The Apophenion
A Chaos Magic Paradigm
Peter J. Carroll


Format: Softcover
£11.99/US$18
ISBN:
Subjects: Chaos Magic

From the Author

“My final Magnum Opus if its ideas remain unfalsified within my lifetime, otherwise its back to the drawing board.

Yet I’ve tried to keep it as short and simple as possible, it consists of eight fairly brief and terse chapters and five appendices. It attacks most of the great questions of being, free will, consciousness, meaning, the nature of mind, and humanity’s place in the cosmos, from a magical perspective.

Some of the conclusions seem to challenge many of the deeply held assumptions that our culture has taught us, so brace yourself for the paradigm crash and look for the jewels revealed in the wreckage.This book contains something to offend everyone; enough science to upset the magicians, enough magic to upset the scientists, and enough blasphemy to upset most trancendentalists.”

The Apophenion cover artwork by David Gough www.davidgoughart.com

”Apophenia is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad,[1] who defined it as the “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness”. Source Wikipedia

Praise for Peter J. Carroll’s works

“The most original, and probably the most important, writer on Magick since Aleister Crowley.” Robert Anton Wilson, author of the Cosmic Trigger trilogy.

“Magicians feared they had lost Him to the world of Theoretical Physics, but Zarathustra has come down from the mountain. The Apophenion is spoken – and proves the wait was worth it. Religion starts the hunt for Meaning, and with science Meaning is killed and served up as Truth. So we need magic, sowing the seeds of Meaning in everyday events, and we need art to cultivate them to public awareness. Thus does Apopheniareveal how to bring back meaning to our diminished lives.” Lionel Snell, Aka Ramsey Dukes, author of SSOTBME.

REVIEWS

THE APOPHENION
by Peter J. Carroll

‘Framed as the outpouring of insight generated by the novel Goddess ‘Apophenia’, Pete Carroll’s new work is a real gem. Coming from a science background, this is his attempt to create a falisfiable model of why the universe looks the way it does, and just why magick can operate successfully.

In the inimitable Carrollian style we have come to know and love, our author sets out to demolish the edifices of being, consciousness, causality, the big-bang and more. In toppling these ontological Titans Pete discovers a universe of panpsychism and intense meaning.

If nothing else this agrees with my own views and is therefore a Good Thing. Pursuing this process through the scientific style of exploration means that quantum physics, special relativity et al show up pretty frequently in the text. If you buy this book expecting lists of planetary correspondence and ritual-by-numbers instructions you’re going to be disappointed.

However this doesn’t mean that this is all physics and no esoterica. Rather the point is that the reading of the universe that the author presents is suffused with magick. (Nevertheless there are some reassuring illustrations of occult entities and one explicit ritual – a rather lovely evocation of the Goddess Apophenia herself).

My reaction in reading this book was one of excitement. The suggestions that Pete advances tickle the mind delightfully. Certainly this isn’t Liber Null. It’s not a manual of techniques but instead concentrates on theory, yet that doesn’t make for a dull read. The theorisation presented here can light the touch paper of a hundred disciplines: cosmology and magick for sure but also Fortean studies, ethnography and especially neuro-biology.

Algebra explodes across the appendices of the book scattering the non-mathematicians towards the Epilogue where things are nicely rounded off in laypersons terms. The truth may well be that we live in vorticitating hypersphere with three dimensional time that, as the author beautifully asserts, “…invites us to become apprentice gods.” The very fact that I can now say ‘vorticitating hypersphere’ and know what that means is a testament to the authors explicatory powers.

The final and perhaps most wonderful thing about The Apophenion is how it demonstrates the development and maturation of Pete Carroll’s earlier writing. If nothing else this stands as a testament to the work of an individual (or perhaps conspiracy of selves!) who’s magick really does seem to work.

Eight chaospheres out of a possible eight!’

– Julian Vayne

Magical Knowledge
Book II The Initiate
Josephine McCarthy


Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$26
Subjects: Magic/Kabbalah/Western Mystery Tradition.

“Here you have a book that will help you, and an author whose views you can respect. More than this, you may safely trust her practical guidance, which is drawn from a long and varied experience of working alone and with others. She is a gifted teacher, perceptive and critical: perhaps more important, she is also human . . . there is no question but that the magical path is a hard road that requires dedication, discrimination and a solid dose of common sense . . . if you are determined to follow the magical path, and if you employ these three qualities, you will be hard pressed indeed to find a better guide than Magical Knowledge.” RA Gilbert.

