Dear Readers,

We would like to welcome you to our new home here at http://esotericbookreview.wordpress.com – you may have found us by following a link to our old website, or maybe your browser redirected you here.

The Esoteric Book Review was created by the occult author Sorita d’Este as part of her Avalonia website which was founded in 1997.  It moved to its own seperate website about two years ago during some reorganisations of Avalonia by Sorita.  At that time she appointed me as the Reviews Editor and with her help I have been able to learn more about internet technology and gain the confidence to be able to now take on the massive task of administering this website by myself.

The Esoteric Book Review is a peer review.  The reviews you will find here have been written by people who have many years worth of experience as practitioners of magick, devotees of the old gods, readers of tarot and weavers of the webs of sorcery.   They include amongst them esoteric scholars and academics, authors, writers, teachers of wicca and members of large and prestigious magical organisations and traditions.   They share their genuine opinion on the books they review, good or bad.  They are volunteers who share a passion for the occult, for magick, paganism and spirituality, for witchcraft, voodoo, root magic and the old gods.

So if you are with us now, in the words of Aleister Crowley:

“Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.”

156, 93, BB, LVX and all the fraternal and sororal blessings

Nina Lazarus

 

PS. Please note, the reviews previous to the this message have all been imported from the original reviews website.  They are all posted as “Avalonia LuxNox” though they were written by a variety of authors over the last few years.  In most instances the name of the author is contained within the message body itself.

stellarmagicsm

Avalonia is proud to announce that STELLAR MAGIC by Payam Nabarz is now
available for pre-order from www.avaloniabooks.co.uk. This long-waited and very
practical Liber Astrum is being released on the Full Moon – 7 / 7 /2009.

More info & Order Information

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STELLAR MAGIC

By Payam Nabarz

Avalonia 2009, RRP £12.99

PB, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1905297252

The stars have influenced mankind with their magic from time
immemorial, as evidenced by Archeoastronomy; instructing astrologers
and priests, guiding sailors and inspiring poets. For millennia,
cultures all around the world have told their myths and legends
through the canvas of the night sky. Yet despite the immense
significance of the constellations and stars in the ancient world,
stellar magic has been largely ignored in recent centuries.

In this inspirational and practical Liber Astrum, the author draws
together material from ancient, classical and medieval sources;
spanning East and West, fusing modern poetry with ancient magic,
mysticism with myth and ritual with recital to lift our gazes back to
the heavens.

The author’s breadth of scholarship is seen in the spectrum of
material he weaves together, from sources as diverse as the Hymns of
Orpheus and Plato’s Timaeus to the Zoroastrian Yasht hymns and Persian
Pahlavi Texts, the Sufi works of the Ibn Arabi and Rumi; from the
Chaldean Oracles and the Greek Magical Papyri to the Books of Ezekiel
and Enoch, from the Picatrix and the Sefer Yetzirah to the works of
John Dee, Rudolf Steiner, Gerald Gardner and Aleister Crowley. The
poetic inspiration of the stars is also expressed through material and
ideas by such luminaries as John Milton, Gerald Manly Hopkins, Sylvia
Plath, Robert Graves and W.B. Yeats.

Through the enchanting words and ceremonies provided to lead the way,
timeless journeys to the stars are woven around the participants.
Included amongst the rites are ceremonies with the constellations of
Perseus & Andromeda, Cygnus, Orion, the Pleiades, the Great Bear,
Draco, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the star Sirius, the Moon, the
seven classical Planets, and the Stellar World Cave: the Mithraeum.

This is a highly accessible, succinct and practical book on a complex
subject, which will benefit anyone interested in the magic of the
stars, from the casual observer of the night skies to the dedicated
magician or mystic.

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http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalogue/titles/stellar_magic2.htm

Avalonia Books is proud to announce that BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN will be released as our “coming of age” title on the 25th of June.   This book is the 21st title to join our growing catalogue.bothsidesofheaven


BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN
Edited by Sorita d’Este

Look up towards the heavens and open your mind to the infinite, for it is there that you will see the colourful multifaceted world of winged messengers – Gods, Angels, Fallen Angels and Demons.

BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN is a collection of 18 essays by some of the foremost modern esoteric writers, occult scholars and magicians. In their personal contributions they share their experiences, research and unique insights into the spiritual realms of the mysterious beings who have played such an important and inspirational role in human spiritual history.

From the nature of the daimons of the Graeco-Roman world, the Zoroastrian Ahuras and Daevas, the seductive Lilith and mighty Lucifer, through to the Fallen Angels of the Bible and the Book of Enoch, and their children the Nephilim, we find that these powerful beings are harbingers of change.

In this anthology their magical natures are explored through the works of Renaissance magicians such as Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley, Dr Thomas Rudd and more recently Madeline Montalban, as well as in that of the experiences of the contributors themselves. The ceremonies and conjurations of grimoires such as the Key of Solomon, Goetia and Grimorium Verum are considered, as well as adaptations thereof and simpler, personal encounters.

When you look at Both Sides of Heaven seeking wisdom and knowledge from the wings of ethereal messengers, you will see legions of angels and demons, archangels, fallen angels, old gods and even a few faeries and green butterflies. And maybe, they will be looking back at you too.

Contents:
A Host of Winged Messengers – Sorita d’Este
Fallen Angels and Legends of the Fall – Rufus Harrington
On the Wings of Rebirth – Katherine Sutherland
The Myth of the Fallen Ones – Michael Howard
The Enochians – Aaron Leitch
Madeline Montalban, Elemental and Fallen Angels – Julia Phillips
Azazel & Shemyaza – Diana Allam
Thirteen Unicycles in the Woods – Adele Nozedar
The Salvation of the Sidhe – Emily Carding
The Green Butterfly – Dan Harms
The Fallen Angels and the Goetia – David Rankine
Demons & Devils – Maestro Nestor
Grimoires for Pagans – Jake Stratton-Kent
The Thwarting Angels – Stephen Skinner
Loving Lilith – Melissa Harrington
The Face in the Mirror – Charlotte Rodgers
Between Gods and Men – Kim Huggens
Zoroastrian Angels and Demons – Payam Nabarz

BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN is available for order from Avalonia, as well as from Amazon another good bookstores.

The Pop Culture Grimoire: An Anthology of Pop Culture Magic

Taylor Ellwood (ed)

Megalithica Books Publication

PB, £10.99, 160pp

 Reviewed by Nina Lazarus for the Esoteric Book Review

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I admit to being something of a purist, and pop culture magic is not a topic I am drawn to, as the term pop culture is one I associate with shallow and trivial superficialities.  From what I have seen, most of the time it just seems to be reinventing the wheel or getting excited about doing something many of us have known about for a long time. Rather than reinventing the wheel time could be better spent on looking at the sources and seeing where techniques and ideas came from.  Working through the eighteen essays contained in this work largely confirmed my views.  However it did also add another level of understanding, which is that much of the material within was just Chaos Magick by another name.  A ritual based on Narnia or worship of Marilyn Monroe or drawing down Elvis is not new, as such ideas were being bandied around in the 1980s on the Chaos scene.

I did consider going through the essays one by one, but a couple of them illustrate my points.  Break on Through to the Other Side is an entertaining short piece on the author’s decision to create what she terms a vampire godform based on the roleplaying game she was involved in that went bad, though to you and me this would be called creation of a thoughtform.  Popular Music as Ritual is essentially the author’s realisation that compilation CDs or tapes can be used to celebrate magickal occasions and states, something that many of us have been doing for decades anyway without calling it pop culture magic. For me the only really enjoyable piece in the collection was Nick Farrell’s The Alchemy of Bollocks: Turning Pop Culture into Something Useful, which was amusing and informative.  If ideas like using Pokemon characters or the addictive computer game World of Warcraft to develop your magick appeal to you, then you should buy and read this book.

 

Magickal Progressions

by Moonsilvered

Megalithica Books Publication

PB, £10.99, 160pp

Reviewed by John Canard for the Esoteric Book Review

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If you want another introduction to neo-paganism which pulls together bits from all over the place, then this may be the book for you. This is not a bad book, inasmuch as it encourages the reader to take personal responsibility and to work on a balanced and holistic approach to spirituality which includes physical exercise and diet. However there is not really anything new, and for me it is a bit too much of a mish-mash. I accept that chakras seem to have become standard material for many pagan and wiccan books now, but the current trend to try and assimilate the work of Carlos Castaneda in a similar manner seems like a step in the wrong direction to me. The three pages on Stalking and Warrior Work (fast becoming buzz words these days) follow a single page which skims over the concepts of astral projection and lucid dreaming. There is no explanation how to perform these latter techniques, which are actually key to the practice of Castaneda’s system. The appendixes at the back of the book are the usual stock standard stuff, although I would suggest the author researches angels more thoroughly – Auriel and Uriel are in fact the same being, and Raphael is not commonly associated with the element of Water. As I said earlier, this isn’t a bad book, and for a newbie pagan they could do far worse, though would-be magicians would be encouraged to look elsewhere.  I am passing this one on.

 

Devoted
Various
Edited by Alkistis Dimech
Introduction by Peter Grey
devoted devoted_pages

Devoted is an octavo book of 173pp, bound in saffron book cloth, black chalice stamped and finished with night black endpapers.

It is being prepared in a strictly limited and hand-numbered edition of 814 copies.

A copy can be yours for thirty-one English pounds plus postage.

Devoted comprises fifteen essays by fourteen writers on their devotional practice.
It is a bloody and passionate blend of primal gnosis and poetic expression.
These essays reveal and revel in powerful applicable magickal practice.
They are suffused with the living experience of the Spirit world.

Devoted
will enrich your own work, whether you are witch, magician, heathen, thelemite, or sorceror.
From possession work, to blood letting and fetishes, to sabbatic dance, there is a wealth of experience to explore within these pages.

Devoted
provides indepth essays on working with:

Babalon
Ishtar

Hecate
Lilith
Loki
Tiamat
Dionysus
The Yoginis
The Lwa
The Spirits of goetia

Our writers are a chorus of powerful new voices and established practitioners whose Work has often been overlooked:

Stephen Grasso, Peter Grey, Mogg Morgan, Jake Stratton-Kent, Richard Ward, Levannah Morgan, Ruby Sara, David Blank, Mark Smith,Charlotte Rodgers, Mordant Carnival, Tony Elliott, Alkistis Dimech,George Sieg.

Full details can be found here:
www.scarletimprint.com

Priestesses, Pythonesses & Sibyls is the latest anthology to be released by Avalonia Books.  It is already causing a lot of excitement, so we are pleased to be able to include this announcement here on the Esoteric Book Review.

Priestesses, Pythonesses & Sibyls
Edited by Sorita d’Este, with 20 Phenomenal Women and modern day Priestesses

Available for order now at Avalonia Books (free P&P worldwide)

Priestesses Pythonesses Sibyls lifts a veil to reveal the mystery of trance as experienced by female magickal practitioners today. Through happiness and sorrow, myth and legend, art and poetry, through ritual and dance each woman expresses her own unique and personal transformative experiences of trance. Whether through trance possession, mediumship, Drawing Down the Moon, oracular or mantic states, dance, dreams or formal ceremony the experiences and knowledge gained during trance states can bring dramatic changes to one’s life. The practices represented in this volume are drawn from the experiences and research of more than twenty women from around the world, each providing a unique vision of their own experiences of the Divine.

The book begins with “Ecstatic Histories” a section of three scholarly essays. The first, Mantic Voices by Sorita d’Este provides an overview of the role of mantic priestesses in the major oracles of the ancient world, with a consideration of the resurgence of the role of the priestess in the modern Western magickal traditions. This is followed by Caroline Tully’s The Pythia exploring the history and role of the Oracle at Delphi and Kim Huggens’ Silent Priestesses which looks at female priests and prophetesses in early Christianity.

Then in “Sacred Utterances”, the second part of this anthology, eighteen modern day Priestesses, Pythonesses and Sibyls share their own personal experiences, wisdom and research on the practice of trance. These women come from a wide spectrum of magickal and pagan traditions, including Goddess Spirituality, the Western Mystery Tradition, Thelema, Wicca, Candomble, Voudou and Seidr. Sharing, sometimes for the first time, deep spiritual experiences and insights gained through the work they have performed as Priestesses serving in their own unique way, they provide the reader with insights into their practices which could not be found anywhere else.

This section includes essays by authors such as Janet Farrar, Naomi Ozaniec and Vivienne O’Regan, Wiccan Priestesses Galatea, Diane Champigny, Yvonne Aburrow, Emily Ounsted and Sorrell Cochrane, and Priestess of Avalon Jacqui Woodward-Smith. It also includes Seidr practitioner Katie Gerrard, Priestess of Apollo Bolina Oceanus, Cathryn Orchard a Priestess of the Gnostic Catholic Church, Voudou hounsi bossal Sophia Fisher, Healer and Psychic Medium Kay Gillard, Orixa devotee Andrea Salgado-Reyes, Teacher and Priestess Connia Silver, and dancers Mariëlle Holman and Nina Falaise.

Unique, powerful and insightful, this book expresses the liminal world of trance in an accessible way for the first time.

Available now from Avalonia Books

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