(Revised with additions, 8/26/03)
Thank God this book is still available in its unedited/modified edition, besides the Cicero's!
Read and learn. Also, get, and practice, Regardie's 'Art of True Healing,' still available in a useful, functional edition, but little modified by Mark Allen. Well worth your bother! Cannot be recommended more highly: the Middle Pillar 'ritual' is integral to the Regardie material, and is much more practical than it sounds.
You won't regret it, answer-seekers ... !
Yet, some have little interest in matters purely/strictly occult. Occultism isn't necessarily the only reason one studies Regardie. Throughout all his books, a useful perspective on the world of psychology is offered. You may not care for western magic, Egyptian gods considered as symbols of the mind, spirit, etc.
However, Regardie, although by repute no master 'shrink' himself, offers many useful points of view on psychology and psychotherapy throughout his many books. His sanity and objectivity shine through, little handicapped by personal idiosyncracy. His reading lists can be useful. His 'Teachers of Fulfillment,' currently out of print, I hope to see reprinted soon. It offers a kind of 'Tree of Life' quality coverage on the New Thought ' metaphysical' movement, offering what I think are very useful insights into this movement. 'Energy, Prayer, and Relaxation' is another cognate volume, offering a variant on the 'Art of True Healing' method, and is a useful introduction to such methods/practices.
His 'One Year Manual' also stands well next to these. It is a blend of methods and techniques to be used by the individual, not only for health but for personal self-development as well, spiritual and otherwise. To me, it is an extremely practical work. The small but important and essential practise of 'self-recollection' as described therein has proved invaluable to me. It deserves a small book all to itself.
Add the essay on 'Meditation' from his 'Foundations of Practical Magic' ( out of print, but also no doubt soon to be re-released, ) well-known and admired among the cognoscenti, and you start to have a very well-rounded grounding/perspective indeed. This is a grounding and orientation of occultism, integrating psychology in general, to form a surprisingly unified whole, and a more than suitable springboard for the individual interested in steadily and carefully pursuing a course of action destined to change his/her life.
The recommended reading list of W.E.Butlers handbooks, etc. on an early page of 'Ceremonial Magic,' the non-occult but tremendously useful 'Lazy Man's Guide to Relaxation,' are two other Regardie books no doubt soon to be reprinted as demand increases. Also, Regardie recommends having on hand a copy of Jungs 'Two Essays on Analytical Psychology' on hand, to supplement all these general studies.
Frater Albertus' 'Alchemist's Handbook,' featuring an introduction by Regardie, usefully supplements the Golden Dawn material on the Internet. However, you should also familiarize yourself with Regardie introductions to the general Golden Dawn material, found in the two different published book collections of the Golden Dawn.
Korzybski's many books on semantics (aka: neuro-semantics) also contributes its moiety to the complete Regardie picture. See also Regardie's introduction to Edwin Steinbrecher's 'Inner Guide Meditation,' for an even further expansion of and familiarity with Regardie's realm and point-of-view.
Also on the horizon is 'Regardie Speaks,' useful for getting a further grasp on his ideas. After all these, you will know where to go next.
Read his books. Read his recommendations. Read introductions he has written for others. You won't regret it. The methods are not to be rushed into, as they can be quite powerful and useful. Sanity must guide the path and, as Regardie would say, 'fanaticism above all is to be eschewed.'
Add to all this his useful recordings, in particular the 'Middle Pillar Ritual' recording, useful with the 'Art of True Healing' essay, and his 'Body Awareness/Relaxation' recording, and you are well on your way.
The quiet intelligence, caution, and subtlety which pervades his books, is something I always look for in a writer, as in J. Krishnamurti, and others.
Those looking for a new perspective on life would do well to investigate his work.
Although I have since added in to the picture a moiety of Taoist immortalist classics to my 'armementarium,' I am constantly returning to Regardie. ( Taoist health techniques as in Eva Wong, Thomas Cleary and the like, I feel is the direction people like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Bernie Siegel, writers on the Qi-Jong, Feng Shui, and similar efforts are headed.) Enrich your appreciation and understanding of other psychology and 'self-improvement ' writings, by improving the entire picture for yourself, with Regardie.
You'll be glad you did. It just might be 'more rewarding than watching television,' or pursuing lesser, although 'flashier' writers on personal psychology/human potential and development subjects.
Bravo to the Ciceros for making Regardie's classic text even more usable for the 21st century reader. I'm glad they changed Regardie's old spelling of Hebrew words like Sephiros to Sephiroth to make them conform with the way modern magicians say these words! Sure, you can still buy the old Weiser edition, but if you do, you won't be getting over a hundred illustrations, great footnotes, a table of contents that you can ACTUALLY read, a 50+ page glossary of magical terms, and a comprehensive index. I know which edition I use more often, and it isn't the Weiser one!