Friday, March 12, 2010

If you had to recommend a few books to a would-be magician who is just starting out which ones would you pick? (unoriginal question I know but given the amount of crap out there it would be nice to have an informed opinion).

1. "Nightside of Eden," by Kenneth Grant
2. "Hecate's Fountain," by Kenneth Grant
3. "Voudon Gnostic Workbook" by Michael Bertiaux

I'm being an asshole. This is a fantastic question. I'll have a real answer and lists, as well as links, to my favorite "101" and "102" books later.

And if any kid survives the three books I listed above, they'll be a god amongst sorcerers. But it's highly unlikely one would survive the process.

Ask me anything


Kenaz Filan said...

Some that I found useful:

Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is a decent introduction to Wiccan and Neopagan practices. It's far better than many of the "Wicca 101" books which have been written since Cunningham's untimely death.

Francis King and Stephen Skinner's Techniques of High Magic was very helpful for me in understanding what the hell Crowley was yammering on about.

Dion Fortune's The Mystical Qabalah is an invaluable introduction to the concept of Hermetic Qabalah. And let's not forget her Psychic Self-Defense, which all aspiring magicians should read early in their career.

(I'd also recommend Jason Miller's Protection and Reversal Magic for that purpose. If you are going to start mucking about in the spirit world, it's best to learn how to defend yourself by reading before you have to do so in the trenches).

Israel Regardie's The Golden Dawn will provide a basic grounding in the Golden Dawn system, which is of course the basis for many of today's magical orders.

And, finally, I might start a newcomer with Crowley's Magick Without Tears. In that book Uncle Al was trying to explain his system in the simplest way possible: there's a lot less flossing about his classical education and more basic descriptions of Thelema from the Great Thelemite himself.

Eldritch said...

Hehehehe, I can't stop laughing at your reply; that would be like dropping someone out of a helicopter into the middle of the atlantic for their first swimming lesson. Other than some of my own material I'd recommend the three books of Occult philosophy by Henry Agrippa, the Frater UD High Magic series, Promethea by Alan Moore (an excellent intro into the Sephiroth), Climbing the Tree of Life by David Rankine, Jason Miller's strategic sorcery book, the art of drawing spirits into crystals by trith-howeveryouspellit, Frater RO's work, a good book on Magical history and of course a trench coat.

Standing Again said...

I want to meet the mage molded from those three as 'introductions' to the subject.

Fawkes said...

Thank you guys! These are definitely useful recommendations.

Jack Faust said...

@Kenaz: Hey man, why didn't you mention you had a book on Voudon out? Feel free to self promote! And would you like it reviewed? (Albeit by someone with a very basic understanding of the Afro-Caribbean diasporic religions.)