The best Kabbalah books

5 authors have picked their favorite books about the Kabbalah and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Zohar

By Daniel C. Matt,

Book cover of The Zohar: Pritzker

This is the most recent rendering of the Zohar into English. Translated by Daniel Matt who is a professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. This decade-long effort has produced an authoritative rendition of the Zohar. However, this is an academic venture that does not conform to the ancient tradition. Nonetheless, the literal translation of each word will help the new student break into the original text.

Who am I?

I have been studying Zohar in the original ancient language for fifty years and have written a number of books about how Zohar informs the future of the Earth. For my whole life, I have pursued Truth. Zohar has been my guide through the darkness of life riddled with lies. The words of Zohar promise to become relevant at the End of Days, before the six thousand year calendar runs out in 220 years with the advent of the Thousand Years of Woman and Peace. After fifty years of study, I have deciphered the past and written a book for the ages.


I wrote...

Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

By Dovid Krafchow,

Book cover of Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

What is my book about?

Redefining time and space using ancient Hebrew knowledge combined with scientific and historical information allows the reader to enter into the inner sanctum of Jewish mysticism. Zohar—Beyond the BlackWhole is the unfurling of a seven hundred-year mystery. First came Zohar, meaning Brilliance: the most mystical of all Jewish texts. Then two hundred years later came Cabala, the key to Zohar. Only now, witnessed by technological wizardry, can the great vision of Zohar be corroborated by scientific fact. Now is the time to turn the key and open the door. Zohar can heal the world, showing the way to a beautiful future.

Sefer Yetzirah

By Aryeh Kaplan,

Book cover of Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation

Though the Zohar is ancient having been written two thousand years ago, the Sefer Yetizra/Book of Form was written four thousand years ago presenting the fundamental aspects to the Tree of Life known also and the Ten Luminaries. The original Patriarch Avraham is commonly accepted as the author of Sefer Yetizra. Having this primal knowledge of the Cabala will allow entrance into later texts and subsequent cabalistic ideas. Aryeh Kaplan is a trusted authority.

Who am I?

I have been studying Zohar in the original ancient language for fifty years and have written a number of books about how Zohar informs the future of the Earth. For my whole life, I have pursued Truth. Zohar has been my guide through the darkness of life riddled with lies. The words of Zohar promise to become relevant at the End of Days, before the six thousand year calendar runs out in 220 years with the advent of the Thousand Years of Woman and Peace. After fifty years of study, I have deciphered the past and written a book for the ages.


I wrote...

Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

By Dovid Krafchow,

Book cover of Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

What is my book about?

Redefining time and space using ancient Hebrew knowledge combined with scientific and historical information allows the reader to enter into the inner sanctum of Jewish mysticism. Zohar—Beyond the BlackWhole is the unfurling of a seven hundred-year mystery. First came Zohar, meaning Brilliance: the most mystical of all Jewish texts. Then two hundred years later came Cabala, the key to Zohar. Only now, witnessed by technological wizardry, can the great vision of Zohar be corroborated by scientific fact. Now is the time to turn the key and open the door. Zohar can heal the world, showing the way to a beautiful future.

The Sacred Zohar

By Rabbi Simon Bar Yochai,

Book cover of The Sacred Zohar

There are 1835 pages in the book. If you read five pages a day or even just look at these holy words, you will finish the Zohar in a year. Just to have this beautiful sacred book in your library can only bring blessings into a person’s life. Each word in the Zohar is a window to Heaven; each letter is holy—indeed, each word is a Name of God. Treat this book with respect, put no other book above this book, and your actions will be noted in Heaven.

Who am I?

I have been studying Zohar in the original ancient language for fifty years and have written a number of books about how Zohar informs the future of the Earth. For my whole life, I have pursued Truth. Zohar has been my guide through the darkness of life riddled with lies. The words of Zohar promise to become relevant at the End of Days, before the six thousand year calendar runs out in 220 years with the advent of the Thousand Years of Woman and Peace. After fifty years of study, I have deciphered the past and written a book for the ages.


I wrote...

Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

By Dovid Krafchow,

Book cover of Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

What is my book about?

