Tag Archive: Graham Phillips


Just a short update on works in progress, since I talked a lot about these projects in my last blog post and there’s not much to add yet except I’m working hard on them.

I’ve been concentrating on the non-fiction title, ‘Coming Forth By Day’, which is based upon a correspondence course in Egyptian Magic I ran some years ago. At first, I planned simply to convert the course material into a book, but soon realised some of it wasn’t really suitable for that and required feedback from a tutor. So I revamped it completely. At the moment, the book concentrates upon the Ennead, the ‘royal family’ of Heliopolis. These are the gods of the creation myth for that area – and it seems just about every area of Ancient Egypt had their own take on the gods, changing them considerably in some cases to local preferences. Anyway, the book explores the Ennead and its myths in depth, including both visualisations and rituals for each deity: Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys and Horus, as well as for the later generation’s offspring and consorts. The book also includes an overview of Egyptian magic and techniques. I’m about two thirds of the way through writing the chapters, and hope to bring the book out in the summer.

As there is so much material, I decided to break the project down into at least two volumes, maybe three. The second book will focus on gods and goddesses beyond the Heliopolitan dynasty of divine beings. I’ve not included any of the feline or leonine goddesses (except for Tefnut who’s intrinsic to the Ennead), as Louise Coquio and I will be writing a revised, expanded edition of ‘Bast and Sekhmet: Eyes of Ra’ once I’ve finished work on ‘Coming Forth by Day’.  ‘Bast and Sekhmet’ was first published in 1999, and as with the ‘Egyptian Birth Signs’ book I co-wrote with Graham Phillips about the same time, Louise and I now think that it’s time for a new edition. The original is 20 years old and needs a little reshaping to make it relevant to a modern audience. There have also been new discoveries in archaeology, which Lou and I feel should now be included. There’s information about some of the feline-related deities out there nowadays that wasn’t around when we wrote the original.

I’ve also been working on my new novel, ‘Breathe, my Shadow’, which is at around 160 pages. However, I want to finish off ‘Coming Forth By Day’ before really getting down to working on the fiction project. ‘Breathe, My Shadow’ is planned for a December release.

As for other Immanion Press books, two which are just about to be released, are ‘Lord of the Looking Glass’ by Fiona McGavin and ‘Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata and Other Uncollected Tales’ by Tanith Lee.  I spoke about these titles extensively in my last blog post so won’t repeat myself!  Danielle Lainton is currently at work on Fiona’s cover, so it’ll soon be ready for release. John Kaiine produced the cover art for ‘Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata’, and it also appears on his new Instagram page devoted to his artwork. There are some amazing and intriguing pieces of work on this, some of which he has prints of for sale. The link is https://www.instagram.com/johnkaiineartist/

For the non-fiction list we have ‘My First Book of Magic’ by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, illustrated by her son Carl Ashcroft, with a cover designed by Danielle Lainton, featuring one of Carl’s drawings. The book explores witchcraft and paganism for a young audience, and will undoubtedly appeal to pagan adults wishing to teach their offspring about the craft. And who better to teach them than Ms Ashcroft-Nowicki? She is a renowned author, practitioner and teacher of the occult sciences and was once a director of studies for The Servants of the Light, an esoteric order formed by W. E. Butler.  The book will be released under our Megalithica Books imprint in the summer.

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We recently released through Megalithica Books a revised edition of ‘The Green Stone’ by Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman, which was responsible for initiating the psychic questing phenomenon in the UK in the 1980s. The book has been long out of print, and difficult to get hold of, with Graham receiving repeated enquiries from readers about if and when it might be available again. Late last year it came to light that not only were second hand copies selling for hundreds of pounds, but that some nefarious outfit had produced a pirate version  and was selling it at an inflated price, claiming it was the original. Graham and Martin had not sanctioned this, nor were they receiving any royalties for it. The bootleg version proved difficult to remove from online stores. Second hand book sellers were selling dog-eared copies for a fortune and a dodgy unlicensed publisher was trying to flog ‘new’ copies of the book, with prices often beyond the reach of an audience who desperately wanted to read it. So for all these reasons Graham and Martin decided they must re-release ‘The Green Stone’ themselves, at a fair price and with a wealth of new photographs (around 4 dozen) and a new introduction by Graham. When I first came to read through the book to copy edit it, I’d forgotten what a great story it is – a really exciting supernatural thriller, but which actually happened. A classic study of the paranormal and a riveting read.

That’s all for now. Back to the grindstone! More news soon.

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It’s been a busy build up to the launch event for new Immanion Press/Megalithica Books publications in December. I’ve been preparing a number of books for a pre-Yule release, one of which is the much-anticipated SHE: Primal Meetings with the Dark Goddess I co-wrote with author and historian Andrew Collins.

