I've just finished reading and working my way through The Ladder of Lights by William G. Gray, which is a book on the Sephiroth of the Quabala. I'd read the book many years ago, but decided recently to revisit it and this time I didn't want to just read it. I wanted to experience it. So I decided that I would approach reading the book a bit differently. Instead of reading a chapter, I decided to read a section of a chapter and then work with the concepts and entities discussed in that section. The actual work consisted of meditation and pathworking as well as mediation of the forces worked with via my spirit cord.
I found that creating a program of practice around the book made the concepts within it come alive in a way reading it simply wouldn't. I've shared some of that work in my monthly postings about my elemental balancing work. The engagement with the angelic orders and the archangels was particularly useful, creating a kind of initiatory journey through each Sephiroth in order to experience and process what each Sephiroth does as a principle of manifestation.
One of my complaints sometimes about occult practices is how books don't set up the necessary engagement a person needs with the concepts shared in the books. Or the book will set it up as a cookbook recipe approach to magic, which is also less than useful, if you want to go into the depth of the work. However I think if you can approach a given book with an intention of how you can turn the content into a meaningful practice, what you'll discover is that you can get a lot from it, even if there is no practice application included in the book. You just need to be prepared to come with your own tool set, but really if you are actively practicing magic, this shouldn't be difficult. And if it is difficult, it is time to start doing the work.
I'm going to start reading and working through the Talking Tree next and I'll take a similar approach to working through the material, using both meditation and mediation to connect with the essential powers that be and the underlying concepts that create the tree of life. When you work with a book, the key is to dive deep and work with the underlying principles and processes of magic. Ultimately that's what you are trying to get to...a fundamental understanding of how magic works or why it works and then taking and applying that knowledge and information into practice to change your life. If what you are reading isn't being applied, it will never change your life or change the way you experience the world...not on a deep level and that deep level is where we want to go with our practices and with whatever we engage in.
Book Review: The Ladder of Lights by William G. Gray
By far, this is one of the best books on the Sephiroth of the Quabala. Gray does an excellent job of breaking each Sephiroth down by planet, angelic order, archangel and god name association and explaining the Sephiroth in each of these levels. You'll also find that this book is easy to adapt to whatever practice you want to use to work with the Sephiroth. If you want to learn the Quabala, this is a good book to start with.