So You Want To Be A Wizard....
A listener had once expressed to me their aggravation at not knowing exactly how to get started with this business of magic. A clue is this - they are all liars.
Teachers and books are to learn from, and then to be discarded.
Seneca the Younger wrote to Lucilius, "Homines dum docent discunt" (Men learn while they teach). Teachers are worshiped as those who may not be questioned nor transcended. The student is as much the teacher as the teacher is the student. I have never had a teacher that I cannot now look back on with disdain at their tremendous ignorance, as well as some appreciation. I have an insatiable hunger for knowledge. I crave it. I take it from where I may, and throw away the husks. I could not imagine reading a book twice. You only have enough time on Earth to read but the most infinitesimal fraction of the world's library. Fuck these people who want eternal allegiance to a priest, to a little god they worship. Gurus and occult experts are a dime a dozen, offering all manner of premium priced products to fools. You don't need that. You need perspective. Thomas Aquinas proclaimed, "Hominem unius libri timeo!" (I fear the man of a single book!).
In the A∴A∴ (which costs nothing to be a student of) before admission as Probationer there is an assigned 3-month period of reading.
Tolle, lege; Tolle, lege! Take and read! Take and read! These were the words that came at such a moment in time to Augustine that he took them as a divine sign, a call to action, and his life was changed. He would thereafter be known to history as Saint Augustine of Hippo. There would be no Luther, no Calvin, without an Augustine. It started with putting drunken orgies aside and picking up a book at a little (unseen) kid's behest.
If you want to be an adept, if you want to be known to have wisdom and knowledge, you better get use to reading. In of itself reading is a most potent magical act, broadening perceptions through time and place. You must first get out of this time and place to recognize the absurdity of it. You must not think that because a book or author is old, antiquarian, it is thus anachronous. You must read from many times and many places, to draw from many minds. If you want power, this is your path to it.
Charm the Water Reading Syllabus
For the Beginning Student of the Mysteries
My goal here is to not overburden the student, but give a sweeping modern introduction to differing areas of thought, some of which will certainly be perceived as being in opposition to the student's own reality tunnel, to use a RAWism (Robert Anton Wilson). Dissolving that reality tunnel is the first step of magic, called by the alchemists Nigredo, the symbol of which is sometimes decapitation. This is to show the student by degree, there is no truth within them (the ego, the "I", Ayin). It is within this process that the Jungian Shadow emerges, or the Black Dragon of alchemy. More on that at some other time - you'll face him soon enough on your quest. He is the first you must face, as there can be no progress without first his appearance.
Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός ἐὰν οὖν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ, ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ, ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστὶν, τὸ σκότος πόσον
Dreams 1-2-3 by JM DeBord - This is an outstanding introduction to dream work. See JM, known as RadOwl, in action, over on Reddit.
Logic, Isaac Watts - Used as the textbook for nearly 200 years at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale. Too fucking bad they stopped using it.
Man and His Symbols, CG Jung - The book for the layperson that Jung did not want to write, but after a dream near the end of his life, he felt was to be one of his last endeavors - to introduce his ideas to the masses.
The Chicken Qabalah, Lon DuQuette - This is an exquisite introduction to qabalistic thought.
The Art and Practice of Geomancy, John Michael Greer - Few books on geomancy are enjoyable to read. This is the exception.
Principles of Practical Natal Astrology, Kevin B. Burk - ABC & 123 of astrology books. Modern, concise.
The Way of Zen, Alan Watts - This will help you to grasp what "They are all liars" truly means.
A Simple Way to Pray, Martin Luther - Crowley counted Luther in among the Masters. This small book on prayer is a window into the lucidity of Luther.
The Black Folder, Cat Yronwode - An introduction to practical Hoodoo. Something to actually get your hands dirty with.
The Student of the Mysteries should have no problem finishing these up in 4.5 months. That allows two weeks per book. Again this is not meant to be a concise list of the most esoteric of titles. These are for the most part modern and should be not only informative but enjoyable to read. This is meant to enable your first step forward onto the magical path. Stay tuned for Magic 201....