This is a letter from youtube, a question from a viewer of my videos. I was asked how to start a good library of occult books for study and practice. There are many books out there so it can be difficult to know where to start and what to read. I know this because i have studied the occult since the early ’90’s and I didnt have anyone to show me which books were good for what I wanted to study. In this post, i am giving my views and opinions on which books would be good to start an occult library, and along with this I am posting links to these books at amazon.com so you can visit and read the reviews about these books as well. This will be a very long post with a lot of good information for all to read.
I’m an occultist, beginner
And i would like to know, what books should I start with, a library of satanism golden dawn, thelema, rosicruciansim, kabbalah, qlippoth, and witchcraft.
out of all those religions and sects, what books do you recommend. I know it will be a long list. But I think you are very knowledgeable. Please get back to me
In the light of the adversary,
Mike, the occult has a long history and there are many different paths or methods when it comes to occult practice. Occultism can be defined as a method which includes the study and practice of magic, divination, religion, spirituality, or metaphysics, for a mundane or spiritual goal. So, in order to have a good library, which takes years to develop, you should know what subjects you like and what authors you prefer or are considered to be the best, depending on your specific focus or study. In this post, I will discuss the books that I feel are the best for a beginner.
A Satanism library should include the The Satanic Bible and the companion book, The Satanic Rituals at the very least, and even if you are not interested in Satanism from the point of view of the Church of Satan, a study of these two books will help you to get a good perspective on what Satanism is about. Don’t forget, Satanism as we know it today is relatively new as a social phenomenon, started in the late 60’s [much like Wicca!], so there are only a few authors that are worthy to pursue in this field of study.
You could also refer to the books about the Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path,written by Don Webb, who has been into occultism for many years. I hear his books on the inner teachings of the Temple are very enlightening as he discussed the ideas of the inner order teachings of the temple of set, and the concepts behind the Left hand Path.
Writings on the qliphoth were best expressed by authors like Kenneth Grant, who wrote the Nightside of Eden trilogy, based on the teachings of the Typhonian OTO [Crowley]. His book, Nightside of Eden details a path of qliphotic pathworking, gathered from sources such as 777 [crowley] and Liber 231. There was also a book focused on the tunnels of the qliphoth, written by Thomas Karlsson, titled Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic. I have a friend who has reviewed this book and he says that it is an excellent companion book to Kenneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden.
Another author known for left hand path teachings is Michael ford, who wrote a series on the qliphoth, Liber Hvhi: Magick of the Adversary, but unfortunately Ford is long on theory and short on practice. His teachings are brief, without references and barely scratch the surface on what is possible with this type of cthonic magic, but are popular none the less amongst those who are new to magic.
A study of the Golden Dawn would be excellent if you are interested in Ceremonial Magic. The most famous book is The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, written by Israel Regardie, who describes the basic elements of the golden dawn teachings along with descriptions of the rituals, and the Grade work. The Golden Dawn is an initiatory system of magic but there is an excellent book Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition by Tab and Chic Cicero. The golden dawn teaches several different areas of magic including ceremonial magic, geomancy, kabbalism and gematria, magical correspondences, and things of that nature. And, a book on Kabalah sould compliment these studies. One of the best authors on this subject is Lon Milo Duquette who wrote:The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford. He has an interesting angle when presenting the ideas of the qabalah and while his methods are considered to be unconventional, he is a very notable author and his methods are easy to understand and make a great introduction for further studies into qabalism.
There are several books written by Aleister Crowley, most notably Magick: Liber Aba : Book 4 which details the ideas and philosophy behind Crowley’s method of Thelema. Another book that would compliment this study is the Liber Al Vel LegisThe Book of the Law, and Magick Without Tears, a guide written by Crowley in his later years as a magician and mystic. Of course, I would not recommend Crowley to a beginning student because it is a specialized area which requires some knowledge in occult studies before any of it can be really understood, and even then some of his methods and teachings can never be understood by anyone but the one who created them, because Croweley wrote in riddles in most of his books, using his own poetic language. Along with these books you should eventually aquire 777 And Other Qabalistic Writings, and [the companion book to this] The Complete Magician’s Tables, written by Stephen Skinner, both of which will help you to navigate through the teachings of the Golden dawn, and Crowley.
Witchcraft books; there are several which you may like. The first that i would recommend is Nocturnal Witchcraft: Magick After Darkwritten by konstantinos. Even though i am not a huge fan of his i have found that he has collected some good theories and ideas into his book, describing methods of dark witchcraft based on many different sources, giving an eclectic view on dark magic. Along the way you could also pick up The Satanic Witchby LaVey, another interesting book about the feminine aspects of magic and witchcraft, [from LaVey’s perspective of course]. Some good reference books for witchcraft Candle Burning Magic: A Spellbook of Rituals for Good and Evil by Anna Riva, which has basic methods and techniques of candle magic, a useful book if candle spells appeal to your style. Another basic beginners book that discussed theory and technique on witchcraft is Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson, which outlines his basic ideas on what witchcraft is and why witches do what they do, a very comprehensive guide.
You will find that some authors [like Michael ford, and konstantinos for example] tend to re-hash other materials by past authors and sometimes write materials that don’t credit their sources. Some authors with a better reputation in the occult use past knowledge and references from other authors to create a new method or way of thinking while providing references, indexes and bibliographies for their books.
The types of subjects you asked about seem to be geared towards ceremonial and ritual magic..So, I hope these references help you to start your own occult library, something which takes years to build through time and the desire to learn new knowledge.
You can also visit my personal library at librarything.com Venus Satanas to see the books that I have collected over the years. These are the actual books that i keep on my shelf and use for reference in every day life, in my study of the occult.