Tag: nick farrell

Reincarnation, vampires, and snake gods

By Spiral Nature | June 13, 2014 | Leave a comment

Linkage, chain background image by Faramarz Hashemi

This post introduces our new links round up column, called “Linkage.” If you’ve found something cool on the occultnik Internet you think we should share with the larger community, please post a comment with the link below.

Magick

Ritual theory of polytheists. Are you calling on the deities in a respectful way?

Ever wanted to know what it was like in a 16th century alchemist’s laboratory?

Julian Vayne explores the various implications of the chaostar. Or whatever you want to call it.

Spirituality

If you believe in reincarnation, can you be your own ancestor? Lon Milo DuQuette  seems to think it’s possible. Continue reading


Chaos magick: doing what works & more

By Psyche | April 12, 2013 | Leave a comment

[T]here [is] a type of occultist who believes that it doesn’t matter what you do in magic that “intention is everything”. I am a strong believer in the phrase “the path to hell is paved with good intentions” and think these types of occultists are more dangerous to the experimental magician because everyone thinks that they hold similar, sloppy views.
These occultists often call themselves chaos magicians or repeat Aleister Crowley’s much misunderstood phrase “Do what you will be the whole of the Law,” [sic] as if it gives them a wholesale license to bunk off from doing any work.

– Nick Farrell, “Experimentation as Magical Path”

I’m reading Magick on the Edge, ambitiously subtitled “An Anthology of Experimental Occultism.” The above quote appears in the first essay, which is otherwise quite good at making a decent case for “experimental” magick. (Though isn’t all magick experimental? Isn’t that the point of doing the Work?)

In the context of the essay, Farrell is snidely suggesting that chaos magickians (or magicians, if you prefer) practice magick with no understanding or interest in the theory behind it, cheerily believing that as long as you want “it”, “it” will happen. I hear this expressed online on occasion, but I’m surprised to read such a misguided sentiment expressed so blatantly in print.

“Intent” forms a central part of any magickal working – chaote and otherwise – for without purpose, what’s the point? And I’ll fess up, in chaos magick, the intentions aren’t always “good” in the Wiccan (or even Golden Dawn) sense of the term, but with the experienced practitioner they are never sloppy. Continue reading


Review: Gathering the Magic, by Nick Farrell

By Psyche | August 1, 2005 | 1 comment

Gathering the Magic: Creating 21st Century Esoteric Groups, by Nick Farrell
Immanion Press, 1904853161, 259 pp., 2005

‘It is time then that esoteric groups were established along lines that encourage individuals, rather than trying to make them conform’.

I’ll admit, I often judge books by their covers. I read a lot, but I only have so much time and I’m fortunate in that there seems to be an almost infinite number of books at my disposal – I have to be choosy. I’ll also admit that I was hesitant about picking up this book. I’ll just come right out and say it: the cover is garish. It looks more like a D&D supplement (it’s not) than a serious work on the occult (which it is). After leaving it aside for a few weeks I finally did pick it up. I felt a little guilty, another author acquaintance had sent it in, and I’d been lagging on writing a review of his book, so I thought I’d give this one a go in the meantime – and I’m glad I did. End intro.

Nick Farrell has been a member of several occult groups of varying types, and explains that ‘[a]ll of these groups have provided me with experiences, some good and some bad. This has led me to a basic understanding of how esoteric groups should (and sometimes don’t) work; why some are successful, while others end up destroying themselves, with their former members remaining at ritual dagger point’ (pg 15). Proven several times over with great anecdotes of his experience and others’.

Farrell acknowledges early on that ‘a perfect group does not exist’ and ‘[e]ven the good groups have their problems’, but notes that if ‘you can find someone with experience, or perhaps you have a little bit yourself, there is nothing to stop you from forming your own group to put into practice what would only have been an intellectual exercise’. This is a novel approach for some, taking ownership and responsibility for one’s spiritual development from the outset rather than bemoaning the lack of options available while sitting at home alone. Of course, ‘there are those esoteric teachers who whisper darkly of the dangers of having inexperienced people playing with rituals and setting up groups’, and Farrell acknowledges some truth to that, but also realizes that ‘it is better to be someone who gets off their backside and organises a group than someone who sits down and reads about it and just dreams’.

There are suggested tests to determine the kind of group one wants to create, and whether one would suit best as a leader or follower. Topics include everything from the elemental nature of the group egregore, to the types of groups, goals and objectives, private or public, grades and titles – and that’s just in the first chapter. Most chapters end with a checklist of tasks to complete to be well on your way to beginning an esoteric group.

Also basic skills such as conflict management are discussed with intelligence and frankly, injected with a healthy dose of humour. Farrell goes right from birth, growth to the death of a group and how that might be handled.

Appendices include an example of a correspondence course, and three group mind building exercises.

So when you’re looking at this book online, or in your local occult shop: don’t judge it by its cover, it is truly an excellent work and would be a definite asset to all interested in joining or setting up an occult group or order.


Review: Magical Pathworking, by Nick Farrell

By Taylor Ellwood | October 23, 2004 | Leave a comment

Magical Pathworking: Techniques of Active Imagination, by Nick Farrell
Llewellyn, 226 pp., 2004

If you can only do one occult book order a year, then this book should be included in that order. Nick Farrell’s writing is elegant and yet to the point. There are no typos in this book and the writing is at the level that any person could understand the concepts that he conveys in this book.

What I found most enjoyably about the book were the techniques that Nick uses in this book. The techniques are accessible and easily adapted to a person’s own style of magic, so that if you’re not inclined to use the Golden Dawn structure of magic you can stick with your own and still use these techniques.

There are several other bonuses to this book. Mr. Farrell does an excellent job of providing a history behind the techniques and who and how they came to be developed. Even better he actually knows who William Gray is as well as other more obscure occultists. It’s rare to find an author who quotes and uses the work of these ground breaking magicians and it’s good to see that Nick not only does that, but does it well.