There have been numerous “Wicca 101”-type books written over the last decade. Many of them repeat much of the same information, albeit from somewhat different viewpoints. The ones below are the more readily available and responsibly written books we have found.
You may be puzzled as to why some of the more prominent names do not appear on this list. Either they repeat the same information found in the below books or are authors to be avoided because of their sloppy scholarship or they may have plagiarized much of the material.
Complete Book of Witchcraft. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1986.
A generic primer of basic techniques and ritual. He is from the Seax (Saxon) tradition, but the book is more generic. Buckland was trained by Gerald Gardner (the founder of the Gardnerian traditions) and much of his writings reflect that. I will be flagging Gardner-influenced material throughout because the Gardnerian tradition is the one I find dogmatic in its approach. Many eclectic groups (knowingly or unknowingly use Gardner’s materials for their rituals, etc., but have done more research and have been far more creative in their approaches. (SR)
Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age. Wellingborough, UK: Aquarian Press, 1989.
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1988.
______. Living Wicca. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 199?.
Scott Cunningham’s works are reassuring to new practitioners, if a bit lightweight in content. (SR)
A Witches Bible. New York: Magickal Childe Publishing, Inc., 1984.
I believe that this has been republished by another company. I have the old two-volume set and I think it has now been combined into one volume. The Farrars were also influenced by Gerald Gardner, but their ideas now differ considerably. (SR)
Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. ISBN 0812218795
The title may be somewhat misleading; Magliocco’s focus is less on Neo-Paganism in America as a whole than it is on Wiccan culture in California, specifically the San Francisco area. She draws from her background in anthropology to show how today’s Neo-Pagans are morphing folklore from many cultures into their own religious beliefs. (LC)
I rarely recommend web sites, but this one is exceptional. It gives concise and facutal overview of what Wicca is and what it is not and dicusses some common myths all-too-many Neo-pagans have about Wicca and its relationships to history. (SR, 09/03)
The Wiccan Path: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1999. ISBN 0895947447
This book is a series of letters that Beth wrote to two apprentices (one male, one female) over the course of a year. In these letters, she explains her Wiccan tradition and provides sample sabbat and esbat rituals for one or two people. This is a great book for solitaries. I find myself going back to it regularly.(LC)
Witchcraft for Tomorrow. Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing Inc., 1978.
Valiente was a collaborator with Gerald Gardner, but her approach is much broader and less dogmatic. (SR)
Earth Magic: A Dianic Book of Shadows. Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing Inc., 1986.
Weinstein continues her emphasis with magical ethics with this practical primer. Although the title says “Dianic,” this book is not “Dianic” in the sense of being exclusively Goddess-oriented. (SR)