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Book Recommendations for a Variety of Paths

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Here at About.com's Pagan/Wiccan website, we get a lot of emails from folks asking for suggestions about what to read. I've put together a few lists -- and will continue to create more -- but I thought it might be of use to consolidate all our lists into one place. Here's our index of recommended book lists, depending on what you're interested in learning about. Also, before you get started on the lists, be sure to check out the information on what makes a book worth reading in the first place!

What Makes a Book Worth Reading?

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As more and more books on Paganism, Wicca, and other earth-based spiritual paths become available, readers are often faced with choices about what to read. One of the things people typically find themselves asking is, "How do I know what books are reliable?," followed almost immediately by "Which authors should I avoid?" As you learn and read and study, you'll learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, and you'll eventually be able to figure out on your own what makes a book credible, or worth reading, and what makes it one that should probably only be used as a doorstop or paperweight.

The Witch's Dozen: 13 Books for Beginners to Read

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Now that you've decided you want to learn about Wicca and Paganism, what should you read? After all, there are literally thousands of books on the subject -- some good, others not so much. This list features the thirteen books that every Wiccan should have on their shelves. A few are historical, a few more focus on actual Wiccan or Pagan practice, but they're all worth reading more than once.

Reading List for Celtic Pagans

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If you're interested in following a Celtic Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list. Although there are no written records of the ancient Celtic people, there are a number of reliable books by scholars that are worth reading. Some of the books on this list focus on history, others on legend and mythology. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you need to understand Celtic Paganism, it's a good starting point, and should help you learn at least the basics of honoring the gods of the Celtic peoples.

Reading List for Hellenic Pagans

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If you're interested in following a Hellenic, or Greek, Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list. Some, like the works of Homer and Hesiod, are accounts of Greek life written by people who lived during the classical period. Others look at the ways that the gods and their exploits intertwined with the daily lives of man. Finally, a few focus on magic in the Hellenic world. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you need to understand Hellenic Paganism, it's a good starting point, and should help you learn at least the basics of honoring the gods of Olympus.

Reading List for Roman Pagans

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Interested in a Roman Pagan path? There are a lot of books out there, and it's hard to know which ones are worth reading. Here's a list of ten reliable titles you can check out to get started on your studies of Roman magic, history and legend.

Reading List for Pagan Men

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Although the exact percentages aren't clear, you'll find that statistically, many more women are drawn to Pagan religions than men. Why is this? It's often because Pagan religions, including Wicca, embrace the sacred feminine alongside the power of the masculine. This sometimes puts our men in a position where they feel overlooked or diminished, simply by virtue of the numbers. However, you'll find that there are in fact many men involved in the Pagan community, and equally important, there are books available aimed specifically at male practitioners.

The Norse Eddas and Sagas

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Are you interested in the legends and history of the Norse people? One good place to start learning about their gods and goddesses is in the Eddas and Sagas, collections of stories that go back hundreds of years. You can read nearly all of them online via these links.

NeoWiccan Texts and Reading

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Are you interested in some of the popular NeoWiccan texts? From Leland's "Gospel of the Witches" to Gerald Gardner's Book of Shadows, there are a variety of documents you may want to explore if you're interested in following a NeoWiccan path. You can read nearly all of them online via these links.

Pagan Kids' Book List

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There isn't a whole lot out there commercially available for kids in Wiccan and Pagan families. That makes it kind of tough sometimes to find books… however, once you do a little digging, you'll find there are a ton of books that support Pagan and Wiccan principles and values. Things like stewardship of the earth, respect for nature, reverence of the ancestors, tolerance for diversity, a hope towards peace -- all things that many Wiccan and Pagan parents would like to see instilled in their kids. With that in mind, here's our list of books that are great reading for the under-eight set.

Herbalism Reading List

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Many Pagans and Wiccans are interested in magical herbalism. There is a lot of information out there on magical herb use, so if you're looking for books to guide you in your herbalism studies, here are some useful titles to add to your collection! Bear in mind that some focus more on folklore and medicinal history rather than Neopagan practice.

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