collapse

Author Topic: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference  (Read 515 times)

Scales

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: BC
  • Posts: 370
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
I need books. Money is no object a possible issue, but I'm looking secondhand and don't have to get everything at once. I'm trying to do somewhat more well-rounded studying, and also build up a good amount of options.

So, I'm looking for some workbooks, if anyone knows of any. I have and am enjoying Crafting Magick With Pen and Ink by Susan Pesznecker, but I'd like more like it. Preferably not based in any one religion, but more about witchcraft, thinking exercises, practicing skills, etc. I would also just take another writing based one, even with only a tenuous connection to the subject. Wiccish is acceptable if it's all I can get.

I'm also looking for some good mythology and folkloric books or collections. I'm specifically looking at Greek and Roman mythology at this moment, but I'd like to build up some more. European options probably apply to my practice more but I'd like to have a bit of a background on anywhere. Building up basics, eg the Iliad and Odyssey, is something I need to do, but collections and so on are also good.

I don't know what to ask for re Occult books, I really need to build a foundation. I would like the Lesser Key of Solomon and the Goetia, but having not read them yet, I can't use them to point myself further. Anything demons or devils is something I'd at least read, classical fiction (eg Faust) included.

And some good reference books for plants/herbs, crystals, etc, would be good. I really like Beyerl's Master Book of Herbalism, so if anyone's read his A Compendium of Herbal Magick, The Symbols and Magick of Tarot, or Gem and Mineral Lore I'd like to know if they're worth a look. And is Encyclopedia of Spirits the Judika Illes non-spellbook that people like, or am I thinking of something else?

Any of these options would be preferred/given bonus points if it's queer (or an edition that at least acknowledges queer themes/identities).

For the last thing, something specific- if anyone knows a good annotated translation of The Divine Comedy, I'd appreciate it. I enjoyed Palma's verse translation of Inferno but I believe it's the only one he did, and does not include annotations.

(also taking fiction suggestions if you have them)

Eastling

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • Posts: 460
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 278
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Mystermercury
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 02:34:34 am »
So, I'm looking for some workbooks, if anyone knows of any. I have and am enjoying Crafting Magick With Pen and Ink by Susan Pesznecker, but I'd like more like it. Preferably not based in any one religion, but more about witchcraft, thinking exercises, practicing skills, etc. I would also just take another writing based one, even with only a tenuous connection to the subject. Wiccish is acceptable if it's all I can get.

On magic specifically, Jason Miller's books have been recommended in the past on this board. Patrick Dunn's The Practical Art of Divine Magic, which I've been reading, also has some useful-looking exercises, although take his descriptions of gods and pantheons with a grain of salt, as that doesn't appear to be where his best research went.

Quote
I'm also looking for some good mythology and folkloric books or collections. I'm specifically looking at Greek and Roman mythology at this moment, but I'd like to build up some more. European options probably apply to my practice more but I'd like to have a bit of a background on anywhere. Building up basics, eg the Iliad and Odyssey, is something I need to do, but collections and so on are also good.

I found Barry B. Powell's Classical Myth to be a good start on Greco-Roman mythology. From there, I'd advise looking into research on the specific deities that most appeal to you. For another perspective, the Orphic Hymns are a good read--I prefer the translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis for research purposes, because he aims for accuracy over lyricism and includes notes.

Quote
Any of these options would be preferred/given bonus points if it's queer (or an edition that at least acknowledges queer themes/identities).

You may want to check out Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries, an anthology edited by Lee Harrington and Tai Fenix Kulystin.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Scales

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: BC
  • Posts: 370
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 03:19:23 am »
On magic specifically, Jason Miller's books have been recommended in the past on this board. Patrick Dunn's The Practical Art of Divine Magic, which I've been reading, also has some useful-looking exercises, although take his descriptions of gods and pantheons with a grain of salt, as that doesn't appear to be where his best research went.

I found Barry B. Powell's Classical Myth to be a good start on Greco-Roman mythology. From there, I'd advise looking into research on the specific deities that most appeal to you. For another perspective, the Orphic Hymns are a good read--I prefer the translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis for research purposes, because he aims for accuracy over lyricism and includes notes.

