100 books like Myths, Rites, Symbols

By Mircea Eliade,

Here are 100 books that Myths, Rites, Symbols fans have personally recommended if you like Myths, Rites, Symbols. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

Ricardo Sunderland Author Of The Energy Advantage: How to Go from Managing Your Time to Mastering Your Energy

From my list on non fiction mastering your energy.

Why am I passionate about this?

My purpose is to help leaders connect to and manage their energy. I help them bring coherence to how they lead and reach their full societal impact. For more than a  decade, I have coached 300 of the most senior leaders at some of the largest and most recognizable companies in the world. My recommended to-read book list represents crucible moments in my life and my calling to learn about human energy. Representing different lenses, which are key to adding to a mix of ingredients, allows the reader to drink a potion that will exalt all your buckets (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual) of energy holistically. 

Ricardo's book list on non fiction mastering your energy

Ricardo Sunderland Why did Ricardo love this book?

Besides being one of the best psychologists in mankind's history, Viktor is a masterful storyteller. It's as if I was transported to Auschwitz at the time, where Viktor was imprisoned along with thousands of Jews; in a very compelling way, he leaves no hint of a doubt that it was thanks to his meaning in life that he was able to survive, and the minute that others let go of theirs, they let go of life itself.

In addition, Viktor also shares his logotherapy framework and how it was updated after his terrible experience. If you doubt the power of doing the work to search for your life’s meaning, this book is a must-read. 

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.


Book cover of Loose Ends: Primary Papers in Archetypal Psychology

Beth Hedva Author Of Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness: A Guide to Emotional Healing and Self-Renewal

From my list on betrayal.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a psychologist and university professor teaching internationally, I’ve had opportunities to listen to people’s stories globally, and impart wisdom gleaned from my own cross-cultural experiences. Invitations to share ranged from teaching others inner and spiritual healing methods to being Reader’s Digest’s “Online Ask an Expert about Infidelity”, to training local recovery workers during the two deadliest disasters of this century. Therefore, I cannot say I ‘chose’ to become an expert on betrayal. It chose me. From childhood on, betrayal gave me opportunities to personally experience and learn from interpersonal infidelities, health crises, social injustice, and mass trauma. The school of hard-knocks tests us first—then we get the teaching.

Beth's book list on betrayal

Beth Hedva Why did Beth love this book?

Hillman’s essay on Betrayal sat inside my belly like an irritating grain of sand that turned into a pearl of inner Wisdom. He said trust cannot be fully realized without betrayal because prior to betrayal we are naive. It is only after betrayal when we know the risks—only then, is genuine trust established. However, this is not about trusting your ‘betrayer’ …it is about learning to trust yourself — your inner source of wisdom and creativity that inspires you to create value out of all of life’s experiences, and rewards you with the courage to create your life anew, independent of circumstance.

Though Hillman focused on father betrayal wounds, the message is universal: “Forgiving is not forgetting…it is the remembrance of the wrong within a wider context."

By James Hillman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loose Ends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Blending case histories with myth, clinical fact with imaginative meaning, this book, with its profound appreciation of history and biography, of the arts, ideas, and culture, trains the senses to perceive the face of the soul. In papers on abandonment, nostalgia, betrayal, schism, failure, and masturbation, Hillman shows that pathology belongs intrinsically to the psyche and that it reveals the unchanging, necessary, fecund depths of human nature. A brief note on story pleads for a 'story sense,' a deeply therapeutic awareness of how mythic persons and archetypal events influence the psyche by conditioning perceptions, generating meanings, and shaping our lives,…


Book cover of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

Julie Metz Author Of Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal

From my list on for women recovering from betrayal or divorce.

Why am I passionate about this?

Though I’ve been a great reader since childhood, I sometimes describe myself as an accidental writer—I came to this work later in my life, following the events that I write about in my first memoir Perfection. Before I became a writer, I did spend many years in the publishing business designing book covers, so I appreciate all sides of the work of bringing books to readers. My favorite books help me enter new worlds for a time and re-reading favorites is like visiting a faithful friend. My recommendations here are a mix of both memoir and fiction and include some of my “desert island” favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

Julie's book list on for women recovering from betrayal or divorce

Julie Metz Why did Julie love this book?

