From Jason August Newcomb
The Hermetic Tablet, Lulu 2014/15
Journal of Western Ritual Magic
Edited by Nick Farrell
A different review, this is of a bi-annual journal. To date there has been 4 issues of this journal. The first being published at the Autumn Equinox 2014. Subsequent issues roughly follow the solstices (Winter 2014, Summer and Winter 2015). The journal is available in paperback or hardcover.
Writers and articles in Volume 1…
Jake Stratton-Kent – The Conjuration of Nebiros
Mike Magee – Kenneth Grant and the Serpent of Fire
Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Beloved Isis: Invoking the divine famine in the Golden Dawn
Aaron Leitch – Michael Workings
Christine Zalewski – Ritual timing and preparation
Nick Farrell – Theurgy
Jayne Gibson – A Ritual evocation of Isis and Nephthys and the 19th path on the tree of life
Harry Wendrich – Manipura and the opening of the third eye
Alex Sumner – Non-divinatory uses of the Tarot
Carman Lawrick – Cerberus: Guard dog from Hell
Steve Nichols – TSAKLI – the totemic Tibetan Tarot
Cynthia Caton – What is done cannot be undone
Jorge Quinones – Commentary on the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram
Dr Alfonso Rica – An ancient Hittite ritual for abundance
Writers and articles in Volume 2…
Jake Stratton-Kent – What is Goetia?
Mike Magee – How Western magic went wrong with Tantra
Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Consecration of a Mercury talisman
Aaron Leitch – Magical offerings in Western Occultism
Christine Zalewski – Beyond the Grave
Nick Farrell – Dark Gods
Jayne Gibson – The four elements and their implements
Samuel Scarborough – Ars Suffimentum: The art of Incense
Harry Wendrich – Anahata: The investigation of perfection
Michael Straw – Kernunnos: The horned one
Cynthia Caton – Profile Josephine McCarthy
Angela Seraphim – Online occultism: Social media and secrecy
Eric V. Sisco – The Alpha et Omega ceremony of consecration of a temple and Ceremony of installation of the chiefs
Writers and articles in Volume 3…
Jake Stratton-Kent – Other magicians and the Goetia
Mike Magee – The beginnings of AMOOKOS
Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Consecration of a Venus talisman
Aaron Leitch – Restoring the Enochian heptarchia
Nick Farrell – The return of the fates
Jayne Gibson – Consecration of a Cabalistic Talisman
Tony Toneatto – Hekate: Compassionate goddess of the highest mind
Michael Straw – Traditional Wicca as a spiritual path
Samuel Scarborough – A Golden Dawn healing ritual: the Rosicrucian art of healing
Tony Fuller – Golden Dawn a small part of a solution
Wynn Westcott – An essay on the ancient mysteries
Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen – The shield of Heracles: The spiritual task of the ego
Morgan Drake Eckstein – Evocation of the four sons of Horus
Carman Lawrick – The lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram and the great work
Christine Zalewski – Calvary crosses and their influences within the Enochian tablets
Writers and articles in Volume 4…
Jake Stratton-Kent – Necromancy
Mike Magee – House Gods
Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Found perfect before the gods: Osiris and the Golden Dawn
Aaron Leitch – The Holy Guardian Angel
Nick Farrell – Following the dawn: The magical life of Christine Zalewski
Jayne Gibson – Through the power of the sun with a winter solstice ceremony
Tony Toneatto – Athena: Goddess of Hermatic gnosis
Tony Fuller – A small Golden Dawn war
Wynn Westcott – The Devil and evil spirits according to the Bible and ancient Hebrew Rabbis
Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen – Spiritual developments of paranormal talents
Morgan Drake Eckstein – The four royal stars
Cynthia Caton – Death is for the living
João Pedro Feliciano – Hermetic liturgies: Agathodaimon
David Nez – Familiar Spirits
Christine Zalewski – Jack Taylor: The colourful Magus
As can be seen just from the list of authors and articles it is very varied with many leading occultist’s and a range of topic’s. Each edition is 250+ pages, often many more. Several editions also contain reviews of recent books. I just couldn’t do just to the 1095 pages (yes, I counted them) of excellent writing in 1000 words (over half of that listing the contents, so I’ll stick to just basic’s. I have many favourite authors in the list, such as Aaron Leitch, Jake Stratton-Kent, Nick Farrell, the Cicero’s etc… but I also discover new authors with each edition.
The quality of Lulu’s hardbacks (perhaps somebody else with the paperback editions could comments on the binding?) is good with the journals being solidly put together and feel like they will last many years. From the image you can see however that the paper stock used does vary quite a bit. Normally its a cream/ off white coloured paper but one edition I received has a bright white paper.
The typography and layout is typical of Nick’s books with a flair for decoration similar to books from the late Victorian period. For the subject matter at hand I think it suits the work. There is many diagrams and illustrations throughout the editions that the authors have included with their articles, whether it’s describing a layout of a working, images of deity’s to work with or diagrams of tools used etc…
A recent article that I enjoyed was by Samuel Scarborough on the art of making incense. Samuel included tables with his article and an extensive bibliography. Also, Tony Toneatto’s article on Hekate, a Goddess that I’m very interested in. However, there is many more articles that I’ve enjoyed. The Hermetic Tablet is something I pick up again and again. I deliberately do not read each edition through but pick out articles that interest me, read them, probably read them again, this time taking notes and then notice other topics that have piqued my interest and schedule a quite hour to go through them. Reading the journals this way keeps me going back to all 4 of the journals and discovering gems a new or rediscovering one’s to reread and new practices to incorporate into my daily practice.
