The relaunch of my refurbished web site seems to have got off to a good start and has elicited some favourable comments. I am pleased to say that obtaining a Google e-mail address has brought the Spam plague into manageable proportions, and although I was hit with 122 unwanted objects of this nature over the Christmas period, they were all automatically shunted into a bin by the Google technology and disposed of with a single key stroke from myself. This has enabled me to respond once more to genuine enquirers. Also by paying a small rental to angelfire I have been able to keep the website clear of unwanted advertisements.
Apart from occasional odd balls, whose missives, I have to say, I consign unanswered to the same limbo as the Spam merchants, two questions tend to crop up in the more welcome enquiries.
The first seeks clarification over statements made in A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO QABALISTIC SYMBOLISM that seem somewhat outdated, not to say pontifical and repressive, in light of current social and moral attitudes. This is because, like any other book from human hand, it never was infallible, and 45 years after it was written is not unnaturally showing the effects of its age.
For reasons of publishing economics it has not been possible to revise the text but in the latest one-volume paperback edition from Red Wheel Weiser I have been able to insert a foreword that covers some of these issues as best I may. If you do not have a copy of this edition but would like to read the foreword I will be happy to send it by e-mail attachment.
The second question is the perennial one about finding some course of study for those unable for geographical or social reasons to find a decent esoteric school. Fortunately I have just come across a solution that may prove helpful. Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, the Director of Studies of the Servants of the Light foundation, has produced a self study course entitled YOUR UNSEEN POWER that may be what you are looking for. However, as recommending teachers is as fraught with problems as setting up a dating agency, I suggest that, before buying a pig in a poke, you take a look at an interview she gave at the launch of the project, which you can find on the www.soundstrue.com/interviews web site.
In my view her comments in this interview constitute one of the best expositions of the purpose of magic and magical training I have come across, and so if it gels with you, and you have 149 bucks to spare, you may well find what you are looking for.
It comes in the form of nine CD's backed up with a 136 page study guide and sets of cards on Qabalah and Celtic and Egyptian mythology, highly professionally produced. Dolores has enormous experience of teaching the subject and, having known her for some thirtyfive years and her teacher Ernest Butler for some ten years before that, I can vouchsafe that you will be in reputable as well as experienced hands.
On the more personal publishing front the close of the old year saw the eventual publication of THE ARTHURIAN FORMULA which completes my series of delvings into the archives of the Society of the Inner Light in search of previously unpublished material by Dion Fortune. This is not material for beginners as it needs some powers of discernment to get the best out of it, but for those of reasonable esoteric intelligence and experience it may set a few fascinating hares running.
In some ways it could be said to be a bit of a dog's breakfast, containing a mixture of traditions including clairvoyant visions of Atlantis, Faery lore, Troubadour minstrelsy, and the Cult of Queen Venus, along with legends of Merlin, the Round Table and the Grail. It was originated by Dion Fortune in 1941 in conjunction with her old Golden Dawn teacher Maiya Tranchell Hayes and then further developed by the remarkable mediumship of Margaret Lumley Brown. I discovered something of its power when performing a workshop based upon it at Hawkood College back in 1981. Now at last the original material is in the public domain, and I have taken the opportunity to incorporate some further work along these lines by Wendy Berg on the Faery origins of much Arthurian and Grail material, and in particular the unique role within it all of Queen Gwenevere.
More details can be obtained from Thoth Publications, who have more treasures in store from yours truly and also Wendy Berg in the coming year or three. In the meantime, best wishes to all for 2007.