The Flowering Rod: Men and their Role in Paganismby Kenny Klein

reviewed by Herbwoman for the Esoteric Book Review

In recent years it seems men have had some catching up to do.  Confused with their role in Wicca and Paganism, many are working to overcome conditioning and accept the importance of the feminine, be it divine, in women, or in themselves.  Although some writers like Robert Bly with his Iron John story and accompanying tales have sought to define male spirituality positively within nature, it really needs practising pagan and Wiccan men to come forward and express their feelings and insights.  Enter Kenny Klein and this very enjoyable book.

This book clearly defines its aims and then fulfils them – a worthy goal for any book!  The book divides into four sections.   The first is the introduction, where he introduces himself and qualifies his perception of Wicca and paganism, laying the foundations for the book – essential for such a topic as this.  Then he moves into the second section, entitled Living in the Circle, which is a slightly misleading title, as it would have been more appropriate to call it something like Male Myths and Magic in the Cycles of Nature, which is essentially what this section is about, covering the legends and folklore of European paganism. From the oak and holly kings to antlers and barley, this is all good, solid, in the earth paganism.

Section three is entitled ritual, and journeys through the pagan Wheel of the Year with ceremonies for men to hnour the god, themselves and nature.  The ceremonies draw from the same European roots which Wicca grew from, and that is a real plus here, there is no culturally acquires Indian chakras or Native American chants, which may be nice but are simply not relevant.  The final section is called The circle Continues, and provides resources and appendixes as well as looking at the role of the gay movement in devleoping male pagan spirituality.  This information is relevant mainly to an American audience, as this is the perspective of the author.

All in all an enjoyable and very useful read, which I thoroughly recommned to anyone wanting to explore and develop their perceptions of men and the masculine in paganism.

Dear All,

We hope you are having a fantastic Walpurgis Night!

Of course this is one of the oldest festivals in the British Isles, which was originally one of the great Druidic feast days. An idea we touched upon in our book “Wicca Magickal Beginnings” when we were looking into the origins for the eight festivals which are now usually referred to as “The Wheel of the Year”:-

“Although Murray attributed these Sabbaths to witches’ celebrations, in fact they were originally linked to druids. Robert and William Chambers recorded an early occurrence of the celebration of the four great festivals in their 1842 work, Chambers Information for the People:

“Cormac, bishop of Cashel in the tenth century, records that in his time four great fires were lighted up on the four great festivals of the druids – namely in February, May, August, and November: probably Beltane and Lammas were two of these.”

This is an extremely significant reference which seems to have been largely overlooked. The text the Chambers are referring to is in fact the late ninth century Irish Psalter of Cashel, which contained reference to the four great Sabbats being celebrated by the druids as a cycle. This then gives us a clear precedent for celebration of the cycle of the four great Sabbats more than one thousand years ago by the Irish druids.”

[ Wicca Magickal Beginnings, Sorita d’Este & David Rankine, Avalonia, www.avaloniabooks.co.uk ]

So if you are doing something to mark this festival you are treading a path of celebration which is truly ancient. Many of the folk traditions were preserved through folk customs, such as beating the bounds, dancing the maypole, divinations for love, many stories of phantoms and faeries (hinting at the thinning of the veils at Beltane, as it does at Samhain. Many customs celebrate using greenery and flowers – such as the many Jack in the Green and Green Man festivals. This year (weather permitting as we have a toddler!) we will be making our way to the Green Man of Clun Festival – http://www.clungreenman.org.uk/ for details. It looks like it will be great fun and certainly we have heard great things about it from friends who have been.

I will also be going out in the morning to gather herbs and dew to use in magical workings during the coming year. Fingers crossed for a sunny morning as the fields around here are all very muddy with all this rain already!

This year the Ludlow Esoteric Conference is also taking place in May, albeit later in the month, it is essential for those of you haven’t yet booked tickets to do so now as it is all done the old fashioned way – ie. Sending in a letter and cheque. Details can be found at http://esotericconference.wordpress.com/ – This will be first year that I will be speaking at this great event – other speakers include both David Rankine and Stephen Skinner – so this is an event which is a must for those of you who are seriously interested in the grimoire traditions. Details of other speakers and the topics can be found on their site.

Speaking of websites, we have been very busy this month at Avalonia. Our latest title “Visions of the Cailleach” has been received with great excitement all around the world by lovers of Celtic Mythology and spirituality, as well as those who are wise to the wisdom and magic to be found in the stories of the Crone Goddess of the British Isles. Details of this book can be found at http://cailleach.avalonia.co.uk – including a couple of extracts from the book.

