Watkins Books

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Watkins Books in Cecil Court

Watkins Books is London's oldest esoteric bookshop specializing in esotericism, mysticism, occultism, oriental religion and contemporary spirituality.[1] The book store was established by John M. Watkins, a friend of Madame Blavatsky, in 1897 at 26 Charing Cross. John Watkins had already been selling books via a catalogue which he began publishing in March 1893.[2] The first biography of Aleister Crowley recounts a story of Crowley making all of the books in Watkins magically disappear and reappear.[3]

Geoffrey Watkins (1896–1981) owned and managed the store after his father.[4] He was also an author[5] and publisher, with notable books including first publishing Carl Gustav Jung's 1925 edition of Septem Sermones ad Mortuos.[6]

In 1901, Watkins Books moved to 21 Cecil Court where it has been continuously trading ever since. It publishes a magazine called the Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine, which has featured leading authors from mind-body-spirit and esoteric fields. Watkins Books has been owned by Etan Ilfeld since March 2010.[7][8] Since then, a new website has been launched, and the store regularly hosts book launches and signings. Additionally, the Watkins website has integrated a spiritual map of London that everyone is invited to contribute to. Watkins Books has also published a free Mind Body Spirit app that is available on the iPhone/iPad and Android devices.[9]

Watkins makes an annual list of "the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People," which is published online and in the spring issue of their magazine.[10] The three main factors used to compile the list are that the person has to be alive, the person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale, and the person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data and is actively talked about on the Internet.


  1. ^ "US film producer supplies the magic to save occult bookshop". West End Extra. 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  2. ^ Watkins Review, Issue 24, June 2010
  3. ^ Page 268, 1952 edition of The Great Beast by John Symonds
  4. ^ "Geoffrey Watkins: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  5. ^ "Watkins, Geoffrey (1896-1981)". Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. The Gale Group Inc./Encyclopedia.com. 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "The automatic writings of Jung". Philipcoppens.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  7. ^ Gallagher, Victoria (March 15, 2010). "Deal agreed over Watkins Books". The Bookseller. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Kindred Spirit, Issue 109
  9. ^ "App Store - Mind Body Spirit Books by Watkins". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  10. ^ "The Spiritual 100 - Watkins' annual list of the 100 most spiritually influential living people!". Watkinsbooks.com. Retrieved 2012-12-09.

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Coordinates: 51°30′39″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5107°N 0.1277°W / 51.5107; -0.1277