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View Full Version : Is there a book which has spiritually influenced you?



PattiTheWicked
05-24-2005, 07:05 AM
OK, since we've had a complete lack of posting here lately, I thought I'd spark things up a bit. I've been cleaning out my bookshelf -- okay, not cleaning it, just reorganizing it a bit -- and it occured to me that some of the books on paganism, witchcraft and magick that I own are books that I read once or twice, gained a little knowledge from, and then lost interest in. On the other hand, there are some which really impacted me in a profound manner, and that are literally timeless classics to me, which I will read until the pages fall out.

My top three?

A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith
Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill
Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton

Which books --pagan or otherwise -- have influenced your spirituality the most?

Sarita
05-31-2005, 05:13 PM
Hi Patti! Sorry I'm a bad mod and never responded to this. But I have been thinking about it. So far I've only come up with :

The Alchemist by Paolo Cuehlo

Has anyone else read this book?

ymmatrysk
06-23-2005, 08:15 PM
I would have to say The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk is one of the most influential spiritual books I have ever read, and a book that helped me solidify (or, really even identify) some of what my 'truth' is. The way she seems to ask her characters to 'walk their talk', its inspirational to to me and my characters, for that matter.

Its non-fiction, but I also remember picking up a book called 'The Truth About Witchcraft Today', with a very pleasent looking business woman on the front, but I can't remember the author. That was the first book that introduced me to Wicca, and I remember reading it and going 'oh, so there's a name for all this stuff that just makes the most sense to me? Cool'.

It might sound a bit trite, but the Mists of Avalon was very influential too. I've always been a real Arthur geek and the retelling, with the strong, powerful spiritual women (and a much better Morgan le Fey, imho) let me look at female spiritualism differently than my Jewish upbringing.
Jen

Sarita
12-09-2007, 11:27 PM
I'm bumping this topic because I'm dying to know what the rest of you would say. I have a few books to add as well:

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Wicked, Gregory Maguire

Both of these really alter your perspective of good and bad, turning preconceived notions on their heads. I love that.

plaidearthworm
12-09-2007, 11:48 PM
I never could get into Starhawk, but I read and re-read Scott Cunningham's books. I've bought a lot of Wiccan and Pagan books since then, but I always go back to Scott when I have a dilemma or just want to get back into the groove, especially 'Earth Power.' I just bought a new copy to replace the old, falling-apart copy.

Carole
12-11-2007, 04:30 AM
There is one, and only one, book that I always recommend to everyone. It's such a non-partisan, so to speak, enlightening book. Mr. Vagabond and I have given our copy away more times than we can count and somehow we always end up with a new one. It just makes its way back to us every time. That's a sure sign to me that this book is more than worthy of mention.

Wisdom of the Mystic Masters by Joseph Weed

This book, written in the 1960s, still comes in the simple, pink paperback with no frills and zero fluff. It's available for about $10 if you are lucky enough to actually find it. I think you can still find it pretty easily on Amazon, but it's hard to find in stores. This is just about the most valuable book I have ever owned. It's worth so much more than the inexpensive cover price. Everyone I've ever given it to agrees. :)

The basic idea is Rosicrucian theory and (lots of) practice. This is, to me, the ultimate handbook for tapping into the power of your mind. You'll not find any nifty pictures, but you guys wouldn't want those anyway. Even my children both count this book as one of their must-haves.

Death Wizard
12-11-2007, 04:51 AM
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is a mind-blower, yet very accessible.

PattiTheWicked
12-11-2007, 08:46 AM
My current Gotta Have It book is the 48 Laws of Power. It's quite Machiavellian, and I'm certain we'd all be a lot happier if we followed at least a few of those guidelines.

Alvah
12-11-2007, 05:43 PM
The Hidden Words, by Baha'u'llah

sunna
12-11-2007, 05:53 PM
Wheels of Life, by Anodea Judith
Elements of Ritual, by Deborah Lipp
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham - first book on the subject I ever read. It was like coming home. :)

Melisande
12-11-2007, 06:35 PM
The book that influenced me to become a witch many, many years ago was the Book Of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley.

After that I didn't really read any books that I can remember on the subject, because right at that time my Mentor showed up in my life, and I didn't need to read about it.

I do love, however, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, because her approach to magick is very much like my own.

I'm not a practicing witch anymore, though.

Carole
12-14-2007, 04:47 AM
Crowley is so hard for me to read. It always seems to me that his thoughts had such a difficult time making it to paper. Although certainly quite mad in some respects, I do think he had a brilliant mind.

