Hermetic Tablet Winter Solstice 2016

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.

Pieces of Eight

by Gordon White,

Amazon Kindle 2016

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.

22 Paths of Imperfection

22 Paths of Imperfection (a flight manual for single winged angels) by Matt Laws

Hadean Press

This is a small format book with 119 pages. It’s perfect for dropping in a bag or stuffing in the back pocket of your jeans. Initially I wasn’t so sure of the small format as the binding is quite tight and I had to forcibly fold the pages back. After a few sections though it grew on me quickly and its actually perfect for what Matt intended with this book. After all a flight manual should be carried with you and used. Not left on a bookshelf.

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This book starts with a very personnel forward about the problems the author has faced in life. As somebody who considered suicide at least once a week for over 30 years this hit a chord with me and I instantly felt connected the the book and the author.

I can see myself constantly referring to this book every time I’ve got 10 or 15 minutes spare. Read about 1 card, refresh my memory on it and contemplate the story Matt presented. Perfect for the bus, train, stuck in traffic etc… This is exactly the book I’ve been needing on Tarot, though, this book just covers the major arcana. I hope there will be a follow up soon covering the minor arcana.

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Each card is presented over a couple of pages though some cover more than others, such as the High Priestess which is 7 pages long. Initially you have a story on the card and its path on the Tree of life, then the Hebrew letter associated with that path and further discussion on the symbolism and and how one mingles with the other. It works brilliantly for me, I remember things better if there is a tale associated with the information. For example, Matt describes the High Priestess a bit like a rollercoaster ride. It can be fun or terrifying yet at the end everything is okay. The Hebrew letter Gimel is associated with the High Priestess. Gimel is the Camel, and a Camel travels from one good place to another, often through harsh conditions and terrain. However, the Camel has his built in water supply so he can survive the journey and face the hardships along the way. This use of allegory just hits the spot triggering all the right synapses in my brain to help me remember.

I was expecting to read this book in one sitting however the information is presented in such a way that I’ve found myself reading about each card and then putting the book down while I digest it.

I can’t rate this book highly enough. I’ve 5 books on Tarot here but none of them have really helped me in the way this one has. Sure I’ve learnt something from each of them but at times it was a dry hard slog. This little book is a gem and one that will never find a home on my bookshelf. If its not on my desk, it’ll be in my handbag.

The Hermetic Tablet, Journal of Ritual Magic

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.

Covers

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


Sample page 3

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.

Paper

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.

Sample page 1

 

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.

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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.