Skip to navigation | Skip to content

  1. Pagan News pdfs available

    The first four of the promised digitised editions of Pagan News are now available here on my archive website for downloading. The issues are: June 1988, December 1988, July & November 1989. Pagan News was fortunate, I suppose in retrospect, in that we started up just as the “Satanic Child Abuse” panic of the late 1980s started moving into the UK. The magazine’s news section deals with these developments, and other news items deemed to be of interest to pagan/occult folk. More pdfs will follow as and when I get time.

  2. Embodied knowledge – an opening shot

    Last Saturday, wandering into Treadwells whilst on one of my pre-xmas rounds I had an enlivening conversation with Ellie and Suzanne – mainly about what Suzanne’s recent (9th December) “Interview with a witch” evening was like. One theme that we batted around was that it’s fairly common for occult books to present information such as theories, correspondences, rituals, etc;, but still people appear to find it difficult to practice this information – to make it meaningful within their day-to-day lives. Continue reading »

  3. Context matters

    There are a number of issues relating to the practice of attributing western ‘meanings’ to Sanskrit terms. Continue reading »

  4. Experience -II: when worldviews collide

    I keep swinging back to a text which has had a massive influence on me – Berger & Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality – which develops Alfred Schutz’s “Common-Sense” interpretation of human action. Continue reading »

  5. The Anthropology of Magic

    My old friend Dr Susan Greenwood of Sussex University has just had a new book published – The Anthropology of Magic – available from Berg. Hopefully I’ll get round to reviewing it in the not-too-distant future, but in the meantime, here’s an interview with Susan from the excellent Pagans for Archeology blog. Susan will be giving a lecture on her work at Treadwells Bookshop on the 14th April, next year.

  6. Dialogue

    When I first met Vishvanath (the guy who I affectionately refer to as my “guru” – knowing full well he squirms when I do this), we started a conversation about tantra (and everything else) which went on for a year or so. A conversation shaped through walks through local woodland and parks, in and out of pubs and each other’s rooms, criss-crossing the city night and day. It was the beginning of friendship; a forging of affinities. Continue reading »

  7. Much ado about Yoginis

    There’s an easily observed phenomena on the contemporary occult scene – the recuperation of new scholarship into existing knowledge discourses. A new book comes out – and gradually it seems, its presentation shifts from “this is new stuff” to “we’ve always known this to be the case” – and eventually (thinking of my earlier post this month) – “this isn’t just out of a book, I’ve experienced it directly.” Continue reading »

  8. Experience – I

    In occult practice (as with much else), it’s relatively easy to have an experience which appears to confirm one’s theories, whether they be implicit or explicit. Continue reading »

  9. Sri Vidya, Gender, Thealogy, Immanence – Some Notes

    “Creation arises in joy, abides in joy and returns to joy…  Lalita awakens the receptive soul to the bliss that underlies all things” Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses  (1994: 89).

    I was standing in water the other day and the angle of it created a stream broken into drops, cascading from the end of my chin. Each drop chased the preceding one and, looking down at them, I was hit by amazement. Their light-catching, simple procession immersed me in immediate wonderment. But I was not bathing in a dramatic waterfall, merely showering on ordinary morning. Tantrism is a philosophy of the cultivation of everyday ecstasy. 
    Continue reading »

  10. A meditation on Lalita

    The Saundaryalahari (“Flood of Beauty”) is a key Srividya text, sometimes attributed to Sankara. Composed of 100 verses, it is usually divided into two parts – verses 1-41 and verses 42-100. The first section, sometimes called the Anandalahari (“Wave of Joy”) is concerned with the facets of Lalita sadhana – her image in external worship, but also her Yantra and mantra-modalities The verses can also be read in such a way as to relate them to the subtle mapping of chakras, nadis, etc. The Anandalahari is sometimes seen as originating directly from Siva, or Lalita Herself. Continue reading »