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Considerable interest in faery tradition has grown up in recent years and not least in the story of Melusine of Lusignan, the subject of a prose romance by Jean d’Arras at the end of the 14th century, swiftly followed by one in verse by Couldrette. This book provides a collection of material from various sources to give an all round picture of the remarkable faery, her town, her church, her immediate family, and the great Lusignan dynasty she founded.
An established authority on Melusine, Gareth Knight collects together all the best source material, which he translates from the French, and presents his own researches into the Lusignan family of the 12th century, whose dynasty included kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem, examining the possibility of a familiar spirit guiding the family in its destiny.
PUBLISHED 18th APRIL 2013
From the author of Weaver in the Sluices and Diddle comes this controversial, self-reflexive, ironic and humorous response to the way that Shakespeare is so often taught in contemporary academia. The works of ‘Divine Will,’ as he is referred to throughout, have been confined to a vacuum, and almost biblically so in how the scripts have become wilfully detached from their moorings of time and place. In this hybridised long ‘Proem,’ Staniforth goes to absurd lengths of reattachment, gladly playing havoc with the swirling dictums and counter-dictums of his time, gleefully seeking to subvert the tautological authority of the neck-frilled academicians over the historical groundlings of the pit. Elements of satire, parody and burlesque are interposed as hagiographical substitutions made for the purposes of irony and deconstruction. The reader will be initiated into the amalgamated and timeless world of the Groundlings to see how their invective gospel simply illustrates how discourse, rhetoric and that grandiloquent power of oration serves as the strongest definition for our collective place in history.
PUBLISHED 26th MARCH 2013
Antiphonal Airs is a mixilating series of poems from poet-musician Joseph Noble. Some are improvisational riffs on specific composers, their lives and work, and some imitate the sonic movement and aleatoric rhythm of music itself. Noble works between polyphony and monody, his poetic lines mirroring the development of the seconda practica of the Baroque, in which the form of vocal music was made reflect and fit the meaning of the words. He follows the Orphic muse through music’s different phases and stylings, from the primal to the ornate, always following Hazrat Inayat Khan’s dictum that the world and its language come to us through sound and vibrations. Antiphonal Airs follows An Ives Set, which explored mercurial compositions of Charles Ives, and about which Andrew Joron wrote – “Noble has somehow tinkered a radio out of words, and tuned it to receive transmissions from a lost paradise of music. Yet Noble’s line is listening, not to sound alone, but to pure pattern. Here, writing itself is graphically recast as a rhythmics of perception.”
A sumptuous collection by poet-musician Joseph Noble. The certainty of his pitch & intonation reveals a distinct tender voice. Measured, graceful, his work sustains its depth throughout. The first section on “early music” is revelatory in its range & insight. Rich in historical acumen, musical heart, Antiphonal Airs an impressive body of work.
— David Meltzer
PUBLISHED 8th MARCH 2013
Celtic spirituality is the “forgotten faith” of the West. It is essentially joyful and holistic and holds together the two human faculties of reason and intuition. There is no New Age mysticism in it and there is no spirit-numbing rationalism either.
The Celtic saints were intuitives whose feet were very firmly planted on the ground. It is their equilibrium as human beings that gives much of their appeal, and in this, as in the holiness their lives display, they are Christlike.
This book examines the lives and legacies of the Celtic saints and the sacred places in the landscape that have become associated with them.
PUBLISHED 5th FEBRUARY 2013
“Let us recall the illusion: the thousands murdered – the texts exploded – and the sun become a mechanical sub rosa…”
Kaleidoscopic Omniscience is a new collection from lingual contortionist and poetic sage Will Alexander, featuring his early works – Asia & Haiti, Stratospheric Canticles, and Impulse & Nothingness. Alexander’s prismatic and oracular voice cascades around the bi-geographic confrontations, painterly morphologies, and the cosmology of the void.
“[Alexander is] acutely conscious of the issue of poetic voice, and is unwilling to let poetry’s potential for ventriloquizing or exploring the voices of others be subsumed in an impersonal écriture or ultimately homogenous montage. He seems as well interested in the spiritual dimension of poetry, especially in the degrees to which poetry can give us access to spiritual or emotional states beyond those we normally experience.”
– Mark Scroggins, American Book Review
“… multiplicity, simultaneity, collapsing of interior/exterior boundaries, restless migratory intelligence … An uncancelled wavering and a “brimstone fire” of focus, unflinchingly alert to the vast sentient suffering, also to the astonishing resourcefulness and the yet unimagined forms of life on this planet at the edge of the Milky Way.”
– Jonathan Skinner
PUBLISHED JANUARY 2013
The knowledge and use of magical images was once a closely guarded secret of initiates and adepts in the Mystery Schools. Gareth Knight gives easy-to-follow classifications of the various kinds of magical image, along with instructions for their use as agents of self realisation and spiritual service.
Indispensible for beginners and advanced practitioners alike, this book presents the theory and techniques of creative visualisation and meditation. These practical teachings range from the circulation of force within the aura for the purpose of balancing the personality to the development of a full magical system of pathworking, enabling contact with inner sources of wisdom.
Now in its third edition, a new section is included on magical applications of the Tarot images, plus an extensive chapter on Qabalistic pathworking in the Western Mystery Tradition.
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2012
In this book Gareth Knight explores the archetypal themes, images and characters of the Arthurian cycle and their place in the Western magical tradition.
The Arthurian stories are the most famous and most haunting of all British legends, which draw their inspiration from Greek, Irish and even Atlantean myth. This book takes in turn the core grades of Arthur, Merlin, Guenevere and the Holy Grail to build a complete magical tradition. The central themes and characters are brought to life with clear and thorough explanations of their underlying symbolism, while the ancient pattern that is woven around the Arthuriad is carefully unravelled and its full esoteric significance revealed. This fascinating study takes the reader beyond the world of medieval literature and unfolds an inner landscape as real as the isles in which it was created.
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2012
For a thirteen-year period, the reclusive Scottish writer Fiona Macleod enthralled the Victorian reading public with a deluge of stories, novels, poems and essays drawn from the wildly romantic Highland and Island landscape. Although it was later revealed that these works had issued from the pen of William Sharp, it was clear that Fiona Macleod was more than a pseudonym; to Sharp she was very much an autonomous entity. What’s more, the wealth of previously unknown and unheard of myths, names, traditions and beliefs in her writings, while shone through a Celtic prism, show every sign of having emanated from the Realm of Faery.
Steve Blamires presents a ground-breaking assessment of the Faery lore within Fiona Macleod’s literary output as part of his ongoing study of this enigmatic writer. Building on the established groundwork of his biography of Sharp, The Little Book of the Great Enchantment, he explores the mythology and traditions of Faery, their symbolic and magical significance, and the devices employed by Fiona in the transmission of Faery teachings and inspirations. Using examples from Fiona’s rich and resonant body of work, his detailed interpretation will enable the reader to tease out the Faery gems that are still to be found woven into the lines and verse of her writings.
PUBLISHED 31st OCTOBER 2012
Along with the strange flotsam of the sea, the aptly named John Love drifts in on the grey tide to grace an island off the English coast. The stranger, both bedazzling and unnerving, effects an immediate messianic glow upon the bladder-wracked community of odds and sods, making disciples of the most unlikely characters.
Chris Hill’s visionary and delightfully bizarre novel reads like the gospel for a neophyte religion spawning in the sea foam among strange goings-on. It examines how destiny is the result of the collective will, especially among tribal folk who forever yearn to conform to ancient cants and creeds.
Song of the Sea God comes from both the ancient incantations of history and mythology and the awkward cadences of the modern age. The plot is riddled with humour and pathos, which will delight fans of the contemporary British literary novel. With rich symbolism and delicious twists of irony, Hill takes the reader on a microcosmic wild ride in a story told by a mute that starts in a pub called The Vengeance. Along the way the reader is treated to a feast of psychotic musings that somehow manages to include miracles, Tip Rats, plastic ducks, the life of pebbles, and a Diary of Stools.