Some of you may remember us announcing the release of “Priestesses Pythonesses & Sibyls” back in December. This book which contains essays by more than twenty modern day priestesses of a variety of traditions is already being adopted as a standard text by many covens and groups who practice trance and mediumship. Someone made a comment to me earlier this week about the sheer quantity and quality of the experience contained in the book and inspired me to work out an estimate of the combined number of years the ladies who wrote for the book had between them. Its only an estimate as you never ask a lady her age of course (if you read Visions of the Cailleach you will know why!) …. but the total is an estimated 500 years! (YES FIVE HUNDRED YEARS!!! HALF A MILLENIUM, FIVE CENTURIES!) Maybe that is one way of expressing the sheer level of knowledge contained in this incredible anthology? Details of the contributors, with biographies can be found at http://pythoness.avalonia.co.uk

Of course we continue working hard at fulfilling our aims of “Expanding the Esoteric Horizons”. In the coming months we are releasing several exciting titles. This includes a very exciting book on the Goddess Hekate, entitled “HEKATE LIMINAL RITES”. This book brings together evidence for historical rituals, ceremonies, spells and devotional workings which were performed in Hekate’s name. As such it is unique amongst the books published to date about this popular Goddess of Crossroads and Sorcery. Details will soon be available.

We all love bargains – and just until the end of this weekend we are offering three of our titles at huge discounts in celebration of both Beltane and our fourth year of publishing – see http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk/beltane09.htm for details. Its a good excuse to try something new that you may otherwise not have done – and Beltane is a great time for trying new things.

Well, its getting late and I have to get up early in the morning!

Enjoy yourselves in the coming days, and remember to honour the union of opposites in yourself, as well as in the world around you – through doing that you can manifest wisdom, harmony and love for yourself and your loved ones in the coming year!

Blessings,
Sorita d’Este

http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings

Raven Grimassi

published by Llewellyn

PB, 294pp, $16.95

reviewed by John Canard

When I started to read this book I resolved to keep an open mind, even though the author quoted some expert sources like Robert Graves and Marija Gimbutas, the former being a notorious revisionist, and the latter also known for her agendas and tendency to rewrite the evidence to suit her theories.  He then begins by explaining that Wicca was essentially a mystery tradition derived from the Celtic religions, though often this passed down as oral (and thus conveniently unprovable) teachings.

Sadly in his eagerness to prove his point Grimassi makes statements which are quite frankly wrong and can be easily disproved with a minimum of research.  E.g.  he informs us that the ancients called the elementals by the names now commonly used, i.e. gnomes of earth, sylphs of air, salamanders of fire and undines of water.  In fact most modern concepts of elementals, including the ones he expresses, are derived from the classic work by Paracelsus, The Book of Nymphs, Sylphs, Pygmies and Salamanders and Kindred Beings, published in 1616.  The words Undine and Sylph were certainly not used in the ‘ancient world’, where there was no concept of the elementals beyond the elemental daimons suggested by Proclus.

The book does have some interesting ideas, and Grimassi clearly wants to expound on the theology and philosophy of Wicca as a mystery tradition, which is to be applauded.  However his tendency to rely on unreliable sources, and then start bringing in ideas like chakras and ley lines as being relevant due to their presence in mystery traditions, means this becomes a case of sorting out the wheat from the chaff, of which sadly there is quite a bit.

The chapter on the Magickal Arts has some interesting snippets, discussing ideas like odic force and informing, though his attribution of reduction sigils to the twentieth century magickal artist Austin Spare is a few centuries out, as they can be found in Agrippa’s sixteenth century Three Books of Occult Philosophy.  It is a shame that this tenth edition, published in 2008, did not take advantage of work that has been published since the book was first released in 1997, such as Triumph of the Moon by Hutton, Wicca Magickal Beginnings by d’Este and Rankine and Hidden Children of the Goddes by Clifton.  The research contained in such volumes does invalidate much of the material in this book, which is a shame because I wanted to like it, and could see that there are some good ideas in amongst the misinformation presented within.  The reason to read this book would be to test your ideas and knowledge, and provide a sounding board as to where you are at, with a few ideas that might be helpful thrown in, but for the beginner the level of faulty information means it should be avoided.

The Magickal Beginnings of the Practices – an introduction to the book Wicca, Magickal Beginnings

By Sorita d’Este and David Rankine

More information available from www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

Over the last few months, many people – some of whom have not yet read our book Wicca Magickal Beginnings have written to us, or asked us in passing why we wrote it. This is a complex question and one which can probably in part at least, be answered by this extract from the introduction we wrote for the book.

All books have a moment of conception, and this book was born out of a discussion on the origins of the Wiccan Tradition as known today, with some of our students in late 2001. Whilst debating the possible starting point of this magickal tradition, we realised that all the evidence being presented was focused on the people who were the early public face of the tradition and their contemporaries. Yet this is a tradition which is also called a ‘Craft’ and which is an experiential tradition where personal experience is paramount for the understanding of the practices and beliefs. So why were we debating the origins of the tradition in terms of who said or did what?

