Welcome to my site. I'm Francesca De Grandis. * classes * books * blog * Third Road Shamanic Wicca * stardrenched oral tradition
* Faerie mysticism * 
ol' fashion witchcraft * ol' fashion innovation * ecstatic paradox * Fey Druidism * I'm a non-theist pantheist
pagan serving Goddess. Mother and all my Gods, thank you.

Francesca De Grandis' Recommended Books about Celtic Shamanism; Goddess; Magic Spells; Wicca; Self Help & Great Sex

Many people have asked me for a list of suggested reading. Some of these titles are dear to me. I love the idea of more folks getting to read them! Drop by occasionally to see what new releases and old favorites I add.

Jeff Bezos, President of Amazon.com, had a great idea about making my reading list even better. Through my affiliation with Amazon.com, you can buy these titles directly from my web site. Read what Jeff has to say about our arrangement.

If you want to sell books from your site, like I am doing on this page, contact Amazon.com.

The following started as a compilation of all the reading lists I give my students. Some of the titles below have been on my reading list for my students since maybe 1986. I find that many books I loved years ago retain all the power and magic they did when I first read them!

I have also added books not on my reading lists for my students, but that I still feel are special.

There are five other additions I should note: ahem, my own books, New! Share My Insanity, Be a Teen Goddess!, The Modern Goddess' Guide to Life, Goddess Initiation, and Be a Goddess!.

New! As of 10/02, additional suggested books will be added by two other Third Roaders: The first is Thom Fowler, my initiate and dear, and also an innovative thinker with an eye to the real. The second is wondrous Kathi Somers, a woman whose spiritual depth of perception adds to any project! More about both these folks on my links page. Any review by one of them will kick off with a statement making that clear. All other book reviews are by me.

It is not a Wiccan list per se. An everyday cookbook might be more relevant to me spiritually than a book with "Goddess" or "Witch" in the title. I have always been drawn to books that, no matter what the author said the book was about, held the gemlike kernels of Faerie tradition, magic, and spiritual depth. Many books in this list are just such titles. Others, though I may disagree rabidly with them, can be important contributions to the pagan practitioner.

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The List!

Share My Insanity: It Improves Everything, available September 2011. Trickster Spirituality. Divine Madness. Self-Help meets Mad Hatter meets chaos theory…and a few recipes. Trickster Deities support people of any religion and invite everyone to join in holy silliness, because it connects us to self, community, cosmos, and the Divine. Stardrenched! For more info, go here. The author of this and the next four books is yours truly.

Be a Teen Goddess! Magical Charms, Spells, and Wiccan Wisdom for the Wild Ride of Life, available April, 2005. Life's a wild ride! This book's spells and spirituality give you the overdrive and power steering you need. No talking down to the reader, no pablum, no lies. In fact, I think adults need this book as much as, if not more than, teens (in my not so humble opinion). For more info, go here.

The Modern Goddess' Guide to Life: How to be Absolutely Divine on a Daily Basis, available May, 2004. Since Pagans have a definite penchant for humor and fun -- they are Pagans, after all -- it was only a matter of time before some lunatic among us wrote a humor book. And I'm the lunatic. Grins and laughter empower, heal, and uplift us like nobody's business. For more info, go here.

Goddess Initiation: A Practical Celtic Program for Soul-Healing, Self-Fulfillment, and Wild Wisdom by, well, me! Available in stores October 2, 2001. If you want more info about this book, go here.

Be a Goddess! A Guide to Celtic Spells and Wisdom for Self-Healing, Prosperity, and Great Sex is also one of my books, published February 2, 1998. If you want more info about this book, go here.

Reviewed 12/02: The courage to try to make a difference cannot stand unaided. Buddhist Acts of Compassion, compiled and edited by Pamela Bloom, helped me keep on acting according to my ideals. In addition, the book addresses sacrifice and service in a sound, realistic manner: pivotal though sacrifice and service are to spirituality, they are often missing in Wiccan and New Age dialogs. Or, when I see them discussed elsewhere, it is done in unhealthy ways. Yet I cannot continue to make life's necessary sacrifices without support and inspiration. For one thing, sacrifice is needed to do my work in the world. In my particular case this means a virtual vow of poverty, as well as risk -- e.g., the death threat I received in the early 90s. The book offers one more blessing: some Wiccans, New Agers, and Christians judge themselves harshly just because they have typical, unavoidable human problems. This book helps a person face his or her own suffering without self-incrimination, and with dignity. Thank you, Pamela, I couldn’t put this book down, and that usually only happens with me with fantasy novels. :)  

