Its been a while since I last wrote a review but I’m happy I’m back writing and a review of one of my favorite publications. I’ve written two reviews before on The Hermetic Tablet, The Hermetic Tablet Summer Solstice 2016 and The Hermetic Tablet 2014/2015.
Everything I said before about The Hermetic Tablet is still true. I look forward to new issues being published as there is always a range of writing, from short thought provoking articles to long essays that gives me some ‘time out’ from my crazy life.
This editions authors are from…
Jake Stratton-Kent – Grimoires for Pagans,
Mike Magee – Israel Regardie, the Golden Dawn and me,
Tony Fuller – A peculiar unseen Stella Matutina Rite, and A rare Stella Matutina manuscript: Rising In the Planes,
Aaron Lietch – A Sorcerer’s view of Chaos and the LHP,
Jayne Gibson – Iyrin, Watchers Faithful Angels, Fallen Angels and their Descendants, the Nephilim,
João Pedro Feliciano – The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius,
Nick Farrell – The Titanomachy and the Rise of the Olympics,
Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen – The forgotten art of re-animating creation magic,
Dion Fortune – The Tree of Life,
David Nez – Tracking the Celestial Bears: Myth and Magic of Ursa Major and Minor,
Charles and Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Covering of Concealment: A GD Ritual to create the Helm of Darkness,
Wynn Westcott – A glance at the Kabalah,
Mogg Morgan – Osiris and the Masonic Myth,
Eric V. Sisco – The Alpha et Omega ceremony of Consecration of a Temple and the Ceremony of Installation of the Chief.
Along with a review of Gordon Whites excellent “Starships” by Mogg Morgan. Another book that I reviewed and highly recommend. Mogg Morgan did a far better review than I could have.
I wish I had Jayne Gibson’s article about 6 weeks ago as it would have settled a pub argument for me (I drink with some strange people). My introduction to mythology was watching movies like Jason and the Argonauts. My child like love of mythology has never left me and Jayne’s article just leaves me lusting after more information on the subject. I often wonder how myth’s such as the Nephilim, fallen angels and Lucifer come into being, what was the seed that started this fable thousands of years ago. Which reminds me that Peter Grey’s Lucifer: praxis will be published soon. Another must read that will leave me anting more.
A favorite in this edition was Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen’s article on the magical act of creating art. Whether it be drawing out talisman’s, creating magical tools or painting representations of your favorite deity’s. Dion Fortune’s definition of magic is “Magic is the Art and Science to create Changes in Consciousness”. The very act in itself is magical. This made’s me look at my pathetic creations in a different light and encourages me to be more involved in the act of creation, rather just reading and following rituals. I need to borrow my children’s paints and pens and concentrate in a meditative fashion on the act of creation.
Another favorite is David Nez’s article on the celestial bear. If you’ve read Starships you’ll notice the familiar lines this article is along. As more people connect the dot’s in our myths and how they are linked to the sky above us I think we will have a much better understanding of our past and the common threads and belief’s that link us all.
A final article I’ll mention is Mogg Morgan’s Osiris and the Masonic Myth. In the past few years I’ve become interested again in Freemasonry. I was raised as a Master Mason in 1986 but have not stood in an open lodge since 1990. Despite being a life member, I think my mother lodge would be rather shocked if I walked back through there doors again. However, only in the past few years, with my involvement in the occult have I truly been able to understand the rituals. At the time (and probably still) in Scotland the lodge is seen as a gentleman’s drinking club. I wonder if many people actually contemplate the mysteries that are revealed to them, how they were developed or the deeper meanings. A lot of things recently have brought up my involvement in Freemasonry in the past and Mogg’s article had me contemplating those initiations and the office I used to hold. The similarities in the mysteries of Western magical occult school’s and the Freemason’s can not be overlooked. The obvious connection is that the 3 founding members of the Golden Dawn were all Freemasons but Mogg’s article hints at a much older connection. One thing I can’t understand though is, if the Golden Dawn from its outset in 1888 allowed the initiation of women, then why is the York Rite and Scottish Rite still med only? Something I intend to address with the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
I feel the Hermetic Tablet is highly undervalued publication and deserves a wider readership. In Nick Farrell’s editorial he talks about the poor financial conditions a lot of occultist’s find themselves in. I was contemplating this a few weeks ago, from a very well paid job and a life as a muggle, to rekindling my interest in the occult and being unemployed for the first time in my life (in my late 40’s) was very sudden. Months after being laid off I was able to see the connection. Life’s harder now but in many ways better. There is a feeling of being connected to something greater. I’m sure others feel similarly that if they were not magically inclined their lives maybe financially richer. A popular mage can launch an appeal to assist with an unexpected disaster but this publication receives very little support, even when it is run to support occult charities.
by Gordon White,
This is a book that will probably not get the attention it deserves because it is written by a self described Chaos magician.
I was first introduced to Chaos magic in 1990 by a young guy I met on a drilling rig in the North Sea. We would spend many a coffee break and evening discussing the occult. This was in the day’s before we had satellite TV and decent telephone’s. The only form’s of communication were ship to shore radio telephone via Montrose 2182 or via snail mail sent to Sedco Forex’s Aberdeen office.
