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Latest titles from Skylight Press

Sparks from the Cosmic Flame

Essays inspired by Dion Fortune's The Cosmic Doctrine

 

edited by Wendy Berg

 

Dion Fortune’s The Cosmic Doctrine has  become one of the most important works in modern esoteric literature and a constant source of inspiration and instruction to many practitioners. Sparks from the Cosmic Flame is a series of essays written by some of those inspired practitioners, which rather than seeking to 'explain' the work, or re-write it in more modern vernacular, instead develops various and different aspects of its ideas that can be applied to one’s practice. It's a book about how The Cosmic Doctrine can be used, or perhaps used differently and more flexibly.

 

Contributors include the editor Wendy Berg plus M. E. Beardsley, James North, Stuart Delacey, Dale Kendrick, J.R. Petrie, Derek Thompson, Gwen Blythe, Christian Gilson, Holly Mulhern and Alan Robinson. There is no single or orthodox interpretation but rather a call for individual imagination and intuition, as well as the reasoning mind.

 

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Earth God Risen

Alan Richardson

 

The story of the Horned God can be heard in various mythologies from around the world and like the Goddess he has become part of our psychological and spiritual heritage. Alan Richardson revisits his previous work on the male mysteries, Earth God Rising, adding a new commentary alongside the original text.

 

His expertise on magical matters and its practitioners make for an insightful commentary on male deity – but always prodding readers to forge their own paths and make up their own minds. Earth God Risen is a tour through the origins and archetypes of male spirituality for both new seekers and seasoned practitioners (of both sexes).

 

“Richardson traces the presence of the male aspect of deity in Westerners through ancient Egypt and medieval metaphysics into modern mysticism and his own experience. This he does with scholarly skill and a pleasant fluency. A delight to read and a worthwhile asset to possess.”

— William G. Gray

 

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The Testament of Merlin

Théophile Briant

translated by Gareth Knight

 

Originally published in French, this evocative esoteric novel follows the life and work of Merlin as the founder of the Round Table fellowship, his return of Excalibur to the Lake, his safe conduct of Arthur to Avalon, his liaison with Viviane and the Faery powers in the Forest of Broceliande, and the resuscitation of his disciple Adragante in the Cauldron of Keridwen – including a remarkable sequence of initiations for the young knight. For it is Adragante who is called to bear witness to Merlin’s life, his death at the hands of some shepherds at Drumelzier on the Scottish borders, and his subsequent apotheosis.

 

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Letters of Light

The Magical Letters of William G. Gray to Alan Richardson

 

As an “omniscient and obnoxious” teenager in 1969, Alan Richardson wrote to the occult author William G. Gray in pursuit of instant magical enlightenment. While he didn’t quite get that, it was the beginning of a correspondence lasting many years in which Gray generously shared his magical knowledge and experience. Gray’s letters, witty, ascerbic and blunt, contain a wealth of hints and tips on working with Qabalah, his views on Dion Fortune, sex magic, initiation, joining magical groups, and how to stay on the straight and true path to Light regardless of what life flings at you. How does free-will relate to Destiny? Why do many great Adepts behave like idiots if they’re in contact with Higher Powers? Is sex incompatible with a spiritual path? He addresses the questions which weigh on the mind of every magical seeker – always with the proviso that true wisdom can only be reached from within oneself. The letters are a delight to read and show the humour and understanding which shine through Gray’s famously unsentimental character.

 

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The Fairy Realm

Ronan Coghlan

 

While examining various belief traditions across Europe and the United States, The Fairy Realm consults an assemblage of anecdotal evidence as to the existence of fairies and other creatures that appear in fairy tales – giants, ogres, trolls, mermaids, brownies, wildmen, kelpie, puca and other mythological beings. Ronan Coghlan, whose works include The Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends, Handbook of Fairies, Irish Myth and Legend and The Grail, examines an array of alleged fairy sightings in a bold endeavour to find where fairies fit into the modern scientific concepts of the universe. Unlike myriad books on ghosts and extra-terrestrials, this book tackles the possibility of fairy existence, and in doing so dares to approach all manner of sceptical argument and ‘borderline science.’

