ADF Recommended Books

Please note that if you wish to purchase any of these titles online, the photos are links to Amazon.com Books to make them available for easy ordering.


    Celtic Culture



    Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales

    Alwyn and Brinley Rees
    The very best study of pattern and meaning in Celtic myth, with special reference to Vedic lore.

    Magic of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses

    Carl McColman, Kathryn Hinds
    Celtic gods and goddesses are among the most popular of deities revered by today's Neo-Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, and Druids. Figures like Brigid, Cernunnos, Rhiannon, and CuChulainn are honored for their magic, their bravery, and their mythical deeds. Among Pagans, the gods and goddesses of Gaul, Ireland, Wales, and the other Celtic lands rank with the Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian pantheons as the most popular and influential deities in the Neo-Pagan movement. Magic of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses is the first resource available to help Pagans, Witches, and Druids to connect specifically with the Celtic Gods and Goddesses in a truly deep, powerful, and spiritual way. This book will help you: * Learn the major Irish, Welsh, and continental Celtic deities. * Discover the major myths and lore associated with each deity. * Create rituals and magical work appropriate for each deity. * Understand the psychological archetypes of each God and Goddess. * Forge true and meaningful relationships with the deities for our time. * Relate the various gods and goddesses to the Sabbats and Holy Days.

    A Brief History of the Druids aka "The Druids"

    Peter Berresford Ellis
    The best modern survey of what we know and don't know about the Celtic Druids.

    The Celtic Heroic Age

    John Koch
    This book includes a large number of sources on the Celts, all included in a single place. Many of the translations are updated, and it includes many obscure texts.

    Pagan Celtic Britain

    Anne Ross
    An exhaustive survey of known archaeology and lore about Celtic remains in England, Scotland and Wales.

    The Mabinogi, and Other Medieval Welsh Tales

    Patrick K. Ford
    The most academically accepted translation, it also includes the Battle of the Trees, a pronunciation guide, and an index of names.

    The Tain: Translated from the Irish Epic Tain Bo Cuailnge

    Thomas Kinsella, Trans.
    One of the main Irish Myths, the Ulster Cycle is key to understanding Irish mythology. This translation is considered standard among academics.

    The Druids

    Stuart Piggott
    Previously the best survey. Somewhat unfriendly to the culture it describes, but full of good data about the archeology and facts about the Druids.

    Indo-European Studies



    In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth

    J.P. Mallory
    A summary of known scholarship on the peoples from whom the Celts, Germans, Greco-Roman, and Baltic cultures descended. This book is fairly dense and reads on an advanced level. It could also be classed as Proto-Indo-European.

    A History of Pagan Europe

    Nigel Pennick and Prudence Jones
    A simpler review of the history of Pagan peoples and their beliefs.

    Comparative Mythology

    by Jaan Puhvel
    Arising from almost 30 years' teaching experience and from a profound and vast scholarship, Puhvel's study represents a major contribution to his field. It begins with a detailed survey of Indo-European mythsthose of India, Iran, Greece, and Rome, of the Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, and Slavic culturesand proceeds to a cross-cultural examination of a number of themes: God and Warrior; King and Virgin; Horse and Ruler; Fire in Water; Twin and Brother.

    The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why An Invented Past Will Not Give Women a Future

    Cynthia Eller
    This book takes a hard look at what evidence there is or is not for the Gimbutas assertion of a matriarchal goddess-worshipping, pan-European Neolithic society.

    Modern Paganism



    Drawing Down the Moon

    Margot Adler
    The classic survey of American Neopaganism, including plenty on ADF, our origins and growth.

    The Idiot's Guide to Paganism

    Carl McColman
    A book that covers the basic forms of modern Paganism.

    Triumph of the Moon:A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

    Ronald Hutton
    Here is a book that brings witchcraft out of the shadows. The Triumph of the Moon is the first full-scale study of the only religion England has ever given the world--modern pagan witchcraft, otherwise known as wicca. Meticulously researched, it provides a thorough account of an ancient religion that has spread from English shores across four continents.

    Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today

    Ellen Evert Hopman
    This book is a set of interviews from modern Neo-Pagans. Some ADF members are interviewed for this book, as well.

    Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America

    Chas S. Clifton
    A book covering the basics of the Neo-Pagan movement today, starting with Wicca and exploring the varieties of Paganism from there.

    Roman Culture



    An Introduction to Roman Religion

    John Scheid; Janet Lloyd, trans.
    This book comes highly recommended as an intro to the religion of this culture.

    The Gods of Ancient Rome

    Robert Turcan
    This book is a vivid account of what their gods meant to the Romans from archaic times to late antiquity, and an exploration of the rites and rituals connected with them.

    Ovid's Fasti: Roman Holidays

    Ovid (Author), Betty Rose Nagle (Translator)
    A poetic description of the festivals of the Roman year which unfortunately breaks off at the end of June.

Additional Notes

[Quoting from the ADF Recommended Reading List web page]

We recommend that the beginning student avoid any nonfiction by Robert Graves, D.J. Conway, Lewis Spense, H.P. Blavatsky, Edward Williams (aka Iolo Morganwg), or any works by others based on their writings, or those of Merlin Stone, Barbara Walker, or other revisionist ideologues. Some of the assertions made in these sources can't be supported by current scholarship on the Druids; the use of common sense and a critical eye are highly recommended in dealing with these books (and all the other books listed on this page as well). This is not to say that they don't have their own possible worth or that people shouldn't know about these books, but that an understanding of these writers should come after understanding Druidry/Neopaganism in general. One has to get a firm grounding, four walls and a roof before she can decide on what kinds of curtains to look at.

When in doubt, consult your nearest tree...