What’s one of your earliest influential occult books?

Posted on May 14, 2012
Filed Under Books, Magic | 8 Comments

Recently I was looking through my magical library and I came across two books by Ted Andrews, books I’ve had since I was 16 or 17. They were books I’d hidden away when I was 18 and told I had to burn my books or leave, because they were books that were essential to my practice at that time. I was using the exercises in them for my daily work and also to connect with the elemental spirits. And to this day those books are essential to my magical practice in terms of the information and experiences they first provided. While my magical practice has gone far afield, the principles I learned in this books still inform and guide my magical practice.

The books are How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides and Enchantment of the Faerie Realm. Perhaps what I liked best about the books then and even now is the balance between practical techniques and theoretical information. As I looked through both books the other night, I felt a smile appear on my face, rediscovering a sense of wonder I first felt when I began practicing magic. As a teenager these books were doorways to a better life than the one I was living in. They provided me a sense of empowerment, a feeling of control, and a sense that I could actively make a difference in my life by employing magic. I still feel that way, but holding those books and flipping through them brought a sense of nostalgia and happiness over the memories themselves.

And flipping through them also provided inspiration for a working I did recently and am still engaged in currently, which I’ll write about on Wednesday. It illustrated to me that going back through something you’ve kept for almost 20 years can still provided you surprises and realizations that you can work with.

What was your earliest influential texts that changed your approach to magic?

Comments

8 comments
Justin Patrick Moore
Justin Patrick Moore

Futhark by Edred Thorsson was an early influential read... as an eclectic ritualist I still use the runes and this was the first book to introduce me to using them magically. At sixteen I was given a copy of The 21 Lessons of Merlyn, while this book hasn't aged well, in terms of its content, for me, it did stir my interest in Druidry which continues to this day. When I found a copy of Crowley's The Book of the Law in a used book store later that year it was at first unfathomable. Thelema became important to me later, though I would hesitate to call myself a Thelemite. Nuit and Hadit remain important in my practice, though other aspects of it, not so much at least right now.

 

I also remember being in a bookstore when I was in middle school looking at a copy of 777. It was a mystery to me. An older teen said to one of his friends about me, "He'll never understand that book." It made me so mad I made a vow that I would understand it!     

 

Faoladh already mentioned Modern Magick. A friend of mine had an interesting story about that book... when he got sent away to a Baptist boarding school, he ripped the book into different sections and smuggled it in via a binder and folders. 

 

I always love to talk about books... thanks for giving us the opportunity to share these formative moments when I was first exploring my  textuality Taylor. 

ColleenChitty
ColleenChitty

The first book I was shown when I first stepped into the occult realm was Embracing the Moon by Yasmine Galenorn.  At the time I had no knowledge of the occult, or that even something like Wicca existed.  I expressed to a girl I was halfway dating at the time that I wished there was magic in the world.  She told me that there was, and she knew someone who could direct me.  While Wicca wasn't something I took interest in after a while, the book still had good basics in symbology and creating some "magical formulas" that I could follow as a base recipe.  I acquired the book again when a friend was trying to hide her books from her parents and I said I would keep them for her.  Like you, seeing this book again made me smile.  My friend said I could keep the book.Though you were a big help too.  <3

dorfmeister
dorfmeister

Practical Sigil Magic by Frater UD. Presented and extraordinarily simple and practical process for doing magic. It actually got me doing rather than just reading.

Faoladh
Faoladh

The books that really formed my approach to magic? <i>Modern Magick</i> by Donald Michael Kraig was probably one of the first, and so was Buckland's Big Blue Book. Something by Max Freedom Long or one of his followers that I don't remember the title of is definitely in there, too. Probably the next one that was formative was R.J. Stewart's <i>Earth Light</i>. Grant Morrison's <i>The Invisibles</i> was pretty important, too. But the book that completely threw my paradigms on their collective, metaphorical heads was Ioan Couliano's <i>Eros and Magic in the Renaissance</i>. Nothing I've read since has been as idea-changing for me, though some writings by John Michael Greer have helped reinforce that direction of thought.

dorfmeister
dorfmeister

I meant to write "an" rather than "and" in my second sentence.

Faoladh
Faoladh

Also, Robert Anton Wilson's Quantum Psychology should also be in there somewhere.

Faoladh
Faoladh

I keep forgetting that I can't use markup to make italics in livefyre.

dorfmeister
dorfmeister

Other significant books for me were:

 

Condensed Chaos by Phil Hine

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda

Visual Magick by Jan Fries

The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner