Spiral Nature Poll for September 2018

We’re launching a new book club for Spiral Nature Premium Members, and I’m looking for our first pick. I was thinking a classic might be a nice place to start.

Which classic should be our first book club pick?

  • Initiation into Hermetics, by Franz Bardon (27%, 25 Votes)
  • The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk (26%, 24 Votes)
  • Psychic Self-Defence, by Dion Fortune (19%, 18 Votes)
  • Book 4, by Aleister Crowley (14%, 13 Votes)
  • The Book of Pleasure, by Austin Osman Spare (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (suggestion in comments) (4%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

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On Twitter, Ashley Natfule (@Emperor_norton) suggested Initiation into Hermetics, by Franz Bardon, and D.D. Syrdal (@DDSyrdal) recommended The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk. 

Both are excellent choices, and I’ve added a few more to round out the list.

You can vote for one or more of these options, or suggest your own pick in the comments below.

Deep read

Some people think they’re “beyond books,” but I think we can always learn something new when we read — even if it’s how not to do something. I wrote a brief article about this a few years ago, “Beyond the books,” and it’s in the spirit of that piece that I want us to read this book club pick. 

I want us to read closely. Read critically. And with a sense of history.

Whichever book we select, I want us to know who the author is, the publisher, the circumstances under which it was written, as well as the content of the book itself.

How does it reflect the author’s views? How does it stand up today? What do we get from it, as individuals and when reading together? What insights can we share?

These are the questions we’ll be asking of the book and of ourselves. 

Read more

As you know, we review a lot of books, and we also have round ups of the best books in various categories that we think you’ll be interested in.

Our annual lists of popular books for the year are also a great place to find guidance for what to read next:

What’s coming

Future months will have other themes, and I’ll add polls for members to select the next pick partway through the month, though if you want to suggest something now either for this pick, or October’s, please let me know which books you’d like us to dive deep into.

Image credit: Mark Colliton with work from Psyche

4 COMMENTS

  1. I will admit bias in my vote for Book 4 by Aleister Crowley. As a self-initiated Thelemite, I have a fairly complete Crowley library, but Book 4 is the one most often in hand. However, depending on which edition of this volume you select, the work contains material that has had a profound effect on occult writers since the publication of Book 4 Part I in 1912. That Crowley involved A∴A∴ students of the time in the documenting of this great work, reportedly an interactive exercise, is also important as the work did not emerge from a vacuum, unless you consider the A∴A∴ itself one. While the other books in this list are all fine tomes, I believe to properly place the magick of all these volumes in their time, one must understand first Book 4.

    • Yeah, I agree. It’s become pretty essential reading for ceremonial and practical magick in a lot of systems. However, they each have their value. We’ll see what the outcome looks like tomorrow!

    • Thanks for your comment, Jason! Right now it looks like Initiation into Hermetics is tied with The Spiral Dance, so it could be a tie whereby I have to decide the winner.

      Why Initiation over Starhawk’s book? Thoughts?

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