Esotericism, with its enigmatic allure, has fascinated seekers of knowledge throughout the ages. So, books about esotericism have always been popular. Rooted in ancient wisdom and mystical practices, esoteric traditions delve into the realms beyond the ordinary, offering profound insights into the mysteries of existence. For those eager to explore the secrets of esotericism, here is a curated list of the ten books about esotericism that serve as guides to this fascinating world of hidden knowledge.
Books About Esotericism
The Secret Teachings of All Ages – Manly P. Hall
Like no other book of the twentieth century, Manly P. Hall’s legendary The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a codex to the ancient occult and esoteric traditions of the world. Students of hidden wisdom, ancient symbols, and arcane practices treasure Hall’s magnum opus above all other works among books about esotericism.
While many thousands of copies have sold since its initial publication in 1928, The Secret Teachings of All Ages has previously been available only in oversized, expensive editions. For the first time, Hall’s celebrated classic is now published in an affordable trade paperback volume. Literally hundreds of entries shine a rare light on some of the most fascinating and closely held aspects of myth, religion, and philosophy from throughout the centuries among books about esotericism.
The Kybalion – Three Initiates
For generations, readers have debated the origins and studied the knowledge of this mysterious exploration of Hermetic wisdom, attributed to “Three Initiates.”
Unveiling the principles of Hermetic philosophy, “The Kybalion” is a concise yet profound guide to understanding the fundamental laws governing the universe. This work is a must-read for those seeking clarity on the hermetic tradition among books about esotericism.
The new introduction by Richard Smoley, a celebrated scholar of mystical traditions, makes this a historical keepsake.
The Secret Doctrine – Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, a book originally published as two volumes in 1888, is Helena P. Blavatsky’s magnum opus. The first volume is named Cosmogenesis, the second Anthropogenesis. It was an influential example of the revival of interest in esoteric and occult ideas in the modern age, in particular because of its claim to reconcile ancient eastern wisdom with modern science among books about esotericism.
Blavatsky claimed that its contents had been revealed to her by ‘mahatmas’ who had retained knowledge of mankind’s spiritual history, knowledge that it was now possible, in part, to reveal.
The Mystical Qabalah – Dion Fortune
Fortune was one of the first to bring this “secret tradition” to a wider audience with her clear and comprehensive exploration of the Qabalah tradition among books about esotericism. The Mystical Qabalah remains a classic in its clarity, linking the broad elements of Jewish traditional thought–probably going back to the Babylonian captivity and beyond–with both Eastern and Western philosophy and later Christian insights.
The Qabalah could be described as a confidential Judaic explanation of the paradox of “the Many and the One”–the complexity and diversity within a monotheistic unity. Whereas the Old Testament outlines the social and psychological development of a tightly knit “chosen group” culture, the supplementary Qabalah provides a detailed plan of the infrastructure behind the creative evolutionary process among books about esotericism.
The Mystical Qabalah devotes a chapter to each of the ten schematic “God-names,” the qualities or Sephiroth which focus on the principal archetypes behind evolving human activity: the Spiritual Source; the principles of Force and Form; Love and Justice; the Integrative principle or the Christ Force; Aesthetics and Logic; the dynamics of the Psyche; and, finally, the Manifestation of life on Earth in a physical body.
The Gnostic Gospels – Elaine Pagels
In 1945 fifty-two papyrus texts, including gospels and other secret documents, were found concealed in an earthenware jar buried in the Egyptian desert. These so-called Gnostic writings were Coptic translations from the original Greek dating from the time of the New Testament. The material they embodied – poems, quasi-philosophical descriptions of the origins of the universe, myths, magic and instructions for mystic practice – were later declared heretical, as they offered a powerful alternative to the Orthodox Christian tradition.
In a book that is as exciting as it is scholarly, Elaine Pagels examines these texts and the questions they pose and shows why Gnosticism was eventually stamped out by the increasingly organised and institutionalised Orthodox Church among books about esotericism.
The Book of Thoth – Aleister Crowley
Used for many years by students of the occult for study of the tarot and as a key to all Western mystery traditions, The Book of Thoth is on the short list of must-have textbooks for modern students of the tarot and esoteric studies among books about esotericism.
“The Tarot is a pictorial representation of the Forces of Nature as conceived by the Ancients according to a conventional symbolism. At first sight one would suppose this arrangement to be arbitrary, but it is not. It is necessitated by the structure of the universe, and in particular of the Solar System, as symbolized by the Holy Qabalah.”–Aleister Crowley
The Thoth Tarot Deck (or “Crowley Deck” as it is more widely known) is one of the most popular decks in current use. It is also one of the most original interpretations of the tarot, incorporating astrological, numerological, and Qabalistic symbolism. The Thoth Tarot codifies a wealth of wisdom and traditional lore in a suite of 78 miniature paintings of deceptive simplicity.
The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
The Celestine Prophecy contains secrets that are currently changing our world. Drawing on the ancient wisdom found in a Peruvian manuscript, it tells you how to make connections between the events happening in your own life right now…and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come among books about esotericism.
The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystalize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life…and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Padmasambhava
The first complete translation of a classic Buddhist text on the journey through living and dying among books about esotericism. Graced with opening words by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the Penguin Deluxe Edition of The Tibetan Book of the Dead is “immaculately rendered in an English both graceful and precise.”
Translated with the close support of leading contemporary masters and hailed as “a tremendous accomplishment,” this book faithfully presents the insights and intentions of the original work among books about esotericism. It includes one of the most detailed and compelling descriptions of the after-death state in world literature, practices that can transform our experience of daily life, guidance on helping those who are dying, and an inspirational perspective on coping with bereavement.
The Teachings of Don Juan – Carlos Castaneda
The Teachings of Don Juan is the story of Carlos Castaneda’s extraordinary experiences. An interesting one among books about esotericism.
In 1960 Carlos Castaneda was a graduate student when he met Don Juan, a Yaqui Indian feared and shunned by the ordinary folk of the American Southwest because of his unnatural powers. During the next five years Don Juan’s arcana knowledge led Castaneda into a world of beauty and terror, ruled by concepts far beyond those of Western civilisation.
Using medicinal herbs Castaneda lived through encounters with disembodied spirits, shamans in the form of huge wolves, and death in the shape of silver crows. Finally, after a night of utter terror in which he knew that his life was threatened by forces which he still cannot fully explain, he gave up his struggle to become a ‘Man Of Knowledge’.
The Secret History of the World – Jonathan Black
Jonathan Black examines the end of the world and the coming of the Antichrist – or is he already here? How will he make himself known and what will become of the world when he does? – and the end of Time.
Having studied theology and learnt from initiates of all the great secret societies of the world, Jonathan Black has learned that it is possible to reach an altered state of consciousness in which we can see things about the way the world works that hidden from our everyday commonsensical consciousness. This history shows that by using secret techniques, people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and George Washington have worked themselves into this altered state – and been able to access supernatural levels of intelligence.
This book will leave you questioning every aspect of your life and spotting hidden messages in the very fabric of society and life itself among books about esotericism. It will open your mind to a new way of living and leave you questioning everything you have been taught – and everything you’ve taught your children. An interesting one among books about esotericism.
Embark on a transformative journey into the heart of esotericism with these books about esotericism. Each work on this list serves as a gateway to hidden knowledge, offering readers a profound understanding of ancient traditions, mystical practices, and the interconnected tapestry of the universe. Whether you are a seasoned seeker or a newcomer to the world of esotericism, these books about esotericism will inspire and illuminate your path to deeper wisdom.
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Are there any books about esotericism you’d like to add to this list? Would you please share in the comments section below?