Sy Calaelen


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Like Discussing Books About Magick? Got a Goodreads Account? Yay!

I set up a book discussion group thing on Goodreads for those of a magickal nature. There were 2 that I came across that had a lot to do with Thelema and the occult but they were inactive. I figured I would create one for all magick and occult practitioners. I love books in general, and I also love Goodreads so I thought, “why not put them together?”. Just follow the link below and discuss and share! It should be fairly easy for me to follow updates as the app is on my phone, and it doesn’t annoy me like Facebook does XD

Magick and Occult Books

Magick and Occult Books on Goodreads - Just click the link above

Magick and Occult Books on Goodreads – Just click the link above

Sy, 93s

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The Tree of Life | Israel Regardie

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‘The Tree of Life – An Illustrated Study in Magick’

Published: 1932

3rd Edition: 2011

By far one of my favourite books written by Regardie. He really takes the student into account and does his upmost best to educate green minds. Some of the concepts within the book are already familiar to me, others presented in a manner that made you really aware of unknown or misunderstood forces around you. This book deepens the mind so much, or at least it did me, I have had to read the book again! This time making even more notes than before.  This book is wonderful. If you own the other books I have reviewed, including one title I won’t ‘How Make and Use Talismans’ you will be surprised by how much you learn from this one man. If there is any book I would recommend to anyone first it would be this one just to kick-start your Regardie education into Magick, Hermetic Qabalah and Alchemy.

This book is fairly thick, similar to ‘A Garden of Pomegranates’ but full of astounding knowledge, but the gift Regardie has is his writing. The expressive language he uses really draws the reader in, similar to the style of Game of Thrones author G. R. R. Martin – he just sucks you in, and before you know it you’ve read most of part one. Regardie talks briefly about the difference between magick, mysticism and witchcraft, and also includes his theory of “black magick” which is a theory I fully support. There is information on deity, and how to explore them with psychology and magick, and many other subjects expected of any magician. His theorising is explored in a manner that is ideal in this day and age; lot’s of precision, and I don’t think he knew how amazing he was.

I thoroughly enjoyed this title. Lots of people have enjoyed this book too.

Mind blowing

My rating: ★★★★★

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The Golden Dawn | Israel Regardie

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‘The Golden Dawn’

Published: 1937

6th Edition: 1989

Packed to the brim with a detailed insight into the workings and mystery that was the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There are so many valuable lessons in each short chapter, deep with symbolism and intrigue ranging from the various sacred alphabets and their symbolic meanings, colour scales, codes and blinds and the various rituals that are to be performed for each adept at each grade. This compendium details ceremonial magick at it’s been from the late Victorian era through the industrial right up to pre-WWII. Full of theories, instructions and notions this book will give you two things, insight into the life and thoughts of these magicians and hopefully inspiration to create your own magickal workings. Some say this book is a wonderful back bone edition that teaches you the very basics of Hermeticism theoretically and practically, but also a book that many found inaccessible. It’s up to you how you would use it. For me, I have had success with many practices and meditations I have put together myself using various tables of correspondence, and this book inspires me enough to delve deep into old mysteries, and even ancient ones too.

As for the H.O.G.D this book is great for the reader to understand their methods, and I believe a lot of the information within is still being performed and taught today by current orders. I found a lot of parallels with modern magick and witchcraft with the current authors being heavily inspired by this book and its methods. A rather chunky tome it can be a bit too bulky for your average handbag, but it is valuable. The front cover design is simple yet meaningful with the hexagram within the circle engulfed by fire and water (red and blue) – colour correspondences’ are detailed within.

There are lots of subjects that covered in each chapter, ranging from the spiritual and psychological study of tarot, Enochian magick, Qabalah, Hermeticism (obviously), Rosy Cross theory and ritual, Qabalistic Cross and the LBRP, altar set ups and much more.

I will score it a three out of five because of how amazing this collection is, but if you aren’t well versed in magick, high magick, Qabalah, Hermeticism or ceremonial magick this can put you off a little. A few folks I know have copies, but have yet to read them and one has told me he wants to cover the basics before tackling this tome. I love this book,  I have used it to create my own simple rituals, so secretly I’ll give it a personal 4.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

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Garden of Pomegranates | Israel Regardie

Garden of Pomegranates, ‘Skrying on the Tree of Life’ – exactly as it says on the tin.

