Raising Hell: Subversive Spirituality, Insurrectionist Witchcraft and Black Magic
by Kali Black
reviewed by Nina Lazarus for the Esoteric Book Review

This book is not really about black magic, rather it is another offering about Chaos Magic dressed up with different thrills (or is that paradigms?).  The initial material on behaviour patterns and how to ensure you are not influenced unduly by the media and others is reasonable.  It presents an interesting précis of much that is worthwhile and gives many leads and insights.  However the terminology is clearly a sign of the times, as in the 80s we used to call the ideas portrayed here cultural terrorism.  The chapter arguing against the consumption of meat and promoting vegetarianism was heartfelt and the sort of thing more books on magic should discuss.  However none of this material is really black magic, it is simply magic!

The NLP material emphasises the author’s preference for deprogramming and taking control, which is never a bad thing.  However the Toontra and anarchashamanism material both indicate the chaos magic roots of this material.  It seems there is a trend with some writers to present the ideas of chaos magic as if they were something new, which they aren’t, and they weren’t when chaos magic first appeared wearing its new clothes and championing eclecticism.  For example, as this book and many others seem keen to declare, the principle of reduction sigilisation invented by Austin Osman Spare, a favourite of Chaoists – yet this technique may be found centuries ago in Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

So although this book is not really as radical or new as it would like to present itself, it is nevertheless worth reading, as it brings together a good range of ideas and material which should give the reader food for thought.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Over? A book about stuff
by Collen A’Miketh
reviewed by Nina Lazarus for the Esoteric Book Review

Let me start by saying this is an interesting book.  Although the title attempts (and fails) to be funny (WTF = What The F—k), and the cover tells us it is a humorous book in places, it did not make me laugh.  It did however make me nod with agreement in places, and gave me cause to appreciate the depth of experience and ideas that have been put into this work.  Put in simple terms, this is basically a book about the principles of chaos magic without all the pseudo-science that so often detracts from the underlying concepts.  The author encourages the reader to apply their magick as action rather than reaction, and from this premise the book evolves.
The discussion of paradigms, realities, data streams, sigils and personality modification make the chaos flavour of the book clear.  However refreshingly the discussion is much more accessible and less irritating than many other chaos magic books which are much less grounded in reality than this one.  Of course in true chaos magic style, other systems get a look in, like the ubiquitous Wheel of the Year, which seems to have become the workhorse of modern paganism, without people ever really doing much with it, and poker hands as a comparison with magick (classic pub discussion chaos magick there).
I also have my criticisms of the book, which are more niggles really.  I dislike the use of the term pentacle for the pentagram, a common terminology error these days, as is the inappropriate use of the term grimoire.  I also found the pathworking irritating and self-indulgent.  Nonetheless overall I have to say this is a worthwhile volume, and should be read by people after they have been studying for a year or two, to encourage them not to get too set in their ways early on their path.

Dear All,,

[copy of the Avalonia Newsletter, 3 September 2008]

I have been enjoying a huge collection of little sample oils from conjureoils.com for the last few days. It took ages to arrive from the USA, and I very much expected it to not be all that great, but they are absolutely amazing. Incenses and oils are of course very much a part of this d’Este/Rankine household! Incenses and oils were in fact the first thing we talked about when we met each other for the first time in Atlantis Bookshop many years back – and it continues to be a topic of discussion today! From the practice of aromatic smokes rising to the heavens as an offering to the Gods and Spirits, or as propitiation, protection or purification – incenses and oils do play an important part in magical and spiritual practices today as they did throughout history in every culture, on all the inhabited continents of the Earth. Amongst the most famous is probably frankincense and myrrh, two of the three gifts which were given to the Christ child by the three Magi, both also ingredients which were extensively used by the Ancient Egyptians. In fact it could be said that the Egyptians perfected the art of aromatics. Some of the perfumes s they made have retained their fragrance for more than 3000 years! One such famous example being an aromatic ointment which was discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922 and which is believed to have been made around 1350BCE ! It contained both frankincense and balsam amongst its ingredients. Cleopatra was famous for her love of aromatics and it is said that when Mark Antony first encountered the barge on which Cleopatra was travelling “The winds were love-sick when from the barge, a strange invisible perfume hits the sense of the adjacent wharfs…” (Plutarch).

Here in Wales, David and I are working at getting Practical Elemental Magick completed for release in the next couple of weeks. Its all on schedule for a change, so that is good! There is so much material we are including from work we have done together over the last few years that we hope that it will be something which will open up the field of elemental work to further study and experimentations in the coming years – like planetary magick, it is a subject which is much neglected and often misunderstood.

I am also very pleased to say that Horns of Power (Manifestations of the Horned God - see http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=59 for details ) the anthology containing essays by scholars and mystics writing about different Horned Gods and their experiences of working with or encounters with the Horned God, being received with great excitement by those who have read it to date. This is great news as I am planning another anthology at the moment with essays by Priestesses from all over the world, working in different traditions, and their experiences of trance work, mediumship, possession and “drawing down the Moon” and I am very excited about the submissions I have received to date as each contains something so thoroughly unique and beautiful that it will greatly enhance the experiences, techniques and understanding of these workings which are so rarely spoken about.

