Saturday, 28 December 2013

Scarlet Imprint 2013 review of the year

Dear friends,

We would like to thank all of our readers, authors, artists, poets, printers and binders for a successful 2013.

Our work over this past this year has been characterised by witchcraft, having declared some of our ideas on the subject publically through 2012 with presentations at our Pleasuredome event and delivering an exposition on the Sabbath by invitation to the Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft. Those who have followed our work since the inception of Scarlet Imprint in 2007 will remember that we have spoken frequently on the work and life of Jack Parsons, still a figure neglected by mainstream witchcraft,  have written essays on our practice in Devoted and XVI, and given presentations at pagan and magical events, but 2013 was marked by a definitive statement from us with the publication of Apocalyptic Witchcraft


We have been delighted to receive so much private correspondence regarding this book from experienced members of the witchcraft community, across all traditions, who despite the radical nature of the text have recognised in it the witchcraft that they were first drawn to. Many have been delighted to see the re-emergence of Paul Huson as a name to celebrate, the attention drawn to the work of Peter Redgrove, Penelope Shuttle and Ted Hughes; as well as responding to the call to arms and unity that it represents in the face of planetary ecocide. In celebrating the successes of the year it would be remiss not to draw attention to the terrible losses that our environment continues to suffer at the hands of modern industrial culture. Here we cannot ignore fracking which threatens to poison the water, soil  and air of our sacred landscape which is the living body of the Goddess. If the land is being posioned, witchcraft must respond ...

Apocalyptic Witchcraft may have been the most reviewed book on witchcraft published this year, and we know that the ideas which it contains are only beginning to make themselves felt. For those that have missed the debate around this, reviews can be read: here, here, here, here, here and here. We value the individual reactions that people are having to this work, with translations of the Manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft now starting to appear in other languages.



Apocalyptic Witchcraft was followed by Serpent Songs, an anthology of Traditional Craft. Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold assembled the widest possible collection of voices, showing the diversity and vibrance of modern traditional witchcraft. Essays on Cornish, Basque and Swedish practices sit alongside the personal struggles and journeys of those on the path. Without the personal contacts that Nicholaj has cultivated, this book would not have been possible. We have been afforded a rare glimpse of the work that is going on beyond the show-and-tell circus of the internet.

While we are discussing the work of Dr Frisvold we should also note that his books on Palo Mayombe and Exu and Pomba Gira are being read extensively by ATR communities in the United States. These books are performing an incredible service. We are proud to be able to enable this work to be known and through it honour the strong spirits of Quimbanda and Palo Mayombe. May they be treated with the respect that they deserve rather than the sensationalism and hostility they often face.  

 
The year would not be complete without mentioning Jake Stratton-Kent who has completed the final volume of his Encyclopaedia Goetica series with The Testament of Cyprian the Mage. Work on this manuscript has consumed much of our time this year. The preparation of a two volume work of this scope requires a phenomenal amount of input. This explains why we have only released two titles in this calendar year. Rather than playing dice with the Christmas Post and overburdened print schedules we are delivering this text to our printer on January 6. The pre-order has been very strong and we hope to ship books late January/early February, we will update our website, blog and twitter feed with rolling progress reports on this project. The book will be officially launched on March 1 with a party at the Atlantis Bookshop in London. We hope many of you will join us there.



This year has not been all work, with successful book launches and public appearances at all the major esoteric events in the UK. We have recorded what we can and uploaded to our youtube channel as we know that many of our readers are in Europe, the United States and beyond. The volume of work prevented us organising a festival this year, and it seems unlikely that we will in 2014, though we will be appearing at many events, which we have begun to update here. Physical events are very important to us, and our views on the limitations of the internet are well known. We are embedded in the witchcraft and magic community in the United Kingdom and we extend our thanks to those who put on physical events and festivals. If we do choose to host any events of our own in 2014, they will be intimate boutique affairs. We treat our readers as our peers and we extend an open invitation to those who have not ever attended an event to do so. 

We can announce that we are working with Paul Holman on a new title: Tara Morgana. His  work has appeared in both our anthologies of esoteric poetry Mandragora and Datura, and he gave a reading at our Pleasure Dome event in Brighton. Those in London may be interested to hear him recite at the Blue Bus poetry evening on January 7. We will be announcing full details and a pre-order in Feburary of this startlingly original work. 

2014 will see the publication of new writers, poets and artists in our growing body of work. We will continue to produce both fine and hardback editions of our titles and alongside them affordable paperback and/or digital editions. Our intent is to spearhead the contemporary magical resurgence.



Working on Scarlet Imprint is a labour of love.
We thank you for sharing our beautiful books and the journey with us. 

Our best to you all for 2014 and beyond.

With Love

Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech




 

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Testament of Cyprian the Mage: New title pre-order open.


Dear Friends,

We have publically opened the pre-order for the standard hardback Starry Heaven edition of our newest title The Testament of Cyprian the Mage, a two-volume work by Jake Stratton-Kent, comprehending The Book of Saint Cyprian and his Magical Elements and an elucidation of The Testament of Solomon.
This is the final work in Stratton-Kent's acclaimed Encyclopaedia Goetica series which began with The True Grimoire, a working reconstruction of the Grimorium Verum, and was followed by the monumental two volume Geosophia: The Argo of Magic which explored the necromantic Greek origins of Goetia. The Testament of Cyprian the Mage is a fitting climax to this endeavour which has placed the author at the forefront of modern magic with a body of work that is both scholarly and aimed at practical application. All are standalone texts though benefit from being read as aspects of a single thesis: the importance of Goetia as the oldest continuous tradition of Western magic. As Stratton-Kent affirms, 'Goetic Magic ... if properly understood would regenerate Western magic and underline its immense cultural significance, on a level equal to any spiritual tradition in the world.' This understanding is clearly given in two volumes of lucid and fascinating exegesis with clear extracts from all the necessary works.

The Testament of Cyprian the Mage is an ambitious and far-seeing work, addressing two ends of the magical spectrum: the Testament of Solomon and a version of the Iberian Book of Saint Cyprian. In doing so, key aspects of magical practice are revealed. This work draws upon these texts to create a clear understanding of the practice of grimoire magic, not as a discrete or degenerate subset of ceremonial magic, but one which is integrated with folk magic and witchcraft. In particular we discover a shared dramatis personae, the infernal pact, and a common terrain of Wild Hunt and Sabbat.

