I suppose I’m a Jungian witch.
In my early witchy days, no matter how many charts and quizzes I tried, none of the traditional witch types felt right. Of course I knew that there was no need to type myself, that my craft was my own, a mixture of all sorts of creative magic. But still, there was something sweet about the label, something validating. And eventually it occurred to me that my love for depth psychology and witchcraft were not separate passions—i.e., a Jungian witch.
And truly, there is so much incredible material to derive from Jungian thought. It’s not just psychological jargon and existential philosophies. Jung offers us theories on how magic works, how to work with the archetypes in our deities, how to understand the shadow, the soul, the symbols all around us.
So here’s a collection of books I recommend for any Jung-curious witch who wants to dive into the wonderful and intense world of depth psychology. I hope you find a gem or two to support you on your own journey!
1. Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung
This is a Jungian classic, and the last book Jung ever wrote. It is a fantastic summary of Jungian ideas in his own words, and the words of his most devoted students. Jung goes over the fundamental concepts of his theories—the concept of the unconscious, the archetypes, the Shadow, Self, and the Anima and Animus. It reviews the basics, but also dives into the deeper concepts, touching on alchemy, active imagination, and psychological complexes.
I have the illustrated version, which is full of beautiful supplemental imagery, and I really recommend it. It’s not too dense, but it is a lot to take in, so I recommend going slow with it, taking it in piece by piece. In my opinion, this book is not specifically for witches, but for anyone looking for a good grasp of Jungian theory.
2. Jung, Synchronicity, and Human Destiny by Ira Progoff
This book is a whopper, but extremely cool. While there are several books on synchronicity, including Jung’s own, I recommend this one for a couple reasons. We’re all familiar with the concept of synchronicity, meaningful coincidence. But Jung’s idea of synchronicity is a little deeper than that, and much more magical. To Jungians, synchronicity is the interaction of psyche and matter, the cooperation between the inner and outer landscape on an unconscious level.
Progoff dives deep into the wide implications of Jung’s theory of synchronicity, considering astrology, ESP, parapsychology, and many other fringe ideas. It looks at the personal and global implications of synchronicity, and really provides a fantastic platform to understand how the synchronous magic of our witchy workings actually manifests in the world. It’s an excellent read for any smart witch out there seeking a little more insight into how magic works.
3. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola-Estés
This book is extremely popular, and you may have heard of it or even read it yourself. But what you may not have known is that the author, Clarissa Pinkola-Estés, is a Jungian analyst, and her book is completely grounded in her Jungian foundation. At its core, this book aims to reconnect the world to its deep feminine essence, to the wild, wise, instinctual nature we lost to patriarchal structure. Pinkola-Estes examines the myths and legends that hold the seeds of the true, fertile, life-giving soul of feminine psychology. It’s truly essential for witches, because such an important part of being a witch is liberating our inner power, reconnecting to the earth and rescuing the repressed Divine Feminine within all of us. So whether you’re an amateur Jungian, or just seeking a deeper truth, this is a must-read.
4. The Book of Symbols
The Book of Symbols is exactly that: it’s the encyclopedic collection of nearly all of the images and symbols we encounter in the world. This is no casual dream dictionary. The core of this book is completely Jungian, and compiled by ARAS (Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism). It’s essential for the witch who works with dreams and visions and symbols, as it explores any image you would ever want to dive into, be it flora, fauna, or manmade, through historical, mythological, and psychological material. So next time you see a hawk fly over your head in Central Park, or dream about a rose, or want to craft a spell for fiery inspiration, you’ll have the best resource for interpretation.
5. Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung
This one may not be particularly witchy, but it’s one of my personal faves. Memories, Dreams, Reflections is Jung’s memoirs, and rife with fascinating tidbits about how Jung became the weird, brilliant mystic that he was. This book is absolutely full of really interesting experiences that deeply fascinated Jung—paranormal experience, archetypal possession, and encounters the transcendent. It’s much more readable than any dense psychological text, and though it’s not exactly a can’t-put-it-down page-turner, it’s truly engaging. This is a must read for all Jungians and the Jung-curious, so absolutely add it to your list!