I hope that this finds you well, whoever you may be and wherever you find yourself,

Blessings

Sorita d’Este

Ps. According to my copy of Llewellyn’s Magical Almanac 2008 the fragrance for 3 Sept. Is Honeysuckle, and 4 Sept. Nutmeg, followed by Thyme on the 5th. Why this would be I haven’t a clue, but I thought it was interesting enough to include!

http://www.avalonia.co.uk

http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

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Avalonia Newsletter: 3 September 2008

Table of Contents

1 * Special Offers on Books
2 * Incense & Oil Supplies
3 * Wicca Magickal Beginnings
4 * The Esoteric Book Review~
5 * Root Magic
6 * Forthcoming Events

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1/ Special Offers on Books

Our current Avalonia Books special offer is on the new edition of Circle of Fire and Wicca Magickal Beginnings.

Buy two of our most popular books together and save £5.50!  Both books will provide individuals wishing to deepen their understanding of the Wiccan Tradition with plenty of material to do so.  Circle of Fire is provides practitioners with a solid foundation of symbolism and practice from where to build their knowledge and understanding of the practices of the tradition; Wicca Magickal Beginnings provides insights into the historical origins of the tradition which sets aside the endless debates about lineage in favour of looking at where the practices may originate from prior to being popularised by Gerald Gardner in 1950’s England.  This illustrates how the majority of practices and beliefs dates back decades and in some instances many thousands of years prior to his influence and hints that Gardner may have been telling the truth when he claimed he was initiated into the New Forest Coven in the late 1930’s.

If bought together you will save yourself £5.50 (with free P&P) – but only if bought from our “offers” page – http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=47 between now and the 21st of September 2008.

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2/ Incense & Oil Supplies

But back to fragrant smokes and oils, if you are interested in exploring these more in the coming months, the following suppliers might provide a good starting point for you providing between them ready blended incenses and oils, as well as the ingredients you will need to make your own:

Amphora Aromatics – www.amphora-retail.com

Baldwins – www.baldwins.co.uk

Conjure Oils – www.conjureoils.com

PeacockAngel – www.peacockangel.com

StarChild – www.starchild.co.uk

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3/ Wicca Magickal Beginnings

It seems that our work is currently really getting around and creating a buzz in different circles. A good example of this is Wicca Magickal Beginnings, which explores the history of the practices and beliefs of the Wiccan Tradition in the context of magickal practices spanning thousands of years. This week it has created quite an interesting discussion on the LiveJournal of author and rock star Rodney Orpheus (him of the “Cassandra Complex”), if you are interested in Thelema and Wicca, you may find the discussion there of interest, see: http://rodneyorpheus.livejournal.com/546888.html for details. Also to see what Pagan Dawn; Mike Howard at the Cauldron and others think of Wicca Magickal Beginnings see: http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=61 (scroll down to the bottom of the page)

Wicca Magickal Beginnings forms part of our current special offer, if purchased with a copy of Circle of Fire – see http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=47 for details.

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4/ The Esoteric Review

Remember that new book reviews are also frequently being added by our team of reviewers to the Esoteric Book Review – http://reviews.ritualmagick.co.uk/ recent reviews include a number of titles related to Fallen Angels, The Book of Enoch and a couple of books by fantasy writer Storm Constantine. There is a pile of books which are all making their way to reviewers at the moment, so we hope to be adding more reviews very soon.

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5/ Root Magic

John Canard whose first book “Defences of the Witches’ Craft” was also released last month is so pleased with the response he has received so far to this book that he has decided to give in to my pleas to write the first substantial book on the history and practices of English Root Magic. He is collating his notes now and will be adding advice and guidance for those wishing to explore English Root Magic and the seven year cycle of training which he followed with his own mentor some decades ago. Defences of the Witches’ Craft’s first review has also just been published on Amazon.com and is available along with information on the book at http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=89 - a great little book for anyone who is interested in curses and counter magics as used in England today and in the last few hundred years. (Whether out of curiosity or out of need for such charms)

John also asked me to mention that he has set up a group on Facebook for people interested in discussing Root Magic – it is called “Root Magicians – Worldwide” and can be found by searching for “Root magic” on Facebook or going straight to http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=74865125064

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6/ Forthcoming Events

6 September 2008 ** This Saturday – The Colours of Chaos ***
-see http://chaotopia.co.uk/coloursofchaos.html for more information. Tickets WILL be available on the door. Speakers include: Julian Vayne, Dave Lee, Soror Res, Susan Leybourne etc. Conway Hall, London.

4 October 2008 *** The Thelemic Symposium ***
See http://www.dowhatthouwilt.com/symposium/ for details. A whole bunch of speakers on Aleister Crowley’s Thelema, The OTO etc. Oxford, England. TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT, but worth checking out as there might be a waitinglist.

4 October 2008 *** Qabalah Through the Worlds – Workshop by David Rankine ***
Some details at http://www.ritualmagick.co.uk or http://www.avalonia.co.uk/events This is an advanced workshop on Qabalah and Magic(k) exploring practical techniques. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, Museum Street, London.

18 October 2008 *** The Halloween Festival – London ***
This yearly festival is usually quite a bit of fun, lots of dressing up, music, stalls and talks – see www.paganfestivals.com for details.

8 November 2008 *** Witchfest International, Croydon , Surrey / London ***
Speakers this year include Prof. Ronald Hutton, Sorita d’Este, David Rankine, Rufus Harrington, Cassandra Eason, Kate West, James Bennett, Ralph Harvey, Teresa Moorey, Rhys Chisnall , Tam Campbell & many more. See www.witchfest.net for more details and booking information.

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“Working Towards Expanding the Esoteric Horizons”

http://www.avalonia.co.uk

http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

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