100 books like Two Tracts on Cartomancy

By Austin O Spare, Gavin Semple (editor),

Here are 100 books that Two Tracts on Cartomancy fans have personally recommended if you like Two Tracts on Cartomancy. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

This is an unreliable but very readable book from occult writer Kenneth Grant. I used to find the title mysterious; it really means images and oracular worlds, and I remember seeing great heaps of this book remaindered in the 1980s, little knowing it would go on to fetch £300 a copy. Fortunately, Fulgur have since produced an affordable edition.

Grant’s depiction of Spare is heavily influenced by his reading of popular fiction writers like Arthur Machen, Sax Rohmer, and H.P. Lovecraft, and he gives us Spare, the black magician seduced in childhood by an elderly witch, who launches “an amphibious owl with the wings of a bat” into a conflict between magical groups. This is really the book that started the “Spare Mythos.”

By Kenneth Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Images and Oracles remains one of the most influential works on esoteric magick and mystical art produced in the last thirty years. Part One discusses Spare's life and biographical anecdotes while Part Two provides Kenneth Grant' important analysis and co


Book cover of Michelangelo in a Teacup

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

A warm, down-to-earth amateur biography of Spare, which is also a memoir of the author’s friendship with him. A mildly eccentric man who went on to run a secondhand bookshop in Hastings, Letchford sought Spare out in 1937, when he was a twenty-one-year-old shop assistant, after reading about him in a newspaper, and went on to become his most loyal friend.

At the opposite pole to Grant (they only met at Spare’s deathbed), this is Spare the canny, opinionated Cockney and South Londoner, but there is not much magic in it. Spare valued both Grant and Letchford, although he had a couple of rows with Grant. In the end, he might have felt closer to Letchford, leaving him “first choice” of pictures in his will and Grant second.

By Frank Letchford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Michelangelo in a Teacup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Letchford, Frank


Book cover of Zos Speaks!: Encounters With Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

Grant met Spare in 1949 through his wife Steffi, who had read a ‘human interest’ feature about him in a magazine. Based on Grant’s diary, this book records the real Spare in the pubs of South London and the West End before Grant semi-fictionalized him.

Grant had a sense of humour, and after introducing Spare to witchcraft revivalist Gerald Gardner, he watched him try to outdo Gardner in boasting about witchcraft, then went home and wrote that it was “screamingly funny.”

This is a substantial tome, beautifully produced and illustrated, with plenty of time-travelling period detail. Steffi remembers when pubs had live pianists, often playing ‘The Harry Lime Theme’ from The Third Man: “It seemed the signature tune of Spare at that period, and hearing it now fills me with nostalgia.”

By Kenneth Grant, Steffi Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zos Speaks! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The long awaited volume with Spare s lost writings. Illustrated with superb plates; many in color. Includes The Logomachy; Zoetic Grimoire. Quarto.


Book cover of The Exhibition Catalogues of Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

This complete compendium of Spare’s exhibition catalogues has been put together by the great Robert Ansell, a pioneering figure in Spare research. Running from 1907 to 1955, complete with their catalogue essays and some related bits of ephemera, the facsimile catalogues slowly change in their period feel and give the real trajectory of Spare’s career, all the way through to his late shows in pubs.

The book has a generous additional colour section of pictures, and it is all surprisingly readable and even vivid: “Not long now!” says the flyer for an upcoming exhibition in the Mansion House Tavern pub in south London: “The show you’ve been waiting for!” 

Book cover of Tarot for Change: Using the Cards for Self-Care, Acceptance, and Growth

Claire McMillan Author Of Alchemy of a Blackbird

From my list on for the tarot curious and the tarot maven.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started studying the tarot ten years ago with no thought that I would ever write about it. I took an introductory class in the back of a local metaphysical shop and went down a rabbit hole of books and teachings. I also enjoy readings myself - from quick fifteen minute reads at sidewalk fairs, to hour long readings in person with renowned readers, from an hour on Zoom with a famous reader, to a reading in a shop in Salem, Massachusetts during the chaos that is October in that town - I’ve benefited from them all. It has been a delight to include this interest in my latest novel.

Claire's book list on for the tarot curious and the tarot maven

Claire McMillan Why did Claire love this book?

Jessica Dore’s book is a revelation.

