Recommended Reading

booksWe’re blessed to live in a time when high-quality esoteric knowledge is publicly available. SOL students are required (and any other interested folks are encouraged) to select their evening reading from the titles and authors recommended in the lists below.

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Books by W.E. Butler
Apprenticed to Magic
Magic and the Qabalah
Magic: Its Ritual, Power, and Purpose
The Magician, his Training and Work
Practical Magic and the Western Mystery Tradition
How to Develop Clairvoyance
How to Develop Psychometry
How to Develop Telepathy
How to Read the Aura
Lords of Light
Books by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki

First Steps in Ritual
Highways of the Mind
The Ritual Magic Workbook
The Shining Paths
The Forgotten Mage (by Col. C.R.F. Seymour, edited by DAN)
Inner Landscapes
The Sacred Cord Meditations
The Tree of Ecstasy
The New Book of the Dead
Daughters of Eve
Building a Temple
The Officers of the Temple
Magical Use of Thoughforms (With Herbie Brennan)
The Initiate’s Book of Pathworkings
Your Unseen Power (book and audio mini-course)
The Singing Stones
The Door Unlocked – An Astrological Insight into Initiation (with Stephanie V. Norris)

An Anthology of Occult Wisdom (8 volumes, including material by W.E. Butler, Rev. Robert King, Gareth Knight, and others)

Books by Dion Fortune
The Winged Bull
The Demon Lover
The Goat Foot God
Moon Magic
The Sea Priestess
The Secrets of Dr Taverner

Applied Magic
Aspects of Occultism
Esoteric Orders and Their Work
Mystical Meditations on the Collects
The Mystical Qabalah
Practical Occultism in Daily Life
Psychic Self-Defence
Sane Occultism
The Training and Work of an Initiate
Applied Magic

Nonfiction Posthumously Edited and Expanded by Gareth Knight
Principles of Hermetic Philosophy
The Magical Battle of Britain
What is Occultism?
The Circuit of Force
An Introduction to Ritual Magic

General Nonfiction

Candle of Vision

Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS)
The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images

Arguelles, M&J
The Feminine

Assagioli, Roberto
The Act of Will

Baddely, Alan
Your Memory

Baker, Dr. Douglas
Karmic Laws
Opening the Third Eye
Practical Techniques of Astral Projection
The Seven Rays

Begg, Ean
Cult of the Black Virgin

Biffle, Christopher
The Castle of the Pearl

Blair, Lawrence
The Rhythms of Vision

Blakeslee, Thomas
The Right Brain

Bleakley, Alan
Fruits of the Moon

Bord, Colin & Janet
Earth Rites
Mysterious Britain

Branston, Brian
The Lost Gods of England

Brennan, J. H.
Astral Doorways
Experimental Magic
Five Keys to Past Lives
Discover Reincarnation
Discover Astral Projection
Nostradamus: Visions of the Future
Ancient Spirit

Brown, Coleston
The Seven Directions

Bullfinch, Thomas
Bullfinch’s Mythology

Campbell, Joseph
The Hero With a Thousand Faces
The Masks of God – 4 vols
Myths to Live By

Carter, Cassandra
The Imram of Arthur
Everyday Magic

Case, Paul Foster
The Book of Tokens
The Tarot

Chant, Joy
The High Kings

Charon, Jean
The Unknown Spirit

Cirlot, Juan Eduardo
Dictionary of Symbols

Clark, R.T. Rundle
Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt

Cooper, Andrew
Playing in the Zone: Exploring the Spiritual Dimensions of Sports

Cooper, J.C.
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols

Coyle, Thorn
Kissing the Limitless

Diel, Paul
Symbolism in Greek Mythology

Dominguez Jr, Ivo
Spirit Speak
Casting Sacred Space

Drury, Nevill
Other Temples, Other Gods
The Shaman and the Magician

Durdin-Robertson, L.
Juno Covella

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Ferguson, Marilyn
The Aquarian Conspiracy