On 12/02, Thom Fowler says: In Memoirs of a Spiritual Outsider , Suzanne Clores describes in elegant detail her spiritual wanderings and how they not only broadened her cultural horizons but deepened her experience of soulful living and becoming a woman of wisdom. A self-professed disaffected Gen-X'er, she wanders through Wicca, Voudou, Sufism, Yoga, and Shamanism yearning to find spiritual truth. When she discovers she's been over saturated with potential paths she gets frustrated that she doesn't seem to be practicing anything even as she acknowledges that there should be no difference between a spiritual practice and the every day living of her life.  Ms. Clores doesn't have your answers and she's still looking for her own, but she understands the quest and that companionship is no small comfort.

Reviewed 10/02: I work hard on my spirituality as do my students, clients, and readers. But we're pagans! Sometimes we need to have fun, instead! Besides, fun does help us grow spiritually. It expands our hearts, might open us to risking more, and can even heal old wounds. Well, several of us in The Third Road (which is the tradition that I teach; more info about it is in my books as well as throughout this web site) are Emily The Strange fans. I love Emily, fabulous, harmless tomfoolery for us weirdoes. It's nice to have something lighthearted geared toward us rebels. I laugh and smile a lot about Emily, a rambunctious, somewhat demonic adolescent who mirrors our free spirits, and is summed up by her line "Emily doesn't change. She's always strange." This pop culture phenomenon at first does not seem to have great depth, but the more I got into it, the more was revealed. The more I put aside my "harrumph! Shallow commercialism!", the more I chuckled and found something real going on. 

So, I suggest you don't just read the book, but check out the entire scene. (There are a lot of Emily The Strange products.) Enjoy her fully by fully exploring her. Her book is filled with dark whimsy, some of which is used in her postcards . They decorate my home with their cheerful reminders like "I like nightmares. Don't wake me" and "Emily's dreams are your worst nightmares." Or "Emily isn't lazy, she's just happy doing nothing." There's also an address book, with a collection of bizarre stickers. Every person whose address you enter can be checked off as part of the problem or part of the posse. Then there's the Emily The Strange diary which I was given and it put me in a quandary. I journal on individual pieces of paper that I then put in a binder. So a small fifties-style bound diary is not for me. And I've a policy to not keep anything I can't use. But there it was, darling with its little lock and key, and black hardbound cover, Emily looking oh-so-innocent on it, and below her the words "Nothing to hide?" I couldn't bear to part with it, it was so teen-rebellious. Finally I took a knife, hollowed out all its pages which I then glued together, to make a box that looks like a book, like you see in a movie murder mystery. If you like diaries, get Emily's. If you prefer writing in a larger volume, my initiate, Janaya, turned me onto the Emily The Strange journal. And after you acquire everything on Amazon, go to Emily's web site and earn a demerit badge! Finally, there's often secret messages in Emily products. I leave you to find them. 

Amazon Girls Handbook by Becky Thacker is knee-slapping fun that I wish somebody had written during the too-dour days of the 60s and 70s feminist movement. High spirits and spirituality go hand-in-hand for Amazon Girls, as my student Kathi Somers says: 

If you've ever said, after cleaning out and organizing your garage, "I should get a badge for this," then you're already thinking like an Amazon Girl. In the Amazon Girls Handbook, Becky assures us that "Amazon Girls do whatever they want to do" and get to earn badges for things like picnicking, cooking and dining, and, my favorite pastime -- reading! So, gather your pals together -- this is one of those books you'll love to giggle over together while taking charge of your destinies.

Reviewed 10/02: Witch Bree wrote Witch's Brew Good Spells for Healing , Witch's Brew Good Spells for Good Friends , and Witch's Brew Good Spells for Creativity , which my initiate, Laura Gail Grohe, told me are marvelous. She was right. As Laura said, they, on a sheer physical level, are a beautiful treat -- tiny hardbound volumes with grosgrain ribbons to tie them closed; every page made of thick, scallop edged parchment; an overall visual feel that adds up to magic. And the text: sweet, simple folk spells wonderfully reminiscent of Scott Cunningham; practical and easy to perform. The books' rituals capture the imagination which makes for a very witchy time! I'm not as fond of Witch's Brew Good Spells for Love, another of the series. Its spells seem a bit cumbersome and contrived, and are not what I personally would like to use. But the other three are a complete contrast -- sweet, sweet, sweet with a straight ahead and charming sincerity that lend magical appeal and mystical power! These books are elegant and handy when you need to find the perfect little ritual -- chance is you'll find it therein!

