Reading List Version3.0


Reading List for Druidic Training
Compiled by Chief Druid Todd Covert


CELTIC HERITAGE by Alwyn and Brinsley ReesAn exploration of the tripartite society of the Indo-European world as manifested in ancient Celtic society.
THE CELTIC REALMS by Myles Dillon and Nora ChadwickThis unique cultural history includes both general Celtic history and outstanding chapters on the literary traditions of Ireland and Wales.
THE HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE CELTIC WORLD by John HaywoodAn invaluable resource, including a foreword by Barry Cunliffe.
THE DRUIDS by Peter Berresford EllisThe best current book on what we think we know about the Druids.
THE WORLD OF THE DRUIDS by Miranda GreenA terrific introduction to the subject by a respected Celtic scholar.
THE TRIUMPH OF THE MOON by Ronald HuttonAn eminent British historian’s groundbreaking history of Wicca, also covering the 19th and early 20th century roots of Neopaganism.

One of the following:

THE CELTIC HEROIC AGE, edited by John T. KochWhile it omits a couple significant tales, this sourcebook includes a fairly comprehensive collection of Gaelic, British, and continental sources.


ANCIENT IRISH TALES, edited by Cross & SloverInexpensive reprint of a standard collection of tales from Irish mythology and folklore.


THE MABINOGION, trans by Patrick Ford OR Jeffrey GantzInexpensive reprint of a standard collection of tales from Irish mythology and folklore.


THE ANCIENT CELTS by Barry CunliffeA thorough and widely recommended survey by one of the most respected archaeologists in Britain.
THE APPLE BRANCH (aka CELTIC RITUALS) by Alexei KondratievThe indispensable guide to reconstructing Celtic Paganism. Full of excellent examples of folkloric practice from throughout the Celtic world.
CATTLE LORDS AND CLANSMEN by Nerys PattersonOutstanding survey of early Irish society, based on evidence from the surviving law codes.
THE FAIRY-FAITH IN CELTIC COUNTRIES by W.Y. Evans-WentzA unique and seminal book: Both a collection of folklore and myth from all the Celtic lands and a theory of the nature of indigenous Celtic belief systems.
CARMINA GADELICA by Alexander CarmichaelHymns, charms and prayers collected in the Scottish Highlands in the late 19th century. An invaluable sourcebook.
MEDIEVAL IRISH LYRICS (WITH THE IRISH BARDIC POET) by James CarneyValuable both as a compendium of Irish and Latin poems in the original language and in translation, as well as a seminal essay on Bardic training and traditions in Ireland.
COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY by Jaan PuhvelA widely-cited survey of comparative Indo-European mythic traditions and themes.
A HISTORY OF PAGAN EUROPE by Prudence Jones & Nigel PennickAn essential overview of the history and practice of Paganism in Europe.
PAGAN THEOLOGY by Michael YorkAn informative study that argues for “Paganism” as a worldwide religious ideology and places Neopaganism in the context of such other traditions as Shinto and Afro-Caribbean practices.
THE ARTFUL UNIVERSE by William K. MahonyHighly recommended: An analysis of the Vedic religious imagination. Provides a very insightful perspective on the traditions of priests and bards in the Indo-European world.
THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE by Mircea EliadeBrief, yet profound and important. An exploration of sacred space, sacred time and the nature of ritual and religion from a preeminent religious scholar.


THE ATLANTIC CELTS by Simon JamesControversial and thought-provoking, this re-examination of the notion of Celtic identity is central to much current discussion of the subject (especially taken in the broader context of the work of British scholar Barry Cunliffe).
HANDBOOK OF THE SCOTTISH GAELIC WORLD by Michael NewtonA detailed introduction to the history and culture of Gaelic Scotland.
  THE CELTIC CONSCIOUSNESS, edited by Robert O’Driscoll  A breathtakingly diverse collection of papers on Celtic history, art, ethnology, archaeology, and much more, from a seminal conference on Celtic studies in 1978.
SEX AND MARRIAGE IN ANCIENT IRELAND by Patrick C. PowerThis slender volume represents an excellent and accessible introduction to the concepts of the Brehon Laws of Ireland, focusing on marital customs.
PAGAN CELTIC BRITAIN by Anne RossA landmark survey of the evidence for ancient Celtic Pagan practices.
PAGAN CELTIC IRELAND by Barry RafterySticks almost entirely to archaeology, but covers the topic thoroughly.
THE DRUIDS by Stuart PiggottOften described as “unfriendly” to modern Druidry, but an essential read.
THE DRUID RENAISSANCE by Phillip Carr-GommAn excellent compendium of essays on the development and practice of modern Druidry.
CELTIC MYTHOLOGY by Proinsias Mac CanaOut-of-print, but findable: a definitive survey of the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient Celts, full of pictures.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CELTIC WISDOM by John and Caitlin MatthewsBilled as a sourcebook for “Celtic Shamans,” this is an excellent compendium of lore organized by topic.
MYTHIC IRELAND by Michael DamesA fascinating–if sometimes opinionated–walking tour of the sacred landscapes and folklore of Ireland.
THE BARDIC SOURCE BOOK, edited by John MatthewsA collection of primary and secondary sources on the Celtic bardic traditions.
THE HIDDEN IRELAND by Daniel CorkeryA history of late bardic practice in eighteenth century Ireland.
THE CELTIC SEERS’ SOURCE BOOK, edited by John MatthewsAn excellent compendium, including Nora Chadwick’s important essay on “Imbas Forosnai”.
CELTIC TREE MYSTERIES by Steve BlamiresThe best of the popular resources on the Ogham alphabet, with a great deal of reference to the medieval textual materials.
  TREE WISDOM by Jacqueline Memory Paterson  A handsome reference to the various trees associated with the Ogham.
IN SEARCH OF THE INDO-EUROPEANS by J.P. MalloryPopular and comprehensive survey of the Indo-Europeans and their diaspora.
HOW TO KILL A DRAGON by Calvert WatkinsDense and technical, this is a unique and landmark study of poetics in the Indo-European cultures.
MYTHS AND SYMBOLS IN PAGAN EUROPE by H.R. Ellis DavidsonA useful study of the common religious practices of the Celts and the Norse.
THE RIG VEDA, translated by Wendy Doniger O’FlahertyA useful paperback collection of representative hymns from the great text of ancient Indian Paganism.
PAGAN RELIGIONS OF THE ANCIENT BRITISH ISLES by Ronald HuttonHutton has apparently disavowed this book, but it is still a worthwhile read. Soundly debunks numerous Wiccan and Neopagan “sacred cows”.
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON by Margot AdlerThe definitive work on Neopaganism in America
WITCHES, DRUIDS AND KING ARTHUR by Ronald HuttonA collection of excellent essays on ancient and modern Paganism, including a history of modern British Druidism.
GOD AGAINST THE GODS by Jonathan KirschA history of the conflict between monotheism and polytheism–highly sympathetic to ancient Paganism.
THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO PAGANISM by Carl McColmanA surprisingly solid introduction (written by a former leader of a Neopagan Druid grove).