Published: 1931-32

2nd Edition (edited with notes by Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Llewellyn): 1970

Garden of Pomegranates - Contents

Garden of Pomegranates – Contents

This book is theoretical, but in Regardie style he gets you thinking and putting the theory into practice. The first part of the book, titled “A Garden of Pomegranates – An outline of the Qabalah” deals with magick, Qabalah and understanding. Each chapter deals with important aspects of history, the Sephiroth and the philosophy. He also includes the odd lesson here and there on the Hebrew alphabet and the spiritual meanings behind each letter and word, considered to be important to Qabalah. You get an all round view, or introduction, to the world of Qabalah, with current editions that include pages of endnotes and further knowledge. The second part of the book, titled “Skrying on the Tree of Life” – A textbook for practical work with the Qabalah” is full of practical information with visualisations, meditations and skyring (known today as ‘pathworking’). Each of the 32 paths on the tree and the ten Sephiroth, are dealt with particular lessons to aid further understanding. He includes the spiritual aspects of various deities from Zeus, Horus, Pan, Hermes, Khamael and many others. I’m still working within lower third of the tree myself, and I am benefitting a great deal. Regardie prepares you before hand with a small list of materials you will need to start Skrying. As with part one, in which he arms you with deep knowledge, with this part the knowledge creates a spiritual understanding and reverence. A truly exciting book, and just like the back page quotation states “The Best Single Introduction to Qabalah for Magicians”.

If you are looking to understand the Qabalah, and how to apply it to your daily meditations or practice this book is ideal as a start point. It arms you with so much deeper understanding, which makes the whole experience of living as a magician or spiritual individual all the more intimate and personal.

My rating: ★★★★★

Just a little insider goodness

Just a little insider goodness


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Book Reviews | Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie, is slowly becoming a beacon within the world of publishing and magick again. I couldn’t tell you how valuable his essays have been for my development within the last year, and even more so as the genius himself died in 1985. Like many writers, he is one those rare lights’ that doesn’t quite go out, and even years after they pass into the otherworld they still help to ignite their readers’ inner flame. I guess from my own understanding, and partly due to being introduced to him years back, and partly picking up his books last year for the first time, I felt he was a severely underrated writer and magician. A friend and student of Crowley for many years, one friendship I have recently discovered to be one of paramount respect and tension (like any true friendship is, at least in my world), Regardie went about teaching outsiders about magick, Qabalah and mysticism – sometimes with support, other times not so much (publication of the Golden Dawn series was a step too far according to Mathers). I love Regardie, and I often find his thoughts run parallel with my ‘yet-to-be-trained’ mind. It’s nice to know, my old ideas and theories have already been solidified thanks to his works – he comes from a line of distinguished magicians, similar to my training as a witch, and that has helped me pull on the most important aspects of my past to a head. The post of my theory of black magick (two or three posts back) actually stemmed from my old journals and his Tree of Life, and boy did it cause issue – to be fair, a lot of the feedback I got, especially on Tumblr was incredibly positive, so it stays.

I have recommended Regardie to a lot of my friends and followers from all paths, whether they are pagans, occultists, witches, Qabalists’, yogis or atheists etc. Most of them have come back to me and said how wonderful his teachings are, simple, mind blowing and practical. I couldn’t agree more. A few have been honest and said they only took aspects of his theories whilst disregarding the rest of the titles, stating they don’t think he is their cup of tea as far as their magick is concerned. He is open, honest and straight talking – maybe that’s just the Londoner in him, we don’t keep unnecessary shit. Some of his theories and claims can shake the reader, but in a beautifully crafted and positive manner. They way he writes can be exhausting to those who don’t have a great use of wider vocabulary, but you should be able to get the gist once you start reading. He has helped me see the world differently as a practitioner.

Now, I’m not sure what other people think of him, that is down to them and their reasoning’s, but I have been cornered a few times about my ideas, theories and practices by strangers and folks close to me, but if there is one thing that has kept my backbone strong it’s magicians like Regardie, Valiente, Mathers and Crowley who have taught me a lot. If their magick and theories worked for them, they may work for me too. They weren’t considered controversial or thought provoking for nothing! Clearly.

