For practicality’s sake, there’s only one New Age book publishing company and this company’s name is Llewellyn. This is the publisher that has dominated all of your local Barnes and Nobles New Age/Metaphysical section. It’s also the publisher that’s produced such authors as Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf, D.J. Conway, Amber Wolfe, and Ted Andrews. This publisher is the greatest corrupter/influencer of all silly teenage witches (if you’re not silly then this doesn’t apply to you), gothkids, uninformed Pagans everywhere. For the most part, this company will publish any book that expounds on guided visualizations or the great questions “What is Paganism” and “What is Magic(k)?”. I always figured that if I ever got hard up for cash, I’d sit down for a week and write a shitty how-to book on the intro to Paganism and would be able to pay the rent for the rest of the month. I’m sure that this isn’t actually how being an author works, but at the same time, I do know that there is more absolute shit published by Llewellyn than any other publisher, and I think they like it that way. Anyways, on to the point of this post: 5 books that every serious practicer of magick should own.
Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley
There are hundreds and probably thousands of introductory books about Magick and they all seem to be full of the same stuff. They talk about after doing these 5 visualizations that everything in your life will change dramatically and that this is all you have to do to do Magick. I’m not saying that visualizations aren’t important, but I am saying that an introduction to magick should have a broader range of things it introduces you to. And this book does exactly that. It touches on over 50 topics ranging from “What is Magick” to duality to qabalah and it does so in a very comprehensive yet short series of chapters. This book will definitely not teach you how to DO very much Magick, but it will definitely tell you where you should go next, and I think that that’s exactly what an introductory book should do.
The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Okay, I’m going to start out by saying that I have not adequately perused the astrology sections of the world to make too many criticisms about any other books, but I do know that this book has helped me immensely to understand astrology and that’s simply amazing, because I originally thought of it as a very complicated art/science. There’s actually not a lot I feel confident about saying on this subject other than the fact that I learned a good deal from this book about astrology that I’ve found to be extremely useful in my life.
The Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Agrippa
Granted, this is a Llewellyn book, but it was also written in the 16th century so it’s public domain… Now, this book is what most of the Golden Dawn and Crowley’s OTO were based heavily on, and since these secret societies seem to be the earliest and best managed groups of modern Magick I believe that this book may have a few keys that could be extremely useful to a practicing magician. I have not read very much of it truthfully, but I just recently found it and it should be arriving at my doorstep within the next couple days.
I also would like to speak to the fact that there really aren’t any other books that are available to the public that are as old or as comprehensive as this book is. I’ve looked and looked for books that were written at the time of the old alchemists and magicians and have been extremely unsuccessful. However, this book was written at that time and I’m completely excited to get a glimpse into the ideas of the time. I’m sure that much of it will be silly and they’ll talk about diseases as spiritual issues entirely, but they had to have something right or no one would have believed that they could do Magick.
The Complete Magician’s Tables by Stephen Skinner
One of those great stereotypes for Pagans is that they love their reference books…and I’m no exception to this one. This book is kind of an expanded Liber 777. It’s got planetary symbolism, numerological symbolism, brief descriptions of many gods, gemstones, herbs, elemental associations, metals, the tree of life, tarot symbolisms, and many many other tables. Half of the book is tables and half is commentary. I really haven’t found any other book that has all of this information in a single source other than Liber 777. Not only does this book have more information, but it also is far better organized which is a key thing when you’re talking about a reference book.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
This book is fiction and has no true Magickal significance, but I’ve never met a person who’s life isn’t changed for the better by this book. In truth, the story is incredibly simple. It’s about a boy who dreams the same dream twice and goes to Egypt in search of the pyramids because in the dream he is said to find a great treasure there. He is robbed, works at a small shop in a country he’s never been to before, falls in love, meets an Alchemist and all in search for this treasure. This book is about the fact that life is a journey and that everyone must spend their life in search for their treasure because you can never be unhappy while searching for it. I’ve reread this book at least 40-50 times and will continue to reread it every time my life is confusing. Everyone should own this book and it will show you that you truly should believe in dreams whether they be while you are sleeping or while you are daydreaming.