Books every witch needs in her bag!

4 min read

Literature is filled with references to witchcraft and its age old tradition. From powerful female figures such as Circe (The Odyssey) to books about herbal medicines and natural laws, witchcraft continues to fascinate readers from across the world.

Whether you’re interested in healing and herbalism, dreams and manifestation, or spells and sorcery, this list shares a selection of mysterious and intriguing books that every witch should have in her bag!

A Brief History

The history of witchcraft is complex. Today, these ancient traditions are viewed with intrigue rather than suspicion. Witchcraft is no longer condemned and there are still those, men and women, who practise its ancient craft.

In Medieval and early modern Europe, witches were perceived as dark female spirits who possessed unnatural healing powers and could call upon the spirits of the dead. Many of these spirits were simply women who were natural healers. Their profession was widely misunderstood and this led to their brutal prosecution.

  1. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (2004)

    The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (2004)

    Begun in a weekly paper in 1891, The Devil’s Dictionary is a fascinating and informative read. It’s publication continued until 1906, though somewhat half-heartedly. This modern, marbled edition shares a complete list of the devilish words originally printed in sections. Organised alphabetically, the volume opens with 'Abasement' (a decent and customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth or power) and concludes with 'Zoology'. Accompanied by satanic inspired illustrations and poetic quotations, it is the perfect book for a witch to carry around in her handbag!

    Shop for vintage dictionaries at Country House Library →

  2. The Home Herbal by Barbara Griggs (1986)

    The Home Herbal by Barbara Griggs (1986)

    In the past, many witches were simply natural healers. This book can help you become your own natural healer, using potions made from herbs and other healing plants. The Home Herbal doesn’t pretend to cure all illnesses but it offers an alternative solution to aid some more minor ailments. It is filled with common sense and down-to-earth advice about how to ease problems such as insomnia, sunburn and eczema. With this book as a guide, you will learn what herbs to pick, where to find them and how to turn them into your own home potions.

    Shop for vintage herbals at Country House Library →

  3. Dreams and Nightmares by J. A. Hadfield (1966)

    Dreams and Nightmares by J. A. Hadfield (1966)

    Nearly everyone has dreamt at least once in their lifetime. Dreams are truly fascinating events and some people believe they can reveal hidden truths about our lives. In this book, Dr Hadfield examines the essential aspects of dreaming, discussing the inner workings of the subconscious and the effects of dreaming on our daily lives. Though not specifically about witchcraft, it is easy to see from this book how interpretations of the mystical subconscious came about. Dreams were powerful in the belief systems of early modern English people and dream divination was a practice once associated with witches!

    More vintage books inspired by Dreams or Nightmares →

  4. The Witchcraft Reader, edited by Peter Haining (1972)

    The Witchcraft Reader, edited by Peter Haining (1972)

    For witches who simply enjoy a horror story, this haunting volume is the ideal choice. It features eight stories of witchcraft by numerous literary masters. The writing is excellent, though several of the stories must be read as tales ‘of their time’. Weird and gripping, readers will be transported to darkly fantastical worlds, sci-fi realms and horrifying houses. Black magic, voodoo and more modern witchcrafts intertwine across the pages. The blended themes of modernity and fantasy reveal much about the way people dealt with superstition and magic.

    Shop for vintage Books on Witchery at Country House Library →

  5. Lotions and Potions, edited by Gwynedd Lloyd (Undated)

    Lotions and Potions, edited by Gwynedd Lloyd (Undated)

    In mythology and literature, potions are often used by magicians, fairies and witches! Such potions usually have magical properties and can heal or conjure spells. Traditionally, the creation of potions and lotions was an alchemic practice and were thus closely associated with witchcraft. This book contains a wonderful concoction of recipes, created by Women’s Institute members and their ancestors, that can still be used in natural healing practices. Recipes for salves, herb mixes and other plant potions fill the pages, with some healing concoctions dating back to times long gone.

    Shop for vintage medicine inspired books at Country House Library →

  6. In Tune with the Infinite by R. W. Trine (1965)

    In Tune with the Infinite by R. W. Trine (1965)

    This book is a brilliant, spiritual classic. It has sold millions of copies across the world, offering readers a sense of hope. The author explores the human ability to build and exist within our own worlds, thus giving ourselves great inner and outer strength. This exploration dives deeply into the human mind and spirit, examining the connection between manifestation and reality, the seen and the unseen, cause and effect. It is a fascinating and inspirational read, perfect for the witch’s handbag!

    Shop for vintage mysticism at Country House Library →

Spells, Stories and the Subconscious

With Halloween just a few months away, it’s the perfect time to learn a little more about witchcraft. Whether you’re interested in ancient spells, spooky stories or the workings of the subconscious mind, these books will help you learn more about this age-old craft.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Our Seasonal Book Selections

Summer romance - on holiday or at home
Summer romance - on holiday or at home

5 min read

list of romantic literature for you to fall in love with this summer.
Read More
'Anyone for Tennis?' - vintage books for summer sports
'Anyone for Tennis?' - vintage books for summer sports

4 min read

Popular sports and pastimes of the summer months, through the lens of vintage books.
Read More
Vintage books with inspirational outdoor food recipes
Vintage books with inspirational outdoor food recipes

3 min read

Some excellent vintage books for outdoor food recipes to try out this summer!
Read More