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Epoch Cover

The Esotericon & Portals of Chaos

Sales price £30.00
 
Description
Hardbound Book

Covering 212 pages and a spacious 270mm x 230mm format, this large, superbly produced hardbound book contains extensive text by Peter J Carroll and over 50 large full colour illustrations from Matt Kaybryn. Carroll's text begins with a historical resume of magical and esoteric thought (where it came from and where it may go) before moving on to present the reader with three complete grimoires.

The first grimoire of Elemental magic deals with modern practical magicaltechniques and the classical and modern interpretations of the traditionalelemental symbolism.

The second grimoire of Planetary magic deals with the Pagan and Neo-Paganmagical archetypes or 'god-forms', their contemporary roles in the humancondition, and how the magician can access them for their inspiration and toborrow their abilities.

The third grimoire of Stellar magic deals with the 'Elder Gods', those fociof awesome and dangerous extraterrestrial knowledge and power that await us in the vast deep reaches of the cosmos. This grimoire constitutes the latest upgrade to the ever evolving Necronomicon.

Complementing and supporting the grimoires, further chapters deal with the history of symbolism, the creation and/ or the evolution of gods and goddesses, and the physics of parapsychologyand extraterrestrial communication. All in all this book contains enough tokeep any wizard, magician, esotericist or natural philosopher entranced andbusy for quite quite some time to come.

Contents, Dedications, Prologue.

Ch 1 Introduction to The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos.Magic over the Aeons, Elemental, Planetary, & Stellar Magic. - An examination of the origins of the esoteric and magical traditions in late classical antiquity and their revivals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, followed by an analysis of current and possible future developments, including references to the seminal philosophers and magicians involved.

Ch 2 The Portals of Chaos Deck.Tarot History. - The history of the Tarot is not quite what many magicians think it to be. The uses of the Portals Deck: Not just for Divination, but a more extensive toolkit for Evocation, Enchantment, Invocation, and Illumination as well. The Esotericon Tree, Chaobala: The Tree of Life (& Death) upgraded with wider cosmological perspectives than previously available to the wizards and natural philosophers of the past.

Ch 3 Elemental and Elementary Magic. The 1st Grimoire.The Realm of the Elements and a Basic Magical Primer. - The origins of the ideas of the four (or five) classical elements along with modern interpretations and extensions, plus how to do practical magic, explained in the simplest terms. Baphomet: A modern conception of 'The Spirit of the Earth', the Egregore of this, our home planet, and its development from Shamanic times to the present Aeon.

Ch 4 Theometry & Aeonics.A History of the Gods and Paradigm Shifts. - The co-evolution of humanity, its gods and goddesses, its archetypes and philosophies, and the directions in which we have already taken each other - and to which we may take each other in the future.

Ch 5 Planetary Magic. The 2nd Grimoire. The Planetary and Bi-Planetary God-Forms. - A Pantheon of 36 'god-forms' drawn from many sources and cultures to create a more complete neo-pagan psycho-cosmology of the human condition for the 21st century.

Ch 6 Cosmology. Strange Physics Interlude 1. Alien Life & The Perfect Cosmological Principle. - The universe now looks immensely larger than all but a few ever suspected, and it contains vast numbers of sources of higher intelligence.

Ch 7 Omnality. Strange Physics Interlude 2. Quantum Omnality in a Non-Local Universe. - : An examination of some cutting-edge quantum hypotheses which suggest that the higher knowledge of advanced alien intelligence remains potentially available to us.

Ch 8 Stellar Magic. The 3rd Grimoire. Stellar Metaphysics. Necronomicon Prologue. Necronomicon Commentary. The Necronomicon. - A Chaos Magic based approach to accessing the awesome and potentially terrible knowledge and power held by those Alien Entities that appear to us as The Elder Gods.



Appendices.

1) Alien Elements. - An example of how some Alien Intelligences conceptualize basic reality in a self-consistent manner that looks rather different to ours.

2) Elements, Geomancy, Planets. - An upgrade to traditional Geomancy to include the whole solar system and beyond.

3) The Hypersphere Equation. An addendum to The Octavo. - Apophenia appears to have withheld this simple, beautiful, and elegant solution as some sort of a reward for finishing THIS work - She seems a tease as well as a Muse.

4) The Joy of Texts. A humorous poem by Ronald Hutton. A sort of banishing by laughter. - Simply so good we had to put it in.

Endpieces. - Platonic-Pagan-Monotheism or Quantum-Neo-Paganism?
References. - Some other seminal works you should read if you haven't already done so.
Dramatis Personae. - Notes on the lives and works of Bruno, Mathers, Crowley, Lovecraft, Grant, Carroll, and Kaybryn.
Afterword. - The futures.

The Portals of Chaos - Altar Icon Deck

Fifty four cards, plus a title card, resuming images of the following Elemental, Planetary and Bi-planetary, and Elder god forms: -

The Elemental forms The 'Archangels' of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Aether & Baphomet.

The Planetary and Bi-Planetary forms

Ouranos, Odin, Ma'at, Athena, Lucifer, Apophenia, Thoth, Isis, Saturn, Osiris, Choronzon, BaronSamedhi, Kali, Anubis, Hecate, Jupiter, Thor, JHVH, Juno, Vulcan, Dionysus, Mars, Horus, Eris, Loki, Ishtar-Astarte, Sol, BVG & Child, Bob-Legba, Asherath, Venus, Pandora, Babalon, Mercury, Pareidolia, Luna.

The Elder God forms, an Evocation form and an Invocation form for each

Nyarlathotep, Cthulhu, Shub-Niggurath, Hastur, Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth.

The Esotericon

Folio Volume of 216 pages in a 240x270mm format. Illuminated, Illustrated and Printed in luxurious full colour.

The volume is printed on archival quality 150gsm paper and sewn into a matte laminated, rounded, board binding.

The cover print features a reproduction of magically aquired talisman, produced over months of devotional work.

The Portals of Chaos

Deck of 55 Altar Icons (Including title) Large Format, 230mm x 143.7 mm

The Deck is printed on 250gsm Silk Board, Varnish Sealed and Gloss laminated.

The corners have been rounded for longevity.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Epoch

Review – EPoCh: The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos by Peter J. Carroll and Matt Kaybryn By James Wilber, Over at the brilliant Scroll of Thoth http://scrollofthoth.com/review-epoch-the-esotericon-and-portals-of-chaos-by-peter-j-carroll-and-matt-kaybryn/ I’m jumping on a bandwagon with this review. Others have already spoken out on the quality of both the writing and the production of the Epoch, but I feel a certain obligation to add my thoughts for many reasons. For starters, a new book by Peter J. Carroll always makes waves through the chaos magick continuum, and we would be fools not to give it the coverage it deserves. Also, Mr. Carroll was gracious enough to give us an interview before the release, and it seems only right to tell people about the book now that it has arrived. Especially since the creators have taken the brave stance of not releasing the book on Amazon. They felt that Amazon’s demands were unjustifiable and they don’t appreciate the company’s dodgy business practices. Though I sell on Amazon myself, I empathize with those beliefs. So without the Amazon juggernaut to facilitate distribution, more word of mouth is required. Last, I am just a huge fan of Peter J. Carroll and I’m just too damn excited not to share. The Epoch consists of The Esotericon—a 200 page, 11 in x 9 in, hardbound book, lavishly illustrated in full color. Its workmanship reminded me of some of the high-end RPG books on the market by folks like Paizo Publishing and Onyx Path. My only beef with the construction is the three column format laid out landscape, at times makes the book difficult to handle. Though I suppose it does give the book more gravity. I myself would have appreciated a PDF to accompany each purchase for reference purposes, but I understand why the creators would be shy on that idea. The second part of the Epoch is the Portals of Chaos cards illustrated by Matt Kaybryn. The cards are much larger than any card set I’ve seen before, each one 9 in x 5 3/4 in. While some decried the use of computer artwork on the cards, it is obvious to me that the style was intentional. Computer created art does not look that way these days unless someone is doing it deliberately. Each card is an amazing rendition of a theme, be it a god, element, or elder being. The cards seem flimsy, but they can withstand some ware. I had spilled wax on my Thoth card and it came right off without damaging the card. You’re going to want to start looking for some kind of case for your cards right away. I am thinking of hollowing out a book for the purpose. The first chapter of Esotericon lays out Peter J. Carroll’s history of magick from Antiquity to H.P. Lovecraft. It includes his personal system of Aeonics, which is the only part I take exception to, partly because I am probably too wrapped up in my own, and also by necessity, Aeonics paints large swaths of history with a broad brush, which by its nature obscures the nuanced truth. I did find fascinating his idea that we are moving from a Platonic Pagan-Monotheist paradigm, loosely put, looking for god from without, to a Quantum Neo-Pagan paradigm that looks for god from within. The second part of the book describes a totally new system of correspondences called Chaobala. For someone like myself who has never felt attracted to traditional Kabalah, this is a godsend. With a masterful hand, Peter Carroll sets up a path of metaphysical understanding working up from the classic Aristotlian elements, through Baphomet as a symbol of universal life, through a range of god-forms both Western and a few Eastern, to at last end up at the Lovecraftian Elder Gods, used as symbols for humanity’s new existential, cosmic perspective, as we stand ready to use our new god-like knowledge to take our place amongst the stars or totally annihilate each other. This is where the cards come in. While they can be used for divination, they are designed for use as altar pieces for evocation and invocation of the elements, gods, and elder beings. It can be seem as akin to traveling up the Tree of Life. A magician can work their way through each invocation, learning about themselves, the many parts of their psyche, and their own ability. The last part of the book contains Peter J. Carroll’s own Necronomicon. Unlike the versions that have gone before, the author does not feel a need to make a slavish pseudo-reproduction of the fictional book. Nor does he write a modern goetia with the names cut and paste from Lovecraft’s Mythos. This is a totally new grimoire, which approaches the material in a thematic sense. Carroll points out why the Mythos have been so appealing to readers, and especially magicians, for years. Though he’s not the first to call Lovecraft’s creation a mythology for atheists, he takes that idea and applies it to a system that appeals to the modern chaos magician. It is also blessedly detailed, with full instructions on creating magical tools and the incantations for the principle deities in the system. Without a doubt the Epoch will have great influence on the chaos magick paradigm and modern magick in general for years to come. I think every magician, even if they have their own correspondences, should examine the Chaobola system for its elegance and breadth. In the UK and Europe, purchase the Epoch directly from Arcanorium College for 30 pound. In the US, it is being distributed by Weiser Antiquarian for 60 dollars, and you save considerably on the postage. My copy from Weiser came signed and contained both a postcard from Arcanorium and a book mark. It is my understanding that Weiser has sold through its first shipment and subsequent lots may or may not have these features.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Epoch

A Review by Gordon over at the Wonderful Runesoup! http://runesoup.com/2014/05/epoch-the-esotericon-and-portals-of-chaos-a-review/ In my line of work, I deal regularly with raw and aggregated audience data. Raw data would be the number of likes or shares a particular piece of content receives. Aggregated data would be whether our readers are 50% more likely to be interested in travel or health and beauty versus the average over a thirty day period. Both are extremely useful but only if you do not mistake the one for the other. The introduction to Epoch is one of the most breathtaking examples of aggregated data you are likely to ever read. It is that accumulation and analysis of sorcerous macro trends that people either love or loathe about chaos magic. We could call it a Carrollist perspective and may even be chaos magic’s defining trait. This is so very much my jam. Inevitably, there is some signal loss with macro pronouncements, and detractors are ever eager to find exceptions to disprove rules. But I would argue this is confusing raw data with the aggregated stuff. For example, recently-discovered archaeological evidence of entheogen use in a building used as a Late Period Alexandrian Mystery School provides potent raw data for a shift in how we can think about what was going on during the western esoteric tradition’s most important ‘melting pot’ phase. But there are not yet enough data for aggregation and likely never will be. It is a completely different way of analysing the tradition to this very-PJC observation about Mercury (which knocked a few pieces in my head into their perfect place). Obviously, I was always going to like this book. I make no bones about the fact that Pete Carroll is more to blame than anyone else for how I approach magic. But it surprised even me. In all of his recent pre-interviews, Pete goes to great trouble to highlight Matt Kaybryn’s contribution. I thought that maybe this was simply an author being justifiably proud of having a very talented artist as his illustrator. Nope. It’s a proper partnership. They have both managed to say something that isn’t quite ‘book shaped’. The whole ‘book and card’ combo is very difficult to explain but makes complete sense when you possess them both. Inevitably with some many esoteric forms, some resonate more than others. But in concert they have already helped me ‘tune in’ to either forms that I previously struggled to resonate with or with new approaches to ones I thought I was reasonably up on. Check it: I cannot tell you how pleasing it is to have the danger restored to Eris. Discordianism always frustrated me with its sophomoric boy humour and sixties Californian stank. Eris isn’t a practical joker hanging out in a bowling alley, making puns on her college mates’ names. Eris wants to watch the world burn. She’s in East Ukraine right now, hoping to spark some misunderstandings. Eris is Heath Ledger’s joker with boobs. Behold. In fact, the slight delay in posting this review is largely down to test driving some of the forms and suggestions in the book. Besides the ones I have blurrily phone-photographed, a few others leap out as being personally instructive: Athena – A flawless presentation of duty, protection and the emotional toll it brings. Aether – Go figure. No idea what Matt’s depiction of something we should all have a pretty good conception of shook loose, but it shook something loose. Apophenia – This image captures the faint sense of nausea that Apophenia seems to induce in me. As well as the faintly comic reality of her manifestations being entirely on her own terms. Thoth – Actually, perhaps one of the most useful parts of the book is in its firming up of the differences between Thoth, Mercury and Hermes. The Thoth card is my current favourite. (There’s a little Easter Egg on the back shelf for the eagle-eyed.) Horus – It was in one of Mogg’s Set books; can’t remember which one; where he remarks that he’s never really resonated with Horus. I can completely relate to it. Part of that is down to Crowley’s wrong-headed presentation of him (which Pete goes to town on) but part of it is just… nope. Not there. Between the two of them, Matt and Pete have found a clear, useful, defined and potent manifestation. Matt has absolutely nailed Juno, if you ask me. It loses something in the phone photo (you don’t say) but I’m looking forward to playing around with her. It was a real ‘aha’ moment, when I landed on the Juno page. And as for Jupiter… finally someone has called it like we should all be seeing it. That’s an astral Manhattan skyline in the background. Praying to Jupiter has always struck me as waving a little flag as the Queen goes by. This is a god of kings and Rothschilds. It is Jupiter that allows Wall Street criminals to avoid jail and have you foot the bill for their crimes. That’s what kings do. Few forms embody having different laws for the wealthy than the rest of us quite like Jupiter. (I sometimes get some joy out of Jupiteran spirits, but then it’s always the page or the lady in waiting that ends up being bribed into talking to the gutter press, so that makes sense.) Pete is kinder: “He embodies both the innate and the experience-won techniques of continually up-trading for power. Invoke Him for as much of it as you desire.” All of these various beings and forces are mapped to what Pete calls the Chaobala, an idea whose time has certainly come. Chaos magic emphasises the unreality of any individual ‘map’ of creation, recognising these as human projections. Which isn’t to say they are not without some utility, as long as their provenance is acknowledged. What appeals to me about the Chaobala is twofold. Firstly, just as Jake Stratton-Kent does in Testament of St Cyprian The Mage, Pete points out the mostly-unacknowledged impact Neoplatonism has had on the western esoteric tradition and how this has skewed our maps. Secondly, and this has been a bugbear of mine for years, it incorporates space into it, rather than leaving it off the map just as things were getting interesting. (By definition, the planetary system ends at the edge of our solar system. Rising through the spheres is over before it is begun.) On the Kardashev Scale of the Gods, the Chaobala is a Type III worldview. Pulled together, it is a fantastic cohesion of ideas in need of cohering, doubly so because the cohesion makes no claims to antiquity and doesn’t have to fit with either Neoplatonic emanations or Sanskrit body centres. Getting your head around the Chaobala is getting your head around a substantially updated magical cosmology. If that kind of thing is your jam, this kind of book is your toast. (For the first time in my life, I wanted to build some kind of 777 magician’s tables based on it, even just as a mental exercise. I may yet. You know how I feel about ambitious metaphysics.) And because this is a Pete Carroll book, there is an absolute romp through quantum theory, probability and experimental physics. (“… to eliminate the embarrassing hypotheses of Multiple Universes and the Multiverse.” Testify!) This certainly merits further consideration. Essentially, you can still have the spooky action at a distance that is the hallmark of successful practical enchantment as your goal is linked in the future at the point of achievement, and is entangled backwards in time to the point where you cast the spell(s). Actually, because Epoch is Pete at his aggregating best, if there were parts of his last two books that bamboozled you a bit, then I’d suggest reading this chapter first and then going back to Octavo and Apophenion. It may become clearer. With regards to the final grimoire in the book, the Necronomicon… where do I start? This is the definitive explanation for why the crashed spaceship is the cornerstone grimoire of the chaos magic tradition. His aligning of various Elder Gods to various siddhis and the setting of the whole thing in deep space is… amazing. A. Mazing. There’s your price of admission right there. I’ve not worked with them yet (as they are presented in this grimoire, at least) because I am much too busy to risk a mental breakdown, but I very much want to rent a cottage somewhere in or near Exmoor and smash through them all under the stars. (The last two books by British magicians I have bought appear to both make me want to flee my life. Ye have been warned!) Concluding then, Matt and Pete have done a remarkable, inspirational, subversive, challenging, ambitious, new, funny, helpful thing. I commend it to you with the words of Professor Hutton, helpfully located on the back cover: This is a book to which gods and goddesses, historically so sensitive about their images, should be happy to belong.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Epoch

