My recommendation would be to read widely and deeply, noting what you agree with, what riles you, and what attracts you. You don't have to agree with everything you read. Rather you should engage with it, see how it affects you, think about any issues it raises for you.
I have always had trouble with books that have exercises in them, because I tend to think, "Oh yes I will do that exercise later" and I either skip over it and never come back to it, or put the book down and never finish it.
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot AdlerA great, and classic, introduction to contemporary Paganism. Goes into the beliefs, practices and communities in some depth. Evocatively and accessibly written.
Books on Wicca
The story of the Pagan revival in the United States. Very well-written and researched. The US equivalent of Triumph of the Moon.
Wicca: Magickal Beginnings by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine
A textual and historical analysis of the possible origins of the rituals and practices of this modern tradition of Pagan Witchcraft. A fascinating book that I found to be really interesting and to deepen my understanding of Wicca.
Wicca: the Old Religion in the New Millennium by Vivianne Crowley
An excellent introduction to Wicca, with an exploration of the dynamics of the rituals from a Jungian perspective. First published in 1989, with a revised edition in 1997, this book is still a classic. In a recent reflection on the book, Vivianne Crowley wrote:
When I wrote Wicca, I had been in Wicca for 15 years. What I had seen in that time was how Wicca had the potential to transform people. Many of the processes that I had seen occurring as people worked their way through the initiatory systems were those that manifest through the inner journey of growth that Carl Gustav Jung called ‘individuation’. By exposing our inner world to the Gods and to those who share the spiritual journey with us, we are transformed. This is not the matter of a few years, but a lifelong process, which initiatory Wicca at its best can nurture, support and foster. The purpose of such a journey is that of the Great Work – the transformation of self as a starting point for the transformation of humankind; for if individuals do not change, then societies cannot evolve. Our aim is to grow nearer the Gods, to move from our egocentric engagement with the world for our own ends, to a re-centering that detaches us from our own preoccupations and allows us the see the world from a wider, deeper, and longer-term perspective.
Other reading lists
- Pagan 101 resources - a comprehensive list on Tumblr
- My list of books and resources for LGBTQIA Pagans
- Best Wicca 101 books on Goodreads
- Books on Wicca by Amber K on Goodreads