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Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions
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Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This book is meant for those who have ever thought there’s something deeply wrong in their life or the state of the world in general. So often we’re troubled by the anxieties of everyday life, numbly repeating daily rituals with no significance or inner meaning. Contemporary seekers long for a deeper spirituality that, while rooted in Western tradition, will reconnect them ...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published June 25th 2006 by Quest Books (first published 1999)
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Smoley and Kinney – both of which were editors for Gnosis magazine – offer a concise and informative introduction to many of the Western Esoteric traditions. Though this book offers only an introduction on each topic, it includes a suggested annotated bibliography at the end of the chapter for further reading on the tradition, as well as advice on how to get more involved in the study and practice of each subject. I would say for the spiritual seeker not satisfied with Western exoteric religion, ...more
Gregory Stewart
If Manly P. Hall’s Secret Teachings had a companion book, I think that Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney’s Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions would be it.

Every bit as dense as Hall’s Secret Teachings but much more down to earth and embedded in the “real” rather than the idealized reality – which is saying a lot. For most who take the journey of exploring the esoteric side of life, its can very fast become a confused mess of who’s who and what group is doing what.

Read more at http
Roger Buck
Useful in certain respects, but too superficial. If you want the very opposite of superficial and are open to having your life turned inside-out, I would recommend Meditations on the Tarot by anonymous. My review of that anonymous masterpiece of the Western hermetic tradition here:
I learned a lot from this book. An easy read with great payback. Very interesting material.
This is a solid overview of the Western esoteric traditions. The authors clearly present the topics, warts and all, and provide suggested readings for each topic for those who want more information. This is a very good jumping off point for those just beginning to explore this often bewildering area of study.
Nosy Parker
Nice overview of Western esoteric and mystical traditions from an agnostic, pragmatic perspective. Concise summaries of the main currents and central ideas in the tradition, with a brief and tantalizing annotated bibliography for further reading at the end of each chapter.
Jeremy Richter
The name says it all! You WILL attain great wisdom from this book!
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