First, big gratitude to all of you who sent in suggestions for the metaphysics booklist. I have a draft now of what may be my final version. Of course you will not agree with all of them, but here is my rationale. Each book should stand on its own and not be duplicated in the list. The list is for experiential metaphysics – ie energy work, esoterics and psychic/intuitive practices. So I am not including books that are seminal for mysticism and general spirituality.
Here’s my twelve with one bonus.
1 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
There are many translations of this literary and spiritual jewel. It is short, extraordinarily insightful and integrates a thorough awareness of the psychology of consciousness expansion with psychic skills (siddhis.)
2 Alice Bailey: Glamour: A World Problem
For many folk Alice Bailey, working as the secretary for the Tibetan abbot Djwhal Khul, is the most important esoteric writer of the last century. This book in particular introduces learners to the collective karma and psychic pollution created by humanity and methods for transforming and healing it.
3 William Bloom: Working with Angels
I didn’t want to put in one of my own, but this is the only book I know that makes explicit the nature of the deva world and a universal method for cooperating with it in all realms – home, healing, gardening, work, arts, industry, education. . .
4 Jane Roberts: Seth: The Nature of Personal Reality
The Seth books pioneered the whole field of ‘multidimensional reality’, parallel realities and how consciousness unconsciously creates our perceptions and experiences of ‘reality.
5 Arthur Zajonc: Meditation as Contemplative Enquiry
There are so many books on meditation. This one is in our booklist because of its compassionate tone, insights into reflective practice and awareness of the metaphysical dimensions.
6 Barbara A. Brennan: Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing through the Human Energy
This is a very accessible yet deep introduction to energy healing and esoteric anatomy. With great illustrations.
7 W.Y. Evans-Wentz: Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines
This is a mind-boggling description of some of the esoteric practices in Tibetan (Bon) Buddhism. Contemporary shamanism sometimes forgets the depth of practice in the Himalayas.
8 A Course in Miracles – Book 3 Manual for Teachers
If there were only one book that spiritual teachers, coaches, psychics and healers, should read before working with others – this is the one. It merges inspirational compassion and psychological wisdom into a person-centred and immediately practical approach.
9 Thomas Sugrue: There is a River – The Story of Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce was probably the best and most accurate clairvoyant and psychic of the last century. His biography is an eyeopener for anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps.
10 Stephen Skinner: The Compete Magician’s Tables
This is an extraordinary work of scholarship that builds on Alister Crowley’s ‘777.’ It is an encyclopaedia of correspondences – showing the harmonic relationship between gods, goddesses, aromas, angels, numerology, colours, etc, from the world’s magical traditions. Essential for sparking and expanding the imagination.
11 John & Caitlin Matthews: Walkers Between the Worlds: The Western Mysteries from Shaman to Magus
Anyone studying magic and esoterics needs to understand the entwining western traditions – the Middle Eastern temple tradition and the more northern shamanic/Wicca approach. This book, originally in two volumes, is a wonderful history with practical examples.
12 Starhawk: The Spiral Dance
If there was one woman and one book that broke through with the wave of feminism and Wicca, this is it. Inspiring, socially aware, wise.
You should buy this book for the pure pleasure of its ambition. It is dippable and has lovely pictures.
Manly P. Hall: The Secret Teachings of all Ages
This is the ultimate coffee table book for esoterics. Beautifully illustrated (if you can, get the full colour version.) It is a treasure of encyclopaedic information about the occult and the mysteries.
As the Kabbalistic tradition/version of the Perennial Philosophy is barely represented here I would also suggest
‘Sepher Yetzirah The Book of Creation In Theory and Practice’ by Aryeh Kaplan, Dion Fortune’s ‘The Mystical Qabbalah’ by Dion Fortune, ‘The Kabbalah Unveiled’ by S.L. MGregor Mathers, and ‘The Essential Kabbalah’ by Daniel C. Matt, all works I continue to use and work form practically in my studies.
I will definitely be referring to the sources you mention, Dean. I’ve read and value them all! Dion Fortune’s was on my shortlist. The Matthews book and the Correspondences book create a clear segue into Kabbalah. Thx!
I can go with this. I am glad you included Starhawk and Barbara Brennan’s books. (Ok, ok, cos I read and love them) 😂
This book list is PURE treasure!…
Thank you so very much William…
I’ve been waiting to be grabbed by a book for some time…
and every ONE of these titles has twanged me within!…
I’m feeling really grateful…
Much Love to you
An interesting list, and many thanks for letting everyone know about v2! I might add that re: Manly Hall’s ‘Secret Teachings…et al’, your last book recommendation on the list – as you may know there has also recently been released another helpful volume for those interested in Hall’s work, a transl. of an orig. ms. by Manly Hall that was discovered a bit later, at the Philosophical Research Society, see prs org , entitled ‘A Study Guide to the Secret Teachings of All Ages’, where he had further commented and expounded further on his orig ‘Secret Teachings…’ book for his own students, at that time. It’s available on their site (has a mint green cover). There’s also an excellent full colour edition of ‘Secret Teachings’. Good luck w/your wonderful courses, and thx, William, for writing your book on angels, too!
Every book I could wish for is on this list. A superb and comprehensive list.
A very comprehensive list. I like it very much.
This is a good and varied book list. I like it.