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It is not your fault

There is a harrowing feature of New Age thinking which is a spin-off of the idea that you design your universe in your head. The concept touted in the Kybalion is that if the universe is mind and you are mind, then you create your universe with your thoughts.  You can be anything you want to be if you visualise and think positively. But the converse of this is also true – if there is something wrong in your universe New Age thought is that it is because you put it there. A psychologist friend of mine once said that while he rather liked New Age people, he did notice that there was a strong element of self-blame amongst them. When trauma

Why whitewashing Crowley is a bad idea

Crowlyite followers are celebrating some anniversary of Aleister Crowley at the moment and there seems to be an effort to whitewash some of the Great Beast’s darker aspects. It is well known that Crowley was anti-Semitic, misogynistic, bully who tortured and exploited his students. However, there is now an attempt to paint him as a “man of his time” who was nevertheless attempting to push back the boundaries. This is the pop-culture Sergeant Pepper’s view of Crowley which has nothing to do with the real person, who would look with much contempt at those who see him as a counter-culture icon. One of the more obvious things that people have been doing is scouring what Crowley has written for “proof” that he was none

Summer edition of the Hermetic Tablet is out

The latest edition of the Hermetic Tablet it is out and it is a rather interesting issue. For those interested in the Golden Dawn Tradition there are loads of previously unpublished works by prominant Golden Dawn leaders and a complete correspondence course from a defunct modern Golden Dawn order which was established in the UK in the 1970s.  There is a review of the new edition of Israel Regardie's Golden Dawn book by Tony Fuller. And an analysis of the Golden Dawn's Coptic system, which required me to download a new typeface. There is a strong goetic current with essays from Aaron Leitch and Jake Stratton-Kent and some rather interesting ancient magic from Jayne Gibson, João Pedro Feliciano and myself. Here is the

Review: Sephirothic Odyssey – a Journey into magical Tarot

fool tarot

Reviewing a book, which describes a project you were involved in for seven years, is a bit like reviewing one of your own books. You are naturally going to be biased in favour of it and most of your readers are going to think you are in favour of it even if you are being objective. However A SEPHIROTHIC ODYSSEY: A Journey in Consciousness with the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot  by Harry and Nicola Wendrich [click on the link to buy it]  is important for anyone following the Golden Dawn system and Tarot in particular, so am going to have a stab at it. For those who came in late, Harry, Nicola and I were involved in creating the Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn evolves

The Golden Dawn is evolving and there there is no right or wrong as it changes into what ever direction its teachers take it. When we look at the Golden Dawn system there appears to be a big pile of papers. Indeed so called “bible” of the group “the Golden Dawn” is huge book.  However the pile of papers is just the tip of an iceburg of material which has been generated by Golden Dawn people since 1888. All these documents offer the work of people at the time who were working through the system and some took the system into some interesting directions. It is fairly clear that for all the amount of paper that exists on the Golden Dawn

HOW PHILOSOPHY HELPS MAGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Humans are extremely bad at learning from the past, yet at the same time they cling onto concepts which are long out-of-date. This is caused by the way we learn. For evolutionary reasons humans had to learn a lot of things very quickly and our brains are hardwired to accept the first idea we are told from a "perceived authority" without question. This is logical as we do not want to distrust everything and most things we will need to understand the first time. Besides much of what we learn will not be used again for some time. When a solution turns out to be wrong it takes effort to remove it. This why we often continue to believe things which are

Mixing religions in Magic

  When I was first training it was drilled into me that you should never mix the godforms of different traditions.  I saw the concept in a Ritual 101 book written by Murray Hope.  Some godforms could be mixed and Hope helpfully gave a list. You could for example mix in Cabbalistic Angels with any Godform system as neither side seemed to mind. Greek and Roman pantheons tended to work ok, but others should be kept apart as mysteries within their cultural tradition and if you mixed Roman with Egyptian you would get a jarring of energy. At the time it made absolute sense and any rituals I wrote were geared to being either totally Egyptian, Celtic, Babylonian etc.  However as my magical

THE SUMMER EDITION OF THE HERMETIC TABLET IS OUT

The Hermetic Tablet is a bi-annual Journal of Western Ritual Magic where people, from all traditions, share their experiences. Some of the contributors are well known names in the occult field, while others are just those who want to share knowledge and experiences with the public. This issue includes articles written by the following writers: Jake Stratton-Kent, Mike Magee, Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero, Aaron Leitch, Christine Zalewski, Nick Farrell, Paola Farrell, Jayne Gibson, Tony Toneatto, Michael Straw, Samuel Scarborough, Tony Fuller, Wynn Westcott, Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen , Morgan Drake Eckstein, and Carman Lawrick. The Journal covers a wide range of different subjects all related to Western Ritual Magic, including Goetia, Golden Dawn, Wicca, Theurgy, Angelic Magic, Ancient Egypt, and

WHARE RA AND THE MODERN GOLDEN DAWN

A debate is starting to happen on whether or not the New Zealand Whare Ra order, which was the last Golden Dawn group with a direct lineage to the original order was better than the modern versions which have emerged since the 1970’s. The danger is that both sides can see themselves as better than the other, which would be completely untrue. For those who came in late, Whare Ra’s existence was first made known in a book published by Pat Zalweski in the 1980s.  Zalewski, and his wife Christine were not a members of Whare Ra but was exclusively trained by one of its best Heirophants Jack Taylor. Later it emerged that Tony Fuller was also trained by a Whare

USING PLANETARY HOURS

Planetary hours have been mostly seen as a restriction in modern magic rather than a tool which can focus and strengthen a ritual. It is said that you should not do a ritual if you are going to end up doing it on the wrong day. The best time to do a Saturn ritual would be the hour of Saturn on Saturday. However this is a simplistic and inflexible approach. What you need to work out is what your ritual is really doing and what planetary powers are involved.   So for example you might what to do a binding spell to prevent someone taking a certain course of action.  Logically Saturday would be a great day for a binding spell.  But would we

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