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Oragean Modernism: a lost literary movement, 1924-1953 (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

Oragean Modernism is a fascinating display of critical and scholarly detection. It shows, the extensive influence that G. I. Gurdjieff’s writing and teaching have had on 20th century American literature. I recommend it as irresistible for all readers with an interest in either American literature, Gurdjieff or both. Sophia Wellbeloved

 

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The info below comes from ‘Amazon About this Book’

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DOL63OE#_

 

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In 1920 P.D. Ouspensky electrified the cultural avant-garde from New York to Moscow with his fourth-dimensional ideas about cosmic consciousness. His book Tertium Organum was a manual for becoming a Superman. He said:

 

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Two hundred conscious people, if they existed and if they find it necessary and legitimate, could change the whole of life on the earth. But either there are not enough of them, or they do not want to, or perhaps the time has not come, or perhaps other people are sleeping too soundly.”
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In 1925 the American followers of A.R. Orage rose to this challenge. Believing that they were the only force that could save the Earth from destruction, they carried out a master plan steeled by a new morality that faced head-on “the terror of the situation.” Fearlessly determined to intervene in world history, they infiltrated the American Communist Party and the publishing industry.
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The movement included Carl Van Vechten, Djuna Barnes, Nathaniel West, John Dos Passos, Arna Bontemps, Dawn Powell, James Agee, Maxwell Perkins, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, C. Daly King, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Dorothy West and many more.
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In Oragean Modernism, a lost literary movement Jon Woodson reveals the coded contents of their published writings—which were many of the stellar works of 20th century American literature.
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Jon Woodson’s Oragean Modernism: a lost literary movement, 1924-1953 (2013) is the sequel to his path-breaking intervention in Harlem Renaissance studies, To Make a New Race: Gurdjieff, Toomer, and the Harlem Renaissance (1999).

 

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Beginning with A Critical Analysis of the Poetry of Melvin B. Tolson (1979), Woodson has investigated complex modernist texts by African American writers, searching for the key to their contradictions, enigmas, and spellbinding literary mastery. Widening the scope of his inquiry to include Lost Generation authors, Woodson has revealed an unprecedented conspiracy of writers, editors, publishers, artists, intellectuals, and technocrats—all united in a secret plan to change the course of world history in order to circumvent a global disaster. Fortified by belief in their super-humanity, the Oragean Modernists were convinced that only they could redirect the fate of the Earth.

 

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Writing titanically, they produced a vast body of esoteric literature to disseminate their message to their contemporaries, and to future generations—should they fail. Comprising many popular and canonical literary works, the Oragean Modernist writings are nevertheless some of the most controversial and difficult literary works of the 1920s and 1930s. For the first time, Woodson’s iconoclastic study places these works in a context that gathers them into a narrative that is daring, sweeping, and intellectually electrifying.
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This is the best scan of what was going on in those crucial years, 1924–1953. His book is a major contribution to the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual history of the Harlem Renaissance and all the wells it drew from.O
Paul Beekman Taylor
Gurdjieff Historian
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clIck on

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00DOL63OE/ref=sr_cr_hist_5?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addFiveStar&showViewpoints=0

 

for my online review of Oragean Modenrism

 

contact me on s.wellbeloved@gmail.com if you’d like to send me a review.

 

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Jon Woodson is a Howard University emeritus professor of English, Fulbright lecturer in American Literature, novelist, and poet. He is the author of :

 

Anthems, Sonnets, and Chants: Recovering the African American Poetry of the 1930s, OSUP, 2011

 

To Make a New Race: Gurdjieff, Toomer, and the Harlem. Renaissance, UP of Mississippi, 1999

 

A Study of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22: Going Around Twice, Lang, 2001.

