Take a deep dive into the mysterious, magical world of the Triple Moon Goddess with these bestselling books at Enchantments.
Entering Hekate's Garden by Cyndi Brannen (PhD) is a pharmakeia guide to botanicals associated with the Goddess Hekate. Bringing pharmakeia (or the practice of plant spirit witchcraft) to modern times, Brannen offers readers ritualistic advice and tips for building altars, as well as poetic musings and petitions to the Triple Moon Goddess. The 273 page book from Weiser also features 39 monographs of esoteric, magical botanicals including damiana & American mandrake, as well as practical ingredients already found in your kitchen cabinets, such as lavender, bay laurel, and fennel.
The most complete anthology of Hecate in the 21st century, Hekate, Her Sacred Fires, features a collection of essays and artworks on the Goddess from writers and practitioners from all over the globe. With an introduction by editor Sorita d'Este, the 300+ page book explores ways to work with and honor the primordial Triple Goddess, as well as rituals, historicities, timelines, incantations, and personal narratives associated with her. A surprisingly thorough tome with magical deep dives into the Queen of Witches.
You can order the book direct from the publisher here or visit the Enchantments shop.
Hekate, Liminal Rites, penned by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine, retraces the Goddess of the Crossroads' ancient provenance and origin stories that reach back through the millennia. According to the authors, Hecate's "magical powers were considered so great that even King Solomon became associated with her, she was incorporated into Jewish magic, and merged with other goddesses including Artemis, Selene, Bendis and the Egyptian Isis." This nearly 200 page book published by Avalonia draws from a wide range of sources, including historical and magical research, that paint a deeper, more nuanced picture of the Goddess and her mysteries.
A more compact version of the anthology above, Hekate, Keys to the Crossroads features a collection of personal essays, invocations, recipes, and rituals from twenty modern witches and Priestesses. This 156 page book edited by Sorita d'Este offers a comprehensive study of the history, mythology, and power of the multi-faceted, key-bearing Goddess of the Night.
According to d'Este, "Wherever you look, be it in the texts of Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantium or the Renaissance, the Greek Magical Papyri or the Chaldean Oracles, you will find Hekate." You can purchase the book directly from the publisher here or visit the Enchantments shop.
In this 2017 book published by Llewellyn, Stephanie Woodfield uncovers the "many faces of the dark goddess" that lead to personal transformation and change. Woodfield's book is a practical guide organized in three sections (descent, challenge, and rebirth) and looks at misconceptions surrounding Hecate. Focusing on shadow work, healing, and renewal, Dark Goddess Craft includes rituals, offerings, and invocations for the Goddess.
You can purchase the book directly from the publisher here or visit the Enchantments shop.
As you may have noticed, Sorita d'Este has written a lot on the subject of the sacred Moon Goddess. In Volume I of Circle for Hekate, d'Este explores the Goddess's Divine Ancestry beginning with her first mentioning in Hesiod's work and her subsequent conflation with other Goddesses, iconography, and literature leading up to modern times. D'Este uncovers Hekate's presence around the world, including Egypt, Greece, Russia, Macedonia, Libya, Syria, Italy, and beyond. A mix of scholarly research compiled from a wide range of courses, this book offers a strong base into Hekate's origins, mythology, and history.
All books can be purchased at the Enchantments shop in the East Village, NYC. Call for availability. To read our brief history of Hecate from our Gods and Goddess series, check out this story.
Our Favorite Magic Books for Kids
By Enchantments Staff
A roundup of our favorite magical, pagan-friendly books for the wee witch in your life.
Finding age-appropriate magical books for children isn’t always an easy task (and no, we’re not talking about sleight of hand magic, but the spiritual kind). The reality is, there’s just not that much out there on the subject for younger folks. But it’s not that the demand isn’t out there.
At Enchantments, we’ve spoken to countless families who not only want to learn more about their childrens’ innate spiritual gifts, but also want to offer pagan-friendly reading material for their little one. Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly magical books to get your started on your reading journey.