Magical Knowledge book I is the first in a series of three that takes the reader through the bends and twists of serious magical study. This book tackles some of the more pressing issues surrounding the early quest for knowledge from the world of magic, along with techniques, exercises and warnings for those ready to dip their toe in the scalding hot water of power.

Using her usual no nonsense down to earth approach, McCarthy outlines in depth some of the rarely tackled issues and problems that face a serious modern magician, offering advice and reflections based on 30 years of practical work.

The book follows no specific magical path; rather it takes the reader to the layers of consciousness beneath such paths and shows us the various techniques, powers and dynamics that underpin most Western Mystery schools and lodges. The reader is shown how ritual actually works, what an inner contact actually is, how to make visions work, how to turn an object into a magically charged implement, how to read Tarot, how to clean and protect yourself, and most importantly of all, how to spot the bullshit.

Magical Knowledge – Book II: The Initiate. Josephine McCarthy (Mandrake). The Western magical tradition has been shrouded for many years un secrecy and obfuscation giving rise to baseless speculation and providing succour to charlatans and mountebanks. This book, written by a practising magician and exorcist, lifts the lid on the ‘secrets’ and reveals in plain language some of the rarely discussed aspects of magical praxis. The contents are varied and wide-ranging including accessing the inner planes, working with angelic beings (not in the Doreen Virtue way!), the ancestral dead and the realm of Faerie, signs and seals, dealing with inner world parasites, magically relating to the sacred landscape and the ‘sleepers’ in the land, the esoteric meaning of birth and the ‘death vision’, the Tarot as a magical working tool and much more. The author is an occultist with many years of experience under the belt of her ritual robe. Currently she lives reclusively on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon but previously she has taught and led magical groups in the United States and the UK. For that reason she knows what she is talking about and can truly write from a position in the Arte of experience and authority. Highly recommended. The Cauldron #143, February 2012.

Josephine McCarthy

Josephine McCarthy is a seasoned occultist and writer living in the wilds of the Dartmoor National Park in the UK. Josephine has taught and led various Western Mystery groups throughout the USA and UK for many years, and has written a variety of magical non-fiction and fiction. Her previous books include The Exorcists Handbook and The Work of the Hierophant.

Josephine McCarthy website josephinemccarthy.com

Deeper down the Rabbit Hole Podcast interview with Josephine McCarthy

deeper-down-the-rabbit-hole.com/2013/04/episode-99-josephine-mccarthy-discusses-western-ceremonial-magic/

Aleister Crowley
A Modern Master
John S. Moore

 


Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$20
Subjects: Aleister Crowley/Magick/Thelema.

Aleister Crowley’s appeal on the level of popular culture has been well catered for by a number of biographies that have appeared in recent years, but the more intellectual side to him, which is equally fascinating, has not received so much serious treatment.

Crowley, A Modern Master is neither an account of his life, nor a straightforward presentation of his teaching, but an attempt to place him clearly in the context of modern ideas as well as a number of older traditions.

Listen to John Moore’s presentation of Aleister Crowley a modern master

Extracts

Even, or even especially if you have little interest in the occult, Aleister Crowley deserves your attention. He applied his powerful intellect to engage with some of the most pressing issues of his own day, many of which remain as vital as ever. His Magick, and his Thelema, outlandish as they might at first sound, are not just fringe ideas, they offer provocative answers and solutions to many of the urgent questions that still beset us.

His message is meant for all, as he firmly states in the introduction to Magick in Theory and Practice. He challenged received opinion, which responded by cutting him out of serious history. Untangle his ideas from their bizarre sounding setting, and we can see how unjust was his exclusion. Most importantly, while received opinion has somewhat changed its character over the past sixty years it is still powerfully subverted by the life and work of this badly underrated great man.

My object is to make Crowley intelligible in a mainstream context, to bring his creative achievement more into the light of sympathetic attention, render his ideas more accessible, and his religious outlook and experience available. This involves rewriting much recent intellectual history. The object is also to make excuses for him, defending what has been criticised as the more contemptible side of his character. While my main target audience is people who already know about Crowley and are intrigued enough to want to explore the context of his ideas, I am also writing for anyone interested in modern thought who is curious to discover if I really can make a case for his importance.

The plan for this book was first conceived in 1984 as a contribution to the Fontana Modern Masters series. This was a series of paperbacks about the people who supposedly defined modernity, what is most creative and distinctive in the age in which we live in. I felt strongly that Crowley deserved a place among these assorted gurus. It was annoying, reading much of what was taken so seriously and admired, that the writings of this unique genius should be so completely disregarded. Knowing the prejudice against him I didn’t have any serious hope, but sent off a proposal all the same. I was told Crowley was not a suitable subject for inclusion. ‘From a publishing point of view’, I was told, he was ‘simply too different from the other people we have included as subjects’. This was of course to be expected. Ezra Pound, high priest of modernism, had been adamant there should be no place for the Beast, far preferring Crowley’s nemesis, Mussolini. I meant to show that Crowley is not so out of place in such company as is said.