Andy and I got to know one another in 1994, when we were both working on books connected with the Nephilim and the fallen angels. In my case, this was the Grigori trilogy (Stalking Tender Prey, Scenting Hallowed Blood and Stealing Sacred Fire). Andy was working on From the Ashes of Angels, which explored the same mythology from an historical and archaeological point of view.  Our mutual friend, Jamie Spracklen, introduced Andy and I to each other, and this resulted in Andy allowing me to use his research material for the Grigori books. We’ve been firm friends and occasional colleagues ever since.

 

I’m really excited about SHE, because it heralds a new direction for my non-fiction imprint, Megalithica Books. As I’m now running this imprint alone, I intend to venture into new territory with it, steering towards books that investigate the mythologies and beliefs that inspire magical traditions and offer new systems for readers to discover. I don’t want to have my own writing time curtailed too much, so I’ll most likely be producing fewer books for the list, but every one of them will be a work I’m personally interested in and intrigued by. I’m looking for books that explore (or create) rich and vivid magical systems, including pop culture systems that transform fictional characters and worlds into magical entities and environments.  I’m also seeking books on alternative spirituality, such as LHP, and entertaining studies on how to work with particular entities and deities. I’m after fresh approaches to practices such as meditation, pathworking and ritual, or which reveal personal experiences that are compelling and inspiring.  The key words are: imagination, creativity, depth and integrity. If anyone is interested in submitting to the list, please mail me at editorial(at)Immanion-press(dot)com.

 

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Among the first of the new Megalithica Books titles was Zodiac of the Gods, which I released quite quietly a few months ago, under the author name of Eden Crane. This is a reimagining and retitling of a ‘popular’ book I wrote with Graham Phillips for a mainstream publisher’s New Age list back in the 90s – now it’s very much out of date, written in a style that doesn’t reflect modern culture. Last year, Graham and I revisited the text and changed it to fully represent life as it is today. We also renamed the book to more accurately describe its subject. The original was written for a ‘women’s magazine audience’ with a specific style and content to suit its target demographic at the time it was published. Neither of us want that original still to be available but… We had to bring the heavily revamped and revised version out under a joint pseudonym as the original is still available and the publishers concerned refuse to remove it from print or eBook, even given our strong case for this to be done and the fact it barely sells any copies. Big publishers simply don’t like giving books up nowadays – I assume because ‘just in case’, and because there are no overheads in keeping eBooks available. They weren’t interested in a new edition from us. I shall refrain from further comment as I’m sure anyone reading this will intuitively perceive how Graham and I feel about this situation! Zodiac of the Gods has a light-hearted aspect in that it explores the Dendera Zodiac as an alternative to Western Astrology. But in the new version, we’ve significantly expanded the second half of the book, which presents Egyptian magical workings for each month of the year and the deity, or neter, who presides over it. The book is fully illustrated in a completely different style to the original. It’s sad that the awkwardness about the old version meant we didn’t feel comfortable with doing a big splash release for this much better book under our own names, but now – at least – we want to share its origins.

 

Some examples of Danni’s illustrations for SHE
Babalon, Erzuli Danto and Hecate

SHE is the first new title that I can fully promote to launch the new look Megalithica Books. It explores 30 goddesses, some of whom are well-known in Pagan circles, such as Aphrodite, Lilith and Hecate, but others are more obscure but no less intriguing, such as Akhlys, Agrat bat Mahlat and The Cailleach. Even with the more ‘famous’ goddesses, we’ve delved into their roots to reveal their darker aspects – original facets that have, to some degree, been watered down or removed over time. To us, the original forms are far more fascinating and have more to teach us.  We asked friends to contribute a few articles and pathworkings to the book – Deborah Cartwright, Maggie Jennings, Richard Ward and Caroline Wise. SHE includes an essay about each goddess and also a visualisation to meet and interact with her. Not all of those included were goddesses to begin with but have been shaped into deities by Pagans over the years. Some were originally mythological figures – queens or sorceresses – while others were female spirits or entities who were demonised by patriarchal religions.  I enjoyed working on this book immensely and learned a lot while researching it.  There are illustrations to accompany every goddess, mostly by Danielle Lainton, although I helped out doing a few (there was so much work for one artist!) and we’ve also used one of Ruby’s Sekhmet pictures. The rest were adapted from vintage illustrations. The cover of the paperback features art by Brom, while the hardback has cover art by Danni.

The Collector’s Edition of SHE, limited to 99 hardback, numbered copies, includes a bonus section, investigating a further three goddesses: Lyssa, Melinoe and Kalma.

