The following represent a selection of esoteric and occult studies that exist on the fringes of contemporary Freemasonry. While many of the works seem to originate in groups outside the craft, most of these groups have roots in the Masonic tradition. Understanding how and why these offshoot groups exist is important in understanding the true history of the craft lodge.
J. E. Cirlot
*Editors Note – We highly recommend this work as a foundation to symbolism and esoteric study
Humans, it’s said, are symbolizing animals. At every stage of civilization, people have relied on symbolic expression, and advances in science and technology have only increased our dependence on symbols. The language of symbols is considered a science, and this informative volume offers an indispensable tool in the study of symbology. It can be used as a reference or simply browsed for pleasure. Many of its entries — those on architecture, mandala, numbers, serpent, water, and zodiac, for example — can be read as independent essays. The vitality of symbology has never been greater: An essential part of the ancient arts of the Orient and of the Western medieval traditions, symbolism underwent a 20th-century revival with the study of the unconscious, both directly in the field of dreams, visions, and psychoanalysis, and indirectly in art and poetry. A wide audience awaits the assistance of this dictionary in elucidating the symbolic worlds encountered in both the arts and the history of ideas.”
William Walker Atkinson (Author), Three Initiates (Author), Philip Deslippe (Author)
The Kybalion is one of the most mysterious and hotly debated occult works ever written-and without question the most popular and widely influential book of arcane philosophy of the twentieth century: The Kybalion has been credited only to the cryptic “Three Initiates” since its first appearance in 1908. Debate rages over the identity of the Three Initiates, the origin of the book’s mysterious title and insights, and the nature of the Hermetic teachings on which it is thought to be based.
Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney
Contemporary seekers on the hunt for an overview of the Western mystery traditions often face a small selection of dense, out-of-date tomes. Alternatively, Hidden Wisdom is a fresh, coherent, and accessible work that expounds many of the teachings of Western esotericism, examining its key figures and movements.
The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy
Manly P. Hall
A dense encyclopedia and a solid starting point from which to dive into subjects such as the Qabbala, Alchemy, Tarot, Ceremonial Magic, Neo-Platonic Philosophy, Mystery Religions, and the theory of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.
Henry Cornelius Agrippa, James Freake, Donald Tyson
This massive volume was originally published in 1531, and occultists have been drawing on it ever since. Now, Llewellyn is proud to produce the first complete reprint of the original English translation in the last 500 years. Donald Tyson edited this work and removed the hundreds of errors that appeared in the original translation. He also fully annotated the work, to make it understandable―and usable―by people today.
The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa and unnamed others, is considered one of the cornerstones of Western magic, and the grimoires it contains are among the most important that exist in the Western tradition. For more than three hundred years, this mysterious tome has been regarded as difficult or even impossible to understand―until now.
Three Books of Occult Philosophy (Natural Magic, Celestial Magic, and Ceremonial Magic). Until recently these three volumes were hard to find in English, although they had been translated in the 17th century and published in England. Willy Schrodter saw the value in these texts from a contemporary point of view, and compiled copious notes and commentary on many of the subjects mentioned in Agrippa’s opus. His research makes Agrippa understandable, providing scientific confirmation for Agrippa’s seemingly outlandish claims with carefully documented parallel cases. It is Schrodter’s illuminating examples, taken from the most varied fields of research, that constitute the real and lasting value of this compilation.
For nearly 400 years, incredible myths and stories have been woven around the “invisible” Brothers of the Rose Cross, the Rosicrucians. It is said that they possessed the secret of man and God, that they could turn lead into gold, that they governed Europe in secret, that theirs was the true philosophy of Freemasonry, and that they could save–or destroy–the world. In The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians, Tobias Churton, a “perfected” Knight of the Rose Croix and the Pelican (18th degree, Ancient and Accepted Rite), presents the first definitive historical and philosophical view of this mysterious brotherhood.
Paul Foster Case
The “Original Edition” of The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order was first published in 1927 with a limited print run of 64 copies. It was followed almost immediately by a second edition in 1928. The second edition was only a moderate revision but Paul Foster Case removed much of the sound and color practices that were presented in the original edition. These practices can now be found in slightly altered form relatively far along in the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.) curriculum (approximately during the fourteenth and fifteenth years of the coursework). The fourth edition which is the most expanded edition represents Paul Foster Case’s most complete thought on this subject is still in print currently published by Weiser and is highly recommended to the readers of this edition on its own merits.
Benedict J. Williamson (editor)
This edition includes introductions to every Rosiucrucian work, useful footnotes, historical information, and latin, german and greek translations from noted Rosicrucian scholar Benedict J. Williamson. Williamson has compared numerous translations of the various works to produce the most authoritative and accurate version to date of these forgotten historical treasures.
First-ever personal account of the secret sciences of the Rosicrncians, translated into English. Schrodter researched information on such topics as blood telegraphy, ever-burning lamps, optics, spiritual skills in healing, transplantation, isopathy, and magnetism.
