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,
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, Share My Insanity,
a Teen Goddess!, The Modern Goddess'
Guide to Life, Goddess Initiation,
and Be a
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
innovative thinker with an eye to the real. The second is wondrous
Somers, a woman whose spiritual depth of perception adds to any
More about both these folks on my links page. Any review by one of them
kick off with a statement making that clear. All other book reviews are
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
I have always been drawn to books that, no matter what the author said
book was about, held the gemlike kernels of Faerie tradition, magic,
spiritual depth. Many books in this list are just such titles. Others,
I may disagree rabidly with them, can be important contributions to the
Not all titles are available at Amazon yet.
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until you enter your credit card information. It's that simple.
Sincere thanks to you who order by clicking on a title on my page: I
receive a percentage of the sale. I appreciate your kind support.
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about using the Amazon.com system. Instead, contact Amazon. If you have
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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.
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
and laughter empower, heal, and uplift us like nobody's business. For
more info, go
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
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.
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
sound, realistic manner: pivotal though sacrifice and service are to
they are often missing in Wiccan and New Age dialogs. Or, when I see
discussed elsewhere, it is done in unhealthy ways. Yet I cannot
to make life's necessary sacrifices without support and inspiration.
one thing, sacrifice is needed to do my work in the world. In my
case this means a virtual vow of poverty, as well as risk -- e.g., the
threat I received in the early 90s. The book offers one more blessing:
Wiccans, New Agers, and Christians judge themselves harshly just
they have typical, unavoidable human problems. This book helps a person
his or her own suffering without self-incrimination, and with dignity.
you, Pamela, I couldn’t put this book down, and that usually only
with me with fantasy novels.
On 12/02, Thom Fowler says: In
Memoirs of a Spiritual Outsider
, Suzanne Clores describes in elegant detail her
and how they not only broadened her cultural horizons but deepened her
of soulful living and becoming a woman of wisdom. A self-professed
Gen-X'er, she wanders through Wicca, Voudou, Sufism, Yoga, and
yearning to find spiritual truth. When she discovers she's been over
with potential paths she gets frustrated that she doesn't seem to be
anything even as she acknowledges that there should be no difference
a spiritual practice and the every day living of her life.
doesn't have your answers and she's still looking for her own, but she
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
smile a lot about Emily, a rambunctious, somewhat demonic adolescent
mirrors our free spirits, and is summed up by her line "Emily doesn't
She's always strange." This pop culture phenomenon at first does not
to have great depth, but the more I got into it, the more was revealed.
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,
a collection of bizarre stickers. Every person whose address you enter
be checked off as part of the problem or part of the posse. Then
Emily The Strange diary which I was given and it put me in a quandary.
journal on individual pieces of paper that I then put in a binder. So a
fifties-style bound diary is not for me. And I've a policy to not keep
I can't use. But there it was, darling with its little lock and key,
black hardbound cover, Emily looking oh-so-innocent on it, and below
the words "Nothing to hide?" I couldn't bear to part with it, it was so
Finally I took a knife, hollowed out all its pages which I then glued
to make a box that looks like a book, like you see in a movie murder
If you like diaries, get Emily's. If you prefer writing in a larger
my initiate, Janaya, turned me onto the Emily The Strange journal. And
you acquire everything on Amazon, go to Emily's web site and earn a
badge! Finally, there's often secret messages in Emily products. I
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
and spirituality go hand-in-hand for Amazon Girls, as my student Kathi
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 --
hardbound volumes with grosgrain ribbons to tie them closed; every page
of thick, scallop edged parchment; an overall visual feel that adds up
magic. And the text: sweet, simple folk spells wonderfully reminiscent
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
for a Healthy Planet by Sarah Callard and Diane
Respecting the Goddess means taking care of her
body -- her body
is you, the planet that sustains us, and a sentient cosmos. This book
great! It features the most current innovations in ecologically
living. This book assumes you want to live the ideal eco-responsible
and the direct tone is unforgiving. But it's good to have an ideal to
for so that anything you do is an improvement. Each chapter is easy to
and filled with consciousness-raising facts about waste and pollution
lots of tips and suggestions. There is even a chapter on seasonal
complete with recipes. As the title suggests, Green Living is, above
a practical how-to guide that tells you what, why, how, and where. When
left up to you.
American Indian Healing Arts: Herb, Rituals, and Remedies for Every
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,
with na-na. Or I'm shown texts on the topic, written by academics so
from their material that they don't understand it! But Kavasch and Baar
the best of academic and personal backgrounds, which results in sound
material understood by the authors at a gut level, and a practical,
presentation. This book'll go in my personal reference library; it is a
you want there to refer to when you need info on medical herbalism,
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!
