Resources

I’m often asked how I came up with the magical system of the Downside books. It’s based loosely on British Traditional Witchcraft, with a bit of folklore and legend and even made-up stuff thrown in. So I thought it might be interesting to list here the books that I’ve read that helped contribute to that system, and to the world in general.

Some of these books were more useful than others; some were really only there for a little background, or as a way of comparing my idea with some others ones, or whatever. And admittedly, this isn’t my entire witchcraft library, it’s just the ones I found the most useful or interesting. I have several of those “Wicca 101” type books, which are interesting but easy to find, and since I’m not Wiccan and didn’t base the system of the books in any way on Wicca it seems pointless to include them here.

Also, it’s very possible some of these will be extremely difficult to find. I’m pretty sure some are out of print; I picked up quite a few of them at used bookstores or secondhand shops. But it’s still worth looking. You never know what will turn up online or at Goodwill or Oxfam, right?

So, in no particular order:

  • MASTERING THE ART OF WITCHCRAFT – Paul Huson
  • CRONE’S BOOK OF SPELLS AND CHARMS – Valerie Worth
  • HIGH-RISE WITCH – Fiona Walker-Craven
  • CALL OF THE HORNED PIPER – Nigel Aldcroft Jackson
  • THE GOODLY SPELLBOOK – “Lady Passion” & “Duivei”
  • NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD – Catharine Arnold
  • UNDERGROUND LONDON: TRAVELS BENEATH THE CITY STREETS – Stephen Smith
  • HUBBUB: NOISE, FILTH & STENCH IN ENGLAND – Emily Cockayne
  • POWER WITHIN THE LAND – R.J. Stewart
  • WITCHCRAFT IN ENGLAND – Christina Hole
  • THE LORE OF THE LAND: A GUIDE TO ENGLAND’S LEGENDS – Westwood & Simpson
  • THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES – Manly P. Hall
  • THE GOLDEN BOUGH – Sir James Frazer
  • THE FAIRY FAITH IN CELTIC COUNTRIES – Arthur Edward Waite
  • THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF 5000 SPELLS – Judika Illes
  • THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WITCHCRAFT – Judika Illes
  • LIVING DRUIDRY – Emma Restall Orr
  • WITCHCRAFT IN ENGLAND 1558-1618 – Edited by Barbara Rosen
  • IRISH WITCHCRAFT FROM AN IRISH WITCH – Lora O’Brien
  • CHILDREN OF THE SALMON (AND OTHER IRISH FOLKTALES) – Eileen O’Faolain
  • MAGIC OF THE CELTIC UNDERWORLD – Steve Blamires
  • BLOOD MAGICK – Seth
  • CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF WITCHCRAFT – David Pickering
  • THE STATIONS OF THE SUN – Ronald Hutton
  • THE BOOK OF BLACK MAGIC – Arthur Edward Waite
  • THE SECRETS OF HIGH MAGIC – Francis Melville
  • THE MAGICAL UNIVERSE: EVERYDAY RITUAL & MAGIC IN PRE-MODERN EUROPE – Stephen Wilson
  • NATURAL WITCHCRAFT – Marian Green
  • A WITCH ALONE – Marian Green
  • THE BOOK OF RESULTS – Ray Sherwin
  • A WITCH’S TREASURY OF THE COUNTRYSIDE – Melusine Draco & Paul Harris
  • BASIC SIGIL MAGIC – Phillip Cooper
  • KINDLING THE CELTIC SPIRIT – Mara Freeman
  • TALISMANS & AMULETS – Felicitas H. Nelson
  • CURIOUS COUNTRY CUSTOMS – Jeremy Hobson
  • PANATI’S EXTRAORDINARY ENDINGS OF PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY – Charles Panati
  • THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SIGNS & SYMBOLS – Adele Mozedar
  • THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD – E.A. Wallis Budge
  • WITCHES WEREWOLVES AND FAIRIES – Claude Lecouteaux
  • THE LONDON MOB – Robert Shoemaker
  • HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON’S FAIRY TALES
  • THE BROTHERS GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES
  • PERRAULT’S FAIRY TALES
  • THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF BIRDS – Adele Nozedar
  • THE OCCULT – Colin Wilson
  • CONMEN & CUTPURSES – Edited by Lucy Moore
  • THE WORD MUSEUM – Jeffrey Kacirk
  • THE POCKET BOOK OF DEATH – Morgan Reilly & Joanna Tempest
  • CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER – Thomas de Quincy
  • THE HORNED SHEPHERD – Edgar Jepson
  • AT DAY’S CLOSE: A HISTORY OF NIGHTTIME – A. Roger Ekirch
  • THE GANGS OF NEW YORK – Herbert Asbury
  • THE HELL-FIRE CLUBS – Geoffrey Ashe
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SUPERSTITIONS – E. & M.A. Radford
  • ENTERTAINING SATAN – John Demos
  • RELIGION & MAGIC IN ANCIENT EGYPT – Rosalie David
  • CELTIC MYTHS & LEGENDS – T.W. Rolleston
  • STRANGE TALES – Rudyard Kipling
  • THE WORST JOBS IN HISTORY – Tony Robinson
  • TREADING THE MILL – Nigel G. Pearson
  • THE BLACK ARTS – Richard Cavendish