The Testament of Cyprian the Mage

The Testament of Cyprian the Mage by Jake Stratton-Kent
Scarlet Imprint 2014

Pure unadulterated book porn!

I’ve not read this yet but this was the first books I purchased from Scarlet Imprint and I still fondle this pair of books like the day I first received them. The typography is simply wonderful. Two colour printing on beautiful heavy white paper. Its an expensive pair of books but ohh so beautiful.

I just want to share some pictures of these and show why I think extremely highly of Scarlet Imprint’s work.

Cover Illustration Index 1 Index 2 Sample page 1 Sample page 2 Sample page 3 Sample page 4 sample page 5 Sample page

 

Golden Dawn Temple Tarot and Tarot book

Golden Dawn Temple Tarot and Tarot book by Nick Farrell, Nicola and Harry Wendrich, 2011

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The Deck…

I love this Tarot deck! I don’t remember how I came across it but once I saw the pictures on Wendrich Art House’s Web site I had to have a set. The colours of the cards just mesmerised me and put me into a trance… I wanted this deck badly. When it finally arrived I was not disappointed. The cards are large 95mm by 135mm tall with lots of detail in each card. The surface finish is very matt and the back’s are a plain green. Card stock is sturdy but not too thick. The cards have already had quite a bit of abuse at my hands and are holding up well. This deck comes with two Temperance keys (pic the one that suits you best) and a card with a prayer to HRU.

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I find dealing with these cards to be quite rewarding. The energy is balanced and the readings are becoming more detailed and natural as I become more familiar with the deck. This is not a wishy washy New Age deck though. I find it strong but the energies balanced. It doesn’t sugar coat problems unlike the Thoth deck which I also use, it doesn’t overpower me or try to dominate me. My niece also took a strong liking to this deck and I had to buy her a set as well.

There is also a large set of Tarot keys available from Wendrich Art House. This is an A5 sized set of Tarot trumps for meditation or ritual use. According to the Web site there is a special book that comes with this but I’m unsure if its the same as the book below as I have not received these yet.
The Book
The book Tarot (Golden Dawn Temple Deck Meditation Deck) is available from LuLu. I’m a bit of a fan of Nick’s work, he certainly get’s more than the occasional email from me. The book is 95 pages long and written by Nick and Harry.

Chapters include…

Chapter One – Preparatory Exercises
Cabalistic Cross, LRP, Meditation and Relaxation, Breathing Exercises, MP, Consecrating your Deck etc…
Chapter Two – Assembling Osiris
Hebrew letters, Astrology, The elements, The Paths etc…
Chapter Three – Getting Specific
Meditation seeds for each of the archetypes
Chapter Four – Meditation Techniques
Astral Doorways, Inner guide meditation, Balancing the archetypes with the astrological chart etc…
Chapter Five – Seven Stages of Spiritual Unfoldment
How are the seven stages of spiritual unfoldment found, Using the cards to start spiritual unfoldment etc…

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The book is up to the surprisingly high LuLu standard. Tightly glued paperback with heavy white paper (feels of better quality than Ritual Offerings and has not yellowed). Its already taken a battering at my hands and is often thrown in the bottom of my bag on my jaunts to various rigs.

This is not an in-depth book on the study of the Tarot but at the same time it is a practical book to allow you to study the Tarot in depth. An essential accompaniment to the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot.Deck 2.03fb5f93ab6e4041b547583f4ed8141d

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Ritual Offerings

Ritual Offerings

Edited by Aaron Leitch, Nephalim Press 2014

The Good…

This is probably one of the most important books I have in my small library. Until I read this I thought the idea of giving offerings was at best ‘quaint’ and at worst something done by people trying to gain the favour of darker spirits and entities.

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The various essay’s by leading occultist’s include…

Aaron Leitch: Introduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism
Aaron Leitch: Liber Donariorum: The Book of Offerings
Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice
Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan): Whispers From a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings From a Conjured Familiar
Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering
Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path Toward the Summum Bonum
Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou
Jason Miller: Severed Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism
Nick Farrell: Offerings in Roman Deity Magic
Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGD: Offerings in Iamblichan Theurgy
Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru
Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

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Several of the essay’s really stood out to me and I immediately started to make regular offerings, particularly to my ancestors. The change in the environment around me was obvious. From struggling to make things work for me to life becoming a bit easier.

