Help I Want to Learn Magic and Know NOTHING!
Almost all magical systems owe the vast majority of their structure and work to the Golden Dawn. The “Brass Tacks” books are:
By Names and Images
This is my personal favorite book. It outlines the rituals and what you’re supposed to feel doing the rituals. The internal states are conspiciously missing from most other books. Wildoak works with the Enochian system.
This is my second favorite book on learning magic. It tones down the Christian imagery and still takes you through the Golden Dawn cirriculem in abbreviated fashion. The last few chapters fall flat. Kraig works with the Goetia.
The Golden Dawn
The is the book to have if you want to get ideas about rituals and forms. It is lacking in a few places – Regardi was a journalist first and a magician second – but otherwise this holds all the complete Golden Dawn rituals. Cicero’s Essential Golden Dawn is a close second, but I prefer the Regardi book for being complete and having nicer drawings.
A True and Faithful Revelation from Casaubon:
David Jones on Enochian:
Lon Milo DuQuette’s “Enochian Vision Magick”
DuQuette doesn’t practice traditional Dee Enochian, but makes a good attempt to present his own material. His book also serves as a reference point for people looking to enter the system. His system incorporates some shamanic and Golden Dawn elements.
Donald Tysons “Enochian Magic for Beginners”
Tyson’s book is also a decent manual for beginners and clearly delineates what is his own speculation and what is presented in the materials. It also outlines his own reasoning for making the speculations that he does. Unlike his second book – The Power of the Word – this book keeps most of the apocalypse out of it’s chapters.
Dean Wilsons “Enochian Magic in Theory”
Another fresh and well reasoned take on the original source material. Unfortunately this is written as half a book, and includes references to Enochian Magic in Practice, which hasn’t been published. Oftentimes the chapters discuss material in the original Dee work, then abruptly end a topic with “this will be discussed further in my forthcoming book…”. While the author here presents new spins on old material, the book really feels like only half a book.
Scott Stenwick’s “Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy”
Stenwick’s book is dedicated to working with the angels of the Heptarchia Mystica. The book is constructed around a ritual template that outlines the procedures for conjuring the Kings and Princes from a Dee Enochian grimoire-based perspective. There’s a neat take on the LRP/LRH. I think this is actually the only book on this particular topic.
Aaron Leitch’s “The Essential Enochian Grimoire“
While it suffers from a little bit of “In my next book” syndrome, the attention to detail here is fantastic and the endnotes are extremely valuable. Also all the illustrations are re-done in clean, clear lines. The differences between tools and the reasons why using one version of the tool or another are clearly laid out and it covers the barely mentioned stuff like the back of the Angelic lamen. If you’re a big fan of Hyatt’s tables, this is the book for you.
Denning & Phillips “Planetary Magick”
This is a fantastic sourcebook for Planetary Magick work and it is my goto book for this sort of work. It is not a howto book, but rather three sections where correspondences are outlined, the second section is rites of contact, approach, and invocation, and the third section is working with the godforms of the planet. The book gives you more than enough to get started, but not so much that the visions are handed to you. Similar to By Names and Images, the book has visualizations and feelings outlined in each step of the ritual so you can checkpoint your own progress.
Websites and Online Collections
Forgotten Books – The best organized and legal version of the classics. It is not comprehensive, but what material it does have tends to be high quality. While it doesn’t have a decent copy of TFR, it has piles and piles of periphery material.
The Magickal Review – This site does have a copy of TFR, and a small collection of related and similar materials for Enochian studies, Crowley, and similar. Again, links are high quality and well organized. Now replaced by my own John Dee Archive.
Sacred Texts – Sometimes free and sometimes non-free materials. What you find here tends to turn up on google for free. All public domain materials.
Hermetic.com – Huge collection from the Hermetic mystery schools. Golden Dawn material can be found here, along with OTO and related lodge material. Unfortunately the site is a grab-bag of what someone felt was important. Organization is lacking and it’s hard to find material based on topic or keyword. The material it does have is complete, such as their copy of Liber Al having the old and new intros. Also consider…
Twilit Grotto – Looking for classical literature written by the original authors and scans of their own manuscripts? This is the place to go. Piles of great stuff on Renaissance Magic. Hope you can read latin and greek because I sure can’t!
Dark Books – Dark Books only gets a hattip because they’re willing to host books which aren’t out of copyright, but are out of print so are otherwise unavailable. At one point I mirrored the site and found 60% of the links, if not more, were dead. It’s a graveyard, but it’s still worth browsing the bones.
Project Gutenberg – If you found a book on one of the other websites, you can usually find a different although not better print of it here. Again, sort of a grab-bag of out of copyright stuff, and there’s been efforts to categorize it but not always successfully executed.
Grimoar.cz – Does not give a crap about copyright at all. Most of the pages lapse into Polish(?) when you dig in far enough. Weirdly enough has a good Enochian section, and isn’t afraid to publish works which are misattributed or otherwise forgeries.
Preterhuman.net – Good collection of Occult work, also some nice gems from the Hermetic Library reworked into better formats such as MP3.
e-rara – Unfortunately named, but this collection has scanned manuscripts from the libraries in Europe. Most works are in Latin, but some are presented in English. All work is public domain.
Giant Book Archive – not in the US, has some obscure stuff.
Astrum Obscurum – No idea who runs it, not going to complain since it’s nicely organized.