Spiritualism and the Golden Dawn

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the most important magical society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was established on the basis of spirit communication with supernatural entities. Known as the ‘Secret Chiefs’, these entities provided the source of authority for the leaders of the Order as well as later becoming the…

Paranormal is now Supernatural

My forthcoming book The Paranormal has now been renamed The Supernatural following negotiations for a US deal. Part of Constable & Robinson’s Brief Histories/Guides series, the book is scheduled for publication on 19 April 2012, although that change. Already there’s been a lot of interest and I’ll be posting some advance reviews in the coming…

Vampire Conference Paper Accepted

‘Vampires: Myths of the Past and the Future’ – An interdisciplinary conference organised by Simon Bacon, The London Consortium in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London From the conference description: Myths of vampires and the undead are as old as civilisation itself,…

Reinventing the Renaissance Occult

Review of ‘Reinventing the Renaissance Occult in Modern and Postmodern Culture’ now available at http://jwmt.org/v2n20/reinventing.html Five hundred years ago the occult – what we think of as ‘the occult’ – was taught in university and practised by many of the foremost personalities of the age. Still it was persecuted. Dangerous. Between the Church and the…

The Paranormal is Finished!

Of course I mean my book about the paranormal, not the paranormal itself! Yesterday afternoon I pressed the send button and sent the manuscript flying through the ether to my publishers. The editor’s immediate reaction was ‘wow’. After working ten hours a day, all the weekends, most of xmas, to produce 100,000 thoroughly researched, double-checked,…

Tonight we are going to invoke Satan – just for fun

Did I ever tell you about the time I went to a Black Mass? No? Pick up this month’s copy of Paranormal magazine and read ‘Talk of the Devil, Part 2’ – all will be revealed. From the contents page: Continuing the history of the Prince of Evil, the Devil is brought in to the…

Witchcraft Out of the Shadows 2nd Edition

A second edition of Witchcraft Out of the Shadows is now in the works. First published in hardback in 2004, the last copies of the first edition of Witchcraft Out of the Shadows left the warehouse some months ago. There are now only four copies being sold through Amazon.co.uk. There are more Stateside with ten…

New Article on Magic

I saw him do it. On national TV. Took a voodoo doll out of his pocket and wrapped a thread around it. His victim was watching him, not quite believing. But when he’d finished, could she move her arms? Legs? In the July 2010 edition of Paranormal Magazine you can read my latest article on…

Book Recommended on Yahoo Answers

There are several books on the history of Witchcraft: a particularly good one is “Witchcraft out of the shadows” by Leo Ruickbie. from Yahoo Answers, accessed 26/02/10.

Renaissance Occult – Conference Update

Prof. Sarah Annes Brown has posted a summary of my talk ‘Dealing with the Devil: The Faustian Pact in Magical Culture’: Leo Ruickbie gave a very engaging account of the Faustian pact in magical culture, moving from the responses of Faust’s near contemporaries, to an account of an eighteenth-century man apparently saved at the last…

Dealing with the Devil

This paper given at Reinventing the Renaissance Occult, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 14 November 2009, explored the development of the Faustian Pact, looking at how the Renaissance magician Faustus came to be condemned as having made a pact with the Devil, and how this condemnation itself came to be a pattern for magical practice. Pacts…

Reinventing the Renaissance Occult

The aim of the day was to explore the different ways in which modern culture has returned to Renaissance esotericism. Some have been drawn to the intriguing remoteness of such teachings from our own more scientific and sceptical age. Others, by contrast, have sought to discover unexpected points of contact between the mysteries of the…

Witchcraft: in the shadows no more

An old review, but a good one, written before I got my PhD, hence the use of ‘Mr’: Witchcraft: Out of the Shadows Leo Ruickbie (Hale) Mr Ruickbie has written a tight overview of the history and current trends (including some interesting statistical analysis) in Witchcraft. Unlike some books on the subject, there is no…