This book was published years after mine, but I wish it had been around when I was going through my life upheaval. The author writes about relationships and has an intelligent and thoughtful take on marriage. You might not agree with her philosophy, but her book is eye-opening, will challenge your assumptions, and shares information that might help people as they rebuild their lives after widowhood, infidelity, and divorce.

By Esther Perel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The State of Affairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

***NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***

Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? Is it possible to love more than one person at once? Why do people cheat? Can an affair ever help a marriage?

Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat, and unpacks why affairs are so traumatic; because they threaten our emotional security. In infidelity, she sees something unexpected - an expression of longing and loss.

A must-read for anyone who has ever cheated or been cheated on, or who simply wants a new framework for…


Book cover of Dangerous Friend: The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism

Beth Hedva Author Of Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness: A Guide to Emotional Healing and Self-Renewal

From my list on betrayal.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a psychologist and university professor teaching internationally, I’ve had opportunities to listen to people’s stories globally, and impart wisdom gleaned from my own cross-cultural experiences. Invitations to share ranged from teaching others inner and spiritual healing methods to being Reader’s Digest’s “Online Ask an Expert about Infidelity”, to training local recovery workers during the two deadliest disasters of this century. Therefore, I cannot say I ‘chose’ to become an expert on betrayal. It chose me. From childhood on, betrayal gave me opportunities to personally experience and learn from interpersonal infidelities, health crises, social injustice, and mass trauma. The school of hard-knocks tests us first—then we get the teaching.

Beth's book list on betrayal

Beth Hedva Why did Beth love this book?

Dangerous Friend is an Eastern wake-up call for Western ‘seekers’ and ’would-be spiritual teachers’. Drawing from Vajrayana teachers, Rig’dzin Dorje clarifies betrayal is a “final portal of freedom…in which we are able to question…our narcissistic determination to maintain the illusion of duality.” As a transpersonal psychologist, I’ve noticed sometimes Western seekers who hunger for enlightenment imagine devotion to their Spiritual Teacher will give them a ticket to ride a wave of bliss into nirvana.

A teacher must betray a student’s fantasies, attachments, and delusions, (including those about their teacher), in favor of devotion to the teachings. Despite a desire to have others be accountable to us, and responsible for us, this book confirms the necessity to cultivate Self-compassion and awareness—and to turn inward for liberation.

By Rig'dzin Dorje,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dangerous Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although Tibetan Buddhism continues to grow in popularity, the crucial relationship between teacher and student remains largely misunderstood. Dangerous Friend offers an in-depth exploration of this mysterious and complex bond, a relationship of paramount importance in Tibetan Buddhist practice.

According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the student must have complete trust in the teacher (the "dangerous friend") if he or she is to achieve any understanding. It is the teacher's responsibility to uphold the integrity of the tradition, the basis of which is compassion for all beings, by transmitting it properly to an appropriate student. Likewise, it is the student's responsibility…


Book cover of Walking the Tree

Thoraiya Dyer Author Of Crossroads of Canopy

From my list on fantasy novels about forests.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fantasy addict, I work with wild animals for return to native ecosystems, and my favourite place to be is in a forest! People mock all the hiking in Lord of the Rings. But how better to tune into an unfamiliar landscape than to turn over that mossy stone, to uncover that buried gem, to find mushrooms? I enjoy fairy rings on three levels. First, by knowing they’re a food source for malleefowl and bush turkeys. Second, by understanding that their structure stems from the radius travelled by the hyphae underground. Third, by imagining where I might be whisked off to if I only dared set foot inside.

Thoraiya's book list on fantasy novels about forests

Thoraiya Dyer Why did Thoraiya love this book?

Warren’s work is darker, more complex, and more compelling than most, and I loved this book to pieces. It’s a coming-of-age quest to circumnavigate a giant island which is also a monstrous tree, each tribe a segment of the orange, or an hour on the clock, to be discovered, savoured, and potentially escaped from, with the tree itself a constant, anchoring presence in the world. Get it! Read it!

By Kaaron Warren, Greg Bridges (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walking the Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Botanica is an island, but almost all of the island is taken up by the Tree.

