Earlier 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
Abraxas, 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
Two Tracts on Cartomancy, by Austin Osman Spare, with an introductory essay by Gavin W. Semple
Fulgur Limited, 1558183442, 38 pp. (incl. list of illustrations), 1997
Gavin Semple’s introductory essay makes up the main portion of this booklet. It, rather helpfully, gives an account of Spare’s introduction to cartomancy, and subsequently, his understanding and use of forecasting cards, placing it in context.
Semple describes Spare’s fondness for gambling on the horse races, and how this lead to the creation of his own ‘Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards’ (among others); explaining that that “Spare was not about to swallow anyone else’s gnosis wholesale – the challenge for him was to formulate a symbolic arcanum which would elucidate the most abstract principles of magic in terms uniquely his own.” Continue reading