The Masonic Myth
For several years now, we've been seeing an upsurge of mostly fanciful books on the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. Jay Kinney's new book, The Masonic Myth: Unlocking the Truth About the Symbols, Secret Rites, and History of Freemasonry, offers something different: a journey of discovery into the real facts (and mysteries) of Masonry's history and symbols. A heavily researched, yet highly readable overview of what Freemasonry is really about. Release date from HarperOne was September 8, 2009. You can order from Amazon by clicking on the cover or link in the title above.
"... a book which has the excitement of a thriller with the benefit of being factual. This is real-life (as opposed to "reality") Freemasonry. And it's a great story!" — Jim Tresner, 33° Grand Cross, Book Review Editor, The Scottish Rite Journal
My first book is back in print. Newly published by Quest Books, Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions is available in a new revised edition. It is co-authored by Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney, Quest Books (paperback, $18.95, ISBN: 0835608441). Hidden Wisdom provides a highly readable survey of the esoteric spiritual and occult traditions of the West, including Kabbalah, Gnosticism, Alchemy, Magic, Mysticism, Sufism, Hermeticism, and numerous other paths. Online reviewers at Amazon.com have given it 4 1/2 stars, while Larry Dossey, M.D. has said "this book is a treasure. Highly recommended." This book represents a distillation of the research and inquiry that the authors undertook as editors of GNOSIS Magazine.
You can click on the book cover to order it at a discount via Amazon, or better yet, seek it out at your local independent bookstore.
The Inner West
Yet another book that I think justifies the trees that were ground into pulp on its behalf. The Inner West: An Introduction to the Hidden Wisdom of the West is edited and introduced by Jay Kinney. Published by Tarcher/Penguin (paperback original, $14.95; ISBN: 1585423394). It was released in June, 2004. This book gathers together 22 outstanding articles by 17 leading scholars and researchers on Western esoteric spiritual and occult traditions. Most of these pieces originally appeared in GNOSIS Magazine. This anthology serves as an excellent companion to Hidden Wisdom. Click on the book cover in order to buy it.
"The Inner West resurrects the lost and hidden traditions of the West in a reader-friendly, accessible way with both wit and impartiality. This is a path-breaking, serious work for anyone interested in learning more about the hidden treasures of our spiritual heritage." — Christopher Bamford
Live Web Interview
Well, "live" in a non-linear kind of way. The Doctor in his guise as Jay Kinney, author and editor, was interviewed from July 30 through August 12, 2004 by Bobby Lilly and others in the Inkwell.vue conference on The Well, the venerable online community and discussion board. Now here's the good part: anyone can read the interview, you don't have to be a Well member. Just click here: Jay Kinney Interview and check it out. The Inner West is the general subject, but plenty of related (and not so related) topics are covered.
Recent Interview with Bookpitch
Another more recent Jay Kinney interview that ranges from Gnosticism to Masonry and beyond can be found here: Bookpitch. The interviewer is Emmet Cole, Bookpitch columnist.
Other Books I Recommend
This is my favorite non-fiction book. I re-read it every year or two for pleasure. Joscelyn Godwin's Theosophical Enlightenment is a droll and marvelously informed history of the occult milieu in the English speaking world during the 19th century. If that sounds at all intriguing, I recommend checking it out. (Simply click on the book cover or book title.)
Looking for a compact introduction to those mysterious alchemical emblems? I thought so. Adam McLean's The Alchemical Mandala helps unlock the symbolic content of these Western esoteric hieroglyphs. You won't learn how to make gold, but you might gain some insights into the Hermetic philosophy of the alchemists.
Spain Rodriguez's delicious cartoon character Big Bitch takes no guff from anyone, good guys or bad. Accompanied by her loyal manservant, Asquith, she sets out to make sure every deal turns to her advantage. Adult fare. (This good-sized anthology, entitled She, collects a batch of strips that originally appeared in Screw Magazine.) Sorry kids.
Greg Shaw was one of the key figures helping to create early rock journalism with his seminal fanzines Mojo Navigator and Bomp! This super coffee table book surveys his career and reprints plenty of material (including a load of my own art for Bomp!).