Recommended Reading

Sometimes quantity does not necessarily mean quality.  With there seemingly to be an abundance of books available about contemporary witchcraft, it does not take the novice long to realise that a large portion of these books contain by and large very similar, if not the same, material.  Therefore, finding the “right” book can be a rather hit or miss affair – and with the increasing price of books, not everyone has the luxury to constantly purchase books.

Whilst everyone has their favourites, the following are those which are recommended by the Temple of the Dark Moon.  This is not a complete list by all means, but should provide the novice a solid base and foundation not only when it comes to ascertaining what contemporary witchcraft is truly about, but also various magical practices.


  • Bell, Jessica Wicker (Lady Sheba), Lady Sheba’s Book of Shadows (Llewellyn Publications, 2002)
  • Billinghurst, Frances, Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices of a Magical Life (Moon Books, 2021)
  • Cain, Brian, Initiation into Witchcraft (Warlocks Inc, 2019)
  • Crother, Patricia, Covensense (Robert Hale Ltd, 2009)
  • Crowley, Vivianne, Wicca: An Old Religion for the New Age (Aquarian Press, 1989)
  • d’Este, Sorita, and Rankine, David, Wicca Magical Beginnings – A Study of the Possible Origins of the Rituals and Practices Found in This Modern Tradition of Pagan Witchcraft and Magick (Avalonia Press, 2008)
  • Farrar, Stewart and Janet, A Witches’ Bible: The Complete Witches’ Handbook (Phoenix Publishing, 1996). This book is actually a combination of What Witches Do and Eight Sabbats for Witches.
  • Frazer, James, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion: A New Abridgement from the Second and Third Editions (Oxford World’s Classics, 2009)
  • Gardner, Gerald, The Meaning of Witchcraft (Weiser Books, 2004), a reprint of Gardner’s classic, along with Witchcraft Today (Magical Childe Publishing Inc, 1991)
  • Graves, Robert, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (Faber & Faber, 1999)
  • Leland, Charles G., Aradia: Gospel of the Witches (Phoenix Publishing, 1998). This edition includes additional material by Chas Clifton, Robert Mathiesen and Robert Chartowich.
  • Mooney, Thorn, Traditional Wicca: A Seeker’s Guide (Llewellyn, 2018)
  • Valiente, Doreen,  An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present (St Martin’s Press, 1973), Witchcraft for Tomorrow (Phoenix Publishing, 1988) and The Rebirth of Witchcraft (Crowood Press, 2008)


  • Ginzberg, Carlos, The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992)
  • Ginzberg, Carlos, and Rosenthal, Raymond, Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath (University of Chicago Press, 2004)
  • Heselton, Philip, Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival (Capall Bann Publishing, 2000), Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner: Volume 1, Into the Witch Cult (Thoth Publications, 2012), Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner: Volume 2, From Witch Cult to Wicca (Thoth Publications, 2012),  Doreen Valiente: Witch (Centre for Pagan Studies, 2016)
  • Howard, Michael, Modern Wicca: A History from Gerald Gardner to the Present (Llewellyn Publications, 2010)
  • Hutton, Ronald, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Oxford University Press, 2001), The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present (Yale University Press, 2018)
  • Kors, Alan Charles, and Peters, Edward (edited), Witchcraft in Europe: 400-1700 – A Documentary History (University of Pennsylvania, 2001)
  • Murray, Margaret, The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology (The God of the Witches (Oxford University Press, 1970)
  • Russell, Jeffrey B, A History of Witchcraft, Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans (Thames & Hudson, 2000)


  • Cochrane, Robert, The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft (Capall Bann Publishing, 2003)
  • Howard, Michael, Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witchcraft (Three Hands Press, 2011)
  • Huson, Paul, Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks and Covens (Perigee Trade, 1987)
  • Jackson, Nigel Aldcroft, Call of the Horned Piper (Capall Bann Publishing, 2001), Masks of Misrule: The Horned God and His Cult in Europe (Capall Bann Publishing, 1996)
  • John of Monmouth, Genuine Witchcraft is Explained: The Secret History of the Royal Windsor Coven and the Regency (Capall Bann Publishing; 2012)
  • Jones, Evan John and Cochrane, Robert, The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of the Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition (Capall Bann Publishing, 2002)


  • Billinghurst, Frances, Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats (TDM Publishing, 2014)
  • Bodsworth, Roxanne, Sunwyse: Celebrating the Sacred Wheel of the Year in Australia (HiHorse Publications, 2003)
  • Hume, Lynne, Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia (Melbourne University, 1997)
  • Philips, Julia and Matthew, Witches of Oz (Capall Bann, 1994)


  • Bardon, Franz, Initiation into Hermetics: The Path of the True Adept (Merkur Publishing, 1999)
  • Beyerl, Paul, The Master Book of Herbalism (Phoenix Publishing, 1994), and A Compendium of Herbal Magick (Phoenix Publishing, 1998)
  • Cicero, Chic and Cicero, Sandra Tabatha, The Essential Golden Dawn (Llewellyn Publications, 2003)
  • Crowley, Aleister, 777 and other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley edited by Israel Regardie (Samuel Weiser, 1973)
  • Echols, Damien, High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices that Saved My Live on Death Row (Sounds True, 2018)
  • Kraig, Donald Michael, Modern Magick Eleven Lessons in the High Magical Arts (Llewellyn Publications, 1997)
  • Rankine, David, and Skinner, Stephen, Climbing the Tree of Life (Avalonia, 2005)
  • King, Francis, and Skinner, Stephen, Techniques of High Magic: A Manual of Self Initiation (Destiny Books, 1976)
  • Regardie, Israel, The Golden Dawn: An Account of the Teachings, Rites and Ceremonies of the Order of the Golden Dawn (Llewellyn, 1984)
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