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Where to start???

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: nocTifer 
Subject: Re: Where to start???
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 06:57:39 GMT

50011128 VI! om

safe never succeeded; reliable never exceeded

"Müller" :
>I am a beginner looking for a safe and reliable way to start 
>learning about the occult and magick....

correspondence is an age-old method, whether snailmail or via internet
forums (typically focussed on the subject matter of your interest and
better suited for supplementary reference than main courses -- there
are exceptions, courses offered online, people willing to take on 
students, etc.). ask some questions in this usenet newsgroup, one can
self-start an educational atmosphere almost anywhere in the internet.

>It seem to me that astrology, kabbalah and tarot are the first
>stepping stones on most paths. The little I know seems to guide 
>me in the direction of a hermetic path and at this early stage 
>it seems like the one I prefer. 

astrology
I like Meier's "Humanistic Astrology" and enjoy texts on Chinese
astrology very much, so I have few recommendations for Hermetics.

given this, prerequisite are a basic understanding of astronomy
(rent the Cosmos series or something), a firm grasp of terra-centric 
temporal and celestial concepts inclusive of equinoctic precession, 
and a copy of Hamlet's Mill to start. the subject is far more
complex than initially imagined, because of the cultural biases
as compared with natural configurations (constellation-sign shift;
a rectification of names is in order).

kabbalah
Halevi's not a bad author for intro material. Scholem has a couple
of basic introductions you can get at any large chain bookstore. 

tarot
consider Zalewski's "Golden Dawn Tarot", plus there's always Case's 
construct-a-tarot playkits. get yourself a Smith-Waite deck and 
Waite's book on the tarot. don't bother with much beyond this unless 
it really attracts you. let taste be your primary guide as you 
understand the basics of the Tarot Game. get a Harris-Thoth deck even
if you want to avoid Crowley. I think you'll find it worth your attention. 

>I have read about Agrippa and would like to read his Occult 
>Philosophies as a basic background book. This is the only
>book I know I want. 

you might want to get a copy of Barrett's "Magus" to compare with the
version of Agrippa you acquire. you may also wish to consider what is
called "The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy" by pseudo-Agrippa. it
is, like many famous grimoires, falsely attributed by Agrippa, but it
has great material in it and is famous for its associations. reprints
are easily acquired from Kessinger or some other reprint press.

>It seems to me that Kraig, Fortune, Bardon and Regardie
>are all possible authors I would need to consult. I already
>own a book on the Kabbalah by Ted Andrews but I am not sure if this is
>enough or sufficient. 

insufficient. Andrews has a decidedly skewed perspective on the 
kabbalah if I am not mistaken. then again it depends on what you 
want to *do* with the thing you will identify as kabbalah/qabalah. 
keep that in mind as you see and hear what people tell you a QBL is.

blessed beast!

nocTifer
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