I need a serious magickal education.  I could consult the “Occult” section of my local Borders, but somehow I don’t think I’ll find what I’m looking for in Magic for Total Morons or Vegan Chicken Soup for the Teenage Wiccan Soul.  Anybody got any reccommendations?  I’m looking for serious texts on psychospiritual programming; it doesn’t even necessarily have to use the term “magic” – e.g. books from a more psychological angle are also acceptable.  What I’m NOT looking for is The Llewelyn Guide to Hexing Your Neighbor’s Annoying Dog.

Hell, I’ll widen the query:  what’s your favorite metaphysical text[s]?

View All


  1. Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler is one that is often rec’d. I’ve asked a few other friends, I’ll let you know what I come up with.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, Drawing Down the Moon is a good book. More of a history and sociology of modern witchcraft than a discussion of magic, though.

  2. you have to understand that most occultists are quacks, frauds, drug fiends, or just certifiably insane – and i’m talking about the big important names like Crowley, Blavatsky, the like. i’m fascinated with the subject, myself, (which is how i’ve drawn my rather cynical conclusions) but i seriously doubt you’ll find something that satisfies your rigid rationalism.
    so the important question is: really, what are you looking for? exactly?

    “psychospiritual programming”? you might be more interested in behaviourist psychologists, who believe that all of the human mind can be moulded by conditioning, as far as i recall.

    so anyway, i’d read “The Spear of Destiny” by Ravencroft, which is really an occult-inspired history of Hitler’s spirituality, but attracted me to theosophy, which sounds like “occultism with heavy emphasis on the scientific method” – but when you actually walk into a theosophical society, you’ll just get the same new-agers you’re looking to avoid. all the same, Madame Blavatsky (who founded theosophy) gets a lot of respect among the ilk, despite there being very ample evidence she was a charlatan.
    the Qabbalah (sp?) may interest you – despite it being the foundation to all modern Judaism, the crux of it is that god is not a conscientious personage, but the mechanism of the universe. as such, it emphasizes your being part of the mechanism, etc., etc. “The Essential Qabbalah” (part of the real great “Essential…” series) was a great introduction. and i picked up “Kabbalistic Healing”, which is better than the cover and title suggest it to be.

    but the only thing i put any trust in is the Bible and exposition of the saints. i’m finally beginning to sincerely believe, rather than merely confessing, that a very real psychospiritual change occurs in the Christian faith – so long as you don’t fight against it too hard 😉 with that, i’d definitely suggest the wisdom literature of the old testament, “Dark Night of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross (which is the closest i’ve yet found to ‘psychospiritual programming’ while keeping one’s eyes exclusively on Christ), “Bondage of the Will” and “Christian Freedom” by Martin Luther. the Christian life requires patience. the charlatans may tell you otherwise 😉

    1. A quote from “Dancing with the Gods”, by Eric Raymond, explains something of what I’m after, and why I’m willing to read what the quacks and charlatans have to say:

      Now some theory for you skeptical types out there.

      If my language is too “religious” for you, feel free to transpose it all into the key of psychology. Speak of archetypes and semi-independent complexes. Feel free to hypothesize that I’ve merely learned how to enter some non-ordinary mental states that change my body language, disable a few mental censors, and have me putting out signals that other people interpret in terms of certain material in their own unconscious minds.

      Fine. You’ve explained it. Correctly, even. But you can’t do it!

      And as long as you stick with the sterile denotative language of psychology, and the logical mode of the waking mind, you won’t be able to — because you can’t reach and program the unconscious mind that way. It takes music, symbolism, sex, hypnosis, wine and strange drugs, firelight and chanting, ritual and magic. Super-stimuli that reach past the conscious mind and neocortex, in and back to the primate and mammal and reptile brains curled up inside.

      Whatever they get wrong, what the spiritualists seem to understand is that if you think too hard about the mechanism behind the magic, it ceases to work. I’m a wierd, inconsistent mix – a strict rationalist mashed together with a repressed intuitional hippie. And I’m coming to realize that some of the transformational goals my rational side would like to accomplish may only be possible through means which appeal more to my squishy side.

      Your recommendations are much appreciated. I have one or two books on Theosophy on my reading list; I’ll add “Dark Night” and the Luther books to it.

  3. Books that have helped me in my most recent spiritual travels:

    “The Interior Castle,” St Theresa of Avila, traslation by Mirabi Starr
    “Awareness” by Anthony DeMello
    “Afterlife” by Morton Kelsey

    Other books that helped, either previously, or are on my reading list:

    “The Coming of The Cosmic Christ” by Matthew Fox (the author is a douchebag. if you get this one, be prepared to read between the lines of commie thought scattered here and there)

    “Walking On Water” Madeleine L’Engle

    “Dreams: A Way To Listen To God” Morton Kelsey (again)

    “Miracle Touch.” (it’s not “magick”, or even spiritual, but it examines the validity of the claims of everyone from acupuncturists to chiropractors to benny hinn. Pretty messed up book, but it’s alright, and I’m a few chapters into it already.)

    “Christ the Eternal Tao,” By Hieromonk Damascene. (Ignore the Greek Orthodox propaganda.)

    My own writings would probably be of interest to you as well. I should remember to include you on that listing, perhaps…

    1. I should remember to include you on that listing, perhaps…

      Do, please.

  4. Not sure if this qualifies, but here goes: “The Root of Chinese Chi Kung”, by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming.

    I have yet to see anyone, who claims to adhere to any metaphysical teaching or method of any kind, demonstrate any real power to the degree that would cause me to pursue such a path. Most everything I’ve seen done in the name of God, gods, Jesus, or what have you, resembles what I’ve seen Chi Kung masters do, whether it be praying, healing, spell casting, whatever. It seems to me most every type of spiritual “work” can be explained in terms of how the Chinese see chi as a preeminent force in the universe.

    Just my worthless opinion.

Comments are closed.