Tag Archives: Practice

Remember the first rule of magick: if it works, use it; if it doesn’t, drop it. There’s no need to complicate your practice with a distracting level of concentration. There aren’t any shoulds in sex magick, just choices.

Brandy Williams, Ecstatic Ritual: Practical Sex Magick

Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe

Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions by H R Ellis Davidson, the 1988 paperback from Syracuse University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

H R Ellis Davidson Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe from Syracuse University Press

“Most people know of Valhalla, the World-Tree and the gods of Norse mythology, or the strange hunts and voyages of the ancient Irish tales. Yet few people realise the significance of the similarities and contrasts between the religions of the pre-Christian people of north-western Europe.

The Celts and Germans and Scandinavians has much the in common in their religious practices and beliefs, and this is the first serious attempt that has been made to compare them. There are striking resemblances in their ideas about battle-goddesses and protective spirits, holy places, sacrificial rituals, divination and ideas about the Other World; and Myths and symbols in pagan Europe poses questions like: do such parallels go back to early times or are they owning to late Viking contact?

Hilda Ellis Davidson has worked for many years on pre-Christian Scandinavian and Germanic religion and now compares them with the Celts from the background of previous studies, using evidence from archaeology, iconography, later literature and folklore, in a search for basic patterns which will add to our knowledge of the early peoples in Europe.

Aimed at teachers and libraries but also accessible to students of history, religion and Celtic, Norse and German languages and cultures.” — back cover


A Way of Seeing

A Way of Seeing: Perception, Imagination, and Poetry by John Allison, the 2003 first edition paperback from Lindisfarne, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

John Allison A- Way of Seeing from Lindisfarne

“We usually think of imagination as a fanciful, whimsical faculty that has little to do with reality and truth. This beautifully written little book by the poet John Allison shows how ordinary imagination can be intensified to become an organ of cognition — a path of development to real knowing.

John Allison shows how poetry — poetic knowing and seeing — can reveal aspects of the world invisible to science. Three lucid chapters describe the path to true imagination, where attention is the key. First we must practice is, then we must become aware of the processes involved in it. Learning to experience ‘poise,’ we must come to terms with the shadow — all that says ‘No’ in us. The combination of attention, equanimity, and assent opens the world in a new way.

Allison then examines how poets have actually developed and practiced the kind of ‘deep seeing’ that ‘image work’ involves. For this he draws on Shakespeare, Blake, Coleridge, Keats, Goethe, Novalis, Ruskin, Hopkins, Rilke, and Octavio Paz.

The book concludes with a sequence of the author’s own poems that exemplify the philosophy and practice he has been unfolding.” — back cover

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Geosophia I

Geosophia: The Argo of Magic I [also] by Jake Stratton-Kent, Encyclopaedia Goetica Volume II, the 2010 Bibliothèque Rouge paperback from Scarlet Imprint, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Jake Stratton-Kent Geosophi I from Scarlet Imprint

“Jake Stratton-Kent’s master piece Geosophia: the Argo of Magic traces the development of magic from the Greeks to the grimoires. This further volume in the Encyclopaedia Goetica series is both a scholarly and practical work for the modern magician. JSK takes the role of psychopomp, guiding us along the voyage of the Argonauts and fearlessly descending to the depths of Hades. His journey reveals a continuity of practice in the West which encompasses the pre-Olympian cults of Dionysus and Cybele, is found in the Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri and flows into the grimoires. his revolutionary thesis exposes the chthonic roots of modern magic so that we can reconnect with the very source of our ritual tradition.” — back cover

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

British Poets and Secret Societies

British Poets and Secret Societies by Marie Roberts, the 1986 first US printing hardcover from Barnes & Noble Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marie Roberts British Poets and Secret Societies from Barnes and Noble Books

“A surprisingly large number of English poets have either belonged to one or other secret society, or been strongly influenced by its tenets. one of the best known examples is Christopher Smart’s membership of the Freemasons, and the resulting influence of Masonic doctrines on A Song to David; a study of this work in the light of Freemasonry has long been a desideratum. but many other poets have belonged to, or been influenced by (since in many cases membership is hard to prove) not only the Freemasons, but the Rosicrucians, Gormogons and Hell-Fire Clubs. This study concentrates on five major examples: Smart, Burns, William Blake, William Butler Yeats and Rudyard Kipling. A number of other poets are considered in the course of the book, among them Churchill, Goldsmith, Scott, Shelley and Wilde. The author asks the question why so many poets have been powerfully attracted to the secret societies, and considers the effectiveness of poetry as a medium for conveying complex secret emblems and ritual. She shows how some poets believed that poetry would prove a hidden symbolic language in which to reveal great truths. The longevity of such symbolism as a poetic theme, particularly in Freemasonry, is particularly illuminating. The beliefs of these poets are as diverse as their practice, and the book is an unusually stimulating light on several major poets.” — flap copy

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Pax Hominibus Bonae Voluntatis by Aleister Crowley in International, Dec 1917.

“I think it will be clear that in order to read the man’s mind, you must put away from you anything like emotion. You are there to kill him efficiently, and you should practice the detachment of the surgeon, who does not wring his hands and wail when he sees the patient on the operating table.” [via]

Hello magicians, squatters, artists, journalists, poets, experimental geographers, inventors, bicycle healers, hactivists and resistance scholars

Along the lines of having an engaged practice, you may be interested in this call specifically looking for magicians and others as part of a coordinated day of action on February 29th sent me by Katherine Ball, an activist in Portland, OR:

Hello magicians, squatters, artists, journalists, poets, experimental geographers, inventors, bicycle healers, hactivists and resistance scholars,

I am writing to invite you to participate in a coordinated day of direct action to shut down corporations on February 29th: www.shutdownthecorporations.org. The corporations, which run our government, place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and domination over equality. In this justice, liberty and a livable future are casualties. This is a call for a national day of direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations.

There are over 50 cities across the United States planning to take direct action on this day (full list at bottom of this page), and as of this week Mexico City has also joined.

This email is a call out to creative individuals and groups to also take direct action on this day. Just imagine what an outpouring of creative actions could do! I have listed some of the groups/individuals receiving this email at the bottom.

If you are interested in participating and want to make your participation public, there is a form on the bottom of the contact page. If you prefer to keep your participation autonomous, I thank you and wish you the best of luck. If you cannot take direct action, if you could use your means to further these ends, I would greatly appreciate it (such as writing an article, sending the call to action out to your network, etc). Any action—small or large—in solidarity would be appreciated.

This call comes from the Action Lab, a spokescouncil in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Thank you for your time and your wonderful work in the world,
Katherine

Rainbow Snake Altar

Rainbow Snake Altar
Rainbow Snake Altar, originally uploaded by Jacqueline Elaine Gomez.

 

“Rainbow Snake Altar for the Aquarian New Moon.”

 


Building the Rainbow Snake altar with Ariana.

 

The Hermetic Library visual pool is a visual scavenger hunt for images of a living Western Esoteric Tradition.

Images of your ritual or ritual space, images of sigils or tools, showing off your own library or special volume from the restricted stacks, sacred spaces and places, esoteric artefacts and installations, inspired paintings and people – these and much more are part of the culture and practice of magick.