witchcraft trials. (2nd Hand) The year is 1645 and the infamous Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General, is sweeping through Essex leaving a trail of torture and death. The Nokes family are real witches and their attempts to outwit Hopkins leads them into many terrifying situations.

Practical Magic – 27th September 2016

As the evenings start to draw in it’s the perfect time to add to your accomplishments or refine those you already have
Buckland - Practical Candleburning Rituals Farrell - Making Talismans Bird - Songs from the Magical Tradition
Practical Candleburning Rituals
Raymond Buckland
Making Talismans
Nick Farrell
Songs from the Magical Tradition
Jerry Bird
 A guidebook on candle magic for every purpose. For those already experienced there’s ‘Advanced Candle Magick’ by the same author and spell candles in a range of colours so you can get started straight away! “Being the art and science of the creation of living entities of power”. Covering creation and empowerment, with lots of background info and illustrations. Both a book about music and a book of music, it looks at 17 traditional songs, their history, origins and possible meanings, and includes the arrangements so you can add them to your repertoire in time for the party season!

Celebrate Good Times – 20th September 2016

As we careen toward the end of the calendar year we have Autumn Equinox / Mabon, Samhain / Hallowe’en and Yule / Christmas rapidly approaching. Are you ready to party in style?
Ceanadach - Ceremony for Every Occasion Hutton - Stations of the Sun Forest - The Magical Year
A Ceremony for Every Occasion
Siusaidh Ceanadach
The Stations of the Sun
Ronald Hutton
The Magical Year
Danu Forest
 A guide to rituals for the Wheel of the Year and Rites of Passage which can be used in actual practice, adapted and personalised and as inspiration for your own workings. A historical guide to the festivals, rituals and customs found across Britian and further afield investigating  their roots, myths and the truth behind the assumptions surrounding them. Fascinating stuff.  Principally based on the Celtic Wheel of the Year, another work that looks at ways to celebrate incorporating nature, starlore and ritual.

More Mooning – 16th August 2016

A detailed history and authoritative look at the religious beliefs, experiences, and lifestyles of the neopagan culture.Continuing our lunar theme for The Moonshine War
Adler - Drawing Down the Moon Hutton - Triumph of the Moon Kinstler - Moon Under Her Feet
Drawing Down the Moon
Margot Adler
The Triumph of the Moon
Ronald Hutton
The Moon Under Her Feet
Clysta Kinstler
A detailed history and authoritative look at the religious beliefs, experiences, and lifestyles of the neopagan culture. Hutton’s acclaimed study of modern pagan witchcraft, covering its development and nature and including a general consideration of attitudes to paganism, witchcraft, and magic in British society since 1800.  Narrative weaving the biblical account of Mary and Jesus, the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris, and the Sumerian story of Inanna and Dumuzi to create an exotic tale of a strong, sensual woman.

The Moon – 9th August 2016

A celebration of all things lunar in honour of The Moonshine War art Exhibit currently on display
Pepper - Moon Lore Moorey - Silver Moon

Fortune - Moon Magic

Moon Lore
Elizabeth Pepper
Silver Moon
Teresa Moorey
Moon Magic
Dion Fortune
A short volume of tales, charms, chants, and curses from ancient time to the present. A guide to understanding and harnessing the lunar influences that affect our daily lives. A follow up to The Sea Priestess, we rejoin the exotic and seductive Vivien Le Fay (now Lilith) through her magical moon workings.

Portals & Pathways – 2nd August 2016

A few of the Moon Books taster texts

Gray - Grimalkyn Van Der Hoeven - Dancing with Nemetona

Sentier - Elen of the Ways

Grimalkyn: The Witch’s Cat
Martha Gray
Dancing with Nemetona
Joanna Van Der Hoeven
Elen of the Ways
Elen Sentier
Subtitled “Power Animals in Traditional Magic”, with a particular focus on cats. An introduction to connecting with the Goddess of the Grove through dance, chant and meditation Part of the Shaman Pathways, this looks at experiencing the deer and the forest as a representation of the spirit of the land.

