My 10 favourite spiritual books are not necessarily the BEST spiritual books I have read. However, they make my top ten simply because they opened a door into a new world when I discovered them.
I went looking through my bookshelf to unearth stand-out books that symbolise important turning points in my life as a highly sensitive, empath and healer. I believe certain books are called towards you at specific times of life. They fulfill unmet needs and gaps in knowledge. The moment when I discover the source of new wisdom is always sprinkled with a coating of fairy dust.
Thoiugh the books in my list had great meaning and significance to me at the time of reading, they are not best sellers. In fact they are far from widely-known and, if I had crossed their path at any other stage of life, I probably wouldn’t have lloked twice, nevermind devoured them.
They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. These 10 favourite spiritual books are humble and obscure yet appeared with incredible timing; just when I needed them most.
It has been difficult to isolate only 10 favourite spiritual books because there has been so many scintallating reads over the years. No doubt I’ve forgotten about a few too (– I’m thinking the I-Ching, Book of Changes, for one).
These books sit on the bookshelf behind me as I write this post. They are easy to reference and describe to you, dear reader. Like family members or appreciated friends.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan
I found this big book in a charity shop after feeling I needed to go to the next level where healing was concerned. It’s an incredibly indepth book that includes many different aspects of ‘hands-on’ energy healing. It has become very widely known; Barbara went on to write Light Emerging, and founded the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. Her school is now very well regarded worldwide, where they teach a rigorous four year programme to budding energy healers.
Get this book if: You’ve covered the basics of energy healing and want to advance.
Don’t get this book if: You want a spiritual book that isn’t linked to healing ‘how to’s’.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Living Magically by Gill Edwards
Though I’d been dabbling in meditation, palmistry and tarot since my teenage years, this was one of the first books that stood out on my spiritual journey as an adult. I got it as an inter-library loan from my University. The author talks simply about how we create our own reality; live many lifetimes; the power of the present moment and how we are on earth to “learn, grow and have fun”. The book also touches on co-creation and how we are responsible for the wellbeing of the planet. At the time it introduced me to new ideas such as self-care, the roles we play in our relationships, the stories we tell ourselves and understanding our ego. Flicking through this book today, I am struck by how many of the themes mentioned I am still interested in or teaching about.
Get this book if: You want timeless yet practical wisdom explained in simple terms with actionable points.
Don’t get this book if: You consider your personal development to be very advanced.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Spiritual Growth by Sanaya Roman
This book found me when I was first turning back to my roots to re-train as a healer in 2007. I remember reading it on the train while going to and from my Reiki Master Teacher in East Anglia, UK. It cameat a time of personal crisis and awakening: I was questioning what I wanted out of life and where I was going. This book helps you connect with your higher self, raise your vibration, move into higher consciousness and accelerate your spiritual development. The language and concepts are simple and straighforward, making this a perfect book for someone just starting on their inner journey or undertaking a healing training of any kind.
Get this book if: You want channelled information about spiritual development expressed in a straighforward way.
Don’t get this book if: You don’t believe in higher selves or higher consciousness.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: The Language of Letting Go by Melodie Beattie
This little book teaches the fundamentals of self-care and recovery from codependency in 365 carefully worded meditations. It is ideal for anyone who finds themselves in repeating patterns of behaviour or relationships. It breaks down the mountainous task of rebuilding our inner life, owning our emotions and taking responsibity for our own pain and wellbeing. It’s based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, which themselves encourage a spiritual perspective on life. Yet, it is a good read while in any kind of emotional recovery process. You can either read a section a day or simply flip open a page when you need comfort or insight. These reflections give hope to anyone who feels lonely on the road to becoming whole again.
Get this book if: You want easy to ‘dip into’ insights that help you reflect on your inner life, emotions and patterns.