The village of Stanton Drew in north Somerset is host to a remarkable group of ancient monuments which together comprise the third largest collection of standing stones in England. The Great Circle, the largest of its three stone circles, encloses an area of 2000 square metres, exceeding the dimensions of Stonehenge. It was once approached by an avenue of standing stones, now lost. A smaller Southwest circle is aligned to The Quoit and The Cove nearby. Recent archaeology has revealed evidence of a substantial woodhenge at Stanton Drew, underlining its importance as a major ritual centre of the Neolithic age.
Gordon Strong, author of Stanton Drew and its Ancient Stone Circles and a regular lecturer on the subject, has spent many years exploring this fascinating site on multiple levels. In this book he presents the available archaeological detail along with local folklore and the testimonies of various commentators, from 18th century antiquarians to modern dowsing surveys, discussing ritual, mediumship, earth energies and mythology. He also gives his own observations and insights gleaned from his “long love-affair” with the site, interpreted through the Western esoteric tradition and British Mysteries. Most importantly, he offers the visitor some clues for making their own inner connection to this unique monument which still vibrates with ancient magic.
Interlocutors of Paradise is a collection of five short meditations on colonialism and the Western mind by a British poet. Written as a series of provocative, symbolist-tinged prose-poems, each section situates the reader in beautifully crafted spaces, hollows to be filled either by spiritual purpose or wilful invasion. It begins by evoking the historical formation and expression of national identity – an identity predicated on past colonial and imperial activities. This is followed by three meditations that are largely situated within that region of the Thames estuary where Joseph Conrad lived, set and conceived Heart of Darkness. The Thames, that river in the book on which floated “The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empire”, figures prominently also in the book’s opening meditation, where it is the setting of, amongst other things, Edmund Spenser’s poem Prothalamion and his friend Sir Walter Raleigh’s departure and voyage to Roanoke in the New World. In the final meditation its presence fades giving way, instead, to the aspirant spaces of a settled New World. But a world not ‘settled’ enough to have eradicated restlessness.
Martin Anderson, author of various books of poetry, including The Ash Circle and Belonging, delivers another collection of poignant but elegantly powerful and sensitive poems.
“Great purity and acuity, and a perfect ear. A wonderful poet.”
— Gustaf Sobin
“Beautiful writing — treasure trove of emanations: orchards, hedgerows, meadows, coastlines, a land I used to know and still love in the nerves. A stilling for the nerves. The texture thick with an ancient country’s history now learning to trace back, through all its exploitations, the sources of an elegy for lost empire. Has English poetry made the best out of that drawn-out loss?”
— Nathaniel Tarn
Stoning the Devil is a short story/novel set in the United Arab Emirates, a country of paradoxes, of seediness and glamour, of desert grandeur and Disneyland vulgarity, where public executions and other barbaric customs are winked at by the western expats who run the economy. Colin, a professor of literature, is not the ‘typical’ expat, ignorant and interested only in pleasure and his stock portfolio, but a speaker of Arabic and an admirer of Arab culture – or is he? To his Arab wife, he is an Orientalist who exoticizes and patronises the locals, unaware of his latent racism. Powell presents a complex and contradictory set of Arab characters, who are a far cry from fundamentalist stereotypes. He also gives women in the Gulf a voice –as none are completely submissive.
Garry Craig Powell delivers a powerful novel-in-stories and perhaps the first work of literary fiction set in the Persian Gulf by a westerner since Hilary Mantel’s Eight Months on Ghazzah Street. It echoes all the concerns of the great Arab writers, Mahfouz, Munif, and Kanafani regarding the post-colonial world. Written by an author that spent a good deal of time in that part of the world, the Gulf is presented as a crucible in which people of different races and religions are forging a new humanity, in spite of the abysses between them.
“Stoning the Devil is a mesmerizing read. You will not find another book like this one. Garry Craig Powell has an astonishing ability to create characters with swift and haunting power. His intricately linked stories travel to the dark side of human behaviour without losing essential tenderness or desire for meaning and connection. They are unpredictable and wild. Is this book upsetting? Will it make some people mad? Possibly. But you will not be able to put it down.” – Naomi Shihab Nye
“The astounding characters that recur in Garry Craig Powell’s Stoning the Devil are no different than, say, Sherwood Anderson’s characters in Winesburg, Ohio. These characters have needs and dreams. They have their share of existential moments. They’re all doing the best they can. These linked stories are utterly mesmerizing and exotic. With a keen ear for dialogue, and a sensibility of the best Conrad, Kipling, Orwell and Achebe, Garry Craig Powell has pulled off a masterful feat.” – George Singleton, Stray Decorum
The Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic is a Christian priest’s appreciation of occultism, with a particular focus on the Qabalah. Far from condemning occult thinking, he finds it has much common ground with the Christian perspective and contemporary developments in psychotherapy. Drawing on the works of Dion Fortune, Gareth Knight and others, he appraises the theology and assumptions of occultists and examines how Christian mysticism coheres with the Tree of Life. While his ideas may be challenging and thought-provoking for many occultists as well as for many Christians, his spectrum is broad and his criticisms carefully considered. He also provides a lucid overview of the Tree of Life which makes the book an incredibly valuable introduction to the Qabalah, especially as a guide for aspiring “Christian Qabalists”.
Originally published in 1969, this book came about through Anthony Duncan’s friendship with occultist Gareth Knight, and directly inspired Knight’s major work Experience of the Inner Worlds.
“Now at least one clergyman has got the point and in this book urges his fellow Christians not to dismiss occultism either as a cranky fad or as ‘a black art’.”
— The Guardian
The multiple strands which make up the Western Mystery Tradition can present a bewildering tangle of paths for the seeker to negotiate – and this book provides the roadmap by exploring them with clarity and insight. Gordon Strong, who has written various books on the Arthurian legends, Tarot, the goddess and sacred stone circles, is uniquely placed to offer this journeyman’s guide to magic. Meditation and contacts, Tarot, Qabalah, shamanism and polarity magic are covered, as are the British and Egyptian mysteries. The Way of Magic explores the path of ancient secrets as well as more modern adaptations of them, winding through the enigmatic codices of Egypt and the early shamen through to the modern use of Qabalah and practical magic today. Strong follows an established path with the fervour of a pioneer, making new connections and bringing fresh insights to age-old teachings. He contends that “wisdom does not automatically follow in the wake of a great deal of information, no matter how comprehensive” and proceeds to offer a practitioner’s manual for ritual magic that emphasises commitment and self-discipline.
This book will be an invaluable guide to any student of the mysteries looking to find some clarity in making their way forward. It will also appeal to those interested in the history of various mystery schools and their impact upon philosophical thought.
The Irish Celtic Magical Tradition explores the wealth of spiritual philosophy locked into Celtic legend in The Battle of Moytura (Cath Maige Tuired), a historical-mythological account of the conflict, both physical and Otherworldly, between the Fomoire and the Tuatha Dé Danann. This legend contains within it the essence of the Celtic spiritual and magical system, from Creation Myth to practical instruction and information. Alongside a translation of The Battle of Moytura, Steve Blamires provides a series of keys to facilitate understanding of the legend and sets out an effective magical system based upon it, including interpretations of the symbolism, meditation exercises and suggestions for its practical use. The book offers a powerful and illuminating method of working with ancient Celtic legendary material in the context of modern magic.
Originally published in 1992, the text has been revised, updated and expanded to incorporate two decades of new insights and suggestions.
Steve Blamires is a well-known authority on Celtic traditions and founder of the Celtic Research and Folklore Society in Scotland. He is also an authority on the work of William Sharp and Fiona Macleod, and has written a biography of Sharp, The Little Book of the Great Enchantment.
Far from being a simple fortune telling device, the Tarot is a profound and powerful system of High Renaissance magic. Here is unfolded the fascinating story of the Tarot, from its fifteenth-century beginnings as a conjunct to the playing cards newly imported from Egypt and Persia, to the massive explosion of its popularity as a system of occult symbolism. Gareth Knight presents his analysis of the basic archetypal principle behind each card and gives practical examples of magical work with the Tarot images in pathworkings and rituals, much of which is open to be used and developed further.