William Walker Atkinson (Author), Clint Marsh (Editor)
“The Rosicrucians are a truly “”secret society”” whose philosophy has come to light at different points in history. In the 1600s they issued a set of manifestos calling for an enlightened revolution that would reshape society into a more democratic ideal. Even the American Founding Fathers were influenced by these manifestos. Writing as Magus Incognito, William Walker Atkinson reintroduces a new generation of readers to the Rosicrucian ideals, as well as to a myriad of connections between occult concepts as varied as alchemy, reincarnation, the astral plane, auras, Eastern and Western mysticism, and the “”evolution of mankind”” among seven esoteric versions of planets in our solar system.”
The work of Rudolf Steiner is unique in the way it combines esoteric teaching with practical suggestions for the development of social life. Indeed, we know Steiner today mostly because of the various applications of his ideas in such areas as education, medicine, and agriculture. However, society could not have developed any of these without the coherent and profound body of spiritual knowledge at the core of Steiner’s work.
The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali is a major work on the practice of yoga and meditation. Through these ancient aphorisms you will learn how to control your mind and achieve inner peace and freedom. Although these methods were taught over 2,000 years ago, they are as alive and effective today as they have ever been. The 2008 edition has been reset and now has an extensive index for reference.
Aleister Crowley (Author), Mary Desti (Author), Leila Waddell (Author), Hymenaeus Beta (Editor)
This second-revised edition of Crowley’s magnum opus features new, more legible typesetting, text corrections based on a previously unseen corrected proof, and the previously unpublished Liber Testis Testitudinis.The original Book of the Law was re-scanned for this edition, using the latest technology, for the clearest facsimile possible. Edited, annotated, and introduced by Frater Hymenaeus Beta, XI.
Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero
The Essential Golden Dawn is for those who simply want to find out what the Golden Dawn is and what it has to offer. Written by recognized experts on the topic, this introduction to High Magic is both straightforward and succinct. It explores the origins of Hermeticism and the Western Esoteric Tradition, as well as the rich history of the Golden Dawn and its founders. This guide explains the “laws” of magic and magical philosophy, describes different areas of magical knowledge that a Golden Dawn magician can expect to learn, and presents basic rituals for the novice.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was founded in the late 1887. Its system founded upon variously obscured sources to include Karr, Sibley, and Hockley. While the system was very diverse in its sources of information and incorporation, a main focused in sewed. Upon the division of the order through strife and content, the Hermetic Order of Alpha et Omega was born. The division was clear and the future of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was divided. With a new focus in place, Macgregor Mathers continued his movement toward an obedient and well-focused fusion of Adepti.
From Mathers, S. L. MacGregor/ King, Francis
The present-day revival of the practice of magic owes much to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the fin de siecle secret society that rediscovered many occult traditions dating back to antiquity. Prominent adepts of the Golden Dawn, whose members included W. B. Yeats and Aleister Crowley, preserved these traditions in manuscripts to be circulated among initiates of the Order. These documents, known as the Flying Rolls, reveal secrets of astral projection, clairvoyance, exorcism, alchemy, and other magical practices and occult philosophy. Many of the Flying Rolls escaped print and remained secret for some time, only slowly being tracked down over the years. Here, Francis King presents all the previously unpublished Flying Rolls.
In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as importantly, what magic is not. He explains that it is a spiritual study and practice which, along with forms of yoga, forms the two branches of the tree that is mysticism. Magic is not being a medium or a psychic. Then he explains the tools of the magician, what they mean, and how to use them. He explains the techniques of evocation and invocation, skrying, and astral travel. He shows how the Qabalah unites everything. He even gives a description of the secrets of sexual magick. All of this is in a clear, lucid writing style. This book is simply a must for anyone who is, or aspires to be, a real magician.
The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie is considered by many to be the book that started the modern occult movement. The original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which started in the late 1800s, borrowed from a wide variety of occult traditions – Kabbalah, Tarot, Geomancy, Enochian Magic, Theosophy, Freemasonry, Paganism, Astrology, and many more – and created a unique and viable system of magic that is still being practiced today. Almost every contemporary occult writer and modern group has been influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Order or its members, making The Golden Dawn one of the most influential occult books of the past 100 years.
Dion Fortune’s classic, The Mystical Qabalah, explores all aspects of the Qabalah, including the esoteric sciences of astrology and tarot, which form the basis of the Western Mystery Traditions. It provides a key to the practical working of this mystical system for both novice and initiate alike.
Gregory B. Stewart
More an explainer of the secrets, symbols and mythology of Freemasonry, The Apprentice – a Treatise on the First Degree of Freemasonry, is an introduction into the forgotten ideas behind the making of a mason. This work explores the symbolism of that ritual journey from the perspective of what it means to be initiated. In that telling it draws parallels with occult secrets of the tarot, traditions of the kabbalah and the esoteric connections it has with the Hermetic Tradition. The Apprentice is a book about the fundamentals of becoming a Freemason by illustrating and explaining the secrets behind its science and philosophy.
Gregory B. Stewart
Explored from the perspective of the little practiced Scottish Rite degrees, this work combines elaborate descriptions, interpretative exploration and links to parallel symbolic constructs to form an understanding of the meaning behind this second step of becoming a Freemason. Picking up from where its predecessor, the Apprentice, concluded the Fellow of the Craft takes the reader on a journey through the rich symbolism and allegory of what it means to become a Fellow.