“There was an effortlessness to the way they depicted magic that made it feel exotic and very familiar at the same time. It was a big influence on me. The fairy Godmother starts to work with the wand. No pixie dust is flowing from it, so she has to slap it against her palm in order to get the magic flowing. This mundane aspect of it being clogged intersecting with something as fanciful as a magic wand is wonderful to me.” -Brad Bird
Okay top ten most recommended books (aside from your own :p witches better have those already!!) For witches of any level of experience!
Well, the only books that I can 100% recommend are my own, because I can vouch for all the content, see? (For anyone interested, the rundown is here.) But the following are the books from my personal library that I’ve found most useful over the years. (These are in no particular order.)
Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs(Cunningham) - THE book on magical plant correspondences. Wicca-flavored and slightly antiquated (published in the 1980s), but still relevant and very well-researched. The Works Cited and Recommended Reading pages are worth a look all on their own.
The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines(Fetrow & Avila) - If you’re going to work with plants in your craft, you NEED to have a practical reference book. This one is the best I’ve found so far. It’s well-organized, easy to use, and reads like a physician’s desk reference. Which, in a practical medical herb book, is what you want.
Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells(Illes) - Affectionately dubbed “The Big Guns” in my personal lexicon. Some problematic material (largely pulling from vodou and hoodoo as if all their practices are universal), but an excellent resource for learning about various magical methods from a wider range of cultures and countries than most books contain. Helpfully alphabetized by subject, but I still recommend using index tabs for quick reference.
Grimoire for the Green Witch(Moura) - The “Other Guns.” An excellent reference for correspondences and basic spellwriting components. Not really organized, and there’s no table of contents or index, so DEFINITELY use index tabs for this one. It’s not as comprehensive as Llewellyn’s big book on correspondences, but the smaller size makes it a little less daunting to leaf through.
The Real Witches’ Garden(West) - One of my very first books on green witchcraft, and one I still refer to. Includes practical information as well as magical correspondences.
The Real Witches’ Book of Spells and Rituals(West) - Like Illes’ “Big Guns,” a good reference for various kinds of spells at a basic-to-intermediate level. This is the spellbook on which I cut my witchy teeth back in the day.
Spell Crafts(Cunningham & Harrington) - For any witch who wants to make charms or trinkets as part of their practice, or has a crafty artistic side. Lots of basic tutorials that can be adapted to future projects.
The Black Toad (Gary) - A fascinating look at the classical components of English witchcraft traditions. Details the hows and whys behind many charms that we find in frequent use today (i.e. witch bottles).
Cottage Witchery(Dugan) - A short, simple primer for magics that can be done around the home. Wicca-flavored and focused on traditional methods, with a charming conversational style that influenced my own writing later on.
Utterly Wicked(Morrison) - The first book I ever read that presented baneful magic in a practical fashion. Emphasizes personal responsibility and introduces some interesting modern techniques for using everyday items in curses.
Keep in mind that NONE of these books are perfect, and critical reading is required for everything. But if I had to put together a stack of ten books from my collection that I absolutely cannot do without, the first ones I’d replace if lost, these would be the ones. :)
I love the fact that the Wizarding World still has concepts they don’t understand, and they are the same concepts that we can’t explain. The Department of Mysteries contains a room full of hour glasses where they are obviously studying time. A room with a mysterious veil from which can be heard the whispers of the dead. Nobody can explain what happens after death. A room full of brains. Thought is a funny thing, isn’t it? A room full of planets in outer space. Sure we have astronomy but we are nowhere close to unraveling the mysteries of the universe. And do you know the most mysterious force? The power of love that literally saved Harry’s life yet again.
“Listen, there are forty-one books in this series that’s been going since the 80′s, so it’s going to be a little daunting! Luckily there are at least forty-one approaches to the reading order, so you’ve got options! Just…don’t start with The Color of Magic, for god’s sake. I mean, theoretically, yes, you could read them in order but hell, who would want to? Start with Guards! Guards!, he’s got the hang of the thing by then. Personally, I read them using this chart!”
At which point they’ll pull out this lovingly made infographic that probably has sodding footnotes to boot, they’re so goshdarn helpful about it, when honestly, none of us really care which order you read them in, as long as you read them somehow.
Just…don’t judge the series by The Light Fantastic, wait to read that one after you’ve finished Soul Music or something and feel brave enough to go back. Seriously, the first few books aren’t BAD or anything, but they’re like comparing a sketch in Leonardo’s notebook to The Last Supper.
Ok… so the part when the music swells always gives me chills.
I love to listen to this one and compare it to the ministry of magic music from the order of the Phoenix. That one was filled with wonder, and awe in an almost childlike way. This track instead has this glorious feel to it- the wonder and awe is still there, but rather than open-mouthed excitement, it’s a deep sort of feeling that you get when you don’t know what you’re looking at but can’t look away.
Now You See me is the wildest movie like four people just dropped everything and vanished off the face of the earth in order to plan and execute several dangerous and highly illegal crimes all in order to join a magic trick club that for all they know may or may not exist