Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Workby Isaac Bonewits
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738711993, 264 pp. 2007
One of the things I have always admired about Isaac Bonewits is his ability to make complex subjects comprehensible to the average person without “dumbing down” the topics. He takes the time to explain his terminology before beginning and then proceeds to explain his position and/or beliefs in 3easy to understand, logical steps. This is not to say that his ideas are simplistic; they most certainly are not; nor are they necessarily non-controversial, in fact they are almost always thought provoking, if not debate inspiring.
I will confess, here and now, that I haven’t read a lot of Isaac’s literary output (only Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic and The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters, and Drummers), but I have followed many of the debates his work has inspired, as well as being familiar with some of his work on the subject of Druidic research. I also had the pleasure of meeting him and attending a ritual he created many years ago at a Pagan gathering in the Midwest. I haven’t always agreed with him, but I have learned from him.
Isaac is sure to offend some readers Continue reading
The Feast of the Einheriar or the Festival of the Einherjar is also known by other names including the Festival of Odhinn, the Feast of Fallen Warriors, Heroes’ Day, the Salutation to the Heroes and Old November Day. Marking the day of the full onset of winter, this festival was Christianized and transformed into St. Martin’s Day (Martinmas), a catholic saint who was given many of Odhinn’s original attributes. Originally this day was sacred to both Odhinn and Cernunnos (who has many similarities to the Wanderer Odhinn). Continue reading
The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley, by Richard Kaczynski, edited and introduced by James Wasserman
Weiser Books, 978157634569, 126 pp. (incl. appendices), 2009
Richard Kaczynski is the author of the acclaimed biography, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (sadly out of print), and it’s not surprising that he is able to sketch the outlines of Crowley’s life so. Naturally, the book begins with a biography of Crowley, briefly describing his early life, his time at Cambridge, poetry, the Golden Dawn, the reception of Leiber AL vel Legis, the OTO and the A.’. A.’., the Abbey of Thelema and his end. The section concludes with an annotated list of twelve books of Crowley’s work as recommended reading.
Part I deals with “Mystical and Magical Societies”, specifically Continue reading
“Doing magic is about being responsive to the challenges of your environment – often a response borne out of necessity. The mistake that newcomers to practical magic often make is that, having identified a problem, they go looking for a ‘ritual’ or spell which they believe will remove it…For me, the crux of the matter is that ritual magic is fun. Moreover, ritual magic is a skill. A magical ritual is more than the sum of its parts. Ritual has elements of performance, and its own psychology; yet it would be a mistake to consider ritual to be merely psychodrama. Ritual can be broken down into the arrangement of sensory cues, voice techniques, gesture, visualization, movement, symbolism, role-shifting, and trance induction, yet it is more than any of this. Unaccountably, rituals, when performed, create an atmosphere – a space – in which something mysterious and wonderful may happen. If nothing else, ritual demonstrates how little we know of our potential, of ourselves, and the world through which we move.”
–Phil Hine, Prime Chaos
“The dilemma that we can find ourselves in is that we cane become obsessed with the “rightness” of the ritual, and we lose sight of the sacredness and devotional part of the ritual. We perform only out of fear of making a mistake or desire to make a good impression, rather than with reverence, out of obligation to perform the act rather than devotion, thoughtlessly rather than mindfully. Our focus narrows to doing the ritual precisely or correctly, rather than with love and commitment tot that which is beyond our ability to comprehend or understand.”
–Susan Quinn, The Deepest Spiritual Life
Cthuloid Dreams: A Collection of Occult Poetry, by DJ Lawrence
Chaosmagic.com, 115 pp., 2004
Inspired and influenced by the Discordianism, Lovecraft mythos and Setianism, DJ Lawrence has compiled a collection of poetry gathered over the years.
Often lyrical with delightful turns of phrase, Lawrence seems taken with decidedly darker themes, with titles such as ‘Bitter’, ‘Set’, ‘Death’, ‘Necronomicon’, and of course, the title-poem ‘Cthuloid Dreams’.
This is a neat collection of more than sixty short poems, whose evocative imagery would lend itself well to inclusion in darker themed rites.
Cthuloid Dreams can be purchased exclusively from Chaosmagic.com’s online store.