Pagan & Druid

Dion Fortune’s Rites of Isis and of Pan

edited by Gareth Knight

 

Dion Fortune encoded much practical magical lore within her novels, leaving it up to the reader to work out how to make use of it. Behind the novels were two major rituals, the Rite of Isis and the Rite of Pan, which Dion Fortune occasionally performed in public in the 1930s as part of her drive to open up occultism beyond the closed walls of esoteric fraternities. Now for the first time, these important magical workings have been released from her society’s archive in their complete and original form.

 

Edited and explained by Gareth Knight, this book contains the full text of the original Rite of Isis and Rite of Pan which formed the basis for Dion Fortune’s Moon Magic, The Goat-Foot God, and The Sea Priestess. Further archive material elucidates the practical magical principles found in The Winged Bull. The book is supplemented by several articles written by Dion Fortune in the 1930s which shed further light on the practical content of her novels, including the essay Ceremonial Magic Unveiled, a review of the work of Israel Regardie in which she gives her views on the controversies within the Golden Dawn and frankly describes her own falling out with Moina MacGregor Mathers.

 

“The clearest, simplest – and best – analysis and explanation of what magic is and how it works that I have ever come across. Gareth Knight shows that DF’s novels are initiatory and were intended to be so. He supplements his exposition with DF’s own commentaries on her work and reveals the secret methods she employed in her art to link the reader’s imagination to spiritual and cosmic realities in order to activate the powers of the soul.”

— The Warden, Society of the Inner Light

 

 

 

Dion Fortune’s Rites of Isis and of Pan

edited by Gareth Knight

 

Limited Edition Hardback

 

An edition of 250 plain blue clothbound hardback copies, individually numbered and signed.

 

The Sacred Stone Circles of Stanton Drew

Gordon Strong

 

The village of Stanton Drew in north Somerset is host to a remarkable group of ancient monuments which together comprise the third largest collection of standing stones in England. The Great Circle, the largest of its three stone circles, encloses an area of 2000 square metres, exceeding the dimensions of Stonehenge. It was once approached by an avenue of standing stones, now lost. A smaller Southwest circle is aligned to The Quoit and The Cove nearby. Recent archaeology has revealed evidence of a substantial woodhenge at Stanton Drew, underlining its importance as a major ritual centre of the Neolithic age.

 

Gordon Strong, author of Stanton Drew and its Ancient Stone Circles and a regular lecturer on the subject, has spent many years exploring this fascinating site on multiple levels. In this book he presents the available archaeological detail along with local folklore and the testimonies of various commentators, from 18th century antiquarians to modern dowsing surveys, discussing ritual, mediumship, earth energies and mythology. He also gives his own observations and insights gleaned from his “long love-affair” with the site, interpreted through the Western esoteric tradition and British Mysteries. Most importantly, he offers the visitor some clues for making their own inner connection to this unique monument which still vibrates with ancient magic.

 

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.

 

Awen: the Quest of the Celtic Mysteries

Mike Harris

 

It was the Celtic bards who laid down the foundation of inner wisdom that has come down to us as Arthurian legend, passing their traditions to the Arthurian romancers of the 12th and 13th centuries. Thus the Celts provide an immediate bridge that leads to a very ancient world. Focusing on the Brythonic Celtic material and the “Taliesin” cult whose lineage preserved the mysteries through the Mabinogion and other texts, Awen: the Quest of the Celtic Mysteries reveals the sources of the British sacred tradition right back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and, as some believe, further back still to even more ancient sources.

 

Awen is a Welsh word often translated as “inspiration”. However, in its fullness it has a much deeper meaning, an irradiation of the soul from paradisal origins. In the context of the Celtic folk-soul it casts the paradisal pattern by which the people and the land were harmonised. Through the aligned symbolism of the goddess, the sacred king and the stars, a compelling picture is built of a thriving mystery tradition which marries the constellations to the landscape, exploring as an example the interwoven five-fold and seven-fold stellar geometry of Moel ty Uchaf stone circle in North Wales, and the stellar alignments on the landscape of Cadair Idris.

 

Mike Harris is a well-established authority on the Welsh mystery traditions, having lived for many years in the area of Gwynedd where the Mabinogi and Taliesin myths arose, where he developed an acute sense of the Celtic and pre-Celtic mystery cults and their relationship with the landscape. He is the author of Merlin’s Chess, co-author of Polarity Magic, and founder of the Company of Avalon.

