Recommend your best book (or two!)

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Haelos
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Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Haelos »

I understand that no entirety of a person's knowledge can be summarized in a single book, but for the sake of discussion, let's share the books that you think attributed most to your occult knowledge. Maybe a little bit about why as well.
Keep in mind, these might not even be occult books, but that doesn't mean their influence couldn't directly relate to your understanding.

I'll start off with mentioning Libir Null & Psychonaut, by Peter Caroll, as my two contenders.
There are only a few books I can say I've read all the way through. For the most part, I read or skim the theory crafting sections, and skip out on practicing any of the material in them.
I'm more interested in learning other arts, rather than practicing them. But not a lot of these different styles of magick can be successfully intertwined all of the time.
Liber Null gave me information that I could apply to my every day way of living. I can use it's ideas and apply them to almost any style I could choose to practice, and it really wouldn't interfere much with the traditional rituals.
It's less about practical rituals, and more about practical magick on a whole, which is far more important than any single ritual will do for you.

I'd like to hear others' oppinions on the subject of Peter Caroll's writings, and of course, I would love to hear what books you have to offer.
This is both for myself and others to continue in building up their library.
If you had to offer only one source of knowledge before you died, would you be happy with your choice?
The internet is not an option for that :-X
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magari
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by magari »

The Kybalion is public domain I believe.
www.hermetics.org/pdf/kybalion.pdf


Probably the best book to start with in my opinion.

Unless you're trying to summon demons.

In regards to Peter J Carroll. I liked his books, both Liber Null and Psychonaught, however there is a lot of uneccessary information in them in my opinion. A better book for budding chaos magicians would probably be "The Book of Results" by Ray Sherwin.

In my opinion The Kybalion does a good job of explaining why it all works.

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

It really depends what usage we're talking about here. I've read some books that really nailed a particular ontology with great skill, other books that were a terrific crash-course in western occult history, other books that gave epic and wild cosmologies, and while I have yet to really be bowled over (or have the knowledge to be bowled over) there's the theurgic ritual category.

If I were to consider my two most useful and fascinating reads they probably have been MP Hall's Secret Teachings of All the Ages on one hand and Unknown Author's Meditations on the Tarot (translated by Robert Powell). The later particularly I can see was written by a gentleman whose ideas I could probably be learning new things from for a long time with progressive re-reads so as an all around it gains a slight edge.

Some of my other favorite authors:
Rudolph Steiner
Dion Fortune
Gareth Knight
Paul Foster Case
Ann Davies

Lots of other people I've read who've at least written one or two incredibly books that I've been graced with - M Isadora Forrest, Peregrin Wildoak, Nick Farrell, Frater Ashen Chassan, Mark Stavish, David Shoemaker, Jason Lotterhand, and somewhat on the more traditional track Robert Ambelain.

Something else worth noting is that some books are just really difficult to rate or know fully what to do with them when you first read them - DF's Cosmic Doctrine, Steiner's Outline of the Occult Sciences, PFC's True and Invisible, they're fascinating reads but they're also of a variety that punch so deep into areas most of us have never consicously/egoically been to that it's difficult to really speak pragmatically on their content after a certain point.

I suppose that's a good reason why preferences shift overtime and I'm sure the 'western mysteries in 1000 pages' are usually common favorites at first but then start getting replaced in rank as a person specializes and also starts gaining more of their own experiences and understandings.
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Haelos »

I understand your point, being that 'occult book' can literally mean anything.

And that's why I was so anxious to post this thread and hear the replies.

Every single person who posts will have their own idea of a book or few that helped them most, that will be unique to them, their style, and the way it actually spoke to them.

I plan to give every book listed a read down, and I'm sure how they help me will be totally different than anything you learned from them.
That's what makes it so fantastic.
I usually read the half-decent ones at least twice, and the good ones many more times. I gain new knowledge with every read.


-In regards to Libir Null & Psychonaut,
I wouldn't say I'm much along the lines of a chaos magician, although we can bring in any technicalities we'd like to change that view.
Though Libir Null has some unnecessary information in it (as many books do), I don't find said information as redundant as a lot of content about these practices are.
Half the books I've read thoroughly are just other books, with minor additions or exclusions, and reworded.
But like I said before, I usually quit out when they start getting to the application of the content they write about, because half the rituals these people have come up with are just freaking ridiculous.
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Ramscha »

That is an interesting thread indeed. Though I would like to point out in the beginning that we have a different subforum where this would be much better suited (I would even suggest to pin it there):

http://www.occultforum.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=57

Okay, now the more important part:

Regarding Carroll, I liked his books very much and they surely contributed a lot to my attitude regarding the handling of the theory behind the practice.
I suppose they are a valuable addition for anyone to get a better general theoretical understanding, though for me they had no real practical use.

Hmm, to limit my favourites two the two most important ones so far? Let's see. That would be in my case:
Helrunar - Jan Fries
I shall wear midnight - Terry Pratchett

Though Terry is not really known as an occult author he must have at least had some insight into the topic as well a quite a good understanding for the basics. While reading his discworld stories one can encounter so many hints and also practical advice (I shall wear midnight is a perfect example) that I would consider it an even better introduction into the understanding of magick then Bardons oldschool teachings. And it is more fun as well. I both laught my ass off and learned a ton from him, long may he live!
Well, and Jan Fries is simply awesome, compared to him Koetting looks like a ridicolous little imp trying to look badass.