Don’t get this book if: You don’t like anything associated with the 12 Step Programme.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Soul Mates by Sue Minns
As I wrote in my blog post “How to find my soul mate? What is a soul mate connection?” I remember reading a fantastic book by Sue Minns that clearly explained in everyday language what you can expect from a soul mate connection. Sadly, from Sue’s account, a soul mate connection is not always hearts and flowers. This book appeared at a very pertinent time in my life – as they often do – and helped me understand, navigate and overcome what was undoubtedly a very powerful and destructive soul mate connection. My attempts to come to terms with what had happened between myself and this ‘soul mate’ led me into a process of self-enquiry which included hypnosis for past life regression. I needed answers. My subsequent soul-searching led me deeper and deeper into the spiritual realm.
Get this book if: You want to understand how to see your soul mate relationships in a healthy context.
Don’t get this book if: You are waiting for ‘The One’ to sweep you off your feet.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: The Gift – Poems by Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky
The Great Sufi Master Hafiz’s exquisite mystical poems radiate the healing dimensions of poetry. Hafiz’s peoms were ecstatic love songs, channelled from ‘God’ (ie. source energy). These 250 poems are intimate, sweet, playful, innocent, joyful and profound. I found this book in the shop at Findhorn spiritual community in Scotland in 2007.
It is my favourite book of poetry and just happens to be spiritual. This choice also demonstrates how much I have changed since my twenties: aged 25, my favourite book of poetry was by nihilistic, cynical punk Henry Rollins! (His books ‘See a Grown Man Cry, Now Watch Him Die‘ could be a thesis on rage, grief and devastation.)
Get this book if: You like Rumi and want to add a little gem to your book collection.
Don’t get this book if: You want to read something instructional.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Witchcraft – The History and Mythology by Richard Marshall
This is a pictorial account of the role of the wise woman throughout history and her place in society through the ages. It impacted me profoundly at 22 years of age. I found it in my university library. It’s pages encompass sorcerers, legends and fairies through to the 18th and 19th Century fore-runners of the New Age movement (Madam Blavatsky et al). It’s a somewhat academic collection of stories, facts and historical episodes, brought to life by original illustrations that put into perspective how fortunate female healers are today.
The grim accounts of the Burning Years and Salem trials in Europe and America send chills: hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of women killed and ordinary people terrorised by the Church and ruling elites. Though we spiritualists still may be treated with disdain, and written-off as being woo-woo unicorn-chasers, by the skeptics, at least we are no longer burnt or drowned for being ourselves!
Get this book if: You are interested to learn more about your lineage as a Western spiritual woman.
Don’t get this book if: You find academia boring or prefer to read Spirituality-Lite™ .
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Positive Magic by Marion Weinstein
I picked this up in Enchantments, New York City’s oldest occult store, in the East Village in 1998. I loved this book! It covers basic occult information; astrology; pagan festivals; magic in the context of self-help; explanation of the Aquarian Age; how to avoid negative magic and groups (- and why!); the heritage of witchcraft; karma, reincarnation; divination and self-transformation. Even today, the information feels fresh.
Get this book if: You’re interested in learning the basic of the witchcraft tradition in a grounded, relatable way.
Don’t get this book if: You think witchcraft is the Devil’s work, or only about spells, and you don’t wish to be enlightened.
My 10 favourite spiritual books: Radiant Healing by Isabel Bellamy and Donald Maclean
The great thing about being a spiritual healer is that – unlike being a BBC TV presenter – there’s no glass ceiling where age is concerned. My hair can get greyer, my wrinkles more deep; these outer signs allude to the inner wisdom that can only be gained from years of experience (in life and work). Would you like to learn from a newbie or crone? Give me a good-natured crone any day! So, as I move into my middle-age, I especially feel connected to a book I discovered in a charity shop in Forres, a Scottish town close to the Findhorn retreat centre, UK. The author, Isobel, studied psychology, diet, yoga, homeopathy and physiotherapy, as well as healing and pendulum dowsing. She generously shares a lifetime of learning about subtle energies, systems of the body, working with various energies, the origins of disease and numerous natural aids to health. I believe Isobel has passed and this compendium is out of print so cherish my copy dearly.
Get this book if: You’re fascinated by spiritual energies and human health.
Don’t get this book if: You are science-oriented and prefer to learn about conventional healing methods.
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