Coming from a psychological view of the cards, Dore incorporates ideas from different psychological schools of thought such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as Greek myth, Arthurian legend, folklore, fairy tales, and more.

Dore offers a unique, modern, and very personal approach to the cards and their meanings. A fascinating example for anyone building their own tarot practice and figuring out what tarot means to them on a personal and individual level.

By Jessica Dore,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tarot for Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unlock the transformative power of tarot with this unique investigation into the psychology of its secrets, symbols and stories.

Symbols have been used in modern psychology for generations, from the interpretation of fairy tales to inkblot tests. Although tarot is often thought of as a spiritual tool for divination and fortune-telling, it too contains a set of symbols that can help us better understand our selves and align with our values. In this book, Jessica Dore reveals years of secrets and insights about how to work with tarot to activate your potential.

You'll discover:
* the importance of choosing the…


Book cover of The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Author Of The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance

From my list on European dance in female fertility and health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an information junkie who loves to dance. I fell in love with folk dancing at age 6, European archaeology at 11, linguistics and cognition at 21—and could never drop any of them. My scientist-father always said, “Follow the problem, not the discipline,” and I began to see how these fields could help answer each other’s questions. Words can survive for millennia—with information about what archaeologists don’t find, like oh-so-perishable cloth. Determining how to reconstruct prehistoric textiles (Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years) then led me to trace the origins of various European folk costumes, and finally even to reconstruct something about the origins of the dances themselves.

Elizabeth's book list on European dance in female fertility and health

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I chose this book because it is such a wide-ranging compendium of Russian folk beliefs in general (in English!) as well as of Russian customs involved in trying to ensure the fertility and health of crops, farm animals, and women, all desperately needed for the survival of the community. It is these fascinating and picturesque customs that so often get incorporated into dances. Furthermore, the Dancing Goddesses were often pressed into service for divination of the future, especially by young girls worrying about whom they would marry and how many children they would have, or if they would die first. (I accidentally witnessed one of these ceremonies in Danzig in 1993—they have not died!)

By W.F. Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bathhouse at Midnight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The title of this book refers to the classic time and place for magic, witchcraft, and divination in Russia. The Bathhouse at Midnight, by one of the world's foremost experts on the subject, surveys all forms of magic, both learned and popular, in Russia from the fifth to the eighteenth century. While no book on the subject could be exhaustive, The Bathhouse at Midnight does describe and assess all the literary sources of magic, witchcraft, astrology, alchemy, and divination from Kiev Rus and Imperial Russia, and to some extent Ukraine and Belorussia. Where possible, Ryan identifies the sources of the…


Book cover of Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

Jennifer J. Chow Author Of Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie Novel

From my list on books that combine food and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a foodie at heart and grew up working in a family restaurant. I currently live in Los Angeles, where I’m delighted to have access to all sorts of edible goodies. As a writer, I insert food into my books, specifically in my culinary cozy mysteries, which have murder—and recipes! I also adore the idea of the fantastical; as a kid, I often created entire imaginary worlds during playtime. I’m happy to combine both loves in my newest series, the Magical Fortune Cookie books.  

Jennifer's book list on books that combine food and magic

Jennifer J. Chow Why did Jennifer love this book?

I loved the echoes of culture I experienced with this novel, which has a Chinese American protagonist. The cultural expectations and even tidbits of language made me feel represented.

I also admired that Vanessa could tell fortunes through examining the dregs of a teacup; as a tea lover, I wholeheartedly endorsed the notion. I was already familiar with Lim’s storytelling and knew I’d be in for a treat of a read, especially one filled with vivid details of Paris and its excellent culinary ambiance.

By Roselle Lim,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune comes a new delightful novel about exploring all the magical possibilities of life in the most extraordinary city of all: Paris.
 
Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people's fortunes—or misfortunes—in tealeaves.
 
Ever since she can remember, Vanessa has been able to see people's fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life…


Book cover of The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life

Tania Pryputniewicz Author Of Heart's Compass Tarot

From my list on tarot improvisation for writers and artists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, tarot muse, and artist whose childhood experiences with vivid night-time dreams and a handful of years on a commune in the cornfields ignited my passion for exploring inner imagery. I read voraciously from science fiction to fairytales to channelings. I discovered tarot in my twenties, using it to read for others, mend my broken heart, and get squared away enough to apply to graduate school for poetry in the heartland at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Ever since, tarot is my favorite mirror for self-reflection. Author of two poetry collections, I wrote a workbook to help others apply the tarot in joyful, healing ways through writing and art.

