Dear Readers,

We would like to welcome you to our new home here at – 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.

Dear All,,

[copy of the Avalonia Newsletter, 3 September 2008]

I have been enjoying a huge collection of little sample oils from 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 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,


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!

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

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 – between now and the 21st of September 2008.

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 –

Baldwins –

Conjure Oils –

PeacockAngel –

StarChild –

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: for details. Also to see what Pagan Dawn; Mike Howard at the Cauldron and others think of Wicca Magickal Beginnings see: (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 for details.

4/ The Esoteric Review

Remember that new book reviews are also frequently being added by our team of reviewers to the Esoteric Book Review – 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.


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 and is available along with information on the book at – 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


6/ Forthcoming Events

6 September 2008 ** This Saturday – The Colours of Chaos ***
-see 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 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 or 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 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 for more details and booking information.


“Working Towards Expanding the Esoteric Horizons”


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: 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

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 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 now and register
their interest in the limited editions by emailing 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

Sorita d’Este

ps. Check out David Rankine’s new blog at for
interesting articles on magick, grimoires and other related fields!



1/ AVALONIA OFFERS – SAVE 25% on Climbing the Tree of Life & WIZARDRY!
2/ HORNS OF POWER, edited by Sorita d’Este
4/ NEW BOOK REVIEWS (The Esoteric Book Review)
5/ QABALAH THROUGH THE WORLDS – Workshop by David Rankine
7/ WICCA in the NEWS



*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:


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: – if placed before or
on the 7th of August you will receive a 25% discount! (Free P&P on
all orders, worldwide!).



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



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:


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:



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:


“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!


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:

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:


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



This is the Avalonia Newsletter
To subscribe go to:


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