Esoteric Tuesday – “The Training and Work of an Initiate”

Ankhie has noted here before the great good fortune of working for a company that publishes excellent esoteric and occult books (among others) and the even better fortune of having daily access to their physical in-house library.  My desk is piled high with titles old and new – an education at my fingertips. The problem, of course, is time.  Despite the temptation of the Dion Fortune cracked open beside me, I have emails to respond to, radio shows to book, and press releases to draft. So the books pile even higher – browsed, bitten, but rarely devoured. The exceptions are the titles chosen for The Weiser Book Club.

It began two years ago on Twitter, as a way to talk about new books  (Thorn Coyle’s Kissing the Limitless was the first selection) and drew an enthusiastic group of participants. The Book Club is still Twitter based, but now incorporates older classics as well as frontlist, engaging a group of informed and passionate readers, hungry for the type of peer-run education that a good book group can provide.

Which brings me to an idea that’s been bubbling around my brain these past few, snowbound days.

What if we expand the Book Club into something… more? Something like peer-led discussions  – topic, not just title based – a community forum, of sorts, with moderators that include Weiser authors as well as the bloggers, friends and tweeps that we have come to know and trust as authorities on certain subjects.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I would rally like to have your opinions on this!

In the meantime I offer this little excerpt from Dion Fortune’s The Training and Work of an Initiate:

The good occult student should have a sound general knowledge of natural science, history, mathematics and philosophy. He cannot, naturally, have a thorough knowledge of all these subjects, but he should know their outlines; he should be familiar with the principles of all the sciences and know the methods of philosophy. Then, when he acquires special knowledge, he will be able to see it in relation to the cosmic scheme of which it forms a part, and hence will know it in a very different way from the man who perceives it apart from its environment. The one has a living plant in the garden under his observation, the other has a dried specimen in the herbarium. The relativity of knowledge has long been realised, but the unity of knowledge has not yet received justice. Although a man can only excel by specialization, it is essential that he should have a background against which he can see his knowledge in perspective.


The professors of a university are not willing to ground students in the elements of knowledge that belong to the schoolroom, and when the student wishes to undertake the higher studies of esoteric science, he should come as completely equipped as exoteric studies can make him.

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