Has Wiccan history tied itself into knots of personalities in an effort to conceal its true origins? Was there something we were missing? Why was it that whilst some people claimed that the tradition was the continuation of a very ancient Pagan religion, others stated that it was created (or compiled) in the 1950′s or 1940′s in England? Why was it that Gerald Gardner was greatly respected as the ‘Father’ of the modern movement and simultaneously viewed as a charlatan? Could it be that in an effort to cover up the ludicrous and unsubstantiated claims that the tradition originated in the Stone Age (or thereabouts) the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and got stuck? We agree that an academically sound historical foundation will provide more credibility to a tradition and its practitioners, but did that come at a price? What was being sacrificed in order to lend credibility to the tradition? What really made Wicca, Wicca?

Having asked ourselves all these questions again and again over the years, sometimes obtaining different answers to the same questions based on changes in our perspective, we found that ultimately Wicca remained a mystery tradition at its heart. The practices and beliefs could only be fully understood through direct experience thereof and it was through this that the tradition could be best defined, not through the endless debates about lineages, initiations and personalities!

We set about systematically researching the origins of the practices and beliefs which were passed to us through our initiators and colleagues. Our preconceptions were constantly challenged as we explored the origins of the practices and beliefs from different angles in an effort to find possible solutions to the question of when and where the tradition may have originated. We separated the rituals into their component parts, then looked at each individually and even divided them up into smaller parts, before finally putting it all back together creating a colourful mosaic with our findings.

Faced with several possible interpretations based on the evidence we correlated, it became clear that although it remained possible that Gerald Gardner may have created the tradition, it was certainly not that plausible in comparison to some of the other conclusions that we reached. In fact, at this stage of our research we feel that it is most likely that Gardner was not that much of a charlatan after all, but that his accounts of initiation into an existing tradition, upon which he later expanded, were truthful. When stripped right back, without the many additions and evolutions it has undergone since the 1950′s, Gerald Gardner’s ‘Witch Cult’ appears to predate him by at least some years.

We did of course realise from the outset that this would be a controversial conclusion for some readers and as such we present the practice-based evidence in this volume in a way which allows for individual interpretation. We also focused on the component parts which were common to all the traditions, both esoteric and exoteric, that we have personal knowledge of. This means that whilst we touch on the subject of deity, it is important for the reader to understand that theological debate is not within the scope of the work presented here. The individual beliefs in the Goddess and God vary, in some instances significantly so, between traditions in existence today. Additionally, we have not included evidence or debate on the inclusion of many of the folk practices which are found in some Wiccan groups today, such as May pole dancing at Beltane or making Brighid crosses for Imbolc. These practices were well known throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the countless books and magazine articles published in those eras attest to. As such their inclusion might be incidental. Moreover, they are not considered relevant by all of the traditions and as such, though of extreme importance to some, are not even considered by others.

The bulk of the material presented in the book is aimed at practitioners, be that of the esoteric (ie. initiatory) or exoteric traditions of Wicca. The book does not aim to cover in detail all aspects of Wiccan history, in fact we have for the most ignored the modern developments. The material presented can be used in a variety of ways, but will benefit those who are seeking to deepen their understanding of the practices the most as knowing more about their original context can of course help deepen the symbolic understanding of their place in our ceremonies today. It is possible that practitioners of other related pagan traditions who draw their inspiration for rituals by incorporating circle casting, the invocation of the elemental guardians at the four cardinal point and drawing down the moon, might also find this book of interest.
For more information, as well as for examples of some of the reviews this book has already received, visit www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

Dear all,

On the 1st of August it is Lammastide, or Lughnasadh, the harvest
festival or Minden Day. Of course this is a time of celebration,
especially if it is a plentiful harvest year. However, no matter how
plentiful the harvest might have been that year, on 31st of July in
1713 two lovers, Sarah and John, who had obtained permission from
their parents that very day to finally get married, were struck dead
simultaneously by lightning during the harvest. Their fate was
recorded by the poet Alexander Pope thus:

“When eastern lovers feed the funeral fire,
On the same pile the faithful pair expire:
Here pitying heav’n, that virtue mutual found,
And blasted both, that it might neither wound.
Hearts so sincere th’ Almighty saw well pleased,
Sent his own lightning, and the victims seized.”

Sarah and John might not have had much to celebrate that Lughnasadh,
but by meeting their end thus, they did ensure their own immortality
in the chronicles of history! Which is romantic in its own way!

