Bulwer-Lytton
Occult Personality
John S. Moore

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Bulwer-Lytton Occult Personality
John S. Moore
Softcover/square art book format
166pp/bw & full colour illustrations.
£20/US$28
Subjects: Biography/Occult

Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton, once the most successful novelist in the English speaking world, now unfairly neglected and even derided, was also the central figure in the underground culture of magic and the occult. With his esoteric studies he built a reputation for deep learning in the history and philosophy of this alternative tradition, as well as passing for an adept in his own right. His creative influence, especially through his occult fiction, was surprisingly far reaching.

The book sets the achievement of this nineteenth century magus into a large historical context, exploring the intellectual and other influences on him as well as movements he inspired. Some chapters discuss aspects of Bulwer’s life, while some explore people and ideas that influenced him and others those he influenced. His seminal role in several cultural movements has been largely forgotten, not least in his home country. This book offers an often unfamiliar perspective on the Victorian era and hopefully succeeds in provoking some questions about our own times.

With Bulwer as its focus, and employing a wealth of illustrations, it manages to provide a whirlwind tour of much occult and esoteric culture, from Iamblichus to Symbolist art and literature, Theosophy and modern psychedelia.

Watch John Moore’s presentation of Bulwer-Lytton Occult Personality
on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iufOV7EmT0Y&feature=youtu.be

Pan’s Daughter:
The Magical World
of ROSALEEN NORTON
(Revised and Greatly Expanded Edition)
Nevill Drury

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Untitled-1 copy


Pan’s Daughter
The Magical World of Rosaleen Norton
(Revised & Greatly Expanded Edition)
Nevill Drury
Format: Softcover/326 pp/48 illustrations.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-41-1
£22.99/US$32
Subjects: Art/Art History/Biography/Occult/Witchcraft/Magick.

During the 1950s and early 1960s the Sydney-based trance-artist and Pan-worshipper, Rosaleen Norton, was well known in Australia as ‘the Witch of Kings Cross’ and was frequently portrayed in the tabloid press as an evil ‘devil-worshipping’ figure from the red-light district. Norton attracted attention from both the public at large and also the local police for engaging in bizarre pagan sex-rituals with her lover, the poet Gavin Greenlees. Details of these activities would surface from time to time in the local courts when Norton was defending her metaphysical beliefs and seeking to defuse claims that her magical paintings and drawings were obscene. Norton was also associated with the scandal that eventually engulfed the professional career of renowned musical conductor, Eugene (later, Sir Eugene) Goossens who had arrived in Australia in 1947 and became a member of Norton’s magical coven six years later.

Norton dedicated her magical practice to the Great God Pan and to a lesser extent Hecate, Lilith and Lucifer. She was also intrigued by the visionary potential of Kundalini yoga, out-of-the-body trance exploration and Aleister Crowley’s Thelemic sex magick and combined all of these elements in her ritual activities.

Pan’s Daughter is the only biography of Rosaleen Norton and provides the most detailed and authoritative account of her magical beliefs and practices. First published in Britain by Mandrake in 1993, it is now reissued in a revised and expanded edition.

“Brilliantly researched…outrageous and inspiring”
Fiona Horne, author of Witch – A Personal Journey and Witch – A Magickal Year

“A fascinating study. Drury’s understanding of the occult and spiritual realms makes Norton’s art and life comprehensible” Tom Thompson, Sydney Morning Herald

Author photo by Lesley Drury

Dr Nevill Drury is best known for his publications on modern Western magic, shamanism and visionary art. For many years he worked in the Australian book industry as an editor and art book publisher and in 2008 he received his Ph.D from the University of Newcastle for a dissertation on the art and magic of Rosaleen Norton. Currently living on the New South Wales south coast, he now works as a full-time writer and occasional university lecturer. Nevill’s books have been published in 25 countries. Recent publications include Sacred Encounters: Shamanism and Magical Journeys of the Spirit; The Dictionary of Magic and Stealing Fire from Heaven: the Rise of Modern Western Magic. He also co-authored The Varieties of Magical Experience with Dr Lynne Hume.

