Teen Spirit Guide to Working with Mediumship, by Ceryn Rowntree
Soul Rocks Books, 978-1-78279-414-1, 147 pp., 2015
Immediately upon starting to read this book, I felt like a close friend was speaking to me. Rowntree has a reassuring, sympathetic, humourous and, above all, realistic voice that teens will find endearing. She never talks down to them, so important at a time when they may be questioning themselves about everything. Yet she validates their experiences, instructing them to trust their own inner wisdom telling them they really are communicating with departed loved ones.
She begins with a discussion of death — where else? — and continues to explain the spirit world, what mediumship is, how to safely open up and close down to spirit communication, how to be a responsible medium, and reactions one may encounter from people if they find out you’re a medium. I thank Rowntree for adding that latter chapter. It’s hard enough as an adult wondering if you should tell others what you do for fear of being laughed at; with the acute awkwardness sensitive teens might feel if their gift is revealed, Rowntree’s guide is invaluable. Continue reading
To keep silent
These nine words are amongst the most widely quoted in occult circles. One particularly hears them many times as a novice. They constitute a mantra known as the Powers of the Sphinx. References are made in the writings of iconic figures such as Éliphas Lévi and Aleister Crowley. Despite their apparent simplicity, each of the Powers of the Sphinx offers profound guidance for any occultist. Each covers a profound aspect of the practice of magick. This is the first in a series of four articles analysing the possible meaning and then considering the implication of each of these aspects in turn.
What does it mean to know something? When interpreting this first power, reference is often made to the famous inscription from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: “know thyself.” There is obvious virtue in this idea, both in occultism and in life generally. Continue reading
Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic, by Jason Miller
New Page Books, 9781601633323, 224 pp., 2014
Sex magick can seem like some dark taboo, especially for people who are new to their spirituality. Thanks to its portrayal in the media, it seems like something dangerous and forbidden. Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic by Jason Miller works to demystify this ancient practice and bring it to modern practitioners.
Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit is a book designed for beginners in the practice of sex magick, but not for people who are beginning their journey into spiritual practice as a whole. The book details many novice practices to get one started using sex magick, however, it does so with the expectation that one already has some basis in some sort of practice already. Continue reading
This query came in via email, and it’s one I receive quite a bit, in vary forms, so I was glad when the person who sent it said I could share it, and my response, on the site:
I have recently read your article entitled “Why I left OTO” and in the beginning of the post you described yourself as being already a magic practitioner for 15 years. Now, the paragraph made me infer that you have undergone some form of “self-initiation,” learning the topics, theories, rituals, insights on your own and only later attempted to join a community, and this process of self-initiation is something I have been striving for for a few months now.
Legend has it that the “Testament of Solomon,” which contains the original text of the Goetia, was left out of the Bible, because it was not considered to be inspired by Jehovah. The “Testament” is accredited to King Solomon, but the real author is unknown.
Solomon is said to have been the wisest person of his time (848-976 BCE). He was powerful, wealthy, and according to the text, was given a magical ring by the archangel Michael that gave him power over demons. When it was time to build the temple in Jerusalem, Solomon needed help, as it was forbidden in the Torah to use certain kinds of materials. His advisers told him to seek the advice of demons, as they were known to hold forbidden wisdom and would be able to give him the knowledge he desired. Continue reading
Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, by Stephen Skinner
Golden Hoard Press, 9780738746326, 388 pp. 2014
Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic exhibits a soft spot I have for magick: the academic approach. This Ph.D. paper by Stephen Skinner is the latest of the his many works on the Western esoteric tradition, in addition to many books on feng shui. His clear grasp on the historical data and his academic lens make this paper-turned-book a highly educational though sometimes mundane read. There is no fluff here — just facts, charts, and the occasional historical backtracking. Yet, Skinner’s painstaking translation, organization, and interpretation bring to light many long-standing traditions’ origins in the magick of Late Antiquity. Skinner describes a snapshot in time when magick held reverence as part of a tradition tied to the mystery cults and religions of the day. Continue reading