Within the text we encounter the Chiefs, Kings and Queens of the grimoire tradition; the magical role of the Decans and their stones and plants; lunar magic and magical animals; the gods of Time; the Sibyl and the Hygromanteia; Asmodeus and Oriens; Angelology, Theurgy, Conjunction and the Pact, the Angelic Vice-regent and thwarting Angels; Asclepius, Iamblichus and
Neo-Platonism; Paracelsus and the Elemental Spirits; Necromancy, and the principles of spell work.

As Jake writes, 'A primary purpose of this book is to explore the implicit mythology of grimoire spirits and the contexts from which it derives.' It does far more. This is a fundamental revisioning of magic with profound implications for the magical revival which we are all engaged in.

The Testament of Cyprian the Mage is a two volume work of approximately 600 pages endowed with charts, tables, seals etc. and punctuated by specially commisioned pen and ink illustrations by Oliver Liebeskind. Lavishly bound in midnight blue cloth, and printed in red and black ink throughout, this is a work of enduring importance and a resource to accompany your ongoing study. 

The Starry Heaven edition
Limited to 800 exemplars.
A pair of royal octavo books comprising 592pp bound in a lapis night sky cloth, spangled with stars.
Printed in black and red throughout on archival paper, embossed endpapers and dustjackets.
Ships in January 2014.

£90 plus postage.

UK pre-order

European pre-order

United States and Worldwide pre-order



The Infernal Pact edition

Limited to 72 hand-bound exemplars.
Quarter-bound in veiny vellum. The covers are finished in custom marbled papers and the spines blocked in gilt.
All edges gilded, and the volumes come ribboned and slipcased.
Sold Out.



Please note, paperback and digital editions will be available in due course.

We have opened the pre-order earlier than usual, and the books will be sent in late JANUARY 2014.
We will update our website and social media as soon as we have a firm date for this.

With thanks for your ongoing support of the Work.

Our best,

Peter and Alkistis


Friday, 18 October 2013

The Testament of Cyprian the Mage

Subscriber pre-order for our next title, The Testament of  Cyprian the Mage by Jake Stratton-Kent will open on November 13.

This is the final work in the Encyclopaedia Goetica series which comprises The True Grimoire, a working necromancers version of the Grimorium Verum and Geosophia a two volume work tracing the Greek roots of goetic magic. The Testament of Cyprian the Mage will also be a two volume work.

The previous works in this series are available in paperback and digital editions. The hardbacks are sold out and we expect considerable interest in the new title.

image

Jake Stratton-Kent is the leading magical authority on goetic magic with a lifetime of practical study behind him. The Testament of St Cyprian the Mage is another towering acheivement which balances academic rigour with the needs of the practitioner.

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Full details of this new title will be given in our subscriber email.

If you are not on our subscriber list and would like the opportunity to pre-order the fine edition or standard hardback please email us with the message ‘subscribe’.

Our email address can be found on our website at www.scarletimprint.com

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Rule of Three?

Three new online independent reviews of Apocalyptic Witchcraft  appeared this week and underline the important message of this book. Despite the controversial nature of the text, it is gaining a readership amongst very diverse members of the witchcraft and magical community.



For those still unsure, or even wary about Apocalyptic Witchcraft, these reviews should serve as a good introduction to the ideas it embodies:

The first is an erudite and scholarly response on the Eternal Haunted Summer website:

...Peter Grey is interested in restoring the cultus and practice of witchcraft in the modern world as a practice of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll”; the only difference is that by “rock ‘n’ roll,” Grey’s book tends to mean “poetry,” but otherwise, “sex” and “drugs” should be brought back, brought forward, and brought out far more than they have been or should have been in more recent decades.  Further, the cleaning-up of the public image of witchcraft and the distancing of itself from some of these things which the overculture has considered unpalatable should be avoided at all costs, and an unapologetic approach should be taken to these matters wherever they might arise... 

...In addition to the many other excellent chapters in this book, I must give particular compliments to Grey on the subject of lycanthropy in the chapter “A Wolf Sent Forth To Snatch Away A Lamb” (pp. 112-135).  In both academic and occult/pagan/polytheist literature on lycanthropy and werewolf traditions, there are very few treatments in existence at this point that are as compact, insightful, honest, and accurate in overall terms as that of Grey in this book...

Full review can be read here:

http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/issues/autumn-equinox-2013/apocalyptic-witchcraft/

The second review is on a personal blog which gives a very thorough breakdown of the book for those who are not sure what to expect:

...I believe that this book is another important milestone within the world of Occult Publishing and Witchcraft in general. For those who are already on the fence and have some inkling as to what this book relates to, my whole recommendation and this post can be summarised quickly and simply: it’s an important work, if you are the least bit interested, order a copy at the next available opportunity...

Full review can be read here:

http://theluciferianrevolution.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/review-and-summary-apocalyptic-witchcraft-part-one/

The third is another personal response:

..There is so much contained in this book whether Wiccan, traditional, atheist or polytheist you will get something out of it and gain a better perspective on witchcraft in general. I recommend this book to any practioner the way I would Art of War to someone interested in military strategy...

Full review can be read here:

http://holdasown.tumblr.com/post/62061146023/book-review-apocalyptic-witchcraft-by-peter-grey

We have also had a lot of private correspondence about the book from very established members of the community and the perennial heretics! Let us just conclude by saying that this book is gaining a strong following and most importantly being put into practice.  Our thanks to the writers and readers who are bold enough to engage with these ideas.

We are the witchcraft.

http://www.scarletimprint.com/apocalyptic_witchcraft.html

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Scarlet Imprint: Forthcoming title

Dear Friends,

We have been busy since Serpent Songs and Apocalyptic Witchcraft working on our next title. Today we can announce the first details of a major work to be launched later this Autumn, 2013.

The Testament of Cyprian the Mage by Jake Stratton-Kent is the third and final volume in the Encyclopaedia Goetica series and represents a lifetime's work as a practicing goetic magician.



The full title of the book is: The Testament of Cyprian the Mage: Comprehending the Book of Saint Cyprian and his Magical Elements and an elucidation of the Testament of Solomon.

The book tackles two of the critical strands of the Grimoire tradition, the Iberian Cyprian books and the Testament of Solomon, the foundation text of the Solomonic grimoire tradition. Stratton-Kent elucidates their context, meaning and critically how they can be integrated into a modern magical approach. Crucial to this is the identity of the Four Kings and the role of the Decans.

