Tag: biography

A chat with Lupa about bones

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LupaLupa 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. Read More

A chat with Yvonne Aburrow about diversity

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Yvonne AburrowYvonne Aburrow is one of my sister writers at the Patheos Pagan channel and she’s also the author of the newly published book All Acts of Love and Pleasure: Inclusive Wicca from Avalonia Press. I had the opportunity to catch up with her recently and I asked her about her practice and her new book: what inspired it, what drove it, and how it connects to issues that are currently hot topics in the Pagan community.Yvonne Aburrow holding All Acts of Love and PleasureSable Aradia: So tell those who might not be familiar a little about you. What is your background in the Craft?Yvonne Aburrow: I was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca in 1991. The thing that made me realise that I am a Pagan was reading Puck of Pook's Hill, by Rudyard Kipling. I was lucky enough to find a coven that was also interested in our connection to the land and local deities and spirits. I am also interested in Hinduism, Taoism, and Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Sumerian, and Roman Paganism, and my personal or household deities include deities from several different pantheons. I enjoy the earthy and sensual aspects of the Craft, and I believe that Wicca is a partnership with the deities, rather than them serving us, or us serving them. Read More

How well do you know Pamela Colman Smith?

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Detail from Photograph of Pamela Colman SmithOur August 2014 poll tested your knowledge of Pamela Colman Smith (1878-1951).Most of you knew that she illustrated the Rider Tarot (89%), more than half of you knew she was a member of the Golden Dawn (51%), and some knew her nickname was Pixie (40%), that she wrote and illustrated other books (40%), but only a handful of you knew she lived in Jamaica (37%). Read More

Magic Without Mirrors, by David Conway

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Magic WIthout Mirrors, by David ConwayMagic Without Mirrors, by David ConwayMagic Without Mirrors: The Making of a Magician, by David Conway Logios, 9781463761724,336 pp., 2011For a large number of individuals of a certain age, Magic: An Occult Primer was the introduction to the world of magick. At the time there wasn't a whole lot of information about the author available. In the intervening years The Magic of Herbs and Secret Wisdom: The Occult Universe Explored were also produced by the same author, but without (to my knowledge) as much acceptance and fanfare.This book is essentially Conway's autobiography. It is filled with amusing anecdotes and enlightening background information. It also contains snippets of magickal information as well, though that is not its primary purpose. Read More

Dr Dave Evans

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Dr Dave EvansI’m sorry to report that Dr Dave Evans (1962-2013) passed away in August.

Dave was both a scholar and a practitioner of the occult, and was a founding editor of The Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, 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, Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick, and pseudonymously, writing as Francis Breakspear, author of Kaostar! and If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It!

Dave was also a contributor to both Spiral Nature and Plutonica.net, and a good friend. He will be missed.

Be in peace now, Dave, and thanks for all you were and all you’ve done.

3 Great Occult Biographies

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Biographies are a lot of fun. While I like getting to know a person through their works, learning more about the circumstances that produced them lends additional weight to certain turns of phrase, and often frames ideas in contexts not previously considered.Eliphas Levi, by Thomas A WilliamsI read Thomas Williams' biography of Éliphas Lévi (titled: Eliphas Levi, Master of the Cabala, the Tarot and the Secret Doctrines) about six months ago in preparation for a workshop that was drawing on his influence in the occult tarot and I wanted to better understand where he was sourcing his material.I read the second edition and was not impressed with the number of typos and general lack of editing, however, this may be the only full length biography of Lévi in print in English – it's certainly the only one I've been able to find. Despite its flaws, it serves as a decent introduction to Lévi's life and thought.  Read More

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