The Hermetic Tablet, Summer Solstice 2016

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

Book Reviews…
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Tony Fuller has 7 essay’s from 1894, believed unpublished before.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.

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Practical Astrology for Wiccans and Pagans

By Ivo Dominguez Jr.
Weiser Books 2016

I’ll admit straight up, this book beat me. Mainly because I know nothing about astrology and this is not a beginners book. I knew this going in and assumed I’d be able to figure it out but no… I’d suggest being a bit familiar with charts and terminology before reading this book.

The book did come highly recommended to me by a very popular and well respected magician. If you are experienced with the basics there is quite a lot of information on offer. I just need a simpler introduction and then to reread this book.

My friend Morgan Drake Eckstein recently wrote a blog post on the importance of magicians learning astrology.

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Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila

By Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
Scarlet Imprint 2011

This book has been on my radar for quite a while but as I have plenty of unread books here I always gave it a by. After several months of struggling to complete a couple of books I threw the towel in and bought a copy.

I can’t begin to describe what it is about Pomba Gira that attracts me. What little you find on the web does not paint a pretty picture, with epithets such as the Devil’s mistress and warnings about the uninitiated and untrained working with this spirit it should have put me off. Yet, like a moth drawn to the flame I kept checking this book out and regularly searching the web to see if there was anything that would satisfy my curiosity.

Unfortunately, there is very little about Pomba Gira or Exu in English on the Internet. If you can read Portuguese good, otherwise your choices are very limited. The daily Portuguese lessons from 15 years ago when I worked there are of little use now. I can just barely ask for specific tools and order a round of beer now in Portuguese.

First, I enjoyed Nicholaj’s writing style. Plain and direct which made it for me an enjoyable and easy read, unlike the previous 3 books that I gave upon. One reason I’ve not read anything and suppressed interest in ATR’s and regional variations is that in someway I didn’t want to be seen as some privileged white European jumping on the ‘bandwagon’. Nicholaj briefly touches on this in the book when he traces the influences in Catholicism, traditional European witchcraft along with roots in the Congo. Even highlighting similarities with Polish folk stories of vampires.

There is plenty of warnings throughout the book about doing any workings with Pomba Gira. Some simple workings are given but proceed with caution. It would be better to be introduced to Pomba Gira by an initiate of the cult and then build up a relationship with her first. Failure to do this could result in burnt fingers, or worse.

Quimbanda is not a system you can casually practice, there is a high level of commitment and involvement required. Again, there are warnings about this.

There is an extensive section in the book covering some of the more common manifestations of Pomba Gira, with her history, Pontos Contados and Ponto Riscado’s. There is also a brief Glossary with the translation and explanations of the Brasilian Portuguese terms used.

Despite my initial reservations about I really enjoyed this book and my only complaint was that it was over all too soon. There is a dearth of information in English on Pomba Gira and this book will leave you wanting more. When I worked in Basil 15 years ago I did not enjoy the country, now I’m hoping for an assignment there in the near future and might just dust off the old language course that I never did much with.

If you think Quimbanda is for you, a good starting point would be to have a consulta with Nicholaj.

My review is based on the PDF that Scarlet Imprint sends free with every book purchase. When I receive the book I’ll update the review with some additional pictures.

If you wish to read more, Peter Gray’s essay on Pomba Gira is excellent

Salvé Pomba Gira Rainha!


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