Cover: Timeless Worlds (courtesy of Wally Glover)

William Lilly:
The Last Magician
Adept & Astrologer
Peter Stockinger & Sue Ward,
Foreword by David Conway

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978-1-906958-626


William Lilly,
The Last Magician, Adept & Astrologer
Peter Stockinger & Sue Ward
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-906958-62-6
£14.99/US$28
Subjects: Astrology/Biography/Magic/Hermeticism.

Born less than a year before the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, William Lilly lived during one of the most turbulent times in English history. Like so many of his generation, he had to deal with the plague, was drawn into the madness of the English Civil War and was forced to take sides, and witnessed the regicide of King Charles I. Lilly lived in a time of enormous religious and social upheaval, but his astrology remained the outer expression of a magical world-view, based on hermetic and neo-Platonic principles and rooted in the 16th century.

This book provides the reader with a thorough introduction to the world of William Lilly, the famous 17th century astrologer and magician. It brings together transcripts of his autobiography and of some of his most important works. It also includes Peter Stockinger and Sue Ward’s Monster of Ingratitude, an investigative journey offering new insights into the notorious contention between Lilly and the astrologer John Gadbury. Amongst other valuable information, the book contains:

· The Life of William Lilly, Student in Astrology

Transcribed from the autograph, with annotations, commentaries and biographical notes, including Elias Ashmole’s addenda. Nativities of some notable persons appended.

· The Nativity of Sir William Wittypoole
Transcript of a nativity, rectified and directed by William Lilly, a previously unpublished manuscript providing the reader with an exciting insight into the working methods of the master astrologer.

· Monster of Ingratitude
This research contains brief biographies of Lilly and Gadbury. It shows how their enmity began, developed and ended, including details of the rather one-sided pamphlet war. An in-depth study of published material, timelines and bibliographic entries of all primary sources used are also included and provide the grounds for a different explanation from that commonly proposed.

”The Last Magician is a very worthwhile work. Although some parts are hard going for the non-specialist, others are of value to anyone with an interest in Enlightenment esotericism and seventeenth-century English history in general. — Clive Prince.”

Read the full review from MAGONIA REVIEW OF BOOKS BLOG
pelicanist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/the-last-magician.html

and a review from Kirk Little in The Mountain Astrologer
www.skyscript.co.uk/rev_lilly.html

The Magical Universe
of William S. Burroughs
Matthew Levi Stevens

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7981906958640_cov


The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs
Matthew Levi Stevens
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-906958-64-0
£11.99/US$23
Subjects: Counter-Culture/Magic/Occult/Biography/American Underground.

——
“In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen. The dogma of science is that the will cannot possibly affect external forces, and I think that’s just ridiculous. It’s as bad as the church. My viewpoint is the exact contrary of the scientific viewpoint. I believe that if you run into somebody in the street it’s for a reason. Among primitive people they say that if someone was bitten by a snake he was murdered. I believe that.”
– William S. Burroughs

Fully revised and expanded from the limited edition chapbook that first appeared in 2012, The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs is the first ever in-depth consideration of the significance of Magic and the Occult in the Life & Work of the writer and counter-cultural icon.

In Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs, his biographer Ted Morgan wrote:

‘As the single most important thing about Graham Greene was his viewpoint as a lapsed Catholic, the single most important thing about Burroughs was his belief in the magical universe. The same impulse that lead him to put out curses was, as he saw it, the source of his writing…’

‘To Burroughs behind everyday reality there was the reality of the spirit world, of psychic visitations, of curses, of possession and phantom beings…’

From the Introduction to The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs:

In talking about The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs I am really thinking of two things:

Firstly, and probably most obvious, is the material that appears in the output of Burroughs the Writer that can be seen as describing or referring to some magical, mystical or occult idea – Invocations of Elder Gods of Abominations, descriptions of Sex-Magick rituals, references to amulets, charms, ghosts, omens and spells – all the thematic set-dressing that we all know and love, from Hammer Horror Movies to Weird Tales, from H. P. Lovecraft to Dennis Wheatley and The X-Files…

Secondly, there is the personal interest and involvement of Burroughs the Man with belief systems and practices that come from those strange ‘Other’ territories that lay outside the bounds of either conventional mainstream religion or scientific materialism – explorations of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, Konstanin Raudive’s Electronic Voice Phenomena, Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Accumulator; also partaking of the Vine-of-the-Soul with Amazonian shamans, attending the Rites of Pan in the Rif Mountains outside Morocco, participating in a Sweat-Lodge with Native American Indian medicine men – and, latterly, an engagement with that most Post-Modern of Occultisms, Chaos Magic.

