My New Book:
The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham

On leap day, February 29, 1980, needing a room to rent, I moved into a two-bedroom apartment with a person I barely knew. His name was Scott Cunningham. At the time, Scott had been writing novels and was beginning his magical writing career. As I look back at it now, I’m amazed that I was able to share both a friendship and apartment with such an amazing person. I lived there for the next six years.

My newest book is about my friendship with Scott. It’s unlike any other book on what Scott did and his personal spiritual growth. Yes, there is a bit of biography in there, so if you don’t know about Scott’s life you’ll learn about it. I also have included many of Scott’s magical techniques and concepts so you can learn the basics of his magical methods.

Other than the fact that I knew Scott so well, why should there be a book about him? Although his books are considered important resources for tens of thousands of people, Scott also made a contribution that literally changed the world

Before Scott, Wicca was primarily passed on within the coven structure. In order to become a Wiccan you had to find a coven and study with them. If you couldn’t find a coven, or there was no coven near you, well, you were just out of luck. Scott’s book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, gave instructions on how any individual could come to love the Goddess and become a Wiccan. In the years that followed, Solitary Wicca became the primary way most people entered the Craft. Scott didn’t denigrate the coven structure, he simply gave an alternate approach to Wicca and made it available to all. It’s rare that the actions of one person change the world, and even more rare that such changes can be seen. Scott Cunningham was such a person.

In The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham I wanted to reveal his inner core, the motivations that shaped him and drew him to three things:

  • The Goddess
  • Wicca
  • Hawaii

His interests, knowledge, studiousness, focus, and drives motivated him in these areas. His ability to share his knowledge and interests in a way that was direct and reached so many people was amazing. And in my new book I analyze this and share it with everyone.

In the book I also share some of our experiences together so you will learn not just where he was born and what he did, but what he was like. I hope you get an idea of who Scott Cunningham was. Many of the anecdotes and stories have never been published before. The stories and his magical methods pepper chapters on his theories and methods of performing natural magic, his approach to The Goddess and Wicca, and his love for the land, people and magic of Hawaii.

The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham provides lots of his beliefs, ideas, and practical methods:

  • What magic is
  • Herbs for protection
  • How to make a protection sachet
  • Incenses to make and use for divination
  • Healing incense
  • A healing invocation to Isis
  • A sachet for continued health
  • Love magic
  • The nature of Witchcraft and folk magic
  • Color magic
  • Candle magic
  • The ethics of magicians
  • A spell for getting money
  • Five ways Wicca is different from other religions
  • One way to practice Wicca
  • The three powers that are used in magic
  • An Invocation of the Elements
  • An Invocation to Pan
  • The meaning of numbers
  • Sabbat Oil recipes
  • Full Moon Oil recipes
  • A protective chant
  • String magic
  • Four ways to make Wicca a part of your life
  • How to perform a self-initiation into Wicca
  • Scott’s investigation into Hawaiian spirituality
  • Traditional Hawaiian magic
  • Hawaiian taboos
  • Hula

This is just a partial listing of what you’ll discover in The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham.

I wanted to make this book available to as many people as possible. So here’s the deal. This book is scheduled to become available next month, May, 2012. Further, it will be available exclusively in eBook format. That means you’ll be able to read it on your computers, phones, eBook readers, tablets, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, etc.

Although The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham covers a lot of material and lets you “meet” Scott as never before, it is also surprisingly concise, allowing it to be what is called an “eShort.” And that also means you’ll get all of this not for fifteen or ten or even five bucks. In the U.S:

The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham is only $1.99!

It’s not available now. I’ll let you know when it is available. It is scheduled to appear in just days. For a full list of available Llewellyn eShorts, visit your favorite online ebook retailer, such as the Kindle Store, Kobo, Nook Bookstore, Sony, and iTunes. For more information on eShorts and the new books that are currently available, see this article.

Specialization is for Insects

The statement above is part of a quote from science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. The full quote is:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

In some ways that describes my life. In the past I’ve been a classical musician and rock-and-roller. I’ve done sleight-of-hand style magic and worked at a magic shop. I’ve been a courier for a major bank. I’ve taught computers at USC. I’ve sold beads and occult supplies. I’ve been a rock concert photographer. I’ve written playlets. I’m a certified hypnotherapist. I was the founding editor of the free, on-line, The Llewellyn Journal. For three years I was the editor-in-chief of FATE magazine.

Today, many of you know me as an author. I also give workshops all around the country. This coming weekend I’ll be in Florida giving workshops at the Florida Pagan Gathering. For Llewellyn I have several jobs. I write this blog. I’m the editor of Llewellyn’s free, on-line Encyclopedia. I think it may be the largest and most complete metaphysical, spiritual, and occult encyclopedia on the web. I also do some Tarot reviews, write for Llewellyn’s New Worlds of Mind and Spirit, and perform various other tasks. Starting tomorrow, May 1, I am adding a new title to my responsibilities:

Acquisitions Editor: Magic(k) and Occult Topics.

I’m not replacing anyone. The current acquisitions editors do a fantastic job and have helped Llewellyn become a leader in our field. So what am I doing? I think the answer can be seen with Steven Skinner’s excellent books. These consist of brilliant analyses and commentaries on old grimoires, focusing on more advanced research, scholarship, and magickal systems.

When I first began studying the occult, good books on the subject were relatively difficult to find and advanced ones were so expensive they were out of my price range. Now, thanks in large part to Llewellyn’s publishing history, that market has grown immensely. There is finally a market large enough to support the publication of advanced books at reasonable prices. To this end, Llewellyn is beginning the Gnostic Occult Library series. I’m going to be acquiring books for this series.

It’s important for me to state that good occult and metaphysical books that are not part of the GOL are in no way inferior to the books in this series, they’re simply directed to a different audience. The way I like to think of it is this: my Modern Magick can be seen as a book for high school or undergraduate college students. Books in the Gnostic Occult Library will be for graduate students or advanced practitioners. Topics include magic(k), occult, kabalah, Tantra, etc.

I am thrilled at this opportunity to help published and unpublished writers, allow more advanced students to more easily discover and obtain great information and techniques, and to assist Llewellyn to expand in new directions.

Llewellyn is always looking for good books from published and new authors. If you have a manuscript, or are planning one, and think it would fit with what Llewellyn publishes, please go to this LINK. There you will find full information on how to make submissions to Llewellyn.

If you have a manuscript that you think might be appropriate for the Gnostic Occult Library series, please contact me directly: . I’m really hoping to acquire some great books for Llewellyn and for all the people who are ready to go the next step in their studies. If you have such a manuscript, please contact me.

Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...