Mandrake Speaks Newsletter
Compiled by Mogg
06.Wiccan Roots/Philip Heslton
07.Fortean Times & Austin Osman Spare
09.Inside Merlin's Cave
11.The Sheela Show
12.I Ching Archive
13.'The Encirclement of the Sorcerous Self'
15.ebooks - Sybarite among the Shadows
16. From our correspondent
17. Crowley/AA T-Shirts
18.A Magick Life/A Biography of Aleister Crowley by Martin Booth
(reviewed by Mogg Morgan)
Monthly info for friends of leading occult
publisher and bookseller Mandrake of Oxford
Monthly info on ours and other interesting publications
6. 'Wiccan Roots, Gerald Gardner and modern witchcraft revival' by Philip
Heselton, (Capall Bann)
Interesting new book, which throws particular light on the debate about the origins of
wicca. Perhaps Gardner was more like Alex Sanders that was once thought:
'I have always been very sceptical
of Gerald Gardner's claims and after reading Aidan Kelly's "Crafting the art
of magick" and Ronald Hutton's "The Triumph of the Moon" thought that my
suspicions were well founded. But after reading Philip Heselton's book I'm
not so very sure, the book itself covers the time when Gardner said he was
initiated into a coven in the new forest and the people and organisations
involved in incredible detail.
If your interested in the origins of the Wiccan/Pagan revival then this book
is a must, I suspect that this book's findings will have a even greater
impact on the way pagan history is perceived than even 'The triumph of the
This is what Ronald Hutton says about it in the forward: "Philip Heselton's
book represents a major landmark in the recovery of those origins. It is a
work of considerable primary research which solves several long-standing
problems and questions and furnishes a quantity of solid information upon
the subject greater than that provided by any previous publication".
So maybe Gardner didn't make it up!!!!!!' - Jack Daw
7. Fortean Times & Austin Osman Spare
The march edition of Fortean Times has a seven page cover feature on
Austin - check it out
8. Snakewand & The Darker Strain
Two new tales by Kenneth Grant. Frontespiece by
Austin Spare. Standard edition 25pounds+P&P, and
limited edition 55pounds+p&P.
Ninth Arch still in preparation.
The Mauve Zone and other titles
9.Inside Merlin's Cave
I have a very nice new book called
_Inside Merlin's Cave - A Cornish Arthurian Reader (1000-2000)_
edited by Amy Hale, Alan M Kent and Tim Saunders
(Francis Boutle 2000) 12.50UK pounds
Actually the time scale given in the title is a bit misleading as it
have some material from stone inscriptions c500-800AD and Taliesin c500AD
The origins of the legend of Arthur presumably date from the this time, at
the end of the Roman occupation and the subsequent resistance in Wales and Cornwall
to Saxon invaders. This is a very nice anthology and arms one with all the
information one may need to make up your own mind. I particularly
like the _Sisters of Glen Nectan_ by Robert Hawker.
10. Virtual Exhibition - Occult Art
The exhibition will be confined to art by occultists, portraying occult
themes, borne of occult insights or created using occult techniques.
There will be works by Austin Osman Spare and Rosaleen Norton, but the
emphasis will very much be on living artists, particularly artists who
have an affinity with occult currents which also manifest in the work of
authors and occult groupings.
; http://www.cadu.demon.co.uk/ http://www.io.com/~albion/caduceus/
11. The Sheela Show
If you're familiar with the sheila-na-gig image you'll know what this is about.
Sheela's are either ancient erotic carvings or christian images of
lust, depending on your point of view. personally I find them rather an
unpleasant image of female sexuality. However if you would like to see and
maybe buy one then check out the
Shoreditch Sex Map
The map Factory, 380 Old Street EC1V 11-29th february.
12.I Ching Oracles
As the publisher of Jan Fries' book on the I Ching (Living Midnight),
which is popular amongst many magicos,
I received the following notification of a new Oracle archive -
and some CD roms:
'China's Oracles were only discovered
100 years ago, but as relics they may date back to Shang Dynasty
(about 1600 BC 1100 B.C.). This LIBRARY is compiled by the History Study &
Research Institute of
the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, published by Sichuan University
Press, sponsored, schemed and issued by China Tianyuan Cultural
Industries, Ltd. and Sino Arts & Assoc., Singapore, and all are under
the supervision and direction of the EXECUTIVE COMMISSION OF LIBRARY OF
CHINA'S ORACLES (ECOL).
