Top 9 Occult Books of the Summer: 2019

Book Reviews Reviews

Keep an eye out for these amazing summer reads being released soon!

It’s no secret but I love to read! I post book reviews to my instagram multiple times a month and have a personal to be read pile that grows by the day! This summer, as most summers really, I am looking forward to longer days to read with the sun. Normal kids were always excited about the summer blockbusters, but I’ve always been more interested about up and coming books to be honest.

Every summer around May I usually compile and up-and-coming book list of things I want to acquire. This year is no different except I am going to share the list with you guys too! This post is in no way sponsored by any writers or publishers, and I will be right along side you guys waiting to read these until they’re released. Without further ado, here’s this summer’s top witchcraft and occult books to keep your eyes on!

June

Backwoods Witchcraft By Jake Richards

From the publisher:

In Backwoods Witchcraft, Jake Richards offers up a folksy stew of family stories, lore, omens, rituals, and conjure crafts that he learned from his great-grandmother, his grandmother, and his grandfather, a Baptist minister who Jake remembers could “rid someone of a fever with an egg or stop up the blood in a wound.”

The materials and tools used in Appalachian witchcraft are readily available from the land. This “grounded approach” will be of keen interest to witches and conjure folk regardless of where they live. A wide array of tried-and-true formulas is also provided for creating wealth, protecting one from gossip, spiritual cleansing, and more. This book is for all those interested in hoodoo and pagan witchcraft and ritual but especially those who hunger for authentic teachings and traditions drawn from the unique folk heritage of the backwoods.

Note: I have actually had the pleasure to read this one, you can check out my review here

Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman

From the Publisher:

A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever. 

When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick. But witches in various guises have been with us for millennia. In Waking the Witch, Pam Grossman explores the cultural and historical impact of the world’s most magical icon. From the idea of the femme fatale in league with the devil in early modern Europe and Salem, to the bewitching pop culture archetypes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Harry Potter; from the spooky ladies in fairy tales and horror films to the rise of feminist covens and contemporary witchcraft, witches reflect the power and potential of women.

In this fascinating read that is part cultural analysis, part memoir, Pam opens up about her own journey on the path to witchcraft, and how her personal embrace of the witch helped her find strength, self-empowerment, and a deeper purpose. 

A comprehensive meditation on one of the most mysterious and captivating figures of all time, Waking the Witch celebrates witches past, present, and future, and reveals the critical role they have played—and will continue to play—in shaping the world as we know it.

Grimoire of Aleister Crowley by Rodney Orpheus

From the Publisher:

Group ritual has been a cornerstone of spiritual practice since time immemorial, yet its history and importance have often been overlooked by occultists of the modern age. This book is the first comprehensive presentation of group-oriented rites for modern magicians inspired by the works of Aleister Crowley. It contains rituals written by Crowley for his own magic circles, many of them unpublished during his lifetime, plus rare ancient texts that were Crowley’s own inspiration.

The rituals are newly edited and explained by Rodney Orpheus, who brings to this volume decades of experience in performing and teaching Aleister Crowley’s rituals within Crowley’s magical order Ordo Templi Orientis. He introduces each ritual with a clear overview, setting each in its historical context and explaining its function and mode of operation, and includes detailed notes on the setting and performance of each one.

Whether absolute beginner or seasoned expert, magicians of all paths will find this volume to be an eminently workable and extremely powerful grimoire spanning centuries from ancient Mithraic and Bacchanalian rites, Goetia, and Gnosticism, right up to present day Crowleyan invocations and sexual magick.

July

Tarot for Troubled Times by Shaheen Miro & Theresa Reed

From the Publisher:

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.

Through this book, you will discover a different approach to tarot, life, and self-empowerment.

  • Befriend our shadow by working with the archetypes of the Major Arcana
  • Discover—through affirmations, tarot prescriptions, and other healing modalities—how to empower ourselves and find our true voices
  • Take our newly found powers and speak out so that we can become a helpful ally for the light and begin to do your greater work in the world

Tarot for Troubled Times is not just another book on how to read the tarot—the authors provide specialty readings and suggested practices for issues such as grief, addiction, depression, fear, anger, divorce, illness, abuse, and oppression, and provide practical suggestions for stepping up as an ally or leader so that you can shape social policies. With a selection of mindful, introspective tarot spreads, you’ll learn how the Tarot can help you rewrite your healing story and change your life, and help transform the world.