Redefining time and space using ancient Hebrew knowledge combined with scientific and historical information allows the reader to enter into the inner sanctum of Jewish mysticism. Zohar—Beyond the BlackWhole is the unfurling of a seven hundred-year mystery. First came Zohar, meaning Brilliance: the most mystical of all Jewish texts. Then two hundred years later came Cabala, the key to Zohar. Only now, witnessed by technological wizardry, can the great vision of Zohar be corroborated by scientific fact. Now is the time to turn the key and open the door. Zohar can heal the world, showing the way to a beautiful future.

The Thirteen Petalled Rose

By Adin Steinsaltz,

Book cover of The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief

Adin Steinsaltz is another author who can be absolutely trusted in his ability to transmit ancient secrets with clarity, simplicity utilizing a complete concordance of knowledge meant to educate the reader. The first form of creation, as related in the preface to the Zohar, is the thirteen petal rose. Thirteen is the gematria of Echud/One, from here arises the seed to the Tree of Life.

Who am I?

I have been studying Zohar in the original ancient language for fifty years and have written a number of books about how Zohar informs the future of the Earth. For my whole life, I have pursued Truth. Zohar has been my guide through the darkness of life riddled with lies. The words of Zohar promise to become relevant at the End of Days, before the six thousand year calendar runs out in 220 years with the advent of the Thousand Years of Woman and Peace. After fifty years of study, I have deciphered the past and written a book for the ages.


I wrote...

Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

By Dovid Krafchow,

Book cover of Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

What is my book about?

Redefining time and space using ancient Hebrew knowledge combined with scientific and historical information allows the reader to enter into the inner sanctum of Jewish mysticism. Zohar—Beyond the BlackWhole is the unfurling of a seven hundred-year mystery. First came Zohar, meaning Brilliance: the most mystical of all Jewish texts. Then two hundred years later came Cabala, the key to Zohar. Only now, witnessed by technological wizardry, can the great vision of Zohar be corroborated by scientific fact. Now is the time to turn the key and open the door. Zohar can heal the world, showing the way to a beautiful future.

Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

By Gershom Scholem,

Book cover of Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

From physical travel to the heavens to elaborate meditations on Hebrew letter permutations and terrifying dialogues with God: the richness of Jewish religious experience is narrated here with historical detail and psychological insight. Its final chapters which bring us close to our times are no less surprising: Scholem describes how the disillusionment with a prophetic figure who converts to Islam to save his own life sparked an atheist movement within Judaism. My favorite book on the psychology of religious experience, though written by a historian. 


Who am I?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   


I wrote...

The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

By Miguel Farias, David Brazier, Mansur Lalljee

Book cover of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

What is my book about?

This is the most comprehensive volume published on meditation, written in accessible language by world-leading experts on the science and history of these techniques. It covers the development of meditation across the world and the varieties of its practices and experiences. These are some of the questions it addresses: what were meditation practices developed for and by whom? How similar or different are they, how effective can they be in changing our minds and biology, and what are their social and ethical implications?

Secret Venice

By Thomas Jonglez, Paola Zoffoli,

Book cover of Secret Venice

If you truly want to know a city, you must go beyond even the best guidebooks into those specialized collections of stories, myths, gossip, and suppressed facts. Much cultural history is in fact officially recorded gossip, so there is no opprobrium in enjoying the salacious, highly local, and fascinating stories that are known only to oral history. This is such a book: a fascinating collection of legends, myths, gossip, and generally little-known stories about Venice.


Who am I?

My first encounter with Venice was as a PhD student consulting the state archives in the former monastery attached to the basilica of the Frari, a place redolent of the history and culture of the city, lined with the tombs of doges. This inspired me to learn more about this improbable city, a curiosity that has never waned. Since then, I have visited the city more times than I can count, taking students, cultural tours, and visiting my many friends. Consequently, I was invited to produce my Essential Italy for Smithsonian Journeys and later their first virtual reality tour of the city. I can never tire of Venice nor completely know it.


I wrote...

The Smithsonian Guide to Essential Italy: The Great Courses

By Kenneth R. Bartlett,

Book cover of The Smithsonian Guide to Essential Italy: The Great Courses

What is my book about?