A Kid's Herb Book, by Leslie Tierra
Penned by nationally licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Lesley Tierra, A Kid's Herb Book is a creative blend of activities, color-in artwork, stories, activities, projects, and practical herbal tidbits. It also describes 17 commonly used herbs that are great for children's ailments and includes the medicinal use of flowers and plants – most of which are already found right in your kitchen or grown in your backyard. The book teaches how to make natural toothbrushes, homemade cough medicine, culinary feats such as "Basil Pesto" and "Rose Petal Jam," and ways to grow your own window herb box.
Wee Witches Children’s Book –– Hands down the most delightfully perfect children’s book on the market, Wee Witches is richly illustrated ABCs book complete with pagan symbolism and earth-loving messages for the little witch in your life. Limited autographed author copies available in-store. ($14.95)
Series: Young Person's School of Magic & Mystery (Volumes 1 - 6), by Ted Andrews
Welcome to the Young Person's School of Magic and Mystery, where you can learn what every magician, priest, priestess, shaman, witch and wise one through history had to learn. You will start to understand the power of imagination and belief. You can begin to develop your psychic abilities, if you wish. As you work the exercises in this second volume in the series, you will come to realize that you truly are more magical and more wonderful than you ever dreamed!
The Magickal Family, by Monica Crosson
"A hands-on guide to raising a magickal family in the modern world. The Magickal Family is a real-life guide for those who want to practice magick and simplicity but need a little nudge to take a break from the workaday world. Filled with tips, ideas, stories, and projects to bring you and your family closer to nature and to celebrate the God and the Goddess, this book shows how to be true to your magickal self while raising little Witchlings—or helping others with theirs. Discover how to create the life you want through gardening, Kitchen Witchery, DIY projects, and celebrations based on the Wheel of the Year. Includes more than 65 rituals, blessings, recipes, crafts, and activities." –– From publisher, Llewellyn
Kids Who See Ghosts: How to Guide Them Through Fear, Caron B. Goode, Ed.D., NCC
"Ghosts can be children’s best friends, and fear of ghosts can be a providential opportunity for parents and kids to face fears and become empowered. Is my child psychic? Do all psychic children see ghosts? Are stress and seeing ghosts related? How can we help them not be afraid?
Kids Who Sees Ghosts takes an up close and personal look at kids who see ghosts, the parents who want to help them, the science of perception, and how kids are affected. This is a book that answers questions and offers real tools and guidance. Many children and parents are afraid, some to the point of physical illness. Cautious and concerned parents worry for their children’s fears and educate themselves on how to handle the situation. But Goode teaches that it doesn’t matter whether parents believe in ghosts to know how to help children through frightening experiences." –– From the publisher Weiser
All books can be purchased at the brick-and-mortar Enchantments store located at 424 East 9th Street in New York City. Call shop for availability.
Want to learn how to make a magical wand or a Sweet Dreams Spell? Click here for our Magic for Kids section.
Best Books of 2021 – Staff Picks
Curl up with your favorite witchy brew and any one of these 10 delicious new reads for 2020. Here are our staff picks to help you enhance your intuitive skills, earth-based practices, ancestral magic, and more.
Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens, The Divine Feminine in the African Religious Traditions by Lilith Dorsey
Complete with fascinating tales of orishas and goddesses from African and Afro-Caribbean religions (including Lucumi and Haitian Vodou), as well as insight into world famous Voodoo Queens, Dorsey’s latest book is filled with ritual tips, folklore, practical recipes, spells, offerings, and more. Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens both honors and pays homage to these sacred, yet often misunderstood practices. By looking to women of color to “elucidate the intersectionality” of goddess spirituality and feminism, Dorsey points out that "modern women seriously need ways to connect with, and understand, their ancestral warrior strengths and power. " *A staff favorite and top pick for 2020.
