Reviews

Book, film, tarot and oracle reviews.

Advancing the Witches’ Craft, by Marcus F Griffin

By Mike Gleason | April 18, 2014 | Leave a comment

Advancing the Witches' Craft, by Marcus F GriffinAdvancing the Witches’ Craft, by Marcus F Griffin
Megalithica Books, 978-1-950713-54-7, 229 pp., 2011

This book is most definitely not a 101 guide. The author makes it abundantly clear that he is not going to spend time laying basic foundations for the exercises he details. If you don’t already know how to meditate, or move energy, or visualize things, you will want to give this particular volume a pass. It is about time, however, that a book like this comes onto the market.

Griffin is also not afraid to call it as he sees it. Just because something is the “accepted” way or view, doesn’t mean that he has to accept it. You should (almost) never cast a circle widdershins, right? Why? Energy is either positive (good) of negative (bad), right? Who says so? Continue reading


LeMulGeton, by Leo Holmes

By Anton Channing | April 7, 2014 | Leave a comment

LeMulGeton, by Leo HolmesLeMulGeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition, by Leo Holmes
Fall of Man Press, 105 pp. (incl. bibliography), 2013

The title LeMulgeton combines the titles of two older books, Lemegeton and MUL.APIN. Written in the 17th century, Lemegeton, otherwise known as The Lesser Key of Solomon, contains a list of 72 demons with sigils and instructions for how to summon them, how each of them appears and their relative strengths. MUL.APIN, on the other hand, is the name of a Babylonian compendium on astronomy and astrology that dates back three thousand years.

When LeMulGeton arrived in my home and I unpacked it, I immediately noticed both its small size and beautiful presentation. It comes in a black card box showing the stars of the constellation of Orion in silver and a red wax seal. Inside we find a plain black paperback book with the full title, LEMULGETON: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition written simply on the cover in a bright silvery grey. Simple, but stylish. The box with wax seal adds a touch of unique style.

Holmes’ book argues that demons in the Lemegeton actually represent a kind of survival of ancient Babylonian star lore. This of course raises some interesting questions in and of itself. If true, how was this lore passed on in the intervening centuries before Lemegeton was written? LeMulgeton only offers a brief speculative discussion on this question, its bulk more concerned with establishing that this knowledge has in fact survived.

The book continues with a list of the 72 demons and discussion concerning which constellation from MUL.APIN they map to. To his credit, Holmes does not try and force any of these correspondences. Where uncertainty exists, he states his preferred correspondence but shares the alternative possibilities, inviting the reader to engage in further research. I found this exploration revealing in that so many of the attributions work so well.

I have also found it useful in my own magical explorations. My fiancée and magical partner, Lolita Perdurabo and I have been evoking spirits we remember contacting us in our childhoods and communicating with them. On Saturday, September 14, 2013, we contacted one of her childhood spirits that had the form of a crocodile. The notes in my diary for this evocation however record that it told me it has appeared to others in the form of an old man. On Sunday, October 27 I was contacted in a dream by a spirit claiming to be connected to the star Algol. Algol is a star in the constellation of Perseus, which Holmes tells us is the Sumerian constellation SU.GI or the Old Man. This refers to Anu, who represents the dome that covers the flat earth. Outside this dome lives Tiamat, depicted variously as a dragon, a crocodile or other reptilian monsters. Holmes equates this to the Goetic demon Agares, a fair old man who rides a crocodile. Thanks to Holmes’s book I was able to connect my dream to a previous evocation, and obtain correspondences between spirits we evoked with ancient deities and a Goetic demon!

Stellar magick such as described in this book provides much fertile material for magicians working some form of UFO paradigm, ultraterrestrial or otherwise. This doesn’t escape Holmes’ attention and he briefly discusses the CE5 techniques used by CSETI (the Centre for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence) as a form of evocation. CE5 means Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind, and essentially refers to human initiated contact. Evocation in magical terminology. The CSETI group themselves use a combination of laser pointers and remote viewing type techniques to summon UFO encounters. Leo proposes similar techniques to communicate with goetic spirits outdoors via their constellations.

Holmes also compares the sigils of some goetic demons with the shape of their corresponding constellations via side by side illustration of three examples. Those so chosen for this task, of Bael with Taurus, Zagan with Aquarius and Buer with Sagittarius are quite striking. The reader might wander if the other 69 match quite as well. Looking at my own example above I can certainly make out a similarity between Perseus and Agares, when I factor in how the crescent like arc of the milky way intersects with the constellation. He also discusses star lore in tarot, the writings of Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant, the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, Middle Eastern traditions and the Hebrew alphabet. These seem scholarly and well researched, and offer the reader sources of inspiration for how the book might actually be used.

The highest accolade I can give a book these days is to say reading it has had an actual impact on my magical practice. This book has definitely achieved that. My journey with contact with Agares continued with a star gazing meditation on January 20, 2014, a deliberate evocation of Agares on the 25th January and a pariedolic manifestation of Agares on a trip to Clava Cairns, so strong that for a while I was absolutely convinced there really was an old man present. Lolita actually had to convince me that he wasn’t really there. During my journey with this entity I have found that my communication skills are greatly improving. Agares is said to teach all languages, and it seems this includes the use of language also. LeMulgeton has proved invaluable in making this connection.


Avalon, by Heather Dale

By Brendan Myers | March 31, 2014 | Leave a comment

Avalon, by Heather DaleAvalon, by Heather Dale
CD Baby, 19 tracks, 2010

It’s clear that the musical and mythological world invoked by Heather Dale’s new album Avalon is the world where the artist feels most at home. Arthurian mythology provides a rich field of inspirational stories, and so they have been rendered into music many times before; in that respect Dale’s musical project is ambitious and challenging. Can she do something with the mythology that has never been done before? My answer is Yes. Dale’s album accords to the stories the space to reveal themselves in their own way, as if she is working in true partnership with all the various writers who contributed to the literary sources. At the same time one also hears the unique and unveiled sound of her heart. Continue reading


The Path of Druidry, by Penny Billington

By Mike Gleason | March 17, 2014 | Leave a comment

The Path of Druidry, by Penny BillingtonThe Path of Druidry, by Penny BillingtonThe Path of Druidry: Walking the Ancient Green Way, by Penny Billington
Llewellyn Worldwide, 978-0-7387-2346-4, 384 pp, 2011

When dealing with the topic of Druidry there are inherent dangers. One can present a scholarly look at the few remaining historical references to the Druids and the speculation which has raged around them, one can present romanticized imaginings and call them “ancient secrets passed down in an unbroken succession through the ages”; or one can simply say “Here is what we know and this is how we relate to it in a vastly different world.” The latter is the method I personally prefer, it allows one to start from a solid base and then modify as required by the needs of the 21st century.

The approach to Druidry which Billington espouses is that of a living, evolving religion, and that seems eminently reasonable and practical to me. It is one which will allow the individual to discover the truths which work for them, while still providing a base of knowledge which will be acceptable to many others who follow a similar path. Each individual, ultimately, follows a unique path and has a unique perspective on religion and the religious experiences encountered along that path. Continue reading


Pisces, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

By Gesigewigu's | March 10, 2014 | Leave a comment

Pisces, by Joanna Martine WoolfolkPisces, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Taylor Trade Publishing, 9781589795648, 90 pp., 2011

This book takes an in-depth look at the sign of Pisces and what it means.  Woolfolk stresses early in that sun sign descriptions are often too perfect and too cookie-cutter, and she wants to show the range of Pisces expressions. She does this by looking at Pisces in several ways, starting with how people perceive the Pisces, and how the Pisces person feels about themselves. Simple, but this is an important distinction, because it is easy to dismiss a sun sign description because it isn’t how you (want to) view yourself, so Woolfolk gives both sides.

Getting more involved, she looks at the decanates, cusps, and individual days, giving a more precise view of Pisces. Continue reading


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