Originally published in 1986 as The Treasure House of Images, and later re-issued in the USA as Tarot & Magic, this new, revised and expanded edition includes a substantial additional section, pulling together many of the new insights Gareth Knight has garnered over the 25 years since it was first published.
introduction by Allen Fisher
afterword by Michael Moorcock
Iain Sinclair’s classic early text, Lud Heat, explores mysterious cartographic connections between the six Hawksmoor churches in London. In a unique fusion of prose and poetry, Sinclair invokes the mythic realm of King Lud, who according to legend was one of the founders of London, as well as the notion of psychic ‘heat’ as an enigmatic energy contained in many of its places. The book’s many different voices, including the incantatory whispers of Blake and Pound, combine in an amalgamated shamanic sense that somehow works to transcend time. The transmogrifying intonations and rhythms slowly incorporate new signs, symbols and sigils into the poem that further work on the senses. This was the work that set the ‘psychogeographical’ tone for much of Sinclair’s mature work, as well as inspiring novels like Hawksmoor and Gloriana from his peers Peter Ackroyd and Michael Moorcock, and Alan Moore’s From Hell.
This new re-issue includes the illustrations and photographs from the original 1975 edition, which were absent from some later editions.
“Lud Heat combines researches into the sinister dotted lines which link up the Hawksmoor churches of East London – complete with a very fine diagram displaying the pentacles and triangulations which connect churches to plague pits to the sites of the notorious Whitechapel and Ratclyffe Highway murders – with a broken sequence of breathtakingly lovely modern freeverse lyrics.”
– Jenny Turner, London Review of Books
“Lud Heat is ostensibly a narrative of a period of employment in the Parks Department of an East London borough; this temporal location, however, receives less stress than the spatial one with which it intersects: that of the pattern imposed on the townscape by Nicholas Hawksmoor’s churches, potent presences in the poet’s working environment, around which accretes a second temporal dimension, historical and mythological … When Sinclair writes of the modern city that ‘natural & ancient rhythms are perverted in Golgonooza’s architecture’ it is as part of a firmly patterned written structure that we have first of all to take his words. Only thus, sustained by powerful written ligatures, can the arrangement of the poet’s information command any credence as argument.”
– Andrew Crozier
The Breton lai is a narrative poem, usually accompanied by music, that appeared in France about the middle of the 12th century, carried by travelling musicians and storytellers called jongleurs. What is important about them is that they contain a great deal of faery and supernatural lore deriving from Celtic myth, legend and folktale.
This collection of twelve tales focuses on faery lore in the lai tradition. Nine are taken from anonymous medieval jongleur sources; the other three are from the more courtly tales collected by Marie de France in the late 12th century. Gareth Knight, a scholar of medieval French as well as an established author on esoteric faery lore, provides a vivid and lively translation of each lai along with a commentary which takes a perspective both historic and esoteric.
“The lunatic algebra of Love. The frenzied orbits of Mood. The malarial temperatures of Wound, Symbols of the Cult of Seizure: This flesh, this amulet incised. This hot spoor of predators. This zodiac savaged in the sky.”
The Cult of Seizure is a work of lyrical mesmerism and animal magnetism from acclaimed novelist and artist Rikki Ducornet, which displays a lush poesis and visionary soul. Jane Urquhart describes it as a “combination of the bestial and the bestiary; of terror and of tenderness.” Although an earlier work it contains all the evocative tapestries of her finest novels.
“Sharp, haunting poetry from a fine practitioner of the art. If you read only one book of poetry this year …” – Globe & Mail
“…If you’re willing to take the plunge into poetry that cuts close to the bone of our dreams and obsessions, The Cult of Seizure contains some absolutely stunning examples of how language can transform actuality. Using as her model the medieval bestiary, wherein natural and imaginary animals mingled in glorious confusion, Ducornet… has mixed the rivetingly graphic and the ferociously fanciful into a striking volume of verse.” – Toronto Star
“Rikki Ducornet is such a writer, mercifully and productively out of step with her time. She brings to her work a sense of curiosity that many contemporary writers have forgotten. Every object for her, as for Blake, has the potential to be an immense world of delight, opening perpetually up, with this delight being mirrored in the twists and turns of the language that both reveals and evokes it.” – Brian Evenson
The Signatory is a wild and enthralling novella from Kirk Marshall, an emerging Australian writer and editor of the Red Leaves bi-lingual literary journal. This mind-bending tale of Scottish cryptozoology must be read to be believed as it blusters and dallies with the mad antics of the strange British dilettante, Sebastian Sackworth. It is at times reminiscent of the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll et al – and yet displaying more contemporary (dare we say) “borgesian” stylistics. A delightfully absurd dramatis personae pits together a misanthropic anthropologist and a lusty Italian ornithologist on a madcap search for a rare Red Swan, soon to be joined by an Icelandic recluse, a chimpanzee, and a notorious pirate, to name a few. Along the way, Marshall manages somehow to mix in odd polemics on public transport sex, the science of moats, and the mysterious highland landscape.
Labyrinthine and surreal fiction is little-explored territory but those that dabble in such refinery will be delighted by this offering. Marshall’s polyglot mind and gymnastic vocabulary make this a novel to be savoured in miniature bites. In such, perhaps the author provides the best summary in his own words: “The Signatory is a phantasmagoric comedy that offers readers a cautionary tale of Scotland, the Scotland of dislocated nightmare, of demented cryptozoology, and it signifies the closest result to an end product if César Aira and Charles Portis collaborated on the screenplay for Withnail & I.”
“Kirk Marshall is a literary machine redlining audacity.”
— A.S. Patrić, author of The Rattler & other stories (Spineless Wonders) and Las Vegas for Vegans (Transit Lounge)
“In an age of endless diaspora, The Signatory draws new spatial patterns of the sciences across the Scottish Lowlands. We’re all looking for our own red swan round here. This is fierce work composed by the heart of a luchador versus everything else. Kirk Marshall is the real deal.”
— Jeremy Balius, author of wherein? he asks of memory (Knives Forks and Spoons Press)
“Kirk Marshall has plucked another beguiling and bristling tale from his beard of words. His writing is fiercely experimental with whimsical detours and stylistic roundabouts. Marshall works harder at the craft of writing than most people. He is a musketeer.”
— Eric Yoshiaki Dando, author of snail (Penguin) and Oink, Oink, Oink: A savage modern fable (Hunter Publishers)
The Golden Dawn (GD) system of magic is the main source of the esoteric and magical wisdom and techniques practiced in the West today. While the rituals and bare teachings of the tradition have been published for sixty years, the inner workings and esoteric keys that empower those rituals have largely remained unpublished or unexplored in contemporary works. By Names and Images remedies this lack by providing detailed and clear instructions for the visualisations, spiritual connections and energetic practices required for every major GD practice and ritual, as well as several unpublished techniques.
Focusing on the meanings and use of sacred names and practical techniques of visualisation, the book thoroughly explores meditation and divination, purification ritual, invocation and evocation, grades of initiation, and direct experience of the inner realms. Also covered is an explanation of the Qabalah and its use as a magical framework.
While the book is sufficiently practical and clearly explained to be of huge benefit to a newcomer to magic, its primary aim is to allow people already practicing the Golden Dawn system to do so more effectively, and to be touched by the amazing spiritual blessings the rituals offer.
“The book is the finest introduction to the Golden Dawn system yet penned and includes many never before seen highlights from the author’s years of oral instruction and training. A “must have” for every student of the Golden Dawn, beginning and advanced.”
– Tony DeLuce, Initiate of the Rosicrucian Order of the Golden Dawn
“Peregrin’s reader-friendly style of teaching displays a joyous sharing of knowledge that demystifies complex teachings, revealing the ‘heart and soul’ of the Work. This book will be a treasured addition to every Golden Dawn magician’s library.”
– Charles “Chic” Cicero and Sandra “Tabatha” Cicero, Chief Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Immediately following Britain’s declaration of war in 1939, Dion Fortune began a series of regular letters to members of her magical order, the Fraternity of the Inner Light, who were unable to hold meetings due to wartime travel restrictions. With enemy planes rumbling overhead, she organised a series of visualisations to formulate “seed ideas in the group mind of the race”, archetypal visions to invoke angelic protection and uphold British morale under fire. “The war has to be fought and won on the physical plane,” she wrote, “before physical manifestation can be given to the archetypal ideals. What was sown will grow and bear seed.” As the war developed, this was consolidated with further work for the renewal of national and international accord. For the first time the Fraternity’s doors were opened to anyone who wanted to join in and learn the previously secret methods of esoteric mind-working. With unswerving optimism she guided her fraternity through the dark days of the London Blitz, continuing her weekly letters even when the bombs came through her own roof.
