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  1. Enfolding wiki down!

    The Tantra Wiki is down at the moment, following a plug-in upgrade. I am working on getting all the pages up and visible as soon as possible.

  2. Writings archive: White Dwarf

    This isn’t generally known, but a major milestone in my “career” (such as it is) as a published author was in May 1983 when I submitted an article to Games Workshop’s “White Dwarf” magazine on sigils as a magical variant in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Somewhat to my surprise, it was accepted and published in White Dwarf 41 – and the major milestone was that this was the first time I actually received a cheque for writing. I followed this success up in August 1984 with a brief article on Technology in A/D&D – “Don’t Touch that Dial” which was published in WD56 (cheque no.2).

    Just in case anyone wants to read these early efforts, I’ve posted them on mediafire as a small zip file.

  3. Upcoming Treadwells Lecture: A Phallic Night

    January may well be (like December) a lean month for posting as I am presently working on a lecture to be given at Treadwells on Thursday, 3rd Februrary. Continue reading »

  4. Writings archive: Chaos International

    A friend recently asked me if I had any of my old contributions to Chaos International magazine in digital format. I’ve scanned all the articles I think are worth hanging onto (mostly written under my own name, with a few using the pseudonyms “Kalkinath” or “Cliff Othick”) and collected them into a zip file which can be downloaded from Mediafire (zip is about 76mb):

    http://www.mediafire.com/?03bxcf7e4eknny4

  5. Occult gender regimes: Polarity and the spirited body – II

    In my last post in this series I examined the relationship between spiritualism and the rapid growth of communications technology in the nineteenth century. This time round, I’m going to focus on the notion of “female passivity” in terms of Spiritualism, and its relationship to wider cultural discourses of the period. Just as spiritualism took off at the same time as the rise of the telegraph, it also was contemporaneous with the growing tensions over women’s role and influence – the so-called “Woman Question”. Continue reading »

  6. Ganapati variations: Ganesa sorceries

    Having spent most of my Ganesa-oriented practice performing long puja with the aim of inter-identification with Ganapati, reading Gudrun B├╝hneman’s Tantric Forms of Ganesa (DK Printworld, 2008) was something of an eye-opener, as she devotes a good deal of space to the supplementary rituals associated with the various forms of Ganesa in the circa-seventeenth century Vidyanarvatantra and other texts. These rites are the fire sacrifices (Kamayahoma) for achieving special aims, and the non-homa acts classed under the six acts of abhicara: – attraction (akarsana); immobilisation (stambhana); eradication (uccatana); subjugation (vasikarana); delusion (mohana) and liquidation (marana). In this post, I’m going to briefly examine some of these rituals and make some general remarks on the subject on tantric sorcery. Continue reading »

  7. Women as gurus I: the Kali Practice

    Having abandoned everything, O Goddess, the aspirant should make great effort to seek out the company of women.
    Brihannila Tantra

    One of the most contested topics in contemporary tantric studies is the question of how much agency women had within historical tantric practice. Although many new age and occult representations of tantra speak of it as a “cult of the divine feminine”, more skeptical commentators stress that despite the fact that tantric texts frequently valorise women, tantra is predominantly a masculine practice, in which women are little more than passive objects and sources of power for the benefit of male adepts. Continue reading »

  8. Kali Kaula review

    Kali Kaula: A Manual of Tantric Magick by Jan Fries, Avalonia 2010, 574pp, p/bk

    Whenever I’ve spoken on the subject of tantra over the last twenty years or so, someone in the audience has invariably asked me if there was one single book – aimed at occultists, providing a thorough overview and introduction to this most complex subject – which I could reccomend. Sadly, I’d shake my head and reply that there wasn’t anything to fit that bill.
    Until now that is.
    Jan Fries’ Kali Kaula is quite simply the best introduction to tantra written by a contemporary occultist ever. Continue reading »

  9. Ganapati variations: How many Ganesas?

    Ganesa is the ritual, Ganesa is the offering,
    Ganesa is he who offers into the fire of Ganesa,
    If a person sees Ganesa in every action,
    That person becomes Ganesa – Ganesagita

    Continue reading »

  10. Some useful online resources

    As the so-called “ebook piracy” debate, with its threat of dire consequences for occult authors and publishers and the book trade in general has been under the spotlight of late – see recent articles on Plutonica.Net and The Wild Hunt I thought this would be an opportune moment to highlight some useful online academically-oriented resources – some of which are free. I’ve come across most of these whilst pursuing my tantric interests. Continue reading »