Spiritual Travel Books for New York City. Where Art Thou?

It’s pretty slim pickin’s when it comes to New York City travel books catering to the spiritually inclined. With the exception of Mitch Horowitz’s Occult America, which has quite a bit of information on turn-of-the-century mystic happenings just north of the city, there’s not much out there when you’re looking for a book on city-centric occult hot spots.

Not to be dismayed, I recently got a hold of three books that, while focusing far too much on the “legitimate” traditions and their architecture (Christian churches, etc.), may, if I read between the lines with a magnifying glass, yield some secret heretical locales worth looking into.

The three books I got are:

Unfortunately, each guide seems more vanilla than the next, and while there’s a passing mention of the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 7, as well as a brief nod to the Dergah al-Farah in Tribeca, the closest either of the books get to something truly “out there” is a weird listing for the Temple of Isis at Dendur which is a permanent exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Really? That’s the only pagan place in the city worth looking into?

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted a pair of Z. Cavariccis for your birthday, but, thinking they were ahead of the game, your parents got you a pair of Land’s End slacks because “Hey, they’re the same thing only cheaper”? I kind of feel like that with these books.

Needless to say, I haven’t read them yet, so who knows…. Will keep you posted.


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