Wyrd reading – Useful books

The books listed on this page are some that we’ve found useful in various ways at Wyrdsmiths. As on the other pages in this section, titles are links to the respective listings at Amazon. We’ve arbitrarily organised the books under the following headings:

Wyrd in business

The Secrets of Consulting : A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully ~ Gerald M. Weinberg / Paperback / Published 1986

Probably the book on working with the wyrdness of business environments, and putting it to practical use. Weinberg is one of the computer-trade greats, a highly respected consultant and theorist, co-originator of systems theory, and original researcher into the Psychology Of Computer Programming  (the Silver Anniversary edition of that study has just been released). This book, a masterly exploration of surviving the irrationality of business, arose in part from his work with Virginia Satir – founder of family therapy – but it’s well constructed, easy to read, immensely practical and, above, fun!

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Intuitive skills

The Diviner’s Handbook : A Guide to the Timeless Art of Dowsing ~ Tom Graves / Paperback / Published 1976/1990

Lyall Watson – author of Supernature and many other books – described this book as “simple, lucid, yet comprehensive: the best thing of its kind ever done on dowsing”. Regularly reprinted by various publishers worldwide for more than twenty years, it’s still one of the best introductions to an intuitive skill which can be experienced directly by anyone – with immediately practical results.

The Elements of Pendulum Dowsing ~ Tom Graves / Paperback / Published 1988/1997

Another introductory work on dowsing, this time focussing on the use of the pendulum – ‘a ring on a string’ – as a means of experiencing and developing intuitive skills. Like The Diviner’s Handbook, it’s been popular worldwide – there’ll even be Japanese and Estonian translations available soon, apparently.

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Feng Shui

Interior Design With Feng Shui ~ Sarah Rossbach / Paperback / Published 1991

The book around which the current Westernised fad for feng shui crystallised. Based as it is on Lin Yun’s strange and somewhat dubious ‘disneyfication’ of Hong Kong practice, it has a few serious flaws and some severe limitations, but it has a good grasp of the underlying wyrdness behind ‘ru-shr’ and ‘chu-shr’, and it’s still one of the best guides to Form School feng shui.

The Living Earth Manual of Feng-Shui : Chinese Geomancy ~ Stephen Skinner / Paperback / Published 1990

Originally published in the 1970s, this is one of the few studies dating from before the current fad – a point very much in its favour! Unlike almost any other modern text, it explores the theoretical basis of feng shui – making it possible to break free from ‘pre-packaged’ systems, and instead develop local interpretations more useful to our own perspective on the wyrd.

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The Tarot Handbook : Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols ~ Angeles Arrien / Paperback / Published 1997

For no especial reason, this book just happens to be one of our favourites at Wyrdsmiths. It’s well organised and well laid out, with good cross-referencing, practical techniques, and a range of different interpretations. It’s perhaps not as suitable for absolute beginners as the something based on the Rider-Waite deck, for example, but it takes one of the most powerful tarot decks – the ‘Thoth’ deck, designed for Aleister Crowley by Lady Frieda Harris in the 1930s – and makes it eminently usable, which Crowley’s original text does not. Our own copies have become battered and dog-eared through constant use: if you’re serious about tarot, this is definitely one book to get!

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