This is a two volume work, printed in red and black ink throughout, beautifully illustrated, filled with charts, tables and hand drawn seals. Full details of the editions and their contents will be anounced with the opening of the pre-order. 

If you are interested in pre-ordering the standard hardback or fine edition, please email us and ask to be added to our subscriber list.

His True Grimoire began the Encyclopaedia Goetica series with the first working version of the famed Grimorium Verum reconstructed from several sources. This is the best place for anyone looking to work with the grimoires to start, and the cornerstone of any serious magical library as it gives the complete working system for spirit contact, construction of tools and not only spells but the principles behind them. A clear and concise work intended for use and highly regarded in the community.



The True Grimoire is available in paperback and digital Bibliotheque Rouge editions: http://www.scarletimprint.com/truegrimoire.htm

Jake Stratton-Kent can be heard here interviewed about The True Grimoire by The Occult of Personality podcast: http://occultofpersonality.net/podcast-61-jake-stratton-kent/


The second book in the series is Geosophia - The Argo of Magic, a two volume work of unparalleled ambition. It traces the development of magic from the Greeks to the grimoires, laying bare the chthonic roots of goetic ritual. Like The True Grimoire, it is both a scholarly and eminently practical work. Geosophia equips the modern grimoire magician with an arsenal of techniques and approaches that will transform their personal art. It has been called by Midian Books one of the two outstanding books of the millenium, the other work they cited was our Apocalyptic Witchcraft.

Geosophia is available in paperback and digital Bibliotheque Rouge editions:
http://www.scarletimprint.com/geosophia.htm

As The Testament of Cyprian the Mage  is such a major undertaking we wanted to share news of this title with you in advance of the pre-order which will open later in the Autumn. Jake's work has built a major following and the hardback editions (Geosophia pictured below) sell very quickly and become highly sought after on the secondhand market.



Jake Stratton-Kent is arguably the most important modern writer in the grimoire tradition, approaching the texts as a practitioner he presents them not as historical curiosities, but as part of a continuous magical tradition. He opens up the possibility for the committed student to pursue the mysteries for themselves.





Preparing a book of this magnitude for print requires intensive work and as a result we have been keeping silent. We will of course announce on our website and twitter feed in advance of sending the pre-order subscriber email .

Our best to you all this New Moon,

Peter and Alkistis




Thursday, 22 August 2013

More blood spilled



The Blood of the Earth reviewed by Frank Kaminski, originally published by Mud City Press  republished by Resilience.org

The Blood of the Earth: An Essay on Magic and Peak Oil

By John Michael Greer
178 pp., first edition hardcover. Scarlet Imprint – May 2012. $75.00. Also available in paperback for $24.95.

It was as an inquisitive young man during the 1970s that John Michael Greer—now an accomplished author and an indispensable source of wisdom on things both worldly and otherworldly—began to question the world around him. Raised in a suburban neighborhood near Seattle, Washington, he felt deeply unfulfilled by both the trappings of the suburban lifestyle and those of American intellectual life, for he plainly did not fit into either. He was a youth of uncommon intelligence, intensity, focus and creative ability, and he owed these gifts largely to an autism spectrum disorder that he’s had his whole life (and that he incidentally shares with the present reviewer) called Asperger’s syndrome.1 Like many with Asperger's, Greer skipped the typical social life of an adolescent in favor of a search for truth and meaning. He read voraciously and widely, and over time amassed a broad and penetrating intellect.
 


His book The Blood of the Earth is, in many ways, a grand culmination of this intellectual journey. It draws on twin themes developed throughout Greer’s work—the regrettable fate of industrial civilization and the extraordinary potential of ceremonial magic—and relates them both in brilliant and myriad ways. Greer sees several key connections between the two. To begin with, they’re both fundamentally issues of mind and consciousness, rather than of material reality. The imminent resource shortages that our society faces are rooted not in the dwindling quantities of these resources left to be extracted, but in the thinking that people in wealthy nations have used to justify their lavish lifestyles. As for magic, its main purpose is not to make objects appear out of thin air, as in so many pop culture misrepresentations of magic, but rather to cause changes to one’s consciousness.

A few other similarities are well worth noting here. First, the general public is averse to both topics and is unable to accept their reality. There’s also the fact that both magic and the machinations of industrial society in its dying throes make use of incantations, spells and other magical rites. Indeed, Greer points out that the chants of "drill, baby, drill" coming from Sarah Palin and John McCain during the 2008 presidential race were quite literally an incantation, one whose purpose was much the same as that of incantations in occult magical practices: to soothe and to enchant rather than to effect change in the physical world. This parallel can be extended further, to the way in which all those who stand in thrall to technology and the idea of progress are immersed in a spell as powerful as anything a magician could create.

Greer describes the question of what magic is and what it does as being “a sufficiently vexed” one that an entire chapter is needed at the beginning of the book to address it. In this chapter, he clarifies that he's not talking about stage magic or the kind depicted in light entertainments, but rather the occult practices of esoteric traditions. Focused on spiritual development, this type of magic is “the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will.”2 Thus, unlike the physical sciences, magic is not a means of directly manipulating matter and energy, so it isn’t capable of bringing about the technological leap that most people think will save our civilization from ruin. However, it can be used to change people’s perception of our crisis so that they can respond to it more intelligently.
 



Besides magic, another crucial concept that Greer defines at length is that of peak oil, which refers to the point at which conventional world oil production stops increasing and begins irreversibly declining. It’s now clear that this peak has already occurred—it happened in 2005, according to the best available data. It’s equally apparent, reasons Greer, that our society waited far too long to deal with the threat that peak oil poses. A report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2005, and now widely known as “the Hirsch report,” concluded that we would have had to anticipate the peak by two decades in order to avert serious economic impacts from it. Greer thus contends that our society faces a protracted period of steep decline, much like those of the Anasazi, Maya and other doomed civilizations that have waned through the ages because they overshot their resources.

Ever since the improvement of the steam engine in late 18th-century England helped spur the industrial revolution, machines have held a profound enchantment over us. Their power to transform the world has given us a misplaced sense of superiority and omnipotence, to use Greer’s terms, and has duped us into believing that we’re destined to forever progress to higher states. These mistaken perceptions keep us from seeing the blind alley down which they lead. For example, as fuel prices began to soar at the dawn of the millennium, economists maintained that the higher prices would create new supply and make unconventional energy sources more economical. That hasn’t happened, of course, and yet most people haven’t taken economists to task on this or any of their other false predictions on energy. Such questioning would cut to the core of our culture’s cherished “Myth of the Machine,” to quote the title of a classic Lewis Mumford book that Greer cites.

