This list is making the rounds on Facebook this week. It began last year as a top 100 literature list, then was edited down to top 25 books from your childhood. Now, in true sound bite form, it's 10 most influential books. Are we dumbing down or just getting forgetful?
Anyway, I thought I'd add mine to the mix -- my students are always asking about me for book titles, so these are the ones I find myself turning back to over and over again.
1.) The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. I am old enough and blessed enough to have met the man in 1968. He totally changed my life around with his talk about the Inner God and the path of the Hero. Joe is my hero and I give thanks every day for his continuing guidance via any of his books.
2.) Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson. Still the ideal for me of what a
witch is supposed to be. Huson's idea of witchcraft doesn't sit well
with the current crop of Wiccans. So be it - it matches the style I was
initiated into ages ago by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.
3.) Mastering Herbalism by Paul Huson - a compendium of recipes, gardening and of course, witchcraft. It also helps that Paul was part of the Society of Inner Light, the group that gave birth to Servants of the Light. Kinda all flows together.
4.) Ritual Magic Workbook by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. I met 'Lores in early '91 and sat her knee listening and absorbing for 15 years. Someone told me she'd change my life and she most certainly did. 'Lores gave me my Gardnerian Third, my Ceremonial 1, 2 and 3 as well as a world of private teaching never published. I will say this - if you find a real teacher, you won't ever need to go looking for anyone or anything else.
5.) The Shining Paths by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. The Kabala in an understandable and accessible mode. Dolores wrote the book on pathworking, and she never looked better than she does here with her dramatic style and evocative voice. Again, a bible for those of us in the Servants of the Light
6.) Initiates Book of Pathworkings by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. See 4 and 5 above.
7.) Divine Horsemen by Maya Deren. As fresh today as when it was written. The definitive book for any aspiring Vodouisant.
8.) Sacred Arts of Haiti by Donald Constentino. The bible of Vodou for many of us.
9.) Vodou Visions by Sallie Ann Glassman. This was the first book I had that gave me meat instead of broth in Vodou. I give thanks to Mambo Sallie for writing it.
10.) The New Orleans Tarot by Louis Martinie and Sallie Ann Glassman. Sallie did the artwork, and Louis wrote the book. It was the guiding light in 1995 that I need. I used it as a guide book to Nola, calling everyone in the bibliography. They were kind enough to open doors and answer questions. I still use it to this day and its my deck of choice for readings.
As I write this, I can see the patterns of study and association emerge. These books lent me information to keep myself emerged in the Great Work, at a time before the Internet and the ease of obtaining books was taken for granted. To find a great book took time, effort and a little bit of luck. What books influenced you in the occult world?