 

 

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Written by SOPHIA WELLBELOVED

September 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Nevill Drury’s “Pathways in Modern Western Magic” – reviewed by John Robert Colombo

Modern Western Magic

Nevill Drury’s “Pathways in Modern Western Magic” is reviewed by John Robert Colombo

This is a hefty and handsome piece of bookmaking, something of a tome, a trade paperback that measures six inches by nine inches. It is bulky for it is one and one-quarter inch thick, with pages glued together rather than stitched, and x+470+6 pages in length. There is an informative introduction, a total of 17 substantial chapters, a section of interesting biographical notes about its contributors (complete with email addresses), and a detailed 27-page index. (The index has a passing reference to Grey Owl, but no reference to P.D. Ouspensky; there is a passing reference to the Great God Pan, but no reference to G.I. Gurdjieff.)

The tome is a collection of accessibly written though unsparingly earnest scholarly papers, each paper with its own endnotes and references, some quite extensive. While there is no list of illustrations, maybe thirty-five black-and-white photographs and drawings appear here and there to illustrate general references in the articles. It is a book to be read intermittently and to be  consulted from time to time, should the reader be interested in what the editor identifies as “modern Western magic” and should the aspect of that topic of interest be covered by one of the book’s contributors.

The publisher is Concrescent Press, a relatively new imprint from Seattle, Washington, founded in the late 1990s but only now commissioning and publishing books that may be described as “esoteric.” I will refrain from  defining that term, or trying to determine its definition by the publisher Sam Webster, but I will quote how he has described the aim of the press: “Our intention is to build a community of practice and scholarship primarily focused on Pagan Magic.” So it seems that Concrescent Press is an activist, semi-academic imprint that is beginning to specialize in the production of quality books of interest about a subject that is marginal in interest and perhaps imaginal in nature.

Scholars, take note: It is open for business! The publisher even offers a short preface which begins like this: “‘Pathways in Modern Western Magic’ launches a new imprint in the Concrescence family of books. This imprint specializes in peer-reviewed works of scholarship in the fields of Esotericism, Pagan religion and culture, Magic, and the Occult. Concrescent Scholars present their views from within and without the Academy. Here will be heard the Voice of the Academic, and also the Voice of the Practitioner, the native of the sometimes alien, sometimes intimate, spaces of the Esoteric.” My attention was caught by the distinction between “academic” and “practitioner” (both curiously capitalized) and I will refer to that distinction or dichotomy later in this review.

In passing, it is interesting to note that one of the imprint’s first publications is Sam Webster’s own title “Tantric Thelema.” So the press seems to have a definite orientation towards Aleister Crowley and “Crowleyanity” and his notion of magic as change in conformity with will. Although the word “concrescent” and its cognate “concrescence” are not widely used, they have a recognized meaning in biology to refer to the “growing together of related parts, tissues, or cells” or simply “the amassing of physical particles, or cells.” It presumably means the opposite of “excrescence”!

A book’s index speaks volumes about that title, and this index supplies a clue concerning who’s who and what’s what. For instance, there are 7 page references to Sigmund Freud; 18 to Carl Jung; 36 to Rose and Aleister Crowley. In the same vein, Consciousness and God run neck to neck with 90 and 91 references respectively, only to be outdone by tireless Time (with 128 references). The highest score goes to Magic/Magick at 271 references, so that for every two pages of the book there is one mention of the magical arts.

What the book’s index describes is dramatized by the book’s table of contents. Simplifying the principle of organization, the reader who stays with the text from page 1 to page 470 will encounter chapters that concentrate on the following subjects or topics: two theoretical considerations of esotericism in the West in our time; two discussions of Wicca; three analyses of what is called “Neo-Shamanism” and “Seidr oracles”; two deliberations about the Golden Dawn and Crowley’s “Thelemic Sex Magick”; one chapter on “Dragon Rouge” or the “Left-Hand Path”; three chapters on the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, and “the Magical Life of Ithell Colquhoun”; a consideration of “two Chthonic Magical Artists” (Austin Osman Spare and Rosaleen Norton); one section on “Chaos Magics in Britain”; a forward-looking discussion of “Technoshamans and Cybershamans”; and one section on “a Hybridized Tantra Practice.” That is a lot to digest.