John S. Moore

 

REVIEW

‘That John Moore thinks Aleister Crowley is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century can be in no doubt after reading what amounts to a 200 pages attempt of a rehabilitation of the great beast.

Moore is the first to admit that his book is a defence of Crowley. ”The object is to make excuses for him”, Moore asserts, ”defending what has been criticized as the more contemptible side of his character.” Moore has no interest in the simple retelling of Crowley’s life and works: pointing out that this has been done many times.Instead he aims to try to put Crowley’s thought, work and behaviour into context. In an attempt to make Crowley ”intelligible”, Moore expends many chapters in highly detailed examination of Crowley’s output. Texts and behaviour are examined in the light of ‘Romanticism’, ‘Protestantism’ and ‘Philosophy’, while what Moore describes as ‘Crowley’s sexual Stalinism’ is given an equally thorough examination.

This is not a book for those with no knowledge of Crowley or his work. John Moore expects that you will have heard of (if not be familiar with) Crowley’s main texts and, after a short but informative description of Crowley’s life, lauches the reader straight into the nitty-gritty.

If you are a devotee of Crowley and can see no wrong in him, or any of his behaviour, you will find this book greatly to your taste. I, for one, however found some of Moore’s rather blithe assertions hard to take. One such was that Crowley’s execrable behaviour towards the women in his life could be glossed over with ”His was an aristocratic path. Sex lives of true aristocrats in all their complexity are not reducible to simple formula for democratic consumption.” I’m afraid that doesn’t quite do it for me. Quibbles aside this is a really thought provoking take on Crowley as a thinker, ego and possible guru. It highlights his huge creativity and determination to live as he believed he should, no matter the consequences: whether of drug abuse, sexual ‘addiction’, megalomania or accusations of debauchery. Well worth a place in any collection of Crowleyana.’

Pagan Dawn Samhain-Yule 2009

Becoming Magick:
New & Revised Magicks
for the New Aeon
David Rankine

 

Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$26
Subjects: Magick

Drawing on over twenty years of magickal work in a variety of systems, this book is a forward-looking manual full of new material and techniques created to push the boundaries of contemporary magick. Inspired by the great magickal traditions of past millennia, Becoming Magick presents new techniques of sigilisation and gematria, as well as a new system of energy magick based on the lunar Kalas, and prime Qabalah, a new system of English gematria.

REVIEWS

In the acknowledgements to this book David Rankine writes:

Ian Read, for being the first person to publish my writings as Jack Dracula in Chaos International.

It is, therefore, the least we can do to have a gander at Becoming Magick and give you our considered opinion thereon.

The system put forward here has something for everyone, all explained in the free and easy way that is one of the few good things about modern literature. The reader is guided through anything and (just about) everything from Maat to Angle and Mantra Webs and from Qabalah to Grant’s take on the Kalas, and it all somehow adds to- gether to make a great whole. There is a fair bit of number working in this book but anyone but the worst idiot (surely not present in the occult world?) should be able to follow this. This book is of particular use to Chaos Magicians because it is formed from ideas and techniques lifted from so many diverse systems. Definitely worth buying.’ – Frank Erpel, Chaos International, 26

‘The author of this new work exploring “magicks for the New Aeon”, is well known on the esoteric scene in Wales and London for his lectures and workshops. He has also been involved with a wide variety of magical groups and he draws on this experience to convey the essence of practical magick in simple terms. The book presents new techniques of visualisation and germatria, as well as a new system of magical working based on lunar symbolism and the Cabbala.’- The Cauldron

‘This book is a wonderful propellant for those who wish to bring that magic with a K into their lives. Having the benefit of knowledge of many systems of magic, from kundalini to kameas and kalas to qabalah, Mr Rankine delivers hard and fast ideas regarding these and a myriad of other subjects…An instructive book, especially for those with pre-knowledge of the author’s chosen subject matter.’

– Hyena, Witchcraft & Wicca Magazine, Beltane to Lammas 2005

More reviews

‘David Rankine has been practicing magick for 25 years. His book Magick Without Peers was the handbook for his correspondence course on Progressive Witchcraft, a hands on primer.

