On The Threshold

Some while ago, whilst listening to The Mystic Menagerie Podcast, co-presenter Dan Baines mentioned an article he had discovered in the May 1921 edition of The Occult Review, which made mention of a very curious book.  This issue of The Occult Review may be read here, but the pertinent passage is quoted below:

“On April 3 last, at Kingston-on-Thames, there passed away Mr. John Herbert Slater, a writer better known to the book collector than either to the occultist or the man-in-the-street. He was, however, the author of an interesting work entitled Problems of the Borderland, which certainly deserves a greater popularity than it has ever obtained. Probably most of those who knew Mr. Slater as the author of Book Prices Current and Engravings and Their Value, little suspected that this kindly and genial gentleman was deeply interested in occult research, and in especial a keen student of the philosophical side of occultism. Problems of the Borderland claims to be “a summary of some of the elementary teachings of a very ancient faith, which, though not generally known, have nevertheless been preserved to us, to some extent at least, by the writings of mediaeval and later adepts, and also by tradition.” A perusal of the book, which still remains at the original price of 3s. 6d. net, is well worth the while of every serious student of the occult.”

Dan, whose blog may be read here and is always a treasure trove of material on fairy lore, the supernatural, and all things weird and wonderful, had managed to get hold of a copy of this old book and had discovered that it seemed to exhibit strange properties, such as completely vanishing for a while, only to later reappear in a room where it had never been.

Intrigued, I determined to hunt down a copy myself.  It wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t cheap.  I could find only two copies for sale online worldwide, and at prices close to three figures.  I ordered the one which promised to be in best condition and sat back to await its arrival.

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When I received it, the book was indeed in good condition for its age.  Nevertheless, the paper was so old and brittle that the pages literally cracked as I turned them, no matter how carefully.  This rare book could so easily become rarer still.  So the question became, was it worth preserving?

The answer is a definite Yes!  The book is not quite what I expected it to be upon ordering, but it has a quaint, antique charm all its own in its use of language and its notions.  But it certainly deserves to survive and to be read by a new generation of readers.

To get the negatives out of the way first, it is most definitely old-fashioned in both its language and its attitudes.  Some of the sentences are so tortuous, lasting entire paragraphs.  But this is a feature of its time and those occult readers who have read the writings of many of the Golden Dawn or Theosophical luminaries will have struggled through much, much worse.  The book also contains a strongly ascetic tone which is at odds with my own conception, but this too comes with the territory.

What this book has to offer are some insights into the fourth dimension, its nature and its influence, and the ways in which we humans interact with it, which are quite unique in their thought and nuance in my experience.  The author’s speculation upon spirits and the means by which they may influence and manifest, through to actual materialisation, is also one of the most thorough and rational discussions I have read on the subject.

So there is plenty of gold to be mined from this source, and it is a damn shame that so few people have ever read it and that it looked as though it would in all likelihood vanish altogether.  For this reason, I decided to republish Problems of the Borderland, and it is now available on Amazon and Lulu for considerably less than Dan and I paid for it.

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There is no ebook version, as this simply felt completely inappropriate for this title to me.

The Amazon edition can be obtained through these links for the USA or the UK.

The Lulu edition is obtainable here.

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Runes of the Blood

So…  I wrote a new book, my third book about runes.  The first, Aegishjalmur: The Book of Dragon Runes, taught a curriculum of the Elder Futhark of 24 runes, tying them in with my Apophis programme of Draconian Magic:  Norse dragon lore, best in the world!  The second of my runic titles was Runes of Mann, which was a catalogue of the runic monuments on the Isle of Man, my home, together with a few brief suggestions for their practical use.  The new book, Runes of the Valiant, is a more thorough account of the theory and practice of the Younger Futhark, the 16 rune row which was used by the Norse settlers on the Isle of Man.

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This is a very personal and meaningful project for me, a chance to take all of the lore and practice I have acquired over the years and apply it to the specific runes used by my own ancestors, because there is actually quite a philosophical and pragmatic leap in the transition from the Elder Futhark to the Younger, which occurred at the dawn of the Viking Age.

Before a rune worker can make the shift from the Elder rune row to the Younger, he / she must address several fundamental questions and deduce satisfactory answers for them, in order to understand the new dynamic behind both the philosophy and the base meanings of the runes:

  • Why was the 24 rune Elder Futhark reduced to the 16 rune Younger Futhark?

  • What became of the ‘missing’ eight runes? Are they to be ignored, or were they combined with other runes?

  • How did the ancient runemasters decide which eight runes to condense?

  • Why sixteen runes specifically? Why not some other number?

  • Have the meanings of the remaining runes changed to accommodate the reduction of the rune row?

These questions are all addressed in the pages of Runes of the Valiant, together with considerations of updated models of cosmology and so forth, based upon the new arrangement.  Specific practical methods of using the Younger rune row are then presented.

