Review of Chaos Monk by Steve Dee

Steve Dee (2022), Chaos Monk: Bringing Magical Creativity to the New Monastic Path.
Norwich: The Universe Machine.

An exhilarating journey through chaos monasticism, a mystical practice informed by chaos magic. Accessible, clearly written, and witty, yet informed by a deep knowledge of the history of spiritual movements in both East and West, decades of magical practice, psychotherapy and art, this is a book for anyone with mystical leanings who wants to put them into practice.

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Books I read in April 2022

Dragon Rider #2: The Griffin’s Feather, Cornelia Funke

Another exciting tale of magical creatures, with lots of thoughts about conservation and wildlife.


India: one man’s personal journey round the continent, Sanjeev Bhaskar

The fact that Sanjeev Bhaskar is part of the Indian Diaspora and visited India as a child gives him a really good perspective on India, as both insider and outsider. He also writes in a very engaging way, so this book is easy to read. The TV series it was written to accompany was also very good, and both the book and the series explore the multifaceted nature of modern India. He also writes very movingly about Partition, the massacres that took place, and its effects, both on his family and on India and Pakistan.

My books

My books

DARK MIRROR

“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”

— Morgana Sythove,
Pagan Federation International
https://silvercircle.org
https://wiccanrede.org

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


THE NIGHT JOURNEY

The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”

Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


ALL ACTS OF LOVE AND PLEASURE

“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.”
Sable Aradia

Available from Avalonia Books and all other online retailers

Books I read in 2021

At the start of the year, I figured I’d try to read around one book a week. Then I faffed around in January starting books and not finishing them, and thought I’d fall well short of 52 books, so I reset my Goodreads target to 42 books (42 being a resonant number for Hitch-hikers fans).

Around the middle of the year, I did a lot of reading, especially while we were camping, so I got ahead of schedule, and ended up with 52 books by the middle of December. Of course, I don’t read to complete targets, but since the advent of smart phones, I find it is good to note the amount of books I am reading, just to remind myself to put down the phone and pick up a book.

So here’s a list of my 2021 book review posts, and a list of books that I have read.

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Books I read in December 2021

This month has been an odd mixture. I finally finished Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals, which I started in November. And I read Rewards and Fairies which is quite a melancholy book. I also finally got hold of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in book form, for which I’ve been waiting for a long time, but it’s more of a dipping book. I read Esmond in India and found it a bit depressing. Then I read a collection of interviews with Ursula K Le Guin.

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Fire Magic and Earth Magic

Llewellyn have recently published a series of books on the Four Elements, called Elements of Witchcraft, and the two that I was asked to provide endorsements of are excellent. All the authors of this series are experienced occultists and Pagans, so these books are well worth your time, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced practitioner, or someone who is interested in folklore and mythology.

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