World of Dust, by Joel Biroco
Coronzon Press, 185 pp., 2013
Joel Biroco’s now classic essay, “Go underground and be a chaos magician,” was revolutionary to my teenage occultnik self. It was fierce and angry and punk as fuck. The Exorcist of Revolution, the book that it was taken from, has been labelled as “juvenilia,” and probably rightly so, but I was a juvenile, and that ferocious urgency resonated deep within.
That essay was my introduction to Biroco. After devouring it, and everything else I could find online, I spent a small fortune collecting back issues of Kaos, the influential chaos magick magazine he edited, and any chapbooks I could scrounge up on eBay. It an was instructive period.
Biroco’s work has always been powerful, but World of Dust haunts: Continue reading
I find it fascinating that, in discussions of urban fantasy as a genre, the first word of the term is so rarely mentioned.
Humanity now lives in an age where more than half the world’s population lives in an urban rather than a rural environment. It should be no surprise that this dramatic shift in how we live as a species should be reflected in both our fantasy tales about the supernatural world and our magick. And, of course, the one feeds into the other. Continue reading
The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil, by Jack Barrow
Winged Feet Productions, 9780951532911, 286 pp.
What do magicians really do? Is Blackpool really the centre of evil for the UK? Is there a magical spell to make a car start? These and many other questions are asked and answered in this worthy first novel by Jack Barrow, who has written several magical theory and practice books in the last 20 years or so. Continue reading
The Gnostic Faustus: The Secret Teachings behind the Classic Text, by Ramona Fradon
Inner Traditions, 9781594772047, 370 pp., 2007
This is not a book for the casual reader. Without a basic understanding of Gnostic literature, alchemy and/or the Faust legend you will rapidly find yourself playing catch-up.
This book is predominantly a comparison, section by section (and sometimes line for line) between the original “Faust book” (Anonymous, circa 1570) and major Gnostic and alchemical writings, many of which were known only by reputation until the late 19th century and later. Each chapter is introduced with a short overview, and then the reader is left to read the document (in a series of side-by-side columns) and to make his own comparisons and draw his own conclusions. Continue reading
Dancing God: Poetry Of Myths And Magicks, by Diotima
Neos Alexandrian, 9781438210643, 197 pp., 2008
This is the second book issued by Bibliotheca Alexandrina in an attempt to promote the revival of traditional polytheistic religions through publication of a series of books dedicated to the ancient gods of Greece and Egypt (although the contents are not restricted to those two cultures). I reviewed the previous book Written in Wine earlier. Both of these books are primarily composed of poetry (Written in Wine has a few stories as well), although this book is primarily the work of a single author.
The title of this book refers to Pan, although numerous other deities make an appearance on these pages. Most of the poems are very short, but there are occasional longer works as well.
There are occasional Continue reading
Liber Malorum: Children of the Apple, edited by Sean Scullion
PagAnarchy Press, 9780955798405, 523 pp., 2008
This is a compilation work. There are twenty three authors and over 70 contributions. I’m sure it will be difficult for some people to read, since it is a true Discordian book. And, of course, Discordians are notoriously difficult to pigeon-hole. Continue reading