Long out of print and much sought after, Skylight Press is very pleased to be re-issuing this fascinating and important book.
“A compelling portrait of an adept practising the magic of the light for the sake of the nation.” – Alan Richardson
The new book by Wendy Berg puts her acclaimed Red Tree, White Tree into practice. It shows how the Round Table was an actual, practical system of magic, demonstrated by Gwenevere, who was its prime interpreter within the court of the Round Table. Central to the book is the concept of five Faery kingdoms described in the legends, with which Gwenevere was closely associated: Lyonesse, Sorelois, Gorre and Oriande, about the central Grail kingdom of Listenois.
The book comprises a graded series of meditations, practical magical exercises, guided visualisations and a full ritual, which take the reader into each of the Faery kingdoms in turn, guided by Gwenevere, to experience the various challenges and gifts that they each represent. The fourth kingdom, Oriande, takes the reader into the Round Table of the Stars, an experiential journey through 12 constellations, which very neatly and remarkably demonstrates the continuing work of the Round Table into the future.
“A classic! Not only a lucid guide to faery dynamics in Arthurian and Grail legend but what to do about it, why, and how. A practical follow up to Wendy’s mind blowing Red Tree, White Tree. Highly recommended.” – Gareth Knight
“This is an important book … Whereas the main focus for mystics and magicians alike has always been the Holy Grail, Wendy Berg now draws our attention to the previously unrecognized complex and deeply powerful Mysteries of the Round Table. This contribution to the on-going practical work of the Arthuriad will be of great importance to not only Grail-Seekers but anyone interested in the Arthurian legends, the Western Mystery Tradition, Faery lore and the vital role of women in the Mysteries today.”
– Steve Blamires
“Wendy is unsurpassed at explaining Gwenevere’s true role in the Arthurian legends and the importance of Faery to our very existence … This book speaks to the Soul – read, experience, be joyous and be forever changed.”
— Maddy Johnson, Founder/Leader of S.O.N.G. Druid Order
Visions of the Drowning Man is the third book of poetry from Glaswegian poet, musician and visual artist, Dee Sunshine. This series of poems reads like the last chimerical oracles of a doomed soul, pawing at the final waves of some foisted ontology. Sunshine submerges the reader in loosely unravelling contrapuntal rhythms and the breathless language that swirls between anguish and release. But the journey down the Dantean whirlpool is not all despair; there is the topography of Blake’s archetypal grandeur to luxuriate in, as well as Baudelaire’s dolorous sensuality. It is the poetic language of asphyxiation.
This edition includes 21 spectacular full-page ink drawings.
“His work reminds me of Blake’s proverb about the road of excess leading to the palace of wisdom.” – D.M. Thomas
“… Dee Sunshine is the poetic equivalent of Hieronymus Bosch (one look at Gardens of Earthly Delight and you will understand).” – Des Dillon
“If Strathnaddair exists in another realm, and yet is also a real place that we have all visited, then so are The Arthur, The Merlin and all the rest real people, with addresses, postcodes, mortgages, debts, and all the troubles and triumphs of modern life. You can find them in any phone book, just look under your own name. For there are moments when, if only for the blink of an eye and on the canvas behind its lid, we become them…”
Alan Richardson is back with a ground-breaking esoteric satire, The Fat Git, with a rip-roaring cast of characters including Ambrose Hart, the Merlin of Strathnaddair; his reluctant nephew, Arthur; the mythical seductress, Vivienne, and the dastardly evil Vortig. Richardson takes no prisoners with his take on psychic pretentiousness, taking mythical simulacra and Arthurian archetypes to levels of absurdity, yet always displaying trenchant psychological insights and a sound background in the deeper aspects of occultism. This mix of mundane and fantastic, at wild odds with each other, is reminiscent of the work of Charles Williams, and perhaps one or two of his fellow Inklings. Richardson does not hold back from lambasting certain quarters with his iconoclastic wit but seems to be saying something that needs to be said. With great humour and panache, he provides a riveting burlesque of modern magic and the Arthurian Mysteries.
Few figures from myth and legend have impressed the imagination like that of Merlin, Archmage of the land of Logres, whose shadowy, compelling presence plays a key part in the tales of Arthurian legend and the Quest of the Holy Grail.
In this lively collection of essays, Gareth Knight traces the historical importance and esoteric influence of Merlin and the Grail tradition from its mythological beginnings right down to modern times. Topics covered include Dion Fortune’s grail work at Glastonbury, the Merlin archetype, the “Elizabethan Merlin” John Dee, the blue stones of Preseli (which were used to build Stonehenge), and the connection between Merlin and Tolkien’s figure of Gandalf. This new edition of the book is expanded and has three additional articles, including an esoteric analysis of the legend of Sir Gareth which has not been published before.
Native Bristolian now living in Colorado, Richard Froude is The Passenger, serving up a unique collection of writings that navigates both duelling states and hybrid forms. This poetic map charts the space between continents, where tectonic shifting plates transliterate a new amalgamated psychic zone between the root and newly adopted margins. Froude’s new/old world is peopled with dislocated figures in some absurd geo-spiritual collage. Following from his recently published Fabric, Froude continues to explore peculiar immigrant pathology on a journey that likely has no end.
The Passenger is a two-part work, previously published as The Margaret Thatcher Trilogy (Catfish Press) and The History of Zero (Candle Aria Press). Of the former, Robb St. Lawrence wrote tellingly in Phoebe Literary Journal: “Froude’s management of repeating themes, fugue-like in their harmonization, is powerful and suggestive. He extracts the certainties of voice from the declaratives he deploys and ultimately turns that certainty against itself. Froude’s collection reads as the utterances of a speaker who dwells always in the midst of the words to which he is giving voice, head turning one way and then another, startled to catch them wavering as they float by, but utterly convinced of the seriousness of his operation.”
“Richard Froude was grown from film stills. Above all he was a mirror. Much of his soil was gathered from conversation. Nothing is outside the screen. His house was built entirely of redirected rivers. This caused a book of between, a book of plywood and polymers, a book we are never finished reading.” – Eric Baus
“The wild mind and language keeps coming. Richard Froude always surprises and The Passenger is no exception. Characters with terrific allegorical names like Design and Zero romp in the skies. (“My limbs are cirrus clouds”). America is a linguistic map of fleeting yet marvellous accounting. “Here, existence as repetition,” we note as we converse within the Q&As and trajectories of futuristic twists and boggle. Kudos to this rich, hilarious mental acumen.” – Anne Waldman
It was the Celtic bards who laid down the foundation of inner wisdom that has come down to us as Arthurian legend, passing their traditions to the Arthurian romancers of the 12th and 13th centuries. Thus the Celts provide an immediate bridge that leads to a very ancient world. Focusing on the Brythonic Celtic material and the “Taliesin” cult whose lineage preserved the mysteries through the Mabinogion and other texts, Awen: the Quest of the Celtic Mysteries reveals the sources of the British sacred tradition right back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and, as some believe, further back still to even more ancient sources.
Awen is a Welsh word often translated as “inspiration”. However, in its fullness it has a much deeper meaning, an irradiation of the soul from paradisal origins. In the context of the Celtic folk-soul it casts the paradisal pattern by which the people and the land were harmonised. Through the aligned symbolism of the goddess, the sacred king and the stars, a compelling picture is built of a thriving mystery tradition which marries the constellations to the landscape, exploring as an example the interwoven five-fold and seven-fold stellar geometry of Moel ty Uchaf stone circle in North Wales, and the stellar alignments on the landscape of Cadair Idris.
Mike Harris is a well-established authority on the Welsh mystery traditions, having lived for many years in the area of Gwynedd where the Mabinogi and Taliesin myths arose, where he developed an acute sense of the Celtic and pre-Celtic mystery cults and their relationship with the landscape. He is the author of Merlin’s Chess, co-author of Polarity Magic, and founder of the Company of Avalon.