13.'The Encircling sorcerys of the self'
Encircling Sorcery's of the Self
Five interconnected workshops covering the basic techniques of
Traditional Sorcery. The cost of all five two hour workshops is �15.00, bookings will be
taken for all five workshops only.
The maximum number of participants for these workshops is 10-15.
Workshop 1 -Entering the Circle. 21st of February
Workshop 2 -Systems of Gnosis and power. 7th of March
Workshop 3 - Atavism. 21st of March
Workshop 4 - Spirit travel. 4th of April.
Workshop 5 - Coming full Circle. 18th of April.
For more details Email CronnackDhu<wytchery@...
14. Queer Spirit
QUEER SPIRIT - the magazine for Lesbian Gay and Bisexual
Pagans and Occultists. Contact queerspirit@...
15. '...Then I noticed a man sitting in the gloom.
He was staring up at me. Large fellow, thickset,
looked like a stockbroker, apart from his head, which was shaven...'
So Dylan Thomas begins describing his fateful encounter with
Aleister Crowley. His listener is Victor Neuburg, Dylan's first
publisher and once Crowley's most fervent disciple. Set during a
single day in June 1936, Sybarite among the Shadows follows Dylan and
Neuburg as they track the Beast through the Surrealist Exhibition,
the pubs of Fitzrovia, and louche Soho clubs frequented by such
Crowley associates as Augustus John and the head of the most secret
division of MI5. Finally, in a terrifying denouement, Neuburg finds
himself implicated not only in a maze of intrigue involving Wallis
Simpson and the soon-to-abdicate King himself, but also in the last
ritual of the magic of his youth: the banishment of Bartzabel,
Spirit of Mars, which has possessed him for thirty years.
More than just a fast-paced work of occult fiction, Sybarite among
the Shadows is a painstakingly-researched attempt to explore Crowley
and his magick from a new angle. Read the first chapter on
www.cyberite.co.uk or for further information on obtaining the
e-book mail valentin@...
[I'm updating our links pages to add e-books - it can be viewed at
www.mandrake.uk.net/cool.htm. When I have enough I'll start a
new e-books page, which will also include some of our own titles
due to be issued in this format. If you have a publication you like mentioned
please email url and details to firstname.lastname@example.org
16. From our correspondent
'Picked up a copy of Fortean Times over the weekend. A couple of
items may be of interest to you. The first is, the Martin Booth
biography gets a review there and also another Crowley biog
'Do What Thou Wilt' by Lawrence Sutin. The other is an interview with Coil, but as they are going to
put the full interview on their web site I guess it is not an
essential purchase... Oh, they also mention a forth coming
feature on AOS.
17. The design is the magickal seal of the A.'. A.'. (Astrum Argentium or Silver
Star) one of the first organisations Crowley was involved with, after he
left the Golden Dawn. The seal is stitched by special machine so the reproduction
is perfect to that of the seal. It is stitched in silver thread, on the left breast on
black shirts. The width of the seal is 3".
Short sleeved T-Shirt - �12 / �13 / �14
Long Sleeved T-Shirt - �15 / �16 / �17
Sweatshirt - �18 / �19 / �20
Hooded Shirt - �20 / �21 / �22
Prices above are UK / EUROPE / REST OF WORLD respectively and include sales
tax and first class / Airmail shipping.
