We each get to the mystical and magical in different ways, often some combination of nature, direct experience with healers & shamans, traditional religions (either positively or in rebellion to), mentors and gurus, travel, or via books, classes and workshops. In fact, we need different resources at different times – as each builds upon another.
Books have always been one of my portals, though certainly not the only one. Since childhood, I have been able to put myself deeply into the characters and places in the pages – to alchemically absorb strong messages through my eyes into my brain and thence into my body.
Thus I danced with the March sisters, played hide and seek with Tolly of Greene Knowe, and sat around the campfire with Gandalf. I longed for the telepathy of the Darkover and Pern books and the spiritual community of The Fifth Sacred Thing. I ached for the lost memories of the Narnia children and for the insights and experiences of my favorite people in these books.
So for those who come to it this way, here are some that were gateways for me (and for Ursula – for this is her list too!) :
Young People’s Books – GREAT short reads and an easy way to get in towards the mystery of spirit. Most of these I discovered as a child and have reread many times. See Orbs & Children’s Books in the novel for some discussion of them:
- Elizabeth Goudge – Linnets & Valerians
- Rudyard Kipling – Puck of Pook’s Hill, Kim
- Lucy Boston – Children of Green Knowe, Treasure of Green Knowe
- P.L. Travers – Mary Poppins series
- C.S. Lewis – Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the rest of the Narnia series
- Madeleine L’Engle – Wrinkle in Time, Ring of Endless Light and many more
- Rumer Godden – Impunity Jane, Kitchen Madonna
- J.R.R. Tolkein – Hobbit, Lord of the Rings series
- Susan Cooper – Dark is Rising series
- Anne McCaffrey – ah, the dragons of Pern books!
My Earliest Exposure to things Woo Woo – These definitely involved a “willing suspension of disbelief” when I first read them in the 1970’s. I grok them much better now:
- Carlos Casteneda – Teachings of Don Juan, A Separate Reality, Journey to Ixtilan, et. al. – I was in college and they blew my mind (and that of a whole generation). I didn’t really understand them but somehow I knew they were true. Their veracity is still in dispute, of course, but now they seem no less likely than many, many others.
- Lama Anagarika Govinda – Way of the White Clouds – The memoir of a westerner immersed in Tibet, this was already a favorite of Tom’s when we met in 1971. One had to look at the world differently after Govinda’s accounts of leaping great distances in trance over boulders.
- Carl Jung – Memories, Dreams and Reflections – Jung got it and took a whole culture with him. This is his autobiography. (I’ve never been able to read the psych books.)
- Jane Roberts – Seth Books – Channeled books including The Nature of Personal Reality. OMG. Potent, life changing. No less powerful today.
- Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder – Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain
- Acquarian Conspiracy – Marilyn Ferguson – This confirmed a lot of what we were realizing was going on.
- Shirley MacLaine – Out on a Limb, Dancing in the Light, et al. – She did indeed expose her very personal explorations into woo-woo. Probably no one less famous than a movie star could have done so with quite the impact.
- Laurence VanderPoste – The veracity of is non-fiction is now being challenged but he painted such pictures of possibility, opening up new worlds.
- The Magic of Findhorn – Following channeled spiritual guidance, an intentional community (that still exists today) created amazing gardens in the unlikely climate of northern Scotland.
- Starhawk – Fifth Sacred Thing, Walking to Mercury – important models for another way of being in community and inspirational for What If, Can Be. She’s written a screenplay for it and they’re in process of doing it! I love it that the sets will be kept as working permaculture models San Francisco’s inner city.
- Elizabeth Cunningham – Return of the Goddess, How to Spin Gold, Wild Mother, Magdalen series (especially Passion of Mary Magdalen)
- Alexis Masters – Guiliana Legacy – Aphrodite reborn in an adventure tale, much of it in Tuscany.
- Dorothy Bryant – The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You – An ordinary guy lands in this society where they tell each other their dreams every morning, feed each other every mouthful and have little kiva-like structures where they go alone to regroup when overwhelmed.
- Jane Roberts (of the Seth Books) – Education of Oversoul Seven – The past lives of one soul interwoven through time.
- Cerridwen Fallingstar – Heart of the Fire – some of the best ritual and journeying descriptions I’ve ever read, but beware this is about the Burning Times and does not end happily.
- Marian Zimmer Bradley – Darkover series – lots of psychic connection in an other worldly setting, which has a marvelous couple of books exploring what I now know to be Tantra. Also the more famous Mists of Avalon (witchy Arthurian England) and Firebrand (about Cassandra’s prophecying in the Trojan War)
- Daniel Quinn – Ishmael
- Richard Bach – Bridge Across Forever, etc. – Lots to boggle the mind in these books. What i remember most is him returning to his past to heal his present and future.
- Deepak Chopra – The Return of Merlin, The Angel is Near
- Ann Cameron – Daughters of Copper Woman – Northwest Indian…
- Mary Renault – The Mask of Apollo, Bull from the Sea, Praise Singer, The King Must Die – I read these as a kid, Greek myths come alive. Not much from the Goddess perspective but hints of it nevertheless.
- Alice Walker – Temple of My Familiar – lesser known but very magical.
- Terry Andrews – Dance of the Jaguar – A local author explores teleportation and learning of shamanic tradition.
