I love this time of the year. Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year and all the other holidays. That means it’s time to give (and receive!) presents! Those holidays are only a few weeks away, so it’s time to start thinking now about what to give.
Sure, I like to get “prezzies” as much as anyone, but what I really like is see the look on people’s faces when I give them presents. The question is, what type of presents? I like things that a person can enjoy over a long period of time, not just a “one and done” experience. So here is this year’s list of suggestions for gifts that continue to give value and let people know how much you think of them during the following year.
First, I’d like to mention two Tarot decks for fans of the Golden Dawn. The first is The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn.
Giordano Berti gave artist Patrizio Evangelisti a description of the Golden Dawn cards on which to base artistic designs. The result is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful Tarot decks I’ve ever seen. The imagery of the Major Arcana fairly leaps off the cards with excitement and passion. Originally, the Golden Dawn Tarot had a strictly numeric Minor Arcana. This deck deviates from that tradition by using the same artistic style as the Majors but using designs by Golden Dawn members A.E. Waite and P.C. Smith. That makes this version of the deck ideal for people who are familiar with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and who want to include some Golden Dawn symbolism. It’s a great hybrid.
If you’re more than a Golden Dawn fan and are an actual practitioner, I would suggest another deck, the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot.
Created by two Golden Dawn adepts, Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, and made with the support of Israel Regardie, this deck has several features not found in the previous deck. First, it does follow the Golden Dawn tradition when it comes to the Minor Arcana, making this deck truer to the original concept. If you’re only familiar with RWS-style decks this will require a bit of study and practice, but I find this allows readers to use their intuitions more and can help you find new and unanticipated interpretations of the cards. Second, the art uses the Golden Dawn technique of “flashing colors,” patterns that can help you get into the deck more easily and even go into trance. Third, rather than having just a “little white booklet,” this deck comes with an in-depth book written by the Ciceros. You get instructions on the Tarot from a Golden Dawn perspective. Fourth, unlike any other Tarot deck, this one comes with a second version of the Temperance card, an absolutely necessary part of the initiatory rituals of the Golden Dawn.
Note to Golden Dawn ritualists:
Unless you have a tiny area for ritual work,
take Tarot card images used in rituals and
blow them up for personal use
to at least 8.5 x 11 inches
so everyone can see them.
My suggestion: why not give both decks as an ideal present for any Golden Dawn fan or practitioner? I like and use both of them. I use the Initiatory deck for quick readings using more famous spreads as well as for meditation on the entire deck. I use the Magical deck for Golden Dawn ritual, meditation on the Major Arcana, and when doing the complex Golden Dawn method of Tarot divination.
For people who are “hard core” magicians, especially ones who are interested in the ancient magick books called grimoires, I strongly recommend the books from Golden Hoard. There are three that are of particular value although I have all of them and refer to them frequently. First is The Goetia of Dr. Rudd.
The Goetia, part of the Lesser Key of Solomon, is one of the most important books in the history of magick. There have previously been a couple of publications of this book, mainly taken from one source. Here, Stephen Skinner and David Rankine reveal for the first time a different version of the book, taken from another source, that reveals material left out of the other versions. This is a must for anyone interested in the evocation of spirits.
After Goetic evocation, another currently popular form of magick is the Enochian system revealed by Dr. John Dee with Edward Kelly. In Practical Angel Magic of Dr. John Dee’s Enochian Tables, you’ll discover the final corrected version of John Dee’s great tables and an expansion of his most prized book of invocations.
Finally, there is Sepher Raziel.
This long-awaited translation and explanation by Don Karr and Stephen Skinner includes seven books featuring medieval interpretations of astrology, the virtues of stones, the use of incense, timing for magick, a book of holy names and much more.
All of the Golden Hoard books are magnificent, hard bound volumes and worthy of being in an exclusive library.
Frater U∴D∴ is considered by many to be Europe’s best-known ceremonial magician. His books, High Magic and High Magic II are classics of magick. However, he is also well capable of sharing practical, direct, and easy-to-use information. In this time of world-wide economic concerns, I also have to recommend Money Magic.
This isn’t one of those “mumble these words and get money” spell books (that never work). This is a well thought out, easy to use, book of real magick that will show you why you don’t have the money you’d like, the real magickal secrets of how to make money available to you, and explicit instructions on how to improve your finances. Yes, this book will take some thought and a bit of practice. It also does what some of those spell books can’t do: it really works!
Do you need some gifts for couples? I’ve got three more suggestions. First, one of my all-time favorites (and not just because I contributed a chapter in it!) is Dr. Jonn Mumford’s Ecstasy Through Tantra.
This was one of the first books ever to compare Eastern Tantra and Western sex magick while sharing techniques and concepts of both. This book is ideal for magickal couples seeking to spice up their intimate lives while gaining valuable spiritual and magickal knowledge.
Second is a book by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, The Essence of Tantric Sexuality.The authors are students of Dr. Mumford, and here take some lectures he gave decades ago—lectures that introduced at least two generations to previously little-known concepts of Tantra—and for the first time put them in written form. Their commentary and explanations make this one of the most important spiritual and Tantric books of the decade!
Finally, for couples you think are looking to broaden their sensual potential, I recommend 28 Days to Ecstasy for Couples by Pala Copeland and Al Link.
This wonderful book will help any adventurous pair learn the spiritual and wonderfully exciting and ecstatic secrets and techniques of Tantric sexuality. In two words, “It’s hot!”
Of course, if you’re looking for a book for the magickal and sexually adventurous, I recommend my Modern Sex Magick.
This book isn’t about making your intimate encounters magical, it’s about tapping the magickal power in your intimate encounters. It begins with a set of principles of magick, followed by the principles of sex magick. Then it gives a brief overview of the documented history of Kabalistic sex magick followed by magickal methods and practical sex magick techniques couples can use to literally change their lives and the lives of those around them. Don’t have a partner right now? No problem. The book discusses how to work by yourself or with non-physical entities or spirits. Are you more experimental? The Forbidden Sex Magicks of the Outsider section will be right up your alley to give you powerful alternatives that may shock some people with more “vanilla” attitudes.
Looking for basic magick you can do? I recommend combining direct and powerful concepts of magick with the Tarot as described in my book, Tarot & Magic.
This is the ideal gift for someone just learning magick or who is interested in bringing a new dimension to their work with the Tarot. It doesn’t require memorizing card meanings as it’s focused on working with the symbolism on the cards as you interpret it. Thus, it is fresh and lively every time, showing you how to use the cards with candles, scents, colors, and even by themselves for powerful magickal rituals. Do you know someone who is a professional Tarot reader? Do you read Tarot professionally? This book teaches how to give the people you read for magickal methods to resolve their problems once you identify those issues during a reading. The techniques here ensure that the people you read for will want to come back. The section on working with the Tarot to help resolve psychological issues can help anyone.
And finally, the one book that I recommend for anyone who wants to start practicing ceremonial magick, fill out their knowledge of the subject or is considering joining a magickal group is Modern Magick.
The third edition has 40% new material, so it’s a must for new students and for those of you who have a previous edition that is beat up from use. Completely revised and expanded, it has all new art, new tips, ideas, explanations, and is clearer all around. It also has a complete new lesson on magickal paths for the future, including Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Chaos Magick and Post Modern Magick. Modern Magick has become the most popular and used step-by-step course in real ceremonial magick ever published. I put eighteen months into making it even better and I believe I’ve succeeded.
Well, that’s it. I hope you find these suggestions useful and make your holiday gift giving a bit easier.