Trad Craft: Reading List

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Trad Craft: Reading List
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 1

In this post I will be listing various Authors, Youtubers, Bloggers etc that are very helpful when studying Traditional Witchcraft - most of them are better for Modern Traditional Witchcraft/Witchcraft in general, I will be adding a few personal comments about each of them as to why they made it to this list, however not all authors on this list will be 'Traditional Witchcraft' but their information can still be seen as relevant.


  • Andrew Chumbley - a very intelligent author, focuses more on Ceremonial/Higher Workings in Traditional Witchcraft , downside is his books are very intense, they do they a while to read through (As well as they are expensive!)
  • Gemma Gary - a personal favourite of mine, she is a Modern Contemporary Witch working out of Cornwall, she delves into the Traditional Witchcraft practices of Cornwall and surrounding areas, a lot of her work is focused on Ritualistic rather than Operative magic . Downside with her is that she doesn't have much work out and her books are rather short.
  • Michael Howard - A brilliant man when it came to the Esoteric/Occult , editor of the Cauldron magazine and wrote various forewords for Authors/Colaborations and wrote a few of his own works. A downside to him is that his Traditional Witchcraft works like Liber Nox focus feels lacking and you need to read a lot of other works to fill in the gaps - Liber Nox is a great introduction, but that is all.
  • Peter Paddon - a Modern Cunning-Man, intelligent and some of his work is incredibly interested and enjoyable, however he is one of those authors who call his Personal ideas fact.
  • Robin Artisson - his work is really good, a lot of Traditional Witches recommended his books, until he openly stated he hated Muslims, however despite his personal views on people he has never met - he has an absolute wealth of information.
  • Joyce Froome - her work on the Pendles Witches was spectacular, one of the Curators of the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, Cornwall her work has been enjoyable, unfortunately at times can be a bit dry, her book is essentially just a wall of information - but what excellent information it is.
  • Emma Wilby - the author of the acclaimed book about Isobel Gowdie, she covered in her works the topic of 'Dark Shamanism' as she titles it - but known to the Traditional Witches as Hedge Witchery . Brilliant Author when it comes to researching historic information about Traditional Witchcraft .
  • Nigel G Pearson - Author of the wondeful books, Treading the Mill and The Devils Plantation - he has an excellent grasp on Traditional Witchcraft/Folk Practices of his fellow Englishmen. Unfortunately he can be a bit dry at times, though not as dry as Joyce.
  • Paul Husson - his work is one of the pieces that a lot of Modern Witchcraft/Traditional Witchcraft practitioners herald, whilst I haven't delved incredibly deeply into his books - he can be a bit dry at times.
  • Robert Cochrane - Unfortunately the majority of his work was destroyed by his students, however the few books on his correspondences with other Occultists can't be neglected/missed, my only personal gripe is there isn't much of his work left.
  • Cecil Williamson - the Founder of the Museum of Witchcraft, friend/colleague of Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente, whilst almost none of his personal work is left - what he has left at the Museum from his personal collection and the book by Steve Patterson that was written is absolutely excellent, unfortunately in the book by Steve some of the explanations on certain works are missing or don't make sense.
  • Doreen Valiente - Unfortunately there are quite a few Traditional Witches that ignore her due to her relationship with Wicca . However, she should not be ignored as an Author, her work still heavily relates back to Traditional Witchcraft and her life as a Traditional Sussex Witch , brilliant and can be a bit hit and miss at times, but still brilliant to read.

Non-Traditional Witchcraft Authors

  • Judika Illes - Heralded as 'The Research Queen' by some practitioners, she covers many different cultures and practices in her books, however, she has a lot of downsides - she has a habbit of calling everything Witchcraft and supports Silver Ravenwolf to some degree, but not to the whole scale of complete Misinformation, she also has a habit of Culturally Appropriating - but her practical work is amazing and her book on Spirits is a great help to any beginner - thank goodness.
  • Catherine Yronwode - There are quite a few problems with her due to her personal views and the fact she has been called about by a few other practitioners of Hoodoo/Rootwork, however, her work on Materia Magica (Herbs and other Curios) is stunning and shares a lot of similarities with European Magic.
  • Scott Cunningham - Often heralded as a great beginner author, a few of his works are quite good but at times can be a bit hit and miss. Helpful but you can't lean on him too much.

Groups - mainly Groups of Publishers

  • Three Hands Press - a lot of great works on Folk Magic, Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism, unfortunately Three Hands Press is also quite expensive, but there collection is amazing.
  • Troy Books - named after the Troyle Rite, a wonderful publishing company and also rather cheap, they work in close relation with the Museum of Witchcraft. The only downside is that each of the Authors only put out so many books.


  • MrShadowBwoy - A Traditional Witch in England, quite knowledgeable but at times can be hard to listen to - does various book reviews on some of the Authors I have mentioned above. Good but can be a bit dry - he also comes back to some of his videos and creates a new one adding to what he has already said.
  • Sancista Brujo Luis - A very intelligent and beautiful man, he covers a wide variety of topics from Brujeria, British Traditional Witchcraft, Spirituality, he has a lot of videos and is very enjoyable to listen too.
  • Ember HoneyRaven the Big Fat Witch - A Youtbe Witch who is a gem to listen to and has a lot of information, she has recently been on a hiatus - the only downside with her videos is she doesn't always cover topics, she just kind of talks about things, but is amazing to listen too regardless.


  • Sarah Anne Lawless - a brilliant Blogger when it comes to talking about Traditional Witchcraft, informative and quirky at times in her writing, however she can appear to be a bit intimidating I know from experience that her work has made me question my practice and whether or not I am actually a Traditional Witch. She has a lot of sources and great posts, enjoyable and excellent.

Individual Books - not mentioned by Authors above

  • A Deed Without a Name - Lee Morgan, I was quite surprised by this book, it is amazing and well thoughtout, filled with information on topics not commonly mentioned can be a bit seedy at times, but is still an amazing read.
  • To Fly by Midnight, Edited by Veronica Cummer - several essays done by a variety of authors on Hedge Witchery or also known as Soul Flight/Crossing the Hedge and Spiritual Journeying. Can be a bit intense at times but is well thoughtout from different peoples experiences.
  • A Witch's Natural History , Giles Watson - a collection of beliefs regarding Witches, who they are, soul flight and other misc topics in relation to the Superstition regarding Witches and the personal beliefs some Witches had, from both a historical and personal viewpoint.

This list is entirely personal and based off the recommendations from various other Traditional Witches, I do hope that this list will help you further in your craft as well as give you an insight into the workings of Traditional Witchcraft.

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Re: Trad Craft: Reading List
Post # 2
Austin Shippey is a good youtube as well !!
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Re: Trad Craft: Reading List
Post # 3
I'd be very careful with books by Chumbley. He studied under one Indian Teacher and started profaning the teaching (his books are basically a mix of heavily corrupted Tantra teachings + elements of non-Indian folkore + fantasies of Chumbley himself). Chumbley was never actually initiated and his profanation was quickly discovered by his former Teacher, who then cursed him to death.

And even if people don't want to believe that, then let them use common sense: if someone claimed to be a witch and then died from some trivial disease in his 30s, it means he was just a quack, who didn't know even ABC of Witchcraft.

Huson is brilliant author, his "Mastering Witchcraft" is the all-time classic. It can be truly recommended as first book for anyone of any Tradition.
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Re: Trad Craft: Reading List
Post # 4
I don't think someone dying from a disease says anything about their authenticity of witchcraft. Magic isn't going to just cure diseases however trivial. Thanks for the listing Weatherwax.
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Re: Trad Craft: Reading List
By: / Novice
Post # 5

Chumbley was melding together many traditions, not just tantra. In fact, I saw more influence derived from hermeticism and folklore than I did tantra in his books. As for fantasies, he had visions and dreams, that is the very crux of his type of magic. A lot of traditional witches will utilise their own experiences in vision and dream to come up with practices and justify their own gnosis. When you're walking the path of the witch, there is no guidebook, only your own experience, you can choose to share this if you wish, if not then that's fine too.

Chumbley didn't just pluck his thoughts from nowhere, he was clearly well read and had studied most of the classic works on magic. It is simply evident to anyone who has done the same.

As for dying young, freak accidents happen all the time- we can't forsee everything. He had a bad asthma attack, I have no idea what set it off, but just because he didn't see it coming and there was clearly no one around for help does not mean he was not a witch.

As for this list, it is great and I am pleased Doreen Valiente made the list. She is so underrated and even within books which are Wiccan oriented rarely gets a mention.

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