The glib reassurances uttered by economists and other pundits represent a form of magic known as thaumaturgy. This type of magic plays on people's non-rational, primal drives in order to gain control over them. Greer observes that soft drink companies make very effective use of thaumaturgy in persuading us to pay money for carbonated corn syrup beverages that are bad for our health. He also shows how thaumaturgic principles are at work in advertisers’ efforts to portray automobile dependence as freedom, and the solitary act of watching TV alone at home as a form of community involvement. Similarly outlandish distortions of the truth are to be found in the prevailing views about our energy future pedaled by the press, politicians and energy industry leaders. And yet, most people uncritically accept these, too, as fact. Thus, Greer insists that anyone who hopes to prepare for the actual future ahead must work to undo the effects of these thaumaturgic spells.
 


The antithesis of thaumaturgy is theurgy, or “divine work.” Theurgy’s purpose is to purge the mind and will of the biological drives and social reactions that thaumaturgy seeks to exploit. In contrast to the latter’s stealthy manipulation of the masses, theurgy works on an individual level and cannot be passively received, but must be mastered through long training and hard work. Himself a practicing mage, Greer well knows the pains involved in this process. He believes that for those willing to undertake the necessary discipline, it is as viable a means of purifying one’s reason and will as it was during the ancient Greek period in which it originated—yet it’s hardly the only means.

The Blood of the Earth discusses in detail the habits of mind that we must overcome if we are to earnestly face the future. Chief among these is the tendency to think in binaries, or in pairs of opposites with no middle ground in between. Greer traces this impulse to our primate ancestors, who had to quickly distinguish between food/non-food, predator/non-predator, etc. It was an instinct well suited to conditions at that time, but it’s since become a hindrance in attempts to make sense of our future. For instance, when asked how they see the world energy situation unfolding in coming years, most people envision either a continuation of business as usual or a cataclysmic collapse, in spite of the vast range of conceivable scenarios in between. The remedy for binary thinking, says Greer, is to make a conscious effort to think of additional possibilities whenever faced with a binary.

Due to his well-founded conviction that we face a predicament rather than a problem with a solution, Greer offers no hope of solutions. Instead, he shares his thoughts on some intelligent, proactive measures that can be taken to better prepare oneself for the inevitable decline of the industrial world. He stresses that we must, above all, curtail our exposure to the “manufactured popular pseudoculture” that tells us what to think and what to do. An excellent first step in this direction is to throw away the TV, since, true to the term “programming,” it plays a huge role in administering mind control. Just as important as shunning pop culture is filling the resulting void with something worthwhile, be it classic literature, music or the arts. When in doubt about what to choose, advises Greer, a good rule is to pick something old enough that it is in no way a product of today’s collective thinking.
 


In order to be effective, of course, this freeing of the mind must be accompanied by action. And Greer suggests three main lines of action: learning one thing, giving up one thing and saving one thing. When choosing something to learn, it’s wise to pick a practical skill like gardening or soap-making, since the demand for such necessities will far outlast the present-day market economy’s ability to supply them. As for things to give up, one excellent choice is the car. As fuel becomes ever scarcer, cars will become a tremendous burden and the ability to get around on foot will be hugely advantageous. Lastly, saving one thing refers to choosing a cultural legacy to preserve for posterity. There is much of our culture that will be lost forever if no one takes up this last task, due to the impermanence of today’s electronic media and books printed on high-acid paper.

Greer’s studies into magical practice give him a fascinating perspective on the crisis of modern civilization. He first got started in magic during his teens, drawn by the lure of a world that is, in his words, “much bigger, much stranger, much less rigidly defined than we’re told by the propagandists of modern science and the materialist worldview.”3 He went on to follow a druid path as well, eventually attaining his current, lofty title of Grand Archdruid of the Grand Grove of the Ancient Order of Druids in America. He also has long had a sweet tooth for science fiction and fantasy literature (something that makes him more than okay in my book) and a talent for bringing it to bear in his scholarship. It will be a real treat to see what he comes up with for his next book—and we won’t have long to wait, given his prodigious output.

http://www.scarletimprint.com/bloodoftheearth.html

1 John Michael Greer, interview with Karagan Griffith, "Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth - with John Michael Greer," Witchtalk, Apr. 24, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SybRgLgCr68 (accessed July 24, 2013); Greer, interview with Imagicka, “The New Encyclopedia of the Occult: TWPT Talks to John Michael Greer,” The Wiccan/Pagan Times, Mar. 1, 2004, http://redroom.com/member/john-michael-greer/press/the-new-encyclopedia-of-the-occult-twpt-talks-to-john-michael-greer (accessed July 20, 2013); Greer, “John Michael Greer - Detroit Community Lecture - ‘Not The Future We Ordered’,” YouTube video of lecture given at the Detroit Masonic Temple in Detroit, MI, on Apr. 20, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDSTK3a_q9k (accessed Aug. 19, 2013).
2 Greer has cited this definition of magic by Dion Fortune numerous times in his writings, as he finds it to be among the most apt and useful.
3 Greer, interview with Ian Punnett, "Coast to Coast AM - Monster Lore - Main Show,” YouTube upload of show originally aired on Coast to Coast AM on Oct. 22, 2005, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0xAdTDvoEg (uploaded Jun 7, 2013; accessed July 14, 2013).

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Red Goddess undergoes Polish alchemy

A Polish edition of The Red Goddess has been produced by our friends at Okultura.
Delighted that this will reach more people.
http://sklep.okultura.pl/peter-grey-czerwona-bogini.html






Below is the introduction to the Polish edition in English:

Polish Edition Introduction

Poland is the crucible of Europe. Hot lignite slag and bellows breath creating molten gold. It is the epicentre of the sexual alchemical experiments of Dee, and the rebirth of Babalon.

It is in Poland that the Enochian angels sang their most honeyed hymns, and promised a different future. A future fraught with apocalyptic visions, from a schism riven Christianity which could not accept that Woman was the ultimate solution, that sex was the master key of occult power. It is here that the lost Love Goddess makes her dramatic and triumphant entry into the modern world.