Witch Hunt: A Traveler's Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch by Kristen J. Sollée
Author of Cat Call: Reclaiming the Feral Feminine and the wildly popular Witches, Sluts, Feminists, Sollée’s latest title (released this fall) combines memoir and travel with a historical deep dive on witch trials around the U.S. and Europe. Read our interview with her here for more.
Tarot: No Questions Asked Mastering the Art of Intuitive Reading Practical Techniques and Exercises by Theresa Reed
In her latest book, “Tarot Lady” Theresa Reed offers an intuitive workbook for those seeking insight into the tarot, including interpretations of individual cards and spreads. Designed to “hone your intuition and sharpen your interpretation skills,” even without previous knowledge of the deck, this book is great for beginners and advanced practitioners alike who seek to broaden their reading abilities. Read Enchantments' interview with Theresa Reed, on her previous book co-authored with Shaheen Miro, Tarot for Troubled Times, here.
Queering Your Craft by Cassandra Snow
Written to "specifically address the needs of those who are queer, marginalized, living in the shadows, or on the edge of acceptance," Cassandra Snow's refreshing new book explores magick with an LGBTQ+ point of view. As an introduction to witchcraft, Queering Your Craft contains both a grimoire of spells, types of magick, meditations, best practices and more –– all while combining queer aesthetic and DIY culture.
Entering Hekate’s Garden The Magick, Medicine and Mystery of Plant Spirit Witchcraft by Cyndi Brannen
Author of Keeping Her Keys, Cyndi Brannen’s latest title explores plant spirit rituals and practical tips for using sixty botanicals associated with Hekate, including bay laurel, birch, dandelion, hawthorn, juniper, American mandrake, skullcap, pomegranate, and more. “Poetry, petitions, and musings about pharmakeia are woven throughout,” blending personal musings of the goddess with ancient traditions. An insightful homage to the Goddess of the Moon and honored Crone figure, readers looking to “enter Hekate’s garden” need look no further.
A Woman’s Ayurvedic Herbal A Guide for Natural Health and Well-Being by Antonia Beattie and Caroline Robertson
In a world where women’s health issues are often overlooked and under researched, Beattie and Robertson’s full-color A-Z guide to Ayurvedic herbs and spices is a welcomed relief, especially in 2020. This practical guide is filled with herbal histories and uses, home remedies, and accessible ways to apply ancient Ayurvedic principles to women's daily heath.
Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic: The Green Witch’s Guide to Essential Oils for Spellcraft, Ritual & Healing by Amy Blackthorn
While it’s not new for 2020, Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic has become a witch’s staple on the bookshelf. With 135 essential oil recipes, this book will keep you busy: learn about the healing power of scents, ritual tips, practical advice for purchasing and blending oils at home, and how magical aromatherapy can enhance your spellwork. Blackthorn's latest 2020 title, Botanical Brews, will have you conjuring delicious cocktails, recipes, and brews all winter long.
Year of the Witch Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magic by Temperance Alden
Founder of Wild Woman Witchcraft, Temperance Alden’s new title (released in November 2020) is packed with cultural and historical facts about the major ceremonies connected to neo-paganism, basic principles of earth-based magick, and nuanced approaches to celebrating the rhythms of nature. She also covers how to “intuitively connect to the nature below your feet and local gods,” as well as uncovers the origins of the wheel of the year.
Wild Wisdom Zen Masters, Mountain Monks, and Rebellious Eccentrics Reflect on the Healing Power of Nature by Neil Douglas-Klotz
Perfect for the gifting season, Wild Wisdom includes the “stories and voices of desert fathers and mothers, forest hermits, mountain mystics, wandering philosophers, and wise eccentrics who maintained their solitude while living in society and challenged the status quo with humor.” With selections from international mystics like Kahlil Gibran, Henry David Thoreau, Bai Juyi, John Muir, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, this inspirational little book is great for those seeking solace in the wild expanse of nature and within the great minds of the past.