For the record, here are the names of the contributors of those chapters (sidestepping the multiple contributions made by the book’s editor): Nevill Drury, Lynne Hume, Dominique Beth Wilson, Nikki Bado, Marguerite Johnson, Andrei A. Znamenski, Robert J. Wallis, Jenny Blain, Thomas Karlsson, James R. Lewis, Don Webb, Amy Hale, Dave Evans, Libuše Martínková, Paul Hine. The majority of these scholars are widely published, they hold advanced degrees (some in interdisciplinary studies), and they mainly teach in departments of Anthropology, History, Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology, etc., with universities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. I did not spot a single psychologist or psychiatrist, or any professor who teaches a course in Literature. (I think the latter is an interesting observation.)

The names of all of the contributors are new to me, including that of Nevill Drury, whom I should have known about, who is described as “an independent researcher whose specialist interests include contemporary Western magic, shamanism and visionary art.” Experienced as a book editor and publisher in his native Australia, he holds a doctorate on the Western esoteric tradition from the University of Newcastle. His book “Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic” was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He contributes a couple of chapters and writes in a way that is at once accomplished and appealing.

These details may be of incidental interest, but they set the stage for the discussion that follows. To use the distinction introduced by the publisher, the reviewer of this publication who is an Academic would have to relate it to academic publications by Ronald Hutton, Marina Warner, Joscelyn Godwin, Jeffrey J. Kripal, and other distinguished scholars who have contributed original research to the field, especially to the SUNY Press series on Western Occultism, whereas the reviewer who is a Practitioner would find it necessary to relate it to handbooks, manuals, grimoires, and half the books issued by Llewellyn Publications, Samuel Weiser Inc., and Watkins Publishing. It is not often that the twain do meet.

It is unlikely there is a single reader of this review who has this dual background – including the writer of the present review! – so a reasonable course to take here is to comment on each chapter to assure the prospective reader that the book is serious in intent, in interest, and in information. As the same time I have yet to be convinced (a) that there is a single chapter that is indispensable reading for the light it sheds on its subject, and (b) that the chapters dovetail in some unexpected way to form a whole that suggests that there is a paradigm for a new way to understand the subject matter and its supposed cohesiveness. In sum, the value of the collection is about equal to the sum of its parts. 

I have somewhat the same reaction to this book as I had when in 2008 I reviewed for this website Joscelyn Godwin’s The Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery Traditions. The thread in that title is tangled and frayed and knotted: one thing happens after another without causal connection, though its knowledgeable and perceptive author offered his own “authoritative” voice to the puzzles and the mysteries that he described and discussed. This same problem was faced by Manly P. Hall way back in 1928 when, at the tender age of twenty-seven and all by himself, he researched and published The Secret Teachings of All Ages, which is the great-mother and mother-lode of all such books as these. (I also reviewed Hall’s work for this website.) Perhaps the fault here lies in the nature of the so-called Western tradition of esotericism, which includes magic, for the “tradition” seems to be discontinuous, a helter-skelter of false starts and abrupt stops. There seems to be no transcendent principle at work. Such, anyway, seems to be the fate of books that comprise the library of paradoxography.

Pathways in Modern Western Magic” might better be retitled “Footpaths in Modern Western Magic.” There is something makeshift about the choice of what is included and what is excluded. A “pathway” suggests a well-defined religious goal, like a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, whereas a “footpath” suggests a walk through the woods in Indian file to no discernible destination, though a lot of ground is covered. No mention is made of some related subjects – including psychical research, parapsychology, psychokinesis, imaging techniques, the Algonkian oracular complex, consciousness studies, LSD, neuroimaging, brain research, consciousness studies. For instance, there is a lot that is “magical” and even “magickal” about UFOs, as Jung knew, but not in these pages.