Though many look to California and the collision of rocket scientist Jack Parsons with Scientology founder L.Ron Hubbard in the Babalon Working, it is more correctly Europe where the real alchemy occurred. To have The Red Goddess translated into Polish is in many ways inevitable. It is in itself, a vital magical act that completes the circuit and ignites the conflagration. This is a book written to start fires.
It is time to open our hearts and uncross our legs. To ransack the Book of Revelations for the real concealed meanings. To dare to follow the Angels out onto the battlefields once more.  Babalon tells us what we have always suspected, that the Age has changed. The old certainties are not simply being questioned, they are being torn down by a babel of voices. This book is a herald of a time of revolution. For a new generation who will not settle for the lie a realisation dawns; that it is happening, that Babalon is here. 
I have a diary entry from August 7 2006, and it reads:

I’ve come to Kracow for secrets. Looking for what Dee might have seen. Perhaps somewhere amidst the foreboding churches there is a way back into that labyrinth of letters that spelled out the Keys. The Jewish quarter even after being sifted through the gates of Auschwitz is still redolent of secrets.  I lose myself, take enough wrong turns to find empty haunted backstreets. A whore watches me go past from an iron framed balcony. Grafitti threatens violence.

The words I recited in a hotel room, tarot laid out around me, curtains drawn, is echoing on here.  Empty.  I pad patiently after it. I find the bar I didn’t know was there, Alchemia. The radical science has become motheaten owls and dusty alembics. A backdrop of forgotten props for travellers making their safe way around a safe Europe.
The vodka comes as it should in cold swallows. Whatever the crucifix countermeasures once warned of on church doors is not here. I drink in the candlelight. Idly tear out the Sri Yantra logo from a flyer. Pour a little hot wax over the back of my hand to see how drunk I have become.
Not here, it isn’t here, it has moved on.
I knew this, that’s all journeys often are, coming to terms with what was already known.
It is loose in the world, no point in ever going back, unless we then go forward.

A year after this The Red Goddess was published for the first time in English in an edition of an hundred and fifty-six copies.  A year later, clamour lead to a further edition of seven hundred and seventy-seven copies and a further forty nine bound in black goatskin and silk. Now in paperback it has been read on every continent with the momentum continuing to grow insatiably.  
And so I find my words now written in Polish, wondering if my calling in Kracow has lead to this particular book. Excited to see what will now unfold, recognising Her signs in the tempest and the rose.

Poland has a singular history, as a powerhouse of revolutionary ideas and heresies.  Further still, it has a future. The Work is for us to accomplish here and now and though this book is concerned with history, it is in order for us to free ourselves from the false histories of state and church and school. It offers glimpses and paths to pursue deeper into the rose labyrinth as individuals, as groups and as lovers.

We will not settle for less than incorruptible gold, rising out of the leaden mass of Catholicism, rising out of the grey architecture of the soviet bloc, rising out of the false promises of the free market.
This book was written for Her, yet it is also written for you.
She has more to say, speaking through our bodies, and moving on the wings of the wind.
The war has begun and we stand with the daughter of fortitude.

With Love
Peter Grey
1/1/11


The English version of the book is to be found here: http://www.scarletimprint.com/redgoddess.htm



Thursday, 1 August 2013

Serpent Songs: Fine bound Serpentine Edition

We were delighted to recieve the fine bound Serpentine edition of Serpent Songs for Lammas.


Have spent the day packing books and just stopped to take a few photos.

64 exemplars (all now sold)
Bound in full pistachio leather, gilded ends, cloth covered slipcase, black silk ribbon, marbled endpapers. Stamped with a vesica and serpent device.

All pre-ordered copies now being wrapped and sent.

Hope that you all enjoy your books.

Serpent Songs is a wide ranging work that deals with the issues of witch blood, taboo, the other, the liminal state, fire, dream, art and need as vectors of the Craft. What emerges is not a narrow definition of what it means to engage in Traditional Craft, but a set of shared characteristics and approaches which become evident despite the cultural gulfs in place and time. This is a book of praxis, beliefs and their own definitions of the art itself rather than those applied to it by outsiders. These are the voices who for the most part operate in silence but now wish to be heard.

Serpent Songs is still available as a standard hardback and digital edition: www.scarletimprint.com

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Cut-Up at A Pleasure Dome

First video courtesy of Sitting Now from our A Pleasure Dome event held in Brighton in 2012:





More Al Cummins on Tristan Tzara,  Jeff Noon, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin can be read in our Mandragora anthology here: http://www.scarletimprint.com/mandragora.html


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Great Snakes: Serpent Songs reviewed

Serpent Songs review, courtesy of Pennies for the Boneyard:


“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Wonderland seems to be burning down around us.
Like a rogue golem, patient and tireless, modernity is crushing magic underfoot, shod in hobnailed “Reason”. Respect for the quiet places has been lost, replaced by the relentless barrage of holy images from lit screens, crawling with whispered promises. With unlimited information only a keystroke away, society has become numb, illiterate, placid. They no longer fear the night, because the lights never go out.

Some of us see the fires, almost hidden in the glow of the lights, the screens. Nightclad, anachronistic, we dress our faces in the ashes, and stand ready to champion the forgotten.
Across the ash-drawn mandala of Peter Grey’s Apocalyptic Witchcraft, we find the undulating trails of Scarlet Imprint’s newest release: Serpent Songs.

Curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, Serpent Songs collects 15 essays on Traditional Craft, offering an intimate study of the people and practices that remain aggressively alive and feral, despite history’s effort to roll them into the sea.

Having recently developed an urge to learn more about Traditional Craft, Serpent Songs crawled into my home like a granted wish. With the muddying that has accompanied the half-baked commandeering of regional practices , the chances of finding reliable information has been hit-and-miss, at best. With the precision and quality I’ve come to expect from Scarlet Imprint, and Mr. Frisvold, this book certainly hits the mark.

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Caught in the stiff, heavy pages are names like Robert Cochrane, Andrew Chumbley, Evan John Jones, Tubal Cain, and the Bucca. There are discourses on English Cunning Folk, Stregoneria, and even some hoodoo. Johannes Gårdbäck shares a fascinating look at Swedish Trolldom, explaining the practice as he describes a visit to clients, and the work he does to help them (“Trolldom”); Sarah Lawless offers a primer on the use of animal remains, which includes a number of beautiful photographs (“Mysteries of Beast, Blood and Bone”); Arkaitz Urbeltz, and Xabier Bakaikoa Urbeltz present a pair of very interesting articles on the traditional practices of the Basque people (“Lezekoak”, “But the House of my Father will Stand”); Richard Parkinson discourses on the transition of displaced clerical Exorcists to private work, and how this contributed to English Craft (“Exorcists, Conjurors, & Cunning Men in Post-Reformation England”); and Jesse Hathaway Diaz touches on the somewhat prickly subject of following multiple paths (“Passers-By: Potential, Crossroads & Wayfaring on the Serpent Road”). With further essays by Gemma Gary, Shani Oates, and more, Serpent Songs combines historical studies with pulse-personal contemplations to bring the reader a bloody-raw look at Traditional Craft, free of pretense, and unneeded polish.