Anyone else here who read Pratchett and sees him in a similar manner?
Last edited by Ramscha on Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by manonthepath »

This is a simple question with complex implications. I would recommend different books to people at different stages of development according to the theme of interest. Having said that My recommendation to both beginner and advanced practitioner alike is:

http://www.thriftbooks.com/w/zolars-enc ... 7AodKFYAEg

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Rin »

As always, Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics.

Second spot would go to Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy or The Kybalion.

If you absorb the knowledge contained within those books and practice rigorously the routine laid out in the first one, you'll excel far beyond where any of the Golden Dawn or Thelemite books can take you.
"The path of the Sage is called
'The Path of Illumination'
he who gives himself to this path
is like a block of wood
that gives itself to the chisel-
cut by cut it is honed to perfection"

- DDJ, Verse 27

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done." - Terry Pratchett

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Haelos
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Haelos »

I have not read any of the Discworld books, but I read many of the pages on the wiki to learn about the universe contained in those books.
You're the only one I know to actually say they've read any of them, but I've always thought that'd be a good series to try out.
Even in just reading the wiki, I can see how the author had some intimate knowledge of the practice he writes about.
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magari
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by magari »

manonthepath wrote:This is a simple question with complex implications. I would recommend different books to people at different stages of development according to the theme of interest. Having said that My recommendation to both beginner and advanced practitioner alike is:

http://www.thriftbooks.com/w/zolars-enc ... 7AodKFYAEg

Can anyone compare this book to Manly P Hall's Secret Teachings of All Ages?

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Rin »

Ramscha wrote:That is an interesting thread indeed. Though I would like to point out in the beginning that we have a different subforum where this would be much better suited (I would even suggest to pin it there):

http://www.occultforum.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=57

Okay, now the more important part:

Regarding Carroll, I liked his books very much and they surely contributed a lot to my attitude regarding the handling of the theory behind the practice.
I suppose they are a valuable addition for anyone to get a better general theoretical understanding, though for me they had no real practical use.

Hmm, to limit my favourites two the two most important ones so far? Let's see. That would be in my case:
Helrunar - Jan Fries
I shall wear midnight - Terry Pratchett

Though Terry is not really known as an occult author he must have at least had some insight into the topic as well a quite a good understanding for the basics. While reading his discworld stories one can encounter so many hints and also practical advice (I shall wear midnight is a perfect example) that I would consider it an even better introduction into the understanding of magick then Bardons oldschool teachings. And it is more fun as well. I both laught my ass off and learned a ton from him, long may he live!
Well, and Jan Fries is simply awesome, compared to him Koetting looks like a ridicolous little imp trying to look badass.

Anyone else here who read Pratchett and sees him in a similar manner?
Although the Tiffany books aren't my favorite of his, I'm a huge Pratchett fan and I agree that, reading his work, it's obvious he has at least some understanding of magical practice and occult principles.
"The path of the Sage is called
'The Path of Illumination'
he who gives himself to this path
is like a block of wood
that gives itself to the chisel-
cut by cut it is honed to perfection"

- DDJ, Verse 27

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done." - Terry Pratchett

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

Taking some of the advice of this thread I looked up Jan Fries and grabbed his Kali Kaula book - largely because I've heard a lot about Eastern Tantra being very similar in a lot of ways to what western Hermeticism is doing and I'd love to read something that gives me a good starting block on what that's all about (even if as one reviewer put it - hundreds or thousands of books could likely be written on the topic).
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Haelos »

There's another I'd intended to list but I forgot to, and that's The Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismagistus.
Not the various, rediculous, interpretations of the tablets, but the actual translated tablets thrmselves.
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Tell me what you know about darkness, and I will tell you about the light.
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magari
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by magari »

I actually love this book by Hauck.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Emerald-Table ... 0140195718

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Eremita »

Ramscha wrote: Though Terry is not really known as an occult author he must have at least had some insight into the topic as well a quite a good understanding for the basics.

Anyone else here who read Pratchett and sees him in a similar manner?
Without a doubt. Ankh-Morpork's Wizard's Guild is a brilliant piss-take of England's occult societies. I particularly loved the Order of wizardry called The Ancient and Truly Original Sages of the Unbroken Circle. LMFAO. If he's not ripping on the pretentious Golden Dawn and it's innumerable splinter groups, I'll eat my pointy sequined hat. :p

Granny Weatherwax, with her practice of 'Headology', is also a personal favourite.

I remember one scene in Wyrd Sisters in which the coven evoked a demon named 'WxrtHltl-jwlpklz' (who was apparently hiding behind the door when the vowels were handed out). How's that for a barbarous name? :p

Then there's Magrat Garlick, who is a caricature of the New Age Wiccan fluffy bunny phenomenon.

"Witches aren’t like that. We live in harmony with the great cycles of Nature, and do no harm to anyone, and it’s wicked of them to say we don’t. We ought to fill their bones with hot lead."