Mythopoesis is short-changed, and the writers fail to turn to the literary imagination to illustrate their points. Perhaps it never occurred to them, though assuredly many of their points were memorably made by poets like William Blake (who goes without a single reference in the index) and Kathleen Raine (who is merely footnoted). It might be said (by me anyway) that Nevill Drury, the editor, is so intent on covering serious subjects of less-than-usual interest, that he neglects popular subjects of more-than-passing interest. To his credit he commissioned the majority of these substantial studies; only a few of which seem to have received prior publication. To the extent that the book is devoted to “magic/magick” in theory and practice – or given the academic tone, to theoria and praxis – it is detailed, and some of the chapters are comprehensive. The historical record gives way to the contemporary record and the 20th and 21st centuries have been rich ones indeed to innovations in this field (or in these pastures). At times I visualized Mages collected around tables and shrines and altars looking for all the world like historical reenactors, thuribles at the ready!

What I really miss are two chapters that should be written: one chapter devoted to contemporary churches in the West with their fundamentalist religious practices which are magical to the core (prophecy, faith-healing, speaking in tongues, revelators, etc.), and another chapter devoted to the depiction (as distinct from the description) of the magical arts in the literature and film of our time and place. But the first chapter would have to be written with great tact, and as for the second chapter, there is probably an unwillingness to regard any of the rituals and relationships and correspondences of these “magicks” as the products of the literary mind and the productions of the fictional imagination. This I feel is a loss (but it is also the subject for another article).

To suggest the seriousness and enthusiasm that are characteristic of this book, here is a survey of it chapter by chapter, with one or two impressions of each chapter, taken almost at random to suggest the richness in research, thought, and expression.

Introduction: Nevill Drury reminds us of the anthropological distinction between “etic” accounts and “emic” accounts — the former being accounts presented from the outside, the latter being accounts presented from the inside. Scholar or practitioner, self-exploration and spiritual renewal, these matters are stressed. The foundation is well and truly laid.

Chapter 1: “Lifting the Veil.” Lynne Hume pursues the characteristics of the “emic” approach and along the way examines altered states of consciousness, emotion, imagination, experience, epistemology, etc. The essential irrationality of magic is understood and not dismissed.

Chapter 2: “The Visual and the Numinous.” Dominique Beth Wilson examines the experience of the “mysterium tremendum et fascinans” that is the basis of Pagan (capitalized) and Neopagan practice. The activities of the Applegrove coven in Sydney, Australia, are described in interesting detail.

Chapter 3: “Encountering the Universal Triple Goddess of Wicca” is a discussion by Nikki Bado of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. There is a detailed consideration of the place of dichotomy and of evolving paradigms. What is required is that we “learn to see the shifting play of light and dark, to see dynamic polarities rather than dichotomies.”

Chapter 4: “Away from the Light.” The dark aspects of the goddess have attracted the attention of Marguerite Johnson who examines in some detail Wicca, Neo-paganism, and Witchcraft. I like the discussion of the primal “egregore” which “denotes a collective force that is made manifest by meditation and ritual.”

Chapter 5: “Neo-Shamanism in the United States,” contributed by Andrei A. Znamenski, mentions Mircea Eliade and Carlos Castaneda but concentrates on Michael Harner and Native American shamanism. The idea is floated that “anti-structure” is “an ideal structure for contemporary educated Westerners, who are too skeptical to commit themselves to group values and who, at the same time, long for spiritual experience.” (This is a variation on the theme of “the religion of no religion” with respect to Esalen.)

Chapter 6: “Neo-Shamanism in Europe.” Robert J. Wallis considers the “construct” of the notion of shamanism which has been part of European consciousness for the last two centuries and part of its practice for millennia. One section-heading reads: “Everyone’s a shaman: Decontextualising and universalising shamans.” There is a reference to “entheogen,” “to inspire the god within,” and the psychedelic nature or component of the experience.