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Well known for their marvelous books, the standard hardback Sylvan edition of Serpent Songs is a fine example of what Scarlet Imprint has to offer. Bound in olive cloth, with black and gold serpents on the cover and spine, and almost hypnotic endpapers, it is a tribute to the beauty of simplicity.
This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about Traditional Craft, but, more than just a study resource, it is a potent reminder that magic still blooms in the world. Far from withering under the strain of all the forces that would brush us into the past, we remain–patient and poisonous.

We were here when it started. We will be here when it ends.

Serpent Songs, curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, from Scarlet Imprint

This review can be read in the original context here: http://penniesfortheboneyard.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/book-review-serpent-songs/

Friday, 5 July 2013

Our Power craves Love! Beware our Power!

A beautiful poetic response to Apocalyptic Witchcraft courtesy of Slippery Elm:

A month after finishing Peter Grey’s Apocalyptic Witchcraft I found myself on a rooftop in North Africa hastily building an altar out of bricks and cinder blocks while the full claimed her place between the cities twin peaks. The horizon was a tangled mass of mountains, whorled tendrils of blackberry raking at the sky, snagging swathes of soft night on their barbs like goat fur on the thorns that line a high traverse. The particular peaks that stanged our moon that March night, are known locally as the horns.
There was a small room on the roof, with one little window and a ruined wall; within it, a pile of white canvas bags blackened torqued wire, and other such rubble. No one would find me. At the first sound of footsteps, it would only take a pinch, and then the hiss of wax, to disappear.


***

Europe, ruin! Africa, ruin! The Americas, ruin! All lands washed in shrouds of ruin!
And still we gather in the wrinkles of the globe, in manifold ruins the world over, under the same hot moon. There make our love, our magic, our mischief. And what filigree remains, severed from its superfluous umbilical, and bereft of the black blood of oil upon which to suckle its roots, is withering like a sunless flower. Apocalypse sounds her bulería war cry and there is but to rise and meet her with snapping fingers and iron laced heels. Here is the rose, dance here.

From the bowels of the cave of John of Patmos, to the highest reaches of the Sabbat mount, Apocalyptic Witchcraft rises out of the torqued wire and rubble left to us by industrial society like steam from a thawing corpse. The book opens like a caja pandora, a conch, a skull, echoing forth it’s whispers. Peter begins his telling, and together we proceed to pilot our coracles on the waters of dream, hunt as wolves, and make new tracks on a narrow path, becoming ever more lost in woods forbidden. Trees hold their breath; their shadows stiffening all around us.

Every step of the way, on every page, Peter spouts off poetry & prophecy like a roman candle. As it was scribed in the moss-agate tongue of fungus and vine, of Venus and vipers, any discussion of this book demands such verdure vernacular: that of all things fluttering, leaping, sexing, dying, greening, and keening. I speak these languages back to you. As Peter asserts, poetry is the unbroken lineage. And in times such as these, when the greenworld lies under the choke hold siege of a differing dream, we come to know, as did Mahmoud Darwish, what makes the voice of the nightingale a dagger that shines in the face of invaders.

I have seen the historical accuracy, and pretensions of authenticity among our traditions squabbled over like seagulls over lunch scraps. I have seen those who posture as witches scrying numbly in the neon crystals of televisions while the world flames up around them. All of this no more. The Craft is not sedentary. There are much more urgent silences to shatter. Like permaculture, witchcraft must outfit and equip us for an age of decline. Now’s to become naked in the vine-tangle and weave ourselves resistance. Make ghost lamps of pickle jars. Save the coloured tissue paper that your fine edition comes in to wrap up and bury your offerings: the white, the red, and the black ones.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft will be a difficult read for those who have not yet gazed upon the dark. Who don’t feel in poetry but think in prose. Who might stumble on threads and miss the tapestry. Yet, Peter has struck a nerve. He has come closer than any author before him in expressing that slippery something that lurks at the heart of witchcraft, regardless of tradition. A warning to those who would trivialize us, who would deny a cat its claws: Our Power craves Love! Beware our Power!

 

Inspired by his constant battle and search for duende, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca wrote this of the Andalucían cante jondo, of deep song: it has only the night, a wide night steeped in stars. Nothing else matters. Likewise the witchcraft. The halls of the heart far surpass the world in vision and splendour. As Peter relates, this duende, this mystery, burns in the space between The Goddess and The Devil—obscured by a whirl of horns and red veils. This dance mimics the bullfight, in that lover and beloved, bull and torero, interpenetrate and become one another, consumed by an irrational force irresistibly compelling. This death-dance transpires on all levels of life. Every living thing partakes in this grand performance. But what is the source of this force, this duende? Lorca muses: Perhaps it comes to us from the dead, who stare at us from the motionless fence around the bullring of the moon.

All things dissolve and we are left with roots. With numbers. With Time. With music: auditory numbers colouring shards of Time with melody.  Despite the vastness of its scope, Apocalyptic Witchcraft and its diabolic dance dissolve into a single number, vibrate on a single tone. What lies behind this cipher will be different for each one of us who knock at its door.

This book is a signal through the flames, like Artaud signaled, and like Ferlinghetti signaled after him, screaming “if you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of living in apocalyptic times, even if this means sounding apocalyptic.” Apocalyptic Witchcraft does more than just fling an answer to the challenge of these times. It answers the challenge with a challenge of its own: Hic Rhodus! Hic Salta!

***

Peter, you are wicked! Alkistis, wicked! You have cursed us! You have cursed us to be great, cursed us with greatness!
How many times have I been pierced and hung-up on the vicious doubtful gaze of gorgeous dance companions! 
How many times have I risen like a sleep-walker when challenged to freestyle at a show!
How many times have I claimed the microphone and put my magic where my mouth is!
Yet when the wineglass smashes there is no other option.




