Recently I asked the question:
What book(s) would you recommend to a complete beginner on magick? Shameless plugs only if genuine.
I now present some of the answers I received.
Enchanted: Titania’s Book of White Magic comes recommended from Facebook fan Diane J Reed, who says:
I absolutely love this book … (it’s out of print, so you have to get a used copy). The book is just gorgeous and only deals with “white” magic used for good purposes, but the photography is so beautiful it will make you drool.
I personally am not cognisant with this work, but Titania Hardie, the author, describes it as being within the Wiccan tradition. Whilst on the subject of Wicca, another FB fan, Philip Dean Fox, recommends Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide by Teresa Moorey, and two books by Susan Bowes: Life Magic – The power of positive witchcraft. and Notions and Potions: A safe, practical guide to creating magic and miracles. Meanwhile, another FB friend, Adrien, recommends Christopher Penczak’s The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development (Penczak Temple).
Oliver St John recommends Hermetic Qabalah: A Foundation in the Art of Magick by, er, Oliver St John. He assures me:
I still use my own copies for reference, tables, correspondences and other information stored all in one place and easy to find. When I started out I had to have 6 books open at once to find all this stuff.
Oliver also makes the point that:
… plugs to one side, it is a really good question. Where on earth do we start? The milestones like “Complete Golden Dawn” and Crowley’s “Magick” are useless to a complete beginner. I would recommend getting a grounding in at least the basics of astrology and setting up a horoscope. It amazes me how many occultists don’t know the first thing about astrology.
Indeed! Several months ago I gave myself the task of doing a short ten-minute talk to members of a highly secretive branch of the Illuminati (nb: they are not secretive at all! They just don’t want it publicly known that they have a scruff like me as one of their members!) outlining a number of basic reference works for people who might, for all I know, be complete beginners to the mysteries. I remember that many years ago I read a remark by Israel Regardie about the first Knowledge Lecture of the Golden Dawn, recommending to just get any old book on astrology to look up basic terms thereon – so that is exactly what I did, and what I recommended in turn to the members of this order. As it happens, when I went into Waterstones that fateful day, the first book on the subject which I picked up was Teach Yourself Astrology.
Apart from that, there are a few other old favourites that I would personally recommend, e.g.
- The Hermetica, by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy;
- The Middle Pillar, by Israel Regardie (edited by Chic & Tabatha Cicero);
- Several of the works of Dion Fortune, especially
- A Textbook of Theosophy, by C W Leadbeater; and
- The Art and Practice of Astral Projection, by Ophiel.