Art and Symbols of the Occult: Images of Power and Wisdom

James Wasserman

Aleister Crowley defines magic as “the science and art of causing change to occur at will.” A complex book on the art and symbols of the occult and their meanings. Many beautiful color reproductions of famous mystical diagrams such as the alchemical tree of life, Buddhist assembly tree, and the Equinox emblem, the official organ of the A:A magical order founded by Crowley and George C. Jones in 1907. The book also attempts to explain the not-so-brief history of the occult. DW

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 128 pages

The Pagan Book of Days: A Guide to the Festivals, Traditions and Sacred Days of the Year

Nigel Pennick

What is a favorable time for divination by fire? On which days can I expect the portals of the underworld to open? Written by a native practitioner of East Anglican pagan traditions, this calendar focuses primarily on classical and northern European earth religions, but also includes significant dates from Babylonian, Persian, Egyptian, Jewish, and medieval Christian cultures. Tracks dates from the Celtic tree calendar, “Goddess Days” of the moon, medieval “stations of the year,” significant birthdays, as well as runic and zodiacal highlights. Beyond the calendar there are brief essays on folklore surrounding the days of the week, and months, the celestial and tidal movements, as well as some interesting remarks on the syncretism of pagan and Christian celebrations. Lavishly illustrated with etchings, woodcuts, petroglyphs, etc. RA

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 160 pages

The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World

R. Murray Schafer

In this pioneering book, Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer traces an evocative picture of the evolution of the acoustic environment on planet Earth, from the earliest nature sounds through the beginnings of the Industrial Age and up to the cacophony of the present day. Using quotes from a wide variety of sources from throughout recorded history, he demonstrates the changing character of the world as it has been perceived by the human ear. Virgil describes the relatively new sound of the “shrill saw blade” and waxes nostalgic for an earlier time when “men split wood with wedges.” Charles Dickens writes of the novel rumbling of a passing train in 1848, and how it made “the walls quake, as if they were dilating with the knowledge of great powers yet unsuspected in them.” Luigi Russolo bids us to “have fun imagining our orchestration of department stores' sliding doors, the hubbub of the crowds, the different roars of the railway stations, iron foundries, textile mills, printing houses, power plants and subways.“
In addition to this historical information, Schafer also analyzes the current soundscape across the planet and tells of the very real threat of sound pollution. He explains how to classify sounds, describes the evolving definition of noise, relates music to the soundscapes of different eras, and includes a chapter on that most important and increasingly hard to find element: silence. Not unlike the birds in Aldous Huxley's novel Island, who over and over repeat the same word—“Attention!”—Schafer's ultimate goal is to bring us more fully into awareness in respect to the sonic vibrations which constantly surround and affect us. AS

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 301 pages

America’s Secret Destiny: Spiritual Vision and the Founding of a Nation

Robert Hieronimus, Ph.D.

“Historian, visual artist and radio host Robert Hieronimus is one of the country’s top experts on the American Great Seal and has shared his research with such world leaders as Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat… Long before Christopher Columbus discovered America, the Iroquois had established their own League of Nations. We now know that the principles upon which their federation was founded directly influenced the drafting of the United States Constitution. It is also certain that the design of our nation’s Great Seal, depicting a pyramid and an eye in the triangle, is a blueprint of America’s future as envisioned by our founding fathers… showing how a spiritual vision of America’s future was set forth in our most significant national documents and symbols.”

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 145 pages

The Occult Conspiracy: Secret Societies — Their Influence and Power in World History

Michael Howard

“Traces occult influences in politics and statecraft from ancient Egypt to the present era. Explores the influences in government and in the lives of many well-known figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Rasputin, Woodrow Wilson and more. The societies explored include the Nazis, the British security forces, the founding fathers of America, and the Vatican.”

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 192 pages

The Sirius Mystery

Robert Temple

Exploration of a fascinating mystery: How did Africa’s Dogon tribe (and others) get hold of star-system data thousands of years before Western man? (Insert weird music.) The book traces the enigma back 5,000 years to the Egyptian and Sumerian cultures. “These ancient civilizations possessed not only great wealth and learning, but also a knowledge dependent on physics and astrophysics, which they claimed was imported to them by visitors from Sirius,“ a rare double-star system. The Dogon could explain Sirius B, a White Dwarf orbiting Sirius A, but no one on Earth could see it. Is this proof the Pharaohs were visited by star creatures? (Hold weird note.) Could be. In contrast, modern astronomers only got their proof of the Sirius enigma in 1970. (Weird sustain and out.) GR

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 292 pages

Surrealism and the Occult: Shamanism, Magic, Alchemy, and the Birth of an Artistic Movement

Nadia Choucha

The first half of this book is a compelling look at the late-19th-century occult revival in France and how it influenced art and literature that became influential in the development of Surrealism. That the resurgence of ritual magic imagery influenced such people as Huysmans, Baudelaire, Moreau and Rops is undeniable, and the author initially promises the reader much. While there are some interesting observations on the Theosophical influences on Kandinsky and Mondrian, some of this occult “influence” becomes less direct as the books wears on. In the chapter on automatism, the author spends a good deal of time discussing Austin Osman Spare, declaring that while he did not influence Surrealism as he was unknown to the movement, his style of automatic drawing parallels their automatism. The argument is intriguing but not wholly convincing. Her discussion of Duchamp is also vague. The subject matter she continually returns to in the second half of the book—that of eroticism, the union of opposites and the androgyne—may have their sources in occult literature but also may not. She may well be on the mark with her analogies but sometimes fails to adequately support her arguments. MM

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 144 pages