Backwoods Witchcraft Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia by Jake Richards
A great read for the deep, cold winter months, Richards’ Backwoods Witchcraft may not be new to 2020, but it’s worth a revisit this year. A deeply moving tribute to the Appalachian traditions of the U.S., this book explores the folklore, conjure magick, and the power of homegrown witchcraft. Read Enchantments' exclusive interview with Jake Richards on the making of the book here.
Summer reading Recommendations
Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers, and Magical Rebels, Edited Katie West & Jasmine Elliott
This compilation of wild, introspective, and fiercely wise essays uncover what it means to be a modern witch in today's world. Twenty one essays from various writers deal with identity, self-expression, grief, oppression, patriarchy, and what it means to own your innate power.
Complete Formulary of Magical Oils, by Celeste Rayne Heldstab
The 1200 recipes in this book comprise a catalog of magical formulas from all traditions, both historical and contemporary. It is an excellent reference for anyone interested in making their own oils, incenses and baths. It is also interesting for anyone who wants to learn how formulas developed and evolved.
Candle Magick for Beginners, by Richard Webster
Anyone can use candle magic. This book provides you with the basics: color correspondences (magical intent, planets, etc.), how to prepare a candle, and when to burn it. It also includes some basic candle spells for love, money, happiness and more. This book will give you the basics to prepare your own magical light. It also has a section on making your own candles from scratch.
The Witches Goddess & the Witches God, by Janet Farrar
These two companion volumes are the best encyclopedias of pagan gods & goddesses from all over the world and they provide a listing of whatever is know about them - attributes, qualities, sacred plants, offerings, etc. Unfortunately these books have become very hard to find, so we can no longer carry them in the store, but you can find them here.
Practical Guide to Psychic Self-Defense: Strengthen Your Aura, by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips
Required reading for all of Enchantments' staff members, this is a must-read book for the magically curious. Non-denominational in its approach, it offers practical applications in removing any negativity or entities, as well as keeping your aura strong and radiant. Perhaps the most important aspect of the book is the Tower Of Light practice – an ancient technique that spans a myriad of traditions and is used to cleanse, shield, and protect the spirit or aura.
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack
One of the most popular tarot books in the world, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom draws on the mythological and esoteric symbolism hidden within each card. A definite text for anyone interested in the tarot and exploring its psychological, as well as magickal applications. Great for both beginners and advanced tarot readers.
By Ana Vice
If you got the chance to read our new series on the healing benefits and folklore of herbs and want more information, check out our recommended book list below.
Books on herbs at Enchantments for further reading:
See Enchantments' store website here to purchase books and make requests.
For more stories on healing herbs, magick rituals, and practical guides, check out this section of our digital publication.
By Amber C. Snider, w/ book recommendations by Stacy Rapp & Carmen Pouerie
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned reader, here’s a roundup of our favorite classic and new books on tarot to help pique your intrigue and develop your divination skills.
The origin story of the Tarot may be shrouded in mystery, but the oldest surviving deck in the world dates back to 15th century Milan. The Visconti-Sforza tarot deck – a beautiful, stylized painted design – contains many of the major archetypes we know today, even though only fragments remain. Fast forward several centuries later. In 1910, illustrator Pamela Colman Smith and mystic A.E. Waite created what is now the most popular deck in the English-speaking world: the Rider-Waite tarot deck (also known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck). The Rider-Waite remains a staple divination tool for many and has influenced hundreds of other versions and reinterpretations to-date.
Over the course of 500 years, the Tarot still manages to capture our intrigue – not only for its mysticism and artwork, but also for its practicality. Whether it’s to study archetypes in the human psyche, come to terms with grief and loss, understand behavioral patterns and desires, or divine the future, people are still drawn to these mystical 78 cards. Even modern day psychologists are using the Tarot to help understand, clarify, and uncover deep rooted psychical patterns in their patients.
Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite books on Tarot to help you navigate all the material out there.