On 12/02, Thom Fowler suggests Green Living: A Practical Guide to Eating, Gardening, Energy Saving and Housekeeping for a Healthy Planet by Sarah Callard and Diane Millis, saying:

Respecting the Goddess means taking care of her body -- her body is you, the planet that sustains us, and a sentient cosmos. This book is great! It features the most current innovations in ecologically sustainable living. This book assumes you want to live the ideal eco-responsible lifestyle and the direct tone is unforgiving. But it's good to have an ideal to strive for so that anything you do is an improvement. Each chapter is easy to read and filled with consciousness-raising facts about waste and pollution with lots of tips and suggestions. There is even a chapter on seasonal eating complete with recipes. As the title suggests, Green Living is, above all, a practical how-to guide that tells you what, why, how, and where. When is left up to you.

Reviewed 12/02: American Indian Healing Arts: Herb, Rituals, and Remedies for Every Season of Life by E. Barrie Kavasch and Karen Baar is the real thing. Often, I see New Age books supposedly on Native American spirituality, but instead, filled with na-na. Or I'm shown texts on the topic, written by academics so removed from their material that they don't understand it! But Kavasch and Baar combine the best of academic and personal backgrounds, which results in sound research, material understood by the authors at a gut level, and a practical, useful presentation. This book'll go in my personal reference library; it is a text you want there to refer to when you need info on medical herbalism, ritual practices, or earth based spirituality. The real thing!

Embracing Jesus and the Goddess by Carl McColman is a necessary book with a cutting edge message that fills me with hope. McColman's brave exploration of controversial issues is thought provoking and rendered with touching sincerity. His inclusive concern for all communities is a guiding light for people of any religious or spiritual path. Carl's likening of the crucifixion with the witch burnings is brilliant and significant! And this is a man who is gonna get jumped on from all sides, because he is willing to confront the communities he loves -- Carl is both pagan and Christian! --with much needed criticism. He does so with love and integrity, but still, it is a risk, and I honor him for that risk. Support his bravery by buying a book!

Reviewed 9/01: Voices of Truth : Conversations with Scientists, Thinkers and Healers by Nina L. Diamond, inspires you to keep growing and fighting for a better life for yourself and your community. The book is hard to categorize and that's its strength: it does not coast on any hip trends. The folks interviewed in it range from bestselling New Age author Deepak Chopra to the grandson of Gandhi to Charles Jaco, the irrepressible CNN reporter who is routinely thrown out of countries for his American cowboy determination to report oppression where he finds it, whether anyone is shooting at him or not! In this book, Diamond is interviewing people who are unafraid to stand out and make a difference, whatever their line of work; and if that isn't the definition of spiritual, nothing is. I don't care if you call yourself spiritual or a news reporter or an atheistic housewife, if you're on the front lines, you are what spirituality is all about. This book is also a delightful, easy read. An aside: this site started as my precious little place, then ended up featured in the New York Times; now publishers send me books for my little reading list. Well, I won't add anything to this list that I don't like. So there! Don't get me wrong, I love receiving all these books, because I can share the really good ones with you, but sometimes I shudder at what shows up in the mail. But Nina's book! What a wild inspiring ride. It makes you know that she and others really do care. The book is dedicated to Gary Wilson, a friend of mine who died a while back, and who bravely made a spiritual adventure out of his death. If you don't enjoy New Age sensibilities, don't be put off just because some of the folks in this book are New Age writers. Because this is different: for example, Nina gives New Age heavy-weight James Redfield a testimony that is an unwitting testimony to herself; hidden between the lines shine her own enthusiasm and dedication to changing the world for the better. I'm also impressed by the depth of the interviews: these are real conversations, not text made up of promotional sound bytes or platitudes. For example, I am not a Deepak Chopra fan -- his books help a lot of people, but they are not my style -- but Nina's conversation with him held my attention fast, I didn't skim even a single paragraph. The high energy rapid pace to the conversations made me feel I was Nina's personal guest, on an exciting adventure. I was reminded of my basic truths, and gained fresh ideas. From its insights into Gandhi's life that somehow offer understanding of our own hopes and struggles, to its section on Gladys Seymour Davis, the health industry innovator, this thought provoking collection of interviews is tied together by the fact that everyone involved, including the interviewer, cares about taking meaningful action in their lives.

