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15 books that made me who I am today

Following from the blogs by Seani Fool and Anton where they wrote about the 15 books that made them who they are today, I decided to write my own.  I was thinking about it for a while and decided to choose the books which truly shaped my personality, that is the books that were important to me at some point in my life. It isn’t the list of my favourite books, because since then I have moved on and I wouldn’t even come back to some of them. It doesn’t change the fact these were important to me. I found it interesting selecting them as it provoked me to look back at my life from a different perspective, noticing that magick can be found in ‘ordinary’ writings. It is funny to find that some of them, belonging to ‘so called’ counter-culture, mean less to me now than others which don’t. This selection of books includes the one my mum or sister read out loud for me. You will probably giggle a bit reading this list. I decided to list the books in chronological order, starting from when I was a little girl. I didn’t include the books I was reading more recently (less than two years ago), because it would be difficult to decide how strong an influence they have had on me yet. Also because I read lots of books and I would have to be more selective.

01) Moomin Trolls, Tove Jansson- Well, I know the cartoon is rather terrible, unlike the book, though. It is the series of books I would be happy to come back to. They inspired my imagination. One of my favourite volumes is the one about a meteorite approaching Moomin valley. It is very apocalyptic. Another is the one about light house and deserted island. It is so much about the sea and I love the sea. I also love the one about winter. Reading Moomins made me feel like traveling north. Also Moomins were the first trolls to fascinate me. Trollheimen (the home of the trolls) in the Scandinavian mountains is definitely a place on my list to visit.  Moomin Trolls was one of the first books read out to me.

02) In Desert and Wilderness, Henryk Sienkiewicz. -This book is a memory of my childhood. I remember my grandma putting on her glasses and reading it out to me. Both me and my sister were totally fascinated with the story. We used to play we are Nell and Stas (main characters) and we sleep in a baobab tree. I loved the idea of being in Egypt, traveling through desert on a camel and having an elephant for my pet. I also liked a lot the idea of having a personal servant. I think, this book awaken in me strong desire for adventure and travel in more than usual sense. Another important factor was Nell’s British nationality, which made me think about visiting the UK.

03) The Unexplained, Mack, Lorrie, Harwood, Eric, & Riley, Lesley- This is a very odd choice. I think I got the English title right. It’s the same subject and editors so I guess it is the same book. This one was kept by my mum on a shelf above the door, so we can’t reach it. It was because it could challenge my Christian faith and mum didn’t want me to read it just then. Well, in conspiracy with my sister we climbed the chair and managed to get the book. It was a first book about paranormal phenomena I ever read. I was totally fascinated and scared. My mum hypocrisy made us (including my mum) question our beliefs and later move away from the Catholic church and Christianity in general. What is the most important, it opened my mind for other realms and reminded me that the world has its mysteries. My interest in paranormal phenomena led me to magick. Also the book had a chapter on the Loch Ness monster including some photos of the lake. I fell in love with the lake and felt sort of urge to visit this place. I wasn’t so much interested in the monster. The place seemed magickal to me and I knew one day I will be at its shores.

04) A Brief history of time, S.Hawking, L. Moldinow- Moving on from parapnormal phenomena I became interested in science. I wanted to understand the world around me and quantum physics together with astronomy turned out to be one of my biggest fascinations at the time. The miraculous world of physics seemed one with the world of fantasy and magic. I felt inspired and began to believe that lots of phenomena I read about in tales and paranormal, UFO magazines could be explained by science. I also started noticing the creative powers of the human mind.

05) Mister God, This Is Anna, Sydney Hopkins (pseudonym Fynn). – This book was a gift from my godmother on occasion of my First Communion. It was an unusual gift for such an occasion. Although the book is considered a Christian writing, it is not so at all. The little girl Anna has an amazing relationship with “Mister God”. She is definitely a magician. She doesn’t like church and is nothing like a religious person. It was very refreshing to read it again, when I started seriously questioning Christianity. The book definitely gave me a clear answer to my doubts.

06) Luka Szczescia- Kompletowanie sensu, Andrzej Brodziak.- Obscure book by a Polish author. As far as I know, it never has been translated into any foreign languages. The book put together science and philosophy in a search for the meaning of life. The writing is brilliant. It suggests clearly that the only purpose of life is to enjoy it. It questions almost everything and never gives the answers, only suggestions. It was revolutionary to me at the time and I would love to re-read it.

07) The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff- Once I made it clear to myself I am not Christian (being around thirteen) I started searching for some other way of seeing the world. Tao was the first approach that really fitted my personality. I bought a few books on the subject and this one was absolutely the best. I recommend it. Its fun.

08) Christiane F. -Wir kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo, Kai Herman, Horst Rieck- My mum decided to introduce me to this book when I was around thirteen. It is a fascinating, dark story of a heroin addict. It made few things clear to me. After reading it I knew I would never take heroin, I would definitely try acid and I would be smoking weed.

09) Long Hard Road out of Hell by Marilyn Manson and Neil Strauss-. I was a fan of Marilyn Manson during my teenage years. MM autobiography was quite a read for me. Helped me to rebel and stand up for myself. It was very much a teenage experience, but over all it gave me insight into how the rock star life may look. Thanks to this book I split my band before it turned into shit.

10) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey- Just a very good book reveling social hypocrisy. It fitted my rebellious mood a the time.