Over the next few days I will publish short reviews of the titles I have, the first one ‘Garden of Pomegranates’ will be published within an hour or so. Enjoy =]


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I’m Not Crazy After-all | Hidden Wisdom Lecture

I was sent a link about Tim Wallace-Murphy’s book ‘Hidden Wisdom: Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition’, which I have put in my Amazon basket already. It is such a lovely lecture, presented by an equally lovely man. He goes into a lot of detail about the esoteric traditions and their roots, ranging as far back as the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks/Romans with information on the Knights Templar and symbology. However, for this post I am only going to pull out one or two areas that rung true to me, or at least got me thinking.

Watch the lecture here, it’s a must see!

It is the ideal lecture on understanding where your magickal teachings come from. More than anything, I picked up early on about the difference between religion and spirituality, in which he stated and agreed with an old friend that religion is man-made, whilst spirituality is natural and free. I have always thought this, and deep down I knew I was spiritual, and always felt akin to my spiritual friends. I was pretty much alone in my early theories, arguing back and fourth with religious people from all walks of life, whether it was Christians, Wiccans and most recently, a handful of Thelemites. They all pretty much said the same thing, “You need religion to get on in life. You can’t have spirituality without religion.” Which I have disproved so many times; I am living proof. On the other side, when I say that I believe esoteric traditions to be more spiritually grounded, people have often told me I am wrong too. Exempli gratia, witchcraft is spirituality, Druidry and Thelema are considered religions with a direct link to spiritual purity, and so I would categorise them as being ‘Spiritual Religions’. As much as I dislike the word religion, I use it to emphasise the difference between freedom and structure (or doctrine). What has me perplexed is the fact that something like Thelema, which is a religion, clearly teaches you that in order to be spiritual you must go out and seek that natural water for your own heart, which is a spiritual notion, so I can’t think of Thelema as a religion all the time. Thelema is too beautiful and life affirming to have a dirty word like “Religion’ bestowed on it? Am I crazy? I can feel the crazy looks…

It is nice to know that my theories aren’t all hokum after all. Guru Jonboi (haha) would agree with me, on the grounds that spirituality and religions are two different things. Thinking back to the first phone call we had when we spoke about their differences, listening to what he was saying sent warmth down my spine; everything he said, was almost word for word coming from my mind. It felt great. To this day we still read from the same page, regardless of where we are spiritually. He leans more to the Eastern philosophies, whilst I roam the wilds of the Ancients.

Later on Wallace-Murphy goes into detail about the early Ancient Egyptian influence on the creation of Judaism. I came across a few similarities and arguments during my research and practice days. I often looked up the beginnings of The Emerald Tablet, The Kybalion and its inspirations, Kemeticism and the famed Hermes Trismestagus who could have been Moses. It’s fascinating information I tell you. It makes me think up new possible theories, but I have taught myself not to say anything out loud to people in case I am stomped on by a hundred angry men (that’s why I write on my blog, only a few eyes read it, so I can get away with it! :P).

I have always felt proud of where I was going, knowing I was right all along. All of the lessons, paths and practices I have adopted are spiritual without a doubt, and to top it off, they all fall under Hermetic practises, and Thelema most certainly. As I have mentioned a few times, my spiritual life in the last 13 years has grown, and I have only dropped Wicca, the Wiccan Rede and the minor Celtic traditions as the religious aspect of my search for a religiously spiritual home. Everything else has stayed firmly in place, as I need them all to function as a witch, Thelemite and esoteric occultist. Gnosis anyone? Joke.

I am so happy to finally prove that I am on the right track! In your face! XD

Sy, x

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Thelema Excites Me… Where Do I Begin? [list]

Good morning folks!

Firstly I have pissed of three people because of my lust and positive attitude toward studying Thelema. The one point I want to express here, is the fact that I read a lot more than I practice at the beginning of any field. Once I feel I am well read, and once the Gods begin to point me at other lessons, then, and only then will I start to practice. Those of you who have watched me blossom since my first blog post back in 05 know about that method. I’m not stupid, so relax.