Frazer, J.G.
The Golden Bough

Gettings, Fred
The Hidden Art

Ginsburg, Carlos
The Night Battles

Graves, Robert
The White Goddess

Gray, William
The Ladder of Lights
Working With Inner Light

Greene, Liz

Green, Marian
Experiments in Aquarian Magic
The Gentle Art of Aquarian Magic
Magic for the Aquarian Age

Greer, John Michael
Learning Ritual Magic (with Clare Vaughn and Earl King Jr.)
Paths of Wisdom
Inside a Magical Lodge

Halevi, Z’ev ben Shimon
Adam & the Kabbalistic Tree
The Tree of Life
The Way of the Kabbalah
The Work of the Kabbalist

Halifax, Joan
Shaman: the Wounded Healer

Harding, Esther
Women’s Mysteries

Harrison, Jane Ellen
Ancient Art and Ritual

Harrison, Michael
The Roots of Witchcraft

Hartley, Christine
The Western Mystery Tradition

Heline, Corinne
The Bible and the Tarot

Highfield, Andrew
The Book of Celestial Images
The Symbolic Weapons of Ritual Magic

Hitching, Francis
Earth Magic

Hope, Murry
Practical Celtic Magic
Practical Egyptian Magic
Practical Greek Magic
Practical Techniques of Psychic Self-Defence

Howard, Michael
Prediction Book of Practical Magic

Humphrey, Naomi
Meditation: the Inner Way

Jaynes, Julian
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Jung, Carl Gustav
Man and His Symbols

Jung, Emma & von Franz, M-L
The Grail Legend

Kaplan, Aryeh
Meditation and the Kabbalah

Kaplan-Williams, Strephon
The Dreamwork Manual

Knight, Gareth
A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism (required text for original SOL First Degree Course)
Experience of the Inner Worlds
A History of White Magic (also published as Magic and the Western Mind)
Magical Images and the Magical Imagination
The Practice of Ritual Magic
Occult Exercises and Practices
Esoteric Training in Everyday Life
Dion Fortune and the Threefold Way
I Called it Magic
Yours Very Truly – Gareth Knight

Lang-Simms, Lois
The Christian Mysteries

Laurie, Sanders & Tucker, Melville

Lemesurier, Peter
The Armageddon Scripts
Beyond All Belief

MacCoun, Catherine
On Becoming an Alchemist

Maltz, Maxwell

Mann, A.J.
The Round Art

Maple, E.
Old Wives’ Tales

Maslow, A.H.
Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences

Masters & Huston
Mind Games

Matthews, John & Caitlin
At the Table of the Grail
The Western Way – 2 vols
– more recently released in a single volume as Walkers Between the Worlds
The Psychic Protection Handbook
– released in the USA as Psychic Shield

Merry, Eleanor
The Flaming Door

Michell, John
The Earth Spirit
New View Over Atlantis

Morduch, Anna
The Sovereign Adventure

Morrish, Furze
Outline of Metaphysics

Neumann, Erich
The Great Mother

Nichols, Sallie
Jung and the Tarot

Nutt, Anastacia
Unseen Worlds and Practical Aspects of Spiritual Discernment

Ostrander & Schroeder
The Handbook of PSI

Peach, Emily
The Tarot Workbook

Pollack, Rachel
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom (sometimes in 2 vols)
Tarot: the Open Labyrinth

Purce, Jill
The Mystic Spiral

Ravenscroft, Trevor
The Cup of Destiny
The Spear of Destiny

Redgrove & Shuttle
The Wise Wound

Regardie, Israel
The Eye in the Triangle
Foundations of Practical Magic
A Garden of Pomegranates
The Tree of Life
Magic in East and West
The Art of Magic
The Meaning of Magic

Richardson, Alan
Dancers to the Gods
Gate of the Moon
An Introduction to the Mystical Qabalah
Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune: Logos of the Aeon and Shakti of the Age

Rose, Emmanuel
Star Magic

Rutherford, W.
The Druids

Sagan, Carl
The Dragons of Eden

Samuels, Mike and Nancy
Seeing with the Mind’s Eye

Seymour, Col. C.R.F
The Forgotten Mage (edited by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki)