 

 

The Rollright Ritual

William G. Gray

 

In the early 1970s the redoubtable old occultist William G. Gray bicycled from his Gloucestershire home to the Rollright stone circle in Oxfordshire on a clear and full-mooned summer night. The visionary experiences he encountered on that night and in other similar visits resulted in the writing of this book, originally published by Helios Books in 1975 and now a classic among pagan and craft traditions. The text of the ritual is given in full, along with a discussion of its pattern and purpose.

 

The Rollright Ritual is a powerful initiatory rite for attuning oneself to a personal and communal path of spiritual growth, presented here with an explanatory text and a discussion of the spiritual lives and practices of the stone circle builders of Great Britain.

 

“Somehow, we ought to get away from ideas that a Standing Stone is only an outworn sign of our past, and see it as an upraised Finger of Fate beckoning us ahead toward our future. The Stone is not merely a memorial of bygone beliefs, but a pointer that should raise our highest hopes of finding faith in all the Life that lies ahead of us.”

 

William G. Gray is a well established author of many books on Qabalah and ritual magic. He also worked with many 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.

 

Gwenevere and the Round Table

Wendy Berg

 

A follow up to her acclaimed Red Tree, White Tree, this book puts the faery elements of Arthurian legend into practice. It shows how the Round Table was an actual, practical system of magic, demonstrated by Gwenevere, who was its prime interpreter within the court of the Round Table. Central to the book is the concept of five Faery Kingdoms described in the legends, with which Gwenevere was closely associated: Lyonesse, Sorelois, Gorre and Oriande, about the central Grail kingdom of Listenois.

 

The book comprises a graded series of meditations, practical magical exercises, guided visualisations and a full ritual, which take the reader into each of the Faery kingdoms in turn, guided by Gwenevere, to experience the various challenges and gifts that they each represent. The fourth kingdom, Oriande, takes the reader into the Round Table of the Stars, an experiential journey through 12 constellations, which very neatly and remarkably demonstrates the continuing work of the Round Table into the future.

 

“A classic! Not only a lucid guide to faery dynamics in Arthurian and Grail legend but what to do about it, why, and how. A practical follow up to Wendy’s mind-blowing Red Tree, White Tree. Highly recommended.”

– Gareth Knight

 

 

Merlin and the Grail Tradition

Gareth Knight

 

Few figures from myth and legend have impressed the imagination like that of Merlin, Archmage of the land of Logres, whose shadowy, compelling presence plays a key part in the tales of Arthurian legend and the Quest of the Holy Grail.

 

In this lively collection of essays, Gareth Knight traces the historical importance and esoteric influence of Merlin and the Grail tradition from its mythological beginnings right down to modern times. Topics covered include Dion Fortune’s grail work at Glastonbury, the Merlin archetype, the “Elizabethan Merlin” John Dee, the blue stones of Preseli (which were used to build Stonehenge), and the connection between Merlin and Tolkien’s figure of Gandalf. This new edition of the book is expanded and has three additional articles, including an esoteric analysis of the legend of Sir Gareth which has never been published before.

 

 

Stewart Farrar
Writer on a Broomstick

Elizabeth Guerra & Janet Farrar

 

Stewart Farrar was a World War II veteran, an accomplished script writer and a journalist who worked for many prominent and respected media companies such as Reuters and the newspaper Reveille. As a world traveller, Stewart had the opportunity to meet and work with many fascinating people and noted celebrities during his career. He was also a gifted photographer. In 1969, at the age of 53, he met Alex Sanders – the infamous “King of the Witches” – and his wife Maxine while interviewing the couple for Reveille. The encounter introduced him to a world of Witchcraft and magic and changed the course of his life. Farrar left his job as a journalist and devoted his life and career to writing about the Craft. The many books he authored on witchcraft, together with his wife, Janet Farrar, have become widely read and respected works on the topic.

 

Elizabeth Guerra and Janet Farrar have collaborated to record and explore Stewart Farrar’s life and career in detail. This book tracks Farrar’s development from an eager and talented adolescent to a college student and dedicated Communist to a gifted journalist and television, radio and film script writer and finally to his later life as a practitioner of Wicca and author of many non-fiction books and science fiction novels.

