Tag: llewellyn worldwide

The Magickal Union of East and West, by Gregory Peters

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White lotus, photo by peaceful jp sceneryThe Magickal Union of East and West, by Gregory PetersThe Magickal Union of East and West: The Spiritual Path to New Aeon Tantra, by Gregory Peters Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738740447, 177 pp. (incl. appendices, glossary, and index), 2014Gregory Peters was a student of Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral), and New Aeon Tantra, a system which merges Aleister Crowley's Thelema with Buddhism and tantra, was developed for the Ordo Sunyata Vajra, an order Peters founded in 1999.Though the practices Peters outlines in The Magickal Union of East and West rely on a Thelemic framework, he clearly states that they are not tied to Thelema, and may be used by other practitioners. That said, this is not an introductory text -- a background in ceremonial magick is assumed, and even a passing familiarity with eastern systems would go a long way.Many of the introductory practices follow a typical yogic regimen: hatha yoga, surya namascar, lunar adorations, as well as selecting a goddess to work with. (Though Peters doesn't go into detail about how one should either choose a goddess, or find a goddess who would choose the practitioner; in place he offers a brief list of popular goddesses and their mantras.) Peters' notes on dietary considerations are refreshingly forgiving, as they allow the practitioner to discover and use a dietary model that best suits their body's needs, rather than proscribe constraints. Perhaps this is in light of the axiom from The Book of the Law, which states that the word of sin is restriction. Read More

Homemade Magick, by Lon Milo DuQuette

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Lon Milo DuQuetteHomemade Magick, by Lon Milo DuQuetteHomemade Magick: The Musings & Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself Magus, by Lon Milo DuQuette Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738732985, 203 pp. (incl. appendix, index, and photo credits), 2014Lon Milo DuQuette's work will be familiar to many, especially those following a ceremonial or Thelemic Path. He's written more than 15 books on magical and occult topics, covering the Thoth Tarot, Enochian magick, kabbalah, and Aleister Crowley. He's also written several autobiographies, albums, and has occasional lecture tours. DuQuette's history in the occult has been well documented, and he's become well known for his folksy anecdotes grounded in practical work.DuQuette has been a practicing magician for four decades, and was initiated into the Ordo Templi Orientis in 1975, and founded a lodge in 1976 that remains the longest continuously operating lodge in the United States. Since 1996, he has been an OTO Deputy Grand Master, and also serves as an Archbishop of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. So it should come as no surprise that his magical practice is heavily informed by Aleister Crowley, Thelema, and his work with the OTO.His latest book, Homemade Magick, is in part a magical memoir, but it frames these sections with instructional guidance for budding magicians. It covers much of the groundwork for getting started in ceremonial magick, such as how to choose a meaningful magical motto, perform a self-initiation ritual to open oneself up to the mysteries, and learn how to integrate one's magical and mundane lives into a unified whole. Read More

Greatest Hits: 9 popular reviews from 2014

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William Blake's Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith SchuchardWe've had a fantastic year so far, and it's all to you -- our supporters and readers.In the spirit of the holidays, I decided to put together a list of our seven most popular reviews from 2014. As you've no doubt noticed, while we focus on alternative spirituality and practical magick, we review books from a range of beliefs and practices, and this list is no different.Click on the title link to take you to the full reviews. Maybe you'll find your next gift idea, or something to spend that gift card on.Happy holidays!
Avalon, by Heather Dale Reviewed by Brendan Myers

Dale’s voice is gentle and inviting, yet deliberate and strong, like a warm fire in a comfortable home while a storm blows outside.

The High Magic of Talismans and Amulets, by Claude Lecouteux Reviewed by Freeman Presson

The summary of the talismanic art is broad, drawing on more sources than just Agrippa and The Picatrix.

William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard Reviewed by Gesigewigu's

If you’re a William Blake fan, or even just curious about the subtle mystical sexual undercurrents in Christian Europe at the time, this is a great book for you. Read More

The Journey into Spirit, by Kristoffer Hughes

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Death and Dying, photo by Wayne WilkinsonThe Journey into Spirit, by Kristoffer HughesThe Journey into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective on Death, Dying and Bereavement, by Kristoffer Hughes Llewellyn Publications, 978-0-7387-4075-1, 312 pp., 2014What a gift this book is. From the lyrical quality of Kristoffer Hughes’ writing, not often present in nonfiction, to the sensitive and thoughtful wisdom he imparts, The Journey into Spirit gives the reader a compassionate space to rethink beliefs about death.Hughes is both a Druid priest and a professional pathology technologist who has worked in British morgues for the past quarter-century, and a funeral celebrant and a teacher of death customs and philosophy. He tells us how as a young child watching his first mortuary scene on TV he knew he was destined for a life entwined with death. Although the adults around him at that time were scared and taken aback by his interest, he felt no fear, only a deep respect for the physical process of death and curiosity about the ensuing spiritual transition. This is the perspective he’s carried throughout his life, and from which he has written this book.He frames his views within the three Celtic realms of existence -- the realm of necessity, the realm of spirit and the realm of infinity – and discusses his philosophical conclusions and certain Celtic teachings pertinent to each realm. Read More

Tarot Beyond the Basics, by Anthony Louis

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Tarot spread, by Aquarian InsightTarot Beyond the Basics, by Anthony LouisTarot Beyond the Basics: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Meanings Behind the Cards, by Anthony Louis Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738739441, 383 pp. (incl. notes, appendices, and bibliography), 2014Anthony Louis brings us an enriching and thorough examination of the modern tarot by first introducing us to its fascinating history. He begins in China, where the paper and cards was created, then to Egypt and the Mamluk slave soldiers who played games with a deck of 52 playing cards, much like today’s playing card decks. Then he travels into Spain where the court cards are changed to include Kings, horsemen and pages. In Italy is where the queens were added and the church became involved in their design.Many readers of today have heard the rumours that the tarot is originated from the Egyptian pantheon, or that the 22 major arcana cards reference the 22 letters in the Hebrew kabbalah. Louis notes that this assumption appeared in an unsubstantiated paper that was published in Paris in 1781 by clergyman Antoine Court de Gebelin and the French occultist Comte de Mellet. The only reference that Louis could find about the tarot originating in Egypt was through the Mamluks and their love of playing cards. Read More

Spirit Boards for Beginners, by Alexandra Chauran

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Ouija board, photo by AdelineSpirit Boards for Beginners, by Alexandra ChauranSpirit Boards for Beginners: The History and Mystery of Talking to the Other Side, by Alexandra Chauran Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738738741, 216 pp., 2014The mystery of the talking board or, less commonly, spirit board is exemplified by its most mainstream version, the Ouija board. While talking boards have been used for spiritual practice for centuries, the Ouija board was “invented” and marketed in 1891, where its popularity was only overshadowed by its controversy and mystery. Is it a game appropriate for children? Is it a tool for divination and exploring the spiritual realm? Is it evil? Does it even work? Alexandra Chauran explores that controversy through her personal experience, citing expert opinions, and sharing other’s stories.The language is accessible, and the reader is given all the information they need to comfortably navigate a talking board session. Chauran expands on the history and spiritual origins of talking boards from using a swinging pendulum to the more modern versions we have today. Read More

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