Chapter 7: “Seidr Oracles” is the work of Jenny Blain and it refers to North European shamanistic work. Seers and seeresses here are heavily influenced by the Old Norse sagas, and the chapter introduces words and phrases like “Heathenry and Earth Religions.” Of all the chapters, this one is probably the most descriptive and informative for the lay reader.

Chapter 8: “Magical Practices in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” by Nevill Drury is a one-stop yet quite-thorough history of this most-influential magical order, one that attracted and influenced Aleister Crowley and W.B. Yeats, among other writers. There is much discussion of its Tree of Life, symbolism, correspondences, and visionary practices.

Chapter 9: “The Thelemic Sex Magick of Aleister Crowley” is also by Nevill Drury and it tells the reader all that it is necessary to know about this mage, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and the “elixir” of his “sex magick.” There is more information and theory in these pages than there are details about practice and procedure.

Chapter 10. “The Draconian Tradition” is subtitled “Dragon Rouge and the Left-Hand Path.” Thomas Karlsson discusses the primal forces before creation and by stressing the darker energies holds to the alchemical principle “en to pan” (all is one). Taoism, Tantra, Kundalini, Crazy Wisdom … all these come to mind and to body.

Chapter 11: “Claiming Hellish Hegemony.” James R. Lewis tells – and retells – the story of  Anton La Vey, the Church of Satan, and the “Satanic Bible.” Many times has the story been told, but here the retelling distinguishes between the heroic legend and the sordid fact. The hodge-podge construction of the influential “Satanic Bible” is really quite extraordinary.

Chapter 12: “Modern Black Magic” by Don Webb begins, “When I joined the Temple of Set in 1989.” It discusses the syncretistic nature of the cult or sect’s dogma and ritual and ends “with a few recommendations for further reading.” The Temple seems both authentic and eccentric!

Chapter 13: “The Magical Life of Ithell Colquhoun.” Amy Hale looks at the “innovative spirit” of the artist with the memorable name, placing her initially among the Surrealists, latterly among the Celtic-influenced magicians. It is a sympathetic introduction to her art and texts.

Chapter 14: “Two Chthonic Magical Artists.” Nevill Drury’s sympathies go to the British visionary artist Austin Osman Spare whose work is better known than that of the bohemian Australian witch Rosaleen Norton. Text and illustrations are combined to make memorable introductions to their work.

Chapter 15: “Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted” is the title of Dave Evans’s study of “Chaos magics.” Crowley is a key influence here, but so is relativism and deconstruction and the suggestion that there are times “when Chaos becomes the Norm.”

Chapter 16: “The Computer-Mediated Religious Life of Technoshamans and Cybershamans.” This long-winded title introduces Libuše Martínková and her study of how computers and digital technologies are influencing everything from shamanic practice to lucid dreaming. It ends with a consideration of reality in terms of “the issue of virtuality.”

Chapter 17: “The Magic Wonderland of the Senses” is subtitled “Reflections on a Hybridised Tantra Practice.” Phil Hine looks at Tantra and Shakti and Kali through both occult and scholarly eyes, and decides they require no more “Western universalised esoteric schemas” but “the wider cultural formations of India.”

At one point I took a break from reading the heady descriptive and analytic prose that constitutes “Pathways” to reread “The Circular Ruins,” a short, highly imaginative story written by Jorge Luis Borges. First published in 1941 and widely reprinted, this work of fiction includes a passage in which its unnamed narrator, addressing himself, ponders the “enigmas” of the world. His words capture some of the possibilities of philosophical notions that are taken with the utmost seriousness in “Pathways.”

Here is that passage: “He understood that the task of molding the incoherent and dizzying stuff that dreams are made of is the most difficult work a man can undertake, even if he fathom all the enigmas of the higher and lower spheres – much more difficult than weaving a rope of sand or minting coins of the faceless wind. He understood that initial failure was inevitable.”

