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Beginners Book List

Information and advice for those new to the Occult.

Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:38 pm

This topic comes up once ever week, so I thought that we can all help put together a small list of the essential beginners books.


Modern magick - Donald Michael Kraig

On it's 3 revised edition with over 150.000 copies sold this modern classic is a great starting point. Not that it will teach you everything about magick, but it will teach you what you need to study since the book covers pretty much everything.
How to get stared, how to make an alter, how to make tools and so on.

Franz Bardon - Initiation into Hermetics

Celebrating it's 60ths birthday this year, this absolutely unrivaled classic is a must for every serious practitioner. This book is the first of three volumes concerning self-realization and the techniques needed for that.
It outlines the most essential mental techniques you need to develop magic within yourself.

Liber Null & Psychonaut - Peter J. Carroll

Celebrating it's 30th birthday next year Liber Null is slowly growing into a classic in it's own right. It is not the first book about chaos magick, but I think we can be pretty honest about this probably being the first book that brought chaos magic to the masses. And in my mind, it's still one of the best.
I think this book is great because it gives a good theoretical overview of chaos magic as well as offering a couple of great exercises and techniques for developing magic.

Dion Fortune - Mystical Qabalah
The easiest text on hermetic kabbalah. An instant classic published in the 1930's that is still loved and used by occultists today.

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The Secret Teachings of All Ages - by Manly P. Hall
Manly P. Hall wrote about 80 books, 2-300 articles, gave over 8000 lectures, started his own library and collected some of the finest books about alchemy, philosophy and esoterica and In 1934, Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society which is still around.
To be honest I don't think we have any scholar of his magnitude with us today and most of what he wrote in this massive book still holds true.
This is the ONE book you need, If you want to understand the philosophy behind freemasonry, hermeticism, Rosicrucian and the history of the occult.

Joseph Campbell - The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Sooner or later you will stumble upon ancient mythology and comparative religion. It is an integrated part of the occult and in the modern movements more so then ever. However, often comparative religion is distorted, cheated and falsified to a level that is hardly recognizable in some occult texts. Therefore I recommend learning mythology from non-occult sources and Joseph Campbell is one of the most respected authors in the field.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces have sold millions of copies since it's release in 1949 and it is still required reading in most universities around the world.

The Kybalion
This book is a fake, it's a hoax.
BUT, it also happens to be one of the best descriptions of magic that I've read since Aristotle. It's a very short book, only about 100 pages but it still manages to outline some of the most complex ideas in modern magic in such a way that anybody can understand it.

Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

This is still the best book I know when it comes to using the ideas of the kybalion in a practical and easy way in your daily life. Probably the best book about low magick ever written.

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The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need - Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Astrology and planetary magic is a huge part of high magick and an underestimated part of low magick as well. Basically it can help us all.
Woolfolk might be boasting in her title, but with 700.000 copies sold in just 15 years this book is not to be ignored. It's a great modern look that takes it time to explain astrology in such a way that even a kid could understand it.

Astrology for the Soul - Jan Spiller
Delving slightly deeper into astrology is Spillers book. It's still practical and easy to read but it deals with the philosophy behind it all as well.

Stearn Robinson - Dreamer's Dictionary
Dream interpretation is one of the first steps into magic and almost every tradition practices it. No one but yourself can tell you exactly what your dream means, but having a nice dream dictionary is always helpful and Robinson's book has been around for 25 year and sold 1 million copies so don't be surprised if you hear somebody quoting directly from this book.

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells - Judika Illes
I can't tell you how important it is that you first go through the exercises in the first 3 books before yous tart throwing spells all over the place. But this massive book gives you not only spells but also recipes for potions, oil, incense and pretty much everything you need for your first 5 years of development.

The Magician's Companion: A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism
This book is a great dictionary. At first glance it doesn't contain anything you can't find with a simple google search but I've noticed myself coming back to it over and over again. It's just a useful tool when studying magic.

Mystical Origins of the tarot - Paul Huson
The tarot is such an integrated part of the occult that we sometimes forget to talk about it on this forum. What's even worse is that slowly tarot has been taken over by new age soccer-moms who use it only for divination.
But the tarot also holds the key to most occult teaching and systems. And Paul Huson's book is by far the best book dealing with these different systems and making an intelligible comparison about them from the perspective of an occultist.

The Three Pillars of Zen - Philip Kapleau Roshi

Several of the previous mentioned books deals with meditation, breathing exercises, yoga and visualization. But in my mind; The Three Pillars of Zen is still the best book about meditation. I've been carrying this book with me since 1995 and I still read it once every year.

