Tag Archives: Nigel Pennick

A History of Pagan Europe

Julianus reviews A History of Pagan Europe by Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, in the Bkwyrm archive.

A brilliant survey that every Pagan should read, this overview is an amazing look at “forgotten” history covering the whole continent of Europe from the Bronze Age to the present. Of particular interest are the many accounts of Pagan resistance, survivals, and even reconversion thoughout the “Christian” era. Scrupulous research and documentation make these passages far more powerful than anything in Margaret Murray. After reading this book Christianity seems like the bizarre obsession of a strange minority and I won’t be surprised if it rises to the top of the “most-banned” list. The only possible complaint about this book is that it is too short: each chapter could easily be expanded into a separate volume on its own, and I sincerely hope that future researchers will do just that.

The Book of Primal Signs

The Book of Primal Signs: The High Magic of Symbols by Nigel Pennick, from Destiny Books, an imprint related to Inner Traditions, has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher. This is a 2nd edition of Primal Signs: Traditional Glyphs and Symbols from Spiritual Arts & Crafts. Inner Traditions has a preview of the book online as well.

Nigel Pennick The Book of Primal Signs from Destiny Inner Traditions

“From ancient rock and cave art to the contemporary brand logos of politics and business, human beings have always created symbols to denote specific ideas, groups, or important objects as well as to convey deeper information than can be communicated in words. Many glyphs have retained their meanings over millennia whereas some have modern meanings vastly different from the original connotation. In this study of symbols, Nigel Pennick explores glyphs as agents of higher consciousness and ports of access to the collective unconscious, acknowledging the continuity of tradition, both deliberate and not, as well as how interpretations of some symbols, such as the swastika, have changed dramatically.

With more than 300 unique woodcuts, drawings, calligraphy, and photographs—many never before reproduced—Pennick examines ancient and enduring glyphs in detail, such as the circle, cross, eye, pentagram, fleur de lis, tree of life, and horseshoe, as well as several families of symbols, such as craftsmen’s marks, runes, symbolic beasts, human heads and skulls, and the sigils of Mammon. The author explains the multiple forms and uses of each from ancient times to the present day, reflecting their roots in the Western Mystery tradition. He explores the symbols of high magic such as the glyph of John Dee’s monad, those of folk magic such as the traditional cock on the weather vane, and the creation of modern glyphs such as the peace sign and the anarchy symbol.

Contrasting the hi-jacked use of power symbols in modern advertising with the vital role of symbols in traditional arts and crafts, Pennick reveals how symbols link the cosmic with the terrestrial and allow us to infuse the mundane with the numinous.” — back cover

The Book of Primal Signs

The Book of Primal Signs: The High Magic of Symbols [also] by Nigel Pennick, from Destiny Books, an imprint related to Inner Traditions, due in July 2014, may be of interest. This is a 2nd edition of Primal Signs: Traditional Glyphs and Symbols from Spiritual Arts & Crafts. Inner Traditions has a preview of the book online as well.

Nigel Pennick The Book of Primal Signs from Destiny Books

An in-depth study of the sacred meanings behind ancient and enduring symbols

· Explains the multiple forms and uses of symbols from ancient times to the present day, reflecting their roots in folk magic and the Western Mystery tradition

· Examines more than 40 glyphs, such as the cross, fleur de lis, and pentagram, as well as several families of symbols, such as craftsmen’s marks and runes

· Includes more than 300 unique woodcuts, drawings, calligraphy, and photographs—many never before reproduced

From ancient rock and cave art to the contemporary brand logos of politics and business, human beings have always created symbols to denote specific ideas, groups, or important objects as well as to convey deeper information than can be communicated in words. Many glyphs have retained their meanings over millennia whereas some have modern meanings vastly different from the original connotation. In this study of symbols, Nigel Pennick explores glyphs as agents of higher consciousness and ports of access to the collective unconscious, acknowledging the continuity of tradition, both deliberate and not, as well as how interpretations of some symbols, such as the swastika, have changed dramatically.

With more than 300 unique woodcuts, drawings, calligraphy, and photographs—many never before reproduced—Pennick examines ancient and enduring glyphs in detail, such as the circle, cross, eye, pentagram, fleur de lis, tree of life, and horseshoe, as well as several families of symbols, such as craftsmen’s marks, runes, symbolic beasts, human heads and skulls, and the sigils of Mammon. The author explains the multiple forms and uses of each from ancient times to the present day, reflecting their roots in the Western Mystery tradition. He explores the symbols of high magic such as the glyph of John Dee’s monad, those of folk magic such as the traditional cock on the weather vane, and the creation of modern glyphs such as the peace sign and the anarchy symbol.

Contrasting the hi-jacked use of power symbols in modern advertising with the vital role of symbols in traditional arts and crafts, Pennick reveals how symbols link the cosmic with the terrestrial and allow us to infuse the mundane with the numinous.” [via]

A History of Pagan Europe

A History of Pagan Europe by Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, a 2000 reprint paperback from Routledge, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Prudence Jones Nigel Pennick A History of Pagan Europe from Routledge

“The first comprehensive study of its kind, this fully illustrated book establishes Paganism as a persistent force in European history with a profound influence on modern thinking.

From the serpent goddesses of ancient Crete to modern nature-worship and the restoration of the indigenous religions of eastern Europe, this wide-ranging book offers a rewarding new perspective of European history.

In this definitive study, Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick draw together the fragmented sources of Europe’s native religions and establish the coherence and continuity of the Pagan world vision. Exploring Paganism as it developed from the ancient world through the Celtic and Germanic periods, the authors finally appraise modern Paganism and its apparent causes as well as addressing feminist spirituality, the heritage movement, nature-worship and ‘deep’ ecology.

This innovative and comprehensive history of European Paganism will provide a stimulating, reliable guide to this popular dimension of religious culture for the academic and the general reader alike.” [via]


Weiser Antiquarian new arrivals, including a Book of the Law from 1938

Weiser Antiquarian Books has posted a number of new arrivals, including a Book of the Law privately issued by O.T.O. in London from 1938, as well as other items of interest such as A E Koetting’s The Book of Azazel, Alexander Winfield Dray’s Nox Infernus and Liber Obsidian Obscura, Sabbatica compiled by Edgar Kerval, Liber Nigri Solis edited by Victor Voronov, Michael Cecchetelli’s Crossed Keys, Nigel Pennick’s The Toadman, and a number of Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare, and Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn related works as well as others of probable interest.