Recently, I've begun to think that maybe the Mayans—or more accurately, some interpreters of the Mayan calendar—were right.
I've seen a great deal of personal loss this year. Musically, I learned that a guitarist I had played with had died. Before we worked together he had played with the early group, The Music Machine, and had one hit, "Talk, Talk." Later, he had played with Ike and Tina Turner, and claimed to me that it was he who had convinced Ike to play "Proud Mary." More recently, the far-better known Jon Lord, keyboard player for the original Deep Purple, passed on. His playing had greatly influenced my own. More personally, several people, including relatives, have passed on
As I reported in a previous post, author and occultist Kenneth Grant left his current incarnation last month. I never met him. I wish I had. My copies of his first trilogy of books are well worn from study. There was a time when he only had a few books published and nothing new had appeared for several years. I used to say that more people talked about what they thought Grant had written than had ever actually read anything by Grant. Today, a lot of his books are available—some quite expensive—and if you're interested in reading his works I would strongly urge you to read them in their order of publication.
I wish I'd met him and had a chance to talk with him. Reading is one thing,
When I first started an in-depth study of occultism, I tried to read everything that was available. I quickly realized that the available books generally fell into two large categories, books that were mostly ridiculous inventions by their authors to take advantage of people interested in occult topics and books that were older material or about older material, perhaps with modern commentary. After a period of reading everything, it became fairly easy to separate the good from the bad, the serious from the ridiculous, the wheat from the chaff. And then came Kenneth Grant's first book, The Magical Revival.
Original cover of first edition in my collection.
I read this book not knowing what
Do you remember your first introduction to the works of Edgar Allan Poe? I do. It was watching the low budget films by Roger Corman that usually starred Vincent Price. They weren't very good, but the use of color and lighting was very effective at being scary. Although I was a kid, I knew that books were usually better than the movies made from them, so I sought out the originals. Beside, I'd always heard that Poe's stories were scary.
Edgar Allan Poe
So I read them, looking for the scare factor. I found them to be…boring. I went back to the movies and found one that is really great, The Black Cat, a 1934 film starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Sure, the bizarre, sets were