Yeah, basically Terry Pratchett is the best. XD

Whether he is/was a practising occultist I couldn't say, but it's clear he has a substantial knowledge of the subject.

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Nahemah »

I'm also a big Pratchett Fan. [grin]

I've got the Tiffany books, but not read them yet. I really should soon, as several folk have recommended them to me.

I'm struggling to narrow down some recommendations, as there are so many great books that everyone would benefit from reading, that it's hard to just give one or two, lol.

I'll think about it and post something later. [thumbup]
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Rin »

Eremita wrote:
Ramscha wrote: Though Terry is not really known as an occult author he must have at least had some insight into the topic as well a quite a good understanding for the basics.

Anyone else here who read Pratchett and sees him in a similar manner?
Without a doubt. Ankh-Morpork's Wizard's Guild is a brilliant piss-take of England's occult societies. I particularly loved the Order of wizardry called The Ancient and Truly Original Sages of the Unbroken Circle. LMFAO. If he's not ripping on the pretentious Golden Dawn and it's innumerable splinter groups, I'll eat my pointy sequined hat. :p

Granny Weatherwax, with her practice of 'Headology', is also a personal favourite.

I remember one scene in Wyrd Sisters in which the coven evoked a demon named 'WxrtHltl-jwlpklz' (who was apparently hiding behind the door when the vowels were handed out). How's that for a barbarous name? :p

Then there's Magrat Garlick, who is a caricature of the New Age Wiccan fluffy bunny phenomenon.

"Witches aren’t like that. We live in harmony with the great cycles of Nature, and do no harm to anyone, and it’s wicked of them to say we don’t. We ought to fill their bones with hot lead."

Yeah, basically Terry Pratchett is the best. XD

Whether he is/was a practising occultist I couldn't say, but it's clear he has a substantial knowledge of the subject.
I sometimes find myself wondering if Pratchett is an adept who took an incarnation off to write some excellent fiction :) I know it's more likely he just made a study of the field for the purpose of his series, but some of the stuff he says seems just a little too spot on to be coincidence or imagination. Very few authors do a good job of conveying real magical and occult principles and experiences into fictional settings. It's a shame he basically wrote the magic out of the series once he started to modernize Ankh-Morpork. The Wizards went from being, well, Wizards, to bickering academics.
"The path of the Sage is called
'The Path of Illumination'
he who gives himself to this path
is like a block of wood
that gives itself to the chisel-
cut by cut it is honed to perfection"

- DDJ, Verse 27

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done." - Terry Pratchett

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Desecrated »

The two books I always recommend is:

Liber null and modern magick.

It really answers most beginners questions and give you a good base to continue on.

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by asterik »

I can easily share two interesting books for anybody that is open for new thoughts. Since one of the best books I know of has already been mentioned, I will share two.

First book is from Julian Johnson who was was an American surgeon that studied Surat Shabd Yoga in India. The book titel is The Path of the Masters. With a little bit of search luck, this can be found als PDF Ebook. What I enjoy about the book, there are many parts of wisdom shared.

Second book is from somebody that hardly no one here will know about. The book title is called " Talons of Time" and is as a fiction book regarded. The person that wrote this book is called Paul Twichell and he was the person that founded Ecckankar. I know about some of the negative things behind this, but his fiction books are brilliant [lol] . I checked for this book today and found a copy at ebay.com for 10 bucks.

Happy New Year and good studies

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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by the_spiral »

For those interested in tantra (and I do have these in pdf form if someone wants them):

Kundalini Tantra by Satyananda Saraswati
The Serpent Power by Arthur Avalon
Aghora: At the Left Hand of God by Robert Svoboda (not so practical but utterly fascinating)

I am also a fan of Jason Miller's work, especially Protection and Reversal Magic. He has a very clear, practical approach to sorcery and seems well-versed in several paradigms.
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by cyberdemon »

Reading this thread, I think I'll pick up Agrippa's Kybalion.

Those interested in demonology may want to read Arthur Edward Waite's Book of Ceremonial Magic. Written in 1913, this book is both a historical commentary on occultists like Crowley, and a guide to higher beings as mentioned in the Goetic grimoires. It also contains instructions for many different types of ceremonial magic in great detail.
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Re: Recommend your best book (or two!)

Post by Haelos »

cyberdemon wrote:Those interested in demonology may want to read Arthur Edward Waite's Book of Ceremonial Magic. Written in 1913, this book is both a historical commentary on occultists like Crowley, and a guide to higher beings as mentioned in the Goetic grimoires. It also contains instructions for many different types of ceremonial magic in great detail.
I was recommended this book by a friend, and I've slowly been working my way to reading it thoroughly. I've been told it's an extremely good resource, and though I haven't read it yet, I would probably have to recommend others read it as well.


I'm glad people still occasionally use this thread. I've gotten a lot of good reading material from you guys', and it'd be cool if that kept up into the future.
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"God is an imprecise name for the only thing in the universe that actually exists."
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Tell me what you know about darkness, and I will tell you about the light.
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https://hdagaz.wordpress.com/

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