Member 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



    Irish Folk Tales (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

    Henry Glassie


    The Celtic Twilight: Myth, Fantasy and Folklore

    W. B. Yeats
    William Butler Yeats was a poet a mystic an initiate of the Golden Dawn-arguably the most influential esoteric order in the Western magical tradition. In he returns to his roots in Irish folklore to call up a dazzling array of sorcerers, faeries, ghosts, and nature spirits. The result is an enchanting tribute to the visionary heart of Irish folk tradition-and the memory of the poet who would not let it die.

    The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom

    Caitlin and John Matthews
    Shamanic memory, divination and prophecy, shapeshifting, magic and healing--they're all contained in this fascinating anthology of ancient Celtic lore and legend. A superb sourcebook that will delight beginners and experts alike, this volume includes many new translations of seminal Celtic texts dating back to the seventh century. Illustrated ...

    Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom

    Carl McColman
    A comprehensive look at Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and continental Celtic traditions, both Pagan and Christian, this guide includes the Celtic approach to shamanism, fairies, Wicca, neopaganism, magic, and Druidism. It draws a map for today's Celtic quest, with the way of the pilgrim, honor of one's ancestors, and the language and culture. Exploring the Celtic universe-gods and goddesses, mythic heroes and warriors, wonderworkers, underworlds, and otherworlds-this manual also covers legends such as King Arthur, Merlin, and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

    The Bardic Source Book: Inspirational Legacy and Teachings of the Ancient Celts

    by John Matthews
    This text (as one of three source books written by John Matthews) is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in Celtic history and religion. So many current books have absolutely no historical basis and focus solely for a New Age or occult audience that has no wish to understand historical context or who the bards and druids really were in their own society. This book is actually more of an anthology on the subject of Celtic bards, but the extensive commentary is also very useful.

    Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations from the Gaelic

    Alexander Carmichael
    Carmina Gadelica is the most complete anthology of Celtic oral tradition ever assembled. During his travels, Alexander Carmichael spent hours with peasants in their huts in front of peat fires listening as they "intoned in a low, recitative manner" these poems and prayers. This unique collection of living spirituality drawn from the depths of Celtic Christianity, represents a hidden oral tradition of great power and beauty, handed down through countless generations of Hebridean peasants. Previously available only as a bilingual text in six volumes, this edition in English contributes to a broader awareness of Celtic literature in general. John MacInnes' introduction puts the poems in the context of the life and folklore of the Gaelic community.

    Divination



    Celtic Tree Mysteries

    Stephen Blamires
    The Celtic Tree Ogham-Spiritual Messages and Magical Secrets from the Green World Trees, and the magic associated with them, manifest the spiritual aspects of the Green World. Celtic Tree Mysteries revives the ancient knowledge and lore of the trees with a practical system of magical ritual and divination. Within the pages of this trusted reference guide, you will find comprehensive instruction and insight on the theory and practice of the Celtic Tree mysteries, including little-known and often misunderstood tenets. Learn the difference between the Ogham script and the Tree Alphabet (and how to use them together for magical purposes). Decipher the physical, mental, and spiritual lessons of the twenty trees of the Ogham, and how to incorporate their wisdom into your life. Find out how to create your own set of Ogham sticks . . . perform Otherworld journeys . . . and discover the deeper, hidden meanings contained within the beautiful, ancient Celtic legends and Green World lore.

    Taking Up The Runes: A Complete Guide To Using Runes In Spells, Rituals, Divination, And Magic

    Diana L. Paxson
    Although many of us first encountered runes in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, this sacred alphabet is by no means a fabrication for books or movies. Similar to Hebrew letters in the sense that each symbol contains a meaning that transcends its original function as a letter, the runes are practical, flexible, and effective symbols with a variety of uses. Today, the best known application of rune lore is divination: chips or stones marked with runes are drawn, cast, or laid out in patterns like tarot cards. In Taking Up the Runes, Paxson delves into the ancient historical meaning of each rune and explains their contemporary uses and meanings. We discover that the real power of runes comes from inside ourselves when we find the wisdom and power within each symbol and internalize them.