For beginners and beyond:
Learning the Tarot, by Joan Bunning
"A 'how-to' book with 19 lessons and numerous exercises, beginning with the basics and gradually moving into advanced concepts so that you can learn to read the tarot at your own pace. Includes interpretations for all the cards. The author first presented this course on the Internet, and continues to provide website support for students with questions. 178 illustrations using the popular Waite deck." – From the publisher, Red Wheel/ Weiser
Tarot for Yourself, by Mary K. Greer
"This tarot classic by Mary K. Greer was the first book to promote reading the cards for your own insight, revolutionizing tarot through a combined emphasis on self-teaching techniques and personal growth. Tarot for Your Self uses meditations, rituals, spreads, mandalas, visualizations, dialogues, charts, affirmations, and other activities to help you establish your own relationship with the cards. Tarot for Your Self covers interpretations for the major and minor arcana, reversed card meanings for all 78 cards, and enlightening information on your shadow/teacher cards." –– From the publisher, Red Wheel/ Weiser
Tarot for Beginners, by Barbara Moore
"This all-new edition of the popular Tarot for Beginners makes it simpler and more enjoyable than ever to learn how to read and interpret tarot cards. Award-winning tarot expert Barbara Moore clearly explains every aspect of the tarot so you can perform readings with ease and confidence.
Discover the core divinatory meanings of all seventy-eight cards, clearly broken down by Major and Minor Arcana, suit, and number. A variety of spreads and sample readings will help you develop essential skills and ultimately create your own unique style." –– From the publisher, Llewellyn
The Crowley Tarot Handbook, by Akron & Hajo Banzhaf
"The Crowley Tarot Handbook provides a thorough guide to the background and methodology of tarot reading with the Crowley Thoth Tarot deck. For those who are ready to delve even deeper into the meanings of the cards created by Lady Frieda Harris and Aleister Crowley, this handbook offers detailed analysis of the rich symbolism and the myriad correlations in the fields of astrology, art and music, mythology, Tree of Life, the Runes, elements, and other archetypal correspondences." –– From the publisher U.S. Games Systems
Modern Tarot, by Michelle Tea
Beloved literary iconoclast Michelle Tea reinvents tarot for a new generation in this guide to using the Tarot as a twenty-first-century tool for connecting with our higher selves. Based on over twenty-five years of experience and a deep and abiding love of the cards, Modern Tarot brings the full force of Tea’s unique insight, inviting pop sensibility, and wicked humor to bear on the tradition of the Tarot in a fascinating journey through the cards that teaches us how to use this tradition for radical self-growth." –– From the publisher, Harper
Tarot for Troubled Times, by Shaheen Miro & Theresa Reed. Read our interview the authors here.
"Each of us has a shadow that darkens our inner and outer lives. In Tarot for Troubled Times, Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed show us how working with the shadow—facing it directly, leaning into it rather than away—releases power that can free ourselves from negative mental habits and destructive emotions to find healing ourselves and others. Tarot, as the authors show, offers a rich and subtle path for this profound transformation." –– From the publisher Weiser
Ultimate Guide to the Rider-Waite Tarot, by J. Fiebig & E. Burger
"Discover everything you ever wanted to know about the world's most popular tarot deck. The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot details the ten most important symbols on each and every card in the deck complete with hundreds of illustrations for easy use. In addition to an explanation of the symbols, each card is given a brief interpretation by topic, [including] primary meaning, spiritual meaning, love and relationship meaning, daily meaning, and more." –– From the publisher Llewellyn
Tarot Plain and Simple, by Anthony Louis
"Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis is the book you've been waiting for! As the title indicates, this book presents the Tarot in clear language that anyone can understand. If you've had trouble learning the Tarot, this book gives the meaning of each and every one of the 78 Tarot cards—both in simple terms and in-depth ones, both upright interpretations and those for when a card is drawn reversed. Illustrations are from the elegant and mystic Robin Wood Tarot." –– From the publisher Llewellyn
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack
"The bestselling tarot classic in a new edition with a new preface by the author. When it was first published nearly 40-years-ago, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom was an instant classic and inspired generations of tarot students. Often referred to as the 'bible of tarot books' it has now helped to launch the 'tarot renaissance' we’re seeing today. Drawing on mythology and esoteric traditions and delving deeply into the symbolism and ideas of each card, the book offers a modern psychological interpretation of the tarot archetypes rather than a system of esoteric symbolism." –– From Publisher Weiser