Reviewed 11/01: Kiss My Tiara : How to Rule the World As a Smart Mouth Goddess by Susan Jane Gilman: My life is devoted to fun and service, and combining the two. So you know I've got to love this book for combining them so effectively. Susan serves us well in this sassy, cocky look at everything from beauty to career to the religious right to feminism, and I laughed out loud -- literally -- at line after line, reading on a plane no less. She recognizes the power of humor and uses it with relish! In her witty remarks are rich perceptions, the sort of light-bulb-goes-off-above-your-head revelations that you have with girlfriends late at night over coffee. This hysterically funny, not to mention gloriously bitchy, book, (though I met Susan and she was sweet as a button) has sound ideas on everything from financial success to effectively pursuing political activism to dieting, and is also an easy read. Advice from Susan's grandma is sprinkled throughout, beautifully sarcastic and wise. Not a goddess book despite its title, but in my mind anything that empowers women this effectively helps women be goddesses. And who can resist a chapter titled "Beauty Tips from Insane Asylums"?

The Gendered Atom : Reflections on the Sexual Psychology of Science, by Theodore Roszak is fascinating and not dry, difficult reading. In subjecting much of science's biases to a mystical and political criticism, Roszak also reveals what is wrong with society at large. As a shaman and mystic happy that scientists are bit by bit learning what shaman and mystics have always known, I put this new (and overtly speaking non religious) text on my students' reading list, because it reinforces a magical belief system, inter relatedness and other basic spiritual and mystical truths. And if you want to wed your scientific leanings to your mysticism, this is the book. A fascinating history, the text offers a multifaceted analysis of how science's predominantly sterile and patriarchal world view has affected child rearing, community, sense of self as an isolated entity, religion, and violence against women. In challenging premises of science past and present, including the repression of the soul for the intellect, Roszak challenges society's dry lifeless race toward success, and provides alternative views. The Gendered Atom is not mindless science bashing, but a highly intelligent analysis that: honors scientists who have created a saner world and fought the prevalent scientific errors of their times; and acknowledges the changes in current day scientific world view. Despite the praiseworthy complexity of Roszak's approach, this is an easy to read, uplifting, fun and reassuring text.

All Susun S. Weeds' books are important and innovative, and sit on my shelf of crucial books --->

Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed is an important book and all around imperative reading for any woman who wants to own and control her own body, health and destiny. Susun and I had barely spoken or read each other, but in the first twelve pages of "Healing Wise" I found a *lot* of the theory that *I* teach.. I had never read anyone like her (except myself), and was excited to find a soul sister. Though hers is a book on natural healing instead of shamanism, I would nevertheless say that if you like my work, get your hands on Susun's. If you wonder where to go after (or before) you read me, read her! I chose to focus on applied practices instead of theory in "Be a Goddess!", but the theory underpinning my book and the theory in hers have a lot in common.

Aside from the many similarities in our theory, I was also refreshed to discover truly new ideas about physical health and healing. Susun's one of those rare authors who is actually thinking. I may not always agree with her, but, as a fellow community leader and a person invested in her own personal health, I need to read pioneering thoughts instead of rehashes. I too often have to rely solely on myself for innovative solutions to my illness or injuries. I thank Susun for new ideas to try on. Whether I like them all or not, whether they all work or not, I mull them over and they lead me somewhere, even if sometimes it is to contradictions of her work and hence my own new truths. And one's own truths, ever growing, ever fluid, as both Susun and I agree, are what it is all about. One of the book's many gems: Healing Wise suggests that one not ask about an illness the New Age "why?" but instead use illness as a chance to nurture one's self. This is great! Thus, my reaction to my recently sprained ankle was, "I am a passionate person who throws herself into life. The flip side of that coin is that sometimes I overdo it. I would rather be passionate and overdo it, than lack enthusiasm. I will try to act more reasonably on my enthusiasm, but won't beat myself up for loving/living life fully." And thus I feel really good about myself. Buy this book!

Menopausal Years, The Wise Woman's Way , by Susun S. Weed is must reading for any woman from age 30 to 90, and provides a plethora of both factual medical information and alternative modalities for health and healing that are needed to help a woman navigate the puzzling, difficult maze of menopause and impending cronehood. Don't wait until you're forty to read this book, because it offers info a woman should have years before then. I live by this book.

Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way , by Susun S. Weed, is a typical Susun Weed book: important, extensively researched, and offering an abundance of relevant facts and inspiration. And the book confronts, head on, the terror of breast cancer that leaves women frozen in impotence and often incapable of fighting for their health and sometimes their very lives. A book of joy, hope, and love.

The Aspiring Mystic : Practical Steps for Spiritual Seekers by Carl McColman, thrilled me. I opened it just to take a quick peek at it in the middle of making lunch and found myself sitting down to read it. In other words, it grabs you with vitality of thought and relevancy. Mystics confront a lot of dilemmas: we are considered odd and feel alone; organized religion and society at large distrust us; pertinent guidelines are hard to find so we are often left wandering, confused about what our next spiritual step should be; and we can be bewildered at our inability to always live according to the beautiful visions with which we are blessed. As a writer I try to offer solutions to these dilemmas. Carl does the same in his book. He told me he views this book as a 101 and thus was surprised that I found the book often relevant to my personal path; The Aspiring Mystic goes well past 101 level. Of course, I am going to enjoy any book that agrees with how I view life; Carl's text says a lot of things that folks sitting in my classes hear me rant on about! In fact I told Carl "Thank you for writing this book: now I don't have to write it myself: it has the "do nots" that mystics need, and without which they can often become lost and unhappy!" This book is a must read in its relevancy to a mystic's life path.

Mother's Nature : Timeless Wisdom for the Journey into Motherhood, by Gosline, Bossi, and Beanland, is a must for expectant and new mothers. This celebration of motherhood offers wisdom from a wide variety of perspectives -- such as Adrienne Rich, the Dalai Lama, Ursula LeGuin, Nabokov -- as well as marvelous birthing and fertility customs from around the world, some from native cultures. Not a pagan book per se, it is pagan. I wish Mother Nature's ... had existed when I had my daughter way back when, in the early feminism of the sixties. When I conceived I understood the profound importance of the maternal state; and everyone else treated it as a minor event. I was "just a pregnant woman," leap by huge leap relegated to the second class citizenship of wife and mother. Everyone's lack of wonder over birth and motherhood confused me. All this was one of the first ways my feminist consciousness developed as I understood how greatly the world demeans women. This book, which would have been an antidote, honors divine motherhood and mirrors back to pregnant women and new moms the goddess within.

Aradia, written by Charles Leland and first published in the 1800s, is a classic, and the first printed version of the Charge of the Goddess, that I know of. Italian sorcery! It's one of my favorites. Definitely eccentric.

People of the Earth, the New Pagans Speak Out by Ellen Evert Hopman & Lawrence Bond is an extensive collection of interviews with pagan leaders & teachers. I was delighted with the interview of me: it is an accurate portrayal of who I am and what I do.

Post Porn Modernist: My 25 Years as a Multimedia Whore, by Annie Sprinkle, who is one of my heroes. There's a saying that there are five honest people holding the cosmos together and none of them knows who the others are -- I think Annie is one of those people. While my sense of sexuality is far different from hers -- apples and oranges, and ain't diversity grand! -- her total embracing of the sexual, her complete and loving acceptance of everyone's sexual preferences and quirks, her enormous integrity, all coupled with as loving a heart as you could ever meet, add up to saint status in my book. Her book has some gems in it. Its two pages titled "Annie's Sex Guidelines for the 90s, or You Can Heal Your Sex Life" are worth the price of the book. It's an intelligent book on one of my favorite topics: sex! And if Annie ain't spiritual, nothing is.

Prayer is Good Medicine is by Larry Dossey. I opened this book, just out 1997, with my usual cynicism about best selling authors. Shame, shame, Francesca. This guy says important stuff! While I will admit I haven't read all of it yet, what I've read is remarkable. Dossey addresses real issues about prayer (substitute the word "spells" for some of what he says and you've got some good instruction on magic thrown in while you're at it!) He touches on questions like: why is prayer not be used in place of concrete action; do you need permission to pray for someone; and what are the harmful effects of prayer? As always, I find that looking for spiritual growth and personal empowerment means to be open to all the sources that come along. I am so glad I was open to this book, and look forward to reading all of it.

The Secret Science at Work by Max Friedman Long was recommended to me by Victor Anderson, when I first started studying with him. I've not seen much to equal Max's writings since, when it comes to books about Hawaiian shamanism.. Max's writings are not without flaw but on the whole are good.

