Starting on the path of occult studies can be daunting. Sometimes the amount of information out there is overwhelming and this makes it difficult to find a place to begin. This is a curated list to help seekers get started.
Books to start with for personal practice or the basics:
Thorn Mooney’s Traditional Wicca: A Seeker’s Guide. Mooney gives you an idea of what Wicca is and what it isn’t; what to look out for and what to expect. She’ll be the first to tell you that there are problems in Wicca that need to be unpacked but is also unapologetically Wiccan. You can also find her on YouTube if you want to get a sense of what she’s about before purchasing her book.
Yvonne Aburrow’s books Dark Mirror and The Night Journey are both excellent books on Wicca and Witchcraft that encourage critical thought and contemplation on the structures and general inner workings from an inclusive Wiccan perspective. Her works are written in an easy, conversationalist tone that makes for quick reading with lots of hidden gems and insights.
Aidan Wachter’s Six Ways: Wachter’s book, although not Wiccan, is grounded in Western Esoterism in a way that makes it accessible and easily applicable to developing a personal practice. That said, it isn’t Wiccan and while it does a better job than many books at sourcing, it still falls into the trap of using culturally appropriated materials and references so be aware of that when reading. In other words, check his references for issues of cultural appropriation and consider them when reading.
Safety & Group Expectations
Group Expectations: Some things to consider when working with a group, written by Faye on Occultivated (Inula)
Building a Basic Practice
Meditation: Often the most daunting part of starting a practice, the Headspace app (use the free version) has a lot of great advice to help build a seated meditation practice.
What is meditation: ironically Wikipedia has a nice overview of different forms of meditation, where they come from and different cultural approaches to meditation. It’s not comprehensive (there is a lot more out there, but it’s a nice starting point).
All of these links look at Cultural Appropriation in some form and are linked to provide more context and points of analysis within traditional lineaged Wicca (things that need to be unpacked, reconsidered, and examined from within the tradition).
Cultural Appropriation in Contemporary Paganism: Kathryn Gottlieb
Pagan Book Publishing & Cultural Appropriation: Fire Lyte
Looking at Cultural Appropriation in Common Mainstream Witchcraft Practices: Flying the Hedge
Cultural Appropriation and the Chakras*: Hareesh
Irish: Lora O’Brien provides countless resources and tools to help individuals connect to authentic Irish paganism, in a non culturally appropriative way.
Scottish: Cailleach’s Herbarium looks at witchcraft from a Scottish perspective, examining traditions that are native to Scotland, from saining to Tumshie carving.
Gaelic traditions (Scottish & Irish): Tairis Described as a Gaelic Polytheist Website, the author provides countless resources for learning about Gaelic Polytheism (GP) including links to other groups and source materials.
Celtic Reconstructionist (CR): Pàganachd Despite the intense graphics, the site has come good information about CR and how it differs from the sites linked above.
*Note that I share this link with awareness that the author is white and profiting off of their work in this field, which needs to be considered as you read this text.