Tag Archive: magic


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.

9781912241095

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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As usual, time has galloped away, and now it’s nearly a year since I posted on my blog. As an excuse, I have been writing regular Immanion Press blog posts to keep people up to date with book releases.

I’ve been very busy this year, mainly working on ‘SHE: Primal Meetings with the Dark Goddess’, which I’ve co-written with long-standing friend and colleague, Andrew Collins. We’ve also got contributions from Deborah Cartwright, Maggie Jennings, Richard Ward and Caroline Wise and the book is fully illustrated. I’ve created some imaginary landscapes, and Danielle Lainton has brought many of the goddesses to life with wonderful pictures, reinterpreting the ancient deities in a vivid and dramatic style.

‘SHE’ began life a few years ago now, when I was thinking about publishing some of the pathworkings and rituals that Andy and I have worked on together over the years. While I was collating all of this material, and during discussions with Andy, we realised we had another – and perhaps better – book on our hands. There’s a tendency within modern Paganism to reimagine certain ancient goddesses, usually by making them less dangerous or ferocious, over-writing their less comfortable aspects with the qualities of a benign, nurturing goddess. A prime example of this is The Morrigan, originally a figure of Celtic myth associated with war and the fate of kings, but now said by some to be a mother goddess. The historical evidence for this is scanty, circumstantial and open to interpretation, or rather the preferences of the individual. While we understand why people perform these ‘rebootings’, because the mother goddess to them is a very positive figure, we feel that it undermines the authentic nature of such entities. It hides or diminishes what they originally meant to people and why they were created to interact with a certain part of nature and life.

‘SHE’ investigates the primal versions of goddesses who are (or were originally) often thought of as ‘dark’. We can see no reason why such powerful entities, from whom we can learn a great deal about the human condition, should have their claws and teeth pulled and be presented as limpid maidens or smiling mothers. This – to us – seems like a form of female castration. These strong feminine archetypes deserve to retain their original meaning and powers. It doesn’t make them any less relevant to modern practitioners – in our opinion, quite the reverse. There are plenty of mother goddesses and pretty maidens out there for people who want them.

The book examines thirty goddesses, demonesses and females of myth – some of them quite well known, such as Hecate and Lilith, others more obscure such as Breksta and Akhlys.  They illustrate our fears and our secrets desires. They encapsulate how Nature was regarded as a wild and unpredictable force to be appeased by people of earlier times.

‘SHE’ includes an essay on each of these goddesses, accompanied by a vivid pathworking to meet them in visualisation. All of them have a ‘dark’ side to their nature, some darker than others. We hope that people who buy the book and perform the pathworkings will gain insight into their own inner lives. It’s been great fun – as well as an important learning experience – working on the book and I can’t wait for its release in December. We will be having a launch event for it in Stafford, co-hosted by Hart Magical Gifts, which is owned by Maggie Jennings, one of the contributors to the book.

The cover is by Brom and there’s a preview below – this is not the final version, as there is still work to be done on the text.

She Taster

Here also are some tasters of the interior illustrations by Danielle Lainton – a goddess from the Preface and an illustration of Eris, the goddess of chaos and disorder. (Eris looks a little like Danni – I’m not sure if this is deliberate 😉 ):

‘SHE’s launch event will also be shared by ‘Vivia’, the latest of our Tanith Lee re-releases, originally published in 1995. As I’ve been copy-editing this book one thing struck me profoundly, even though I’ve read it before: Tanith was writing grimdark fantasy even before it existed as a genre. ‘Vivia’ is a dark and unsettling tale, which gets darker and grimmer as the story progresses. It starts with Vivia, the daughter of a barbaric, brutish lord, discovering something very weird in a deep, forgotten chamber, far below her father’s castle – an entity trapped in the rock. Is it a god, a demon or simply a peculiar sculpture? With her mother dead (carelessly murdered by her father), her nurse a far from mothering presence, and with no friends, Vivia escapes often to this dank, abandoned underworld, where her imagination takes over, especially concerning its possible supernatural resident. Could something be living down there, or is it only in her mind? When war and plague strike the kingdom simultaneously – described in as much graphic detail as any typical Game of Thrones fan could want – Vivia’s life inevitably has to change.

The golden prince Zulgaris who comes to the ravaged castle is hardly a rescuer – golden only in his physical appearance, he matches Vivia in darkness of nature. Their relationship is perverse, and Zulgaris encourages Vivia into habits and hungers she’s only just beginning to understand. This has no 50 Shades of … urgh sentiment or codswallop, if anyone reading this was starting to think that; ‘Vivia’ is gritty, brutal and uncompromising. I can’t say I particularly like any of the characters in the book, even the innocent victims, but by all the gods I believe in them. It presents humans at their very, most selfish worst: an incredibly realistic vision of a savage, unjust world in all its stinking, blood-soaked glory. And despite how you might wince at what goes on, you want to know more. It feels almost like a guilty pleasure. Just how can this story end?

Here’s a preview of the cover by John Kaiine:

Vivia Web.jpg

I’m also working on a fiction project of my own at the moment – which I’m developing from ‘The Emptiness Next Door’, a story that appeared in the latest ‘Para Spectral’ Wraeththu Mythos anthology, I co-edited with Wendy Darling.

The tale was inspired by an old ghost story I read – I’ll write more about that nearer the book’s release – but I realised my adaptation of this was far more than a short story. Fortunately, I found a way to finish the piece as a novella, so it could be included in ‘Para Spectral’ but there’s a lot more I have to tell, which takes it far from the piece that originally inspired it.  The novel is set in Ferelithia, and in the longer version, includes a very minor character from ‘The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit’ in Karn, one of the musicians from Rue’s band. Rue, of course, (for those familiar with the Wraeththu Mythos) went on to much greater things as the first trilogy progressed and Ferelithia was left behind. This new story reveals how the settlement was originally set up – or rather a town was appropriated from the remaining human population – and how Wraeththu victory was ensured by dangerous dealings with weird entities of the landscape. Things got out of control but were contained. However, the seals are weakening, and a catalyst reawakens the past. Karn is now a respectable pillar of the community, holding a high position in public office. Few know about his earlier life, or where he rose from. In order to deal with the current threat, the past might have to be revealed and some hara have reasons for not wanting that to occur.

That’s the basic background, and against that I have the stories of the main characters, with their own secrets, desires, problems – and hauntings. I’m enjoying writing the story very much. I had intended to release it this year, but in order to do it justice I might need more time, so I’m not committing myself either way. If it’s ready to join ‘SHE’ and ‘Vivia’ for the December launch, great, but I’m not fretting that it might not be. It’ll be ready when it’s done. 😊

Ruby did a wonderful cover for ‘Para Spectral’ based on my story, and she’ll be doing something different for the full length novel. In the meantime, here’s a version of the ‘Para Spectral’ art, without any lettering on it. The character could be Leupardra, the vanished witch-pard, or Seladris, the unfortunate har now inhabiting a house in Ferelithia, haunted by the past and the legend of the Blue Leopard.

Leupardra Web

If anyone reading this post is interested in reviewing any of the books mentioned, I can send you a review PDF and hi res jpgs of the covers in November. Please mail me at editorial(at)immanion-press(dot)com