Celtic Sacred Landscapes

Nigel Pennick

In ancient Celtic legend, the great giant Gargantua was slain by the gods and his body became the flesh of the Earth, his blood the rivers and seas, and his soul the anima loci, the soul of a place. The interaccommodating latticework of Celtic art expresses the form and flow of the soul as it was perceived by Northern European peoples, not only within themselves but throughout the land they inhabited. The Celts, like so many tribal peoples the world over, worshiped the Earth and felt their beings inseparably linked to its sentient spirit. Those places where the link between man and Earth was felt the strongest were venerated as sacred: inviolable superimpositions of the spirit world upon the mortal Earth. Celtic Sacred Landscapes is an impressive compendium of the lore of these places. The myths, miracles, rituals and traditions surrounding the origin and perpetuation of the anima loci, as it resides in humble roadside shrines, in springs, caves, labyrinths, mountains, ley lines, cathedrals and many other places, are eloquently described in this handsomely illustrated volume. DN

Publisher: Thames and Hudson
Paperback: 224 pages

The Book of Thoth

Aleister Crowley

In 1944, the Master Therion and his Artist Executant Lady Frieda Harris presented a new version of the Tarot intended to “preserve those essential features of the Tarot which are independent of the periodic changes of the aeon, while bringing up to date those dogmatic and artistic features of the Tarot which have become unintelligible.” It is one of the most beautiful and original of Tarots. The Book of Thoth outlines the structure of the deck and gives detailed and poetic explanation of the brilliant, multitraditional synthesis which comprises the symbolism of each card. Beginning in the 19th century, occultists began to align the Tarot with the Kabbalah. The 22 major arcana are placed on the 22 paths situated between the Sephirath on the Tree of Life. The minor arcana are structured around the sacred syllable Tetragrammaton by numerological contrivance. Crowley utilized this and artfully integrated Egyptian symbolism into his system. DN

Publisher: Weiser
Paperback: 308 pages

About Time: Inventing the Fourth Dimension

William J. Friedman

About Time explores the mysteries of time from the perspective of psychology. Our sense of time is not derived so much from direct perception as from elaborate temporal modeling within the mind, as though time were a ghost which we must throw a sheet over to see. A diversity of experiments and studies are presented which examine and define the complex interplay of neurological, psychological, linguistic, social and cultural factors which contribute to the elaborate inner edifice of temporal perception. No unifying theory is argued here, nor are the secrets of time travel “revealed”; rather, this is a delicate investigation of this singularly metaphysical of human experiences, the experience of time. DN

Publisher: MIT
Paperback: 147 pages

Growing the Hallucinogens

Hudson Grubber

A useful grimoire of growing procedures for many obscure magic and psychoactive herbs. The title may be somewhat misleading, but many notable hallucinogens are detailed (nightshades, San Pedro cactus, salvia divinorum). Others are stimulants, narcotics, or are only putatively psychoactive—however all plants presented are of botanical and pharmacological interest. Individuals interested in the growing procedures for illegal plants (psilocybin, cannabis, etc.) will be disappointed that only legal plants are discussed. Indeed, this book is intended as a companion volume to Legal Highs which describes the effects, preparations and uses of these plants. DN

Publisher: Ronin
Paperback: 81 pages

Jungian Archetypes: Jung, Gödel and the History of the Archetypes

Robin Robertson

Beginning with Pythagoras and leaping forward to the Age of Reason, Jungian Archetypes traces the history of the hubristic struggle to bottle infinity through a series of biographical sketches of intellectual luminaries which illustrate the importance of archetypes and their paradoxical reasoning on the development of the sciences. Robertson focuses particularly on the evolution of mathematics and psychology, and shows how Gödel and Jung have advanced parallel theories to explain the most perplexing conundrums of their respective disciplines. DN

Publisher: Nicolas-Hays
Paperback: 304 pages

Recreational Drugs

Professor Buzz

Manufacturing illicit drugs is some serious hoodoo to trifle with. This caution is sternly proffered by the author to the point of redundancy (to his credit). The formulas given include LSD, amphetamines, Quaaludes, a somewhat gruesome process for extracting the adrenaline from animal adrenal glands, and many other useful things. Buzz wishes the reader to understand that none of these formulas are to be trusted, and that only a proficient organic chemist utilizing formulas published in legitimate scientific journals should attempt these syntheses. This cookbook serves the important function of dissuading the ambitious dope dealer/complete idiot from poisoning people, injuring themselves, or getting themselves arrested by attempting dangerous business for which they are not qualified. Or better yet, it motivates such individuals to learn chemistry. DN

Publisher: Loompanics
Paperback: 166 pages

Deathing: An Intelligent Alternative for the Final Moments in Life

Anya Foos-Graber

Imagine your body is a rented apartment and your true home is the mansion of the soul of the universe. Inevitably you must quit your physical tenancy and return to your spiritual home. The success of this relocation is dependent on the quality of your awareness. If death should take you unexpectedly then perhaps you will navigate this transition very ineptly and experience excruciating pain and confusion as you are lost—potentially interminably—in limbo, purgatory, or some other twilit hinterland of being.
Based on Yogic principles, out-of-body-experience research, and the author’s work counseling the terminally ill, Deathing endeavors to equip the living with a science of conscious and correct dying that allows this transition to be made with grace and success. If you can survive the overly precious and cloyingly sentimental, faux case studies that are presented as didactic novels, then perhaps you can progress through the lucid presentation of technical data pertaining to the structure of the human spirit and its orientation in the astral plane, master the series of exercises for developing skill in dying, and then when your time comes perhaps you will execute a flawless three-point landing in the promised land. DN

Publisher: Nicolas-Hays
Paperback: 399 pages

Bruegel, or the Workshop of Dreams

Claude-Henri Rocquet

Little is known of the life of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Yet his paintings, rich with precise detail of everyday life during the Flemish Renaissance yield much to historical research—and the erudite imaginings this author. Using Bruegel’s paintings as a point of departure for elegant, historical fantasy, Rocquet explores the intricacies of commerce and politics, court life and peasant life, ship-building and architecture, the Spanish Occupation and much else that passed before the penetrating eye of Bruegel. What emerges is a portrait of the artist which is moving and convincing in its psychological depth. DN

Publisher: University of Chicago
Hardback: 210 pages