More sources on the topic of initiation and magic

From Anthroposophy

The topic pages on Initiation provide a view focused on the teachings of Franz Bardon, Rudolf Steiner, and Daskalos.

However this is an extremely broad topic very much alive in the world, albeit within minority segments. Many blogs, forums, and groupings of practitioners abound in various traditions.

Therefore this page provides an extension to further reading and exploration. The scope has been extended to spiritual science in general, complementing sources of spiritual science.

It is by no means meant as exhaustive, or as a particular recommendation. However, these spiritual teachers and authors are part of the broader tradition and certain are definitely interesting reads.

The current small selection will be extended, please send in your suggestions (page was initialized but is not providing a balanced overview yet).


Kriya yoga

  • Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
    • was a discipline of Sri Yukteswar (1855-1936), who brought the basic teachings of Kriya to the West in 1920 in the US, where he met with ao Shelly Trimmer and Hamid Bey
  • Satyananda Saraswati (1923-2009)
    • discipline of Sivananda Saraswati (1887-1963), the founder of the Divine Life Society in 1936. Sivananda wrote 296 books on a wide variety of subjects, emphasizing practical application of Yoga philosophy over theoretical knowledge.
    • wrote over 80 books, ao 'A Systematic Course In The Ancient Tantric Techniques Of Yoga And Kriya' (1981)
  • Sri M (1948-)

Various subcategories


  • Donald Michael Kraig: 'Modern magick' (2010)
  • Georg Lomer: Seven hermetic letters
  • Karl Brandler-Pracht (1864-1939)
    • How to Develop Your Occult Powers (1907 in DE, 2007 in EN)
    • 'Geheime Seelenkräfte'
  • S.A. Kummer: 'Runenmagie'
  • Josephine McCarthy
    • Magical Knowledge I: Foundations - the Lone Practitioner
    • Magical Knowledge II: The initiate
    • Magical Knowledge III: Contacts of the Adept
      • see also Quareia website for a number of free books
  • Draja Mickaharic (1912-)
    • Practice of Magic: an introductory guide to the art
    • Magical practice
    • Magic simplified
  • William G. Gray (1913-1992)
    • Language of the Gods (2009)
  • Bob Makransky
    • Thought forms (2010)
    • Introduction to Magic
      • Vol I: What is magic?
      • Vol II: Magical living


  • Hamid Bey (1897-1976)
    • was an Egyptian master and spiritual teacher that moved to the US in 1927 where he met Paramahansa Yogananda; in 1937 he founded the Coptic Fellowship and started lecturing, travelling and writing (period 1940s-60s). Part of his mission was to make public demonstrations to show how Man as a spiritual being can control all functions of the physical body - ao (but not limited to) by being buried alive and going into a state of catalepsy for longer periods (like 3h, 24h upto six days) and allowing medical controls during the process by eminent physicians and surgeons, and coming out alive and well. In his autobiography (see details on this page) he describes his training in the Temple Masters in Egypt and also how processes such the above.
    • books:
      • The Lectures of Master Hamid Bey (7 volumes)
      • God Creation Eternity - The Great Eternal Cosmic Drama
      • The Physical Senses and Extrasensory Perception

Spiritual biographies

The following section groups some inspirational reading in two formats:

  • biographies and autobiographies
  • literature below written by others in a narrative format, describing interactions with a spiritual teacher

European stream

Some famous bestsellers

  • Paramahansa Yogananda
    • 'Autobiography of a Yogi' (1946)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
    • At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk's Life (2016)
  • Don Juan Matus
    • Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998): 'The Teachings of Don Juan' (1968) .. and a series of follow up books
    • Don Juan Matus (approx 1891-1973) is the teacher in Castaneda's storytelling, a indigenous Yaqui magician/sorcerer from northern Mexico.

Lesser known

but recommended

  • Shelly Trimmer
    • Ray Grasse: 'An Infinity of Gods: Conversations with an Unconventional Mystic, The Teachings of Shelly Trimmer' (2017)
    • Shelly Trimmer (1917-1996) was a spiritual teacher who did not leave any writings except one poem, but only taught 1-1 ('my students are my books'). He also studied for several years with the famed yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, see eg interview. See also youtube commentaries by Ray Grasse, movie 1 and movie 2.
  • Sri M
    • two autobiographical works, available in PDF on the web:
      • 'Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master' (2010)
      • 'The Journey Continues' (2017)
  • Hamid Bey
    • 'My experiences preceding 5000 burials' (autobiography; 1938, second edition 1951 - freely downloadable on the internet)
    • Peter Wehle: 'Hamid Bey: Mind over Mystery' (2022)


also in this category

  • Kurt Stanley
    • Thom Hartmann : 'The Prophet's Way' (2004)
  • Melvin Higgins or Goswami Kriyananda
    • Ray Grasse: 'Urban mystic: recollections of Goswami Kriyananda' (2019)
    • Goswami Kriyananda (1928-2015) studied under Shelly Trimmer and is the founder of the Temple of Kriya Yoga, based in Chicago, Illinois.
  • James T. Lynn or Rajarsi Janakanda
    • James T. Lynn (1892-1955) was Yogananda's most famous pupil, a successfull American businessman
    • for a short profile, see 'Rajarsi Janakananda: A Great Western Yogi' (1996) - PDF freely available on the web

Related pages

References for further reading


The following sites have large libraries of freely downloadable PDF books:

Also interesting are: