Dear All,


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 –


:::  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 and for further information on this book.  Some photographs from the launch and signing can be found at


::: 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 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 – 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 for details.  You may also find “Servants of the Lightbearer” on facebook of interest –    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


::: Pan’s Picnic

For those of you in London, you may want to check out Pagan Federation London’s Pan’s Picnic – details at  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.





Sorita d’Este


Enochian Vision Magic

An Introduction and Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley

by Lon Milo DuQuette

Published by Weiser Books, 2008

reviewed by David Rankine (see David Rankine )

Lon Milo DuQuette has an ability to explain complex subjects in a simple manner, a real gift when it comes to magick, and especially when applied to a mind-boggling system like Enochian magick.  In this book he moves step-by-step through all the basic strands of Enochian magick, weaving them together into a coherent whole which enables newcomer and experienced practitioner alike to navigate the difficult morass of material which can cause a lot of head scratching and heartache.

So why should you buy this book rather than any other?  Well apart from the thorough grounding it will provide, it is revealing to see that such authorities as Stephen Skinner and Geoffrey James applauding the work, and Clay Holden writing the foreword.  DuQuette quotes from the original material where appropriate, and also the Golden Dawn take, and is not afraid to move the material on, something it has been needing since it reached a hiatus with the Golden Dawn.  All-in-all an excellent introduction and very useful addition to a field whose lure often appears like fool’s gold – now the real thing is more in evidence!

Guide to the Feng Shui Compass

By Stephen Skinner

A Compendium of Classical Feng Shui

For more information visit:


This book will soon be available from and other specialist and online stores.

“Stephen Skinner has done it again. In 1976 he wrote the first English book on Feng Shui in the 20th century. In 1998 he published the largest selling full colour magazine on feng shui, which brought feng shui to the attention of the Western world. In 1999 he organised the largest Feng Shui convention ever seen in the UK or Europe. Now he has published the first study in English of the lo p’an or feng shui compass, which is effectively a Compendium of Classical Feng Shui”

His forthcoming book is a virtually Complete compendium of Classical feng shui

Material never before available in English…and difficult to find even in Chinese

How to read the San He and San Yuan lo p’an, with an explanation of each ring in detail, the history and background of feng shui and the lo p’an (luo pan). This large book is 448 pages in size, and packed with detailed information which is very clearly explained, so that after reading it anyone should be comfortable using even the most complex lo p’an. This book is the result of 30 years of research and practice. More than 50 rings are illustrated, tabulated, and classified by Plate and School, with their use and history. Anyone reading the book can go from being a complete novice to complete familiarity with any lo p’an, ancient or modern that they may pick up. It clearly explains for the first time in English how feng shui developed and the relationship between the San He and San Yuan Schools.

There are over 65 Tables, more than 174 illustrations, and 32 full colour plates. These inclu de rare pictures and analyses of Ming and Ch’ing dynasty lo p’ans. Every technical term, book title, or person’s name, is carefully footnoted in traditional Chinese characters with supporting pinyin and Wade-Giles transliterations. There is a also a detailed feng shui history time line.
Stephen Skinner took his degree in English Literature and Geography at Sydney University. Initially he worked as a Geography at Sydney University. Initially he worked as a Geography lecturer. Research in Hong Kong brought him in touch with local Chinese feng shui practitioners and the feng shui compass or lo p’an. This lead in 1976 to Stephen writing the first English book on feng shui in the 20th century, the Living Earth Manual of Feng Shui. This book brought feng shui to the attention of the Western world.

When Western interest in feng shui began to be noticeable in the 1980’s, Stephen produced Feng Shui: the Traditional Oriental Way which became an instant best seller in the UK.

In 1998 he launched Feng Shui for Modern Living monthly magazine, whose first issue sold 121 000 copies, more than either Elle Decor or Wallpaper magazines in the UK. In 1999 he was nominated as PPA “Publisher of the Year” for his work in launching the magazine. This magazine helped popularize feng shui around the world and it appeared in 41 countries. He even produced a Chinese language edition in Taipei which ran successfully for 34 issues.

In the same year he launched the London International Feng Shui Conference, the largest feng shui conference ever held in UK/Europe. The following year Stephen gave one of the three Doyle lectures in New York, sharing the bill with Martha Stewart Living and Country Living.

In 1999 he was honoured for his contributions to traditional Chinese culture, by being invited to Manila in the Philippines for the official celebrations of Chinese New Year, as the guests of the Mayors of Manila and Makati.