“The moonlight hums around them, bodies give way to ectoplasmic spirit-forces, Inside oozes delicately-featured Out, the thousand-petalled lotus blooms on their foreheads, cross-legged on the bed factory-time stops, time becomes TIME, even when Magda puts the lights on again and there’s this enormous spider on the window screen. She touches its underside with her fingernail and it disappears away, under the Hood of Moon.”
An intellectual confrontation with aging ontology meets with the insulating veneer of superficiality and consumerism. Deep enlightenment is somehow woven into fixations with the superficial and trashy, a protective skin graft to keep their eking existence intact. As escapists from escapism they are poured into a mould of black lycra and worship their outer sheen, coercing a second youth out of old conventionalised bodies. Their jungle paradise is full of beautiful colours and textures but most often expressed by its extremes of climate or its coterie of invasive snakes and spiders. The women experience a ‘coming out’ only to have to re-shut themselves in, cocooning within their middle aged paranoia, making silk purses while they plan face lifts and belly tucks. Their story is an experiential foray into a ménage-à-trois – three women opting out of the conventions of life and love to create their own sensual world on the fringes of the Brazilian jungle, a life which suspends desire, imagination and passion through a silky black dreamland of heightened reality.
The Dream of the Black Topaze Chamber shows the late Hugh Fox at his most sublime. With so many eminently quotable aphorisms and moments of bard-like inspiration he is able to explore the subtle underpinnings of relationships, the minute unspoken thought-flashes between friends, and the mute electricity of shared moments. He moves from the intimate to the universal seamlessly, where inert trivialities can explode into a political treatise or a sublime poetic reflection within a single breath. The Black Topaze Chamber becomes the hub of isolated souls finding some last spiritual union through the open eroticism of their bodies. What results is a lyrical novel of ecstatic sexual and sensual metamorphosis rendered through a poetic alchemy of Brazilian gemstones.
“I called it magic – Kathleen Raine called it poetry – J. R. R. Tolkien called it enchantment – others have called it a variety of things – from mysticism to mumbo jumbo. All I know is that it works – and that for better or worse I have lived most of my life by it.”
The esoteric autobiography of Gareth Knight covers six decades of magical work, beginning with his induction into the Society of the Inner Light in the early 1950s, his resignation and founding of his own magical group, and subsequent return to the Society. It traces his series of legendary Hawkwood meetings working with Arthurian, Rosicrucian, Celtic and Greek archetypes, the powers of Merlin, the Tarot, the Qabalah, the Goddess and Tolkien’s elves. His journey takes in the Christian mystical tradition and the shining allure of Faery – all told through the warmth, wit, wisdom and humour of one who has never been afraid to plough his own furrow.
For a period of ninety days in 1993, Gareth Knight received a sequence of communications which seemed to come from three inner plane communicators who had worked regularly with Dion Fortune for much of her life. Forming a series of teachings and practical meditations which later became important knowledge papers issued to the Gareth Knight Group, the scripts construct an elaborate and multi-faceted magical image of an “Inner Abbey” which serves as a focal point for a wide variety of magical purposes and the evolution of consciousness. As well as providing vivid magical forms and pathworkings within the structure of the abbey, the papers discuss at length the development and use of such magical images and how to establish the magical vortex which empowers them.
Three years later, while working with the Inner Abbey papers, Knight’s daughter Rebecca received a further series of communications which augment the original material and add a practical example of its use, culminating in the Chapel of Remembrance ritual, a magical vortex focused on spiritual resolution for war victims.
Now published together for the first time, the scripts provide a tried and trusted construct for personal magical work along with a fair amount of practical advice on occult and mystical techniques. It is open to the reader to follow up on this to find their own way into the Inner Abbey and come to a personal judgement of its experiential validity.
In Faversham’s Dream, notable theologian Anthony Duncan spins spools of modern spirituality into an enticing historical yarn.
Whether by fixed chance or divine providence, John Faversham comes across a volume of poems by a little known but enchanting 19th Century poet. Well rooted in the logical empiricism of his day, John is astonished to learn that this poet was not only a previous tenant of the very house in which he lives but also the sharer of a very specific dream.
Thus opens a psychic porthole through which protagonist and reader are transported alike, to an alluring parallel story in the 16th Century. The characters reach across time in the weaving of this magical parable, one that doesn’t conform to easy dualisms or a prescribed sense of ethics. The scientific mind must meet with its own Reformation of sorts as histories are made to confront themselves in the mirror.
John Selby described the late Father Duncan as “surprisingly open to the idea of inner spiritual directors” – an openness that was most readily explored through his fiction.
From London’s East End to Black Mountain College to the New York Art scene, Basil King can people a canvas like no other. Learning to Draw / A History is an evolving and transformative narrative sketch, alternately prose and poetry, that that serves to document a personal and yet collective history with a roving artist’s eye. Previously serialised in a number of small journals and zines, the work has met with some acclaim and Skylight Press is pleased to offer the first complete version in a new architectural alignment. Although from post-war Britain, King’s literary lineage harkens back to the projective verse style of Pound and Williams, sweetened through his working associations with the likes of Blackburn, Ginsberg and Baraka. The weaving of subjects in this work is not unlike the purposeful mixing of colours on an artist’s palette, which other notable poets have also been quick to praise:
“The poems, rather than acting as an extended narrative (which is what I’d at first assumed they would do) interlace, so that the structure is like an evolving web. What is at stake here is a history, but history being a fluid thing, is never going to appear the same no matter how often the survivors tell their tales. With each new piece of information the whole is altered: not just by addition, but by complication.” – Laurie Duggan
“Essential symmetry of experience which has gone against both the metronome and arrhythmia and beyond the ornamentation of inessentials in so much present writing. It helps to have had one’s hands covered with paint. Someone, after a long life, is standing at the door of some facet of wisdom.” – Nathaniel Tarn
“I called it magic – Kathleen Raine called it poetry – J. R. R. Tolkien called it enchantment – others have called it a variety of things – from mysticism to mumbo jumbo. All I know is that it works – and that for better or worse I have lived most of my life by it. Now seems the time to take stock of it – not so much in self justification – but in order to dust it off, look it up and down, and make some kind of appraisal of what it was all about. Was it all worth it? What did it serve? Was it a public service for the greater good or a fanciful diversion – a flight from the real in pursuit of the ideal?”
The long-awaited magical autobiography of Gareth Knight covers a long career in pursuit of the Mysteries, from the adventures of New Dimensions magazine to the calling of King Arthur, from the rituals of Sherwood Forest to the Somme, from the wrath of fellow ritual magicians to the shining allure of Faery.
This initial release is a clothbound hardback edition, limited to 150 individually numbered copies. Some copies will be signed. Available only direct from the publishers.
A re-issue of a remarkable little novella published in 1918, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle praised as “a unique experience”.
It comprises a fictionalised account of a psychic upheaval the young Margaret went through in 1913 while living in a disturbed house in Bayswater, London, with her sister. A casual experiment with table-turning triggered an intense and terrifying haunting, beginning with odd patches of shadow and light and soon developing into a full blown poltergeist manifestation – household items vanishing and reappearing in odd places, writing appearing on window blinds, and malevolent presences who began to materialise in various disturbing forms. Margaret Lumley Brown went on to become a significant figure in the Western Mysteries revival, and her remarkable mediumship gift was sparked by the experiences described in Both Sides of the Door.
Margaret Lumley Brown (1886-1975) is best known as resident trance medium at the Society of the Inner Light, where she took over the role of arch-pythoness after Dion Fortune’s death in 1946. In her youth she published this novella and a book of poetry, both originally under the pen-name of Irene Hay. This re-issue includes an Introduction by Gareth Knight and an essay by Rebecca Wilby explaining the locations and historical background to the story.