 

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To Think Without Fear

Anthony Duncan

 

A new and previously unpublished book by the late Anthony Duncan, author of The Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic.

 

Anthony Duncan openly and frankly examines the experience of communication with “extra-terrestrial" contacts, and the leaps of faith and mutual acceptance on which such contact depends. He considers that many reported experiences of the extra-terrestrial are essentially objective and real, and that there is a common, underlying dynamic which is prompting an increasing – and increasingly varied – pattern of visitations. But who or what are these visitors? Do they come from elsewhere in our Universe or from another Universe altogether? Do they travel here across space or by a shift of wavelength? And how do they fit into the pattern set by the Incarnation of Christ? Duncan suggests that the first step towards an answer is to let go of our fear.

Presented from a Christian perspective, the book offers a sane and sensible discussion of a controversial subject by a priest and mystic who has never been afraid to think and minister beyond conventional boundaries.

 

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Beyond the Sun

Nick Farrell

 

This book contains the formerly unpublished Inner Order Teachings of the missing order of the Golden Dawn – Whare Ra. Whare Ra managed to keep secret and above all keep running long after the other Golden Dawn magical orders had given up the ghost. Closing in the late 1970s, the Order was founded by Dr Robert Felkin 100 years ago. From its base in New Zealand, Whare Ra became a secret forefront of occult teaching.

 

Nick Farrell presents the Second Order Rituals of this Order including the 6=5 and 7=4 in their complete and unedited state as well as the 6=5 training papers and lectures. He also examines the history of Whare Ra and provides commentaries to the rituals. Contained in this book are the 6=5 experiences of the poet WB Yeats and other adepts who went through the various initiations. It also contains magical exercises inspired by the Whare Ra material.

The Rite of the Godgame

Experimental Fiction and the Persistence of Religion and Magic

Daniel Staniforth

 

Experimental, fabulist and postmodern fictions are often seen to present an official break with traditional storytelling and Roland Barthes’ famous ‘Death of the Author’ announcement came hard on the heels of Nietzsche’s equally shattering “God is dead and we have killed him...” claim. In a robust study of various twentieth century novels, Daniel Staniforth examines the presence of religious and theological discourses often found in tandem with a stated aversion to them, where authors attempt to break from tradition but get caught up in the trappings. Without confining the century to a vacuum, or splintering it through myriad separatist ‘isms,’ he explores these experimental fictions as an extension of the European avant-garde and modernist movements, which were in turn informed by nineteenth century collectives.

 

This work willingly sidesteps the traditional boundaries imposed between art, fiction, philosophy, theory and theology, and instead examines the presence of enduring tropes as an ambient and metaphoric state within fiction. The direct analogue between artistic creations and the foremost creation; between the writer and the traditional god; between the reader and the receiver of ideology provide for a series of mirrored states that become active through language. Included in the ambitious scope of this work are various related commentaries on surrealism, hermeneutics, metatheology, liturgy, dualism, ritual magic, illusion, theatre, dream theory, cathartic theatre, cinema, game theory, ventriloquism, puppetry, labyrinths, automatism, cyberspace, mythology, channelling, poetry and the mysteries.

 

"Since the rise of industrial capital the Occidental psyche has proclaimed the sacred as absence, as a "useless adjunt" unrelated functionality. This amounts to nothing more than state psychology as error. Daniel Staniforth, in his study, The Rite of the Godgame shows how this absence is indirectly illumined by voluminous glints within the galactic range of Euro-American 20th century experimental fiction." — Will Alexander (author of Sunrise in Armageddon and Diary as Sin)

 

 

Temple Magic

William G. Gray

 

Much has been written in the way of instructions and scripts for magical ritual, while giving little explanation of the reason or purpose behind temple practices. William G. Gray, known for such works as The Ladder of Lights, Magical Ritual Methods and Seasonal Occult Rituals, resolves this by looking, in depth, at the way a Western magical temple should look and work, and how the practitioner can arrange their Inner Self to get the best results.

