Aleister 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
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
The History of British Magick After Crowley: Kenneth Grant, Amado Crowley, Chaos Magic, Satanism, Lovecraft, The Left Hand Path, Blasphemy and Magical Morality, by Dave Evans
Hidden Publishing, 97895523700, 435 pp. (incl. appendix, bibliography and index), 435 pp. (incl. appendix, bibliography and index)
I’ve known Dave Evans online for a number of years, so I was excited when he said his book had finally been published, and looked forward to reading it. His doctoral dissertation in history forms the basis for The History of British Magick After Crowley, and as such it is structured in an academic format, opening with a detailed explanation of his methodology, and his involvement with both magick and academia.
Magicians are not known for their strict adherence to objective truths, and much of the traditions are oral, or rely on in-person contact. The academic approach taken with his work may seem threatening to some, challenging myths and records which have endured simply because they’re oft repeated. Evans has done an admirable job sifting through the available data to bring us what can be verified, and provided a detailed record of his sources. Continue reading