Saturday 8 October 2022

Samhain Shopping: 4 Halloween Reads for Bookshop Day

Today is Bookshop Day, celebrating high street bookshops. So, I thought I'd mention four brilliant books you could browse and maybe choose for Halloween reading or give as gifts. My picks are all esoteric non-fiction titles, but I might mention some witchy fiction in a future Samhain Shopping post.

Encountering the Dark Goddess by Frances Billinghurst

The Dark Goddess is often associated with the Underworld where she leads seekers through a transformative journey of self-discovery, change and soul renewal. Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms guides readers through what this challenging facet of the Divine Feminine, the Dark Goddess, is about. It is published by Moon Books.

Sacred Herbs of Samhain by Ellen Evert Hopman

Written by a druid and qualified herbalist, this is a practical guide to using the sacred herbs of Samhain for healing, divination, purification, protection, magic, and as tools for contacting spirits. The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead explores the identification, harvest, safe practical and ritual use of more than 70 plants and trees sacred to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which has become intertwined with Halloween. 

It is published by Destiny Books. You can read an excerpt in one of my earlier blog posts:

Samhain - The Roots of Halloween by Luke Eastwood

The connection between Samhain, the Ancient Irish festival at the end of Summer, and Halloween, the Christian eve of All Hallows Day, is fascinating. In Samhain - The Roots of Halloween, pagan author Luke Eastwood searches for archaeological, historical, folkloric and literary evidence of what really went on in Samhain customs in the past and how those traditions became intertwined with the folklore of Halloween to create the multi-cultural and multifaceted celebrations and observances of today. 

It is published by The History Press. You can read a review in one of my earlier blog posts:

Pagan Portals - Scrying by Lucya Starza

Halloween is a traditional time for scrying - the practice of looking into crystal balls, mirrors, water, fire and other things to seek psychic messages and knowledge. It can be done for personal guidance, for inspiration, to find the answers to questions, to look at distant places or other realms, or for fortune-telling and prophecy. It's a traditional form of divination that taps into our intuition. My own book, Pagan Portals - Scrying. shows how anyone can learn to develop the necessary skills to scry in a variety of different ways.

It is published by Moon Books.

All of these books can be found in high street shops, or ordered if copies aren't on the shelves. Bookshops Day is part of a campaign to highlight the importance of physical stores including independent bookshops as well as chains including Blackwells, Waterstones and Foyles. It highlights the cultural importance of books and the shops that sell them as well as celebrating booksellers. The amazing and hardworking individuals who run physical shops make our buying experiences special. They can advise us, they create a wonderful experience within their stores, they are community champions and specialists in their fields. 

I live in London, and so I thought I'd highlight these three fabulous independent esoteric bookshops in my city:

  • The Atlantis Bookshop at 49a Museum Street, London, WC1A 1LY. Website:
  • Treadwell's Bookshop at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7BS. Website: (The photo at the top shows the interior of Treadwell's.)
  • Watkins Bookshop at 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Website: (the photo right is Watkins front.)

Bookshop Day happens annually in October and is today, Saturday 8 October, this year. It is run by the Booksellers Association to encourage book lovers to shop at their local bookshop. You can find your nearest bookseller on the map on the website:

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