Showing posts from May, 2010

Review - Phil Harper's Ritual Chaos Magic Workbook

The Ritual Chaos Magic Workbook by Philip Harper Phil Harper will be a new name to most of you, so the quality of information offered in this slim book may come as a surprise. Opening with the big questions - What is Magic and Why Do It? - he proceeds to an overview of Classical Western Magic and Chaos Magic. From the start, Harper writes with the authority of practical experience, in a competent no-nonsense fashion. The topics covered include reviews of basic Qabalah, basic magical training in the skills that will be familiar to anyone who has followed a well-rounded training scheme, the temple and tools, banishing rituals, sigils, divination and servitors. This selection of material is, of course, not entirely original; if you are writing about using Qabalah as your main magical model, you have to give at least a review of a tradition of at least a couple of centuries' worth of magical literature. So the book goes over ground you could find in other books, but brings it all tog
The Book of English Magic by Phillip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate. Some readers may have read an earlier and very brief review I did of this book. That was based on the pages I was initially sent - the Introduction and a breezy and lucid introduction to the life of David Conway, which sits at the end of the final chapter, 'The Wizards' Return', more about which later. The first impression I got off those few pages suggested that it wasn't the kind of book that tells you much about how to do magic, more of an amusing overview of the scene for an absolute beginner. However, when I received the full volume, I changed my mind. The intro promises 'suggestions for sites to visit and experiments to perform', and these invitations to actually get involved in personal magical research is one of the central strengths of the book. Each chapter also includes one or two personal accounts from a practitioner of that aspect of the magic arts. These mini-biographies give

Dave's new blog

Hello World, I decided to start this blog to create a new space for the reviews I'm writing, rather than cramming them onto the back pages of my website ( For my previous reviews, check out the 'Writings' page of I might think of other things to post up here at some stage, but for now here's my first review: Magick Works by Julian Vayne, Mandrake of Oxford Readers of books on paganism, chaos magic and psychoactive sacraments may well be familiar with Julian Vayne's characteristic mix of essay, ritual report and personal anecdote. This book reprises that blend – the subtitle is 'Stories of occultism in theory and practice' – and those who enjoy his vivid personal tales of magic will not be disappointed – he reveals a good deal of his personal magical history, telling how he came to magic and relating the magical dimensions of the birth of his son. The essays are also very interesting, Vayne engaging with theoretica