ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
Paths of Wisdom So I've been going through a lot of my older writings of late. A little while back Aeon Books, a recently established occult publisher in Britain, agreed to reprint my first two books, Paths of Wisdom and Circles of Power, and did a fine job with both; what's more, they proceeded to bring out a new edition of my translation of Gerard Thibault's Academie de l'Espee -- the sole surviving legacy of a Western esoteric martial art based on Pythagorean sacred geometry and Hermetic philosophy -- and did it right this time; so we've had a series of conversations about other projects, and that's sent me digging through old file folders and back issues of out-of-print magazines for things I wrote in decades past. 

The first result is a collection of my most popular talks on magic and occultism during the decade I spent going to Pagan events and magical conferences, covering everything from the secret history of Neopaganism through Victorian sex magic to the alchemical dimensions of lodge ritual. It'll be released in March of next year, but is now available for preorder; check it out here

Next up -- it's not yet available for preorder, but I'll make an announcement as soon as it is -- is The City of Hermes, an anthology of all the articles on occultism I published between 1993 and 2000. Those were the years I spent linking up the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with their sources in ancient and Renaissance Hermeticism; the articles that resulted from that work appeared in an assortment of periodicals, all of them long since out of print and hard to find. This was the work I was doing before I found my way to Druidry, and I suspect a lot of my occultist readers are going to find much to think about (and practice) there. 

It's always a strange experience, at least for me, to look back at what I was doing, studying, and thinking about in decades past. Still, I'm pleased to find that the material in these books still stands up well, and it's good to have a chance to get it out into circulation again. 

(If you're interested in the whole set of my books published by Aeon, you can find them here.) 
ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
Painting by Guenn Eona NimueI recently heard of the passing of one of the teachers with whom I studied occultism in my teens.

Back in the late 1970s, when I lived with my dad and stepmother in a generic south Seattle suburb, the University of Washington had a program called the Experimental College, which offered classes on basically anything and everything for the general public. It was a wondrous thing, with a lot of practical classes but a good-sized helping of what wasn't yet called New Age material as well, and these latter reliably blended utter malarkey and genuine wisdom into a heady brew. I adored it, and took class after class after class. 

One fall I signed up for a class titled "Moon Letters of Lorien: Secret Lore of the Faerie Kingdom," and duly caught the bus to an apartment building in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood -- and that's how I met Guenn: the Rev. Guenn D. Eona, as she was then -- the "Nimue" came later. Her teachings were a free mix of Theosophy, Celtic traditions, material from the nascent New Age movement, and the products of her own trance mediumship. She was the one who introduced me to Findhorn and the writings and teachings that came out of it, and she's also the one who first got me thinking about the intersection between spirituality and ecology. 

I took some classes from her, and then moved to Bellingham to start my college education, and my life and my spiritual work went down different roads. Guenn and I corresponded briefly many years later, when I was head of the Ancient Order of Druids in America; I visited her website, Anglamarke, from time to time; and her youngest son contacted me a few days ago to let me know that she'd died. 

Though my path turned out to be very different from hers, as I look back on those days, I can see the roots of some of the most important themes in my work in that little Capitol Hill apartment, with a cup of herb tea in one hand and a pen in another, part of a circle of students listening to Guenn's vivid accounts of her inner experiences. 

Farewell, Guenn. May the Great Ones welcome you into the halls of Light. 
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