Stephen has published more than a dozen books on feng shui, including K.I.S.S. Guide to Feng Shui, Feng Shui the Traditional Oriental Way, Practical Makeovers, Living Earth Manual of Feng Shui, Feng Shui for Modern Living, Feng Shui Before and After, Flying Star Feng Shui and the beautiful Feng Shui Style. he has also published a number of translations of feng shui classics including the Water Dragon, the Original Eight Mansions Formula, the Key San He Feng Shui Formulas and The Mountain Dragon.

Stephen Skinner is the author of over 30 books, translated into more than 20 different languages. He lives in Johor Bahru, near Singapore, whiere he researches, writes and does feng shui consultation around the region.

For more information on Stephen Skinner’s work and his forthcoming “Guide to the Feng Shui Compass” visit his website

The Veritable Key of Solomon

By Stephen Skinner and David Rankine

Published by Golden Hoard, (October 2008) available in a half-leather collectors edition (limited to 350), and a full leather Deluxe edition (limited to 25).

The Key of Solomon is the most famous and infamous of all the Grimoires and books of magic ever produced. Yet amazingly only one version of it has ever been published, which was compiled from diverse sections drawn from seven different manuscripts in 1889 by S.L. MacGregor Mathers, the occult scholar who was one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Stephen Skinner and David Rankine have explored the labyrinthine trail of manuscripts of the Key of Solomon around the world, and after studying dozens of manuscripts, decided on the two which best represent this grimoire tradition to provide the widest range of material in their new work, The Veritable Key of Solomon. The book reproduces the Keys from Wellcome MS 4669 and MS 4670, two previously overlooked French manuscripts scribed for a French aristocrat in 1796, and here translated into English for the first time. They are not the earliest, but they are the most detailed,containing three separate Keys which cover a wealth of material not found in the Mathers’ edition. These Keys are The Keys of Rabbi Solomon, The Key of Solomon King of the Hebrews and The Universal Treatise of the Keys of Solomon. One of these manuscripts was the one referred to by Bulwer-Lytton in his classic nineteenth century magical novel of initiation, Zanoni, and another one contains an early version of the material later found in the Grimorium Verum.

Example of a colour plate from the Veritable Key of Solomon by Skinner and RankineThe fame of the Key of Solomon probably stems from the fact that it was the closest thing available to a manual for the aspiring or practising magician wishing to evoke angels and demons during the Renaissance. Everything from how to construct the magic circle, how to determine the most auspicious times, what perfumes were most conducive to burn, how to prepare your tools, what prayers and conjurations should be used, how to make and use the pentacles which acted as magical foci for the appropriate intent, indeed all aspects of the process and practices were included. The Veritable Key of Solomon shows the influence of the Heptameron on these practices more clearly than the previous Mathers text, through such elements as magic circles, perfumes, seals and including all the planetary circles for the seasons. It is illustrated in colour, with more than twice as many talismanic pentacles as were produced in the nineteenth century text, and also is more inclusive of earlier material such as the Olympic Spirits, Planetary Intelligences and Spirits. These Keys contain the most comprehensive collection of practical planetary grimoire material ever seen in a book and greatly expand the scope of information available to students and practitioners.

The Veritable Key of Solomon also features a commentary on the provenance of the different families of Key of Solomon manuscripts, tracing their use through Renaissance Europe, and exploring the effects they had on society around them as they were copied and transmitted into ever wider circles. The Introduction includes commentary on all the families of manuscripts including the earlier Greek manuscripts, as well as a study of the other books attributed to Solomon. The appendixes include a list of the known Key of Solomon manuscripts and incorrectly attributed manuscripts. The huge number of extant manuscripts (more than 120) clearly demonstrates that the Key of Solomon was the most significant magical book for several hundred years from the late sixteenth through to the nineteenth century, and this work finally restores the Key of Solomon tradition back to its place in the heart of the magical revival.

For more information on this exciting new work, visit for more information

The ordinary hardback edition can also be pre-ordered from Llewellyn – this is a black and white edition, as opposed to the full colour editions available from

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

The Interview with Stephen Skinner
by Sorita d’Este
( December 2004 : SS indicates answers by Stephen Skinner, Q indicates question posed by Sorita)


Q: You have been involved in magical groups and circles since the 1960’s. What are the most significant changes you have noticed in that time?

SS: I was lucky enough to enter my first magical group when I reached university at age 16, and fortunately it was a good one with emphasis on the practical. It was demanding though, and I had to give a lecture to the outer group on the Tarot attribution to the Paths of the Tree of Life, without any notes from memory, before they would even consider my application. In those days when there was still a lot of prejudice, groups had to be very careful who they admitted, and so access was not easy.