Although my interest in the occult span’s over 30 years, after some teenage experiments went badly wrong I gave it all up in fear. The last deck of Tarot cards being dumped in Loch Leven around 1992. My interest was rekindled a few years back and I’m now trying to make up for the lost 25 years of practice.

Of the hundred or so books I’ve bought in the past six months none has been more important than this single book. The bottom line is make offerings and make them regularly. There is no free ride and if you want the spirits to work for you, you need to give them the sustenance to perform the work.

An extremely important work that should be in everybody’s library.

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The Bad..

 

The book shipped to me in a plastic padded USPS envelope. Shipping to the Philippines takes from 5 to 10 days but then the parcel’s will sit in a customs shed or Post Office store for up to 3 months. It is a third would country, there is quite a bit of corruption (when you have to deal with the customs) but mostly the infrastructure can’t support the volume of goods arriving in the country. Staffing level’s are properly still at the 1970’s despite all the online shopping and relatives overseas sending goods home. When I received the book it was bashed up as it had virtually no protection. The leather spine is torn and crushed. I wrote to Frank and he offered a replacement, a six weeks later I wrote again. Six weeks later I wrote again and he asked for my address, several weeks after that I offered to compensate him for his generous offer as I felt it was unfair and I should offer something for the replacement book. Over six months have past and I’ve heard no more from Frank. Obviously, I gave up on this and will not buy anymore books from Nephilim Press.

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The book is listed as limited to 900 copies but the sticker on the inside say’s 1000. To lazy to print new stickers? Not what you’d expect for a $65 book. Finally, the paper quality is poor. It is a rough dirty white and looks like it is not archival quality paper. There is sign’s of the edges yellowing already. Finally, the lettering on the spine of the book is already wearing off after very light use.

 

Lucifer: princeps

Lucifer: princeps
By Peter Gray, Scarlet Imprint 2015

The big draw for me (other than an interest in the books contents) was the stunning chartreuse binding and the 3/4 crowned dust jacket. Visually, this is a stunning book. It will stand out amongst any collection.

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One thing that is obvious about the ‘Standard’ and ‘Limited’ edition books that Scarlet Imprint publish is that Peter and Alkistis (the other half of Scarlet Imprint) have a love of the book binders art.

The first ‘standard’ book I purchased from them was JSK’s “The Testament of Cyprian the Mage” which prompted me to write to Peter Gray praising the typography and setting in the book. Believe me, an eye for typography is a rabbit hole you don’t want to fall into. Alkistis obviously fell down this rabbit hole a long time ago and has exercised a discerning eye when setting out this book.

The design, binding, type setting and typography of the book is simple and beautiful. For somebody afflicted with the ‘disease’ that notices kerning, line spacing and use of alternative glyphs Alkistis Dimech has performed alchemy, turning the thoughts of Peter into a beautifully presented text on heavy white paper (yes, I’ll admit I’m a bit mad when it comes to good design).FullSizeRender.aaef6a3301324f43b448d7f60fb44406

The chapters in the book are…

A History of Error
Formulation of the Curse
The Dawn Breakers
The Shining One
Holy Mountain
Scorched Heavens, Burned Earth
A King in Search of a Crown
The Invisible God
A Goat for Azazel
The Serpent in the Garden
Fall and Flood
The Key
A Mass of Blood and Feathers
Children of Enoch
The Cloven Hoof

The work goes a long way to demystifying Lucifer and his origins. It’s a book that clearly has taken a lot of time and some serious in depth study by the author. As much as I enjoyed reading the book I did have to occasionally refer to a dictionary. My English isn’t terrible but as a native speaker it was far from my favourite subject at school. Peter’s prose easy to follow but the occasional word had to be looked up for clarification. Also, a good biblical knowledge will help as there is many references to passages or events in the bible as well as geographical locations. Several times I had to look up maps on the Internet just to have a clear understanding of how the story moved from place to place.

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On a first reading I was left with a ‘wow!’ feeling upon completing the book. I know I only got a portion of the message from the book and it is a book that I’ll have to read again, probably several times. Each time gaining more from the book and understanding better all the details. The follow up, Lucifer: praxis is scheduled for release in the middle of 2017.

If you have an interest in Lucifer, the mythos, the fallen angel, the bringer of light, the association with Satan then you will enjoy this book. As somebody who was raised as a protestant and taught that Lucifer and Satan were basically the same this book changed my perceptions.