The Guide to Essential Italy is your own grand tour of Italy focussing on the most historically and culturally compelling experiences. It is an Italian itinerary designed to present a fascinating picture of this captivating destination, a circuit that explores some of the most significant sites to illustrate the rich historical and cultural legacy of the peninsula. A breathtaking travel journey, this 36-segment video tour and travelogue lets you walk the streets and savour the heritage of Italy’s premiere destinations of Rome, Tuscany, and Venice, with side trips to additional treasures of Italian civilization.

Tarot and the Gates of Light

By Mark Horn,

Book cover of Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation

What I love about this book is that it proves the old saying that there is nothing new under the sun to be wrong. Mark Horn’s Tarot and the Gates of Light blends together two traditions already closely linked; Tarot and Kabbalah. While it is Hermetic Qabalah that is mostly applied to Tarot, Mark Horn introduces a unique way to use the Tarot to practice Counting the Omer. This will be the most unique tarot book to have on the shelf as it offers you a rare transformative practice. 


Who am I?

I found the tarot at the age of fourteen. Like many teenagers exploring the spirit world, I was curious about witchcraft, prophecies, numerology, astrology – it was a matter of time until I found the Tarot and fell in love with the cards. From studying Tarot, I branched out into Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and finally coming home to my culture’s Hellenic Tradition (Hellenism). I went on to college to receive a B.A. in Religion and later a M.A. in Ancient History.  I give the Tarot large credit to all my later achievements in life. Those 78 cards opened my eyes to a whole world of mysteries to be unlocked.  


I wrote...

Tarot Tracker: A Year-Long Journey

By Angelo Nasios,

Book cover of Tarot Tracker: A Year-Long Journey

What is my book about?

Keeping a record of Tarot readings to plot your growth over a year can be daunting. Now you can use this simple, effective, and beautiful annual tarot journal to keep track of your daily readings and seasonal occasions. Foster a personal bond to your cards and create a permanent record to keep forever to understand and plan your special path. Find out what the year may bring, record and reflect on daily and nightly readings, recognize patterns in your life, and connect personal experiences to the cards.

Begin your calendar journey at any time during the year, and use the knowledge you accumulate to chart your spiritual progress through the Tarot. Includes quick and easy traditional Tarot card meanings to help interpret your journey.

Zohar - Vol 1-23 Hebrew

By Rabbi Simon Bar Yochai,

Book cover of Zohar - Vol 1-23 Hebrew

Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (1885–1954) also known as the Baal Ha-Sulam was the first to translate the entire Zohar into Hebrew a hundred years ago. For those who have a skill in Hebrew and are interested in learning Zohar in the original language of Aramaic will find these 23 volumes indispensable. Though his explanations are not generally accepted by other scholars, his ability with language is laudable and his insights are valuable to anyone trying to break through into the actual text of the Zohar.

Who am I?

I have been studying Zohar in the original ancient language for fifty years and have written a number of books about how Zohar informs the future of the Earth. For my whole life, I have pursued Truth. Zohar has been my guide through the darkness of life riddled with lies. The words of Zohar promise to become relevant at the End of Days, before the six thousand year calendar runs out in 220 years with the advent of the Thousand Years of Woman and Peace. After fifty years of study, I have deciphered the past and written a book for the ages.


I wrote...

Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

By Dovid Krafchow,

Book cover of Zohar: Beyond the BlackWhole

What is my book about?

Redefining time and space using ancient Hebrew knowledge combined with scientific and historical information allows the reader to enter into the inner sanctum of Jewish mysticism. Zohar—Beyond the BlackWhole is the unfurling of a seven hundred-year mystery. First came Zohar, meaning Brilliance: the most mystical of all Jewish texts. Then two hundred years later came Cabala, the key to Zohar. Only now, witnessed by technological wizardry, can the great vision of Zohar be corroborated by scientific fact. Now is the time to turn the key and open the door. Zohar can heal the world, showing the way to a beautiful future.

The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot

By Rachel Pollack,

Book cover of The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot

I like many of Rachel Pollack's books, but this was one of the first tarot books I read. This kind of book is perfect for me to learn something. It reads very easily, more like a course than a book with pages full of text. The layout is light and each page is richly illustrated with colour photos including tarot cards from all over the world, so you can compare and get a good idea of ​​the character of each card.