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card, by Mary Greer
"Drawing on nearly forty years of tarot experience, Mary K. Greer has developed a new energizing approach-made up of twenty-one stimulating techniques to interpret or deepen your understanding of each card. Just as the twenty-six letters of the alphabet can be combined to form billions of words, Greer's twenty-one methods can be used in any combination for gaining amazing new insights and perspectives." –– From the publisher Llewellyn
Intermediate and beyond:
Tarot Card Combinations, by Dorothy Kelly
"Tarot Card Combinations is a unique, comprehensive, and highly practical presentation of interpreting the tarot that has helped thousands master the ancient divination. Dorothy Kelly's easy-to-understand approach shares everything one needs to know to unlock the story presented when the cards are drawn. What makes this book unique is Kelly's presentation of cards in endless combinations, revealing how the cards relate to each other and endowing each card with richer meaning and more subtle nuances than when considered alone." –– From the publisher, Weiser
Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, by Hajo Banzhaf
"This easy-to-use reference provides a handy dictionary and overview so you can readily check card meanings and interpret the symbols for different occasions. Included are the number, glyph, astrological attribute, general meaning, what the card encourages what it warns against, and how you can use it if you draw it as your card for the day or card for the year. sure to become a classic in every tarot library!" –– From the publisher, Weiser
Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack
"Offering an abundant array of new ideas mixed in with enlightening discussions about Tarot's checkered past, this tarot guidebook features innovative ways to interpret and use Tarot, and a wealth of original spreads to try for yourself—including spreads for predictive, psychological, magical, and spiritual readings. All seventy-eight cards are explored from fresh angles: history, art, psychology, and a variety of spiritual and occult traditions, using cards from seven diverse decks so you can easily contrast and compare." –– From the publisher, Llewellyn
Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot, by L.M. Duquette
"Originally published in 2003, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot has proved to be the essential guide to accessing the unique symbolism and meaning of Aleister Crowley's remarkable tarot deck along with the deeply textured artwork of Lady Frieda Harris. Crowley authority Lon Milo DuQuette starts by providing an insightful historical background before delving into descriptions of each card in depth, from a tarot perspective and from an expanded, magickal point of view. This unique guide has been updated with a new introduction that provides information on the unicursal hexagram cards included with the deck but never explained." –– From the publisher Weiser
Ultimate Guide to the Thoth Tarot, by J. Fiebig & E. Burger
"Discover everything you ever wanted to know about the Thoth Tarot with this incredibly detailed and illustrated guide. The Ultimate Guide to the Thoth Tarot presents the ten most important symbols on every card in the deck complete with hundreds of color illustrations for easy use. In addition to an explanation of the symbols, each card is given a brief interpretation by topic. Writing in a convenient format designed for simple reference, tarot experts Johannes Fiebig and Evelin Bürger also provide facts, hints, and lore to improve your reading skills right away." –– From the publisher Llewellyn
by Stacy Rapp
Wheels of Life, by Anodea Judith
The subtitle of this book is "A User's Guide to the Chakras" and it truly is. Wheels of Life is the best overview of the Chakra system that I have found. It also has clear, step-by-step guidelines and exercises for learning about and working with all seven chakras for healing, growth and empowerment.
The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
(New edition with Tables through 2050)
This book includes explanations of all aspects of the birth chart, including Sun, Moon, Ascendant and more. With tables for all the planets and a worksheet to help you figure out your own chart, this is wonderful book to help understand your personal astrological makeup.
The Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works, by Judika Illes. (Originally published as Pure Magic)
The Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works provides all the basics of spellwork (with spells for a number of different situations), as well as a basic understanding of the principles of magic. It is one of the best introductory spell books I have found because it gives context and meaning to spells and rituals rather than just listing some ingredients and a few basic steps.