 

Stewart Farrar found Witchcraft by accident but devoted the rest of his life to the subject by educating others. He became one of the most prolific and much loved writers on the subject, and in doing so, helped to make Wicca a viable and accessible path for many.

 

 

Liber Nox

A Traditional Witch’s Gramarye

Michael Howard

illustrated by Gemma Gary

 

In this concise and important treatise Michael Howard delineates between various modern neo-pagan Wiccan traditions, cunning folk traditions, heathen folk or the ‘pagani,’ and an assortment of ritual magicians and pathworkers in order to present a ‘gramarye’ distinctly for those who aspire to the ‘Old Craft.’ An experienced practitioner, writer, researcher, folklorist and magazine editor of the respected witchcraft magazine, The Cauldron (since 1976), Howard elucidates important elements of the Traditional Craft, including preparation rituals, tools of ‘the Arte,’ fellowship of the coven and the casting of circles, finally taking us through the ‘Great Wheel of the Year’ and the assortment of sacred rites as performed within. The seasonal rituals are based on traditional witchcraft and folklore sources and have been specially written for this book.

 

 

Seasonal Occult Rituals

William G. Gray

 

Seasonal rites are as old as the hills on which they were once practised by most of humanity. Periodically, in accordance with the natural tides of nature and the times indicated by the sun and moon, people came together to make dedicated representations of the things that bound them closest to the cosmic wheel of life.

 

In this absorbing work, William G. Gray demonstrates the continuing relevance of such practices in modern society. The actions of the rites are performed in a circle which symbolises the cosmic course, the magical practices consisting of music, movement, meditation and meaning. Detailed scripts are given for conducting the quarterly rites of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, with complete texts of the chants, songs and invocations for each season.

 

“a welcome and valuable addition to the literature of Western occultism … clear and without pretentiousness.” – Doreen Valiente

 

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 Earth God Rising, last published in 1995 by Llewellyn as part of their Men’s Spirituality Series, adding a new commentary and a number of illustrations.

 

Readers of Alan Richardson have come to love the sartorial wit, honest assessment and fresh exploration. 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 an excellent book for both new seekers and seasoned practitioners.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The Druid Source Book

compiled and edited by John Matthews
foreword by Philip Carr-Gomm

 

In this comprehensive and brilliantly researched book, John Matthews presents a superb cross-section through the diverse layers of Druid history and custom. Using rare sources – often lost or forgotten texts and translations – he shows how various aspects of Druidism originated and how these contribute to practices we see today. A druid himself, John Matthews has expert knowledge and avoids the popular misinterpretation of Druidism as 'wanting to live in the past'. Instead, this book reveals the real truth about Druidism, its ideas and customs, and makes a vital contribution to current interest in the Druids.

 

ISBN: 978-1-910098-11-0

 

 

The Celtic Seers’ Source Book

Vision and Magic in the Druid Tradition

edited by John Matthews

 

The tradition of the seer is alive and well! Anyone can gain direct contact with the powers from which the seers drew, by learning where to find the same truths – in dreams, in meditative ecstasies, and in communing with nature. Experts in all the ancient seer traditions combine to provide the most enlightening collection of writings ever published about receiving visions. Among the topics: precognitive dreams, incubatory sleep, co-walking, prognostication, auguries, oracles, second sight, throwing Ogham Sticks, cloud reading, the three illuminations, spells, vaticination and divination. The greatest ancient tales that feature seers also come in for fresh analysis, including "The Raven and the Wren", "The Silver Bough", and "The Stone of Destiny". So do the great prophecies of Merlin, the poems of Suibney Geilt, the visions of MacConglinne, and the visions of Brahan the Seer.

 

ISBN: 978-1-910098-12-7

 

 

The Bardic Source Book

Inspirational Legacy and Teachings of the Ancient Celts

edited and selected by John Matthews

foreword by Robin Williamson

 

The bards of the ancient Celtic world were seers, visionaries, and shamans, wise to the power of words, perceptive about other-worldly phenomena, and capable of opening doors to spiritual realms. Celebrate their legacy and bring together their most inspirational teachings with this outstanding collection. The poems, stories, and speeches explored here come from throughout Britain: some, as in Merlin and Merlinian Poems, focus on familiar and much loved material. Others, equally magical, tell of kings and heroes, wild adventures, witty satirists, and powerful enchanters. These expert discussions reveal all the wonder and brilliance of the bards' precious legacy.

 

ISBN: 978-1-910098-13-4