Skip to navigation | Skip to content



  1. 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 »

  2. 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 »

  3. 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 »

  4. 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 »

  5. 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 »

  6. Dialogue II: Teacher-pupil exchanges in the Upanisads

    “Just as the plot or story of my own life is created by other people – the heroes of my life, so aesthetic vision of the world, its image, is created only by consummated or consummatable lives of other people who are the heroes of this world. The first and foremost condition for an aesthetic approach to this world is to understand it as the world of other people who have accomplished their lives in it…”
    Mikhail Bakhtin, Art and Answerability p111

    Continue reading »

  7. New book on Tantra from Jan Fries

    Kali Kaula by Jan FriesAvalonia Books have just released a new book by Jan Fries – Kali Kaula: A Manual of Tantric Magick. Jan Fries surely needs no introduction – his previous books, such as Visual Magick, Helrunar and Seidways are all highly regarded books – and deservedly so. David Rankine of Avalonia has been kind enough to send me a copy of Kali Kaula – so expect a review soon!

  8. Some thoughts on Lineage

    If there’s one topic guaranteed to get an argument going amongst pagans & occultists, its the topic of lineage – whether or not one has a connection to a lineage, whether its judged to be “authentic”, and so on. Continue reading »

  9. Ganapati variations: the female Ganesa?

    I became interested in the female forms of Ganapati after a friend recounted to me a dream in which she encountered a female form of Ganesha. Continue reading »

  10. Occult gender regimes: Polarity and the spirited body – I

    In the early part of the nineteenth century, electricity was thought to be the force most likely to prove the existence of the elan vitale or life force of Naturalphilosophie. Schelling, at the turn of the century, for example, proposed that heat, light, magnetism and electricity were all byproducts of a single universal life force. The arising of electrical models allowed polarities to be discovered within organisms – and between discrete classes of persons. Thus maleness or masculinity was assigned to the positive pole, and femininity to the negative. The gendering of electricity and energy continued in the nineteenth century, particularly in respect to medical theories and the notion of “nervous energy”, and the rise in popularity of Spiritualism. Continue reading »