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. They will be of direct practical value to anyone pursuing a magical path of any kind, Qabalistic or otherwise, and his advice to his young apprentice is every bit as pertinent today as it was back then.

William G. Gray was a legendary magician and  author of many influential books on occult practice. He met both Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley during his childhood, and later worked with many other well known practitioners of magic and witchcraft including Gareth Knight, R.J. Stewart, Marian Green, Doreen Valiente, Pat Crowther and Robert Cochrane, in whose memory The Rollright Ritual was written. Born in Harrow in 1913, he lived for most of his life in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where he ran a chiropody practice. Bill Gray devoted his entire life to his “esoteric interests”, and by questioning every detail of the established assumptions, found out what worked and what didn’t. His books on Qabalah and ritual magic set out a fresh pathway along which most others have followed, often without realising that he originated much of what is taken for granted in magic and paganism today. He died in 1992.