Literary Analysis

The Little Book of the Great Enchantment

Steve Blamires

 

William Sharp (1855-1905) was a prolific writer; friend and confidant to the literati of the day; an active member of the occult world of the late Victorian period; and a man who spent his life cloaked in layers of secrets – the most important being that he was the pen behind the writings of the mysterious Fiona Macleod. He kept her true identity a closely guarded secret. Many famous people – W.B. Yeats, “AE”, MacGregor Mathers, Dante Gabriel Rossetti – were involved in Sharp’s short life; he was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Yeats’ secret Celtic Mystical Order; and he and Fiona Macleod were involved with the mysterious Dr. Goodchild whose ancient bowl was proclaimed by many to be the Holy Grail. But the enduring legacy of these two fascinating writers is the wealth of Faery magical lore contained in the writings of Fiona Macleod.

 

For the first time this book reveals previously unknown secrets from the life of William Sharp and shows clearly how to recover the Faery lore contained in Fiona Macleod’s literary output. These writings are not only about the Realm of Faery, they are the first authentic first-hand accounts from the Realm of Faery, revealing previously unknown Faery gods and goddesses, Faery belief, lore and magic.

 

The Little Book of the Great Enchantment adds significantly to the corpus of serious writings on this greatly misunderstood subject.

 

 

The Book of Mélusine of Lusignan

in History, Legend & Romance

edited with translations by Gareth Knight

 

Considerable interest in faery tradition has grown up in recent years and not least in the story of Mélusine of Lusignan, the subject of a prose romance by Jean d’Arras at the end of the 14th century, swiftly followed by one in verse by Couldrette. This book provides a collection of material from various sources to give an all round picture of the remarkable faery, her town, her church, her immediate family, and the great Lusignan dynasty she founded.

 

An established authority on Mélusine, Gareth Knight collects together all the best source material, which he translates from the French, and presents his own researches into the Lusignan family of the 12th century, whose dynasty included kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem, examining the possibility of a familiar spirit guiding the family in its destiny.

 

 

The Chronicles of the Sidhe

Steve Blamires

 

For a thirteen-year period, the reclusive Scottish writer Fiona Macleod enthralled the Victorian reading public with a deluge of stories, novels, poems and essays drawn from the wildly romantic Highland and Island landscape. Although it was later revealed that these works had issued from the pen of William Sharp, it was clear that Fiona Macleod was more than a pseudonym; to Sharp she was very much an autonomous entity. What’s more, the wealth of previously unknown and unheard of myths, names, traditions and beliefs in her writings, while shone through a Celtic prism, show every sign of having emanated from the Realm of Faery.

 

Steve Blamires presents a ground-breaking assessment of the Faery lore within Fiona Macleod’s literary output as part of his ongoing study of this enigmatic writer. Building on the established groundwork of his biography of Sharp, The Little Book of the Great Enchantment, he explores the mythology and traditions of Faery, their symbolic and magical significance, and the devices employed by Fiona in the transmission of Faery teachings and inspirations. Using examples from Fiona’s rich and resonant body of work, his detailed interpretation will enable the reader to tease out the Faery gems that are still to be found woven into the lines and verse of her writings.

 

 

The Irish Celtic Magical Tradition

Steve Blamires

 

The Irish Celtic Magical Tradition explores the wealth of spiritual philosophy locked into Celtic legend in The Battle of Moytura (Cath Maige Tuired), a historical-mythological account of the conflict, both physical and Otherworldly, between the Fomoire and the Tuatha de Danann. This legend contains within it the essence of the Celtic spiritual and magical system, from Creation Myth to practical instruction and information. Alongside a translation of The Battle of Moytura, Steve Blamires provides a series of keys to facilitate understanding of the legend and sets out an effective magical system based upon it, including interpretations of the symbolism, meditation exercises and suggestions for its practical use. The book offers a powerful and illuminating method of working with ancient Celtic legendary material in the context of modern magic.

 

Originally published in 1992, the text has been revised, updated and expanded to incorporate two decades of new insights and suggestions.

 

The Magical World of the Inklings

Gareth Knight

Foreword by Owen Barfield

Second edition

 

“Because of the combination of information, understanding and insight on which it is founded, The Magical World of the Inklings is more than outstanding. It is not in the same league with anything else I have come across.”

— Owen Barfield

 

“It is only recently that the full play of Lewis’s neo-Platonism is reaching a wider public. Nobody has more revealingly shown the occultic and mythical character of this world-view, and its influence on Lewis’s fiction, than did Gareth Knight in his superb book The Magical World of the Inklings.”

— Dr Andrew Walker, Director of the Centre for Theology and Culture, King’s College London; founder and former director of the C. S. Lewis Centre

 

The works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield have had a profound impact on the contemporary world. Together they were The Inklings, a small literary group of friends who set out to explore the ‘mythopoeic’ or myth-making element in imaginative fiction. The Magical World of the Inklings reveals how each of these writers created a ‘magical world’ which initiates the reader into hidden and powerful realms of the creative imagination.

 

Gareth Knight is well established as an authority on magical and mystical symbolism and the esoteric, on which he has written some forty books. This new edition of The Magical World of the Inklings has been considerably revised and expanded.

 

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)

 

 

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.