Readers of Gordon White may recognize the title here, and I am shamelessly copying his aesthetic in referring to my essential collection of magical tomes as The Black Library. Here you will find my recommendations and occasional commentary on books I consider essential to developing a magical practice and exploring the wide realm that is magical study. In no particular order.
Hand on Chaos Magick by Andrieh Vitimus -- a primer like no other, but with enough advanced practice and metaphysics to keep most readers (if you are anything like me) coming back time and again. Vitimus has a very approachable style and communicates sometimes difficult concepts with grace. Highly recommended.
Secrets of the Magical Grimoires: The Classical Texts of Magic Deciphered by Aaron Leitch -- Where to begin? I've known Aaron via the Internet for probably 20 years, we shared links to our respective websites a long time ago. I have always had a deep respect for his scholarship, integrity and ingenuity. This text is, in my opinion, one of the seminal works of the grimoire revival we have been experiencing. I bought this and devoured it when it was first published in 2005 and it has been a frequent touchstone for me over the years as a general magical resource and a specific one regarding grimoiric magic. Even if the grimoires hold little to no interest for you, this is a foundational text that you should read regarding the history and development of magic in general.
The Grimoire of the Forty Servants by Tommie Kelly -- ok, the inclusion of this might seem a little gratuitous, however: The Forty Servants are a wonderful toolset and I heartily recommend their use to both beginner and advanced practioner alike. If I was going to be stuck on a desert island for any length of time, I'd want my Forty Servants deck with me.
Apophenion by Peter J Caroll -- The astute will notice I have skipped a book in sequence here. Though amusing and sometimes troubling, I find the missing text to not be essential.
Eight Lectures on Yoga by Aliester Crowley -- probably the only Crowley you will find here, I can't believe this is out of print; but you are likely able to find the text with a quick Google search.
The Masterbook of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl -- Heard this author's name the other day on my favorite podcast in reference to his courses on herbalism with a very positive tone. His works have been my go-to herbals for a long time.
More to Come