Recovering the Ancient Magic by Max Friedman Long is another title you might want to explore!

Tao de Ching by Laotse, is a beautiful piece of writing from about BC 570.I recommend the translation by Victor H. Mair. The different translations of the Tao de Ching might as well be translations of completely different texts. I like Mair's sense of what this text of ancient Chinese philosophy has to offer the modern world.

The Mana Cards: The Power of Hawaiian Wisdom , its accompanying book aside, have a soft, subtle power and peaceful radiance; they hold spirit. In other words, one needn't interpret them to gain spiritual nourishment, I intend to just sit, choose a card and rest my spirit in it, the way one rests their spirit in god and thus finds nurture, or rests one's body by a forest pool and finds hope. The artist pulled off a remarkable feat in creating cards that can do this, especially in a culture where the brunt of spirituality is carried by intellectual recognition of concept as opposed to the direct experience of spirit these cards give. "Mana" means "power." These are rightly called Mana cards, since they give power directly instead of only being a means to study power. My use of words like "soft" or "peaceful" do not imply mild, this is a powerful deck. Being a long time professional card reader myself, and a one-time tarot teacher, I've seen a lot of decks and can recommend this one as remarkable and of unusually high standard. And as to the book that comes with the deck -- all of it beautifully packaged together -- I've not read it yet. And may not get a chance, because any time I spend with the product may get waylaid by drinking in the deck's awesome power. In the authentic tradition of Hawaiian shamanism, Mana Cards are not a head trip but an actual spiritual experience.

Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions , by Starhawk, Anne Hill, and Diane Baker, fills a gap in Wiccan literature, by offering guidelines about pagan parenting. My initiate Sara Robinson who is a pagan home-schooling mother, says of Circle Round, "It is the definitive work for pagan parents. There's nothing like it available." The book is beautifully illustrated by another of my initiates, Sara Boore. Inside info, hee, hee, hee: I sat as Sara's model for the Faerie Queen in Sara's illustration of the Queen riding on her horse with Thomas the Rhymer, off to the land of the Fey. I thought this was hysterical since I feel like a cross between a Faerie and Thomas!

Jambalaya : The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals , by Luisa Teish, is rooted in Lucumi, an African based tradition. Luisa, a well respected Lucumi priestess, honors the past in this book, while bringing her religion into the present with a feminist sensibility and high integrity.

Attitudes of Gratitude, by M.J. Ryan: I repeatedly teach "There are basic truths that keep us sane, happy and fulfilled. I, and many I know, need constant reminders of such truths." This book's little, quickly read passages provide such reminders. It may be pure ego when one thinks a book is good because it echoes one's own thoughts, but a book is good if after reading it one thinks "I feel I wrote it myself." I was delighted to read many things I constantly lecture in my workshops, classes, (phone calls...), things I harp on because they're important to people's happiness; so I am delighted to see such thoughts in print whenever they occur.

Religion Without Beliefs : Essays in Pantheist Theology, Comparative Religion & Ethics , by Fred Lamond, was published in England in 1998. Fred is an elder in the Craft, trained by Gerald Gardner himself; more importantly, at least to me, his friendship has been a huge factor in my work, because among other things he has once or twice encouraged me to keep on keeping on when I was totally discouraged. In addition, his belief in what I am trying to do as a spiritual healer -- well, everyone needs friends to say "You're doing great!" Fred's book conveys his personal vision of the Craft. Though that vision is different from mine, it is the vision of a man I love and respect; isn't diversity wonderful?! His long time love of the Old Gods make this a book worth reading.

Eastern Body, Western Mind : Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self , by Anodea Judith, is written with care and thoughtfulness by a charming teacher/healer. This is not the quick and dirty version of a chakra book; it masses 500+ pages. Anodea was an instrumental priestess for many years in Church of All Worlds.

The Teachings of Don Juan; A Yaqui Way of Knowledge , by Carlos Castaneda, and published in 1968, started the genre of shamanic autobiographies. I love Castaneda's bumbling through one magical experience after another, most of them inexplicable to him; it's very typical of a real shamanic or in fact any spiritual journey, that the seeker makes most of the journey in a state of confusion, as opposed to some so-called hero-like assuredness that bears little resemblance to most people's actual spiritual path. A fun read!