    Tree Wisdom: The Definitive Guidebook to the Myth, Folklore, and Healing Power of Trees

    by Jacqueline Memory Paterson
    Tree Wisdom explores the world of trees through the eyes of the ancients and our eyes of today. The author draws on years of extensive research to tell the story of each individual species of tree, covering every aspect of tree wisdom including: comprehensive physical descriptions, healing powers, artistic and practical uses, legends and myths, and inspirational and magical qualities. A wonderful "must-have" compendium for the student of lore, nature and divination.

    Fiction



    The Mists of Avalon

    Marion Zimmer Bradley
    Many people note this book for bringing them to the pagan path. Though not exacting in terms of being completely historically accurate, it is nonetheless compelling, provocative, and quite a rousing read.

    Other



    The Journey of Man : A Genetic Odyssey

    Spencer Wells
    A modern addition of another tool, genetics, to the archeology, language, and myth employed in tracing the spread of modern man throughout the world, including location of Indo-European origins.

    The Sacred and the Profane

    by Mircea Eliade
    Mircea Eliade observes that even moderns who proclaim themselves residents of a completely profane world are still unconsciously nourished by the memory of the sacred. He traces manifestations of the sacred from primitive to modern times in terms of space, time, nature, and the cosmos. This book serves as an excellent introduction to the history of religion, but its perspective also encompasses philosophical anthropology, phenomenology, and psychology. It is a very readable book that will appeal to anyone seeking to discover the potential dimensions of human existence.

    Zen Meditation in Plain English

    John Daishin Buksbazen
    The jolt of confidence you get when discussing a day's performance with a seasoned veteran can take any activity to a higher level. In his concise and informative Zen Meditation in Plain English, meditation veteran John Daishin Buksbazen gives detailed directions for each step of Zen-style meditation, from getting into the different postures and developing breath concentration, all the way up to intensive training periods. With only one short chapter on what the mind should be doing while "sitting" (as they say in Zen), his focus is on getting the fundamentals right.

    Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion

    Michael York
    [this review by Ian Corrigan on amazon.com] This is a fine study of the ideas that lay behind ancient Paganism, and how they relate to and resemble the ideas of modern Paganism. York proposes a model of Paganism which is pluralistic and polytheistic, nature-focused, human-focused and that seeks a good life on earth more than it does a specific sort of good afterlife. He begins by examining some of the most well-preserved of ancient forms, those of China and India. He finds in traditional Taoist Paganism his first and most complete model. In Hinduism he has to choose among the many forms to find the (still fairly prominent) presence of Pagan ways. Having isolated the pagan remnants in those ways, he goes on to other world religions, including Japanese culture, European Catholicism and North American First Peoples. York makes fairly good use of material from the African world, including Santeria, Lucumi, and the like. After pointing out the Pagan ideas in the various world paths, he examines the neopagan movement, and reaches interesting conclusions.

    The Deities Are Many: A Polytheistic Theology

    Jordan D. Paper
    First Sentence: There are innumerable recordings of myths and stories about the deities, a vast literature of teachings from the goddesses and gods, many works on the rituals and other religious behaviors that relate ourselves to the polytheistic numinous realm, a few philosophical treatises on the logical implications of deities, but no written works that seek systematically to explain the hermeneutics of polytheism in general, rather than within specific cultural traditions. ^ This is definitely not a beginner's book. There are very few books that deal with Paganism and polytheism from a modern theological view. In this book, Paper writes about his personal experiences with several branches of polytheistic belief and practice.