The material considered has been distilled from archival sources, correspondence, interviews, and of course, published works. As well as his own personal contact with Burroughs and his lifelong study of the Man and his Work, the author also draws from a wide range of former associates – collaborators, friends, lovers, and students – including C. J. Bradbury Robinson, Michael Butterworth, David Conway, Phil Hine, Graham Masterton, Malcolm Mc Neill, and others.

As well as his own contact with the likes of Genesis P-Orridge, John Balance & Peter Christopherson of Coil, and writer Terry Wilson, back in 1980s London, he has also had unprecedented access to the papers of Cabell McLean, a young writer who was William’s companion, lover & student, c.1976-1983.

Sometime in the nineteen-seventies, following a reprint of my book, Magic: An Occult Primer, a letter was forwarded to me by my then publisher. Poorly typed and in an envelope which, unless my memory deceives me, bore no postage stamp, it came from William S. Burroughs. I still have it somewhere. In it the writer made plain his interest in magic. In real magic that is, not the smoke and mirrors kind.

Given that Burroughs’ tireless ambition was to encounter a reality beyond that accessible to our five senses, with magic perceived as an effective means to that end, it is remarkable that the subject has hitherto received but scant attention.

This work, by Matthew Levi Stevens, who must have encountered Burroughs at around the time he wrote to me, sets out to make up for that deficit. In it he chronicles the man’s interest and examines the part magic and occultism generally played both in his life and in his work.

Stevens sets about the task with gusto, indicative of his respect and, indeed, affection for “Uncle Bill”, as well as his familiarity with the topic itself. He draws on Burroughs’ own writings, and on those of the growing number of people, supporters and critics alike, who have commented on him and his literary output.

It is a job well done. And one that is all the more welcome because long overdue . . .

– David Conway, 2014.

The Flying Sorcerer:
Francis Barrett
Francis X. King


The Flying Sorcerer
Francis Barrett
Francis X. King
Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£10.99/US$18
Subjects: Hermeticism/Biography/Magick/Occult.

The Flying Sorcerer is the only biography of an enigmatic 18th century magus Francis Barrett, whose book The Magus or Celestial Intelligencer, laid the foundation of the current magical revival. He was the first author since the middle ages to compile a manual or ‘grimoire’ of magick. The Magus or Celestial Intelligencer is widely read and still capable of providing insight.

Francis King offers a fascinating picture of Francis Barrett, a man who lived on the frontier of technology, both in terms of the inner landscape and his pioneering experiments in balloon flight. It discusses his teachers, peers, and the subsequent progress of his disciples.

The Magical Dilemma
of Victor Neuburg
Jean Overton Fuller

978-1869928-797

Dylan1936


The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg
Jean Overton Fuller
Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$24
Subjects: Biography/Aleister Crowley/Thelema/Magick.

To mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas, here’s an extract from JOF’s book that narrates her first meeting with the soon to be famous poet:

“We agreed to Zoists”: Dylan Thomas & the Occultist Victor Neuburg (Aleister Crowley’s lover & collaborator)

“We agreed to Zoists.

Runia wanted us to have badges, ‘so that one Zoist can recognize another, if you meet outside, or if we have provincial centres.’

There was a murmur of dissent. Some of us felt this thing was getting inflated. And we didn’t want badges. We weren’t boy scouts; just a few people who wanted to come here and sit and talk to each other on Saturday evenings.

‘All right, no badges,’ she said. ‘But it is agreed we have a name?’