Lugh, after whom the festival of Lughnasadh is named, is the son of
Ethne (the daughter of Balar) and Cian (the son of Dian Cecht). His
name is taken to mean `shining one’. Lugh was foestered with the
smith god Goibniu who taught him all the crafts and he also gained the
name `Lugh Lamfada’ (Lugh of the Long Arm). As the god of all crafts,
he was challenged at the gates of Tara and replied that he was a
builder, a smith, a champion, a harper, a warrior, a poet, a
historian, a sorceror, a physician, a cupbearer and a brazier! It is
clear from this why Caesar equated Lugh with the Roman god Mercury!
The spear of Lugh was one of the four treasures of the Tuatha de
Danann and ensured that no battle was ever won against who ever held
it in their hand and both Lugh and his spear played a key role in many
of the prophesies. His stories, myths, legends and worship is
primarily tied to Ireland, but also appears in other parts of the
British Isles – where he is also usually identified as both a solar
and otherworldly god, sometimes in association with the Gallic Goddess
Rosmerta. If you are going to celebrate Lughnasadh this year, make
sure to make an offering into the Earth from your cup for Lugh! After
all, it is HIS festival!

Here in Monmouthshire, David and I have been working to finish off
some of the projects we have been working on for a while.

HORNS OF POWER: Manifestations of the Horned God is due out soon.
Pre-orders open today and books will be dispatched on the release date
(7th August). All orders placed on or before the release date will
receive a 25% discount, so make sure to place your order now:
http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=59 This unique anthology
brings together essays by a number of modern day scholars, priests and
mystics, exploring the many facets of horned gods – from Cernunnos and
Pan, to Veles, Khnum and Unicorns, there is something for everyone
interested in the Horned God (or Goddess!). More information can be
found by visiting http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

David has been putting the finishing touches to THE VERITABLE KEY OF
SOLOMON, which he is co-authoring with Stephen Skinner. A limited
edition of 25 copies full leather edition and a 350 copy half-leather
edition will be available in full colour directly from
http://www.goldenhoard.co.uk before the black & white hardback
edition which will be available from Llewellyn in 2009. Interest in
this project is phenomenal and those interested in finding out more
are advised to visit http://www.goldenhoard.co.uk now and register
their interest in the limited editions by emailing
admin@goldenhoard.co.uk to be placed on the mailing list. Pre-orders
will open later this week!

We hope that you and yours are well and, if like us you live in the
UK, that you are enjoying the rare spell of warmer weather and
sunshine we seem to be experiencing between the thunderstorms at the
moment!

Blessings
Sorita d’Este
http://www.avalonia.co.uk
http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

ps. Check out David Rankine’s new blog at http://www.ritualmagick.co.uk for
interesting articles on magick, grimoires and other related fields!

————***———–

CONTENTS:

1/ AVALONIA OFFERS – SAVE 25% on Climbing the Tree of Life & WIZARDRY!
2/ HORNS OF POWER, edited by Sorita d’Este
3/ DEFENCES OF THE WITCHES’ CRAFT by John Canard
4/ NEW BOOK REVIEWS (The Esoteric Book Review)
5/ QABALAH THROUGH THE WORLDS – Workshop by David Rankine
6/ REVIEWS OF WICCA MAGICKAL BEGINNINGS
7/ WICCA in the NEWS
8/ THE COMPLETE MAGICIAN’S TABLES – SPECIAL OFFER save 33%!

————***———–

1/ AVALONIA BOOK OFFERS

*Special offers for the whole month of August on*

*Climbing the Tree of Life*
RRP £18.00, order now for just £13.50
- This book by David Rankine provides the reader with a practical
manual of practical Qabalah as worked in the Western Esoteric Traditions

*Wizardry for the Uninitiated*
RRP £8.99, order now for just £6.99
- This book by Thea Faye provides the reader with practical insights
from a modern day Wizard on the practices, philosophies and beliefs of
a Wizard!

For more information on these book offers, see:
http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=47

————***———–

2/ HORNS OF POWER, edited by Sorita d’Este
The raw, ancient and primordial force symbolised by horns has long had
associations with mystery, magick and power. Our ancestors often
envisaged their gods as anthropomorphic beings who encapsulated this
wild essence. Today the gods of the bull, the ram, goat and stag still
hold tremendous power and are invoked at rituals by a new priesthood
who continue to seek the wildness of nature and the inspiration that
it holds. These deities transcend the safe and known boundaries of
human structure, sometimes even luring us across the threshold of the
known into the unknown worlds.

This unique anthology brings together the work of more than twenty
dedicated scholars with that of modern day mystics. Through their
written and artistic contributions they illustrate just some of the
many manifestations of the Horned God.

