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Showing posts from May, 2016

Heart of Magic: Based on talk given at Twisted Power event, London, May 20th 2016

I begin by saluting all the gods of magic, language and poetry. Hail Woden! Hail Tehuti! Hail Hermes! Why are gods of magic also gods of language and poetry? Because the heart of poetry is also the heart of magic. That answer first came to me in the course of a psychedelic experience. The first time I smoked DMT, once I got the hang of it ('pay attention!') and let go, I was being guided, on a journey along a strange road. Something inside me said 'this is the heart of poetry'. I have never thought of myself as a poet, and it was one of those sayings that seem unutterably profound at the time, but which I could only make a limited amount of sense out of the next day. In this case, I found it was one of those sayings that you understand later. Years later. It took me nearly 20 years to put together the rest of the answer, to understand that that the voice that spoke was the voice of the god within me, and that god was the storyteller god. When I speak of

Two Icelandic Magic books

You wait for years for another book on Icelandic Sorcery and then two come along. In chronological order: Icelandic Magic: Aims, Tools and Techniques of the Icelandic Sorcerers, by Christopher Alan Smith , http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalogue/norse-viking/icelandic-magic/  Previous to this, the only material in English on Icelandic magic and my first taste of its magical syncretism had been Stephen Flowers' The Galdrabok, in 1990. ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Galdrabok-Icelandic-Grimoire-Stephen-Flowers/dp/087728685X ) . This book is a thorough and very readable survey of five hand-written manuscripts, personal books of magic, giving us a glimpse across time, from the 16th to the 19th centuries, of a whole tradition of magic which still feels alive today. One of these volumes Christopher Smith translated himself. 'Aims, Tools and Techniques' provides rich backgrounds to the folk-magic - the material history, the religious shifts and persecutions, which are interspers