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

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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)

Surrealism & The Occult
Nadia Choucha

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9781906958749


Surrealism & The Occult
Nadia Choucha
Format: Softcover/164 pp.
ISBN: 9781906958749
£11.99/US$20
Subjects: Art/Art History/Surrealism/Occult.

Many people associate Surrealism with politics, but it was also permeated by occult ideas, a fact often overlooked by art historians. This occult influence goes beyond general themes to the movement’s very heart.

This occult influence goes beyond general themes to the movement’s very heart. The antinomian stance of Surrealism can be traced directly to the influence of radical nineteenth century magi such as Eliphas Lévi, whose Dogma and Ritual of High Magic was widely read by Surrealism’s ideologues. Amongst these we find its progenitor André Breton.

The book shows how many Surrealists and their predecessors were steeped in magical ideas: Kandinsky, with his involvement with Theosophy, the sorcery of Salvador Dali; the alchemy of Pablo Picasso and the shamanism of Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington.

Surrealism did not establish itself in Britain until the 1930s but a select few felt something in the air. Almost ten years before the Surrealist experiments with automatic drawing, an obscure English artist, Austin Osman Spare had perfected the technique.

Nadia Choucha shows, convincingly, that occult and surrealist philosophies were often interchangeable. Surrealism and the Occult is seminal reading for art historians and occultists alike, while artists will find it a vital guide to the unlocking of the imagination.

Praise for Nadia Choucha’s Surrealism & the Occult
”Highly readable…seminal… fascinating” – Francis X. King
”alive, with the heady mixture of occult and pictorial symbolism treated with laudable lucidity.”- Art Book News

Wormwood Star
The Magickal Life
of Marjorie Cameron
(revised & enlarged)
Spencer Kansa

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9781906958602

This New Edition features fascinating new insights and info,
as well as over 20 new images.

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Ebook editions:
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Wormwood Star
The Magickal Life of Marjorie Cameron
Spencer Kansa
Format: Softcover/302 pp/illustrated.
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-906958-60-2 (was 978-1-906958-08-4)
£13.99/US$24
Subjects: Biography/Magick/Thelema/Art/American Underground/Film Studies

In the first ever biography written about her, Wormwood Star traces the extraordinary life of the enigmatic artist Marjorie Cameron, one of the most fascinating figures to emerge from the American Underground art world and film scene.

Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, in 1922, Cameron’s uniqueness and talent as a natural born artist was evident to those around her early on in life. During World War 2 she served in the Women’s Navy, and worked in Washington as an aide to the Joint Chiefs Of Staff. But it was after the War that her life really took off, when she met her husband Jack Parsons. By day Parsons was a brilliant rocket scientist, but by night he was Master of the Agape Lodge, a fraternal magickal order, whose head was the most famous magus of the 20th century… Aleister Crowley.

Gradually, over the course of their marriage, Parsons initiated Cameron into the occult sciences, and the biography offers a fresh perspective on her role in the infamous Babalon Working magick rituals Parsons conducted with the future founder of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard. Following Parsons death in 1952 from a chemical explosion, Cameron inherited her husband’s magickal mantle and embarked on a lifelong spiritual quest, a journey reflected in the otherworldly images she depicted, many of them drawn from the Elemental Kingdom and astral plane.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Cameron became a celebrated personality in California’s underground art world and film scene. In 1954 she starred in Kenneth Anger’s visual masterwork, ‘Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome’, stealing the show from her co-star Anais Nin. The budding filmmaker Curtis Harrington was so taken with Cameron, he made a film study dedicated to her artwork entitled, ‘The Wormwood Star’. He then brought Cameron’s powerful and mysterious presence to bear on his evocative noir thriller, ‘Night Tide’, casting her alongside a young Dennis Hopper.

Cameron was an inspirational figure to the many artists and poets that congregated around Wallace Berman’s Semina scene, and in 1957 Berman’s show at the Ferus Gallery was shut down by LA’s vice squad, due to the sexually charged nature of one of her drawings. Undaunted, she continued to carve a unique and brilliant path as an artist. A retrospective of Cameron’s work, entitled ‘The Pearl Of Reprisal’, was held at LA’s Barnsdall Art Park in 1989, and after her death some of her most admired pieces were included in the ‘Reflections Of A New Aeon Exhibition’ at the Eleven Seven Gallery in Long Beach, California. Cameron’s famous Peyote Vision drawing made its way into the Beat Culture And The New America retrospective held at the Whitney Museum in 1995. And in 2006, a profile of her work was featured in the critically lauded Semina Culture Exhibition. The following year an exhibition of her sketches and drawings was held at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York.

With so much of her life and work shrouded in mystery, Wormwood Star sheds new light on this most remarkable artist and elusive occult icon.

All Material on this page copyright © Spencer Kansa

Cover of First Edition


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Nightshades
Jan Fries

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Nightshades
Jan Fries
Format: Hardback – Cased Matt Laminate A4 216 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-45-9
£24/US$40
Subjects: Aleister Crowley/Kenneth Grant.

“Nightshades is the record of one remarkable magician’s exploration of the inverse regions of the Tree of Life. Aleister Crowley’s Liber 231 provides the map and Kenneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden a travelogue. “Liber 231, apparently started life as a text within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as an exercise to develop astral and trance abilities or perhaps in other more elaborate rites. The nightside aspect requires some care and alertness in case of accident. The correct attitude is said to be one of self or ego-less witness. Or maybe it’s just one needs the use of an all-embracing rather than a limited kind of identity and self-identification” (mmm)

“The Nightside is always with us. It’s so much older than the Dayside. Before the light began to shine, the night was there. Some assume that we are dealing with a simple polarity. On one hand the radiant world of colours and forms, more or less thinkable, reasonable and meaningful. Like the pretty picture of the Tree of Life it has its scenic cites, its hotels, restaurants, shopping opportunities and highways in between.

On the other hand the chaotic world of uncertain and incomprehensible mysteries. Both of them connected by the voidness that makes them possible. It looks symmetrical. But when you reach the Nightside it doesn’t work like that. The Nightside is not simply a reflection of the dayside with a few confusing and spooky bits thrown in.
The Dayside is a tiny island of experience in a huge ocean, the Nightside, full of currents, island chains and continents of the possible and impossible. All and Nothing are present everywhere. Our island is not the opposite of the world-ocean, it is simply a tiny and comprehensible part of it.” (jf)

Jan Fries Nightshades comprises 72 intense drawings prefaced by an explanatory essay detailing the background and genesis of this ultimate magical adventure.