Our December Titles Are Here!

Happy Reading!

Love Magic

Lilith Dorsey

9781578635924This is really “the big little book of love magic.” Magical maven Lilith Dorsey has packed into this fun, informative, and practical book over 250 spells, potions, rituals, and recipes devoted to all facets of love and sex.

Based on years of magical experience and prodigious research, this book includes sections on such topics as self-love, marriage, fertility, erotic adventures, the ethics of love magic, and more. The spells are drawn from a wide diversity of magical traditions and focus on an equally diverse situations. There are spells for finding love, keeping love, and healing yourself so that you are ready for love. The book also includes rituals for invoking goddesses of love. Dorsey considers and discusses all facets of the romantic experience.

Let’s face it we are obsessed, inspired, delighted, and in love with love. And here is the go-to book for every spell you will ever need for finding and keeping romance, passion, sex, marriage, fertility, and love in your life. Rooted in serious scholarship while still exploring the weird, wild, and wonderful side of love magic, this book provides expert advice and genuine spells that work to bring you your heart’s desire.

(Weiser Books)

Numerology, Plain & Simple

Anne Christie

9781571747594Using numerology to learn more about yourself and your future doesn’t require any psychic ability, mathematical skills, or even any special equipment. The information is based on a series of numbers and by following systems that date back to the Greek mathematician and astrologer Pythagoras and the Hebrew Kabbalah, you’ll learn the basics of how to use numbers to explain your life.

Topics include:

  • Name number
  • Personality number
  • Heart number
  • Destiny number
  • Relationships
  • Short-term forecasts

Once you master these simple principles, you’ll be able to plan your days, predict your future, and even find the most suitable mate. This is an accessible and user-friendly guide for people interested in divination systems and personality types.

Additional New Titles

The Lovecraft Code

Peter Levenda

9780892542178Drawing on decades of experience, author and historian Peter Levenda turns to the novel as the best and perhaps only way to tell a story that has to be told – that hidden within the tales of America’s most iconic writer of gothic horror, H.P. Lovecraft, runs a vein of actual terror.

Gregory Angell, the present-day descendant of George Angell in Lovecraft’s “Call of Cthulhu,” is summoned by a nameless covert agency of the US government to retrieve a sacred book from the grasp of an Islamist terror network operating out of northern Iraq, in the land of the Yezidi. Practitioners of a monotheistic religion with mystical traditions, the Yezidi are all that’s left of an ancient sect that possessed the key to the origins of the human race and was in conflict with another, more ancient civilization from beyond the stars.

Hailed by author Christopher Farnsworth (Blood Oath) as a “more intelligent DaVinci Code” and by Whitley Strieber (The Key) as “a riveting work of fiction,” this book will thrill Lovecraft aficionados, readers of reality-based thrillers, and conspiracy theorists alike.

(Ibis Press)

Secret Knowledge

Edited by J. Douglas Kenyon

9780990690443Considered by many to be the magazine of record for ancient mysteries, unexplained anomalies, and future science, Atlantis Rising® provides some of the most astounding reading to be found anywhere.

Editor J. Douglas Kenyon has culled from the pages of Atlantis Rising® magazine this collection of 36 concise and well-illustrated articles by world-class researchers and authors such as Andrew Collins, Philip Coppens, William Henry, Frank Joseph, Robert M. Schoch, and many others, who offer thought-provoking insights on a variety of topics that challenge conventional wisdom.

In these pages the latest discoveries and theories on the controversial subjects are explored and even more provocative questions are raised. What emerges is a fascinating case in support of a much greater antiquity for civilization, a well-reasoned argument for the existence of advanced technologies in prehistory, and the revelation of secret forces that have been at work throughout time and are still present today.

(Atlantis Rising)

John L. Steadman on H. P. Lovecraft

John L. Steadman, author of H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, goes into a bit more depth about the horror writer in the conversation below. Enjoy!

In your book, Lovecraft is associated specifically with the practice of black magick, as opposed to white magick, which has unpleasant connotations in the minds of some readers. Are you suggesting that Lovecraft or his works could be considered evil?

Determining whether or not a person or action is “evil” depends solely on the person or the action itself when judged in terms of behavior or effects. Certainly, a black magickian can be described as good as long as he or she acts ethically, while a white magickian can be considered evil if his or hers actions are harmful to others. In Lovecraft’s works, his view of the magickian is definitely black, but not necessarily evil. His magickal practioners perform their craft to either gain knowledge or power; the fact that some of the these practitioners end up becoming evil is besides the point.

Why do critics and readers refer to Lovecraft’s stories at Cthulhu Mythos?

The term “Cthulhu Mythos” was coined by August Derleth, a friend and colleague of Lovecraft. Lovecraft himself referred to his Mythos stories jocularly as “Yog-Sothothery” and he didn’t formally categorize his stories or divide them up into specific, disparate groups. It is correct that Cthulhu isn’t a major player in the Mythos stories; this Great Old One does only appear in The Call of Cthulhu (1926). But Derleth’s designation seems to have “stuck” in spite of this fact and is generally accepted by readers and critics.

Occult writers often link Lovecraft with Aleister Crowley. In fact, one of these occultists, Peter Levenda, argues that Lovecraft had ma naged to establish a link between himself and Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwass. Is this true?

In a letter written to Emil Petaja, dated March 6, 1935, Lovecraft associates Aleister Crowley with the English decadents of the 1890’s: “In the 1890’s the fashionable decadents liked to pretend that they belonged to all sorts of diabolic Black Mass cults & possessed all sorts of frightful occult information. The only specimen of this group still active is the rather over-advertised Aleister Crowley…” Lovecraft’s view of Crowley here is not surprising; in the mid 1920’s, Crowley and his disciples at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu were expelled from Italy by Mussolini and the newspapers in Europe and the US were full of accounts of the lurid rituals and practices that took place at the Abbey. Crowley was universally headlined as the “Wickedest Man in the World”, and labeled a Satanist; thus, Lovecraft’s view of Crowley necessarily reflected the negative press coverage. Other than this, however, there is no evidence that Lovecraft knew anything else about Crowley. Certainly, Lovecraft didn’t forge any link with Aiwass, or indeed, with any extra-terrestrial entity; he didn’t even know who or what Aiwass was, and Lovecraft had no knowledge of Crowley’s experiences on April 8, 9 and 10 in 1904 when Liber AL vel Legis was dictated to Crowley via Aiwass.

John L. Steadman is a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan. Visit him at www.johnlsteadman.com.


H. P. Lovecraft: Juvenile Writer or Subtle Craftsman?

by John L. Steadman

The great American critic Edmund Wilson, in an article written for The New Yorker in 1945, argues that H. P. Lovecraft was a bad writer with bad taste and bad artistry. Wilson implies, also, that Lovecraft’s work is juvenile; in a comment about “The Shadow Out of Time”, Wilson makes this devastating remark:  “semi-invisible polypous monsters that uttered shrill whistling sounds and blasted their enemies with terrific winds.  Such creatures would look very well on the covers of the popular magazines, but they do not make good adult reading.”

Although Lovecraft’s reputation since the 40’s and well into the new millennium has managed to transcend such criticisms, nevertheless, the charge of juvenile themes and a less than adult treatment of those themes still persists in the minds of certain readers and critics.  Even more problematic, Lovecraft’s reputation hasn’t been exactly improved by the wholehearted embracing of his literary constructs by popular culture.  Artifacts such as graphic comic book versions of his stories and, of course, the innumerable role-playing games, and, particularly, the over-the-top films such as the Re-Animator series  and the lurid Stuart Gordon movie Dagon, present slimy, tentacled monstrosities that do tend to support Wilson’s charge of juvenilism.

However, when we examine closely Lovecraft’s actual tales, there is a plethora of evidence that indicates an opposite conclusion: that Lovecraft was, in fact, not only an adult writer writing for adults, but moreover, a very subtle, masterful writer indeed.

For example, in “The Whisperer in Darkness” (1930), the focus is on a race of entities known as the Mi-Go (alternate names are the Outer Ones or the Fungi From Yuggoth), pinkish, crustaceous extra-terrestrial entities with membranous wings, articulated limbs and an advanced technology who have settled in the mountainous areas of Vermont to engage in clandestine mining operations.  Popular culture stresses the outré, rather childishly comic appearance of these entities and a reader might make the assumption that  the creator of such creatures is likely childish as well.  Yet, in the story itself, Lovecraft’s treatment of his  monsters is very restrained.

H. P. Lovecraft Juvenile Writer or Subtle Craftsman

Folklorist Albert N. Wilmarth, the main protagonist, from whose viewpoint the reader experiences the story, doesn’t ever see anything directly and thus, there is never any real empirical evidence for the existence of these entities.  Wilmarth reads rather dubious descriptions of  the entities in local papers such as the Arkham Advertiser when a few strange bodies are allegedly seen during a season of flooding; he corresponds with Henry Wentworth Akeley, who lives in a Vermont farmhouse and claims to have had first-hand encounters with these entities; he views some questionable photos of the entities’ footprints (the entities themselves do not appear on photographic plates, due to organic anomalities), but that is all.

Eventually, Wilmarth decides to visit  Akeley to gain some actual empirical evidence, but he ends up being unable to do so.  Previous to Wilmarth’s visit, Lovecraft implies that Akeley has been captured by the entities, his brain presumably  placed in a metal canister, forcing one of the aliens to masquerade as Akeley during Wilmarth’s stay.  When Wilmarth finally meets Akeley, the man is sitting in a dim room, wrapped up in a loose dressing gown and a yellow scarf-like hood, his face and hands strangely mask-like and artificial.  Superficially, this might be a confirmation that Lovecraft’s above implication is correct, but Lovecraft cleverly keeps it all ambiguous.

Later on, up in his room, Wilmarth is awake late and becomes aware that a conference is taking place in the room below.  He hears strange buzzing voices; he hears the clattering of entities moving about the room that suggests that their bodies are insectoid in design, but once again, nothing specific is seen.  And when Wilmarth finally becomes terrified enough to flee from Akeley’s farmhouse, a brief glance inside the room where he had met with Akeley reveals only an empty dressing gown and two artificial hands and a face, items which could support the argument that Wilmarth had been conversing with an alien, but also, the more sensible explanation that Akeley has been doing nothing more than playing an elaborate practical joke on Wilmarth.

Lovecraft’s two great stories, “The Thing on the Doorstep”  (1933) and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (1931), likewise, are often cited as examples of Lovecraft’s penchant for juvenile, pulp-fiction mongering, since, after all, in the climax of the former story, a disgusting, decaying, re-animated corpse appears on the doorstep of his best friend, while in the latter story, the narrator finds him threatened by a whole village full of half human, half frog hybrid monsters.

But when we subject these stories to a close examination, we immediately become aware of Lovecraft’s nearly impeccable sense of subtlety and restraint.  The actual “thing” that shows up on the doorstep of his best friend Dan is Edward Derby, who has been forced to inhabit the dead body of his wife Asenath.  Admittedly, the body smells fairly bad (Asenath has been dead for over three months, after all), but Lovecraft presents a very tasteful monster; it is mostly concealed by a large overcoat, the hands covered, the head concealed by a low, slouch hat and the face swathed up in a black silk muffler.

The only horrible thing about it at all is that it makes a long, protracted “glub…glub…glub sound, though even this unpleasantness is rather brief, since the thing soon dissolves into bones.  As for “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, the narrator, visiting Innsmouth, encounters quite a few Innsmouth locals that have the “Innsmouth” look, i.e. bulging, staring eyes and scaly skin, but he never gets a definite look at any actual monstrosity.  The narrator is forced to spend the night in the town and the hybrids, afraid that he knows too much, try to capture him in his room at the Gilman house.  But the narrator manages to escape and, in the last part of the book, Lovecraft gives us a very exciting, cat-and-mouse chase scene as the narrator flees from the inhabitants.  During the course of this pursuit, Lovecraft could have indulged himself in delineating the horrific shapes of the hybrids, but the glimpses that the narrator ends up getting are never too clear; he sees crowds of the hybrids mostly from large distances away.

Likewise, the narrator hears distant croaking and bleating sounds.  But when he is finally able to take a close look at some of the entities, the sight proves to be too much for his senses and he faints.

[For more discussion of Lovecraft’s fictional world of “gods and monsters”, so to speak (to paraphrase a line from The Bride of Frankenstein), as well as a full examination of Lovecraft’s connection with the great black magickal systems in the western world, the Vodou cults, the Wiccan religion, the Typhonian order, the Church of Satan and the Chaos Magick Pacts, please read H. P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition, released by Weiser Books on September 1, 2015]

John L. Steadman is a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan. Visit him at www.johnlsteadman.com.


