The new year is time to get back into the swing of things, so here is our Witchy Wednesday post for the week. The topic: What books have been the biggest influence on you?
I’ve been Pagan for a good long time, and in that time, I’ve read a lot of really bad books. In the early years of the twenty-first century a lot of books were published that sought to make Paganism palatable to the general public by making it look like enviro-Christianity.
There have been a lot of books worth reading in that time as well. Good reference guides with great ideas for crafts, and creative little tips and tricks. There haven’t, however, been a whole lot that I found to be inspiring and held elements that I felt were essential to my own path.
Below are four books that I have read and kept close at hand. One that I have kept since I was 10 years old.
First up is one of the first Pagan books that really spoke to me: A Witch Alone by Marian Green. This book was published way back in 1991. My copy is from 2002, and if I remember correctly, that was also the year that I bought it.
The early 2000′s were a time of massive growth for networking and online covens and whatnot. Folks were beginning to realize that the internet was a place where you could find information not available locally, and reach out to folks ‘in the know’. In other words, very different from today.
Back then Wicca and Witchcraft were synonyms. If there were no covens, then you were preparing ritual all by your onesies. This was the first book that I read that stripped all the CM trappings of Religious Witchcraft away, and showed a grounded path of the village wise woman. I gobbled it up.
I’m in the process of re-reading it so that it can be added to my book reviews page, and I find myself stumbling into meditation as I read, just like I did the first time. Which, of course, makes it a longer book to read when you have to wander off and retrieve your mind before you can continue.
Second is the book that I have kept on hand since I was about ten years old. It was a birthday gift from the first best friend I had after moving to Vancouver Island. A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson.
It’s about a little girl who goes to stay with her aunt and cousins for the summer while her parents work out the details of their divorce. She finds a magic pocket watch that takes her back in time to when her own mother used to summer in the very same house as a child.
It really spoke to me as I was in a similar situation; my parents had recently divorced, and I can remember feeling a bit a drift as we struggled to set up a new life. When I outgrew reading it over and over, I vowed to keep it and give it to my own little girl one day. And that’s just what I’ve done.
It sits on a shelf, the pages and cover dog-eared from 20+ years, waiting for my little one to be old enough to sit still for a novel length story (or at least a full chapter at a time).
Next is the book that made me fall in love with Witchcraft again after a time of darkness and difficulty. Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott is one of my all time favourite books. It is the memoir of her discovering Wicca, and starting down the path of a Witch.
I find it to be an incredibly inspiring story, especially when I lived in the heart of an urban area with no wild land to be found. I think I may add this to my list of books to read/re-read this year. I never get sick of a good story.
Lastly is a book that was a reading assignment from the professor of the business course I took … wow, three years ago now, I guess. Though I’d never heard of it before, it is the most treasured “textbook” I own. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
This book has been an inspiration to everyone I know who has read it (and since it was required reading for our business class, that’s a lot). I’m not going to give away any of the story. I’m just going to say that if you haven’t read this book, do so. Get up, right now. Go out and buy this book. It’s worth it.
So, you have my top 4. What books have inspired you?