Sharkey, John
The Celtic Mysteries

Spangler, David
Everyday Miracles

Spence, Lewis
Introduction to Mythology
The Mysteries of Britain
The Mysteries of Egypt
The Occult Sciences

The Spiral Dance

Steinbrecher, Ed
The Inner Guide Meditation

Stewart, R.J.
The UnderWorld Initiation
Waters of the Gap
Music and the Elemental Psyche
The Book of Merlin
Living Magical Arts

Suares, Paolo
The Kabbalah Trilogy

Tame, David
The Secret Power of Music

Temple, Robert
The Sirius Mystery

Thompson, William Irwin
The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light

Townsend, Mark
Jesus through Pagan Eyes

Underwood, Guy
Patterns of the Past

Underwood, P.
The Complete Book of Dowsing and Diving

Valiente, Doreen
Natural Magic
Witchcraft for Tomorrow

Vasey, G.M.
Inner Journeys

Walker, Barbara
Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends

Wang, Robert
The Secret Temple
The Qabalistic Tarot

Whitmont, E.
Return of the Goddess

Wiehl, Andrew
Creative Visualization: How to Unlock the Secret powers of Mind and Body for Full Self-Realization and Happiness

Willis, Tony
The Runic Workbook

Wilson, Anne Deirdre
Magical Though in Creative writing

Wilson, Colin
The Occult
The Outsider
The Starseekers
Frankenstein’s Castle, the Right Brain: Door to Wisdom

General Fiction

Bach, Richard
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

Blackwood, Algernon
Tales of the Uncanny & The Supernatural
Tales of the Mysterious & Macabre
Ancient Sorceries / The Centaur

Brennan, Jan
The Greythorne Woman

Brennan, J.H. (Herbie)
Dark Moon

Chant, Joy
Red Moon, Black Mountain

Clason, Clyde
I am Lucifer

Cooper, Susan
Over Sea and Under Stone
The Dark is Rising
The Grey King
Silver on the Tree

Croggon, Alison
The Gift (also The Naming)
The Riddle
The Crow
The Singing

Ericson, Eric
The Sorcerer
The Woman who Slept with Demons
The Master of the Temple

Garfield, Leon
The God Beneath the Sea

Garner, Alan
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
The Moon of Gomrath
The Owl Service
Red Shift

Gentle, Mary
The Golden Witchbreed

Grant, Joan
Winged Pharoah
Scarlet Feather
Return to Elysium
Life as Carola
Lord of the Horizon
Eyes of Horus
And so Moses was Born

Greene, Liz
The Dreamer of the Vine

Haggard, Rider H.
Allan’s Wife
Allan Quartermain
The Wanderer’s Necklace
Queen Sheba’s Ring
When the World Shook
The World’s Desire

Honeycombe, Gordon
Neither the Sea nor the Sand
The Dragon Under the Hill

Kurtz, Katherine
Lammas Night
The Deryni Trilogy
The Camber Trilogy
The Adept series

Le Guin, Ursula
The Wizard of Earthsea
The Tombs of Atuan
The Farthest Shore
Tales from Earthsea
The Other Wind
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Telling

Lewis, C.S.
The Screwtape Letters
The Great Divorce
Till we have Faces
The Narnia Stories
Out of the Silent Planet
Voyage to Venus
That Hideous Strength

Mahy, Margaret
The Haunting

MacLeod, Fiona
The Washer of the Ford

Mannin, Ethel
Lucifer and the Child

Michener, James Albert
The Source

Mitchison, Naomi
To the Chapel Perilous

Norton, Andre
The Witchworld Series
The Crystal Griffin
The Year of the Unicorn

Stephens, James
The Crock of Gold

Stewart, Mary
The Crystal Cave
The Hollow Hills
The Last Enchantment
The Wicked Day

Timlett, Peter Valentine
The Seedbearers
The Power of the Serpent
The Twilight of the Serpent

Treece, Henry
The Green Man

Tryon, Thomas
Harvest Home

Walton, Evangeline
The Island of the Mighty
The Song of Rhiannon
The Children of Llyr
Prince of Annwn

Whitby, Sharon
Here be Dragons
A Dream of Fair Serpents
The Silky
The Savage Web
Children of the Rainbow

Wilson, Colin
God of the Labyrinth

Arthurian Literature
– Perlesvaus. (Otherwise known as The High History of the Holy Grail, in the early translation by Sebastian Evans).  A better, modern version by Nigel Bryant was published as The High Book of the Grail by Rowman & Littlefield in 1979. The most mystical version of all. A “must”.