- Priscilla Cogan – Winona’s Web, Compass of the Heart, Crack at the Crook of Dawn
- Sarah Ingerman – A Fall to Grace
- Thomas Youngholm – In the Shadow of the Sphere
- Emily Whitman – Radiant Darkness – Demeter and Persephone tale told anew
- Charles DeLint – Onion Girl and many more in a magical version of Canada where Coyote, Raven and Magpie morph from almost human to archetype.
- Elizabeth Goudge – Scent of Water, Herb of Grace, Dean’s Watch, et. al.
- Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees – What a joy to think of Goddess worship in black southern culture.
Shamanic work based in specific cultures – fantastical yet true
- Hank Wesselman – Spiritwalker, Medicine Maker, Visionseeker – Hank time travels in a dreamtime catalytic state 5000 years into the future to meet his descendents in a Hawaiian- based culture migrated to an altered California.
- Martin Prechtel – Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, Long Life Honey in the Heart, The Toe Bone & the Tooth. Shamanic Mayan Guatemala village life becomes a long lost home for this seeker and then he is catapaulted out of it by political circumstances back to teach in our culture.
- Lynn Andrews: Medicine Woman, Flight of the Seventh Moon, Jaguar Woman, Star Woman, Crystal Woman, Windhorse Woman, Shakkai – Her international set of teachers became my teachers for many years.
- Brad Keeney – Ropes to God, Bushman Shaman
- Tom Brown, Jr. – Tracker, the Vision, Grandfather
- Brooke Medicine Eagle – Buffalo Woman Comes Singing, The Last Ghost Dance – A blue-eyed, mixed-blood, Brooke had to fight for her right to be a medicine woman.
- Marlo Morgan – Mutant Message – Aboriginal Australia
- Malidoma Some – Of Water and the Spirit, Healing Wisdom of Africa – Burkina Faso
- Serge Kahili King – Urban Shaman, Kahuna Healing, Mastering Your Hidden Self
- Alberto Villoldo – Island of the Sun, Shaman/Healer/Sage , et al – Andean and Amazonian Peru
- Eliot Coleman – Plant Spirit Medicine
- Shaman’s Drum Magazine – old issues are filled with gems
- Vicki Noble – Shakti Woman
- Jean Shinoda Bolin – Crossing to Avalon
- Gwendolyn Endicott – The Spinning Wheel, Crone Trekking in Coyote Land – a local teacher shares her process.
- Judith Orloff – Second Sight – A psychiatrist who shut down her psycic abilities as a child and then re-discovered them as a potent healing tool.
- Barbara Hand Clow – Mind Chronicles Trilogy about past lives – Signet of Atlantis, Heart of the Christos, Pleaidian Agenda.
- Bruce Chatwin – Song Lines – Australia
- Stephen Levine – Turning Towards the Mystery
- Peace Pilgrim – in the 1950’s she shed her name and comfortable lifestyle to walk around the US taking what came and giving teachings.
- Olga Kharitidi, M.D. – Master of Lucid Dreams, Entering the Circle – Siberian Russia
- Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor – Traveling With Pomegranates (mother- daughter duo with Demeter and Persephone in Greece)
- Michael Harner – Way of the Shaman
- Nicki Scully – Alchemical Healing
- Sandra Ingerman – Transforming Our World + her others
- Starhawk – Spiral Dance, Pagan Book of Living and Dying
- Ted Andrews – Animal Speak
- Elliot Cowan – Plant Spirit Medicine
- Rosalyn L. Bruyere – Wheels of Light
- Barbara Brennan – Hands of Light, Light Emerging
- Judith Orloff – Intuitive Healing
- Richard Gerber – Vibrational Medicine
- Machaelle Small Wright – Garden Workbook, Garden Workbook II, MAP: Medical Assistance Program
Misc Magic, etc.
- Starhawk – Truth or Dare , Dreaming the Dark , Webs of Power
- Jonathan Cott – Search for Om Sety
- Sabonfu Some
- Christiane Northrup – Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
Goddess & Pagan History & Background
- Hallie Inglehart Austin – Heart of the Goddess – Goddess art from many times and cultures, including modern.
- Marija Gimbutas – Language of the Goddess – archeological evidence of ancient Goddess cultures
- Elinor Gadon – The Once and Future Goddess
- Anne Kent Rush – Moon, Moon (1976)
- Barbara Walker – Encyclopedia of Women’s Myths and Secrets
- Merlin Stone – When God Was a Woman
- Erich Neumann – The Great Mother
- William Anderson & Clive Hicks – Green Man
- Frank Waters – Book of the Hopi
- Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Kramer – Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth
- Jean Houston – The Passion of Isis and Osiris
- Normandi Ellis – Dreams of Isis
- Layne Redmond – When Drummers Were Women
- Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick – A History of Pagan Europe
- Peg Streep – Sanctuaries of the Goddess: The Sacred Landscapes and Objects
Art That Speaks it
- Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor – The Great Cosmic Mother
- Andrew Goldsworthy – nature art
- Meinrad Craighead – The Mother’s Songs: Images of God the Mother
- Alex Gray
- Susan Sedon Boulet – she so got shamanic morphing.
- lanedemoll.com – Yay! My own art
So there’s some things to start you off. More coming when Spirit moves me. 😉