Section 1

The Section 1 reading list

Appendix I of Crowley's Magick in Theory & Practice lists a collection of books divided into three sections. Section 1 is "books for serious study", about which Crowley says:

The object of this course of reading is to familiarize the student with all that has been said by the Great Masters in every time and country. He should make a critical examination of them; not so much with the idea of discovering where truth lies, for he cannot do this except by virtue of his own spiritual experience, but rather to discover the essential harmony in those varied works. He should be on his guard against partisanship with a favourite author. He should familiarize himself thoroughly with the method of mental equilibrium, endeavouring to contradict any statement soever, although it may be apparently axiomatic.

The general object of this course, besides that already stated, is to assure sound education in occult matters, so that when spiritual illumination comes it may find a well-built temple. Where the mind is strongly biased towards any special theory, the result of an illumination is often to inflame that portion of the mind which is thus overdeveloped, with the result that the aspirant, instead of becoming an Adept, becomes a bigot and fanatic.

These are the books listed for Section 1. Where available, we have provided a PDF copy of the work and/or a link to where you can buy the book for your own library. To get to the buy-me link, click the image of the book. For very long books, the PDF may be split into sections.


The Equinox

Crowley says, "The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation."

[PDF] Vol 1 No 01 (1.33 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 02 (2.48 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 03 (2.91 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 04 (2.31 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 05 (1.64 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 06 (1.38 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 07 (3.67 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 08 (2.38 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 09 (1.6 MB)
[PDF] Vol 1 No 10 (3.24 MB)


A. Crowley, Collected Works

Crowley says, "These works contain many mystical and magical secrets, both stated clearly in prose, and woven into the robe of sublimest poesy." When he says "sublimest poesy", remember that he's talking about his own work.

[PDF] Collected Works (28.41 MB)
[PDF] Collected Works (23.72 MB)
[PDF] Collected Works (18.83 MB)


Yi King

Crowley says, "The 'Classic of Changes'; it gives the initiated Chinese system of Magick." Our PDF is Crowley's own version of the Yi King. The link is to a reprint of a 1934 edition.

[PDF] Yi King (422.22 KB)


Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Crowley says, "Gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism."

[PDF] Tao Te Ching (201.32 KB)


A. Crowley, Tannhäuser

Crowley says, "An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the Soul; the Tannhauser story slightly remodelled."

[PDF] Tannhäuser (318.04 KB)



Crowley says, "The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism."

[PDF] Upanishads (633.38 KB)


Bhagavad Gita

Crowley says, "A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu 'Christ', expounds a system of Attainment."

[PDF] Bhagavad Gita (222.63 KB)


H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence

Subtitled, "Being Extracts from The Book of the Golden Precepts". Our PDF version is "Liber 71", which includes commentary by Frater O. M. (Crowley)

[PDF] The Voice of the Silence (377.05 KB)



Crowley says, "The most intelligible of the mediaeval rituals of Evocation. Contains also the favourite Invocation of the Master Therion." This copy is translated by S.L. Mathers, and edited by Crowley.

[PDF] Goetia (601.4 KB)


The Shiva Sanhita

Crowley says, "A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices."

[PDF] The Shiva Sanhita (183.28 KB)


Hathayoga Pradipika

Crowley says, "Similar to The Shiva Sanhita."

[PDF] Hathayoga Pradipika (311.77 KB)


Miguel de Molinos, The Spiritual Guide

Crowley says, "A simple manual of Christian mysticism."

[PDF] The Spiritual Guide (714.81 KB)


J.F.C. Fuller, The Star in the West

Crowley says, "An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley."

[PDF] The Star in the West (1.18 MB)


The Dhammapada

Crowley says, "The best of the Buddhist classics."

[PDF] The Dhammapada (1.02 MB)


The Questions of King Milinda

Crowley says, "Technical points of Buddhist dogma, illustrated by dialogues." This is available in two parts. Our PDF is a copy of part 1. Both parts are available as HTML from Sacred Texts: Part 1 and Part 2.

[PDF] The Questions of King Milinda (469.11 KB)


William James, Varieties of Religious Experience

Crowley says, "Valuable as showing the uniformity of mystical attainment."