Medicine Woman , by Lynn V. Andrews, like the above book, is one of the early (published 1991) shamanic autobiographical novels. I figure it has to be authentic: only someone who has studied with a real shaman could duplicate in print how incredibly boring the authentic lessons can be. Somehow, sometimes, despite how important and exciting a lesson is, it can be very boring too. Go figure! This is a fun, easy read!

The Fifth Sacred Thing , by Starhawk, is a brilliant Utopian novel in which Wicca is the religion of a whole village, and love does conquer all.

Sanctuary: A Tale of Life in the Woods , by Paul Monette, winner of the National Book Award, is a must read (do you hear me, a must read!) for anyone who believes, as I do, that to quote my *own* book, "Faerie magic is not a poetry on the page but a living breathing poetry, the poetry of ritual, the poetry of waking each morning to the Mother's embrace, the Art of walking with Her on the way to work." Monette's book is not a book of poems. It is a little 95 page story that touches the heart of love for self, community and planet. It's $17.00 for this hard cover, and its Faerie-tale-like beauty is more than worth it!

The Way We Lived by Malcolm Margolin. Harmony within one's self means seeking harmony with one's environment. Since I teach mostly in Northern California, I recommend my local students read this book to see how shamanism was practiced here in ancient times. If you live elsewhere, find info on what natives of your area did, and/or do. But, The Way We Lived is great reading for anyone anywhere. It's the story of Northern California natives, told by themselves.

Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson M. Haas, M.D. has been on my book list from the gate and, sigh, it's one of those books that students tend not to read, then come back to me five years later enthusiastically telling me I should read it! In other words, I am trying to nag you into believing that a book doesn't have to be about the Craft to be a really good Craft book! Using traditional Chinese philosopher, this book shows how to bring one's mundane daily activities into harmony with each season. Without any overt pagan sensibility, the book is about *living* the essence of the pagan year wheel. I prefer this to the pagan books that focus only on the sabbats.

Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson. Okay, the book as a whole may not be my cup of tea, but it has gems in it that are not only worth the price of admission to the whole show, but, of themselves, make the book better than most of what is in stores. An older book. And an odd manuscript, and I, of course, like that. :-)

Herbs and Things: Jeanne Rose's Herbal by Jeanne Rose. This book focuses on the so called mundane use of herbs to better our health and lives. But I consider that a very magical thing. The text also does have some occasional lovely odd little bits of herbal lore that I remember from the seventies, when Herbs and Things was one of the first herbal books I read.

Ring of Bones, Collected Poems by Lew Welch, is another "non-pagan" book that expresses the essence of what I hold dear and try to teach. After all, a true poet is a lover of the Goddess, even when he doesn't know it! Lew was a well known poet of the Beats, who walked into the woods one day never to return. Did he become a tree?

We Are Three is by Rumi, a thirteenth century Sufi mystic who would swirl about shouting original poetry that his students would write down. Purity of lyric, describing the ecstatic vision won only through labor!!

Greenmantle by Charles De Lint. Sci-Fi fantasies often hold many truths about magic and mysticism. Charles makes a witch who really believes in magic feel less alone in the universe. Upon hearing that I recommend his books to students of Wicca, Charles wrote: "Glad to hear you find my books useful as more than entertainment...what I do is try to get the spirit right--not to actually provide any sorts of recipes for meditation, etc."

Earth Witch by Louise Lawrence goes in and out of print, but can be found in second hand stores. And apparently Amazon might be able to find you a used copy! I read this piece of so-called fiction in about `86, and have recommended it ever since as an accurate though chilling and brutal portrayal of the Old Religion.

Spiral Dance by Starhawk is based on Faerie Tradition. It is a classic, and a milestone book that changed the face of religion throughout the world! Maybe even more important, this lady walks her talk!

Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery by Starhawk. A magical perspective on power. In this book is the clear recognition that a shaman works power in ALL its forms, thereby being aware of (and using) political power, power dynamics in a group, etc. The book got on my reading list when one of my students said she felt it was a good supplement to her training with me.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, is fiction, and not only a hell of a good read, but deeply explores the feminine aspects of the Arthurian legend.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD is a book that many people feel has really helped them.

Prayers for Healing: 365 Blessings, Poems, and Meditations from Around the World edited by Magie Oman, and released 1997, blew my socks off. When I first opened it, every page I turned to held something of rich worth. Its intro by the Dalai Lama speaks of the spiritual weight of this book. It is a cross-section of everything from Celtic prayers, to Z Budapest to Thomas Merton to Madeleine L'Engle to Native American prayers. If you like 365 books (daily readers) this is one of the best I've seen.

