Some people like money as a gift. While there’s a part of me that thinks, “Good! Money! I can do something with this,” there’s also another part of me that thinks, “They sure didn’t think much about this gift!”

I prefer receiving something that someone has actually spent time considering. “What is Don like? What does he need? What does he want? What will he use?” That’s the type of gift I prefer to give, too. For me, spending time considering what someone needs, will like and will use is a pleasure for me. It can also be challenging if I don’t have in mind a variety of things to choose from that might appeal to a person.

There’s a surprisingly different problem when selecting a gift, too: having too much choice. Many times, when given so many choices that a person might like as a gift, I end up going away and not choosing anything at all. I’ll choose something later. In business this is called “paralysis through analysis.”

So I would like to make a very few suggestions that you might consider as gifts for people on your list (or admit it, for yourself!):

For Tarot Fans:

There are two decks I would recommend for the Tarot fans you know. The first is The Shapeshifter Tarot. This has quickly become one of our most popular decks. Featuring beautiful art by Lisa Hunt, this deck from D. J. Conway and Sirona Knight is a breathtaking deck for people with a Pagan focus. It works with the interaction between humans, animals, and nature.

If someone is more into something a bit more future-retro, the deck you’ve gotta get for them is The Steampunk Tarot

This is perfect for fans of The Rocketeer or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Created by Barbara Moore with astoundingly fantastic art by Aly Fell, it’s also just a great deck.

For Tarot Experts:

If you know someone who lives and breathes Tarot, there is one book you’ve got to get for them: Professional Tarot by Christine Jette.This book will help them move from amateur reader to professional. It will give people who are already professionals great ideas to fine tune and improve their practices. Here are some of its features:

• Assess your strengths and weaknesses as a Tarot reader
• Develop your special niche as a reader
• Market your unique skills on a shoestring budget
• Stay on top of taxes
• Learn about zoning and tax laws in your community
• Expand your clientele with Internet or phone readings
• Keep important legal records for your files
• Handle crisis situations calmly and professionally
• Understand the special needs of teenage clients
• Organize and teach Tarot classes
• Recognize signs of “psychic burnout”
• Develop your own professional Tarot code of ethics

All Tarot readers—in fact, anyone who gives readings of any kind at all, professionally or for free—should study this book!

For the Serious Magician:

There is a book that I think all serious magicians should have: The Complete Magician’s Tables by Stephen Skinner.

This massive, comprehensive book is simply the single most complete resource listing correspondences so necessary to the practice of magick. It will be the one book your magician (or you) will refer to most frequently.

For Magician-Collectors:

There are some people who collect magick books. Some, such as books by authors such as Ophiel, Regardie, and Crowley that were published by Llewellyn just a few decades ago have gone up in value more than some precious metals! Select books make a great investment. There are also people, such as myself, who are what I call “magician-collectors.” We want books not just for their value, but for their value and their content. For example, one of the most important books on the history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is Sword of Wisdom by Ithell Colquhoun. Today, it is rare and out-of-print. A copy in new condition sells for more than ten times its original cost. The copy I own is the first British printing. It has only one difference from the American printing, an image is in color rather than black-and-white. It’s far more rare than the American printing and much more valuable.

Of course, how do you know what is going to be valuable and useful for the magician-collector? Well, I have two possibilities for you. The first is the Veritable Key of Solomon by Stephen Skinner and David Rankine.

This large, hard-cover book is beautiful to see and hold. It is the most comprehensive version of the Key of Solomon ever, including never before published material, 160 illustrations, and expert commentary. This is the version that real magicians will use!

The other book is the key to one of the most potent forms of magick around. It’s Dr. John Dee’s Spiritual Diaries by Stephen Skinner.

This is the first fully readable edition of Dr. John Dee’s Spiritual Diaries. Completely revamped, reorganized, and corrected, this reader-friendly version of A True & Faithful Relation . . . includes a preface by Meric Casaubon, extensive footnotes, supplementary texts, additional illustrations, a Dee timeline, and sections which were originally missing from Casaubon’s edition.

For Beginning Magicians:

I spent years studying magick. I read and practiced from book after book. Some took me forward. Others took me back. Others took me nowhere. By the time I started teaching magick I wanted a single book for my students that would present, in a logical order, a complete introduction to the Western system of magick. Israel Regardie was doing another version of his classic, The Golden Dawn, and I wrote to him, begging for it to be in a logical order that could be used by a student of magick. Although he replied to other questions in my letter, he didn’t reply to this. The book that resulted, in my opinion, was an enormous, bloated, tome that added nothing of value to the Llewellyn edition. Even he, in a letter to me, referred to it as being good as a doorstop!

So I wrote the book I wish had been available to me. I am fortunate that it became the most popular set of step-by-step magickal instructions ever published. Now in its third edition, I think it’s better than ever. So if you know someone who is just learning magick or wants to complete their knowledge, I can think of no better single book than my own, Modern Magick.


What books or Tarot decks do you recommend?

You can share your suggestions in the comment section.

Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...