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
in it range from bestselling New Age author Deepak Chopra to the
of Gandhi to Charles Jaco, the irrepressible CNN reporter who is
thrown out of countries for his American cowboy determination to report
oppression where he finds it, whether anyone is shooting at him or not!
this book, Diamond is interviewing people who are unafraid to stand out
make a difference, whatever their line of work; and if that isn't the
of spiritual, nothing is. I don't care if you call yourself spiritual
a news reporter or an atheistic housewife, if you're on the front
you are what spirituality is all about. This book is also a delightful,
read. An aside: this site started as my precious little place, then
up featured in the New York Times; now publishers send me books for my
reading list. Well, I won't add anything to this list that I don't
So there! Don't get me wrong, I love receiving all these books, because
can share the really good ones with you, but sometimes I shudder at
shows up in the mail. But Nina's book! What a wild inspiring ride. It
you know that she and others really do care. The book is dedicated to
Wilson, a friend of mine who died a while back, and who bravely made a
adventure out of his death. If you don't enjoy New Age sensibilities,
be put off just because some of the folks in this book are New Age
Because this is different: for example, Nina gives New Age heavy-weight
James Redfield a testimony that is an unwitting testimony to herself;
between the lines shine her own enthusiasm and dedication to changing
world for the better. I'm also impressed by the depth of the
these are real conversations, not text made up of
bytes or platitudes. For example, I am not a Deepak Chopra fan -- his
help a lot of people, but they are not my style -- but Nina's
with him held my attention fast, I didn't skim even a single paragraph.
high energy rapid pace to the conversations made me feel I was Nina's
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
understanding of our own hopes and struggles, to its section on Gladys
Davis, the health industry innovator, this thought provoking collection
of interviews is tied together by the fact that everyone involved,
the interviewer, cares about taking meaningful action in their lives.
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
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
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
reading. In subjecting much of science's biases to a mystical and
criticism, Roszak also reveals what is wrong with society at large. As
shaman and mystic happy that scientists are bit by bit learning what
and mystics have always known, I put this new (and overtly speaking non
text on my students' reading list, because it reinforces a magical
system, inter relatedness and other basic spiritual and mystical
And if you want to wed your scientific leanings to your mysticism, this
the book. A fascinating history, the text offers a multifaceted
of how science's predominantly sterile and patriarchal world view has
child rearing, community, sense of self as an isolated entity,
and violence against women. In challenging premises of science past and
including the repression of the soul for the intellect, Roszak
society's dry lifeless race toward success, and provides alternative
The Gendered Atom is not mindless science bashing, but a highly
analysis that: honors scientists who have created a saner world and
the prevalent scientific errors of their times; and acknowledges the
in current day scientific world view. Despite the praiseworthy
of Roszak's approach, this is an easy to read, uplifting, fun and
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..
never read anyone like her (except myself), and was excited to find a
sister. Though hers is a book on natural healing instead of shamanism,
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
the book confronts, head on, the terror of breast cancer that leaves
frozen in impotence and often incapable of fighting for their health
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
offer solutions to these dilemmas. Carl does the same in his book. He
me he views this book as a 101 and thus was surprised that I found the
often relevant to my personal path; The Aspiring Mystic
past 101 level. Of course, I am going to enjoy any book that agrees
how I view life; Carl's text says a lot of things that folks sitting in
classes hear me rant on about! In fact I told Carl "Thank you for
this book: now I don't have to write it myself: it has the "do nots"
mystics need, and without which they can often become lost and
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
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
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
interviews with pagan leaders & teachers. I was delighted with
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:
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.
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
of spirituality is carried by intellectual recognition of concept as
to the direct experience of spirit these cards give. "Mana" means
These are rightly called Mana cards, since they give power directly
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
card reader myself, and a one-time tarot teacher, I've seen a lot of
and can recommend this one as remarkable and of unusually high
And as to the book that comes with the deck -- all of it beautifully
together -- I've not read it yet. And may not get a chance, because any
I spend with the product may get waylaid by drinking in the deck's
power. In the authentic tradition of Hawaiian shamanism, Mana Cards are
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."
book is beautifully illustrated by another of my initiates, Sara Boore.
info, hee, hee, hee: I sat as Sara's model for the Faerie Queen in
illustration of the Queen riding on her horse with Thomas the Rhymer,
to the land of the Fey. I thought this was hysterical since I feel like
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;
wonderful?! His long time love of the Old Gods make this a book worth
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
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
boring the authentic lessons can be. Somehow, sometimes, despite how
and exciting a lesson is, it can be very boring too. Go figure! This is
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,
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
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
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
about the Craft to be a really good Craft book! Using traditional
Chinese philosopher, this book shows how to bring one's mundane daily
harmony with each season. Without any overt pagan sensibility, the book
about *living* the essence of the pagan year wheel. I prefer this to
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
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
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!!
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
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
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!
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
of (and using) political power, power dynamics in a group, etc. The
got on my reading list when one of my students said she felt it was a
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
take place everywhere from Paris to Mexico, from Bosnia to the USA, and
written by about 45 different authors, including such luminaries as
Smith, Natalie Goldberg, Lyall Watson, and Annie Dillard. A volume of
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
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
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
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
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
into the world of paganism to see if it was for them. Margot is one of
heroes: she is brave and warm and generous.
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2002. Duplication without written permission is unlawful.
Francesca De Grandis for
Psychic Readings / Shamanic Counseling
Road Classes and Workshops on Celtic Shamanism
The Wiccan and Faerie Grimoire of Francesca De Grandis
Francesca De Grandis. All rights reserved. No part of this publication
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was updated 5/3/2012
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