New to the ways of the Thrice-Great, seeking guidance (xpost from /r/hermetism)

Personally, I enjoy the poetic translation of G.R.S Mead's Corpus Hermeticum, but I have considered getting my hands on Copenhavers edition, hearing very good things about it.

Bardons works are more than excellent. The premise of his first book, Initiation Into Hermetics, is that a balanced development of all four elements on the three planes are necessary for perfection. If you decide to get this book, which I highly recommend, make sure to get this commentary by Frater Veos, which is close to being just as essential as the book itself. He have personally trained students in this system and shows the various pitfalls and expound upon extensive excercises.

The only physical tools you need, besides a pen and paper for the creation of the black and white soul mirror, as someone already mentioned, is a specific outfit you only use for practice and either a woolen or silk blanket, which you keep out of sight and touch of other people. Magic is quantity, that is, a technical way of using the mind, while mysticism is quality, that is, refinement of mind itself. It goes without saying that a refined mind is more effective in it's use, and therefore preliminary mystic excercies, such as meditation, are crucial before any success in magic can be had.

Hermeticism has closer ties to Neoplatonism than to Kabbalah. The latter was supposedly adapted around the 15th century in order to avoid persecution from the church, and over time, people simply forgot. Agrippa, who is perhaps the fountainhead of our current Western Esoteric Tradition, is said to borrow heavily from the Neoplatonists, such as Iamblichus and Porphyry. And the Corpus Hermeticum is clearly Greek in origin, calling God "The Good."

While Franz Bardon himself uses the Kabbalistic Sephirot in his second book in regards to Evocation, he only does so in their correlation to the planets and number; he could simply have replaced The Tree of Life with The Tetraktys. The whole procedure of Evocation itself is Graeco-Egyptian in nature, and he clearly points this out in the depiction of his second Tarot card. Thus, one is lead to believe that he only adapted the Kabbalah for conveince. This assumption is further confirmed, because his third book, Key to the True Quabalah, is not what Dion Furtune terms "The Alchemical Kabbalah", with a shitload of Liber 777 correspondences, but what The Sepher Yetzirah itself states to be the essence: "In thirty-two mysterious Paths of Wisdom did Jah, the Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, the Living Elohim, the King of ages, the merciful and gracious God, the Exalted One, the Dweller in eternity, most high and holy, engrave his name by the three Sepharim -- Numbers, Letters, and Sounds." The Kabbalah is the science of The Word; to vibrate sounds creatively on all three planes.

Sorry for my little rambling sidetrack. My point being, that many occultists seems to believe that the Kabbalah is what defines Hermetics, which is certainly not true.

As for litterature, that is really dependent on your idiosyncrasies - find the rabbit hole that fits your disposition best and dive in.

/r/occult Thread