– Queste Del Saint Graal. From the Vulgate Cycle, translated as The Quest of the Holy Grail by P. Matarasso. Penguin books 1969. The Cistercian version, very Christian.

– Parzival. By Wolfram von Eschenbach. Translated by H.M. Mustard & Co, Vintage Books, 1961. The oddest of them all in some ways – very hard to read, but there is also a newer translation from Penguin in August, 1980. This one for all the links between East and West, and the West for connecting with the Tree.

– Conte de Graal. Translated as The Story of the Grail, by Chretien de Troyes. The first Grail text to come down to us. Very important.

Peredus, in the Mabinogion. The pagan version – head in the dish, etc. Great stuff!


Critical Works
Divided into four sections: Inner, Mystical, Literary, and Historical. There is, of course, some overlap.

A) Inner:

— The Legend of the Holy Grail. Order of the Rose Cross. Still one of the best, but be warned: the literary side is full of mistakes.

— Avalon of the Heart, Dion Fortune. No comment!

— Orders of the Quest — The Holy Grail, Manley P. Hall. Anthroposophical Publishing, 1960. A bit of a mishmash, but worth reading.

— Mysteries of the Holy Grail, Corinne Heline. Very Christian, but a very unusual angle. Genuine received text.


B) Mystical

— Viscio Pacis: Holy City of the Grail, Helen Adolf. Very important book, this. Hard to get hold of, so better place an ad in the Astral Times! A genuine attempt to put the Grail in a Mystical context.

— The Sovereign Adventure, Anna Morduch.

— The Rose-Garden Game, Eithne Wilkins. Yes, a book about rosaries, but packed with clues and hinds about the Grail of Arthur.

— Arthurian Torso, Charles Williams. Unfinished at his death. CW’s apotheosis, and a book which says more about Arthur&Co than a dozen others ever could. For the advanced student it could be dynamite!


C) Literary

— The Evolution of the A.A. Rom, J.D. Bruce. Not too easy to get, and expensive (2vols hardbound) but still the best history of the literary development around. With this up your sleeve you can become an expert in a week!

— The Grail Legends, Emma Jun & Marie-Heloise von Franz. The best historical overview so far.

The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail, A.E. Waite. It is impossible to read, like A.E.W.’s things, but my goodness there’s a lot in it!


D) Historical

— Arthur’s Avalon, G. Ashe. Also, From Caesar to Avalon.

— The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Romance, R.S. Lodmus

— From Ritual to Romance, J.L. Weston. Still the best for oddball theories. Gave rise to Eliot of course. What better recommendation could you want!


General Works on the Whole Cycle

— King Arthur and the Grail, Richard Cavendish

— The Arthurian Legends, Richard Barber. A lovely book, this,. Samples all the texts with explanations and lots of pictures.

— King Arthur, King of Kings, Jean Markale. A bit Marxist in its leanings, but still an exciting and reliable read.



— History of the Kings of Britain, Geoffrey of Monmouth. A pseudo-history of Britain, though historians are beginning to wonder…

— Romance of Tristan, Beroul. An earlier, sparser version of Gottfried.

— Gawaine and the Green Knight. There are dozens of translations, of which the best I think is that of J.R.R. Tolkien.

— The Knightly Tales of Sir Gawain, edited and translated by L.B. Hall. Contains nearly everything about the grate sun-hero, including the wonderful “Wedding” of Sir G. and Dame Ragnell.

— Triodd Ynys Prydein (Trials of the Island of Britain), edited and translated by Radell Bromwich. A storehouse of marvels.