Springing from the heart of medieval France, The Romance of the Faery Melusine tells the story of Raymondin of Poitiers who accidentally kills his uncle while out hunting, and flees deep into the forest until he encounters a faery by a fountain. Struck by mutual soul-love, the faery Melusine agrees to help him, and to become his wife, on condition that he makes no attempt to see her between dusk and dawn each Saturday. On this basis the house of Lusignan magically thrives, until a treachery tempts Raymondin to violate his promise and shatter the magic which holds his faery wife to the human world.
First rendered into written form in a text by Jean d’Arras in 1393, the legend of the Faery Melusine is well established in France, where she is credited with having founded the family, town and castle of Lusignan. However, it is very little known in the English-speaking world, despite the fact that Melusine originally hailed from Scotland.
This new translation by Gareth Knight of André Lebey’s 1920s novel Le Roman de la Mélusine captures the freshness of Lebey’s retelling of the legend and brings the benefit of Knight’s expertise both in French literature and in the esoteric faery tradition. Gareth Knight is the author of The Faery Gates of Avalon and Melusine of Lusignan and the Cult of the Faery Woman.
Diddle is a sequence of absurd, impossible, but faintly connected stories about immigrants living in the USA that serves to deconstruct the “American Dream” mythos. Each story exemplifies the experience of life for outsiders in the US, along with the impossibility of absolute acculturation. A dozen short stories are each generated out of a line from the old nursery rhyme, laced with double entendres, multiple meanings and overlaps. Written by a poet with a rich touch of language, these tales question the very notion of identity and belonging, presenting instead the amalgamated state that most people are forced to live in.
Daniel Staniforth is the author of Weaver in the Sluices, a collection of poems also published by Skylight Press.
“Diddle is packed with stories that fully articulate their premise and characters, coil like a spring, and then come to fruition when you least expect it. They have a genuine and original rhythm, one that will make you think differently about what fiction can do.”
— Brian Evenson (Author of Fugue State, Last Days, and The Open Curtain)
“With the poise and spark of a master storyteller, Daniel Staniforth presents an alchemical phantasmagoria of loosely connecting figures moving like ghosts on the liminality of their adopted culture. Tempered always with warmth and wit, Diddle achieves a lightness of narrative touch which shimmers over the profundity of human experience for the detached and displaced.”
— Rebecca Wilby (Author of In Different Skies and This Wretched Splendour)
As the New Age seemed to explode into being from the late 1960s onward, everything spiritual had to be Eastern. Psychedelic artwork showed Glastonbury Tor overshadowed by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, or Stonehenge sending its energies up to Lord Krishna – imagery which Bill Gray summed up quite simply as “Balls.” He was working hard at making sure that our weakened (or slumbering) Western Traditions would survive.
Now, nineteen years after his death, a new manuscript has come to light representing some of his vintage work on the inner and outer practicalities of ritual magic. On what turned out to be his last visit to Bill, Alan Richardson was given a ring binder containing what seemed to be an occasional Journal-cum-Magical Diary for 1965. However it is far more than a journal; it is a detailed course in modern Qabalistic magic. Now published for the first time, this advanced but practical text will be of immense value to esoteric students and practitioners working within the Western Mysteries today.
At the editors’ request, all royalties from the sale of this book, and
any earnings of any kind accrued by them in relation to it, will be paid
to the charity Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood (CLICSargent).
“I am not of one persona, not of one mystery, but arrayed with intransigent neurons and timings. … I’ve splintered my own trajectory from a fissioning of threats which have issued from my great monomial leprosy. Which has created in me a raw ascensional vastitude, allowing me further millennia although the bodies about me will all have been destroyed. Because I speak out of blindness I am able to respond to spiritual extremity, which has transmuted dearth and soulless nightmare relations. Of course I am speaking from auto-causality, from an enriched alkaline insurrection, altricial, haunted, partaking cacophony from the cinders of nauseous aeronautics. Because I am Mexican and Seminole I breed schisms, I breed eloquent ransacking laws.”
Diary as Sin is the powerful and evocative story of a sand-blind girl, Rosanna Galvez. Confined to a private Catholic home in New Mexico, she unveils her beginnings as an incest baby – and moves through the odyssey beyond – with powerful incantatory language. Through poetic and often painful recall, Rosanna weaves a diary that will spellbind the reader with its imagistic and visionary prowess. Alexander cites Beckett, Bernhard and Goytisolo as an “ancestral trilology” for the work, living up to his forebears with some aplomb.
Will Alexander is known to the literary world as the avant garde poet that continually defies easy classification. Though a Los Angeles native, his work more resembles Breton, Paz, Cesaire, or Gascoyne more than anything in contemporary US poetics. Even such comparisons are glib as Alexander is that rare voice that must be experienced in its own right. For Andrew Joron he is “the fiery trickster leaping between frozen and fragmented realia, the universal translator of the multitude of tongues (both human and inhuman) emitted by the Signal of signals.” For Harryette Mullen he is “a poet whose lexicon, a ‘glossary of vertigo,’ might be culled from the complete holdings of a reconstituted Alexandrian library endowed for the next millennium.” For Nathaniel Mackey his “thicketed prose advances lexical ignitions of astounding angle and amplitude.”
The sea lay basking on a slant of ivory sand, spreading and stretching itself like a huge dragon that feels the sun; drawing long breaths, lazily conscious of its own bulk and the strength it had. It was of a wonderful colour, like the sky at dawn, like a lapis-stone bathed in honey.
“Heart of my Life,” cried the Son of the Gubbaun Saor, “it is not enough to be blue: if you could see the light filtering through the young leaves in a beechwood — that greenness as of fire, that motion, that pulse of colour, you would not bask so easily. Stir yourself, Heart of my Life!”
In early Irish society there existed an honoured group of people called the “Filid.” They preserved the native stories and they were learned in the magical arts. It is within this ancient tradition that Ella Young (1867-1956) lived her unique and creative life. In the late 1800s Ella began to gather the old tales that had been handed down from family to family for centuries. She lived among the rural folk in the West of Ireland and in the hills south of Dublin. As part of her devotion to Irish culture she learned Gaelic and, as a major contributor to the Celtic Revival, she taught classes in the language and the myths.
Ella’s spirituality reached deep into the land and into the heart of ancient Ireland. Others have called her a seeress, a druidess, or a witch – the magical name she gave herself was “Airmid” – the goddess of healing who drew her powers from the fertile green earth. She knew first-hand about the faery folk of Ireland – she heard their music and listened to their stories.
This new collection of her writings, edited and introduced by John Matthews and Denise Sallee, is a deeply magical and evocative tribute to Ella’s many gifts, featuring some of the best of her poetry and mythical storytelling.
“There is a spell upon her prose, a real enchantment, that echoes through the mind like remembered music…to read the prose books of Ella Young…is to move in a world of epic proportion, heroic deed and heroic character, set against a background of warm earth, where even the gods delight in the small intimacy of blossom and flower…These tales are told with great conviction, as if they were rooted in the experience of the storyteller.” — Frances Clarke Sayers
The world of magic is one of high imagination. In this wide-ranging historical survey Gareth Knight shows how the higher imagination has been used as an aid to the evolution of consciousness, from the ancient Mystery Religions, through Alchemy, Renaissance Magic, the Rosicrucian Manifestos, Freemasonry and 19th century Magical Fraternities, up to the modern era.
Knight considers magic as a middle ground between science and religion, reconciling them in a technology of the imagination, which properly used, can bring about personal regeneration and spiritual fulfilment. He uses Coleridge’s theory of the imagination as a basis for the validity of magic as science and art in its own right. Many systems and structures have come down through the ages slightly shoddy, misrepresented, maligned, misaligned. With this book a deconstruction becomes a recycling of raw material for the purposes of re-ordering and re-configuring – a righted prism, a shored up temple, a foundational re-ballasting.
“It is obvious from the beginning that we have here a work revealing the author’s spiritual maturity, a work with a definite message and structure, rather than the piecemeal gathering of snippets of information which often is offered in books with this sort of title, by inferior authors with little occult understanding.”
— The Hermetic Journal
“As a chronicle of the evolution of consciousness and culture in Western Europe this may be compared favorably to Bronowski’s Ascent of Man. The chapter on medieval magic, alchemy and the Visions of the Quest is particularly illuminating, covering as it does the Grail and Arthurian legends and the cult of the Virgin Mary.”