Holiday Reads – 26th July 2016

Fun fiction for lazy days and in-between times

Alt - A Charmed Death Butcher - Storm Front

Pratchett - 01 Colour of Magic

A Charmed Death
Madelyn Alt
Storm Front
Jim Butcher
The Colour of Magic
Terry Pratchett
Fluffy chick-lit type fun with a mystery magical twist. Detective novel meets the wizarding world and more in the first of the Harry Dresden novels (personally love this series!) The first of the Discworld novels. If you haven’t read these, you definitely should. If you have, you’ll probably want to read them again. And again.

Crowley (Again) – 19th July 2016

The Great Beast As Told By Others
 Moore - Crowley Beginners Guide  Kaczynski - Perdurabo  Bradley - Elmer Crowley
Crowley: A Beginners Guide
John S. Moore
Richard Kaczynski
Elmer Crowley
Tom Bradford
 Brilliantly illustrated by John Higgins, this is a highly accessible guide to this fascinating, complex and controversial figure. It neither promotes nor condemns him, presenting hostile as well as favourable views of his character and achievement.  Based on Richard Kaczynski’s twenty years of research, and including previously unpublished biographical details, Perdurabo paints a memorable portrait of the man who inspired the counterculture and influenced generations of artists, punks, wiccans, and other denizens of the demimonde. This has been highly recommended to me (though I haven’t got round to it yet!) Aleister Crowley comes back as Elmer Fudd.
Brilliant and slightly horrifying at the same time, with illustrations that will ensure you never look at Looney Tunes the same way ever again…

Crowley – 12 July 2016

All By Himself
Crowley - The Book of the Law Crowley - Dramatic Ritual Crowley - Moonchild
Liber Al / The Book of the Law
Aleister Crowley
Dramatic Ritual
Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley
“Liber Al vel Legis’ or “The Book of the Law” is the central sacred text of Thelema, ‘written’ by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in the year 1904. Crowley says that the author was an entity named Aiwass, whom he later referred to as his personal Holy Guardian Angel (or “Higher Self”). The Equinox became the standard for English language esotericism in the early 20th century, aptly termed the “Encyclopedia of Initiation” by its principal editor and contributor, Aleister Crowley. Key articles have now been republished as collected works. This is a novel by Crowley about a magical war between a white lodge over an unborn child, the “moonchild” of the title, with the action moving between London, Paris and a villa in Naples. It works as  solid introduction to Crowley’s ideas in fiction format.

Modern Magic – 5th July 2016

For this ever changing world which we live in
Ellwood - Pop Culture Magic Knight - Cyber Spellbook Penczak - City Magick
Pop Culture Magic 2.0
Taylor Ellwood
 The Cyber Spellbook
Sirona Knight & Patricia Telesco
City Magick
Christopher Penczak

Quirky Magic – 21st June

Magic methods re-imagined to suit circumstance and caster
Teague - Steampunk Magic Telesco - Cat Magic Garrison - Old Girls Book of Spells
Steampunk Magic
Gypsey Elaine Teague
Cat Magic
Patricia Telesco
The Old Girls’ Book of Spells
Cal Garrison
“Bolt your steamer trunk and don your top hat”. I’m sold on the offering of ‘Absinthe Rituals’ quite honestly – if this is a culture that interests you then definitely worth a read (and an imaginative viewpoint even if it’s not). Pratchett has notably observed that cats were once worshipped as Gods, and have never forgotten it. This book covers all things cat including myths, spells and rituals, both for their enrichment and yours. Aimed at those ‘of a certain age’, this is a practical guide for all that comes with it such as soothing aches and pains, dealing with aging parents and recalcitrant children and finding lost keys, glasses and the other myriad trinkets it’s easy to lose track of.