Little knowing how they came to be here, small communities live around the coast line. The Tree provides them shelter, kindling, medicine - and a place of legends, for there are ghosts within the trees who snatch children and the dying.

Lillah has come of age and is now ready to leave her community and walk the tree for five years, learning all Botanica has to teach her. Before setting off, Lillah is asked by the dying mother of a young boy to take…


Book cover of Nan Domi: An Initiate's Journey Into Haitian Vodou

Madison Smartt Bell Author Of Master of the Crossroads

From my list on Haitian history and Haiti today.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was drawn to Haiti for two reasons; the Haitian Revolution is the only one of the three 18th century upheavals to fulfill the declared ideology of the French and American Revolutions by extending basic human rights to all people, not just white people. Secondly, or maybe I should put it first, the practice of Vodou makes Haiti one of the few places where one can meet divinity in the flesh, an experience I coveted, although (as it is written) it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Madison's book list on Haitian history and Haiti today

Madison Smartt Bell Why did Madison love this book?

Nan Domi is the only book I know of that reports on the interior, private, mystical practices of Vodou—one of the world’s great religions, though much misunderstood and despised outside of Haiti. A preface I wrote for the book gives an efficient introduction to the basic history, beliefs, and practices of Vodou, providing the necessary context for Beaubrun’s more esoteric text.

By Mimerose Beaubrun,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nan Domi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This new and valuable book delves into the 'interior' experience of voodoo, as opposed to the usual outsider focus on ritual and cosmology. In telling the story of her own initiation and painstaking education in voodoo, Beaubrun takes us into the mystical dimensions of this ancient religion."--The Guardian UK Like all the great religions Vodou has an external, public practice of rituals and ceremonies--and also an internal, mystical dimension. Before Nan Domi, works about Vodou have concentrated on the spectacular outward manifestations of Vodou observance--hypnotic drumming and chanting, frenetic dancing, fits of spirit possession. But practically all reports on Vodou…


Book cover of The Heart of the Goddess: Art, Myth and Meditations of the World's Sacred Feminine

Charlene Spretnak Author Of Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths

From my list on goddess spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been interested in cultural history. In my early 30s, I realized that Greek mythology was a late, patriarchal revision of the earlier Goddess-centric myths. After much research, I reconstructed several pre-Olympian myths in my book Lost Goddesses of Early Greece. This was one of the first books of the Women’s Spirituality movement, which began in the 1970s and is still going strong. A few years later, I edited an anthology of 50 voices, The Politics of Women’s Spirituality. Thus I am a foremother of that movement, which is a bountiful exploration of authentic spiritual experience in women’s lives.

Charlene's book list on goddess spirituality

Charlene Spretnak Why did Charlene love this book?

There are hundreds of good books on Goddess spirituality. This one presents a heart-centered approach that blends beautiful color plates of historical Goddess art and artifacts from around the world with an accessible explication of each Goddess’s mythology and cultural significance—as well as Hallie Iglehart Austen’s invitation to join her in a brief guided mediation for each Goddess. Her stated goal is that readers might “come into balance, reclaiming the lost feminine deep within ourselves and sharing that wisdom and power with the world.” Here’s the opening to a preface entitled “A Millennial’s Initiation”: “Every book is a teacher, yet some books reveal truths that flow into your deepest roots and stay with you forever. Reading The Heart of the Goddess was, truly, a rite of passage for me.” 

By Hallie Iglehart Austen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Heart of the Goddess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Heart of the Goddess


Book cover of Bone Crier's Moon

Elizabeth A. Drysdale Author Of Out of Time

From my list on fantasy with a twist you never saw coming.

Why am I passionate about this?

 I have been a devourer of fantasy all of my life. With a bookshelf that grows more overflowing by the year, I just can’t get enough. That combined with the many classes I've taken on writing, tension, and incorporating fantasy elements, make me the perfect candidate for finding all three in the perfect story. I live in a daydream created by the written word and even win writing awards with all that I've learned and applied. There is nothing I love more than the perfect pairing of twists and tension in fantasy stories, something I continue to add to my own stories!

Elizabeth's book list on fantasy with a twist you never saw coming

Elizabeth A. Drysdale Why did Elizabeth love this book?

 This book almost killed me! The tension is incredible and I found myself rooting for Ailesse and Sebastion to figure out the mystery behind the matron, and their attraction to each other. This plot is so twisted that it will keep you guessing all the way through. With every character determined that they are right, you’ll wish you could jump in and prove that you know it all, but you’d be wrong! It kept me on pins and needles and kept me from sleep. 

By Kathryn Purdie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bone Crier's Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Purdie comes a high-stakes fantasy duology flush with doomed romance and macabre magic, perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber and Roshani Chokshi.

Bone Criers are the last descendants of an ancient famille charged with using the magic they draw from animal bones to shepherd the dead into the afterlife-lest they drain the light from the living.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become their matriarch, but first she must complete her rite of passage: to kill the boy she's destined to love.

Bastien's father was slain by a Bone Crier and…


Book cover of The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

Theo Prodromitis Author Of The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

From my list on get you to take bold actions to improve your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Greek mom and entrepreneur at heart. Growing up, we cherished spirited conversations, ideas, and researching topics we loved. The whole goal was to really push each other to higher states of intellectual rigor that would improve the quality of life. Ideas and communication rival great food and Greek dancing fun. I share my passion for Philotimo (Greek imperative of love of honor and working for the greater good) through my books, brands, and marketing agency. I'm a fierce advocate for women and small businesses and have been featured in USA Today, Small Business Journal, Amazon Entrepreneurs, and enjoy being a weekly guest on national radio shows. 

Theo's book list on get you to take bold actions to improve your life

Theo Prodromitis Why did Theo love this book?

Dr. Dyer takes a different approach to achieving your goals and desires. His years as a Psychologist and spiritual seeker led him around the globe. The infusion of the best of Eastern and Western approaches to wellness and fulfillment are masterfully woven in stories, poems, and examples. When he gets to the personal power of the energy that comes to life in our intentions, I was left smiling and speechless at its wisdom. 

By Wayne W. Dr Dyer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Power of Intention as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.'
Wayne Dyer

For years Wayne Dyer has been researching the power of intention, the energy that surrounds all of us. He tells us how we can train ourselves to tune into this energy and step beyond our minds and egos. When we do this we become what Dyer calls 'Connectors' and make ourselves available to the energy of success.

Connectors are the people whom everyone sees as lucky, the people who get all the breaks. They don't say, 'With my luck, everything will go wrong,'…


Book cover of What the Bleep Do We Know!? Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality

Tracy J Holroyd Author Of The Enchanted Mirror

From my list on spirituality, consciousness and nature of reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer and lecturer who is irresistibly drawn to the spiritual and paranormal, but whose academic qualifications are in maths and science. So, I have struggled to find my niche in life: a belief in God and Spirit, a passion for the ‘paranormal,’ and an attraction to the scientific – subjects whose advocates attack one another without compunction. Then, I watched the film What the Bleep Do We Know? and found the communion of spirit and science that had eluded me for so long. Thus, I have a new passion: quantum physics, consciousness, and the creation of reality  which means, for me, the Universe is truly full of magic.

Tracy's book list on spirituality, consciousness and nature of reality

Tracy J Holroyd Why did Tracy love this book?

This book accompanies the award-winning, cult film What the Bleep Do We Know? It discusses consciousness and perception of reality, taking us to a place where the lines between science and spirituality are blurred. It tells of paradigm-shattering, scientific breakthroughs, with input from scientists, medics, historians, philosophers, and spiritual leaders. It offers theories that explain paranormal phenomena; the stuff that many scientists are reluctant (or afraid) to discuss: telepathy, the eternal spirit, parallel universes, and the creation of reality. With insights from noted contributors, the book presents us with some thought-provoking (often uncomfortable) questions. For me, however, it simply confirms what I already know to be true: the Creator is not only a scientist; He is also a magician!

By William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Bleep Do We Know!? Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Guides readers on a course from the scientific to the spiritual; from the universal to the truly personal."
-Publishers Weekly

What the Bleep Do We Know!? is a book of amazing science, and now the international bestselling book is available in paperback. With researchers and theoretical scientists leading the way, it takes the reader through the looking glass of quantum physics into a universe that is more bizarre and alive than ever imagined.
What is a thought made of? What is reality made of? And most important, how does a thought change the nature of reality? A higher power exists,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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