The Wonders of Solitude , edited by Dale Salwak, is an inspirational collection of quotes from a diverse ranger of thinkers, for instance, Thoreau, Georgia O'Keefe, Thomas Merton, Carl Jung, and Benjamin Franklin. The book explores the landscape of solitude, helping us understand and come to grips with our need for quiet and peace midst our hectic modern lives. While not a shamanic book per se, it affirms the importance of the one person realm that shamans, spiritual seekers, artists and free thinkers thrive in. This is the sort of book one takes on a weekend retreat, or keeps on a bedside table to read a quote from every morning. Also a great book to have during a period of loneliness or confusion. Enormous insights, inspiration, and solace.

The Road Within , edited by Sean O'Reilly, James O'Reilly, and Tim O'Reilly, is an engaging collection of true tales about spiritual transformation and awakenings happening while traveling. These stories resonate in my bones because I have the same concerns, needs and dreams as the people in the book. Their tales rings clear and loud with the universal need to travel the road toward self and God. With perspectives ranging from Buddhist to Native American Spirituality, the stories take place everywhere from Paris to Mexico, from Bosnia to the USA, and are written by about 45 different authors, including such luminaries as Houston Smith, Natalie Goldberg, Lyall Watson, and Annie Dillard. A volume of profound truths.

The Goddess in the Office: A Personal Energy Guide for the Spiritual Warrior at Work by Z Budapest, a strong, loving and remarkable woman.

The Goddess in the Bedroom: A Passionate Woman's Guide to Celebrating Sexuality Every Night of the Week by Z Budapest

Grandmother Moon : Lunar Magic in Our Lives : Spells, Rituals, Goddesses, Legends, and Emotions Under the Moon by Z Budapest

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche challenges the western approach to death and dying which has been one of neglect: ignore death, ignore the dying. "The Tibetan book of Living and Dying" brings comfort and spiritual vigor to the dying and their bereaved. An awesome book spiritually.

The Pagan Book of Living and Dying : Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing over by Starhawk, M. Macha Nightmare & the Reclaiming Collective. "The Tibetan book of Living and Dying" is breathtakingly important. But when it comes to death & dying, westerners have their own challenges and need their own rites. Starhawk, Macha et al's anthology of essays and contemporary passing-over rites, based on our Northern European Wiccan heritage, fills this need beautifully, and covers a lot of ground.

Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit by Tom Cowan. His book is theory of, as opposed to instruction in, but: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Spiritual Cleansing, a Handbook of Psychic Protection by Draja Mickaharic. She knows her stuff, and what's more, knows the cautions necessary for safe practices. This book offers info not only on psychic protection, but on incenses for happy parties, and other important magical needs.

The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl. Not being a physician I can't vouch for the medical herbal section in this book, but the magical section is an excellent reference text. My bias is that if you are going to explore magical herbalism you should have several texts to draw from. This is a good start.

Shamanic Voices by Joan Halifax. This remarkable text is a collection of interviews with shamans. I prefer to hear shamans talk for themselves instead of an academic view. I teach that a subjective view is more valid. Hee, hee. hee.

The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner, described as "a macrobiotic primer for healing body, mind and moods with whole natural foods," has something truly new to offer. In addition to recipes, nutritional info, etc., it offers the reader a RELATIONSHIP with food that is self-nurturing, self-loving, and gently transformative. Since Wicca is a way of life, and food is the body of our God, I suggest this book to any one striving to improve their relationship with food and self-care.

Celtic Heritage by Alwyn & Brinley Rees was first published in 1961, and is worth owning even if you're not much for academic reading - you can always just flip through it for its wondrous bits of lore, magic, and history. It's chock full of that kind of gem!

Witch Alone: Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic by Marian Green -- this woman knows her stuff! -- is a worthwhile book for anyone who wants lessons in truly traditional witchcraft.

The Elements of Natural Magic by Marian Green, is a careful and informed instruction in the Art. Out of print, but used copies are available. I hear there's a new edition coming out. True?

Earth Power by Scott Cunningham. All of Scott's books are good, and most are relevant to a strong working knowledge of magic. A truly magical guy.

Wicca : A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham.

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham.

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler, is one of the most important books on the topic today. It has served as an introduction for many many many people who wanted to peek into the world of paganism to see if it was for them. Margot is one of my heroes: she is brave and warm and generous.

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    This page was updated 5/3/2012




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