O beloved witches far-flung and lonely! My dear darklings everywhere! In your huts! In your caves! And in urban centres! Eating open the marrow of skyscrapers like a plague of insects!
We played and stole among the street kids of Salzburg! We are of the river that gurgles in the fiery mouth of Zugurramurdi! Mother Demdike is our beldame!  
I must fly—but for now I gift you with one last whisper:
Like cante jondo, our song is truly deep. All we need is the night. The night and a few stars. Nothing else matters.
The heart may see where the eyes cannot.
So close yours and count to Fifteen.



Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Serpent Songs - Living Traditions review


Serpent Songs is a diverse collection of fifteen essays introduced and curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold. It explores the world of Traditional Witchcraft through lone practitioners and tradition holders, from both family and clan and allows us a rare glimpse into the workings of the more secretive pro-ponents of the Craft. As per usual Scarlet Imprint practise this is a superbly produced volume, the Sylvan edition has been released in an edition of 750 with olive cloth gold and black blocking. The quality of the illustrations and photographs cannot be faulted and the cover is illustrated with a double serpent, it also has custom end papers and the font is easy on the eye and the paper is of exceptionally high quality.




The essays in this thought provoking volume focus on Traditional rather than modern craft, so often today “Wicca” has become so embedded with new age thought that it is hard to tell the difference and its mass market consumer format has become off putting, to say the least, to those who follow the Old Ways. The traditions here are non or pre-Gardnerian, folk and cunning man, among others, and covers aspects of the craft from historical to the personal, forbidden practises such as the use of blood and bone to significant figures such as Robert Cochrane, Evan John-Jones and Andrew Chumbley.
It is very easy to get caught up in a model of Witchcraft which speaks in terms of a purely pagan tradition and yet so often it existed in a hybrid form mixed with folk and ancestral traditions and later overlaid with Christian and other religious forms. In more modern times there has been a revival of pre and non Gardnerian craft from the Sabbati Cultus of Andrew Chumbley, the 1734 to the Clan of Tubal Cain.

As we wander through Serpent Songs we encounter Basque folk traditions, various modern adaptations of non Gardnerian Craft, the Stregona and the path to self deification, all explored in an erudite and academically rigorous manner. The Pellars of Cornwall provides a rich vein of Traditional Craft and Steve Patterson offers a fascinating look at their traditions and the nature of Bucca, the multifaceted god, devil, faery or spirit of that tradition. In the medieval period the line between the exorcist, physician, sorcerer and cunning folk was thin and as the official role of the exorcist when no longer sustained by the church saw many practitioners went into private practise. Richard Parkinson’s article on this period is a superb read. Interesting and lesser known studies such on taboo to avoid the witch becoming totally “other” and hence dis-solving into the otherworld and the lesser known of Throlldom of Scandinavia are excellent studies.

Of course Traditional Witchcraft didn't evolve in a vacuum and throughout Serpent Songs we explore the influences in the development of the craft including a significant piece on Bogomil and Byzantine influences. Too often the Gnostic elements of the Bogomils have been overemphasized with the folk, ancestral and traditional elements underplayed. The challenging essay by Radomir Ristic, author of Traditional Balkan Witchcraft, goes a long way to rectify this.

There is so much more in this volume that it becomes a little counterproductive to go through essay by essay, I would much rather than you discover the many joys and gems in this fascinating work yourself.

http://www.scarletimprint.com/serpentsongs.html

Review courtesy of : http://www.livingtraditions-magazine.com

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Serpent Songs first review (and digital edition)


First review of Serpent Songs just in from Michael Howard editor of The Cauldron:

I have finally received my copy of the limited edition book 'Serpent Songs' published by Scarlet Imprint. It was due out on May Day but had been delayed because of production problems that often bedevil publishers, big and small.

It is an anthology of traditional witchcraft and its 214 pages contain sixteen lengthy essays by various modern practitioners representing a wide range of streams. The subjects covered inlude Cornish pellars and witches, the Italian stregoneria, Basque witchcraft  and mythology, Joe Wilson, hoodoo and the 1734 tradition, exorcists, conjurors and cunning men in post-Reformation England, the modern trolldom tradition of folk magic in Sweden, the art of Andrew D.Chumbley, Bogomilian and Byzantine influences on historical witchcraft, and working magically with animal body parts and bones.

Some of the contributions effectively capture the unique ambience of Traditional Craft and its roots in the past in an evocative way. Others are more intellectually orientated and may be hard going for some readers. Also a few of the essays would have been enhanced by some background information for beginners on the people, groups and traditions discussed as the writers presume everybody reading the book has some knowledge of them. However overall 'Serpent Songs' will be useful to anyone interested in modern traditional witchcraft and its many aspects.


We have also released the book as a limitless digital bibliotheque rouge title in epub and mobi format to go alongside the limited hardback release.

http://www.scarletimprint.com/serpentsongs.html

Monday, 10 June 2013

A Nest of Serpents

Our thanks to the Atlantis Bookshop in London and all of our readers and authors who came to celebrate the release of Serpent Songs - An Anthology of Traditional Craft.

We had a great night with old and new friends from the various witchcraft and magical communities.
Glasses were raised to those who could not attend but were with us in spirit.

All pre-ordered copies of the standard edition of Serpent Songs were sent out on Friday morning, so many are already with readers in England, will be reaching Europe before too long and the United States and Worldwide a little after that.

The standard hardback sylvan edition is in stock and shipping. If you haven't seen the book, pictures and details are here: http://www.scarletimprint.com/serpentsongs.html

The fine serpentine edition is being bound (and is fully subscribed)  we will update you when we have further information.










Thursday, 6 June 2013

Serpent Songs an Anthology of Traditional Craft: First pictures.

The standard hardback edition of Serpent Songs - An Anthology of Traditional Craft is now with us and being patiently wrapped to be sent to our readers.

A very elegant production in an olive cloth with undulating endpapers, printed throughout in black and gold ink.

We are looking forward seeing many of you at the launch party this Saturday June 8 at Atlantis Bookshop in London.






Our thanks to the writers who have contributed to this project:

Gemma Gary, Shani Oates, Arkaitz Urbeltz, Stuart Inman and Jane Sparkes,Tony MacLeod, Xabier Bakaikoa Urbeltz, Steve Patterson, Richard Parkinson, Francis Ashwood, Johannes Gardback, Radomir Ristic, Anne Morris, Jesse Hathaway Diaz, Sarah Lawless, and of course the editor Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold.




Full details here: http://www.scarletimprint.com/serpentsongs.html

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Serpent Songs update

Update for our readers on Serpent Songs: all the book blocks had been printed and were awaiting binding, however the special order book cloth has gone astray somewhere between France and here.