A true cornucopia of both insightful and well researched essays takes
us from the well known Celtic Cernunnos and the legend of Herne the
Hunter, to the goat-footed Greek Pan, the lesser known Slavic Veles
and Egyptian Khnum. Horned serpents, unicorns, the tale of the Battle
of the Bulls in the Irish Táin Bó Cúailnge, the Welsh Gwyn Ap Nudd and
the faery Puck are all also considered.

Then a wild hunt as we journey with the mystics who share their own
experiences of the gods of the wildwood and untamed beasts. Each story
is as different as the person who experienced it – and each
illustrating in its own unique way a Horned God who is wild,
unpredictable, loving – and at heart a trickster. For those who wish
to dare a bit more than others, visionary meditation journeys to
explore the mysteries of Cernunnos and Gwyn Ap Nudd are included.
Horns of power would of course be nothing without the horns of beauty
of the feminine divine, and in the final section of this anthology the
reader is presented with essays exploring horned goddesses.

Whether through the mysteries of their existence, the vast scope of
their influence or the endurance of their survival through to the
modern day, each contributor provides a window into the wonders and
magick of the enduring Horned God.

Pre-orders can now be place at:
http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=59 – if placed before or
on the 7th of August you will receive a 25% discount! (Free P&P on
all orders, worldwide!).

————***———–

3/ DEFENCES OF THE WITCHES’ CRAFT by John Canard

Have you been cursed? How would you know beyond your gut feeling and
everything in your life seemingly falling apart? Exploring the
traditional witchcraft of our ancestors, root magician John Canard
explains how to detect and reflect curses, and work out who is the
most likely person cursing you.
He details how curses can be fought using a range of tried and trusted
old charms like witch bottles, witch balls, rowan and red thread,
magick squares, and medieval charms, and how you can enlist
supernatural help from beings like angels and church grims. He also
describes how to make holy water for purifying your home, how to set
wards, and protect your home from all negative influences.

Discover how to use the witches’ own weapons against them, with
poppets, herbs, and stones. By taking the initiative and not being a
victim you can ensure that your life is unaffected by the malefic
intent of others, and turn the tables on cursers so that they receive
the negativity back that was aimed at you. John Canard gives clear and
concise explanations of the practices and the underlying magickal
principles, making this work an invaluable manual of protection that
will dispel the negativity of cursers and cursing from your life.

This book will soon be available for ordering from
http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=89

————***———–

4/ NEW BOOK REVIEWS on the ESOTERIC BOOK REVIEW

Recent reviews include the WITCH SCHOOL first, second and third degree
books by Rev. Donald Lewis-Highcorrell; Qabalah of the 50 Gates by
Steven Ashe, Priestess of the Forest by Ellen Evert Hopman; and the
GODS WITHIN by Jean Williams and Zachary Cox. For details see:
http://www.ritualmagick.co.uk/reviews

————***———–

5/ QABALAH THROUGH THE WORLDS – Workshop by David Rankine

The Qabalah underlies the magickal systems of the Western Mystery
Tradition. Yet many of its most effective practices have been ignored
or forgotten in recent centuries. This workshop will focus on
exploring techniques which can be applied to creating magickal change,
such as the development of Ruach ha-Qadosh, the power of prophecy
referred to in the Old Testament.

Details of this advanced and practical workshop by David Rankine on
the 4th of October in London’s ATLANTIS BOOKSHOP can be found at:
http://ritualmagick.co.uk/121/?page_id=72

————***———–

6/ REVIEWS OF WICCA MAGICKAL BEGINNINGS

This book by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine which explores the
magickal roots of the practices found in modern day Wicca is causing
quite a bit of debate amongst readers already. Good or bad, we are
always interested in the opinions of our readers, so make sure that if
you reviewed this book you let us know, likewise you are welcome to
contact us directly! This is what the author Michael Howard wrote
about Wicca Magickal Beginnings in THE CAULDRON Magazine:

