Tag: austin osman spare

Chaotes then and now

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Roots, image by Peter RosbjergIt’s hardly surprising that something called chaos magick is constantly in flux, both in terms of what gets classed as chaos magick and the people it attracts.

I was first introduced to the subject by some English bloke on IRC in a random Wiccan chatroom who later, through a series of unlikely circumstances, became my partner. He introduced names I’d never heard of before: Austin Osman Spare, Peter J Carroll, Robert Anton Wilson – people with three names writing weird and wonderful things. Continue reading


Tarot and sharing bad news

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Tarot, photo by Chris GladisEarlier we looked at the role of “accuracy” in tarot, particularly in comparison to fortune-telling. A key point to take away from this is that, in tarot reading for a client or even for oneself, the main goal of any divinatory reading is to provide information that is useful to the querent.

Whether or not the future is set can become irrelevant when the cards clearly foretell disaster for the querent. When the cards spell doom, deciding how to relate that to the client can be tricky. Changeable or not, it’s rarely something a querent wants to hear, and depending on who the querent is it can be more detrimental to share this information than not. Continue reading


10+ books to a new magician

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Over at Rune Soup Gordon introduced a book game with the following guidelines:

How would you introduce someone to magic using only books? He or she has a month in a lake house and will read whatever you tell them in the exact order that you tell them to. Not even any peeking at other books on the list.

It’s a good game, for the full list of rules and to participate, click here. You can see Gordon’s picks here. I offered my response in the comments section, but I thought I’d share it here too, with a little more about why I chose these books in particular.

My aim was a little different than Gordon’s, I took the game as a chance to create a new magickian from a complete skeptic, not to create a mini-Psyche – that would have been a different list altogether. Perhaps a project for another day.

Without further ado, here’s my list: Continue reading


Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equionx 2009

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Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equionx 2009Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equinox 2009, edited by Robert Ansell and Christina Oakley Harrington
Fulgur, 128 pp., 2009

Abraxas isn’t just “An International Journal of Esoteric Studies”, this first issue is also an art book. At 290mm x 232mm it’s a large quarto, beautifully bound, and printed on high quality paper, including a handtipped sheet. Richly coloured paintings are beautifully reproduced, along with many lovely illustrations in monochrome. And then there’s the text.

This first issue focuses largely on witchcraft, and while I can’t detail every essay that appears, I would like to highlight several that I felt stood out in this already exceptional collection.

Stephen Grasso’s piece “Skip Witches, Hop Toads”, illuminates Continue reading


Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick, by Dave Evans

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Aleister CrowleyAleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick, by Dave EvansAleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick: Strange distant gods that are not dead today, by Dave Evans
Hidden Publishing, 9780955523724, 108 pp. (incl. appendices), 108 pp. (incl. appendices)

Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick is based on Dave Evans’ master’s thesis from Exeter University and represents the second, revised edition (the first being an e-book published in 2001).

Evans writes that “Crowley is a particularly attractive person to study, as, apart from the Elizabethan magician John Dee, no leading occultist has left such comprehensive personal diaries and writings. It is this intimate and minutely detailed material that facilitates deep engagement with the subject.” This certainly seems to be the case. Continue reading


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