It was agreed but there was no enthusiasm for the name, our feeling being for the informal. Before we left Runia made us cups of tea.

When eventually we broke up, and I stood again in the road outside, I felt I could tell my mother I had been among distinguished people. But the truth was I felt something else as well. I felt I had been in ancient Egypt and for this feeling I could find no explanation.

Not all of those who had been present on the first evening returned the following Saturday, but as I attended every week I began to know the regulars. Arriving soon after 8 (dinner at the hotel where my mother and I lived, was at 7, so it was a rush), I always found a certain number of people there already, though there was usually some time to wait until Vicky and Runia came from the inner room. It was in this waiting time that I had to find my feet, as it were among the other young ones. Nobody was ever introduced at Vicky’s. One just found out for oneself. I did not find the young men easy although they made efforts to draw me into the circle, for they assumed an acquaintance with modern poetry and political authors greater than I possessed; I could not always follow their allusions, and I had the feeling they all participated in a form of culture slightly strange to me. I was therefore grateful when a good looking young man, quiet mannered and of a more ordinarily civilized demeanour, settled himself beside me and asked, simply, ‘How did you come to Vicky’s?’

I told him about the circular letter I had received. He knew Geoffrey Lloyd had sent some out and asked, ‘What do you do when you’re not writing poems for Vicky? What’s your background, so to speak?’

I told him I had been on the stage since I was seventeen.
He said ‘Fancy our having an actress among us!’

‘What’s your name?’ I asked him.

‘William Thomas’, was what I first thought he said, but then he added, ‘It’s a special Welsh name.’
There could be nothing very special about William, and I puckered my brows.
‘You’ll never have heard it before,’ he said. ‘Nobody in England ever has. It should really be pronounced Wullam, in Welsh.’ Or was he saying ‘Dullan’?

‘It’s a special Welsh name,’ he repeated. ‘I shall have to spell it for you. D-Y-L-A-N. In Wales, it’s pronounced Dullan. But I’d been corresponding with Vicky for some time before I came to London, and when I arrived I found he had been calling me Dillan, in his mind. I thought if Vicky didn’t know how to pronounce it nobody in England would, so I decided to take it as the standard English pronunciation of my name. Otherwise I’d spend all my time telling people it was Dull and not Dill, and I think perhaps Dillan sounds more elegant than Dullan. Only Idris objects and thinks it’s frightfully fancy! Because he’s Welsh, too, and he knows! but now I’m getting even Idris trained to call me Dillan, though it’s under protest!’
‘What part of Wales do you come from?’ I said.

‘Oh, I only come from a small town. Swansea.’

Whereas I had previously felt myself to be the most naive member of a group otherwise composed of sophisticated, bohemian intellectuals, I now felt I had, vis-à-vis Dylan Thomas, at any rate, an advantage in being a Londoner. ‘I should have thought Swansea was a large town,’ I said. ‘I was near there all last summer. If you had been to the theatre at Porthcawl you would have seen me on the stage!’

‘No, I’m afraid I didn’t’ he said. ‘What a pity!’

Giving the conversation a turn he did not expect, I said, ‘Have you ever been down a mine?’
‘No.’

‘I have!’ I explained triumphantly. ‘Near Crumlin. I once played a January date in the Rhondda. Or more exactly the Ebbw Vale.’ I told him how I had persuaded the men at a pit to take me down the shaft, and how, having arrived at the bottom, I was given a lamp to hold and escorted along a passage which had been hewed through the coal to a point where it became so low that one would have had to proceed on hands and knees. I was shown a fault seam, which I felt with my fingers.

‘You have seen something in Wales which I haven’t!’ said Dylan. He explained that his home was some distance from the mining regions. He described the part of Swansea where he lived, with a detail I cannot now recall, except that it sounded salubrious and agreeable. His father was Senior English Master at the Grammar School. ‘Living where I do one doesn’t really see anything of all that,’ he said, with reference to my allusion to the coal mining (and depressed) areas. ‘Idris comes from the Rhondda,’1 he said. ‘I haven’t been into those areas.’ As though he had been slightly shamed by my adventure, he added, ‘Perhaps I ought to have done.’