“WICCA: Magickal Beginnings … . This is a very interesting study of
the possible historical origins of the ritual and practices in modern
neo-pagan witchcraft or Wicca. The authors begin by examining the word
“Wicca”, the various attempts pre-Gerald Gardner to revive witchcraft
by occultists such as Aleister Crowley and his American disciple Jack
Parsons, and the influence on the modern revival of the seminal works
of Jules Michelet, Charles Godfrey Leland, Sir James Frazer, Dr
Margaret Murray and Dion Fortune. They then go on to postulate the
origins for the Book of Shadows, scourging, the three-degree
initiation, the Wiccan Rede, skyclad rituals, the athame, the magickal
circle, Drawing Down the Moon, the Charge of the Goddess, the Great
Rite, Sabbats, the pentagram, the Mighty Ones, Cakes and Wine, the
four quarters, Cernunnos as the Wiccan name for the witch god, chants,
the elements and the Theban magickal alphabet, and their possible
historical antecedents. From their extensive research they conclude
that Wicca is a continuation of the medieval tradition of grimoire
magic, supplemented with material from the Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn and the OTO either by persons unknown before Gardner’s
initiation into the New Forest Coven in 1939 or later by Gardner and
his associates. They claim that when the GD and Crowley material is
removed from modern Wiccan rituals what is actually left is `a bedrock
of grimoire materials with fragments of folk practices which would fit
in with the idea of the continuation of a genuine tradition…’ This
claim is of course, based on the assumption that the New Forest coven,
which some die-hard skeptics refuse to believe ever existed, was not a
figment of Gardner’s imagination and that he did not just cobble
together the rites of Wicca from books. Personally, I would go along
with d’Este and Rankine. Highly recommended”

(Michael Howard, Cauldron Magazine, #129, August 2008)

If you are interested in finding out what Pagan Dawn Magazine and
other reviewers thought of Wicca Magickal Beginnings, for more
information on this book, or if you would like to order a signed copy
now, go to: http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=61

————***———–
7/ WICCA IN THE NEWS

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h3dTVsWRFU2tnqfw7_D3C8W4ALywD9234IU80

“Woman runs sword into foot during Wiccan ceremony” reads the headline
of this short news report of a woman who accidentally stabbed herself
in the foot with her sword during a good luck ritual in a cemetery,
and somehow escaped with just a warning from the police!

————***———–
8/ THE COMPLETE MAGICIAN’S TABLES – SPECIAL OFFER save 33%!

This book which is being described as the definitive tables of
correspondences produced to date, replacing the outdated book 777 by
Aleister Crowley in leaps and bounds, is available at a 33% discount
for the entire month of August to UK buyers who click on this link.

RRP £30.00, OFFER PRICE £20.00 with FREE Postage & Packaging (UK).
Shoppers from outside the UK can still order this book, but due to a
significant increase in postage charges (this is a heavy, hardback
book), prices vary. Check out this link for details:
http://goldenhoard.co.uk/2/?page_id=45

The Complete Magician’s Tables These more than 888 magical tables are
the most complete set of tabular correspondences covering magic,
astrology, divination, Tarot, I Ching, Kabbalah, gematria, angels,
demons, pagan pantheons, religious and mystical correspondences ever
printed. They are more than four times larger and more wide ranging
than Crowley’s Liber 777.

The source of the data in these tables ranges from unpublished
manuscript mediaeval grimoires and Kabbalistic works, Peter de Abano,
Abbott Trithemius, Albertus Magnus, Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Dr John
Dee, Dr Thomas Rudd, Tycho Brahe, MacGregor Mathers, (and the editors
of Mathers’ work, Aleister Crowley and Israel Regardie), to the most
modern theories of prime numbers and atomic weights. The sources
include many key grimoires such the Sworn Book, Liber Juratus, the
Lemegeton (Goetia, Theurgia-Goetia, Almadel, Pauline Art), Abramelin,
and in the 20th century the grimoire of Franz Bardon.

All this material has been grouped and presented in a consistent and
logical way covering the whole Western Mystery Tradition and some
relevant parts of the Eastern tradition.

To order a copy of The Complete Magician’s Tables now at the special
price of just £20.00 go to: http://goldenhoard.co.uk/2/?page_id=45

————***———–

We are passionately working to make magick manifest.
Expanding the esoteric horizons.
Towards becoming Magick.

————***———–

http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

http://www.avalonia.co.uk

http://www.ritualmagick.co.uk

————***———–

This is the Avalonia Newsletter
To subscribe go to:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/avalonia_news/

————***———–

Posted to the Esoteric Book Review with permission of Avalonia
(c) 2008 Avalonia

Later this month the Horns of Power will be released by Avalonia Books. This anthology is the first of its kind to be focused on the horned gods of our ancestors and includes both scholarly essays, bardic retellings of stories such as that of Herne the Hunter and a number of experiential essays. Invocations and meditation journeys are also included.

The raw, ancient and primordial force symbolised by horns has long had associations with mystery, magick and power. Our ancestors often envisaged their gods as anthropomorphic beings who encapsulated this wild essence. Today the gods of the bull, the ram, goat and stag still hold tremendous power and are invoked at rituals by a new priesthood who continue to seek the wildness of nature and the inspiration that it holds. These deities transcend the safe and known boundaries of human structure, sometimes even luring us across the threshold of the known into the unknown worlds.

This unique anthology brings together the work of more than twenty dedicated scholars with that of modern day mystics. Through their written and artistic contributions they illustrate just some of the many manifestations of the Horned God.