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Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
Even if you don't plan on practicing witchcraft this book is such a classic and covers such a wide range of subjects that it's worth reading. There are tons of terms and lingo that originates from this book in the occult community and having read it just brings you up to speed on so many topics.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner - Scott Cunningham
Scott Cunningham is either the most loved or most hated person in wicca. But I think this book is interesting because it is targeted towards the solitary practitioner, and it outlines why it so, and how one can practice by themself even if the entire world is against you. This book is targeted towards teenager, but I think there is something worth in it for most practitioners who lives in countries where the occult isn't exactly mainstream.

Anton Lavey - The Satanic Bible
Yes, another fake, hoax and let's be honest; complete and utter worthless book from the standpoint of a magician. But it is just too funny and too common to leave out of this list. Chances are, this was your first introduction to the occult and every magician has since developed a love/hate relationship with it.
Beginners Book List
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Information Resources
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Fundamental Development
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby corvidus » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:15 pm

The Mysticism of Sound and Music -- Hazrat Inayat Khan
"Music, according to Sufi teaching, is really a small expression of the overwhelming and perfect harmony of the whole universe—and that is the secret of its amazing power to move us. The Indian Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927), the first teacher to bring the Islamic mystical tradition to the West, was an accomplished musician himself. His lucid exposition of music's divine nature has become a modern classic, beloved not only by those interested in Sufism but by musicians of all kinds."
Free yourself from the seduction of words.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby RockDemon » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:43 am

Great idea Desecrated. I thought creating a similar topic myself, but surely I couldn't do it as good as you did. Thanks!
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby wileychaote » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:55 am

Desecrated wrote:Anton Lavey - The Satanic Bible
Yes, another fake, hoax and let's be honest; complete and utter worthless book from the standpoint of a magician. But it is just too funny and too common to leave out of this list. Chances are, this was your first introduction to the occult and every magician has since developed a love/hate relationship with it.


Hahaha, well said. [rofl]
Nice list overall, and I definitely second Liber Null/Psychonaut.
Personally, I started with The Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft. It was decent, so I'll recommend it to beginners.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Innerspace » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:11 am

My first introduction to magick was 'Garden of Pomegranates' by Isreal Regardie. Made absolutely no sense to me. Now? Different story.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:12 am

Innerspace wrote:My first introduction to magick was 'Garden of Pomegranates' by Isreal Regardie. Made absolutely no sense to me. Now? Different story.


Yeah, I wouldn't put that on a beginners list, it's probably better for the intermediate reader. Although it was written as an introduction.
It's also recommended to combine that book with Regardies 'middle pillar', 'tree of life' and 'one year manual' to get a full program.
Beginners Book List
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39045

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viewtopic.php?f=57&t=36162

Fundamental Development
viewtopic.php?f=57&t=37025
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby DarkSchneider » Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:07 am

Thank you for assembling the list. I will take your advice and put it to good use :)
"...You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints—know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world." -Anton LaVey
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Nebulasnow12 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:47 am

Hey, i am new here..
I am interested in spell..
I read above information..
Its really good to read..
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby blazingword4 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:08 pm

thanks bt I have never done invocation before bt I want to know the way and thing i need in invoking d olympic spirit
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:10 pm

blazingword4 wrote:thanks bt I have never done invocation before bt I want to know the way and thing i need in invoking d olympic spirit


Before doing invocations you need 2 years of fundamental training.
Beginners Book List
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39045

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viewtopic.php?f=57&t=36162

Fundamental Development
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby blazingword4 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:52 am

how do I go about d training for Invocation i want to be train thanks
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:41 pm

blazingword4 wrote:how do I go about d training for Invocation i want to be train thanks


The first 3 books in the list all contain complete training system. You can pick anyone of them.
The other books contain supplementary knowledge on the topics brought up in those 3 books.
Beginners Book List
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39045

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Fundamental Development
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Cybernetic_Jazz » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:29 am

With the way the top portion of the list looks I think Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah has a place on here.
You don't have to do a thing perfect, just relentlessly.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:52 am

Cybernetic_Jazz wrote:With the way the top portion of the list looks I think Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah has a place on here.


That's probably not a bad idea.
I'll open another thread where we can discuss it more.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby RockDemon » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:42 pm

Recently I found a few awesome books. These are some of the best books I've come so far for the beginners.
Science of Breath
14 Lessons in Yogi Philosophy
Hatha Yoga
Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy
Raja Yoga
Gnani Yoga
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:42 pm

RockDemon wrote:Recently I found a few awesome books. These are some of the best books I've come so far for the beginners.
Science of Breath
14 Lessons in Yogi Philosophy
Hatha Yoga
Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy
Raja Yoga
Gnani Yoga


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is another excellent book that makes things very clear.