I have a bad habit of surrounding myself and building a life around people who run contrary to what I want. A history of trying to fit into a pigeon hole that society has pre-determined for me. The drug addled teenager and the wannabe outlaw biker phases were already behind me. This was going to be the flowering of my occult phase which had started in my early teens. Not to be unfortunately. All too soon I succumbed to the pressure from my boss’s, the alcoholic Dundonion AA and the equally obnoxious failed Premier league footballer PS. So I slotted myself into a culturally suitable pigeon hole. Next came many years of happily and unhappily married life, followed by life as the globe trotting rig pig with a pocket full of cash and a hard-on in his pants. Before long that gave way to a life of an expatriate and then back to married domestication. It was only in mid-life that I started to take control of the forces around me and understand who I really was. Sadly 25 good years lost, 25 years of potential study lost, 25 years of development lost.
Maybe… Possibly the experiences of the previous 25 years were probably necessary to produce who I am today, no short cut was available. As Gordon say’s in the book The pirates of the classical age were not only necessary but also improved the British navy and speeded up its development and the development of the British Empire. It also quickened the independence of many Caribbean nations.
The fact that this book in just a few short hours of reading has evoked such reactions and reminiscence’s in me is testament to the power in Gordon’s words.
By definition a chaos magician is somebody who through practical experimentation dismisses that which does not work and adopts that which does. This book takes me back all those years to the long discussions I had with a now unknown person, name, address, telephone numbers long since forgotten and now would be utterly useless.
At this point I’ve said precious little about the book. It’s a collection of thought provoking essays that will stimulate your mind into further explorations on the subject’s. Fifteen essays that occupy about 2 thirds of the book followed by section with some practical exercises and the last few pages with an interesting further reading/ study list.
Whether you are biased against chaos magic or not will determine if you read this book. I hope that this book is the start of the re-imagining of chaos magic that Gordon envisions. That changes the perception of chaos magicians from snot nosed undisciplined kids (young and old) into disciplined, practical, experimental magicians, independent of snotty noses or age.
I’ll leave this review here with a couple of quotes from the book…
“Terence McKenna once famously said that science asks “Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.” That miracle is the instantaneous arrival of all the laws of nature and all the matter and energy in the universe, appearing out of nowhere at the moment of the Big Bang, before going on to expanding uneven and unexplained ways. Quite the miracle. Sounds like magic. Bad magic.”
“The very best magicians are scavengers of the useful and banishers of the useless.”
I hope this book fires you up like it has done me.
Edited by Nick Farrell.
Jake Stratton-Kent – Ariton
Chris Newton – Teachings of an Unknown Golden Dawn Order
Tony Fuller – Before the Portal
Aaron Lietch – Grimoire Hopping
Jayne Gibson – Abrades and Baphomet
Joāo Pedro Feliciano – Agates Daimon in Greco-Egyptian Religion
Nick Farrell – Introduction to Homeric Magic
Tony Fuller – The Missing Flying Roll
Annie Horniman – A Short Earth Ritual
Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen – A powerful God does not need a Goddess does he?
Morgan Drake Eckstein – Rooted in the Physical
Spencer M Graves – Coptic Names in the Golden Dawn
Tony Fuller – Israel Regard’s Golden Dawn
Nick Farrell – Harry and Nicola Wendrich’s Sephirothic Odyssey
One of the reason’s I love the Hermetic Tablet, apart from the gem’s always to be found in it, is the fact that I can pick an essay and fill a spare 30 to 40 minutes on a subject. One of the problems of my unusual life is the constant interruptions which can hinder getting into a heavy magic book.
The “Teachings of an Unknown Golden Dawn Order” I found very interesting. A year long correspondence course which has an interesting take on initiation into the Golden Dawn. I’ve been studying the MOAA’s correspondence course now for a year so this was of significant interest to me.
Tony Fuller has 7 essay’s from 1894, believed unpublished before. These are from members of the Isis Urania Temple of the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn. The 7 articles represented address’s to prospective members of the Adepts Minor grade. Having suffered some very strange consequences of my own magical work I read these with interest. The warnings are clear, if you think you’re not read then you’re not ready. However is also renewed my vigour in continuing my practice, perfect timing as I was contemplating giving up.
Jayne Gibson has an excellent article on Abraxas and Baphomet that deals with composite nature of these Godforms. Are these Godforms representative of the Macrocosmic and Microcosmic forces or the origin of the spiritual seed and the theurgic way of return to this origin? Jayne list’s over two pages of sources so there is plenty of sources for further study.
Nick Farrell’s article is on gives an introduction to Homeric Magic and a complete system of planetary days and hours attributed to Pagan Gods rather than the classic planets. The article is not just about Pagan attribute’s for the days and hours but about using Greek as a magical language. Combined with gematria you can uncover the deeper meanings to Homer. There is a lot of detail and information packed into this short article. Definitely one I’ll need to reread several times to fully understand.
Morgan Drake Eckstein’s article on the physical vs the astral in relation to mental health issues. Having suffered from depression in the past I know how hard it can be to talk of such issues and the usual cranks who will just tell you to ‘pull yourself together’. In this day and age it can still be a taboo subject. I agree with Morgan that the Malkuth of Assiah is not the end but merely the start once everything has coalesced into the physical. To quote the great Dion Fortune, “Every magical operation must come through to Malkuth before it can be reckoned to have attained completion, for only in Malkuth is the force finally locked into form”
I was going to review a couple of more articles in the book but I started watching Stranger Things last night… Needless to say I was hooked and crawled into bed very late.
That is just five out of the twelve articles contained in this edition, not counting the book reviews). Excellent work from the team involved and I’m looking forward to the next edition.