[PDF] Varieties of Religious Experience (1.49 MB)


Knorr von Rosenroth, Kabbala Denudata

Crowley says, "The text of the Kabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject." Our version is Kabbalah Unveiled, a translation and commentary by S.L. Mathers.

[PDF] Kabbala Denudata (2.2 MB)


A. Crowley, Konx Om Pax

Crowley says, "Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick."

[PDF] Konx Om Pax (697.06 KB)


Pistis Sophia

Crowley says, "An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism." Our PDF is a scan from an edition of 1896, translation by G.R.S. Mead.

[PDF] Pistis Sophia (16.76 MB)


Chaldean Oracles

Crowley says, "An invaluable collection of precepts mystical and magical."

[PDF] Chaldean Oracles (95.04 KB)


Cicero, The Dream of Scipio

Crowley says, "Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy." Our PDF is a scan from an edition of 1883, translation by W.D. Pearman.

[PDF] The Dream of Scipio (1.53 MB)


Fabre d'Olivet, The Golden Verses of Pythagoras

Crowley says, "An interesting study of the exoteric doctrines of this Master." Our PDF is a scan from an edition of 1917, translation by N.Y. Redfield.

[PDF] The Golden Verses of Pythagoras (6.61 MB)


Hermes Trismegistus, The Divine Pymander

Crowley says, "Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy."

[PDF] The Divine Pymander (312.55 KB)


Franz Hartmann, The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians

Crowley says, "An invaluable compendium." The book's formal title is nearly as long as the book is: Cosmology or Universal Science. Containing the Mysteries of the Universe, Regarding God, Nature, Man, the Macrocosm and Microcosm, Eternity and Time Explained According to the Religion of Christ by Means of the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries..

[PDF] The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians (4.18 MB)


Michael Maier, Scrutinium Chymicum

Crowley says, "One of the best treatises on alchemy." Our PDF copy is Atalanta Fugiens, the 1617 original of which the cited book is a 1687 partial reprint. The link is to a Latin copy of Scrutinium Chymicum, for which we also have a PDF scan of an original.

[PDF] Scrutinium Chymicum (5.37 MB)


Sydney T. Klein, Science and the Infinite

Crowley says, "One of the best essays written in recent years."

Science and the Infinite (291.29 KB)
[PDF] Science and the Infinite (411.14 KB)


Richard Payne Knight, Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus

Crowley says, "Invaluable to all students."

[PDF] Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus (3.85 MB)


James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough

Crowley says, "The Text-Book of Folk Lore. Invaluable to all students."

[PDF] The Golden Bough (3.92 MB)


Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Crowley says, "Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition."

[PDF] The Age of Reason (643.55 KB)


Gen. J.G.R. Forlong, Rivers of Life

Crowley says, "An invaluable text-book of old systems of initiation."

[PDF] Rivers of Life Vol 1 (5 MB)
[PDF] Rivers of Life Vol 2 (5.2 MB)
[PDF] Rivers of Life Vol 2a Synoptical Table (77.6 KB)


George Berkeley, Three Dialogues

Crowley says, "The Classic of subjective idealism."

[PDF] Three Dialogues (137.46 KB)


David Hume, Essays

Crowley says, "The Classic of Academic Scepticism." Our PDF is an annotated literary collection of Hume's essays.

[PDF] Essays (2.27 MB)


Herbert Spencer, First Principles

Crowley says, "The Classic of Agnosticism."

[PDF] First Principles (638.08 KB)


Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena

Crowley says, "The best introduction to Metaphysics." This work's full title is Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Come Forward as Science.

[PDF] Prolegomena (209.11 KB)


The Canon

Crowley says, "The best text-book of Applied Qabalah."

[PDF] The Canon (2.2 MB)


C. H. Hinton, The Fourth Dimension

Crowley says, "The text-book on this subject."

[PDF] The Fourth Dimension (1.59 MB)


Thomas H. Huxley, Essays

Crowley says, "Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose." Our text is a copy of the Project Gutenberg rendering of Autobiography and Selected Essays, edited by Ada L.F. Snell, published in 1909.

Essays (360.27 KB)

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