All facets of tarot, which you can delve into later, are discussed: origin, history & the different traditions, symbols & colours, the Tree of Life & the Hebrew letters, numbers & the paths of the Sefiroth, Kabbalah & astrology, the journey of the fool through the Major Arcana, different readings & card spreads, different ways to use the tarot cards: to meditate, to work with dreams, games, storytelling and…


Who am I?

Since I was a teenager, I have been attracted to astrology, Jungian psychology, synchronicity, symbolism, alchemy, and Jewish esotery. Someone gave me my first Tarot deck as a present. Since then I collect old and new decks from the entire world and created my own Sun and Moon TarotI continue to deepen my knowledge of tarot and all the systems associated with it. At times I focus more on the Sefiroth and Kabbalah. Sometimes I’m more interested in different ways of interpreting tarot. I've been illustrating Astrological Learning Cards for a while now, trying to better understand the different astrological archetypes and to make art.


I wrote and illustrated...

Sun and Moon Tarot

By Vanessa Decort,

Book cover of Sun and Moon Tarot

What is my book about?

By playfully incorporating mythology and astrology, I bring unique interpretations to traditional tarot. The deck follows the traditional structure of Crowley Thoth Tarot but is also influenced by the book Mind MirrorThe Minor Arcana features Crowley’s keywords, but has people in the imagery and is influenced by the symbolism of Pamela Colman Smith's illustrations. Major Arcana cards show the associated Hebrew letter in the artwork.

Sun and Moon Tarot is a multi-cultural tarot deck with symbolism borrowed from Hinduism, yoga, ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology, the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and more. The Sun and Moon Tarot was published in 2010 and the pocket-sized version in 2017, it’s presented in a tin and features the black borders as originally designed.

Mind Mirror Close Encounters with Yourself

By Rufus C. Camphausen,

Book cover of Mind Mirror Close Encounters with Yourself

While designing and illustrating my own Sun and Moon Tarot, I followed the normal order of letters of the Hebrew alphabet and therefore also their values. And I respected the original Western Hermetic order of the cards on the paths of the Tree of Life and their corresponding Hebrew letters. This system is explained in detail in this book.

Rufus C. Camphausen describes in detail how the numbering of the tarot cards has been changed by different groups of people (Kabbalists, Astrologers, the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn & Aleister Crowley, A. E. Waite of the Rider Waite Tarot). The same is true with the assignment of the planets and zodiac signs and the assignment of the numbers and the Hebrew letters on the paths of the Sefiroth (Tree of Life in Kabbalah).

Together with Van Leeuwen he also created ‘The Kabbalistic Tarot/Tree-of-life Tarot’. This tarot deck…


Who am I?

Since I was a teenager, I have been attracted to astrology, Jungian psychology, synchronicity, symbolism, alchemy, and Jewish esotery. Someone gave me my first Tarot deck as a present. Since then I collect old and new decks from the entire world and created my own Sun and Moon TarotI continue to deepen my knowledge of tarot and all the systems associated with it. At times I focus more on the Sefiroth and Kabbalah. Sometimes I’m more interested in different ways of interpreting tarot. I've been illustrating Astrological Learning Cards for a while now, trying to better understand the different astrological archetypes and to make art.


I wrote and illustrated...

Sun and Moon Tarot

By Vanessa Decort,

Book cover of Sun and Moon Tarot

What is my book about?

By playfully incorporating mythology and astrology, I bring unique interpretations to traditional tarot. The deck follows the traditional structure of Crowley Thoth Tarot but is also influenced by the book Mind MirrorThe Minor Arcana features Crowley’s keywords, but has people in the imagery and is influenced by the symbolism of Pamela Colman Smith's illustrations. Major Arcana cards show the associated Hebrew letter in the artwork.

Sun and Moon Tarot is a multi-cultural tarot deck with symbolism borrowed from Hinduism, yoga, ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology, the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and more. The Sun and Moon Tarot was published in 2010 and the pocket-sized version in 2017, it’s presented in a tin and features the black borders as originally designed.

Or, view all 17 books about the Kabbalah

New book lists related to the Kabbalah

All book lists related to the Kabbalah

Bookshelves related to the Kabbalah