top of page

The Treadwell’s Reading List for Haxan

Here are the books we recommend to supplement your knowledge of this silent Swedish classic.

The film was based around on the Malleus Maleficarum

Published in 1486, the Malleus Maleficarum ('Hammer of the Witches') was composed by German inquisitor Heinrich Kramer as a comprehensive witch-hunting treatise, setting out a demon-filled world-view in which the diabolical activities of witches – and those who fail to acknowledge their existence – pose a heretical and universal threat to the salvation of the world. Organised in a question-and-answer format, the infamous manual also provides instructions on how witches may be detected, tortured and put to trial, and how they are to be convicted and sentenced. This reprint edition of the text, first published by Dover in 1971 and originally translated by Rev. Montague Summers, provides an affordable reading edition of an important book that is essential for anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the early modern witch-hunts.

John Callow is one of the few historians of witchcraft who spans the medieval and modern eras with equal command. In this book he takes on a set of case studies, each of which epitomises the understanding of what 'the witch' has meant to various of Europe's communities. He traces the events from past to their after echoes in modern culture, considers their artistic presentations, and perceptively argues for their wider meaning to those involved, and those who learnt of them later. Callow offers deep exploration and original insights analysis delivered in a warm, engaging style.

The leftist, feminist author set young women on fire with her Caliban and the Witch. In this new book she revisits some of the same themes, but builds on them. She sees the witch hunts, and their effect on women, as rooted in structures of capitalism. Here she concentrates on the argument that a current war on women is a structural element of the new forms of capitalist accumulation. This is a book which is important for everyone who wants to understand what drives many of today's younger generation to embrace the identity of 'witch' as a cloak of empowerment as they do all they can to dismantle the patriarchy.

An iconic book which launched a thousand young feminist witches, Silvia Federici's Caliban and the Witch places capitalism and patriarchy at the root cause of the witch hunts. The accumulation of capital, the construction of 'difference', and political upheaval - the result was, argues Federici, a structural change which constrained and demonised women and led, inevitably, to their persecution as witches. First published in 2004, is a highly influential book in certain quarters - to the point that is itself a source text for all who want to understand young people who today are claiming the mantle 'witch' in their activism.

This stylishly designed book is a history of witchcraft divided into three sections: the ancient world, the medieval world and the modern world. It covers the mythology and lore that created the popular image of the witch, including the biblical Witch of Endor and the powerful King Solomon, as well as the gods and goddesses of the Greco-Roman, Celtic and Nordic worlds. An account is given of the witch hunts in the late medieval and early modern period, and the rise of Wicca, contemporary occultism and modern witchcraft. There are black and white illustrations throughout accented in a two-tone bright orange style, matching the striking cover design. This would be an eye-catching and highly readable addition to the shelves or coffee tables of a modern-day witch.

Students of witchcraft and keen travellers alike will find much to delight in within the pages of this book - Sollée’s sumptuous prose beckons the reader to follow her as she journeys across Europe and the USA on the trail of witches in places where they lived, died and were persecuted, taking in esoteric bookshops, art galleries and ancient sites. As with Witches, Sluts, Feminists, the author uses this historical framework in part as a lens through which to view women’s rights. At once a historical study, an exercise in psychogeography, and a personal journey, Sollée also weaves moments of fantastical fiction throughout the narrative, as she describes imaginary encounters with figures from the past. With travel resources and bibliography.

Aradia: Gospel of the Witches is the 1899 work on Tuscan witchcraft, purportedly relating rites of an underground old religion. Aradia was the first book in English to portray witchcraft as a secret religious cult surviving from pagan times. It relates the rites and words allegedly from witches worshipping Diana and her daughter Aradia, and the magic rites for effective spells. It was an influence on Gardnerian witchraft and, in the 1950s, Wiccan priestess Doreen Valiente incorporated some of its passages into her famed 'Charge of the Goddess.' It is a classic of modern pagan witchcraft, which should sit on every witch's bookshelf. This attractive affordable edition modernises the format and typography while keeping the text unchanged. At the back are short essays on Aradia, including one by Treadwell's founder, Christina Oakley Harrington.

A lively and fascinating history of magic and the occult, ranging from the earliest evidence of magical thinking in Palaeolithic cave paintings to contemporary forms of magic and Paganism. Richly illustrated with reproductions of paintings, diagrams and magical objects, the book covers a vast range of occult-related subjects, from different forms of divination, spells and incantations, to tarot, spiritualism and mesmerism, and covering traditions as diverse as shamanism, Voodoo and chaos magic. There are also potted biographies of notable magical personalities, both historical and contemporary, such as Albertus Magnus, Anton La Vey and Austin Osman Spare. Covering such a wide range of subjects, traditions and periods, the book provides brief overviews rather than in-depth treatments, making it an excellent introductory book to the vast range of magical beliefs and pursuits throughout history and in different cultures. Christopher Dell holds a degree in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, London. He has written and edited several books on art and visual culture.

The Witches' Sabbath - Kelden £15.99 The witches' sabbath is an essential element of the archetype: the gathering of witches under the light of a full moon, flying into a clearing to consort and dance with the devil. This fundamental myth that fuelled the witch-hunts of the early modern period continues to retain its imaginative power, and the author shows how modern witches can incorporate it into their own practice. Beginning with a broad history of the subject, the author identifies and explores the key elements of the witches' sabbath, examining their origins and contexts, before suggesting exercises for the modern practitioner to inspire their own craft. The author's previous book is a popular introduction to traditional witchcraft, and his clear, accessible style continues to be demonstrated in this readable, yet highly informed book. It is to be recommended for anyone looking to find out more about the traditional idea of the witch, and how it can be tied into their own craft today.

And if you want to see even more books on witchcraft - click here .

171 views0 comments


Les commentaires ont été désactivés.
bottom of page