I’m sure you can see that I highly value the work of the authors along with Nick and Paola for editing and creating each volume. If your savvy you’ll wait for a good discount code from Lulu but even without that I’d buy these journals.
Icelandic Magic, Aims, Tools and Techniques of The Icelandic Sorcerers by Christopher Alan Smith. Avalonia 2015
First, this is not a book on practical magic. The author examines six manuscripts and discusses the workings and history of magic in Iceland.
Despite my disappointment of not learning some new ancient and arcane magic the book itself was an extremely enjoyable read. The first book in over 20 years I’ve completed in one day.
To preserve the symbols the author has taken the unusual step of providing facsimiles of the staves and runic script’s used. There is however some staves that could be used today, such as *ÍB 383 4to* from the **Huld** manuscript, where the two staves are to be written down and worn over the left breast as an aid to focusing the mind. Or the ‘terror’ stave from the same manuscript.
Clearly, most of the magic in the book relates to the time (approx 1500 AD to 1900 AD) when the manuscripts were written and the the circumstances of the people. Prior to the 16th century Iceland had been a Catholic nation after the forced conversion imposed in 1000 AD. The Catholic church seems to have taken a liberal view of the ‘folk’ practices as long as it did not harm the church. With the change to Lutheranism in the 16th century ‘witchcraft’ and practitioners of the old ways were persecuted.
Unlike magic in the Western Tradition that has very specific guidelines for workings, timings and implements this is rarely present in Icelandic magic. If anything, it seems almost too simple. Carve a couple of staves and your done! However, Christopher makes no attempt to make this a practical book on Icelandic. However, in Chapter 9 he does gives some examples, not that many of them are very practicable in todays world.
What was obvious in this book is that the magical practice of Iceland is very different from Europe. No circles or other devices for protection were used. No demons or angels called upon. Very few special implements were required, with most workings requiring no special tools. It appears that purely the magical stave, an incantation (most of the magicians own making) and his will power were all that is required.
It’s an area that has had little research done but the author is working on a further book where he hopes to catalogue the magical staves and possibly discern a common thread amongst them so that new workings may be devised.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. A nice way to enjoy a quiet Sunday and learn something new.
This book needs no introduction, there is already numerous reviews on the Internet and I can only agree that this is an amazing piece of work.
Immediately I drew similarities between Gordon’s writing style and Peter Grey’s in Lucifer: princeps, in fact Gordon references Lucifer: princeps near the end of the book.
Initially I wasn’t going to buy this book, maybe I’d pick up the paperback sometime down the road but the pre-release blurb on the book just didn’t spark my interest. However, when the initial reviews started to come it really got my interest in the subject “A pre-history of the spirits” just docent do it justice. If anything it seems a bit New Age, airy fairy, for a book that is as far removed from the New Age thinking as possible.
The initial chapters are interesting enough but it was when he started to describe the possible “Sundaland” that I really started to see his narrative. I have sailed many time through the South China Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, Java Sea area to have not noticed on the charts the possibility that some time in the distant past that this area may have been above sea level. The fact that Gordon picked this up and then went on with a hypothesis that humanity thrived in this area, was technological advanced and communicated with, traveled to distant parts of the planet was an eye opener.
How does Gordon come to this startling conclusion? By the obvious examination of genetic data. A dangerous subject which as he points out in the book has been used in the past by cultures to exert their racial superiority over others, but also by the legends, folk tales, traces of ancient history which is left engraved on the wall of temples and the ancient people’s observation of the stars and the similarity in the myths built around them. The fact is we may find Asian shaped skull’s in ancient middle eastern burials. There maybe traces of Asian DNA in Egypt, but the most striking this is how similar their star lore was. The names may change and be adapted for a different culture but the underlying mythos is the same.
The typical scientific explanation is of a single point evolution and spreading outwards from this point. What Gordon is offering in Star.Ships is that human evolution did not occur in one single place, that in fact it evolved simultaneously at many locations, that these locations traded, communicated, with one another and that technologically they were far more advanced that modern science will give them credit for. For example Gobekle Tepi at around 12,000 years old displays knowledge of the stars well before what science previously attributed to primitive civilisations.
One of the most interesting parts in the book is where he presents Davidovits theory on the construction of the pyramids which if it can be proven would also explain the construction of the Rapa Nui’s moai on Easter Island. Thousands of miles apart but a possibility of a shared technological link. As he points out in the book we know the Romans used wet setting cements to lay bridge foundations, but where did the Romans get the technology from?
This book, like Lucifer: princeps, requires more than one reading, presents many co-existing narratives for the evolution of humans and does not solely present the physical evidence but also examines the metaphysical. It presents a unique way of examining evolution and one that requires the integration of archeology and mysticism. Just like when Schliemann when looking for Troy, he didn’t discount the ancient myths are pure fiction but actually used them as factual evidence. Similarly Gordon in this brilliant work Gordon describes how we should look at the bigger picture, the beliefs, the cosmology of our ancestors along with the archaeology to fully understand them. Our history is written in the stars.
I managed all that with out mentioning Typography once!
P.S. Its Scarlet Imprint, the typography is impeccable.