‘It’s because you live there that you wouldn’t think of it,’ I said. ‘When one is touring one feels one must see everything in case one never comes again. When I was sixteen, my mother and I made a tour of Italy, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Capri, and back through Perugia, Florence and Milan. We felt we had to go into everything, even the smallest church we passed on any street. We realized we had never “done” London half as thoroughly because we took it for granted.’

I have no ‘outrageous’ sayings of Dylan Thomas to record. His conversation with me was perfectly drawing-room and unexceptional. I remember him as a polite young man. Friendly, but not at all presuming.
He told me the origins of the circle of which I now formed part. ‘First one and then another of us found our way to Vicky’s through entering into correspondence with him or something like that, and so a circle grew up around Vicky. We’re all very fond of Vicky.’ He explained that, ‘always reading each other’s names in print we began to wonder what the ones whom we hadn’t seen were like.’ So they had had the idea ‘of sending out circulars to everybody who was a contributor. He thought it had brought in some interesting people. ‘Well, it has brought you!’ Perhaps one could name some kind of a regular thing of it. ‘The only thing I don’t like is the name Zoists!’ he said.

I laughed and said, ‘It does sound a bit like protozoa, zoophytes and zoids!’

Dylan pulled a funny face.

‘We’re always called “Vicky’s children”,’ said Dylan. ‘It’s a bit sentimental, but I don’t think we shall ever be called anything else.’

It had been at the back of my mind while he was speaking that his name, as he had spelled it out, was one which I had read in the Sunday Referee in a context more important than that of the weekly prizes. I had not taken the paper regularly before I joined the circle, or I would have known the whole build-up. I said, ‘Aren’t you the winner of a big prize? I believe you’re one of the distinguished people here!’
‘It was through Vicky and the Sunday Referee that a book of my poems has been published,’ he said. He explained that a prize was offered twice yearly, part of which consisted in the publication of the winner’s poems in book form. ‘The first was awarded to Pamela Hansford Johnson. She isn’t here tonight. I was given the second of them.’ He said that Vicky had helped him pick out what he thought were the best of the poems he had written.

‘What’s it called?’

‘Just 18 Poems. It was published just before Christmas, and I think it’s doing quite well.’ He added, ‘I’m very grateful to Vicky. It’s a big thing for me. One’s first book is the most difficult to get published. Everyone says so. Now that I have one book published, it should be easier to get the next accepted, perhaps by an ordinary firm.’

My sentiment for Vicky was already so strong that I was slightly shocked.

Dylan Thomas saw it. ‘Vicky doesn’t expect us to stay with him!’ he said. ‘This is a nursery school from which we are expected to go out into the world. When we can get published elsewhere nobody is more pleased than Vicky!’

Just then the moment for which we had been waiting arrived. The door from the inner part of the house opened and our hosts came out to join us.

Vicky came straight up to Dylan and me. I did not know which of us the distinction was meant for but it gave me joy. He stood by my chair, looking down on us beamingly, and said to Dylan, ‘You’re entertaining this little lady?’

Dylan said, ‘I’ve been telling her something of the history of the Poet’s Corner.’

*********************************

Laugharne,
Carmarthenshire,
Wales
19 June 1940
Dear Miss Fuller
I haven’t heard anything from Vicky and Runia for years, until about a fortnight ago.
Then Pamela Johnson wrote to tell me that Vicky had just died. I was very grieved to hear it; he was a sweet, wise man. Runia’s address is 84, Boundary Road, NW8. At least, I suppose she is still there. I wrote her a letter, but I haven’t had a reply yet; probably she’s too sad to write.
Yours sincerely
Dylan Thomas

——————————

Really two books in one. Firstly a record of one man’s extraordinary journey to magical enlightenment. Secondly the story of Aleister Crowley, the magus who summoned Neuburg to join him in the quest.

‘The book opens with the author’s entry into the group of young poets including Dylan Thomas and Pamela Hansford Johnson. They gather around Victor Newburg in 1935 when he is poetry editor of the Sunday Referee. Gradually the author becomes aware of his strange and sinister past, in which Neuburg was associated in magick with Aleister Crowley.

Contents: Beginnings / Mystic of the Agnostic Journal / Crowley and the Golden Dawn / Initiation / Magical Retirement / Equinox and Algeria / Rites of Eleusis / Triumph of Pan / Desert / Triangles / Moon Above the Tower / Templars and the Tradition of Sheikh El Djebel / Paris Working / The Sanctuary / Arcanum Arcanorum / Dylan Thomas

REVIEWS

‘Those interested in Western occult history will welcome this revised and expanded edition of an important work first published in 1965.

Overton Fuller’s biography of Neuburg paints an intimate portrait of this complex character who was as much mystic as poet. A prominent figure in London’s literary bohemia in the 1930s, Neuburg encouraged such writers as Dylan Thomas, Pamela Hansford Johnson, Hugo Manning and many others, including Overton Fuller.

In his earlier days, Neuburg had been a disciple, magical partner and possibly even lover of Aleister Crowley during a period of ground-breaking magical experiments.

‘Vicky encouraged me as no one else has done,’ Dylan Thomas declared on hearing of Neuburg’s death. ‘He possessed many kinds of genius, and not the least was his genius for drawing to himself, by his wisdom, graveness, great humour and innocence, a feeling of trust and love, that won’t ever be forgotten.’ ‘ . . . there was a whiff of sulphur abroad, and all of us would have liked to know the truth of the Aleister Crowley’s legends, the truth of the witch-like baroness called Cremers, the abandonment of Neuburg in the desert.’

– Pamela Hansford Johnson

‘No dry biography this but an illuminating and compelling account of a multi-faceted personality who lived during an exciting period of occult and literary history. An absolute must-have!’
– (ME) In Prediction Magazine November 2005

Mystical Vampire
The Life and Works
of Mabel Collins
Kim Farnell


Mystical Vampire
The Life & Works of Mabel Collins
Kim Farnell
Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$26
Subjects: Biography/Theosophical History/Esotericism/Mysticism/Victorian social reformers.

”I recommend the book to one and all whom have an interest in Victorian Society, for the off-beat origins of many institutions that are influential on our lives today. More than a few ideas found within Mystical Vampire such as the possibility of Annie Besant and Helena Blavatsky being more than just friends, make the book a good investment. For the Ripperologist, the two (and there may be other gems in there, so buy it!) items I mentioned on Collins / Stephenson are worth the price of the book alone. Few books (Sugden, Begg and Evans come to mind) are as well referenced and footnoted as this one. Ms Farnell has done an excellent job on her subject, Minna Mabel Collins.”
Howard Brown, Casebook: Jack The Ripper, the Web’s largest Jack The Ripper public archive www.casebook.org

”Kim Farnell has done devotees of gaslight and mediums a service in bringing Mabel’s world back to life.” Gary Lachman – The Independent On Sunday.
Gary Lachman’s works include:Turn Off Your Mind -The Mystic Sixties and The Dark Side of The Age of Aquarius (Sidgwick & Jackson) and The Dedalus Occult Reader: The Garden of Hermetic Dreams (Dedalus).

MYSTICAL VAMPIRE
The characters:
*Mabel Collins, Theosophist, novelist, fashion columnist, journalist and anti-vivisection campaigner
*Madame Blavatsky the extraordinary and highly influential Russian occultist and author, and other eminent members of her Theosophical Society
*Annie Besant, social reformer and Theosophist
*Robert Donston Stephenson, a suspect for Jack the Ripper and Mabel’s lover
*Frances Power Cobbe, social reformer, suffragist and anti-vivisection campaigner
*Charlotte Despard, social reformer, and anti-vivisection campaigner

Mabel Collins was an independent woman in the oppressive Victorian climate. She wrote many novels, but most will remember Mabel Collins, for her best selling mystical text Light On The Path published by the Theosophical Society. After her fall out with Madame Blavatsky,she carried on with her life as an esotericist, traveller and writer. She was moved by the plight and suffering of helpless creatures and became a campaigner for the abolition of vivisection.