You are now the second person on this forum to recommend 'science of breath'. I should probably get it.

Interesting fact about Yogi Ramacharaka. He was actually an attorney named William Walker Atkinson, he was part of the 'New Thought' movement and knew the persons behind the kybalion (or might even been involved with it). He was also somewhat involved with Napoleon Hill and Paul Foster Case.

All of his books are of course fake as well, but they are nonetheless great books. I think one of the reasons why they are still popular is that they are a sort of western view of yoga.

Crowley's '8 lectures on yoga' is a direct attack on Atkinson.
Beginners Book List
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39045

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viewtopic.php?f=57&t=36162

Fundamental Development
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby RockDemon » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:39 pm

Desecrated wrote:
RockDemon wrote:Recently I found a few awesome books. These are some of the best books I've come so far for the beginners.
Science of Breath
14 Lessons in Yogi Philosophy
Hatha Yoga
Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy
Raja Yoga
Gnani Yoga


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is another excellent book that makes things very clear.

You are now the second person on this forum to recommend 'science of breath'. I should probably get it.

Interesting fact about Yogi Ramacharaka. He was actually an attorney named William Walker Atkinson, he was part of the 'New Thought' movement and knew the persons behind the kybalion (or might even been involved with it). He was also somewhat involved with Napoleon Hill and Paul Foster Case.

All of his books are of course fake as well, but they are nonetheless great books. I think one of the reasons why they are still popular is that they are a sort of western view of yoga.

Crowley's '8 lectures on yoga' is a direct attack on Atkinson.


Oh I thought Atkinson and Ramacharaka are different persons and coauthors. Thanks for the interesting facts.
As for whether it is fake... I do not know , it pretty much seems very legit. The books are very practical and have a decent theory and explanations. And it seems to be a system in itself.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby RockDemon » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Desecrated wrote:The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is another excellent book that makes things very clear.

Yes this is another great book.
Also another favorite book of mine for eastern traditions is Kundalini Tantra by Satyananda Saraswati.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Desecrated » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:28 pm

RockDemon wrote:As for whether it is fake... I do not know , it pretty much seems very legit. The books are very practical and have a decent theory and explanations. And it seems to be a system in itself.


They are fake in that sense that he pretended to be a 150 year old indian mystic.
But yeah, the text is solid, it's a very good western occults take on yoga.
Beginners Book List
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39045

Information Resources
viewtopic.php?f=57&t=36162

Fundamental Development
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby fraterai » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:02 pm

I made this a thread but it fits here

My library is missing some good stuff on psychic abilities, what I mean is non-mystically/magically driven practices towards developing ESP, clairvoyance, mind reading, remote viewing (notice I didn't say "astral" heehee), etc.

I like workbooks/practical stuff best. What are some of the most respected books know for their effectiveness? I'm not limiting to practice, got any good research or historical works related to the topic? Let me know!

Thanks!
Only right reflection and right meditation can free you - Ananda Metteya
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby RockDemon » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:26 am

Desecrated wrote:
RockDemon wrote:As for whether it is fake... I do not know , it pretty much seems very legit. The books are very practical and have a decent theory and explanations. And it seems to be a system in itself.


They are fake in that sense that he pretended to be a 150 year old indian mystic.
But yeah, the text is solid, it's a very good western occults take on yoga.

Fuckin marketing :D
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Frater Chiasmus » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:48 am

Magical Ritual Methods by William Gray
Learning Ritual Magic by John & Vaughn Greer & Earl King Jr.

Huge recommendations from my end. Learning Ritual Magic is a good parallel to Modern MagicK.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Fulcaneli1945 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:36 pm

Can I recommend: Magic An Occult Primer by David Conway?

Describes itself as "The Completer Do-It-Yourself Guide"

And it is.
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Milembarr » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:01 am

I'd have to recommend "Practical Elemental Magick" by David Rankine. I'd place it high on the beginner level, more beginner-intermediate, but it's where I started last year and is an excellent primer. Breaks down quite a lot of high level information into easier to read parts. Also available on Kindle I believe [thumbup]
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Re: Beginners Book List

Postby Gate » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:20 am

I found the 2nd edition pdf - http://www.eso-garden.com/specials/modern_magick.pdf
Anyone know of free copies of the 3rd edition? Perhaps links to where to find pdfs of the books would be useful.
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