The Ten Best Occult Books of the Decade

Mitch Horowitz
4 min readDec 24, 2019

I define the occult as the exploration of unseen dimensions whose forces act upon us and through us — it is simply a study of extra-physicality and nonlocal intelligence. As a writer, reader, and publisher of occult literature, I offer up those titles that touched me as a seeker. Like every list, so much is missing — but these works and writers left an indelible mark on my search over the past decade.

2012 by Daniel Pinchbeck

I know what you’re thinking: the world didn’t end in 2012. He never said it would. Pinchbeck, a literary journalist, combined a journey of self-awakening with esoteric Mayan calendrics to produce one of the most startling and compulsively readable memoirs of the search since work of Somerset Maugham. (Disclosure: I published it back in the day, and would again.)

John Dee and the Empire of Angels by Jason Luov

The best book recommendation from a writer is one that he is jealous he didn’t write himself. Luov’s research, completeness, and stylistic writing make this the definitive work on the Elizabethan mage Dee. It will never be surpassed.

Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman

If Betty Friedan were a witch, this is the book she would’ve written. If you expect a spellbook you’re in for a surprise: this is a profoundly moving memoir of discovering oneself as a feminist and creative being through the revival of nature-based religion.

Dark Star Rising by Gary Lachman

If you want to understand the dark spiritual dynamics behind the rise of American authoritarianism, Lachman provides a codex that helps us grasp what has happened to our nation in ways that you won’t find in the news…

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Mitch Horowitz

"Treats esoteric ideas & movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness"-Washington Post | PEN Award-winning historian | Censored in China