The Isle of Man is a place which the Northmen did not simply raid.  Instead, they chose to settle here, establishing themselves as Lords of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, intermarrying with the existing Celtic population and establishing a rich mixed heritage.  Nevertheless, when speaking of Manx heritage, the Celtic is often emphasised at the expense of the Norse, ignoring the richness of the intermingling.  The Norse heritage is still represented in the many carved runic memorial stones; the burial sites; the place names; and of course – most powerfully – in the Manx bloodline itself.

It is my hope that this book will give that heritage a new lease of life, perhaps stimulating some to Seek after the Mysteries their forefathers sought.

Finding New Ways toTeach

I’m known as a writer of occult books.  APOPHIS was published in 2009 and has since been followed by a steady stream of volumes detailing the Draconian Initiatory Path.  This core series has more recently been joined by a set of small instructional ‘How To’ booklets, written under the pen name of Orry Whitehand, teaching beginners to the Art the basics of practical methods such as conjuration, talisman making, astral travel and Tarot reading, subjects which there isn’t room to explain from the ground up in the more philosophically soaring volumes of the main series.  And now a new Whitehand series has been launched to focus upon the techniques of Lesser Magic.

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These books will continue to be the core method of transmitting my ideas and Teaching to the world, and there are many more volumes to come.  I always have at least the next three in development at any one time.  But books can only do so much and I have long been trying to establish methods of providing avenues for more direct, rapid and personal Teaching.

A year ago, I began recording a series of podcast lectures, in which I tried to articulate ideas in a more focused and immediate medium.  There are now twenty-six of these lectures, with two more being added every month, each about half an hour long, adding up to a tremendous amount of material.  Their titles are as follows:

#1 – The Word of the Void
#2 – Divination
#3 – What is a Spirit?
#4 – The Spirit of Humanity
#5 – Rune Postures (video)
#6 – How is Magic Dangerous?
#7 – Lesser Magic and Psychic Self Defence
#8 – The Enochian Calls
#9 – The Price to be Paid
#10 – Ritual on a Shoestring (video)
#11 – Walking the Worlds
#12 – The Black Pilgrimage
#13 – Order and Chaos
#14 – Life Work
#15 – A Persona That Suits You
#16 – The Foundation
#17 – LAShTAL
#18 – Opening the Eye in the Void
#19 – By Force of Will Alone
#20 – The World Tree (video)
#21 – Crises
#22 – Familiars
#23 – So What?
#24 – The Banshee
#25 – Lucid Dreaming
#26 – The Left-Hand Path

More recently still, I have begun recording a series of tutorial videos, one every week.  The first series of videos is a demonstration of how to read and interpret Tarot.  This series will be followed by others on such subjects as evocation and Lesser Magic.

And finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have begun offering Skype sessions to people, which can be tailored to address their own particular questions and needs, discussion of the matters which are most important to them personally, or with which they experience the most difficulty.

The books will always be there, the bedrock Teaching that can be referenced whenever needed.  But these more personal and immediate methods offer a real difference in making magic personal and relevant to your needs.  These are the things that can never be captured in print.

So how do you access this stuff?  Quite simply, I have set up a Patreon, through which you can select the level of subscription and interaction which best suits your own needs.  Even the most frugal investment will give you access to the podcasts, with each progressive tier bringing access to the videos, to Skype sessions, to signed copies of books and printed acknowledgement of your patronage within future books, and so forth.

So please take a look and consider what this could mean for you.  There is a tremendous amount of material already available, with more added weekly.  There is a whole world of new, immediate, direct Draconian Teaching here ready for you.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3389166

Speak Up!

It’s well past time I started blogging again!  You know how it goes:  I’ve got so much going on that I don’t find time to blog, then I find that I need to write so many blogs to bring the thing up to date that I’ll never get it done!  So there may be a few in quick succession over the next couple of weeks, hopefully returning to a more regular pattern thereafter.

One of the most noteworthy pieces of news is that I am going to be one of the speakers at the Occult Conference 2017 in Glastonbury in February.  You can find their website, with ticket and schedule details, etc., by clicking on the link here.  And the conference Facebook page can be found here.

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The Conference has a great line-up of speakers and presenters, plus some great entertainment laid on.  It promises to be tremendous.  Just take a little time now to go to the site and look over the schedule, then tell me how excited you are!

For me personally, this will mark a return to live presentation of ideas after far too many years away.  I used to be a regular speaker and presenter at the Conclaves of the Temple of Set and I have missed it.  The dynamic exchange which occurs at these live events far exceeds what can be accomplished in even the best book.  Nothing beats direct connection and speech.

And it’s exhilarating.  I think everybody who speaks in public always experiences some degree of nervousness just prior to the event.  But when the initial nerves pass and the passion ignites and that dynamic rapport is established with the other people present, it is truly transformative.

And I don’t just mean as a speaker.  I’ll be attending the other talks and workshops with rapt attention and enthusiasm, enjoying the sparks of holy flame being struck there.

My own theme, of course, will be Draconian Magic in Theory and Practice, concluding with a practical experience of Opening the Eye in the Void, the core initiatory experience of The Apophis Club.

My thanks to Sef, Matthew and Kevin for extending the invitation and smoothing the path.

So if you’re in the UK, here’s one for your diaries.  See you there!