All posts by Psyche

About Psyche

Psyche is the editor of Spiral Nature, and has been published in numerous journals, including The Cauldron, PanGaia, and Witches & Pagans. Psyche is on Twitter as @plutopsyche, and on Tumblr as plutopsyche.

Toastar!, by Francis Breakspear

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Toastar!, by Francis H BreakspearToastar!, by Francis H BreakspearToastar!: Further Adventures in Chaos Magick, by Francis H Breakspear
Hidden Publishing, 9780955523748, 122 pp., 2009

Francis H Breakspear was the pseudonym of the academic chaote Dave Evans, who passed in 2013. This was his third book in under this name, following Kaostar! and If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It! (As Breakspear, Evans seemed inordinately fond of exclamation points.)

Both a scholar and a practitioner of the occult, Evans was a founding editor of The Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, and co-editor of Ten Years of Triumph of the Moon (with Dave Green). He was also the author of The History of British Magick After Crowley and Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick. Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, he was also an occasional contributor to both Spiral Nature and Plutonica.net, and a good friend. Continue reading


The Gorgon’s Tarot, by Dolores Fitchie

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The Gorgon's Tarot, by Dolores FitchieThe Gorgon's Tarot, by Dolores FitchieThe Gorgon’s Tarot, by Dolores Fitchie
Schiffer Publishing, 9780764345906, 79 cards, instruction booklet, 2014

The Gorgon’s Tarot is an unusual deck: the cards are round, and the images are predominantly black and white. “Gorgon” appears to be a nickname for Dolores Fitchie herself, and also serves as the patron creature presiding over this deck, in particular, Euryale, the gorgon who defied the gods, seeking knowledge and truth.

The cards began life as a graphic project, not a divinatory tool, and The Gorgon’s Tarot was more than 10 years in the making. The black and white design is deliberate and is intended to remove colour symbolism, which Fitchie finds distracting, and has no interest in. There are two cards that contain splashes of red: The Blind Gorgon and the Devil. When they appear, the bright flashes of red make these cards seem all the more startling. Continue reading


A chat with Lupa about bones

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Lupa

Lupa is an author, artist and nature-lover living in Portland, Oregon. Her most recent books are New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism, and Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect with Spirits of Field, Forest, and Garden.

Lupa has been making art out of hide and bone for nearly 20 years, and her latest project is The Tarot of Bones: A Natural History Divination Set, currently being funded through Indiegogo through to May 19, 2015.

Psyche: First of all, congratulations on having your Indigogo campaign funded within your first 100 hours, that’s wonderful! It’s an unusual deck, and I wanted to know why tarot, why bones?

Lupa: Back in October [2014] I had a piece in a local gallery that had a group show with a tarot theme. It was my usual assemblage style, it had a coyote skull and some other things, basically pointing toward the Five of Coins. Putting the piece together, enjoying the show and being able to see everyone else’s interpretation of the tarot and their works, by the end of the evening I felt really inspired. Continue reading


Tarot Origins workshop starts Sunday!

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Tarot, photo by Kristin Andrus

Tarot Origins runs on Sundays from 3 May – June 28, 2015 from 2-4 pm EST, except for Sunday, May 24, which is a long weekend in Canada.

Most books and classes on tarot cover begin with how to read tarot, but Tarot Origins digs deeper, and looks at how tarot came to be, and where these divinatory meanings actually come from.

What it covers

In this 8 week Tarot Origins workshop series, we’ll look at tarot’s exoteric and esoteric histories: the Dance of Death (not as sinister as it sounds!), the Renaissance, the fin de siecle occult revival, and modern interpretations of the tarot today.

We’ll learn about important figures like Court de Gebelin, Papus, Eliphas Levi, AE Waite, Pamela Colman Smith, Aleister Crowley, Lady Frieda Harris, and more.

Over the years so many diverse systems have attached themselves to the tarot, and we’ll look at how and why, and if (!) this makes sense, particularly through alchemy, astrology, the classical elements, the I Ching, the Hebrew alphabet, kabbalah, and a myriad of other esoteric associations.

Sign me up!

The course fee is $160 for the full 8 weeks, and is offered in-person for those in Toronto, and via distance education with live video conferencing, podcasts, and one-on-one tutoring.

In addition to the live workshop you get:

  • Detailed notes and a tarot timeline
  • Figures and diagrams comparing dozens of decks
  • Podcast recording of in-class sessions

Following the course, distance students also receive a one-on-one 30 minute tutoring session via Skype.

Please contact me at nico@nicomaramckay.com to reserve your spot.

I look forward to seeing you in class!

 


Magia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph

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Magia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de NaglowskaMagia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de NaglowskaMagia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de Naglowska, translated by Donald Traxler
Inner Traditions, 9781594774188, 174 pp. (incl. notes, bibliography, and index), 2012

Paschal Beverly Randolph‘s Magia Sexualis has often been called the most influential book about sex magick ever written. It survives through Maria de Naglowska‘s French translation and adaptation in an edition of 1,007 copies published more than 50 years after Randolph’s death.

Pashal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875) was an African American doctor, and the occultist who introduced sex magick to North America. He began his studies with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, and went on to author several books, founded the Brotherhood of Eulis, became a Rosicrucian, and was a rival of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The Brotherhood of Eluis was an initiating group, which sought to examine “occult data in the light of contemporary science.” Continue reading


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