The story is readily available in the Penguin Book edition of Jorge Luis Borges’s  “On Mysticism” (2010) edited and introduced by Maria Kodama. It takes the reader farther – and further – along the “footpaths” of “Pathways in Modern Western Magic.” 

John Robert Colombo is an author and anthologist who lives in Toronto and is known as Canada’s “Master Gatherer.” He contributed the Foreword to Eureka Press’s recently published study “Real Worlds of G.I. Gurdjieff” by Paul Beekman Taylor. He has collected the hitherto uncollected short fiction and reminiscences of Sax Rohmer, the creator of Dr. Fu Manchu; the titles of these books are “Pipe Dreams” and “The Crime Magnet.” His website is < http://www.colombo.ca >

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If you liked the above review you may like his Foreword to Eureka Press’s recently published study “Real Worlds of G.I. Gurdjieff” by Paul Beekman Taylor, at http://gurdjieffbooks.wordpress.com/ Gurdjieff’s teaching: for scholars and practitioners  an independent  site which looks at the teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff and Gurdjieff-related studies with reference to both practitioners and scholars.’ Sophia Wellbeloved.

28 Nov. 2012

Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France

Looking for Mary Magdalene.

Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France

Oxford Ritual Studies Series,

Oxford and New York:   Oxford University Press

Anna Fedele offers a sensitive ethnography of alternative pilgrimages to French Catholic shrines dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork, she describes how pilgrims from Italy, Spain, Britain, and the United States interpret Catholic figures, symbols, and sites according to theories derived from the international Neopagan movement.

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Fedele pays particular attention to the pilgrims’ life stories, rituals and reading. She examines how they devise their rituals, how anthropological literature has influenced them, and why this kind of spirituality is increasingly prevalent in the West. These pilgrims cultivate spirituality in interaction with each other and with textual sources: Jungian psychology, Goddess mythology, and “indigenous” traditions merge into a corpus of practices centered upon the worship of the Goddess and Mother Earth, and the sacralization of the reproductive cycle. Their rituals present a critique of Roman Catholicism and the medical establishment, and question contemporary discourse on gender.

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In this theoretically nuanced and ethnographically rich study, Anna Fedele carefully lays out the complex and imaginative worlds of Mary Magdalene’s contemporary spiritual pilgrims and their sacred landscapes of European forests, waters, caves, and rocks imbued with symbol and meaning. Immersing herself in their created ceremonies, she reports back to us with sensitivity and insight about their reinterpretations of gender, sexuality, community, and religion.”

Sarah M. Pike, author of Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community

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This is a rich, thoughtful, and quite startling account of the new spirituality around Mary Magdalene, and around menstruation, darkness and the creativity of loss.

Tanya Luhrmann, Watkins University Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

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Oxford Ritual Studies Series, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press

336 pages

SBN13: 978-0-19-989842-8: 

I SBN10: 0-19-989842-

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PATHWAYS IN MODERN WESTERN MAGIC: edited by NEVILL DRURY

with one comment

Announcing a new peer-reviewed sourcebook on the Western Esoteric Tradition:

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Pathways in Modern Western Magic Edited by Nevill Drury

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This authoritative multi-authored volume – with contributions by specialist scholars as well as leading magical practitioners – provides a fascinating overview of the many different pathways that help define esoteric belief and practice in modern Western magic. Included here are chapters on the late 19th century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the influential Thelemic doctrines of Aleister Crowley, and the different faces of the Universal Goddess in Wicca and the pagan traditions. Also included are chapters on Neo-shamanism in Europe and the United States – and an account of how these traditions have in turn influenced the rise of technoshamanism in the West. Also featured here are insider perspectives on Seidr oracles, hybridised Tantra, contemporary black magic, the Scandinavian Dragon Rouge and Chaos magic in Britain – as well as profiles of the magical artists Ithell Colquhoun, Austin Osman Spare and Rosaleen Norton.

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Contributors:
Nikki Bado * Jenny Blain * Nevill Drury * Dave Evans * Amy Hale * Phil Hine * Lynne Hume * Marguerite Johnson * Thomas Karlsson * James R. Lewis * Libuše Martínková * Robert J. Wallis * Don Webb * Dominique Beth Wilson * Andrei A. Znamenski

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CONTENTS
Introduction
Lifting the veil: an emic approach to magical practice LYNNE HUME

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The visual and the numinous: material expressions of the sacred in contemporary paganism DOMINIQUE BETH WILSON

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Encountering the Universal Triple Goddess in Wicca NIKKI BADO

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Away from the light – dark aspects of the Goddess MARGUERITE JOHNSON

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Neo-shamanism in the United States ANDREI A. ZNAMENSKI

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Neo-shamanism in Europe ROBERT J. WALLIS

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Seidr oracles JENNY BLAIN

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Magical practices in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn NEVILL DRURY

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The Thelemic sex magick of Aleister Crowley NEVILL DRURY

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The Draconian Tradition: Dragon Rouge and the Left-Hand Path THOMAS KARLSSON

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Claiming hellish hegemony: Anton LaVey, The Church of Satan and the Satanic Bible JAMES R. LEWIS

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Modern black magic: initiation, sorcery and the Temple of Set DON WEBB

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The magical life of Ithell Colquhoun AMY HALE

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Two chthonic magical artists: Austin Osman Spare and Rosaleen Norton NEVILL DRURY

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Nothing is true, everything is permitted: Chaos magics in Britain DAVE EVANS

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The computer mediated religious life of technoshamans and cybershamans Libuše Martínková

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The magic wonderland of the senses: reflections on a hybridised Tantra practice PHIL HINE

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Published by Concrescent Scholars http://www.concrescent.net/book/pathways-modern-western-magic

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Contact publisher directly for quantity and book-trade discounts: webster@concrescent.net

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Individual copies also available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pathways-Modern-Western-Magic-Nevill/dp/0984372997/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349290662&sr=8-1&keywords=Pathways+in+Modern+Western+Magic 6×9 in., Paperback, 484 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9843729-9-7 *

RUNNING WITH THE FAIRIES: TOWARDS A TRANSPERSONAL ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION

Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion is a unique account of the living spirituality and mysticism of fairyfolk in Ireland. Fairyfolk are fairyminded people who have had direct experiences with the divine energy and appearance of fairies, and fairypeople, who additionally know that they have been reincarnated from the Fairy Realm. While fairies have been folklore, superstition, or fantasy for most children and adults, now for the first time in a scholarly work, highly educated persons speak frankly about their religious/spiritual experiences, journeys, and transformations in connection with these angel-like spirit beings. Set in academic and popular historical perspectives, this first scholarly account of the Fairy Faith for over a hundred years, since believer Evans-Wentz’s 1911 published doctoral dissertation The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, integrates a participatory, going native anthropology with transpersonal psychology. Providing extensive verbatim interviews and discussions, this path-breaking work recognizes the reality of nature spirit beings in a Western context. Through intensive on-site fieldwork, the PhD cultural anthropologist author discovers, describes and interviews authentic mystics aligned with these intermediary deific beings. With an extensive introduction placing fairies in the context of the anthropology of religion, animism, mysticism, and consciousness, this daring ethnography considers notions of belief , perception , and spiritual experience , and with intricate detail extends the focus of anthropological research on spirit beings which previously have been considered as locally real only in indigenous and Eastern cultures.

The book is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2012) in hard cover with 295 pages.

ISBN-10:: 1443838918 

ISBN-13: 978-1443838917

Dennis Gaffin, PhD, is a Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York College at Buffalo. Gaffin s earlier fieldwork was on the Faeroe Islands. In recent years he has traveled and conducted research primarily in Ireland and India. He teaches comparative religion, cultural ecology, and medical anthropology. In addition to the ethnography In Place: Spatial and Social Order in a Faeroe Islands Community, he has published articles in academic and popular journals.