However with the opening up of magic, there is much greater accessibility to good quality groups and teaching. With the exception of a few of the long running and more hidden lodges, there is however still a degree of instability as smaller groups form and re-form. The important thing is to learn as much as you can from a group, by really working at it, rather than expecting to be spoon fed.

Q: During the 1970’s you co-wrote many books with Francis King, what was it like to work with him?

SS: Francis was a great man, a true scholar, a good friend, and a brilliant raconteur, who had during his life interacted with many of the figures that appear in his books about the later Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley offshoots, as well as almost all of the most significant figures in modern witchcraft like Gardner, Williamson, Stewart Farrar, Alex Sanders, and Jim Baker.

To write with him was an exercise in amazement. We might talk of Francis Barrett and his magical circle, and Francis would be able to quote exactly from one of FB’s letters, without hesitation. Or we might talk of some of the well know occult figures of the recent past, and Francis would have an anecdote about things they did or said, many of them sadly unprintable.

However Francis sometimes suffered from depression and its concomitant writer’s block. At times like that he would give me a call, sometimes very close to deadlines, to start, take over, or complete a book. I remember for example writing the bulk of Techniques of High Magic in just over a week working from Francis’ notes, from memory, and from a copy of Regardie’s Golden Dawn kindly lent to me by Gerry Beskin of Atlantis.

On other occasions, such as the book on Nostradamus that we co-wrote, there was more time, but I was unable to match Francis’s total grasp of the last 400 years of European history: so while I was familiar with the prophecies, it was Francis who would seed ideas as to where they applied, and I would develop these.

He was great to work with, and I much regret his passing. I dearly wish that he had taken up my suggestion to write his own autobiography, which would have been infinitely amusing and informative. Much of this fount of knowledge is now lost.

Q: With Francis King, you co-wrote the classic work “Techniques of High Magic” which is still widely used today, is there anything that you would change about this book today?

SS: Of course there are many things that I could have included, some of which I have encountered since I wrote the book. I would include more sample invocations. I would however exclude the I Ching section, as it is basically Eastern, and I would remove the Enochian words from the consecration of the Elemental tools, as this is not appropriate for beginners.

Perhaps I would replace the chapter on Goetic evocation with a chapter on the invocation of other, more docile, spiritual creatures like Elementals, and the construction of servitors and artificial Elementals. But otherwise I am still pretty happy that the book, which is now available in a UK edition, is a good introduction to Western magic.

Q: Your books on Geomancy are considered to be the authoritative works on the subject, how important do you feel that geomancy is to western magic?

SS: Geomancy is not the most important system of divination, although at one time it was the second most popular (after astrology). Its fascination is that it is ‘grounded’, being associated with the earth, not the heavens. Also its images are very simple, unlike the Tarot, so they force the practitioner to expand his natural abilities, rather than going off on a symbolic ramble (as is sometime the case with Tarot readings). It is therefore a good divination system for a beginner to start with. I still use it when the need arises. My book Terrestrial Astrology, which was and still is the most comprehensive book on the subject in English, is soon to be re-published as Divinatory Geomancy.

Q: You are also credited for bringing the art of Feng Shui to the West, how did this come about?

SS: My initial interest in feng shui came not from an interest in interior decorating, but from an effort to see if it is related to Western geomancy: it is not. I then discovered that sigils that are used in Western magic (such as the seal and kamea of Saturn) are also used in some of the more esoteric parts of feng shui and in Taoist sorcery. After that I got immersed in feng shui and wrote Living Earth Manual of Feng Shui in 1976, which was the first English book on feng shui in the 20th century.

I went on to produce the magazine Feng Shui for Modern Living worldwide in 41 countries, the biggest selling feng shui magazine in the world, selling more copies initially even than Elle Deco. You might be amused to know that I even launched 34 issues of the magazine in Taiwan printed in traditional Chinese, where the magazine become the biggest selling feng shui magazine in Chinese. I was nominated Publisher of the Year in London in 1999 for this little effort, but I found it more amusing to have exported feng shui back to China, so like ‘exporting coals to Newcastle’.

Q: Do you think that Western magic and Eastern systems of magic have much in common and can they, in your opinion, be worked together seamlessly?

SS: They do have much in common in essence, but the symbols systems are very different and the important ‘registers’ of spirits are also totally different. They cannot be worked together. The Western and Eastern systems are like two Gateways into the same castle. You cannot enter both Gateways at the same time, and if you do manage to enter one Gateway, then you cannot use the roadmap provided for the other Gateway, otherwise you become hopelessly lost…and maybe endangered.

Q: During the 1970’s you were the driving force behind Askin Publishing, producing lovely editions of a number of classic works such as Agrippa’s Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy and Archidoxes of Magic by Paracelsus – all of which are now collector’s items. Which of the books you produced with Askin are you the most proud of and why?

SS: Probably the Agrippa, as two of its six parts are seminal texts for practical Western evocatory magic, and were unavailable before then, except in the very expensive 17th century edition, or in Latin. The book contains one of the most important keys of practical magic. Even when we published it in the old 17th century type, a lot of people found it difficult to read. I am therefore pleased to tell you that I have edited a modern text version of this classic, with annotations that will be coming out early in 2005 from Nicolas-Hayes and Ibis. Already more than 700 copies have been pre-ordered on, which means that there is a rapidly growing appetite for traditional magic out there.

I also enjoyed publishing several of Austin Osman Spare’s books that had been out of print for such a long time, because they were so beautiful, because they followed on from my sigil work in Search for Abraxas, and because they have provided a base for explorations into Chaos magic.

Q: You edited and produced The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley, Tunis 1923. How important do you feel Aleister Crowley’s work is to modern magic?

SS: There is no doubt that AC’s work has been seminal in re-introducing respect for magic into the 20th century and in trying to broaden the basic GD teachings by introducing more Eastern systems like yoga. I do however think that a lot of Crowley’s work was self-indulgent (not in the drug sense, but in the magical sense), and that his efforts to interpret his own life as a work of art, and every little event as a sign from the Masters, made his magic too inward looking.

In fact this caused him to propagate the fallacy that spirits were simply a part of the operator’s own subconscious mind. This is only true in the sense that strange beasts (e.g. camels) seen in the zoo are part of your own personal store of images. Their independent existence is never questioned by anyone who has ever interacted with them in their own environment!

He fuelled a lot of the sexual and drug liberation which did not come to the surface until the 1960s hippie revolution, but which has helped to shape out world immensely. I added my own impetus to this by writing and publishing two of the earliest underground newspapers in Australia.

Q: You are known to be a leading authority on Enochian Magic, the system of magic ascribed to Dr. Dee, which books would you recommend to people who have an interest and want to find out more?

SS: That is a difficult one, as a lot of Dee’s real magical work is just now coming to the surface. Most of the books to date have relied upon the Golden Dawn recension of the system. I guess Robert Turner’s Elizabethan Magic is a good place to start with the real stuff. Certainly don’t try to read books like Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica, which was very difficult even for Dee’s contemporaries to understand.

Q: Over the years there have been many rumours of an unpublished work by you on Enochian magic, written in the 1970’s. Is this rumour true and is it likely that you will ever publish it?

SS: I did complete a book on Dee that encompassed his whole working system, with practice guide and results, plus a full life chronology. It would have run to about 700 printed pages. Also included were a lot of intriguing things I found out about his life in the old Rozmberg archives at Trebona in Czechoslovakia and also in Prague.

I was living at Saxonbury in Sussex at the time, and unfortunately the old house was burgled, and the burglar took the manuscript and research materials along with all the usual household stuff. The police were totally pessimistic about the chances of getting my stuff back, so I took ‘other measures’ which within seven days motivated the burglar to want to urgently return my stuff. Unfortunately he had binned what he thought was rubbish (the manuscript of the book) and sold some of my samurai swords: the rest I got back and the police subsequently took him into custody. Since then I have not had the stomach, or the time, to write the book over again.

Q: Stephen, you have just published a new book on the subject of Enochian magic. What inspired the book?

SS: David. Basically I was showing David Rankine some of my old Dee research material, and remarked that several MSS containing the crucial 17th century development of the Enochian system had never been published. His eyes lit up, and as they say the rest is history.

Q: These days you live near Singapore, do you have plans to come back to the UK to lecture or give workshops on Western Magic?

SS: That probably depends upon what I am currently working on.

Q: Any exciting projects you are working on that you can tell our visitors about?

SS: Yes, I think it is time that we let a few cats out of the bag. Apart from Enochian magic, there is the whole tradition of ritual magic that was strong in the 17th and 18th century, when invocation of various spiritual creatures from angels to Olympic spirits to demons to fairies was the order of the day. The emphasis was upon results, very palpable results. This is something that somehow got partly lost from magic after it was institutionalised first by the Masons (Golden Dawn) then by the Thelemites (Aleister Crowley) and then by modern witchcraft. I am working on the practical parts of magic as it would have been recognized by Agrippa, by Dee, by Barrett, and indeed by Harry Potter.

