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Recommended Reading

The following list has been compiled by members of Heathens of Yorkshire as a guide for those looking to expand their knowledge of Heathenry through reading. The number of books out there can be quite daunting, especially when you are first starting out on your Heathen journey, and it can be hard to know which ones are worth your time and money, and which are not.  These books have proven to be helpful to different member of our group in their studies. Whilst this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it will help you to focus your reading and expand your knowledge.

Getting Started

These books are recommended as a starting point for those who are just starting out in Heathenry, as they provide a good baseline of knowledge on lore and practices:

Ellis Davidson, HR, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe

Havamal (Many different translations are available, 3 of the most popular translations are available in one book produced by AUK)

Lafayllve, Patricia, A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru

Wodening, Eric, We Are Our Deeds

Gundarsson, Kveldulf, Our Troth (Volumes 1 & 2)

Thorpe, Benjamin, Northern Mythology

Gaiman, Neil, Norse Mythology

Egerkrans, Johan, Norse Gods

Heathen Children's Books

These books are great for explaining Heathenry to children

Coultas, Dan, Walking with the Gods - A Heathen Activity Book

Primary Sources

The following provide some of the key primary sources from which a large amount of our knowledge of the beliefs and practices of the ancient Heathens are taken:

Sturluson, Snorri, The Prose Edda

The poetic Edda

Penguin Classics, The Sagas of the Icelanders

The Rune Poem


The following books provide a good starting point for those who wish to begin to understand the mysteries of the Runes:

Mountfort, Paul Rhys, Nordic Runes

Pollington, Stephen, Rudiments of Rune Law

King, Bernard, The Runes

Wights and Ancestors

These books provide a good starting point for those wishing to further understand the roles of Wights and Ancestors in Heathenry:

Blain, Jenny, Wights and Ancestors

Gundarsson, Kveldulf, Elves, Wights and Trolls

Edgar, John G, Danes, Saxons and Normans; or, Stories of Our Ancestors

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

These books focus on the Anglo-Saxon approach to Heathenry:

Wodening, Swain, Hammer of the Gods

Herbert, Kathleen, Lost Gods of England


Magic is not an essential part of Heathenry, and there are many Heathen's who do not incorporate it into their practices at all. However, is you are interested in Magic, the following books provide a good starting point:

Pennick, Nigel, Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition

Albertsson, Alaric, Saxon Sourcery and Magic

Pollington, Stephen, Leechcraft

Griffiths, Bill, Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic


The following book contains prayers for the Gods, Wights and ancestors which can be incorporated into blots:

Coultas, Dan, et al, The Gods’ Own County

Coultas, Dan (ed.) The AUK Book of Blots
Butler-Ehle, Hester, Hearth and Field

Wider Paganism

The following books are not strictly Heathen, but are applicable in a wider pagan context:

Hutton, Ronald, Pagan Britain

Rankine, David & D'Este, Sorita, The Isles of the Many Gods

Augustus, Flavius Claudius Julianus, Julian the Apostate Against the Galilaeans

Jennings, Pete, Pagan Paths
Carr-Gorm, Phillip, Heygate, Richard, The Book of English Magic

Coultas, Dan (ed) The Pagan Federation Anthology of Pagan Poetry

Viking and Saxon History

The following books provide a historical insight into the word that our Heathen ancestors inhabited:

Parker, Philip, The Northmen's Fury: A History of the Viking World

Oliver, Neil, Vikings

Williams, Thomas, Viking Britain

Magnusson, Magnus, The Vikings

Adams, Max, The King in the North

Fiction influenced by Heathenry

The following are fictional books that are not directly Heathenry resources, but are stories that are influenced by Heathenry and include Heathen themes, which you my find enjoyable as part of your wider reading:

Cornwell, Bernard, The Last Kingdom Series

Bates, Brian, The Way of Wyrd

Tolkien, JRR, The Lord of the Rings

Riordan, Rick, The Magnus Chase Series

Kristian, Giles, The Rise of Sigurd Series

Other Books

The following books do not fit into any of the above categories, but are useful in understanding specific areas of Heathenry:

Pollington, Stephen, The Meadhall

Blain, Jenny, Understanding Wyrd

Creedle, William, The Otter's Ransom: Moral Accompaniments To Legal Codes in Icelandic Sagas

Books that are not recommended

Whilst it is not normal to include a section of books to avoid, unfortunately there are titles out there which may appear to be useful to aspiring Heathens, but do no teach the inclusive Heathenry practised by Heathens of Yorkshire, and we would therefore recommend avoiding them. For this reasons we would recommend avoiding any books by Stephen McNallen, or anything published or written by the Asatru Folk Assembly.

Recommended Reading: Welcome
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