Invoke the Goddess (updated) by Kala Trobe

From the publisher:

Bring more love, peace, healing, and personal empowerment into your life by working with the Hindu, Greek, and Egyptian goddesses. Looking for love? Aphrodite will assist you. Need a magickal boost? Isis will show you the way. Lacking inspiration? Sarasvati will set your creativity flying.

Invoke the Goddess explores the symbolism of fifteen female manifestations of the Divine and offers guided visualizations that will show you how to connect with the Goddess’s power. You’ll also discover a thorough guide to cleansing your chakras, preparing ritual colored baths of solarized water, and the basics of a healthful and magickal diet and exercise plan. This remarkable book makes it easy to find the perfect deity you need for enhancing your life and relationship with the Goddess.

Experience Love, Healing, and Personal Empowerment by Working with Hindu, Greek, and Egyptian Goddesses

This magical book is specially designed to help you access and interact with deities who can provide blessings, insight, and enhancements to your quality of life. Looking for love? Aphrodite will assist you. Need a magickal boost? Isis will show you the way. Lacking inspiration? Saraswati will set your creativity flying. You’ll work with a variety of goddesses, including:

Kali • Lakshmi • Radha • Sekhmet • Artemis • Persephone • Hecate • Iris • Ma’at • Hathor • And Others

Newly revised and expanded with never-before-published material, Invoke the Goddess explores the symbolism of fifteen female manifestations of the Divine and offers guided visualizations that will show you how to connect with the Goddess’s power. You’ll also discover tips on cleansing your chakras, ritual bathing, and practicing chants and mantras. This remarkable book makes it easy to find the perfect deity you need for enhancing your life and relationship with the Goddess.

Familiars in Witchcraft by Maja D’Aoust

From the Publisher:

A comprehensive exploration of familiars and their many forms and powers 

• Explores witch’s familiars in folklore, shamanic, and magical traditions around the world, including Africa, India, Scandinavia, ancient Greece, and China 

• Explains how familiars are related to shamanic power animals and how the witch draws on her personal sexual energy to give this creature its power 

• Examines the familiar in alchemical, Hermetic, and Egyptian magical literature, including instructions for procuring a supernatural assistant 

Exploring the history and creation of a “witch’s familiar,” also known as a spirit double or guardian spirit, Maja D’Aoust shows how there is much more to these supernatural servant spirits and guardians than meets the eye. She reveals how witches are not the only ones to lay claim to this magician’s “assistant” and examines how the many forms of witch’s familiars are well known in folklore throughout Europe and America as well as in shamanic and magical traditions around the world, including Africa, India, and China. 

The author explains how familiars are connected with shapeshifting and how the classic familiars of medieval witchcraft tradition are related to the power animals and allies of shamanic practices worldwide, including animal guardian spirits of Native American traditions and the daimons of the ancient Greeks and Romans. She examines the fetch spirit, also known as the fylgia in Scandinavian tradition, and how the witch or sorcerer draws on their personal sexual energy to give this creature its power to magnetize and attract what it was sent to retrieve. She looks at incubus, succubus, doubles, doppelgangers, and soul mates, showing how familiars can also adopt human forms and sometimes form romantic or erotic attachments with the witch or shaman. 

Reviewing alchemical, Hermetic, and Egyptian magical literature, including the nearly forgotten alchemical works of Anna Kingsford, D’Aoust explores their instructions for procuring the attention of a supernatural assistant as well as an extensive description of the alchemical wedding and how this ritual joins the magician and familiar spirit into a single unified consciousness. Exploring fairy familiars, she reveals how a practitioner can establish a “marriage” with a totemic plant or tree spirit, who, in return, would offer teachings about its medicinal and visionary powers. 