From the book: "The Big Book of Practical Spells is a useful tool and resource for everyone. It includes: a basic introduction to magic, a psychic glossary, a primer on the four elements, colors, and magical supplies (including minerals and botanicals), and a compendium of spells for any situation you may face."
Sister Karol's Book of Spells
Practical spells and folk magic penned by...a Roman Catholic nun? A surprising book filled with rituals, spells, and prayers combines “Catholic Magic” with Wiccan, Jewish, Native American, and Buddhist influences.
Sister Karol Jackowski began her life as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s before moving to New York City in 1990 to finish her PhD in theology. Since then, she has encountered a variety of other spiritual and religious traditions in the Big Apple. Whether it was joining in the Solstice rituals of her Wiccan neighbors or celebrating Hanukkah with her Jewish friends, Sister Karol came to recognize commonalities: ritual, prayer, and the celebration of life cycles were at the core of each practice.
In the first half of her Book of Spells, Blessings, & Folk Magic, Sister Karol discusses the “divine, primitive, soul impulse” towards prayer and ritual, while the latter half includes a series of practical spells, spirit prayers, and blessings from several different traditions. The 258-page new edition (published by Red Wheel/Weiser) is “every denominational” – rather than “non-denominational.” Its approach to spirituality and magic is not only inclusive, but all encompassing. From a Catholic "Three Kings House Blessing” to a New Job Spell and how to create a home altar, there’s a little bit of magic for everyone.
“There are as many paths to God as there are people who walk this earth, and not all of them lead to church,” Sister Karol writes in the book’s preface. But one thing that permeates most world religions and individual faith practices is “ritual as a prayerful activity” – as well as repetition as a sacred ingredient in both prayer and magic. It’s in this place of soulful stillness that we can “hear our best self,” Sister Karol writes. “We entered this life well-equipped spiritually, knowing we were never alone. We saw how thin the veil is between this world and the spirit world, and how easily accessible it is when we pray; the door to the spirit world opens and we enter.” Abracadabra.
Sister Karol describes prayer and ritual as “the soul’s ticket to entering all of life’s mysteries lies.” When we remain open – calm, still, and centered – the door to the Divine opens. Whether you’re calling upon angels or deities, Mother Mary or the Great Goddess, divine intervention occurs when we mix “matters of the heart with spiritually charged rituals,” says Sister Karol. That’s when and how we make magic.
From the burning of spell candles for three, seven, or nine days to the Catholic novenas, repetition is also present in nearly all magical practices. And like these repetitive rituals, Sister Karol’s Book of Spells, Blessings, and Folk Magic can be re-read countless times. It’s a great companion to any magical library – one that you may turn to for a simple Full Moon Holy Water Blessing, a Money Magic Spell, or a even a Pet Blessing any time of the year.
To purchase the book, please visit Red Wheel/ Weiser here.
Are you a water witch? Author Annywyn Avalon’s new book Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore From the Celtic Tradition focuses on the ways we can work with water spirits and examines the magical differences between lakes, oceans, rivers, and wells – all within the context of Celtic mythology and folklore.
Many of us are intuitively drawn to water. Sometimes it’s an instinctive pull towards the seaside edge or the rippling hush of a riverbed. The thundering crash of waves both excites and calms us; the deep hollow of a still lake incites a sense of mystery. We go to the shore to find peace, introspection, and renew our bond with the earth. It’s also a powerful place for witchcraft.
Water is an essential force in all our lives – one that we depend upon for survival. Cleansing, nurturing, and calming, each body of water also has its own spirit, its own distinct energy. Learning about the magical properties of water and the spiritual forces at work can also help us create our own magic.
Here, Enchantments highlights Annywyn Avalon's very practical Water Glyph Meditation from her 2019 book, Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore From the Celtic Tradition published by Weiser Books.