Andy and I, as well as Danni and a couple of the contributors who are able to come along, will be at the launch event on 13th December at The Shrewsbury Arms in Stafford. We’ll give a short talk and readings, and books will be available for purchase, so guests can buy copies of the paperback or hardback and get them signed. Here’s a link to the Facebook page for it. https://www.facebook.com/events/257889301743853/

Our co-host, Maggie Jennings of Hart Magical Gifts, will have a table at the event, where a selection of her wares will be on sale. We’re also expecting another local indie publisher, Alchemy Press, to bring some of their books along for sale, including The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors, in which I have a story.

Transpiration web

The other Megalithica Books title being launched at the event is Transpiration: Poetry and Storytelling as Our Spiritual Portals by Cornelia Benavidez, which has cover art by Peter Hollinghurst. The first half of the book is autobiographical and gives a fascinating glimpse of the author growing up in America in the 1960s and 1970s, her introduction to alternative spirituality and how it grew in the States during those decades. I was intrigued by Cornelia’s stories from her youth – such colourful characters and vivid memories both bitter and sweet. From an early age, she realised she was different, and it was only once she learned about Paganism, through a chance meeting with a witch woman in San Francisco, that she realised what she was – and could be. The second half of the book showcases Cornelia’s poetry – all inspired by her spiritual path. Some of the poems are perfect for ritual purposes – and could be used as invocations or a focus for meditation. The book is illustrated throughout with photos from Cornelia’s life – as fascinating as the text. As Cornelia lives in America, she can’t be with us in person for the launch, but her friend, author Neil Rushton, who wrote the back-cover text for the book, will be there to say a few words about the work and read a short poem of Cornelia’s choosing that she feels is relevant to SHE.

It’s strange how coincidences and connections align. Cornelia’s mentor was Victor H Anderson, who can be seen as an American equivalent of someone like Alex Saunders in the UK, in that he was a salient figure in the flowering and evolution of alternative spirituality in the 60s and 70s. Cornelia’s first book (also published by Megalithica Books) was a study of Victor and his work. Back in the 90s, Victor came upon Andy Collins’s book From the Ashes of Angels and told Cornelia that he felt this author was onto something important. He was a great admirer of Andy’s work. Cornelia had no idea of my connection with Andy when she was originally signed up by Megalithica Books. I didn’t actually ‘meet’ her until Victor H Anderson: an American Shaman came to me for layout and design. Then we discovered the connections between us. One of the epic poems in Transpiration is an adaptation of the Nephilim myth, which of course was examined in Andy’s From the Ashes of Angels and my Grigori trilogy. Now the three of us are sharing a book launch event. Such a shame Cornelia can’t be there in person, but I’m sure she will be in spirit!

Vivia Web

Our latest Tanith Lee re-release will also be published on 13th December. This is Vivia, one of Tanith’s grimmest fantasy novels. As I was editing it, I realised she was writing ‘grimdark’ before it was even a thing. An unsettling and menacing story, it will certainly appeal to all readers who like their fantasy unlit! As with all Tanith’s work, Vivia is written in a lyrical, literary style with lucid attention to detail in a richly-imagined world. The cover art is an evocative portrait of Vivia by John Kaiine.

I’ll also have the new editions of The Wraeththu Histories at the launch – The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure, The Shades of Time and Memory and The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence. In the light of a remark that appeared below my Facebook post about the books, I want to make clear why I bring out these revisions. I don’t want anyone to think it’s a cold-hearted marketing ploy to get more money out of readers. The Wraeththu books are close to my heart, and I want them to be as error free as possible. The original versions of the Histories came out in the early 2000s, when Immanion Press was very new. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the mistakes and typing errors in the books, and always planned to bring out a new, corrected edition of this trilogy. It’s been over fifteen years since the first of these books was published, so I think the time is now right for me to do this. I also wanted the six volumes of the Wraeththu Chronicles and Histories to be published as a matching set of books. I re-released the Chronicles early this year and commissioned six new covers from Ruby to adorn both trilogies that all follow the same design – and beautiful they are too!

I don’t expect everyone who bought and loved the originals to ‘have’ to buy these new editions – the Histories are not that much different to the originals – but I do want new readers coming to the Mythos to have the best-crafted versions of the books I can provide. And – a selfish pleasure I can indulge because I’m a publisher – I want these books for myself too. 😊

Because of new responsibilities within Immanion Press, and the preparation of the two editions of SHE, as well as Transpiration and Vivia, I didn’t get time to finish my next fiction project this year – which is a novel based on the story I had in the Para Spectral Wraeththu anthology. I realised I need more time to develop the book to its full potential. It refused to be a shortish novella. So I’ll take up the reins of that again in the New Year. There are lots of other plans in the pipeline for the Immanion Press/Megalithica Books 2019 list, but I’ll talk more about that nearer to Yule. Thanks to everyone who’s been involved in helping produce the books that will be at the December launch and the readers who’ve preordered copies of the Collector’s Edition of SHE. As always, your invaluable support is much appreciated.