— Sangreal Magazine
Immortal Jaguar is Hugh Fox’s account of his experiences with the inner worlds and ancient powers unleashed by his use of traditional South American spiritual hallucinogenics. After consuming psychoactive plants in Peru he is gripped by visionary experiences and finds a dazzling magical world of Immortals opening up, a whirl of ancient knowledge pouring through his consciousness. On his return to academic life in the US he finds that having a shamanic gift which he is unable to switch off is something of a dangerous liability.
Part memoir, part archaeology, this fusion of visions and ideas into fictional narrative is among the most excitingly readable presentations of the spiritual underworld of the Andes and its expression through sacred hallucinogens. The vision extends outward across the ancient world through language and legend, all leading to a voyage to the house of the Sun-King – Tiawanaku in Bolivia. Fox, a major authority on the Pre-Columbian Americas, and a true visionary to boot, makes a compelling case for the connection of myths and cultures around the world in deepest antiquity.
“Hugh Fox has long been a legend in the annals of contemporary American
poetry, a poet who is unafraid to explore the deeper fodder of the human
psyche …. there are no barriers here for Fox is a shaman who walks through
walls, ignoring all social rules and regulations.” — B.L. Kennedy, Rattlesnake Review
In the early 1970s the redoubtable old occultist William G. Gray bicycled from his Gloucestershire home to the Rollright stone circle in Oxfordshire on a clear and full-mooned summer night. The visionary experiences he encountered on that night and in other similar visits resulted in the writing of this book, originally published by Helios Books in 1975 and now a classic among pagan and craft traditions. The text of the ritual is given in full, along with a discussion of its pattern and purpose.
The Rollright Ritual is a powerful initiatory rite for attuning oneself to a personal and communal path of spiritual growth, presented here with an explanatory text and a discussion of the spiritual lives and practices of the stone circle builders of Great Britain.
“Somehow, we ought to get away from ideas that a Standing Stone is only an outworn sign of our past, and see it as an upraised Finger of Fate beckoning us ahead toward our future. The Stone is not merely a memorial of bygone beliefs, but a pointer that should raise our highest hopes of finding faith in all the Life that lies ahead of us.”
William G. Gray is a well established author of many books on Qabalah and ritual magic. He also worked with many practitioners of traditional witchcraft including Doreen Valiente, Pat Crowther and notably Robert Cochrane, in whose memory The Rollright Ritual was written.
The original 1973 audio recording made to accompany the book, featuring the voices of William G. Gray and R.J. Stewart with powerfully evocative music, is also now available on CD from R.J. Stewart Books.
William G. Gray was a real magician, a kind of primeval spirit who worked his magic as an extension of the Life Force, not as a sop to ego. He reeked of psychism like he often reeked of incense, could give you the uncomfortable feeling that he could see right through you and beyond, and had been to places in spirit that we could scarcely imagine. Many of the books on magic and the Qabalah which appear today owe a huge if unrecognised debt to his pioneering writing. If there is anything evolutionary about the current urge to work with harmonic energies within the Earth and ourselves – whether through green eco-movements, the Celtic Revival or the Wiccan arts – then it is due in no small degree to the work that was done by an old bastard who lived near the bus station in a town in Gloucestershire.
Bill Gray met and worked with many of the most important figures in the British esoteric scene. His boyhood meetings with Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley are described here in his own words, along with his personal recollections of working magic with Pat Crowther, Doreen Valiente, Ronald Heaver, Robert Cochrane and many others. This lively, entertaining and authoritative biography tells the story of how a difficult, psychic child grew into a powerful adept who was equally at home in Hermetic and Craft traditions, and who challenged established assumptions within paganism and Qabalah alike and revitalised them from within – often falling out with those he worked with but maintaining their affection and respect. Generously illustrated with photographs, many never published before, the book also includes contributions by R.J. Stewart, Gareth Knight, Evan John Jones, Marcia Pickands and Jacobus Swart, plus, of course, W.G. Gray himself.
Margaret Randall is a feminist poet, writer, photographer and social activist born in New York City, and author of more than 80 published books.
“I think of these as my ‘impossible poems,’ poems made from the battered language they are leaving us with, the torn and devastated language, the words twisted to mean the opposite of what they have always meant… turning language back on itself, as if going home… “
Margaret Randall’s Something’s Wrong with the Cornfields offers an array of
sacred spaces, evocative landscapes, historical acts, and personal infusions. The poems augur around the ability to alternate between the universal and the obscure, between personal orbit and cultural aura. Some poems constrict like bloodward spirals…. and others unravel from their topical moorings. As with earlier volumes like Stones Witness, hers is a language in flux, where the willingness to yield alephs and symbols over time gives the poet a new scope to write beyond fixity.
‘Poet Margaret Randall says “these are the impossible poems.” But she goes ahead and says them because they are hers and they are from her cultural community in which they were forged. These are poems from her person as a female, child, adult, marginal, concerned, urgent, afraid, angry. And, yes, loving, gentle, strong, solid, yet, also, always afraid, angry. And even then, she says “thank you for caring, really caring.” To herself for reassurance and reaffirmation. And to the cultural-social-political source in this too-present world that angers us and makes us afraid. So these poems are not impossible because they are the voice we need to say. So we can truly and necessarily face the 21st century. And, like the poet, say what must be said. And do what must be done.’ – Simon J. Ortiz, author of Out There Somewhere, The Good Rainbow Road, from Sand Creek
‘Better than a memoir, Margaret Randall’s collection of unpublished poems, “Something’s Wrong with the Cornfields” celebrates the lives she has observed, of workers and oppressed peoples, as well as poets and intellectuals. The passion expressed in Meg Randall’s long career as a poet, editor, and activist comes tumbling out of this huge collection, brimming over the edges of every poem.’ – Diane Wakoski, author of The Diamond Dog
Originally published in 1975, Experience of the Inner Worlds is a classic magical textbook of the Western Mystery Tradition.
Covering a wide range of topics within a Christian-oriented Qabalistic framework, Gareth Knight explains the difference between magic and mysticism, natural and revealed religion, monism and theism. He also covers the practicalities, examining methods of inner plane communication, contact with the Masters, the ‘consciousness’ approach of Carl Jung, the vision of Dante and the archetypal power of the Hebrew alphabet – all within the context of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The book also contains powerful visualisation exercises and examples of communication with angelic and elemental contacts.
While this book can be used as a course of self-instruction, it is also an important modern reference book of magical theory and practice, and has been used for decades by students of Western Qabalah and magic.
Selected letters of occult author Gareth Knight, written over a period of forty years and to over seventy different people. These include learned discourse with academics, exchanges of strange experiences with esoteric colleagues, and advice to seekers trying to find their path. The letters reveal extraordinary, entertaining and personal details of the life and work of a contemporary occultist.
“One fault of many occult students is to read too much … all too often the new student is so interested in reading the latest thing that he never gets round to actually doing any of it.”
“I suppose you can at least feel what it is like to be ‘a lone voice crying in the wilderness’ … I think even John the Baptist, in time, would have packed up his traps, said ‘Sod it’ (or ‘Sod them’) and gone home, maybe to start a locust and wild honey farm.”
“I am, I suppose, trying to pass myself off as a grand old man these days, after a long career as a slowly maturing and now possibly decaying enfant terrible.”
“Your remark that the devil works by compromise and subtlety is altogether too glib a simplification. He works equally well through uncompromising ‘principles’ very often. The thing that bothers me though is your preoccupation with the insinuations of the devil, which seems at times to verge on ‘old maid’s insanity’. I get the impression – I hope wrongly – that I stand a good chance of being cast in the role of the serpent offering the poisoned, or forbidden fruit.”
“Daniel Staniforth’s book of poems Weaver in the Sluices is an intermixing of zones where the light of the waking body rises and transmixes its power with falling uranian whispers. These poems exist at the cusp where both realities overspill and condense, making fleeting forays into the unsayable.”