This book continues in the same vein, giving you some further study in some material that Mr. Rankine has developed over and above conventional practices. This book assumes you have some grounding in basic magical practices. It would be a good to have some idea of what the Hebrew alphabet has to do with the Qabalah, and how it works with gematria, or better yet, have an idea of what gematria is. It would also be a good idea to know a little about thought forms, a touch of Magic Squares, advanced mantras, and maybe some basics in the 9 Gates.

From these foundations David Rankine takes us a step further, exposing us to some out of the box thinking on these particular essentials to basic magic practice, and gives us something to ponder and possibly incorporate into our own practices. He also includes some “found” techniques he has devised from his own ponderings and practices, and he explains those rather well. Some topics of interest include The Prime Qabalah, The Kalas, The Mantra of Becoming, Magickal Ingestion, Magick Squares and so much more.

There is much to digest here, and I am going to give but a brief overview. The Prime Qabalah is a look at a variation of gematria (Hebrew Numerology) applied to the English alphabet and using the 26 prime numbers. Mr. Rankine has some interesting results, which give one cause for reflection. Well worth checking out.

The Kalas chapter is interesting, being based on the concept given by Kenneth Grant. Mr. Rankine has developed his own 16 Kalas (five elements and eleven Astrological Planets) and gives all the properties and attributions of each. From his explanation of what the Kalas are (cycles of energy), to the explanation of each Kala, he presents us with an extraordinary new working that many will find fascinating. If you work with Kalas, you will want to check this section out.

The Mantra of Becoming is a discovery of Mr. Rankine, incorporating a root mantra of Kia with some variations that progress on the magical “ia” and incorporates the next four Hebrew letters: L, M, N, and S. This revelation yields some very interesting analysis from the gematria aspect of the mantra, and Mr. Rankine goes a bit further to show the relationships suggested by the gematria analysis and gives us a very interesting mantra to work with.

Magickal Ingestion I found so basic that I wondered why someone else had not thought of it before. In Egyptian, Heka is magic. It is the spoken word that makes magic manifest. The ancient Egyptians would take a spell, and write it on a piece of papyrus and dissolve it in beer and drink it, imbibing the spell as part of themselves as well as being a working.

Bringing that into the present, writing our working, or sigal, or spell on food, writing our intent on a magical cookie, writing blessings on the cakes for ritual with various methods would be an excellent idea to bring the magic and the magician closer together, as suggested by Mr. Rankine. He gives some ideas, some uses and a whole new insight into “you are what you eat”. Much to ponder here and discover.

Magick Squares are the basis for much of our magical workings, be it talismans or creating sigals for personal work. The squares are based on the astrological information from hundreds of years ago and include Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and the moon. However, since the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, there has been no one who has updated these squares. Mr. Rankine gives us his version of the squares using the Prime Qabalah and also includes Earth, which seems to have been neglected by the astrologers of the past.

Again, more interesting material to ponder over, chew up, and possibly incorporate into our own magical workings. Note that if you do not understand the material discussed here, it is because this book is not a basic primer, and you are not at fault. This can get to be very deep, covering some more advanced material and concepts that knowledgeable practitioners will understand. I found this to be refreshing, and a bit challenging, as there was material here that went beyond my own basic knowledge.

I love a book that can teach me something new, or send me out looking for the basics so I can kick my own working knowledge up a notch. Mr. Rankine did an excellent job of explaining the concepts he is suggesting, and includes illustrations for much of what he discusses, and but for a few places where I had no working knowledge of what he was discussing, I did follow most of what he wrote. And after a bit of backtracking and research, the material I was not familiar with did fall into place.

The mark of a good teacher is his ability to make the unfamiliar understandable, and Mr. Rankine succeeded. If you are looking for new material for your own practice, if you are looking at what other working magicians are doing and are interested in some new concepts and ideas. If you want to challenge yourself with some new aspects to the magickal practices, then this book will definitely give you something to chew on. Again, this is not a magic 101 book, but is intended for those who have gone beyond that. This book is a wondrous look at another man’s discoveries and practices.’

– Boudica, The Wiccan/Pagan Times


David Rankine – Magician, Esoteric Author & Researcher and a leading authority on grimoires. davidrankine.wordpress.com

John S Moore

Listen to John Moore’s presentation of Aleister Crowley, A Modern Master.

Born in 1948, John S Moore is a freelance writer and independent scholar living in Islington, North London. He studied philosophy at King’s College, University of London from 1966 to 1969. He has published several papers on Nietzsche and other figures like Crowley (an interest which goes back over 45 years), Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein, as well as 3 volumes of poetry.