Infinity Tarot Deck, artwork by Severino Baraldi, text by Perluca Zizzi
Lo Scarabeo, 9780738746357, 78 cards, 36 pp. booklet, 2015
The Infinity Tarot is an Italian-designed tarot deck, inspired by these words of mystic poet William Blake, who recognized that the spiritual essence of humankind is imagination.
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower,
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
— William Blake
The above quote is inscribed on the tarot box, and the deck itself encapsulates this concept of nature and the infinite. This deck is unique because of the unusual shape of the cards.
The cards are rounded like the symbol for infinity, and about the same size as an average tarot deck, though the shape does make the cards a little unwieldy when shuffling, but you get used to it. The back of the cards has a colourful design of creatures and gemstones. They are presented in an elegant box of the same shape. Continue reading
With Valentine’s Day coming (ahem), and so many articles about tantra, inner alchemy, and sex magick in our vast archives, I thought I’d showcase a few of the best and a few of my favourites. Continue reading
William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard
Inner Traditions, 9781594772115, 398 pp., 2008
Reading William Blake one cannot help but realize this is a man who is both religious and spiritually active, especially his poems known as the prophecies. The question is what was the nature of his spiritual life? What inspired Blake to create works that are both heavily Christian and at the same time antagonistic to many Christian ideals? The surprising answer is laid out as Schuchard leads us back into the complex religious web of mystical Christianity of the 17th and 18th century.
No clear, singular document exists that explains Blake’s religious life and upbringing, so Schuchard researched and wrote this text as a “reconstruction of the lost religious history of the family of William Blake.” This area is rarely investigated, and considering how bizarre and complicated a picture Schuchard paints it’s not surprising that “sensible academic critics have cautiously refrained from taking the plunge” into this counter-religious culture. Continue reading
William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Martha Keith Schuchard
Inner Traditions, 9781594772115, 415 pp., 2006, 2008
This is the first US edition of a book originally published in 2006 in the UK. It had its origin in scholarly research but has been diminished in size and complexity, although not in quality, to produce a book more likely to appeal to a non-academic audience.
There is a large amount of background data provided on the subject of 18th and 19th century esoterica. This is important to provide a solid base for the understanding of William Blake and his works.
As I have commented in previous reviews of books issued by Inner Traditions, this is not a book for the casual reader. It presupposes a certain level of familiarity with the general topic right from the outset. If you know nothing about William Blake or the esoteric milieu of his time, you will find yourself playing catch-up from the start. Continue reading
Servitors, psychodynamics and models of magick
Chaos magick, at least if approached by through the Internet and conversation with chaos magicians, can appear a sprawling, contradictory mess of techniques to the newcomer. The relativistic stance of chaos magick, and it’s apparent lack of a unifying template can appear both morally disturbing and intellectually frustrating, especially to occultists coming to it from more traditional paths. Continue reading
Sigils, servitors and god-forms are three magical techniques that chaos magicians use to actualize magical intentions. Sigils are magical spells developed and activated to achieve a specific, fairly well defined and often limited end. Servitors are entities created by a magician and charged with certain functions. Godforms are complex belief structures, often held by a number of people, with which a magician interacts in order to actualize fairly broad magical intentions. These three techniques are not quite as distinct as these definitions would suggest, they tend to blur into one another. The purpose of this essay is to explain these magical tools, indicate their appropriateness for different types of magical intentions, and show how these tools relate to the general theories of chaos magick and of Dzog Chen, a form of Tibetan Buddhism.