We were on schedule to send this week commencing May 13, but that is now an impossibility. We have been poised ready to consecrate, wrap and send but despite profuse apologies from our bindery; it is going to be June 3 until we receive the standard hardback edition.

The fine-binding is in progress and not impacted by this delay.

Thanks for your patience, we don't mean to tease, this is simply the nature of (magical) publishing. We wanted to make sure that you were all kept up to date with the project. Having seen the running sheets we know that you are going to be delighted with the book when it does arrive.


Fortunately the books will be with us in time for the launch party which is being held at the  Atlantis Bookshop in London on Saturday June 8 from 7.30-10.30pm. We are delighted that many of the authors will be present for this event to which you are all cordially invited.



Saturday, 11 May 2013

Beautiful, Clever, Dangerous


Review of Apocalyptic Witchcraft courtesy of the highly respected Clive Harper and The Wiccan



This is a beautiful book.

This is a clever book.

This is a dangerous book.

This is a beautiful book. The copy I have is an attractive hardback book, bound in rough black linen cloth, stamped with a dule of white doves. For afficionados of fine book-arts, I understand that there will be an even more sumptuous edition, comprising of 81 slipcased copies bound in hammered gold morocco (ed note: sold out). For those with less extravagant tastes there is also a paperback edition at £15 and for those who prefer e-books, there is a PDF version at £10.

This is a clever book. Citing authorities as disparate as De Lancre and Debord, Ginzburg and Grant, Parsons and Plath, the author's erudition underscores his graceful prose. Written with verve and brio, is is rightly described as "a polemic... not an exhaustive history" Time after time one reads sentences with a jewel-like clarity, for example he brilliantly encapsulates the traditional outsider status of witchcraft - "You will find the witch at the end of a pointed finger".

This is a dangerous book in that it makes you think. Grey challenges many of the 'givens' of contemporary Craft. As he puts it - "Witchcraft casts its glamour through these pages, but it will not be prettified. The sickle moon cuts. The curse harms. The wound bleeds. Without these there is no life in witchcraft." Acknowledging the place of drugs, sex and malefica, this is no book for an interfaith gathering. It is however a book which will inspire, provoke thought and excite!

- Clive Harper 


For full details and ordering a copy: http://www.scarletimprint.com/apocalyptic_witchcraft.html



Saturday, 27 April 2013

Ripe with Fire

Phenomenal review of Exu and the Quimbanda of Night and Fire by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold.
Reposted from the ever incendiary Ryan Valentine and can be read in the original context here:

http://burn-victim.blogspot.ca/2013/04/ripe-as-fuck.html



This book.  Changed everything, most things, perhaps nothing.  Nothing is the most profound thing you can change, I think, change nothing and everything falls right into place.  If Pomba Gira is the fig tree then Exu is the fruit of it, low hanging and ripe as fuck.  In the corner where the candles burn, where the resins sizzle on the charcoals, where my book and my old .45 lay an old pocket watch now lives, threaded on the silver chain upon which old Gede’s grinning skull is hung.  That watch changed everything, perhaps nothing.  An old preacher left his children weeping in a hallway, left them forever, a passage that will go almost entirely unnoticed by the world at large but was marked for those few by an old pocket watch, a pair of boots, a handsome coat and an elegant old fishing pole.  I was the watch, that old pocket watch that somehow weighed the weight of the world.  I hung on that chain like daybreak.
I wrote once that the dead were a crowd of boko that gathered about the child of the west.  It felt that way, untethered as we are from our past, a hundred thousand ghetto-born not knowing the names of even their parents every day.  All you had to do was listen to them and they could teach you the secrets, any secrets, they came from all over and died here without names.  That old watch had a name though; a full name and a secret one and I knew them both.  It was the watch that changed the mandala of sigils we lay out in cascarilla and the fine pink sugar left when you evaporate good rum on the floor beneath the book, the gun, the burning candles and smoking resins. 
The whole of the universe as I understand it is on that floor, you can change my mind, you can make me feel things, you can haunt my dreams but to have moved a single grain of sugar on that floor is to have moved the worlds themselves.  At least, that is what has happened to me and it was Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold’s book "Exu & the Quimbanda of Night and Fire" which illuminated that new shape.  I am full of gratitude, a word which falls short of the feeling I think, that a resource such as this existed for me when it did.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about when I sat down to do this.  I am certainly not telling any of you fuckers the details of my blood-secrets.  The book is a nexus of feelings and personal relevance’s and sudden understandings for me, to which my ramblings about watches and sugar bear witness.  You should read it I think though, while it could be that it is my own sympathies talking here, I think this particular work (especially in concert with Pomba Gira) is his most powerful.  It feels to me like there is something of the man caught up in the work.  I know how it works, these devil’s bargains.  He made you bleed for it I bet, made you bleed all over it. 
Don’t be mad, but I am glad for it.  Makes the whole thing fucking amazing, closes the loop.  A book of devil’s bargains written as a devil’s bargain.
Untethered as we are, we do destruction and chaos like nobody else and to love in the midst of all that, to pursue your desire through that carnage is to love purely, I think.  That book is a crowd of devils doing what they love, doing what they do best.  It is a visceral experience for the reader to be jostled about in that number.  There will be a familiar face in that crowd for many of us in the untamed America’s, I’ll wager.  Some hustler or whore who had only dark seeds, who sowed them anyway and reaped their weight in gold. 
There is lots of lists and background research into parallels in old world necromancy and animism and ritual references.  I was pretty excited about that when I first read through the book last winter but all of that collapsed into a singularity, a watch and a devil and an untethered spirit.  Now that singularity is all I got, which I imagine is how it should be.  Obviously, I am not going to wax the scholar, too much emotion in this business already to even attempt it but I will point out that the scholarly meat of the text in no way isolates or alienates the reader.  Rather it stands as a testament to our disparate beginnings; for they are the reason the world’s legacy currently blossoms within the Creoles of the New World. 
Untethered we may be, loving like furies and demons amidst the wreckage of the old world but loving nonetheless.  That is the secret of the world and its legacy, the simple part that most usually escapes the scholars and their books of god algebra.  Death does not truly separate lovers of any kind; it enshrines them like the dark gods they are.
So this is my offering of thanks Nicholaj and it is heartfelt because the sacrifice at the center of this book was your sacrifice and it moved the worlds. 
 
 
(Ryan's own writing can also be read in our collection At the Crossroads.)