    The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

    Jeremy Narby, Ph.D


    Mama Lola: A Voudou Priestess in Brooklyn

    Karen McCarthy Brown


    The Earth, The Gods and The Soul - A History of Pagan Philosophy: From the Iron Age to the 21st Cent

    Brendan Myers
    Philosophy was invented by pagans. Yet this fact is almost always ignored by those who write the history of ideas. This book tells the history of the pagan philosophers, and the various places where their ideas appeared, from ancient times to the 21st century. The Pagan philosophers are a surprisingly diverse group: from kings of great empires to exiled lonely wanderers, from devout religious teachers to con artists, drug addicts, and social radicals. Three traditions of thought emerge from their work: Pantheism, NeoPlatonism, and Humanism, corresponding to the immensities of the Earth, the Gods, and the Soul. From ancient schools like the Stoics and the Druids, to modern feminists and deep ecologists, the pagan philosophers examined these three immensities with systematic critical reason, and sometimes with poetry and mystical vision. This book tells their story for the first time in one volume, and invites you to examine the immensities with them. And as a special feature, the book includes summaries of the ideas of leading modern pagan intellectuals, in their own words: Emma Restall Orr, Michael York, John Michael Greer, Vivianne Crowley, and more

    Something

    Mike Talvola
    This is a superior book!

    Roman Culture



    Lingva Latina: Pars I: Familia Romana

    Hans Ørberg
    Entirely composed in Latin, Part I, Familia Romana, provides an excellent introduction to Latin, including the essentials of Latin grammar and a basic vocabulary of over 1500 words. The thirty-five chapters describe the life of a Roman family in the 2nd century A.D., and culminate in readings from classical poets and Donatus’s Ars Grammatica, the standard Latin school text for a millennium. Each chapter is divided into two or three lectiones (lessons) of a couple pages each followed by a grammar section, Grammatica Latina, and three exercises or Pensa. Hans Ørberg’s impeccable Latinity, humorous stories, and the Peer Lauritzen illustrations make this work a classic. The book includes a table of inflections, a Roman calendar, and a word index, Index vocabulorum.

    Slavic Culture



    Russian Fairy Tales (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

    Aleksandr Afanas‘Ev


    Essential Russian Mythology: Stories That Change the World

    Pyotr Simonov
    A great little survey for the beginning student of Slavic Mythology. This very readable volume begins with an overview of the ancient gods, traditions, and lore, and then moves into the more common myths that a student should be aware of before deeper study.

    Vedic Culture



    Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy

    Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore

    Working With Nature



    The Deva Handbook

    Nathaniel Altman
    When we experience the powerful force of a waterfall, the elusive beauty of a rainbow, or the stark strength of a craggy expanse of cliff many of us have perceived "something else" that goes beyond the five senses: feelings of peace, comfort, healing, and inspiration. The author shows how to use these intuitive impressions for healing and meditation. This is a basic sourcebook for those who love nature but who wish to open to these beings in a more profound way. A great accessible book to begin with.

    Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings

    Marko Pogacnik
    Although a lot has been written in recent years about nature spirits, Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings by Slovenian author Marko Pogacnik is remarkable in that almost everything described in the book is based on his own practical experiences in communicating with these beings through meditation and tuning in to plants, trees, animals and the landscape. He describes in detail the various elemental beings and their roles in maintaining the web of life, and also gives insights into related topics, such as the flow of energies within the landscape. Rather, than a "how to" book, this work helps the reader open up to their own intuition and inspiration when working with the Nature Spirits.

    Simon and Schuster's Guide to Trees

    Mariella Pizzetti (Editor), Stanley Schuler (Editor), Francesco De Marco (Editor)
    Simon & Schuster's Guide to Trees is the most useful book any gardener and tree enthusiast can own -- a field guide for beginners and experts alike. The 300 entries cover conifers, palms, broadleafs, fruits, flowering trees, and trees of economic importance. Each entry supplies the botanical name with its etymology, the common name, and the family name of the tree, along with a full description of size, color, shape, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. Concise information is given on habitat, propagation, and conditions for growth. Also included are a detailed introduction with valuable background information, a hardiness zone map for North America, a glossary, and an index for easy reference. Whether you are interested in identifying the Staghorn sumac or in growing the tallest redwood, this handsome, comprehensive, and authoritative guide tells you everything you need to know about the wonderful and majestic world of trees.

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...