 

 

COPYRIGHT for UK ACADEMIC & EDUCATIONAL WRITERS UNDER THREAT

One Book and then ….

   Unlimited photocopies

Educational copyright is under threat.

Photocopying helps universities financially. They can buy one copy of a useful book and then copy extracts for their students.  These are used on courses, often for years, and  given to large numbers of students. This is of course a good thing. However, it does mean that authors loose out on royalties from book sales.

Till now authors in the UK have received royalties for these photocopies collected and distributed by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society  but now this copyright  is under threat from the Government’s planned changes to educational copyright.

The recent proposals made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth suggest the removal of the ability to license for educational use, if implemented this could effectively eradicate income for educational writers  who rely on the money they receive from copyright licenses.

All Party Parliamentary Writers Group

(see a list of their members)

http://www.allpartywritersgroup.co.uk/Group-members

They are considering copyright legislation and they would like to hear from authors who do not wish to see this change made.

I was kindly invited to a reception given by this group at the House of Lords and talked with members of both Houses. Some said they were ‘quietly confident’ that the proposals could be successfully defeated, which although comforting did not entirely convince me.  I also heard the view that in ‘difficult times we must be fair to universities’  which was worrying.

Sending an email

If you are a writer who does not want this proposal to go through, then it is worth emailing the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group and others who are working hard to make sure educational copyright is retained. Some decision may be made on this during this month or in September, so don’t delay!

Please send with ‘educational copyright’ in the subject line to:

John Whittingdale MP

john.whittingdale.mp@parliament.uk 

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group 

with copies to the following organisations who are working to protect writers, they will be glad to hear from you:

Society of Authors

http://www.societyofauthors.org/

Intellectual Property Rights – Copyright

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/  

any educational writers you know who’d like to email

and to:

 

Ed Vaizey Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

vaizeye@parliament.uk

 

In Janet Anderson’s interview with Ed Vaizey – Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries  – he says:

I do take intellectual property rights very seriously, and am keen to enforce them.  I think there is a view that the content of a book or a CD is somehow intangible, and so not property in the way that this glass or this coffee cup is property.  But if somebody walked into this interview and started taking pictures off the wall, we’d call the police.

Read more at:

http://www.alcs.co.uk/ALCS-News/ALCS-July-2012/Ed-Vaizey-Interview

The Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries talks to Janet Anderson about PLR, libraries and why he asked David Cameron for the job?

Nicholas Campion: Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions

Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions When you think of astrology, you may think of the horoscope section in your local paper, or of Nancy Reagan’s consultations with an astrologer in the White House in the 1980s. Yet almost every religion uses some form of astrology: some way of thinking about the sun, moon, stars, and planets and how they hold significance for human lives on earth.Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions offers an accessible overview of the astrologies of the world’s religions, placing them into context within theories of how the wider universe came into being and operates. Campion traces beliefs about the heavens among peoples ranging from ancient Egypt and China, to Australia and Polynesia, and India and the Islamic world.Addressing each religion in a separate chapter, Campion outlines how, by observing the celestial bodies, people have engaged with the divine, managed the future, and attempted to understand events here on earth. This fascinating text offers a unique way to delve into comparative religions and will also appeal to those intrigued by New Age topics.=============================================

Nicholas Campion is senior lecturer in the School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, and course director of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. His books include the two-volume A History of Western Astrology.

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This innovative study presents astrologies and cosmologies – broadly conceived – as counterparts and mirrors of human societies. Unlike most students of astrology, Campion transcends the limitations of the Western tradition to examine the nature and roles of astrological and cosmological concepts in cultures from all continents. His examples provide original insights into how cosmologies shape these cultures’ artistic, intellectual, and religious activities.”

Stephen McCluskey, West Virginia University

 

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