A true cornucopia of both insightful and well researched essays takes us from the well known Celtic Cernunnos and the legend of Herne the Hunter, to the goat-footed Greek Pan, the lesser known Slavic Veles and Egyptian Khnum. Horned serpents, unicorns, the tale of the Battle of the Bulls in the Irish Táin Bó Cúailnge, the Welsh Gwyn Ap Nudd and the faery Puck are all also considered.

Then a wild hunt as we journey with the mystics who share their own experiences of the gods of the wildwood and untamed beasts. Each story is as different as the person who experienced it – and each illustrating in its own unique way a Horned God who is wild, unpredictable, loving – and at heart a trickster. For those who wish to dare a bit more than others, visionary meditation journeys to explore the mysteries of Cernunnos and Gwyn Ap Nudd are included.

Horns of power would of course be nothing without the horns of beauty of the feminine divine, and in the final section of this anthology the reader is presented with essays exploring horned goddesses.

Whether through the mysteries of their existence, the vast scope of their influence or the endurance of their survival through to the modern day, each contributor provides a window into the wonders and magick of the enduring Horned God.

For those who are interested in finding out more about this unique work, please see www.avaloniabooks.co.uk for details. The book is edited by Sorita d’Este, the author of books such as Wicca Magickal Beginnings and The Isles of the Many Gods.

CORNUCOPIA: HISTORY & MYTH
The Witch God Cernunnos By Sorita d’Este
Herne: The Royal Hunter By Hortus St Michael
Hero Lord of Annwfn By Gareth Gerrard
Pan: The Hidden All By David Rankine
Veles in Slavic Myth By Kim Huggens
Romano-Celtic Horns By Zachary Yardley
The Horned Serpent By Frater Nechesh
Battle of the Bulls By Dafydd ap Bran
Puck: Forgotten Devil God? By Beth Raven
The Potter from the Nile By Sorita d’Este
Horns From Egypt By Phil Lightwood-Jones
Horn of the Unicorn By Janet Nancy James
Stag & Unicorn (From the Book of Lambspring)

WILD HUNT: RITES & EXPERIENCES
Horn at Dawn By Rhys Chisnall
The Song of Amergin (Irish Poem)
Light in the Earth By John Canard
The Horned One Rises By Peter J. Jaynes
My Bearded Man By Thea Faye
A Small Mouse By Magin
Encounters In the Woods By Harry Barron
A Quest For Horns By Stephen Blake
Dancing with Bulls By Zagreus
Journey With Gwynn ap Nudd By Gareth Gerrard
Hymn to Amen-Ra (Ancient Egyptian Hymn)
Journey to the Mound By Guilia Laini
The Fire Horns By Lupus

HORNS OF BEAUTY: HORNED GODDESSES

Luna’s Shining Horns By Gulia Laini
Ode to the Horned Goddess By Nina Falaise
Goddess Horns in the PGM (Greek Magical Papyri) By Sorita d’Este
In Pursuit of Elen By Jenny Sumaya

Sol Invictus : The God Tarot

Kim Huggens & Nic Phillips

Deck and Companion Book

Review by Sorita d’Este for Avalonia.co.uk
Reviewed January 2008

Sol Invictus (The God Tarot) comes nicely packaged in a box with its companion book, in fact the packaging is more like what I would expect from a high quality board game in comparison to the boxes tarot decks are most often sold in recent years which seem to fall apart before you even open them! Likewise both the book and the cards are produced to a high quality and standard, which is always nice to see. What isn’t so great is the price tag that comes with it – the RRP of this deck which is a whopping £49.95 on Amazon.co.uk! (Though to be fair it can be gotten for less through marketplace, Amazon.com or directly from the publishers, Bushwood Books). Personally I would have liked to see this deck at a price which can compete with other decks currently aimed at the “pagan” market, as the price certainly limits its appeal.

The artwork by Nic Phillips reminds me a bit of Chesca Potter’s artwork, especially that of the Greenwood Tarot (which is so rare and desirable now that it exchanges hands for more than £300!), though Nic’s style is definetely more naive than Chesca’s. I like the simple red solar design on white which backs the cards, as I found it to be a focus point, rather than a distraction (which some of the busier designs which are sometimes used on the back of tarot / oracle cards sometimes do!) when doing readings.

For me the strength of the deck is in the fact that it focusses entirely on the masculine divine, though like another review published here on Avalonia of this deck, I feel that the inclusion of heroic (And otherwise famous) men from history at times lets the deck down – I expected to see a deck entirely dedicated to male deities. Maybe this is my own selfish desires for such a deck though, as I often use one of the “Goddess Tarot” decks for group meditations, workshops and lectures to provide astral doorways or meditation foci for participants. I am quite partial to working with male deities and as such would have loved to be able to do the same with this deck, though to do so I would have to remove several of the cards to enable me to do so in the same way. However, what was nice to see was the inclusion of deities from a wider spectrum of pantheons than what one usually finds with modern pagan writings. The “Ace of Coins” presented Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec Sun God who was also the tutelary god of the Aztec nation – a god I have rarely heard reference to in modern pagan circles, but whom I am partial to on a personal level.