Delving deeply into the intimate relations of humanity with the spirit world, D’Aoust shows how forming connections with living forces other than human enables us to move beyond the ego, expand our magical abilities, as well as evolve our conscious awareness.

**Note: I have not read this and am very interested to see how the information is presented. Will have full review of this book in July sometime

August

Southern Cunning by Aaron Oberon

From the publisher:

Southern Cunning is a journey through the folklore of the American South and a look at the power these stories hold for modern witches. Through the lens of folklore, animism, and bioregionalism the book shows how to bring rituals in folklore into the modern day and presents a uniquely American approach to witchcraft born out of the land and practical application.

**Note: this is literally the publisher bio on the book. The suspense is killing me and the writer is from Florida so y’all know I just HAVE to check this out!

Slavic Witchcraft by Natasha Helvin

From the publisher:

A practical guide to the ancient magical tradition of Russian sorcery and Eastern Slavic magical rites 

• Offers step-by-step instructions for more than 300 spells, incantations, charms, amulets, and practical rituals for love, career success, protection, healing, divination, communicating with spirits and ancestors, and other challenges and situations 

• Reveals specific places of magical power in the natural world as well as the profound power of graveyards and churches for casting spells 

• Explores the folk history of this ancient magical tradition, including how the pagan gods gained new life as Eastern Orthodox saints, and shares folktales of magical beings, including sorceresses shapeshifting into animals and household objects 

Passed down through generations, the Slavic practice of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery is still alive and well in Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus, as well as the Balkans and the Baltic states. There are still witches who whisper upon tied knots to curse or heal, sorceresses who shapeshift into animals or household objects, magicians who cast spells for love or good fortune, and common folk who seek their aid for daily problems big and small. 

Sharing the extensive knowledge she inherited from her mother and grandmother, including spells of the “Old Believers” previously unknown to outsiders, Natasha Helvin explores in detail the folk history and practice of Russian sorcery and Eastern Slavic magical rites, offering a rich compendium of more than 300 spells, incantations, charms, and practical rituals for love, relationships, career success, protection, healing, divination, averting the evil eye, communicating with spirits and ancestors, and a host of other life challenges and daily situations, with complete step-by-step instructions to ensure your magical goals are realized. She explains how this tradition has only a thin Christian veneer over its pagan origins and how the Slavic pagan gods and goddesses acquired new lives as the saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. She details how the magical energy for these spells and rituals is drawn from the forces of nature, revealing specific places of power in the natural world as well as the profound power of graveyards and churches for casting spells. She explores the creation of amulets and talismans, the importance of icons, and the proper recital of magical language and actions during spells, as well as how one becomes a witch or sorceress. 

Offering a close examination of these two-thousand-year-old occult practices, Helvin also includes Slavic folk advice, adapted for the modern era. Revealing what it means to be a Slavic witch or sorceress, and how this vocation pervades all aspects of life, she shows that each of us has magic within that we can use to take control of our own destiny.

Bonus:

Wellness Witch by Nikki Van De Car (Sept. 2019)

Add a touch of magic to your self-care practice with Wellness Witch, a beautifully illustrated guide to mystical rites, sacred rituals, and creative DIYs that will enhance your everyday. 

Filled with soothing rituals, healing potions, and empowering spells, the Wellness Witch brings a touch of magic to the everyday. Tapping into ancient traditions and feminine power, this enchanting book guides readers through the practices of mystical wellness, natural beauty, and personal creativity as they develop a true intuitive connection to the life-giving forces around us.
Drawing on the transcendent power of intention, the Wellness Witch uses tinctures, tonics, mantras, and meditations to forge a magical connection between the body and the spirit. With chapters on the internal, the external, and the home, readers will learn to harness the power of healing herbs, charged crystals, and sacred spaces as they cultivate the art of mystical self-care. Accessible projects, from crafting aromatherapy blends to creating smudge sticks, are paired with calming rituals, yoga sequences, and simple spells to bring peace, power, and magic into our hectic lives. 

**Note: This book just looks so cute and magical I couldn’t help myself even though it should really be in my what to read for fall books!

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Temperance Alden is an Occultist, Writer, and Teacher based out of South Florida.

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