11) Book of the Law A.Crowley- It was quite an amazing discovery. I did like the feel of it. I still do. Mostly inspiring.

12) Magick in theory and practice A. Crowley- First serious book on magick I ever read. It is a brilliant writing. Sent me on a long trip. I was firstly afraid of it when I had seen it in the shop. Few years later I decided to read it. It changed my life and turned me totally on to magick.

13) Sex, Drugs and Magick: A Journey Beyond Limits, R.A. Wilson- Great book. Helped me move on from Crowley a bit (I’ve never moved on completely) and explore what else is there to find.

14) Prometheus Rising R.A. Wilson,- Wilson became one of my favourite writers. This book is absolutely excellent. I started reading a bit on Chaos magick at the time and found it very good blend. Wilson’s 8 circuts and Pete Carroll’s 8 colours of magick seemed so similar in a way. I already red Prometheus Rising twice and I’m going to read it again soon.

15) The Book of Abramelin, Abraham from Worms- This is a very special book to me. It ‘made me’ do lots of things with my life before I even read it for a first time. I became slightly obsessed  with it. I travelled to Scotland and spent three years there mostly so I could travel to Loch Ness and see Boleskine house. It set me on adventurous travel into mountains to perform some important magick to get it. Well I can’t blame it on this book, though. If I would have to blame it on a book I would blame it on all 15 starting with Moomin Trolls. ;D The Book of Abramelin is a truly powerful Grimoire.

15 Books

This is a response to Seani Fool over at PagAnarchy.net who wrote a blog listing his 15 books that most shaped who he is today.  Amongst others, he has asked me to share the 15 that most influence me currently.

1. The Apophenion: A Chaos Magic Paradigm by Peter J Carroll.  I’m only half way through this book so I’m not sure if I should count it yet, but since this is about what is influencing me right now, and through my current action of reading it and enjoying it, it is occupying a lot of my thoughts.  So far I think this is Carroll’s best book to date.  It seems to expand a lot upon some of the concepts hinted at in PsyberMagick, and present them in a much more lucid and coherent arguement.  It also ties various threads together in a way that appeals to the way I think.

2. Promethea by Alan Moore.  I don’t care if it is a graphic novel (or more a series of graphic novels), it continues to inspire.

3. The Invisibles by Grant Morrison.  Same applies to this one.  I don’t care if Grant and Alan apparently don’t care much for each other, I’ve never met either of them, so its just about appreciating their respective creations.

4. Visual Magick and Seidways by Jan Fries.  Okay, I know that’s two so I’m cheating a bit.  But I think these two books compliment each other so well that I think they could be combined into one big volume.  Possibly an even bigger one with Hellrunar thrown in for good measure.  Reading both these books changed the way I performed and thought about magick forever, and helped liberate me from thinking of myself exclusively as a Chaos Magician.

5. PsyberMagick by Peter J Carroll.  If I hadn’t read this book, I probably wouldn’t have signed up to the Illuminates of Thanateros all those years ago.  As a result, reading it shaped the pretty much all the path of magic I have tread ever since, including the formation of KIA.  It was the first Peter Carroll book I read to, didn’t read the others until after I was in the IoT.  I loved the humour in it, and enjoyed the format even though I was yet to read Crowley’s Book of Lies at the time.

6. BLAST your way to MegaBuck$ with my SECRET sex power formula! and other reflections upon the spiritual path by Ramsey Dukes.  This book was my introduction to Duke’s theories, including Johnstone’s Paradox.  My life would never be the same again.  I still think every so often about recreating an old command line program I made for doing magick by hacking into the computer that controls our universe.  It worked a bloody treat.

7. Paradoxical Emblems of D A Freher.  Reading this book caused me to make a choice.  That choice changed my life and freed me from certain bad decisions I’d made in the past and certain undesirable associations I’d made.  But not in the way that it made me think about those things.  No.  In the way that reading that book is an act of magick and the choice you make when reading it plants a seed.

8. Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson.  Doesn’t guarantee you won’t get brainwashed again, but makes it a lot harder for someone to do so over a sustained length of time.  See through the bullshit of those who would control you.  Whoever they are.

9. The Devil and the Goddess by Gyrus.  Proving that a book doesn’t need to have many pages to be brilliant.  This book combined with Seidways by Jan Fries to really inspire me thoughts on the importance of serpent imagery in magick.

10. Anarchism, arguments for and against by Albert Meltzer.  Another little booklet that has greatly inspired.

11. Spectacular Times.  A series of booklets.  About seeing through the lies and propaganda.

12. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes.  Not the definition of consciousness I feel comfortable, but other than getting into an arguement about what consciousness ‘is’, a damn good hypothesis about the way certain mind phenomena came to be.

13. Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.  A virtual reality internet, a hacker hero with deadly martial arts skills, futuristic skaters that harpoon cars to hitch rides and a bad guy who has a nuclear warhead in the sidecar of his motorbike.  Strange religious cults, babalonian mythology, glossolalia, the Mafia and an America so taken over by corporations the state barely exists.  Could a be kick arse movie if they did a good job of it.  A rollercoaster of a read.  Damn good author.

14. Principlia Discordia.  Fnord.

15. The Way of the Sacred by Francis Huxley.  The common currents and themes of the worlds religions and mystery traditions exposed.  Another book with a lot to say about serpents in symbolic, mystical and mythological senses.

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