You may want to check out Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries, an anthology edited by Lee Harrington and Tai Fenix Kulystin.

Thank you, very thorough :)

If you (or someone else) can recommend, in the Greek mythos I'm especially looking at Dionysus (and possibly Bacchus, if there are any myths that aren't just Roman translations of Dionysus'), but also Hades and Orpheus.

I'll try to buy or at least borrow something by Jason Miller to see if he's my speed, and I'll definitely check out the Patrick Dunn one (besides, unless I'm looking at a text specifically for gods research, I generally don't expect magic books to have the best details on them; even when they're correct they're generally very cursory glances). I also immediately put Queer Magic on my list.

Eastling

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • Posts: 460
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 278
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Mystermercury
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2019, 04:06:10 am »
If you (or someone else) can recommend, in the Greek mythos I'm especially looking at Dionysus (and possibly Bacchus, if there are any myths that aren't just Roman translations of Dionysus'), but also Hades and Orpheus.

Dionysos is a tricky one to research; on the one hand he is probably the most-studied Classical god in modern times, but his scholarship is kind of bogged down with outdated ideas. I have found Carl Kerenyi's perspective (found in Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life) to be the most useful one overall, despite the slightly dated nature of his writing. He traces elements of the Dionysian cult to Minoan Crete in a way I find intuitive and sensible, attempts to shine more light on Ariadne than any other Dionysian scholar I've read, and generally has a good grasp on the liminal, life-and-death-spanning nature of the Dionysian mythos. That said, I'd follow up his book with the more recent Dionysos by Richard Seaford to get a twenty-first century view.

I unfortunately haven't found much material that goes deeply into the queer aspects of the mythos and cult of Dionysos, which is a shame.

Quote
I'll try to buy or at least borrow something by Jason Miller to see if he's my speed, and I'll definitely check out the Patrick Dunn one (besides, unless I'm looking at a text specifically for gods research, I generally don't expect magic books to have the best details on them; even when they're correct they're generally very cursory glances). I also immediately put Queer Magic on my list.

The Elements of Spellcrafting is a good place to start with Jason Miller, IMO--it breaks things down very nicely into useful exercises and is an engaging read.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Zlote Jablko

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2018
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 157
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 80
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Slavic/ PIE Recon
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 06:02:52 pm »
I need books. Money is no object a possible issue, but I'm looking secondhand and don't have to get everything at once... (redacted)

I don't know what to ask for re Occult books, I really need to build a foundation. I would like the Lesser Key of Solomon and the Goetia, but having not read them yet, I can't use them to point myself further. Anything demons or devils is something I'd at least read, classical fiction (eg Faust) included.

And some good reference books for plants/herbs, crystals, etc, would be good. I really like Beyerl's Master Book of Herbalism, so if anyone's read his A Compendium of Herbal Magick, The Symbols and Magick of Tarot, or Gem and Mineral Lore I'd like to know if they're worth a look. And is Encyclopedia of Spirits the Judika Illes non-spellbook that people like, or am I thinking of something else?

It’s a bit culturally specific, but you might appreciate “Polish Herbs, Flowers, and Folk Medicine” by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab. The author was born in a displaced person’s camp shortly after WW2, and she writes about a lot of traditions that just didn’t survive into the post-war period.

If it’s something you’re interested in, I would also recommend my current book, “The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy.” By Stoyanov. It’s really a broad topic, but it will give you some great insight into western occultism, Christianity, Gnosticism, and even the Orphic variant of the Dionysian mysteries.

SunflowerP

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Posts: 8003
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 196
  • Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
    • View Profile
    • If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough
  • Religion: Eclectic religious Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: sie/hir/hirs/hirself
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 10:19:46 pm »
I'm also looking for some good mythology and folkloric books or collections. I'm specifically looking at Greek and Roman mythology at this moment, but I'd like to build up some more. European options probably apply to my practice more but I'd like to have a bit of a background on anywhere. Building up basics, eg the Iliad and Odyssey, is something I need to do, but collections and so on are also good.