— Will Alexander, author of The Sri Lankan Loxodrome and Above the Human Nerve Domain
“In Weaver in the Sluices, Daniel Staniforth pulls variously from Bardic tradition, contemporary lament, and surrealist landscapes to ‘filter the nutrients of thought.’ The poet invokes erotic passion and political protest alike, all while navigating the ‘midriff of the sun,’ ‘star-widths of fancy’ and the ‘nape of the sea.’ In these poems, such wonders shift continually between foreground and background to portray a world where, ultimately, ‘the hollows subsume the shape.’ ”
— Elizabeth Robinson, author of Inaudible Trumpeters and The Orphan & its Relations
“Composer and musical producer as well as poet, what strikes me most profoundly about Staniforth’s work is his training as a musical instrument luthier, a skill as sensitive as it is intuitive. For it is this sensitivity and intuition, this fine-tuning, that is most uniquely present in Weaver in the Sluices. These poems spring resonant from the page. It is especially in the imagery of the longer pieces that the poet’s originality shines. A book to be savoured!”
— Margaret Randall, author of Stones Witness and Ruins
“There is a strong current of Englishness weaving through Daniel’s work and a deep connection with natural magic and the soul of the land, but it is diverse enough to take in the bleak and the gritty as well as his finely crafted dreamworlds.”
— Rebecca Wilby, author of In Different Skies and This Wretched Splendour
Visionary poet and archaeologist Hugh Fox excavates the fragile human psyche and its need for spiritual belonging in his new novel, Depths and Dragons. The reader will be swept along on a cosmopolitan excursion that skirts variant cultural scapes and languages as it lurches toward some unknown existential destination. The story is told evocatively through a clever synthesis of the tragi-comic and the author’s kaleidoscopic stream of consciousness style. Fox is a consummate master of collagist inner monologues that teeter somewhere between the conscious and subconscious without ever fully yielding to either.
The aptly named Miriam must undergo a journey of violent displacement between the worlds of Jew and gentile, rabbi and priest, orthodoxy and heresy. Along the way she is made to pay the ultimate price of familial sacrifice, degenerative diaspora, and the loss of her spiritual moorings. The novel battles states of inner and outer terrorism, from physical death to an exalted denial of the flesh, but all the while retaining precious wit and jocularity. The twists and turns of this self-pilgrimage lead to a surprising outcome, and one that will be well worth sharing.
“The latest from Hugh Fox, DEPTHS and DRAGONS, is a novel of obsessions: religion and sex; the quest for spiritual significance amidst the demands to satisfy lust; “why are we here?” interspersed with the drive to orgasm. Fans will smile at familiar Fox themes in this romp from Tel Aviv to Paris to Provence, through a Jewish woman’s conversion to Catholicism, flirtation with Albigensians, and spiritual re-emergence. Those new to Fox will be amazed by the depth and breadth of the poet-storywriter-reviewer-essayist’s knowledge of religion, Israel, and France and his ability to inhabit a complex female artist who travels from wife to mother to widow to burying her children in her search for meaning and belonging.” — Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
The relationship between human and Faery lies at the very core of the Arthurian stories. In this radical re-evaluation of the Grail legends, Wendy Berg brings some meaningful light to the ancient mythology of the British Isles, centred around the marriage of King Arthur to the Faery Gwenevere. Drawing upon numerous Arthurian sources and other related texts, from the Book of Genesis to The Lord of the Rings, she explores the magical ritual underpinning of the legends and their connection to the ancient stellar deities of Britain. “When these stories are read with the additional level of understanding that they are for the most part a record of the lives and relationships of Faeries and humans working together about the Round Table, they immediately become not only a great deal more interesting, but also acquire a new and vivid relevance for the present day.”
Wendy Berg has thirty years’ experience of all aspects of the Western Mystery Tradition and is an authority on Egyptian, Celtic, Arthurian and Grail magical traditions. She blends a thorough knowledge and experience of the Qabala and formal ritual magic with Christian Mysticism and modern Paganism. She currently runs the Avalon Group, the magical fraternity founded by Gareth Knight.
Wendy is co-author with Mike Harris of Polarity Magic: the Secret History of Western Religion (Llewellyn Publications, 2003) and was a major contributor to Alan Richardson’s Spirits of the Stones (Virgin Publishing Ltd, 2001).
“This is the most important and challenging book on Arthurian and Grail tradition for many a long year. Wendy Berg is not afraid to ask fundamental questions or to challenge facile assumptions that have for long simply ignored or plastered over many contradictions in the stories – particularly relating to Arthur’s queen and the origin and destiny of the Grail Hallows. Wendy has certainly changed the direction of my own thought and research into matters Arthurian and pointed me in the direction of the greatly ignored wealth of tradition that is held in the lore of Faery. The search for the true Grail and its custodians starts here!” – Gareth Knight
A novel by the author of This Wretched Splendour.
In the trenches of Loos and the Somme, two disaffected young subalterns, Munro and Tate, struggle to find humour and purpose in a rapidly disintegrating world; brothers unto death – with a firmer bond than anything in their real families.
A world away, in another time and place, Katherine is startled when she starts to recover memories – someone else’s memories – of the first world war trenches. These involuntary glimpses into the life of a lost soldier open up a visionary world and a search across the fields of northern Europe for the historical truth behind it.
A powerful story – fused with many realities.
The Inklings were a small group of friends and writers who set out to explore the ‘mythopoeic’ or myth making element in imaginative fiction.
The works of J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield have made a profound impact on the contemporary world. The Magical World of the Inklings reveals how each created a ‘magical world’ which initiates the reader into the hidden and powerful realms of the creative imagination.
The original edition, first published in 1990, met with great acclaim including an endorsement from Owen Barfield. This new edition has been substantially revised and expanded.
“Alan Richardson needs no introduction, as the biographer of various major figures on the occult scene, who also has a reputation as a highly amusing, well informed and down to earth speaker. His specialist knowledge is brilliantly exploited in this vivid evocation of the west country world of 1908 in the moving story of a psychically gifted young girl exploited and abused by an academic researcher. This finely observed tale not only captivated me but taught me a great deal about psychic and psychological fact and human nature in general. Highly recommended, and I look forward to more of the same.” – Gareth Knight
On Winsley Hill is set in a very real location, a plateau near Bath. Within the chronicles of old light ever stirring on the hill is the story of Rosie Chant, a young farmworker who, aged 17 in 1908, falls in love with a visiting American folklorist and archaeologist called Edward Grahl, triggering a fierce soul love which entangles her through nine decades.
Grahl recognises Rosie’s unique otherworldly talents. She is a visionary and can pick up impressions from objects and places. As part of his research for a book he is writing, he uses her to tell him about the era of standing stones, long barrows, and sacred wells. She doesn’t complain when he uses her in other ways, and through Grahl she gets to mix society life with the darker side of her gift, with devastating consequences.
An esoteric novel, with illustrations by Libby Travassos Valdez
In what appears on the surface to be a children’s story, Gareth Knight, using Tarot imagery, conducts a guided visualisation through the Tree of Life from the homely Cottage of Heart’s Desire to the Heart of the Rainbow … and back again.
Richard and Rebecca meet the Joker of their granny’s pack of cards, and guided by his dog, embark on an adventure through the Inner Worlds in search of their True Names. To those attuned to its deeper symbolism, the story forms an imaginative journey along the serpentine path of the Tree of Life, conducted via the Tarot archetypes, which when read with openness and imagination may serve as a powerful key to intuitive understanding of the Western Mystery Tradition.
Gareth Knight is one of the world’s leading authorities on modern esoteric studies and the Western Mystery Tradition, with a career as an author, publisher and lecturer which spans more than 50 years.
A full-length stageplay in two acts
Seven bored and demoralised survivors in a Flanders trench in 1916 find their lives transformed by the arrival of a new officer, David Cartwright. With his bright charisma and subversive approach to authority he inspires them to face their seemingly inevitable fate with courage, high-spirited stoicism and a sanguine sense of humour – the only defence against a bleak and mindless war.
“The standard first world war play is still RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End. But Rebecca Wilby, a 29-year-old from Cheltenham, knocks it into a cocked hat with This Wretched Splendour. Where Sherriff’s play is steeped in the public-school ethos, this one conveys the eccentric humanity and the tragedy of life at the front line.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian
“an engaging, affectionate foray into an alien world.”