Available from www.coldspring.co.uk or for credit cards owners
18. _A Magick Life/A biography of Aleister Crowley_ by Martin Booth (Hodder & Stoughton)
The raison d'�tre of this new biography seems to be as an antidote to
John Symonds 'classic' study 'The Great Beast', which is widely disliked by
Crowley aficionados. Personally I think that Symonds's work is difficult to
better, especially if one has a sense of humour, a faculty often lacking
in born again crowleyites. Having said that I think that Martin's Booth's
new biography is an excellent read and does contain some new information
although, in my opinion, very few new magical insights; especially on developments
in the last twenty years. I get the impression that
this book is supported by the American 'Caliphate' OTO and represents their
claim to fame. My contention is backed up by some rather startling omissions,
for example not a single mention of Kenneth Grant (either in the text or bibliography),
even though he has written a lot of material relevant to any biography of Crowley. Grant was,
afterall, one of Crowley's most important students. Other the other hand,
someone like Amado Crowley, whose
connection with the old master, is, to say the least, unproved, has lots of his
silly stories dealt with at length and all his books are listed.
This then is not objective biography but political biography with a small 'p'.
If you bear these drawbacks in mind, the book is an essential read although perhaps
not the last word on the subject.
Martin Booth's contention seems to be that the deathblow to Crowley's reputation was dealt
by the expedition to Kanchenjunga. Crowley's friend and teacher Oscar Eckenstein refused to
join an expedition under Crowley's leadership. His intuition was probably right,
as Crowley's leadership abilities were
tested and found wanting, the expedition fell apart and a man died. Crowley's alleged callous
attitude and refusal to try to rescue the stricken climber, blackened his name for all time and
closed off any further climbing adventures. I thought it was one of the most
interesting parts of the book and that it would have benefited from some photographs and maps
of the mountains (as is normal in climbing books). There were plenty of other illustrations,
mostly the ones that get reused in every other book on 'old crow', but the odd piece of
stock photography of the scenes would have helped. I also think the author could have talked
to some contemporary climbers about Crowley's predicament - he might have found them
surprisingly sympathetic to the old boy.
The book has the obligatory discussion of the death of Raoul Loveday. Once again I think this
is the company line - whatever Raoul Loveday died of it wasn't as a result of drinking cat's
blood - on no siry. That Crowley could have f**ked up a ritual - oh no that can't be.
But as I myself put it to someone attacking Snoo Wilson over this very issue -
no one ever denies that the sacrifice of a cat took
place - nor that the blood was drunk. And that in most people opinion is far more damaging than
the mysterious death by typhoid fever of one of the participants.
Anyways - these are small quibbles, I do recommend this biography as a good read,
not as good as Symond's version, which is anyway, difficult to get hold of,
but nevertheless a creditable and highly informative
study. Mogg Morgan
19. TMTS E-books
www.web-orama.com or www.occultebooks.com
Titles so far are: SSOTBME heavily revised and expanded; The Good The Bad
The Funny (book on the trinitarian thinking I first announced at Lockenhaus
around 1990); and Hugo l'Estrange's Hellgate Chronicles (collected
diaries). All PDFs for screen or printing, costing 3 pound UK each.
Words Made Flesh has just gone out, and they are setting up a system for
free downloads of short pieces for reading on Palm PDAs.
Then you have
www.occultebooks.com/blast.htm - for Blast YThe our Way to Megabuck$
www.occultebooks.com/gbf.htm - for The Good Bad the Funny description
www.occultebooks.com/words.htm - for Words Made Flesh description
www.occultebooks.com/SSOTBME.htm - for SSOTBME description
www.occultebooks.com/hugo.htm - for Hellgate Chronicles description
www.occultebooks.com/pda/pda.htm - for list of free PalmOS peanut-reader
20. Ananke2: Symposium of Real Magick and Global Ritualism.
I've had to postpone this as some of the programme items have fallen
through - hope to have news of alternative soon.
21. Best Selling Titles
Jan Fries/Visual Magick (new edition) 10.99
Jan Fries/Seidways �14.99
Jan Fries/Living Midnight 10.99
Jan Fries/Helrunar 10.99
Snoo Wilson/ I Crowley 9.99
Katon Shual/Sexual Magick 7.99
Ramsey Dukes/What I Did In My Holidays:
Essays on Satanism, Devil Worship and black magick
Kamil Zvelebil/The Siddha Quest For Immortality
Jan Fries/Caldron of the Gods
Mels Van Driel/The Secret Part: a natural history of the penis
Mogg Morgan/The English Mahatma
Gerhard Wassermann/Consciousness and Near Death Experience
Chris Morgan/Medicine of the Gods
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