I'd recommend The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology/and since you're a fellow Canuck, on Amazon.ca (also available in hardcover as Crowell's Handbook of Classical Mythology, and in the UK as Collins Dictionary of Classical Mythology - the varying names are a matter of publisher/imprint, but it's the same book) by Edward Tripp.

It's in encyclopedic format, which makes it easy to use as a reference to look up specific myth-figures, but otherwise is straight retelling, including the variations found in most major primary sources (with which bit comes from what source clearly noted), with no outdated and/or agenda-driven interpretations. Tripp is not himself an academic, but rather an editor of academic books and a lifelong lover of classical mythology, so his 'agenda' was simply to act in an editorial role and curate the myths, in as complete a form as possible in a single volume, to help others cultivate that appreciation. The only thing I know of which does this better is the highly-regarded Theoi.com website, which is more exhaustive in drawing from all possible primary sources), but which has much less of a 'story' presentation.

Practicing Hellenic polytheists, especially reconstructionists, would likely prefer a library of books that addresses each primary source more deeply - but for those of us who are not specifically Hellenic, and not prepared to invest in many academic books on a single religioculture, it's ideal.

As you can see, it's pretty pricey to buy new (it's out-of-print, I'd imagine) - but it's readily available used at quite inexpensive prices; you should have little difficulty finding one in satisfactory condition for just a few dollars.

Quote
I don't know what to ask for re Occult books, I really need to build a foundation. I would like the Lesser Key of Solomon and the Goetia, but having not read them yet, I can't use them to point myself further. Anything demons or devils is something I'd at least read, classical fiction (eg Faust) included.

Well, that's going to depend a lot on just what you mean by 'occult'. (I'm old, and remember when that was the name of the section bookstores put the witchy books in; I was, and am, really not a fan of the section's name-change to 'New Age', because that's not any more accurate.) Since 'occult' really just means 'hidden' (roughly synonymous with 'esoteric' and 'arcane'), it doesn't inherently provide much context.

It sounds like part of the problem here is that you don't know enough to know just what you mean by it. I'd guess that the Lesser Key and the Goetia won't be all that useful to you as start points, though. Randall's fave rec is Paul Huson's Mastering Witchcraft (the blurb begins, 'An enduring classic since its publication in 1970, Mastering Witchcraft is one of the best how-to manuals for those wishing to practice traditional European Witchcraft as a craft rather than a New Age religion,' and from what I've heard that's fairly accurate; I gather it also includes a fair bit derived from ceremonial magic).

I'll try to buy or at least borrow something by Jason Miller to see if he's my speed....

Checking out his blog might also work for that!

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

Nothingness

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: In the Cold Lands of Canada
  • Posts: 36
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
  • Religion: Celtic Shamanic Wicca, currently studing Druidry and I'm in OBOD.
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 01:20:38 am »
So, I'm looking for some workbooks, if anyone knows of any. I have and am enjoying Crafting Magick With Pen and Ink by Susan Pesznecker, but I'd like more like it. Preferably not based in any one religion, but more about witchcraft, thinking exercises, practicing skills, etc. I would also just take another writing based one, even with only a tenuous connection to the subject. Wiccish is acceptable if it's all I can get.

Christopher Penczak has good books on that.  His four books/workbooks The Temple of Witchcraft, perfect for beginners, each representing an element, The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development, The Outer Temple of Witchcraft: Circles, Spells and Rituals, The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah, The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft: Shadows, Spirits and the Healing Journey.  There are two more books/workbooks in the serie, one on the Goddess, the other on the God.  Each of these books also have a CD that you can buy, but the CDs don't come with the books, you have to buy them separately.

TheGreenWizard

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Posts: 218
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 72
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2019, 10:25:26 am »
Thank you, very thorough :)

If you (or someone else) can recommend, in the Greek mythos I'm especially looking at Dionysus (and possibly Bacchus, if there are any myths that aren't just Roman translations of Dionysus'), but also Hades and Orpheus.

