…By looking for what might be called the soul of nature, mankind has eventually found out many secrets about its body. Maybe this has taken a long time historically, and undoubtedly we are still a long way from learning all there is to know in our cosmic corner, but unless we keep some sort of contact with the inside of our outside, we shall be in danger of losing touch with the only soul which might make our world worth living in – and then, we might as well all be lost.
The latest publication in our planned succession of important William G. Gray reissues is the seminal Seasonal Occult Rituals, a work that has been mostly out-of-print since its introduction by Aquarian Press in 1970. Seasonal rites are as old as the hills on which they were once practised by most of humanity. Periodically, in accordance with the natural tides of nature and the times indicated by the sun and moon, people came together to make dedicated representations of the things that bound them closest to the cosmic wheel of life.
In this absorbing work, William G. Gray demonstrates the continuing relevance of such practices in modern society. The actions of the rites are performed in a circle, which symbolises the cosmic course, the magical practices consisting of music, movement, meditation and meaning. Detailed scripts are given for conducting the quarterly rites of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, with complete texts of the chants, songs and invocations for each season. William G. Gray, known to many as Bill Gray, was a ceremonial magician with experience in many magical and pagan enclaves. As well as founding the magical order known as the Sangreal Sodality, he met or worked with a number of famous occultists such as Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Robert Cochrane, Gareth Knight and Doreen Valiente. Here is how the latter described Seasonal Occult Rituals upon its initial release:
“a welcome and valuable addition to the literature of Western occultism … clear and without pretentiousness.”
Skylight Press is thrilled to reintroduce this fabulous little book to the world, one that will appeal to experienced practitioners as well as newcomers to the idea of seasonal ritual. Gray presents four wonderful seasonal ritual templates that allow for variant practices depending on the spiritual identity of the group performing it. They will work perfectly for different schools of witchcraft and druidry, as well as more independent pagan or meditative groups simply seeking to honour nature and its cycles.
Seasonal Occult Rituals is now available from various retail outlets such as Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or direct from the Skylight Press website.