The Tarot – 14th June 2016

Tarot and Oracle Card Decks Now in the Shop!
Louis - Tarot Plain and Simple Dean - Ultimate Tarot Spreads Matthews - Lenormand Oracle
Tarot Plain and Simple
Anthony Louis
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads
Liz Dean
The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook
Caitlin Matthews
This book presents the Tarot in clear language that anyone can understand.
This guide contains spreads used hundreds of years ago by occult scholars such as Nostradamus and modern spreads inspired by today’s visionaries.
More than 200 years old, the 36 Lenormand cards are an oracle combining standard playing cards with images from the everyday world, such as key, book, animals, and flowers. Their simple, predictive, and non-esoteric nature opens the realm of fortune-telling to all, offering a traditional cartomantic divination where card combinations fuse together to give clear answers.

The Witches – 7th June 2016

Witchy stuff in honour of the Lovable Creatures currently in the shop.
Farrar - Witches Bible Green - Witch Alone Brackston - Witchs Daughter
A Witches’ Bible
Janet and Stewart Farrar
A Witch Alone
Marian Green
The Witch’s Daughter
Paula Brackston
A key work in initiatory coven Wicca with lots of very accessible information on the principles and practice. For the solitary practitioner with thirteen months of exercises to help hone the practical skills of the hedgewitch.
The first book in The Shadow Chronicles, the story moves between 1628 and the present day to follow the story of 384 year old Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, witch.

The Green Man – 31st May 2016

Celebrating the Green Man as he comes into his element
Lyon - Uprooted Amis - The Green Man
The Jack-in-the-Green
Roy Judge
Nina Lyon
The Green Man
Kingsley Amis
A detailed study of the origins and development of the Green Man or Jack-in-the-Green, in particular with how they relate to May customs, looking at history, folklore and practice for interpretations and insight. Originally published in 1979 and updated in 1995. A more recent publication (this year in fact!) this looks more at the imagery and myth across the world rather than specifically in terms of May celebrations and traces the authors’ search for answers about the elusive figure.
“Like all good coaching inns, The Green Man is said to boast a resident ghost: Dr Thomas Underhill, a notorious seventeenth-century practitioner of black arts and sexual deviancy…”

OK, so not actually about the Green Man per se, but I couldn’t resist putting it in here regardless!

Ancient History – May 2016

Back In The Day
Pagan Britain
Ronald Hutton
Britain BC
Francis Pryor
The Clan of the Cave Bear
Jean M Auel
A study of paganism in Britain from the Paleolithic Age through to the arrival of Christianity. Hutton’s combination of diligent research and accessible written style make his works a must for anyone who wants to know the ‘real’ history behind the often romanticised versions that have permeated popular culture. A re-examination of Britain and Ireland before the coming of the Romans based on evidence found with new aerial photography, coastal erosions and advanced scientific techniques, with a full array of plates, maps and illustrations to bring the subject to life. Originally a trilogy (now in five parts), Auel incorporated a massive amount of archaeological, anthropological and survivalist detail into the Neanderthal period saga. This can make it quite heavy going in places but well worth it as throughout she weaves a story that covers every element within that world, with no small emphasis on herb lore and spirituality.

Getting Started – May 2016

Making Introductions
Pagan Paths
Pete Jennings
Paganism: A Very Short Introduction
Owen Davies
Magus of Stonewylde
Kit Berry
A short, accessible, practical guide to the different traditions and practices. This is a small, short volume at the academic end of the scale. Davies looks at paganism both in terms of its historical definition in various cultures as well as the modern revival. It’s a well written and concise starting point for anyone interested particularly in the subject, as opposed to as a religious practice (though I would highly recommend it for both!) The first book in the Stonewylde series, the story of an isolated community that still follows the “old ways”. It incorporates a lot of pagan and traditional beliefs, practices and symbology throughout so it’s a great way of familiarising yourself with some of the ideas if fiction is more your thing.

2nd Hand