Secondly, this is something I have officially taken up and hope in time will be my religious affiliation. I have read about Thelema for years. I have read up on Crowley for a while too, but until a few months back I did nothing about any of it. I have been devouring ‘The Golden Dawn’ book by Regardie, and loving it.

The one thing that makes my journey a little difficult is the lack of a proper teacher and not much of a starting point. With general witchcraft there is always a starting point. You have to learn the literature, the basic magick and then find the roots of your practice. Basically, you learn where magick comes from, how it can be used, the ethics of magick, the Gods or atheist root, religious groups that use witchcraft like Wicca, Druidry or Santeria. Once you have those in your back pocket, you’ll be able to practice fairly freely. As far as magick goes, you learn the basics such as simple circle castings, prosperity spells leading all the way up to evocations, invocations and Drawing Down the Moon. Thelema is not so open, easy or wide mouthed. Perfect?

When I started learning Wicca, which I eventually outgrew and thus dropped over a painful amount of years, I noted there were large amounts of 101 books shipped every minute. With Wicca, Celtic Magick and such there are tons of starting places that are very similar; that way you know you can’t fail. They are safe magickal practices which I would expect most young people to get to grips with. However, I wasn’t overly excited, I was happy and very positive, but once I let go of Wicca I finally felt free and that got me going.

I’m in lust with Thelema, Hermeticism is my true love and the Golden Dawn are my fantastical fantasy lovers. (I do apologise if that is offensive or crude in any way, I just want to express my point on how magickally and intelligently horny I am). I even tweeted a little appreciation this morning:
“I have never felt as excited, happy, brave or as positive since working on the religious aspect of Hermeticism. #Hermeticism #Thelema ♥”

Okay, one friend who I speak with often, and who also happens to be a solitary practitioner gave me the following list. After I pissed of the folks I thought I could have banter with, and being labelled a… Well, I won’t repeat it but those of you who read those tweets know, I gave myself one more try. For the first time in a long time my happiness was paired with a deep bout of failure. Is it wrong that I am this happy, and this upset at the same time? I have never felt this way, and its quite annoying to say the least. As much as I want to grow, knowing that other people aren’t as happy or open makes me stay in my solitary circle a while longer, which limits my practice.

I was quite upset actually, so much so I haven’t performed any magick or devotions for the past few days. I have heard, on more than one occasion that the occult finds you, and I believe it because it found me. Hence why I am so darn happy with my progress so far, I know this is my path, my journey, my Will and no one can tell me otherwise? Right? Thelema so far is confusing on the front that there aren’t many solitary practitioners, as almost everyone has a teacher. I have had bad experiences with covens and teenage angst filled groups, which drove me to practising magick on my own. To hear that Thelema requires a few friends to discuss and debate with scares me a little. I don’t do well around people, at all. How will I cope with this religion? I am easily daunted and my social skills are shot to hell. Do you see my difficulty? For now, like I mentioned, I just need to get to grips with the sacred texts and work hard.

I’m determined. Shoot me.

Anyway, this small list is from my daemon lover:

🔻You must read the Book of the Law (but you must accept it if you want to be a practising Thelemite in future).

With Book 4, read up on these:
🔻Part 1 – Mysticism and Part 2 – Magick (though you mentioned you have, and made notes? I don’t remember. It was a while?)
🔻Part 3.1 – The Principles of Ritual
🔻Part 3.XVI – Part 1 of the Oath
🔻Liber III vel Jugorum (make notes! Lots of notes! Then STFU!)
🔻Liber E and Liber O
🔻Then, Appendices part IX. I-VI

Go over those lots and lots, and lots. Make notes, practice and grow. You said you have the Golden Dawn book? I suggest reading it from cover to cover, and fold corners on important pages. Also get a hold of Liber 777. Once you have those email/call me and I’ll get you another list.

Use the internet too.

— okay, he is not my lover, he just loves working with daemons, angels and other entities etc. He has been a magician for years, and happens to be one of the happiest people I know.

Hopefully that list is okay though. I have Liber 777 already and various other tables, so studying should be fine. I’m not sure if this is an ideal list, but as I am halfway through it, its been great so far. Just thought I would share!

Love and 93’s, x

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