Ellie Burrows // Reading List for Conscious Relationships

Writer and spiritual seeker Ellie Burrows has spent much of her twenties devoted to learning how to create conscious relationships within the complicated modern world. Check out her book recs for creating more balanced spiritual, sexual and emotional connections.

We hung out with Ellie in her beautiful West Village apartment, where all of her wonderful spiritual books and objects create a sanctuary oasis within the city. We asked this "modern mystic" to compile a reading list for those of us who would like to learn more about our relationship patterns, sexuality, and how to create healthy connections. We can't wait to dive in!!

// REFLECTIONS ON THE ART OF LIVING: A JOSEPH CAMPBELL COMPANION by Joseph Campbell and A LOVER’S DISCOURSE: FRAGMENTS by Roland Barthes I pair these because they were a gift from my dear friend, Mark. Both are classics. The Campbell book is like having a gifted teacher permanently in residence in my apartment. And Barthes was a French literary theorist. This is a great example of the mind trying to translate the heart. It’s a challenging read because it’s a challenging thing to translate.

// FROM SEX TO SUPER CONSCIOUSNESS by Osho Sex is just a doorway to something sacred, people. You should know that when you are mixing your chi with someone else’s.

// THE WAY OF THE SUPERIOR MAN by David Deida Feminists and scientists will not like this one, but when it comes to male and female energies, and the way in which they work spiritually, David Deida is on point. I think this is an important book for any partner that wants to “fix” something when another partner is upset. Also an important read for someone who is ambitious and career driven and needs some help sorting out how love fits into that equation.

// MATING IN CAPTIVITY: UNLOCKING EROTIC INTELLIGENCE by Esther Perel This woman is an absolute genius. Like, truly. I want to have ten thousand of her thought babies. In this book she shows you that the things that are required for intimacy are directly opposed to the things that are required for desire. You want to know why people stop having sex in relationships? Read this. Regarding romantic relationships, this is arguably the most important book of our time.

// SHE COMES FIRST: THE THINKING MAN'S GUIDE TO PLEASURING A WOMAN by Ian Kerner No description necessary. The title really says it all, don’t you think?

// CONSCIOUS DATING: FINDING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE AND THE LIFE THAT YOU LOVE by David Steele This is a manual for dating. It’s dry just like a textbook (it even has exercises). If you insist on approaching matters of the heart logically, then at least do it with this book, please. It actually works, helping the reader prioritize, organize, and plan. It is the definitive dating coach’s book.

// VAGINA by Naomi Wolf I can’t in good conscience put David Deida on this list without balancing it out with one of my favorite books written by one of my favorite feminists. If you have a vagina, love vagina, or came out of a vagina, then this should be required reading. I am pretty sure that means everyone should read it.

// SEXTROLOGY: THE ASTROLOGY OF SEX AND THE SEXES by Starsky and Cox This is like the best coffee table book of all time. You can see all the creases! I pick up this book on the regular. If you like Susan Miller or the Astro Twins, then this is the book for you. The authors also have a great book called COSMIC COUPLING. I have laughed at this book with so many of my friends, particularly when the authors describe what breasts or penises may look like that belong to a certain sign. When it comes to general astrology aka sun signs (houses, eclipses, degrees aside) and how they inform or romantic relationships, this is basically bible. And it’s all #realtalk.

// Not pictured: HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF (AND SOMETIMES OTHER PEOPLE): SPIRITUAL ADVICE FOR MODERN RELATIONSHIPS by Lodro Rinzler and Meggan Watterson Lodro is a close friend and he’s usually right about this stuff. I have not read it yet but it’s at the top of my list for the year. Comes out in the fall. Pre-order it!

More insight from Ellie: