Reviews

Book, film, tarot and oracle reviews.

Tarot Mucha, by Giulia F. Massaglia

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The Tarot MuchaThe Tarot MuchaTarot Mucha, artwork by Giulia F. Massaglia, colouring by Barbara Nosenzo, booklet by Lunaea Weatherstone
Lo Scarabeo, 9780738745589, 78 cards, 128 pp. booklet, 2015

The Tarot Mucha is an Art Nouveau style deck inspired by Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. Mucha’s style resonates in his unique lettering, and the stained glass work that seems to influence his paintings. He broke into the art world when noted stage actress Sarah Bernhardt became the model for his most famous posters.

This deck is a pleasure to work with: it provides an almost immediate sense that it works well as a deck for daily use, a workhorse for professional readers and a fine introduction for those new to tarot. The deck features quality, slick cardstock, a sturdy box that could well replace a need for a bag or other container, and a well-written book that offers a few straight-forward spreads.

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The Angel and the Abyss, by J. Daniel Gunther

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The Angel and the Abyss, by J Daniel GuntherThe Angel and the Abyss, by J Daniel GuntherThe Angel and the Abyss: The Inward Journey, Books II and III, by J. Daniel Gunther
Ibis Press, 9780892542116, 399 pp., 2014

In 2009 J. Daniel Gunther published Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, Book I of his Inward Journey series, and it was a great book. (Ed note: See Ges’ earlier review of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child.) Now five years later he releases The Angel and the Abyss, Book II and III of the series, and a more than worthy successor to the original. Continue reading


The Magiculum, ed. by Todd Landman

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The Magiculum, edited by Todd LandmanThe Magiculum, edited by Todd LandmanThe Magiculum, edited by Todd Landman
EyeCorner Press, 9788792633279, 216 pp., 2014

Editor Todd Landman decided he’d like to create a magiculum vitae, a sort of magical resume, and became interested what such a thing would look like among  those of his friends and associates. Landman invited them to write essays about their experiences, and the only guideline seems to have been three questions: 1) What in your upbringing and formation lead you to magic?, 2) What does magic mean for you?, and 3) In what ways odes magic affect your day-today-living? From there, The Magiculum was born. Continue reading


Deep Magic Begins Here, by Julian Vayne

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Deep Magic Begins Here, by Julian VayneDeep Magic Begins Here: Tales and Techniques of Practical Occultism, by Julian Vayne
Mandrake of Oxford, 9781906958527, 183 pp. (incl. sources, notes and bibliography), 2013

Julian Vayne has written and contributed to eight books, and writes regularly for the always excellent Blog of Baphomet. His earlier book, Now That’s What I Call Chaos Magick, co-written with Greg Humphries, is one I regularly recommend to budding chaotes and those who want to get a feel for what chaos magick is really like. Continue reading


Trees of the Goddess, by Elen Sentier

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Ogham staves, photo by Jenny BachTrees of the Goddess, by Elen SentierTrees of the Goddess: A New Way of Working with the Ogham, by Elen Sentier
Moon Books, 9781782793328, 101 pp., 2014

For millennia, trees have been held sacred among indigenous cultures and great civilisations alike. Tree mythology features in all major world religions. Trees speak deeply to our human collective unconscious, as symbols of otherworld connection, longevity, nourishment, and the mysteries of transformation.

To the ancient Celts, certain trees held special value as a magickal alphabet known as the oghamTrees of the Goddess is a short book describing these sacred trees in the context of the mystical “Song of Amergin,” translated by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. While the ogham’s popular use as a calendar is loosely based on Graves’ work, his interpretation has been disputed (in true Pagan style) as a corruption of original sources. Continue reading


Tantric Thelema, by Sam Webster

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Lotus detail, photo by smilla4Tantric Thelema, by Sam WebsterTantric Thelema: The Invocation of Ra-Hoor-Khuit in the Manner of the Buddhist Mahayoga Tantras, by Sam Webster
Concrescent Press, 9780984372904, 115 pp. (incl. appendices, and select bibliography), 2010

Sam Webster co-founded Chthonic-Ouranian Templars of Thelema in 1985, and is an initiate in the Golden Dawn, Wicca, and Buddhism, among other things, though he is probably best known for founding the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn in 2002. The OSOGD is based on the principles of open-source software, which allows users to modify and adapt programs as needed, and so it is in the Order.

It’s no surprise, then, that Tantric Thelema is an eclectic text. Webster acknowledges that he’s not a lama, that the practices described are based his own work and teachings, and these are provided to the student as tested material, but can be repurposed as needed. He describes his practices, notes their origins, and where the material deviates from ancient Egyptian, Golden Dawn or Thelemic custom, and it is very obviously a lived practice. Continue reading


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