Tania's book list on tarot improvisation for writers and artists

Tania Pryputniewicz Why did Tania love this book?

Jessa Crispin’s Creative Tarot suggests ways to connect to one’s muse through tarot. Crispin’s chapters match each tarot card’s essence to artists, thinkers, philosophers, and writers, looking at challenges and gifts each personality encountered over the course of their lifetime (and how they manifested in detriment or bloom). One of my favorite lines makes tarot card exploration forever relevant: Crispin writes, “It is about retelling the present.” And it is about how to ground tarot energy in specifics: what does it mean to be a King of Cups? Who has lived such an incarnation? Her “living examples” make tarot tangible for my students; I love her specific suggestions for how to explore the energy of each tarot card through music, film, paintings, art, and literature. 

By Jessa Crispin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A hip, accessible, and practical guide for artists and creative people looking to tarot for guidance and inspiration in the tradition of The Secret Language of Birthdaysand Steal Like an Artist.

What if the path to creativity was not as challenging as everyone thinks? What if you could find that spark, plot twist, or next project by simply looking at your life and your art through a different lens?

Written for novices and seasoned readers alike, The Creative Tarotis a unique guidebook that reimagines tarot cards and the ways they can boost the creative process. Jessa Crispin guides you through…


Book cover of The Cloisters

Annette Joseph Author Of The Killer Menu: A Delicious Tale of Food, Family and Murder

From my list on mystery books with a beautiful aesthetic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Annette Joseph, a writer and food stylist. I spend most of the year at our twelfth-century fortress in northern Tuscany. I have written six books, three cookbooks, and two memoirs about life in Italy. We run private retreats on the grounds. My book My Italian Guestbook is based on these retreats. Writing about everything around me in Italy gives me great pleasure.

Annette's book list on mystery books with a beautiful aesthetic

Annette Joseph Why did Annette love this book?

Set in upstate New York at the beautiful Cloisters. This book is as beautifully curated as the museum it is set in.

When a young woman lands an internship at the Cloisters, she is quickly pulled into a world of haves and have-nots, a world where the privileged dabble in mysticism and magic. Murder becomes a pivotal point in discovering the secrets. The groundskeeper and the intern are soon embroiled in the messy business of unearthing this “who done it.”

I enjoyed the visuals in this book. Beautifully written. I highly recommend it.

By Katy Hays,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Today Show #ReadwithJenna Book Club Pick

“For fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Secret History…The perfect mystery.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Today

In this “sinister, jaw-dropping” (Sarah Penner, author of The Lost Apothecary) debut novel, a circle of researchers uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden…


Book cover of I Ching

Tommy Chong Author Of The I Chong: Meditations from the Joint

From my list on for seekers, poets, and philosophers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tommy Chong is a Canadian-American actor, writer, director, musician, cannabis rights activist, and comedian. He is known for the Cheech and Chong comedy albums and movies along with many other roles. He is a poet and a philosopher and these are his picks for the books that mark his spiritual journey through life.

Tommy's book list on for seekers, poets, and philosophers

Tommy Chong Why did Tommy love this book?

I first did the I Ching when I was in my 20s. The first reading I had was by a guitar player in Vancouver, and it came out like perfection. This was before my success, before Cheech, and it just lit up my path forward in life. It wasn’t until I was headed to jail that I picked it up again. My brother-in-law sent me a copy, and it was the first thing I did when I got inside. The first line I got back was “you are in jail for a reason”. It was astounding. The word penitentiary comes from the word penance, I took that to heart and that is what I did. I view my time in jail as a religious retreat.

By Alfred Huang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Translated by the eminent Taoist Master Alfred Huang, The Complete I Chinghas been praised by scholars and new students of the I Ching since its first edition. A native Chinese speaker, Master Huang first translated the original ideograms of the I Ching into contemporary Chinese and then into English, bringing forth the intuitive meanings embodied in the images of the I Ching and imbuing his translation with an accuracy and authenticity not possible in other English translations. However, what makes his translation truly definitive is his return to prominence of the Ten Wings, the commentaries by Confucius that are essential…


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