If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It!, by Francis Breakspear, with contributions from Kate Hoolu and Dave Evans
Hidden Publishing, 9780955523731, 327 pp. (incl. bibliography and index), 2008
Francis Breakspear has written another light-hearted guide to magical practice, with periodic intrusions by the academically-inclined Dave Evans, and the sociologically-minded Kate Hoolu. Breakspear casts himself in the role of both taskmaster and as acts a source of comic relief.
I say this book is light-hearted, but it is also meant to be worked through, not merely read. Breakspear constantly calls upon the reader to examine themselves — attitudes, food habits, recreation, sex — and, further, challenges the reader to challenge themselves. Many of the exercises focus on expanding one’s self-awareness, and becoming more fluid in one’s sense of identity. Continue reading
Uncle Ramsey’s Little Book of Demons: The Positive Advantages of the Personification of Life’s Problems, by Ramsey Dukes
Aeon Books, 1904658091, 256 pp. (including notes), 2005
It is odd to review a book that tells me “If you enjoyed this book, keep it secret and deny any knowledge of it.” In this book Uncle Ramsey sets forth to help the reader cope with problems in everyday life, by understanding and interacting with the demons that lurk beneath and inside all forms of reality. Demons are living in our cars and photocopiers, friends and lovers, and perhaps most importantly inside of our self. The most frustrating or brilliant move (or both) that Uncle Ramsey made in this book was not dealing with the nature of the demon, are they real in some animistic sense, are they external projections from a troubled mind, are they purely mental constructs never extending past the confines of our skull, are they collective energies built by a hundred united thoughts, or all they all of these, or something else? Continue reading
Women of Power: The Woman As Magus, by Jaq D. Hawkins
CapallBann Publishing, 186163241X, (153 pp. including appendices, bibliography and index), 2006
“…most of the books on ceremonial magic continue to be written by men, despite significant numbers of female members existing in ceremonial magical Orders.”
Jaq D. Hawkins is the author of several books on magick. Her first, Understanding Chaos Magic, remains among the most straightforward introductions to the subject. Her latest book, Women of Power, tackles the subject of the woman as magus, what it means and how it plays out in practice. Continue reading
The Four Powers, by Nicholas Graham
Megalithica, an imprint of Immanion Press, 1905713045, 128 pp. (incl. appendices, glossary, annotated bibliography), 2006
The Four Powers was written as the book Graham wished he’d had to accompany him on his first forays into magick as a young adult. As such, following a forward by Lupa (an early magickal co-conspirator and author of Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone, also published with Immanion Press), a note to parents is included. It seems unlikely a parent would buy this book for their teen, flip through it and find this message addressed to hir, though it’s a nice gesture. Continue reading
Kaostar! Modern Chaos Cunning Craft, by Frances Breakspear
Hidden Publishing, 97809555523717, 118 pp., 2007
The early and mid-’90s saw a number of fresh and innovative books on chaos magick by the likes of Phil Hine, Jaq Hawkins, Jan Fries and, of course, Peter Carroll, but this seems to have petered out by the nills. More recently the rise in print-on-demand publishing companies like Lulu.com and CafePress.com have facilitated a revival in the classic texts, happily making titles such The Book of Results and The Theatre of Magick by Ray Sherwin available once more.
Chaos magick has never been an especially popular area of occultism; it places itself on the fringe of the fringe, occulted even amongst the occultists — it’s a glamour that suits it well, but there have never been chaos magick books published in the numbers seen by those relating to Golden Dawn-style magick, for example. The chaos current has been proclaimed dead numerous times, but there’s life in ‘er yet. Continue reading
This list of chaos magick books was first published in an information pamphlet created for the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival in September 2007.
Read these for a taste of the philosophy surrounding chaos magick:
Chaos magick is first and foremost about achieving results, therefore, don’t merely read these, do them: Continue reading