Water Glyph Meditation, by Annywyn Avalon
"Now that you have a general understanding of water magic and some of its basic tools and practices, it is time to begin attuning your energy with that of water. Start by gathering drinkable water in a sacred vessel. Place this vessel in your lap or on your working space. Ground yourself (see chapter 2) and sit in front of your newly created and consecrated altar. Read through this visualization a few times to become familiar with it. Then close your eyes and complete the visualization.
Sit facing your altar; then take your hands and make the alchemical glyph for water. You can do this by placing your thumbs together and touching at the tip. Place your index fingers together, touching at their tips and point- ing down, then curl your pinkie, middle, and ring fingers together into a fist. This will create a downward-facing triangle that, throughout the Western Mystery Tradition, is used as the alchemical symbol for water.
Once your hands are in position, close your eyes and begin to visualize water—your favorite body of water, rain, or a bath. Let your mind wander for a while and let the spirits guide you across different bodies of water— lakes, oceans, rivers, or streams.
Once you feel as if you have a strong image and feeling of the water, hold that vision in your mind. Visualize the water crashing over you and cleansing you. Visualize your heart center being cleansed of heavy burdens. Visualize the water washing over your body, covering all of you.
When you are done, let the water begin to swirl in front of you in your mind’s eye. Let it create a floating, shining ball of water and let this shining ball start to form a downward-facing triangle—like the glyph you are making with your fingers. Make sure that the point is at the bottom. See this glyph in watery blue.
Holding this triangle in your mind, begin to connect with the water energy. Let the triskele symbol—the three-armed spiral (see Figure 1)—begin to form in the center of your triangle, each spiral representing water in one of its forms—liquid, gas, or solid. Let the triangle pulse and the triskele swirl in your mind’s eye. Talk to the water; feel the water and try to feel what it is communicating to you. When you are finished, bring your focus back to the triangle. Ask if there is anything that water would like to teach you. Then wait and listen.
When you are finished, see the water glyph and triskele move toward the bowl of water in front of you. Let the watery glyph begin to pulsate on the surface of the water; let the triskele swirl. Let the glyph merge with the water in the vessel. It becomes small and then dissolves into it. When you are satisfied, slowly open your eyes, lift the bowl to your lips, and sip in the water that is now charged with the alchemical glyph. As you do this, allow your spirit to merge with the spirit of water and become one with it." –– Annywyn Avalon
Adapted, and reprinted with permission from Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, Water Witchcraft by Annwyn Avalon is available wherever books and ebooks are sold or directly from the publisher at www.redwheelweiser.com or 800-423-7087.
78 Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack
"This is one of the best books on tarot that I know. It will provide everything necessary to learn to read and understand the tarot. To paraphrase the blurb on the back: 'First published nearly 40 years ago, this book provides: a history of tarot, introduction to common tarot spreads, [and] a clear and endlessly useful reference for both beginning and advanced tarot students.' I like to tell people that it is a complete course on tarot in one volume." – Stacy Rapp
The Witch's Guide to Life, by Kala Trobe
This is one of the most complete intro to Wicca books and one of the few that explores witchcraft and modern technology. It is broken into three parts: 'The first part covers Wiccan ethics, the difference between a Wiccan and a non-Wiccan Witch, love, sex, mood swings, eating disorders, suicidal impulses, and the use of drugs are amongst the issues discussed in the first part of the book, along with wider subjects such as the witch's role in global crisis.'
'Part two explores the history, folklore, and mystical systems relevant to witchcraft as we know it today, including chakras, the Qabalah of the Western Mystery Tradition, and Tarot. The lives of eminent historical and contemporary occultists are outlined, and the image of the witch as reflected in art, literature, and the media is explored as an indication of the changing attitude of the general public to the arts magickal.'
'In part three you'll find the practical how-to of witchcraft and magick, with comprehensive sections on a witch's working tools, when to cast what, and magickal techniques and spell-casting. Also included are recipes to make every sabbat a tasty as well as magickal experience, tips on psychic self-protection, and advice for coping with adversity. The power inherent in every witch shines forth in this guide to magickal living in the modern world.' "