I always have at least one book on the go, regardless of the time of year or how busy I am with work. But with more time on my hands these past few weeks, I get the opportunity to read even more than usual. Here are the books that are stacked at my favourite place to read, right next to the fire.
Descendant by Bob Freeman (I’m giving this one a second read)
Descendant is a supernatural thriller filled with daring action, adventure, and artifice set against the backdrop of a very familiar world – but it is a world in which preternatural entities, clandestine magical orders, ancient bloodlines, and unholy alliances converge within the shadowed recesses of our darkest imaginings.
Federal Agents Selina Wolfe and Martin Crowe are called in to investigate a series of bizarre deaths in a small rural community. What first seems to be a misadventure involving black magic and satanic ritual soon takes on even more deleterious overtones, as the agents become embroiled in a plot by a sinister cabal intent on unleashing Hell on Earth.
Help the Witch by Tom Cox (Just finished this one and I’ll do a proper book review on it)
Riddled with talismans and portents, saturated by shadows beneath trees and whispers behind doors, these ten short stories broaden the scope of folk tales as we know them. Inspired by our native landscapes and traversing boundaries of the past and the future, this collection is Tom Cox’s first foray into fiction. Funny, strange and poignant, he elicits the unexpected and unseen to raise our hackles and set imaginations whirring.
Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary
This important collection includes Aleister Crowley’s two most important instructional writings on the design and purpose of the magical diary, John St. John and A Master of the Temple. These were the only two works regarding the magical diary published in Crowley’s lifetime. Both were first published in Crowley’s immense collection of magical instruction, The Equinox. John St. John chronicles Crowley’s moment by moment progress during a 13 day magical working. Crowley referred to it as “a perfect model of what a magical record should be.” A Master of the Temple is taken from the magical diary of Frater Achad at a time when he was Crowley’s most valued and successful student. It provides an invaluable example of a student’s record, plus direct commentary and instruction added by Crowley. With commentary and introductory material by editor James Wasserman, Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary is the most important and accessible instruction available to students of the occult regarding the practice of keeping a magical diary. This revised edition includes a new introduction by Wasserman, a foreword by noted occult scholar J. Daniel Gunther, revisions throughout the text, a revised reading list for further study, plus Crowley’s instructions on banishing from Liber O.
Grimoire of Aleister Crowley
Group ritual has been a cornerstone of spiritual practice since time immemorial, yet its history and importance have often been overlooked by occultists of the modern age. This book is the first comprehensive presentation of group-oriented rites for modern magicians inspired by the works of Aleister Crowley. It contains rituals written by Crowley for his own magic circles, many of them unpublished during his lifetime, plus rare ancient texts that were Crowley’s own inspiration.
The rituals are newly edited and explained by Rodney Orpheus, who brings to this volume decades of experience in performing and teaching Aleister Crowley’s rituals within Crowley’s magical order Ordo Templi Orientis. He introduces each ritual with a clear overview, setting each in its historical context and explaining its function and mode of operation, and includes detailed notes on the setting and performance of each one.
Whether absolute beginner or seasoned expert, magicians of all paths will find this volume to be an eminently workable and extremely powerful grimoire spanning centuries from ancient Mithraic and Bacchanalian rites, Goetia, and Gnosticism, right up to present day Crowleyan invocations and sexual magick.
Hitler’s Monsters by Eric Kurlander
Magic Circles in the Grimoire Tradition by William J. Kiesel
Magic Circles have been depicted in popular expressions of magic and witchcraft as well as detailed with full rubrics in traditional manuals of magic such as the Clavicula Solomonis or Liber Juratus. Using narrative, visual and textual material available from European grimoires and manuscripts, the author discusses the various forms and functions of this important piece of apparatus employed by magicians in the Western Esoteric Tradition, including their role in providing authority and protection to the operator, as well as examples of their use in divination and treasure finding. Additionally, contemporary examples of the magic circle at work in modern esoteric praxis are provided and discussed in light of the traditional approaches they exhibit. This monograph serves to explicate this important tool of ceremonial magic and is valuable to practitioners of the art magical with its technical data, while also providing context in historical settings for the merely curious reader of occult subjects. Illustrated throughout.
As an aside, don’t expect a ‘What I’m Watching’ post. I don’t watch enough TV to make that an interesting post.