 

Gray describes not only the outward appearance and function of the various temple trappings but also the importance of their symbolism, from both a metaphysical-occult and a psychological point of view. Everything is covered, from what to wear to how to act, while remembering always that a genuine temple is not a physical place but a clearance in one’s own consciousness that makes it possible to realise an intimate relationship between oneself and a spiritual state of being.

 

“All aspects of the temple, both material and symbolic, are examined from every possible angle. The instruments, furnishings, structure and use of a modern Western occult temple are laid before the reader and their meanings explained. For anyone wishing to understand how to set up and work an occult temple, or for those merely curious about the environment where magic is made to come alive, the book is invaluable.” — Donald Tyson, author of Rune Magic

 

 

The Tree of Visions

David Nez

 

The Tree of Visions is a historical overview of western esotericism, exploring its prehistoric and historical origins. It traces its beginnings in the shamanism of the paleolithic and neolithic ages, and follows its development in the sacred-magical traditions of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece to the present day. It is based on the thesis that primordial shamanic beliefs and practices involving visionary journeying, shapeshifting, use of spirit-helpers, asceticism, initiation ordeals, divination, astro-ceremonialism, use of magical rituals and paraphernalia, etc have remarkable parallels with the magical-religious practices of the ancient Mediterranean and European cultures. Written by visual artist, astrologer and ritual magician David Nez, the book presents the theory that shamanism forms the deepest stratum of human culture, myths and spiritual practices worldwide, accounting for the many similarities. Nez illustrates how these ancient beliefs and practices are still alive, albeit in new forms, in contemporary magic, neopaganism and neoshamanism, bolstering his thesis through excerpts from authorities in the fields of history, archaeology, ethnology, neuropsychology, psychology, comparative mythology and other fields.

 

 

 

I, Universe

Darryl Sloan

 

What is the true underlying nature of reality and what is my place in it? Does my life have meaning, or am I a cosmic accident? Are the answers to these questions found in religion, or is science where the real enlightenment lies? Is it even possible to know? In this bewildering world of differing beliefs, what chance do I have of finding any genuine truth? And where do I even begin? With two words: question everything.

 

In childhood, we are all like sponges, soaking up information without any critical thinking. As adults, how much of our worldview reflects beliefs and assumptions from those early years that we have never reassessed? Darryl Sloan steps outside of conventional wisdom and brings together a wealth of insight from the spheres of religion, philosophy, science, psychology, parapsychology and occultism. A highly unusual, but deeply rational and life-changing truth emerges from this esoteric study: the Universe is One, and you are It.

 

 

 

The Bardic Chair:
inspiration, invention, innovation

edited by Kevan Manwaring

Foreword by Ronald Hutton

 

 The Bardic Chair is awarded as a prize in competitions of artistic merit, traditionally held in a festival of the arts known as an eisteddfod. Born of the Brythonic Tradition (via the fertile brain of Edward Williams, aka 'Iolo Morgannwg') as a symbol of Welsh nationalism, what once provided an important platform for an endangered language is now a growing phenomenon – transcending cultural barriers – not just across the British Isles, but around the world. Bringing together communities, Bardic Chairs celebrate local distinctiveness and diversity, foster creative excellence, and facilitate freedom of speech. This book explains the background of Bardic Chairs, lists all the current ones on record, and explains how to set one up. This comprehensive guide features the modern Bardic Chairs of England and Celtic-language countries  – Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Brittany – and beyond, including Australia, North America, Canada and Argentina.

 

This fully revised and expanded edition updates the first edition published as The Book of the Bardic Chair by R.J. Stewart books in 2008. New content includes:

 

New Introduction by Kevan Manwaring, author of The Bardic Handbook, Bard of Bath (1998-1999), and founder of the Bard of Hawkwood.

 

Perspectives – expert articles exploring the Bardic Chair past and present by John Matthews, RJ Stewart, Marion Bowman, Anthony Nanson, Andy Letcher, Elizabeth Rainey, Alan M. Kent, Thomas Daffern, and Philip Shallcrass ('Greywolf').

 

Updated listings of all Bardic Chairs, websites and organisations.

 

Profiles of Modern Bards, including Damh the Bard, Kate and Corwen, Paul Newman, Lorna Smithers, Liv Torc, Talis Kimberley, Eric Maddern, Caitlin Matthews and others.