Monkey
12-14-2007, 11:45 PM
I studied religion from the time I was pretty young...at six, I was getting myself up, getting dressed, and walking to the Methodist church up the road - not because I was Methodist, but because I was curious. By twelve, I had checked out just about every book available at my local library on world religions, and would go to church with anyone who would take me along...though I preferred to go with people whose religions were out of the mainstream. Good times, those. :)

I couldn't begin to list all the books that influenced me, but three immediately come to mind. I can't say that they influenced me the most, or that they are the best of what I've read, but rather they are the ones freshest in my memory and closest to my heart.

The first is Illusions by, if I remember correctly, Richard Bach. I'd go to my bedroom and look it up if I weren't so darn lazy. :)
I read it when I was quite young, and even at the time it seemed over-simplified, but the concepts behind the book are good, and it's a nice, short, fascinating read.

The second is a series called Cases of the Reincarnation Type by Ian Stevenson. I especially like his books that focus on India. Basically, parents would alert the author that their children were claiming past life knowledge. He would then come and test the children's knowledge and try to determine the veracity of the reports. In one case, a boy directed the author to his past life home, showed him the location of a hidden safe, and correctly entered the combination, which no one but the deceased had known. Pretty darn awesome. :)

Much, much later I found The Alphabet and the Goddess by Leonard Schlain. It's a terrific book linking the author's take on history, the human brain, and religion. Focuses heavily on gender issues.

The first book set me to thinking in certain ways previously unexplored. The second was pure fascination. The third, funny enough, gave me a tremendous amount of ammo for religious debates but took away my desire to debate it.

Death Wizard
12-15-2007, 04:08 AM
I studied religion from the time I was pretty young...at six, I was getting myself up, getting dressed, and walking to the Methodist church up the road - not because I was Methodist, but because I was curious. By twelve, I had checked out just about every book available at my local library on world religions, and would go to church with anyone who would take me along...though I preferred to go with people whose religions were out of the mainstream. Good times, those. :)

I couldn't begin to list all the books that influenced me, but three immediately come to mind. I can't say that they influenced me the most, or that they are the best of what I've read, but rather they are the ones freshest in my memory and closest to my heart.

The first is Illusions by, if I remember correctly, Richard Bach. I'd go to my bedroom and look it up if I weren't so darn lazy. :)
I read it when I was quite young, and even at the time it seemed over-simplified, but the concepts behind the book are good, and it's a nice, short, fascinating read.

The second is a series called Cases of the Reincarnation Type by Ian Stevenson. I especially like his books that focus on India. Basically, parents would alert the author that their children were claiming past life knowledge. He would then come and test the children's knowledge and try to determine the veracity of the reports. In one case, a boy directed the author to his past life home, showed him the location of a hidden safe, and correctly entered the combination, which no one but the deceased had known. Pretty darn awesome. :)

Much, much later I found The Alphabet and the Goddess by Leonard Schlain. It's a terrific book linking the author's take on history, the human brain, and religion. Focuses heavily on gender issues.

The first book set me to thinking in certain ways previously unexplored. The second was pure fascination. The third, funny enough, gave me a tremendous amount of ammo for religious debates but took away my desire to debate it.

I found this to be a very interesting post. Thanks.

southernwriter
12-15-2007, 04:19 AM
Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul (http://www.powells.com/biblio?PID=28984&cgi=product&isbn=0875422969) by Jeffrey Wolf Green and
The Heart of Grief (http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Psychology/Clinical/?view=usa&ci=9780195156256)by Thomas Attig

Carole
12-15-2007, 05:45 AM
The second is a series called Cases of the Reincarnation Type by Ian Stevenson. I especially like his books that focus on India. Basically, parents would alert the author that their children were claiming past life knowledge. He would then come and test the children's knowledge and try to determine the veracity of the reports. In one case, a boy directed the author to his past life home, showed him the location of a hidden safe, and correctly entered the combination, which no one but the deceased had known. Pretty darn awesome. :)



I'll have to check this one out. I've been fascinated by reincarnation since Mr. Vagabond's mom told me of stories he told her when he was little. He told her about experiences of his grandfather's life although he never knew him. Thing is, he told them as if he had experienced them. These were stories that he would have no way of knowing. War stories, places he'd been people he knew and all sorts of other things. They've always toyed with the idea that hubby is his grandfather reincarnated because of those stories.

dadburnett
12-17-2007, 10:32 AM
That's an unfair question ... I have been in the process of making a list of books I've read and I am an avid reader of all kinds of stuff. I've read and been significantly changed by many MANY books in my ongoing spiritual evolution.
This may be a little outside the scope of your question, but there is one book that definitly changed my life. A book called REINCARNATION. It was loaned to me by an aunt. I started to read it and just could not get into the subject. A year or so later, at the lowest point in my life (years ago), I contemplated suicide. At some point I wondered what that book might say about suicide. In it I found that it said that if one commits suicide, they would come back to relive the experiences which brought them to that point and would continue to do wo until they chose another path. Thanks to my aunt's foresight (serendipity) I had in my time of need a book that truly changed the course of my life!