I'll try to buy or at least borrow something by Jason Miller to see if he's my speed, and I'll definitely check out the Patrick Dunn one (besides, unless I'm looking at a text specifically for gods research, I generally don't expect magic books to have the best details on them; even when they're correct they're generally very cursory glances). I also immediately put Queer Magic on my list.
Regarding Dionysos, I've found Vikki Bradshaw's book - Dionysos: Exciter to Frenzy - was a good introduction to understanding the different aspects of Dionysos. She includes end notes along the way for her sources. You could also look into LABRYS book: Hellenic Polytheism : Household Worship. It goes in-depth into the daily practices of Hellenic Reconstructionists, detailing what to do for your household shrine, miasma (pollution of the body/soul), and devotions. Lastly, I'd also recommend Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored by Sarah Kate Istra Winter. Again, goes into detail about practicing the Hellenismos religion, but more for modern practices.

And going back to Hades - there really aren't that many sources for Him because he was more feared than worshipped. The LABRYS book I mentioned before does discuss what to do for libations and prayers for the Cthonic Powers versus the Olympic ones. I'd suggest what @SunflowerP said: go to the Theoi website for more information since it's such a rich resource.

There's other resources as well - but, as @Eastling said, there are some problems with how the research was written out. For example, Dionysus: Myth and Cult by Walter F. Otto was written in 1933 (translated by Robert Palmer) has a long intro on worship (cultus) and myth and how the two interact, and then there's the research presented by Otto. However, I found that some of this writing to be quite boring and really dated that I actually skipped ahead to the actual research part of the book. There, Otto unravels a lot of sholarly thought about Dionysos ... but it was for that time period. I'd assume there's more research since the 1930s that have also contributed to the study of Dionysos and possibly corrected for prior misgivings.

EDIT: added in breaks to make less of a wall of text XD
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

TheGreenWizard

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Posts: 218
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 72
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2019, 10:36:48 am »
(also taking fiction suggestions if you have them)
I forgot to mention Classical art museums as a resource. Definitely, if you have the resources, go to your local art museum and see what they have in terms of art from different periods. For me, going to The Met here in NYC was groundbreaking for me, namely due to my bias against the Arts and associated institutions (I'm a Science person and really don't do well with creativity and appreciating it ... until recently). I detailed it to a degree here.


“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

Scales

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: BC
  • Posts: 370
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: need recs - workbooks, mythology, occult, witchcraft, reference
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 12:50:46 am »
Have had a busy week, so I'm just getting back to this thread now-

Thanks again, I noted these additions but haven't seen them yet.

I also added yours to my list, but didn't get a chance to thank you before now.

Thanks for the mythology recc, I'll look into it. Re: occult, I think, despite never having been in a churchy family, I mean this somewhat from a christian perspective, eg demons and devils, theistic satanism, etc. ALso, thanks especially for the blog link, I haven't gotten to it yet but having a free starting point is good.

Christopher Penczak has good books on that.  His four books/workbooks The Temple of Witchcraft, perfect for beginners, each representing an element, The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development, The Outer Temple of Witchcraft: Circles, Spells and Rituals, The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah, The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft: Shadows, Spirits and the Healing Journey.  There are two more books/workbooks in the serie, one on the Goddess, the other on the God.  Each of these books also have a CD that you can buy, but the CDs don't come with the books, you have to buy them separately.
I think these might lean a little too Wiccan for me, but that said I haven't thoroughly checked them out, and have been meaning to check Penczak since he meets my queer preference.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'm running out of wordings for this. I don't think we have a classic art museum here (though that doesn't mean we don't), but I'll look, and I'll also check out what temporary exhibits are around this year.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
2361 Views
Last post December 06, 2011, 02:06:26 pm
by Chakabe
5 Replies
872 Views
Last post February 28, 2012, 12:31:40 am
by herkles
3 Replies
1454 Views
Last post May 01, 2013, 08:38:54 am
by Humphrey
3 Replies
1244 Views
Last post February 02, 2017, 01:04:17 pm
by PerditaPickle
3 Replies
318 Views
Last post March 17, 2019, 04:39:45 pm
by SunflowerP

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 30
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 2
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall