RAW! RAW! And Shea! But RAW!

Copyright 2014() Freeman Presson, all rights reserved

To whom it may concern:

It has come to my attention that some of you people may not have read The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Bob Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

Do us all a big favor and correct this.

If you didn’t immediately think of Pentagram Sam upon reading my opening, follow that link, too.

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Little Books available

I know that some of my Magical peeps work with saints. I have two copies of The Little Book of St. Vincent de Paul/Ste.  Louise de Marillac, just little compendia of quotes. Email or DM me a postal address and I’ll send you one.

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New review: The High Magic of Talismans and Amulets

My review of Claude Lecouteux’s The High Magic of Talismans and Amulets: Tradition and Craft is up on Spiral Nature.

“[T]he Faustian current which arose in early modern magick didn’t just appear without help. Apparently, it is as possible to call an egregore into being by constant execration as by constant evocation!”

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Pens for Talismanic drawing?

I’ve been using Pilot V5s (like these: Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball Pens) because Poke Runyon recommended them, now I see these ultra-fine pens (Sakura 50075 16-Piece Pigma Micron 05 Assorted Colors) that look even better for “close” work. Does anyone else have a favorite inexpensive drawing pen?

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Review of The Theban Oracle

My review of The Theban Oracle is up on SpiralNature!

I tracked down the first printed mention of the Theban alphabet for your viewing pleasure. This is p. 597 of the 1613 Zetzner edition of Polygraphia by Trithemius and von Glauburg. (the whole book is available on Google Books. There are earlier editions that have not been digitized).

The Latin text below the alphabet refers to the one on the next page, which is the one used in the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscript. The text above it means, roughly, “Next is an alphabet from Honorius who was known as the Theban, which magicians used to obscure their follies, as Peter d’Abano said in his major quarto book.”

H. Cornelius Agrippa copied this, but simplified it slightly: “Of this kind of character therefore are those which Peter Apponus [Petrus de Abano] notes, as delivered by Honorius of Thebes, the figures whereof are such, being related to our Alphabet.” (Using the JHP edition from Esoteric Archives.)

No one has been able to find the actual text where Peter d’Abano says anything about this alphabet, though. I suppose that means there’s a very interesting quarto that went missing sometime after ca. 1550.

Theban Alphabet in Trithemius's Polygraphia

Theban Alphabet in Trithemius’s Polygraphia

Wait, what? Their follies? Wasn’t Trithemius a magician, too? Well, yes, but not a stupid one; he was writing at a time when one could still get a very unwelcome visit from certain authorities, ones who might not bother you if you were just recording old curiosities that you weren’t actually using.

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Review of Chemical Serpents

My review of Anton Channing’s Chemical Serpents – Silver Edition is up on Spiralnature!

I enjoyed the book, as you can see, and I especially like that once the review was posted, I didn’t find “one more typo” to correct.

OK, actually, I did find one, AFTER saying that. Can you find it?

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Notice of Paganism 101

Review copyright 2014() Freeman Presson, all rights reserved

I see that Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans just went up on Amazon. Apparently, this book is going to do rather well. There are sections for a variety of categories of modern Paganism. Each has an introduction and a set of vignettes by practitioners, for a total of 101 authors.

One of the “eclectic Pagan” contributors is, ahem, Freeman Presson.

I have not read the entire book yet, but it seems well enough structured and written. The only sour note I’ve detected so far is that the book doesn’t have a section for non-Heathen Polytheists. I’m not sure how you can leave them out and include some of the groups that were included.

I hope I didn’t just incite another battle in the online Pagan Wars. Perhaps that’s another gap in this book: I don’t think it mentions that one thing we all seem to have in common is being argumentative.

The authors are generally not Big Name Pagans (there are two whose names I recognize from book spines), but I see that the book was blurbed by some very well-known names, including Professor Hutton.

One has to love the cover art, wherein a rough track meanders off towards some green hills. Scenes rather like this are—for me and for many—the stuff of dreams and visions, as well as the context for many enjoyable waking-world experiences.

Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans
Paperback: 279 pages, 8.5″ x 5.5″ x 0.6″
Publisher: Moon Books (February 28, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1782791701
ISBN-13: 978-1782791706

[Complimentary e-book from the publisher gratefully acknowledged, opinions my own, your mileage may vary, etc.]

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