The companion book is great and the information on the figures used for the tarot deck is brilliantly researched and presented. In fact, I felt that by itself it would make a great little reference book. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I would love to see something like that from these authors in future as for me this was definitely one of the strong points of this project.

Personally I would probably not use this deck for divination, but then that is not a reflection on the quality of the design or production, simply a personal choice. I am set in my ways and prefer sticking to the Thoth Tarot which I know and love! This deck will however be joining a small selection of other cards which I do use to illustrate workshops, or as astral doorway (meditation journeys) etc. I hope that the artist may consider producing some larger prints of some of the images, especially of the major arcana as I think they would make excellent altar pieces, gifts (I am always stuck for interesting gifts for friends!) and would look lovely in a nice frame on my wall!

A great big well done on an ambitious project, which has come into fruition in this beautifully produced book and deck! Sol Invictus “The God Tarot” is a must have for any tarot collector and an interesting deck to use to explore the different manifestations of masculine energy and divinities, whilst learning a great deal about different world pantheons.

Available from http://www.bushwoodbooks.co.uk

Sol Invictus : The God Tarot

Kim Huggens & Nic Phillips

Deck and Companion Book

Review by Sorita d’Este for Avalonia.co.uk
Reviewed January 2008

Sol Invictus (The God Tarot) comes nicely packaged in a box with its companion book, in fact the packaging is more like what I would expect from a high quality board game in comparison to the boxes tarot decks are most often sold in recent years which seem to fall apart before you even open them! Likewise both the book and the cards are produced to a high quality and standard, which is always nice to see. What isn’t so great is the price tag that comes with it – the RRP of this deck which is a whopping £49.95 on Amazon.co.uk! (Though to be fair it can be gotten for less through marketplace, Amazon.com or directly from the publishers, Bushwood Books). Personally I would have liked to see this deck at a price which can compete with other decks currently aimed at the “pagan” market, as the price certainly limits its appeal.

The artwork by Nic Phillips reminds me a bit of Chesca Potter’s artwork, especially that of the Greenwood Tarot (which is so rare and desirable now that it exchanges hands for more than £300!), though Nic’s style is definetely more naive than Chesca’s. I like the simple red solar design on white which backs the cards, as I found it to be a focus point, rather than a distraction (which some of the busier designs which are sometimes used on the back of tarot / oracle cards sometimes do!) when doing readings.

For me the strength of the deck is in the fact that it focusses entirely on the masculine divine, though like another review published here on Avalonia of this deck, I feel that the inclusion of heroic (And otherwise famous) men from history at times lets the deck down – I expected to see a deck entirely dedicated to male deities. Maybe this is my own selfish desires for such a deck though, as I often use one of the “Goddess Tarot” decks for group meditations, workshops and lectures to provide astral doorways or meditation foci for participants. I am quite partial to working with male deities and as such would have loved to be able to do the same with this deck, though to do so I would have to remove several of the cards to enable me to do so in the same way. However, what was nice to see was the inclusion of deities from a wider spectrum of pantheons than what one usually finds with modern pagan writings. The “Ace of Coins” presented Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec Sun God who was also the tutelary god of the Aztec nation – a god I have rarely heard reference to in modern pagan circles, but whom I am partial to on a personal level.

The companion book is great and the information on the figures used for the tarot deck is brilliantly researched and presented. In fact, I felt that by itself it would make a great little reference book. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I would love to see something like that from these authors in future as for me this was definitely one of the strong points of this project.

Personally I would probably not use this deck for divination, but then that is not a reflection on the quality of the design or production, simply a personal choice. I am set in my ways and prefer sticking to the Thoth Tarot which I know and love! This deck will however be joining a small selection of other cards which I do use to illustrate workshops, or as astral doorway (meditation journeys) etc. I hope that the artist may consider producing some larger prints of some of the images, especially of the major arcana as I think they would make excellent altar pieces, gifts (I am always stuck for interesting gifts for friends!) and would look lovely in a nice frame on my wall!

A great big well done on an ambitious project, which has come into fruition in this beautifully produced book and deck! Sol Invictus “The God Tarot” is a must have for any tarot collector and an interesting deck to use to explore the different manifestations of masculine energy and divinities, whilst learning a great deal about different world pantheons.

Available from http://www.bushwoodbooks.co.uk

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.