Sunday, March 15, 2009

Next Steps on the Hermetic Path

So you've read a couple of books and want to know what to do next. The next thing is detailed study of the four major fields of hermetism: qabalah, astrology, tarot and alchemy. Studying these four fields together will help your progress as the four are interdependent. You'll see that for yourself as you progress. Ritual magic is optional at this stage, and ceremonial magic is right out.

If you're reading Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self Transformation: A Complete Course and like the program given, you should follow it, at least for now. The important thing is to not hurry; there's a lot of information, and it takes time for it to sink in.

For the rest of you, the first book I recommend you read at this point is Kabbalistic Handbook for the Practicing Magician. The book gives very good basic information about Qabalah, but more importantly, it will give you an effective study method. And study you will, if you choose this path. This book recommends studying A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life and The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism as qabalah books to read first, and I agree with this recommendation.

A good place to start with tarot is Tarot Awareness -- Exploring the Spiritual Path, or Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners if you can't get a copy of Tarot Awareness. For astrology, start with Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand And Interpret Your Own Birth Chart or Astrology for the Light Side of the Brain. Finally, for alchemy, start with The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy.

At this point you may also want to consider group work. There are many choices here, but I recommend B.O.T.A.

Just so you know what you've gotten yourself into, I was looking at a tarot book (I forget which one) and saw a statement comparing learning tarot to learning chess. There's only a few basic concepts, but years are needed for mastery. The other fields of hermetism have the same characteristic. But at least you'll have something to do for a while.

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