The Black & White Magickal Dichotomy

by John L. Steadman

In H. P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition, I define black magick as simply magic performed for the purposes of gaining knowledge and/ or power, as opposed to white magick, which is centered on the goal of spiritual attainment.  It is scarcely necessary to observe that this distinction has no connection with any concepts of morality, or with simplistic notions of “good” or “evil”.  And certainly, black magick should not be understood as evil, nor should white magick be interpreted as good.  In Lovecraft’s fictional works, his view of the magickian is definitely black, but not necessarily evil.  Lovecraft’s magickal practitioners perform their craft either to gain knowledge or power; the fact that some of these practitioners end up becoming evil is largely beside the point.  For example, Joseph Curwen, in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927), performs necromancy to raise the spirits of dead persons; this activity is not inherently evil.  However, Curwen also commits wholesale murder; this, of course, classifies him as an evil man. Thus, the goodness or the wickedness of Curwen is based almost exclusively on his behavior and not on his beliefs.

Two prominent magickal practitioners have elaborated on the black/white dichotomy in magick and tried to widen the traditional views of magick by arguing that magickal practice should embrace the whole spectrum of colors.  The late Isaac Bonewits, founder of Ar nDraiocht Fein, the largest neopagain Druid organization in the world, in Real Magic (1993), Chapter Five, “Black Magic, White Magic, and Living Color,” argues that magickal practice can be defined to correspond to the psychic energies fields , or so-called auras, that are presumed to surround the human body. Bonewits’ system of correspondences introduces a variety of different “types” of magick: red magic, orange magic, yellow magic, green magic, blue magic, indigo magic, purple magic, ultraviolet magic (which he further identifies with traditional black magick), and brown magic.  But Bonewits himself rightly admits that magick, in itself, has no color and that his system is merely a series of associational devices.

The Black & White Magickal Dichotomy

As we examine the different types, it becomes apparent that such a classification is an unnecessary complication and elaboration, since each type of magick can be placed into the two categories that I identified in the previous paragraph.  Red magic, for example, involves blessings and curses; this is, obviously, magick performed for knowledge or power.  Indigo magic, on the other hand, is performed to control the weather, or to astral travel; again, this is magick performed for knowledge or power.  Blue magic, unlike the others, focuses on religion and spirituality in part, and thus, this type of magick could be interpreted as white magick.  After perusing all of the different types of magic articulated by Bonewits, it quickly becomes clear that such an elaboration is not necessary at all; the black/white dichotomy, as defined previously, is sufficient.

Peter J. Carroll, author of Liber Null & Psychonaut (1987) and Liber Kaos (1992), and Chancellor of Arcanorium College and Past Grandmaster of IOT Pact, posits a similar system in Liber Kaos, Part 2: The Psychonomicon, Chapter 4: Eight Magics.  Here, Carroll raises the issue of auric energy fields, just as Bonewits did, but then he sensibly drops this issue, seeing that auric fields are largely irrelevant to magickal practice, and argues instead that there are eight different types of “magics”, as he calls them, which can be attributed to the seven classical planets, plus Uranus, and which signify emotional states.  Carroll’s list is certainly creative: he gives us octarine magic (an instinctive drive toward magic); black magic (destruction and entropy), blue magic (material wealth); red magic (combat and aggression); yellow magic (changes to the ego or personality; illumination); green magic (love magic); orange magic (wit and intellect); and purple magic (sex magic).

All of these categories, however, can be placed into either the white or black categories and thus, Carroll’s system is, like Bonewits’ system, an are an unnecessary elaboration.  Yellow magick is clearly white magick, while the other seven colors are focused on black magick, i.e. on power, knowledge, or a combination of the two.

For more discussion of the black-white magickal dichotomy in Lovecraft’s work, as well as a full examination of Lovecraft’s connection with the great black magickal systems in the western world, the Vodou cults, the Wiccan religion, the Typhonian order, the Church of Satan and the Chaos Magick Pacts, please read H. P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition, released by Weiser Books on September 1, 2015

John L. Steadman is the author of H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan.