In the dark ages when I was first drawn to the study of the occult one of the greatest challenges that I had to overcome was finding reputable works on magick to read. There were far fewer texts to choose from and they were often difficult, if not impossible to find. I remember stumbling across a copy of Magic White and Black by Franz Hartmann in a mainstream chain bookstore and feeling as if I had found gold. Luck on that level was rare and my small but serviceable occult library took a long time to be assembled.
The memory of hunting down rare tomes of occultism were stirred recently while I was discussing the literature of magick with an aspiring young student of the hidden mysteries. I was expressing his good fortune at having access to so many older and presumably more experienced heads for advice on where to begin to learn the dark arts. His uncomprehending look told me that he had no conception of a world where the books that you need couldn’t be downloaded.
At the same time it made me realize the real power of the web to bring together diverse crowds as the event where I met this young guy had been organized on Facebook. Looking at it more broadly, the connectivity of the web has created the opportunity for once isolated practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge to be accessible to even the greenest novice on the path of the wise.
The boom in internet witches and wizards has flooded the interwebz with hundreds of thousands of websites devoted to one occult practice or another. Many of them are a simple regurgitation of other sites which are themselves essentially cut and pasted from e-books and other obscure references. Among all of this white noise it can be hard to distinguish the websites that offer quality resources. After a few years of surfing the astral part of the web I have compiled this short list of essential websites for every student of the occult to keep bookmarked in their browser.
Lashtal is the recognized site for everything Aleister Crowley and Thelema. The site is huge with libraries of e-books, forums and everything that pertains to the Great Beast in digital form.
The Hermetic Library has a comprehensive collection of occult books in html format that can be read online. The collection covers a wide and diverse range of magick texts.
For all things Thelma the site to go to is Thelemapedia that provides an open source encyclopedia of Thelema and magick.
The best all round occult e-library on the interwebz is Christina Deb’s Dark Books. It has a huge catalogue of books, most of which can be downloaded. Every topic of occultism is covered somewhere in this excellent collection.
Another comprehensive spiritual library on the web is the Sacred Magick Esoteric Library. Books here might not be free but many are. The site also provides a forum and a number of other magick related features that may be useful.
The oldest occult library that I know of that is still on the web is still one of the best also. The Ra Hoor Khuit Network has a huge number of resources and books that will be of use to every student of the hidden mysteries. There are some obscure and even hard to find texts here if you look. I even contributed to this page over a decade ago and the articles are still online.
For a roundup of the occult news and links to interesting articles on the web Invocatio is an essential source of information. There is a weekly post with links to relevant snippets of information and the posts to the blog are always insightful and worth reading.
IAO131 is a serious blog about serious magick. The focus is on the work of Aleister Crowley and Thelema and the archives are full of valuable and informative articles.
The last site on my list is the sister blog to this one where I post specifically about magick and Thelema. Ankhafnakhonsu’s Magick Blog has essays and articles on Hermetic magick, qabalah and other associated subjects.
Almost anything that you could want to know about magick will be on one or another of these websites. They are a great resource for an old student like myself who has already read the old books. For a novice they are a treasure house of gems.