The EPOCH, by Peter J Carroll & Matt Kaybryn: A Review by The Blog Of Baphomet http://theblogofbaphomet.com/2014/04/26/the-epoch-by-peter-j-carroll-matt-kaybryn-a-review/ Wow, what an amazing endeavour! I’ve been vaguely aware of this project since its inception nigh on four years ago at Arcanorium College, but only really as a bystander. I must admit I was slightly sceptical about the whole idea, as it looked to me like a bit of a mish-mash of pantheons and concepts. What I should have remembered though was the parable about the Kingdom of the blind, where awareness of a small part of an elephant does not permit each person to see the whole animal. Now I do see the elephant, and oh my goodness, what a sight. The first thing that strikes you upon opening the parcel is the high quality finish of the whole package; the book cover design and the artistic stylings within are superb. Good quality paper, sumptuous hardback covers, clear printing throughout. The overall look of the pages is spacious, encouraging the reader to turn the pages at a relaxed pace. The illustrations (I believe ‘lavish’ is the approved word) are varied and often stunning, and the large (9″ x 5 & 3/4″) cards display amazing details. This is a book to savour and enjoy. As for the text of the book, Pete has really come up with the goods here, three grimoires contained within the covers; with additional chapters on tarot history, the development of deities over time, cosmology and aliens, and a little quantum non-locality (well he had to get a bit of physics in somehow). The grimoire chapters deal in turn with Elements, the Gods, and the third is billed as ‘an update’ to the Necronomicon. Each gives clear descriptions, and ways to approach working with, these entities. The third grimoire, which describes the Elder Gods, is advised “for use by highly experienced magicians only”. A note on terminology: The Esotericon (the book) and Portals of Chaos (the 54 cards) together form The Epoch (Esotericon and Portals Of CHaos). This project has developed over the last three or four years both at Arcanorium College, and in correspondence and conversations between the creators and others. Whilst I have been on the fringes of the creation process, it was only upon reading the finished article that I appreciated the epic scope and importance of this project, which is nothing less than a renovation of the Tree of Life, with attendant notes on deities and plenty of magickal advice. The Chaobala which emerges looks at once familiar and a tad heretical. The Esotericon builds the details of this new map from the ground up, from Earth to Azathoth. Starting with sizeable, in-depth introductory chapters on aeonics and cartomancy, all life is here. The project of The Epoch is to present a new synthesis of magickal thinking and practice, a paradigm incorporating deities and concepts old, recent, and a touch of new/fusion gods (Bob-Legba looks like a handy god to have on one’s side!). Pantheons from several global religions are drawn on, which will appeal to the 21st century Chaos Mage. Much of the book has a slight tongue in cheek attitude, presented straight faced yet with a twinkle in the eye of the author and artist. However, this does not detract from the solid core of research and experiential knowledge brought to bear. I really liked the personal style of the writing, this is Pete at his best, playing with serious fire. The first grimoire of the Esotericon talks of matters elemental, and to my mind proves the least satisfactory chapter of the book. I expect to find more in this on further readings, but compared to the other sections it lacks a certain something… perhaps it simply describes simple concepts, and thus has a flatter feel to it? Tatvas are after all the hardest of objects to visualise due to their simplicity. Baphomet stands as the link between the Elements and the Planetary gods. To my mind, the depiction of this deity has issues; the mountain of skulls looks odd, although sHe has got definite presence. In retrospect I could have contributed more feedback to the development of this picture. Mind you, my antipathy could arise as this deity is the one most precious to me, and with a strong identity to my sensibilities, so any representation is unlikely to satisfy my own image of Hir… The second part of the book provides a theoretical explanation of why the process of synthesis begun by Mathers and promoted by Crowley needs bringing up to date. It deals with the history of gods and the associated paradigm shifts, give a concise overview of the general subject, and explains the way the deities in the Portals have been chosen. Eight planetary deities and 28 bi-planetary deities (eg Mercurial+Venusian; Pandora) are described in the following grimoire, a kind of field guide to the gods/goddesses, with identifying features and suggestions for what areas of human endeavour each suits best. This forms the main core of the Esotericon; 36 deities are described and illustrated, based on the eight planets (seven classical ones plus Ouranos) and the various combination pairings thereof. Most are familiar (e.g. Thor, Hera, Jehovah), whilst others are less so (Asherah, Ma’at, Vulcan) and some newly coined (Apophenia, Paradoelia, Choronzon). I only found myself making faces at a few of the depictions; Dionysus looks rather feeble and doll-like, while Lucifer doesn’t quite come to life. Mind you, even the Book of Thoth tarot has a couple of duds in, so this is really nit picking of me… The vast majority of the illustrations are amazing. My favourites (atm!) Thoth, Apophenia, and Baron Samedi. The detail and resolution of the computer art is astounding, and in the vast majority of cases brings a wonderful quality of truly magickal life to the figures and their surrounds. A hyperreal quality pervades these, and the cards really do look like portals into Other Realms. Just as Baphomet links the realm of elements to gods, between the planetary gods and the Elder gods we encounter Nyarlathotep acting as bouncer to the starry outer space alien cosmological deities. The text of the Necronomicon grimoire is strange and has a quality of writhing whilst trying to make sense of the odd letter shapes, most fitting for such a powerful paradigm. Spooky to the max, Mr Carroll goes fully occult here, with warnings to the magician to acquire knowledge of banishings and considerable magickal experience before embarking upon this section, and apposite vocabulary (wands are anointed with unguents, races fall from stoical despair beyond reason to existential emptiness, and multitudinous probability waves of the aethers cavort in riotous splendour). I love the cartoon/graphic novel style renditions of the magician as various Elder Gods, hooded robes with very peculiar shapes emerging from the orifices of said garment! Detailed instructions to both evoke and invoke 6 of the Elder Gods are provided, for those brave or foolhardy enough to try. I enjoyed the nod to RPGs, with the reference to the value of Sanity Points when working with this grimoire. The Portals of Chaos, the cards which are an intrinsic component of the package, are beautiful. Measuring 9 x 5 ¾ inches, they are made from quite thin card (so they are a bit bendy) which have however been treated to feel like playing cards, to give them a surprisingly robust feel. Having handled them and had a bit of a play with them, I expect them to stand up to a reasonable amount of careful handling (although I would love to have the ability to purchase a spare set in the future). Given the low cost of the Epoch these come simply protected by cellophane, so you may want to make yourself a nice box of some sort to house them. The images are incredible, each must have taken many days of work building up the digital paintings, and I would love to see some of them available in larger poster size as I get the feeling there is even more background detail which cannot be seen easily at this scale. Many of them would work well as meditation or devotional pieces. While the style may not appeal to all, with some figures having a look of manikins, this has grown on me over time and reminds me of those clay figurines from early human history, and allows for a conscious appreciation of the images as representations of Archetypes, as most decidedly non-humans. Having said that, many are so realistic that it is hard to believe they are painted, not taken from photographs. Odin looks straight at you from his Portal, and Juno looks so real I want to ask her round for a cup of tea and a heart to heart chat. (Only four of the figures are based on photographs of people, and I must declare my own interest here as I am honoured to appear in the guise of Ma’at). There is a fair amount of nudity, and bare chests are standard, so The Epoch probably falls into the category NSFW… The Esotericon gives guidance on how to work with these cards. Evocation and invocation are advised, prior to any potential divination work (a procedure which presents practical issues due to the intentionally large size of them). These altar cards are intended to prompt you to work with the elements/deities, to increase the scope of your personal pantheon, in preference to asking for a mapped out future. As such they are cards for magicians, not fortune tellers. All in all I heartily commend this book and cards to both the prospective and experienced magician. While a few niggles exist to it not attaining perfection, the enormous scope of the theory expounded within, coupled with the extraordinary pictures (which are better than anything of this ilk since Freida got down with her paintbrushes), provoke many thoughts as well as providing a neat summary of some complex ideas. Simultaneously a history and a prediction, it casts a spell covering spacetime and beyond, allowing your magick to have results. Sometimes, a book arrives which might inform and entertain, or it may evoke feelings of admiration and awe at the crafts involved in the process of its production, or it could challenge you to revise your underlying concept of the universe’s structure. This book does all of those things. I could mention a couple of spelling errors, or quibble about a few disagreements I might have regarding particular deities’ mythologies, but given the strong personal authorial tone that would be churlish of me. This is a genuine Magician’s grimoire (or three), and I commend it to you heartily.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Alexander Cummins - Author of The Starry Rubric

Not content to release a new grimoire, the Chancellor of Arcanorium College has produced three. Oh, also, one of them is a Necronomicon. Elemental, Planetary, and Lovecraftian grimoires are joined by an accompanying tome of digitally and painstakingly rendered icons. The Portals of Chaos, and its Chaobala systemisation, marks a particularly cohesive collection of Carroll's work. But it also contains much exciting new material. Exploration of bi-planetary sorcery - a central component of Renaissance magic somewhat absent in modern occult discourse - is a particularly important feature. Epoch is a useful resource both for those just starting out and for experienced magicians.There is something here to excite and challenge occultists of many different dispositions and practices.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Professor Ronald Hutton - Fellow of the British Academy

This really is a pantheon for the present day: up-to-date technowizard artwork, a commentary which soars over millennia of tradition, picking out what is useful and relevant at the present, and icons which sum up what deities from the whole span of Western and not-so-Western culture have cumulatively come to mean. This is a book to which goddesses and gods, historically so sensitive about their images, should be happy to belong.

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