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Dalanah's Book Recommendations

Updated: Mar 21

A personally curated list of books to aid you in your journey of self-discovery.

 
An open book

Below are various book and resources that I recommend for anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge in astrology, philosophy, psychology, or general spirituality. The books will range from beginner friendly to more in-depth analyses. The list will be updated on a semi-frequent basis, so check back from time to time for new recommendations!

A quick note-- I don't receive kick-backs and none of these are paid promotions. My opinion is my own and it can't be bought or sold. If anything is listed here it's because I've gained something of value from the material, and I think others could find value in it as well.



Astrology

Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune by Chris Brennan

This book is the compendium for Hellenistic Astrology knowledge. Chris does an amazing job at covering a wide variety of topics, all essential to the art of astrology. It might be a little overwhelming for absolute beginners, but if taken in stride, this book will give you astrological insights that will change the way you practice astrology for the better.


Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: A Manual of Traditional Techniques by Demetra George

Demetra George is another name in the Hellenistic world that you should be aware of. This book is beginner friendly in the sense that Demetra breaks it down into digestible sections. There are questions for the reader to answer that help with making sure the material is being absorbed and comprehended before moving on. It's a great book for foundational learning in the Hellenistic tradition.


Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine by Demetra George

Another essential book by Demetra. Whether you're just beginning your journey with the asteroid goddesses or wanting to sink deeper into them, this book will serve you well. Truly an essential for anyone wanting to understand the asteroid goddesses.


The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

While the title might be a bit misleading, the information within is anything but. This book is written from the perspective of modern astrology, but would serve as a foundational resource for any school of thought. Great resource for getting base knowledge to build your studies upon.


Introductions to Traditional Astrology: Abu Ma'shar & al-Qabisi by Benjamin Dykes

I'd recommend strong foundations in traditional astrology before cracking this one open. Dykes does an amazing job of delivering the ancient texts in an unaltered and true-to-form way. You're really getting unfiltered astrological wisdom with this book. It's great for anyone looking to dive deeper into the traditional astrological school of thought.


Vettius Valens: The Anthology Translated by Mark T. Riley

Vettius Valens is the golden boy of Hellenistic astrology, so anyone wanting to study through the traditional school should have a copy of this. Riley does an awesome job of putting this slightly disjointed anthology into a fluid and accessible book. This one might also be for students in the intermediate to advanced camp, but if taken in bite-sized portions it could definitely serve a beginner as well. It might not ever be your main source of information, but when you need an obscure bit of astrological info from a reliable source, Valens has you covered.



Stoicism

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Since I'm a practicing Stoic, this is one of the essential texts that has shaped my life and worldview. Marcus Aurelius was the last great emperor of the Golden Age of Rome. Meditations is a record of his daily life through a Stoic lens. He speaks on daily irritations and how to handle them, and contemplates the Stoic virtues in all his actions. Fun fact: this book was never intended to be read by others. Marcus Aurelius wrote this more like a diary than a book that he thought would be widely distributed and cause him to be praised as one of the great Stoics. I enjoy that detail because it shows how he truly was incorporating Stoicism into his life, and it also gives him a rather down to earth feel.


Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus

Epictetus shows us that Stoicism isn't just for the ruling elite of its time. He was a slave for a good majority of his life, and after obtaining his freedom he went on to teach Stoicism. Epictetus didn't actually write down most of his teachings. It's thanks to a pupil of his named Arrian that we have these discourses. Throughout the book you'll read Epictetus's thoughts and lectures on topics like "To those who tackle philosophy just to be able to talk about it","Concerning family affection", and "On tranquility". Epictetus is my favorite Stoic due his overly blunt nature and at times sarcastic delivery.


Letters From a Stoic by Seneca

Seneca completes the trifecta of the popular kids in Stoicism. He was an advisor to the Emperor Nero, so not such a good look there. He was ultimately accused of conspiracy against the objectively awful Emperor and ordered to death; which he accepted without a fight, showing his true Stoic nature. The Letters of Seneca talk about what it means to be a friend to others, and yourself. He discusses many moral issues and how to navigate them. The letters themselves were penned to his friend Lucilius, who he was trying to teach the ways of Stoicism to.


Lessons From an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life by Mark Matousek

When I was approached to interview Mark about his newest book, Lessons From an American Stoic, I could already tell I was going to love him and the book. Mark breaks down Stoicism in a practical way that makes sense in these modern times. He talks a lot about Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American transcendentalist, and how his insights, struggles, and lectures can apply to our lives today. The book contains exercises that act as a way to reflect on the books teachings, but also felt a lot like shadow-work to me. Great book. Great guy. Don't hesitate to dip your toes into the world of philosophy with this book.



Psychology

Beginner's Guide to Jungian Psychology by Robin Robertson

The hardest thing about Jungian Psychology is figuring out where to start. Jung's theories were anything but surface level. When this book said "beginner's guide" it truly meant it. It's a clear and easy to follow review of Jung's main theories and ideas. It walks the delicate balance of not watering down Jung's material, while being relatable to newbies to the Jungian world.


Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

This is another book that came to me by kismet. A friend of mine randomly mailed to this me with a note that said "From one wild woman to another". This book has introduced me to so many beautiful myths that have colored my astrological interpretations. Clarissa Pinkola Estes has many great books, but this one is a stand out for me. It gives amazing insight to the feminine polarity through the exploration of myths and how they relate to our psyche.



Spirituality & Tarot

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Believe it or not, this book was recommended to me from my subconscious during a meditation session. I had never heard of it or Frankl before, but I was assured that I needed to read this book. I was not disappointed. Man's Search for Meaning is a beautiful tale of survival, both physical and spiritual. It gives glimpses of Stoic thought mixed with deep psychological realness. A true must-read in any spiritual journey.


Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette

Whether you use the Thoth deck or not, this book is going to bust your perceptions of the tarot wide open. DuQuette has pretty much dedicated his life to understanding the Thoth deck and all its mysteries. He elegantly breaks down the astrological and spiritual associations with the cards and shows what a beautiful system it is in its entirety. I recommend this book for anyone wanting to know the astrological side of tarot, regardless of whether you use the Thoth deck or not. The Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck and the Thoth deck come from similar origins, and most tarot decks today are reiterations of those two. This book might not be super beginner friendly, as some astrological/occult background would be helpful, but it's not so dense that a diligent student couldn't pick it up and find it useful.


The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot by Johannes Fiebig & Evelin Bürger

This tarot book is super beginner friendly and one that I recommend all students of tarot have handy. You'll be consulting this books for years to come and it'll keep deepening your connection to the tarot each time you utilize it. The main thing I adore about this book is the intricate breakdown of the symbolism in each card. They pick out every little detail from symbols and shapes to colors and patterns. This book isn't nearly as "occult" heavy as the previous recommendation, so you won't find as much astrology or Kabbalah talk. Still, this is an important resource for anyone wanting to uncover the secrets of the tarot beyond the mainstream delineations.

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