Can you believe that it is nearly Lughnasad again! This day is named for the Irish God Lugh (pron. ‘Loo’) who is the son of Ethne (the daughter of Balor) and Cian (son of Dian Cecht) and it is celebrated on the 1st of August. Lugh means ‘shining one’ and he was fostered with the smith god Goibniu who taught him all crafts, and he gained the name ‘Lugh Lamfada’ (Lugh of the long arm). Lugh is the god of all crafts and when challenged at the gate of Tara, he replied that he was a builder, a smith, a champion, a harper, a warrior, a poet and historian, a sorcerer, a physician, a cupbearer and a brazier. Ceasar equated Lugh with the Roman god Mercury, and the reasons are easy to see considering that Mercury is also considered to be a highly skilled god.
The spear of Lugh, which is one of the four treasures of the Tuatha de Danann, ensured that no battle was ever won against whoever held it in their hand. Lugh was highly skilled in the magical arts, assuming the corrguinecht posture whilst reciting a charm to encourage his troops in the Cath Maige Tuired. He is also often identified as both a solar and underworld god, and is later linked to the Gallic goddess Rosmerta as her consort. Representations of Rosmerta found at Bath and at other continental healing water sites suggests that she may have been viewed as a healing goddess, though her key attribute is that of the ‘Great Provider’ (which is also the meaning of her name) and she was associated with wealth and plenitude. Lugh is also of course the father of the hero Cu Chulainn, whom he helps by healing him and fighting in his place whilst he is badly wounded. Like all good gods, Lugh was assimilated and canonized into the church as Saint Lughaidh.
It has been a while since I did the last Avalonia Newsletter, so much has happened since then! Hekate Liminal Rites, a historical book on the practices associated with the Goddess Hekate written and researched by myself and David Rankine was published; as was Both Sides of Heaven (anthology, various contributors) and Stellar Magic by Payam Nabarz. Details of these can be found below, or on the Avalonia Books website – http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk
::: STELLAR MAGICK by Payam Nabarz
This past Friday, 24th July 2009 we celebrated the launch of ‘Stellar Magic’, the new book by the author Payam Nabarz at the Atlantis Bookshop in London. This book which was published by Avalonia, is both a practical and scholarly work on the magic of the Moon, Planets, Stars and Constellations. It draws from a wide spectrum of material and ideas from different cultures, bringing it all together in a valuable work which is already establishing itself as the principal text on the subject. If you haven’t yet, have a look at http://www.stellarmagic.co.uk and http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalogue/titles/stellar_magic2.htm for further information on this book. Some photographs from the launch and signing can be found at http://avaloniabooks.blogspot.com/
::: BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN with various contributors
This collection of 18 essays by some of the foremost esoteric writers, occultists and magicians from around the world is a great introduction to the world of angel magic for those who have not ventured into this area of study and practice yet. The essays explore different subjects of study, as well as different traditions – providing the reader with insights into subjects, some of which are rarely discussed. Essays include works on the Archangels, Fallen Angels, Legends of the Fall, Enochian Magic & Dr John Dee, Madeline Montalban, Azazel & Shemyaza, Lucifer, The Sidhe, The Green butterfly, The Goetia, Demons & Devils, Pacts, Grimoires from a Pagan perspective, The Thwarting Angels, Lilith, Holy Guardian Angels, Greco-Roman Winged messengers and Zoroastrian Ahuras and Daevas. Contributors include authors such as Aaron Leitch, Dan Harms, David Rankine, Emily Carding, Jake Stratton-Kent, Kim Huggens, Michael Howard, Payam Nabarz and Stephen Skinner. See http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalogue/titles/both_sides_of_heaven.htm for further information.
::: THE GOETIA OF DR RUDD by Stephen Skinner & David Rankine
The ordinary hardback with dustwraper edition of this title is now SOLD OUT for the UK, as it has been in the USA for a while. It has been brought to our attention that copies of the ordinary edition is in some instances exchanging hands for more than the deluxe (full leather) edition of this book, of which we have still got a handful of copies available for sale. Information can be found at http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk/sourceworks/goetia.htm – including costs, shipping and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, a photograph of what the deluxe edition looks like. We also have copies of the half-leather collectors edition of the Veritable Key of Solomon, as well as Book I & II in the Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic series available.
::: INVOKE HEKATE – New Project
We are in the process of creating a small website featuring invocations and artwork related to the Goddess Hekate. If you would like to contribute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. You may also find “Servants of the Lightbearer” on facebook of interest – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=85463831214&ref=ts I will be hosting a private celebration in honour of Hekate in September this year, if you are interested in attending please get in touch. It will be held in the Powys / Hereford area.
::: Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, USA
This is a new annual event being organised by Ouroborus Press’s William Kiesel and brings together a number of speakers and publishers from around the occult world. As such this event should appeal to all Occult Bibliophiles out there! Check it out at http://esotericbookconference.com/2009/
::: Pan’s Picnic
For those of you in London, you may want to check out Pagan Federation London’s Pan’s Picnic – details at http://www.pflondon.org/html/major_socials.html It is in a couple of weeks time and will be taking place in the Queens Wood.
“Crystal is ice through countless ages grown
(So teach the wise) to hard transparent stone,
And still the gem retains its native force,
And holds the cold and colour of its source.
Yet some deny, and tell of crystal found
Where never icy winter froze the ground”
By Marbodius, circa 12th cent.