 

Appendices includes a Bardic Glossary, Setting up a Bardic Chair, Running a Bardic Circle, Tim Sebastian and the Secular Order of Druids, and more.

 

‘It’s quite possibly the druidic bargain of the decade’

— The Druid’s Voice

 

‘It continues to sum up a remarkable achievement, produced by an extraordinary city and community.’

— Ronald Hutton

 

“It's a book I know I will be going back to, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves in future editions.”

— Nimue Brown, The Druid Network

 

 

 

Lilith: the Edge of Forever

Filomena Pereira

 

A Middle Eastern Legend from possible Sumerian origins portrays the essence of evil as a voluptuous woman. In Hebrew lore her name is Lilith, once made infamous as Adam’s first wife and the mate of Lucifer, Archangel of Hell, now immortalized as such in the world of literature, art and music

 

The Name of Lilith so terrified ancient Israelites and their neighbours that amulets were fashioned to be worn to fend of evil fiends, demons and monsters of the night who sought out the innocent to corrupt them with her peculiar sexual charms. The same fear races in the blood of many today, not only in the lands of the prophets and kings, but throughout the modern world. First published by Ide House in 1998, Lilith: The Edge of Forever provides a fresh history of this archetypal woman, woven skilfully by Filomena Pereira into a web of stunning sensuality, myth and magic for all to see. No longer a cartoonish deviant force, Lilith comes alive in this bold study complete with new insights and sustained connection.

 

 

 

The Lost Book of the Grail

Restoring the Voices of the Wells

Being a new translation, by Gareth Knight, of the 13th century Elucidation of the Grail

 

with commentary by Caitlín Matthews and John Matthews

 

The Elucidation is a 13th century French poem that has lain virtually forgotten since its discovery in the mid19th century. It contains some of the most powerful and revealing clues to the nature of the Grail to be found in any of the many texts relating to this most mysterious of sacred objects.

 

This brief text purports to introduce us to Chrétien’s Perceval, le Conte du Graal, regarded as the first account of the Grail story, while actually providing a mythic prequel entirely different from Chrétien’s account. Within the seven branches of the story, we learn the cause of the Wasteland, of how the Maidens of the Wells were violated by the anti-Grail King, Amangons, and the attempt to restore the wells by the quests of King Arthur’s knights through the seven guardians of the story.

 

After tracing the history of the manuscript and its possible author, the commentators present to you the first full-length study of the Elucidation to appear in any language, in fulfilment of the text’s own words, ‘that the good that the Grail served will openly be taught to all people.’

 

Now, in a new translation by foremost esotericist, Gareth Knight, with a full-length commentary by Arthurian and Grail scholars, Caitlín & John Matthews, the treasury hidden within this ‘lost book’ of the Grail can finally be revealed.

 

Walking the Western Inner Way:

Articles and Lectures by
William G. Gray

edited by Marcus Claridge

 

William Gray was an extraordinary ceremonial magician who emerged at precisely the right time to bridge the rather closed and secretive magical traditions of the past and the wave of “New Age” spirituality that was released during the 1960s and 70s. A prodigious writer, he published almost a book a year from Ladder of Lights, or Qabalah Renovata in 1968 until his twenty first publication in1990. Additionally, he was constantly working up ideas, often as short essay, articles, lectures, or various DIY publications. All were highly labour intensive works of love, and in a sense, the “blogs” of their day. The scope of these writings is wide: The Green Ray, the Abramelin system, sex and the Tree of Life, occult secrecy, Satanism, the Grail, are among the many subjects that get the Bill Gray treatment.

 

This new dynamic collection presents material for all those with roots in the Western Traditions (Hermeticist, Witch or Mystic) that will break down easily held assumptions, wrestle troubling and complex themes, and perhaps even irritate at times. This is the irritation of the sand in the oyster, the necessary disruption of pattern so vital to changes of consciousness. What is this but initiation? Bill continues, through his writing, to be a great initiator, challenging us to seek the old ways hidden within the new, to “be a living question mark”, and always, to keep questing!

 

Please note that all publication dates are provisional and are estimates only.

 

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