Excellent work is being done on the Golden Dawn tradition by writers such as Darcy Kuntz, and on Aleister Crowley, and so I am content to move back in time. My other project is the reconstruction of truly mediaeval techniques of Western magic, pre-1300.

Thank you to Stephen Skinner for taking the time to talk to us, its been a real honour to be allowed to dig for answers to some of the questions I have had for quite some time! For permission to reproduce this article please contact us first – (c) Stephen Skinner & Avalonia

For those of you wanting to find out more about Stephen Skinner and his work, on both Western and Eastern Magic should visit his website

A list of some of his books which are available from is listed at the top of this page.. The Practical Angel Magic of Dr. John Dee’s Enochian Tables can also be ordered directly from the publisher website – click here for Golden Hoard Press

Avalonia interviewed Stephen Skinner, author of many, many books on the Western Traditions of Magic who is also known as an authority on the art of Feng Shui. One of the most significant living authors on the subject of the occult over the last few decades,

Stephen co-wrote Techniques of High Magic with Francis King, produced the definitive book on Western Geomancy and made available many rare magickal books through his work with Askin Press in the 1970’s. The following are just some of Stephen’s books:

Being: Ars Paulina, Ars Almadel, Theurgia-Goetia, Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis, Liber Malorum Spirituum seu Goetia
(Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic III)

By Stephen Skinner & David Rankine

Golden Hoard Press, 2007

Reviewed by Soror Chamos

For me it was an honour to be asked to review this newly published Lemegeton, as this most famous of grimoires is a personal passion of mine. So what makes this book different?

Firstly, it contains a number of hitherto unpublished manuscripts, adding to the material available to the occult fraternity:

“a transcription of Dr Rudd’s ‘Liber Malorum Spirituum seu Goetia’ from Harley MS 6483, with other pertinent extracts from manuscripts Harley MS 6482, Sloane MS 3824 and Wellcome MS 3203”

Like the the other books in the Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic (SWCM) series by these authors, this book contains an excellent introduction to the manuscripts, which sets the context for the work presented therein. Herein we find information about what the Goetia is and also what sets this particular manuscript apart from those previously published. For one it stresses that Dr Rudd’s Lemegeton (which for those unfamiliar with the term is simply another name for the collection of books which makes up the “Goetia”) is one which shows the workings of this magician who worked this system during the 17th century. Effectively it contains working notes and developments – such as the excellent double seals for the 72 Goetic demons, not found elsewhere. Here we find that the Shem ha-Mephorash angels are called upon to help control the demons when they are evoked, something I would never have thought of but certainly plan on trying out in the coming months. It sounds so simple and logical, yet it is not something I have never heard modern Goetic magicians mention!

The SWCM books continue to show how interconnected the practice of angel magic was with the magic of the grimoires and as such has a wide appeal for magicians from both sides of the fence, a fence which, reading between the lines, Skinner and Rankine believes should not be there in the first place! They present the material as being part of the same corpus of material practiced, rather than distinct and separate entities which is so often the case today.

The seals presented within these manuscripts are better than those I have found in the other available editions of the Goetia, again this is of great benefit for those of us who use the system, giving clearer images which can be used for the seals, which seems to be far more carefully drawn. They are also unique because they show the Hebrew names of the demons, as used by Dr Rudd and each one as previously mentioned in this review also contains the corresponding angelic seal.

The authors go on to trace the material in the Lemegeton as far back as the thirteenth century, showing the connections between angel magicians and those working evocations within the grimoire traditions. They work towards diminishing the separation put onto these two systems by the church and use the term “spiritual creatures” which I really like, as a term to describe collectively angels, demons, spirits, elementals, fairies and other non-human entities. This really works well towards breaking down the false boundaries existing between the different systems today, uniting it into one corpus once more.

Not only would I go as far as to say that this book should be on the shelves of every modern day practising magician who works within the Solomonic, Grimoire, Goetic or Ceremonial systems – but also that those with an interest in angelic magic, witchcraft and occult history will also come to treasure and love this book. Like previous books in the series, the material is presented as a beautifully bound hardback, with dustjacket – a leather edition is also available.

No doubt it will bring out the green eyed monster in some contemporary occultists who would wish to dismiss it, but if that is the case it will only show how important the material in this book is, just because it challenges established thought based on the Goetia published by Aleister Crowley just over a hundred years ago, doesn’t make it wrong!

More information can be found on the publisher’s website: Golden Hoard Press


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