LIBER NOX A TRADITIONAL WITCHES GRAMARYE PDF

First, a eulogy: recently departed Michael Howard — was quite possibly my gateway drug to occultism. A survey of Scriptus Recensera entries show that a significant amount of his work has been reviewed here: The Book of Fallen Angels , an issue of The Cauldron , his important tome Children of Cain , and most recently, Hands of Apostasy , which he co-edited with Daniel Schulke. This, needless to say, was not by design but a mark of how prolific he was and how well his oeuvre matched my interests. I always found Michael so thoroughly genuine, something frustratingly rare in these circles where smoke and mirrors dominate and where people spend so much time shoring up their claims to some amazing lineage, or trying desperately to appear privy to some amazing knowledge or in possession of equally amazing skills and power. He had such an obvious passion for the magickal milieu within which he lived.

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First, a eulogy: recently departed Michael Howard — was quite possibly my gateway drug to occultism. A survey of Scriptus Recensera entries show that a significant amount of his work has been reviewed here: The Book of Fallen Angels , an issue of The Cauldron , his important tome Children of Cain , and most recently, Hands of Apostasy , which he co-edited with Daniel Schulke.

This, needless to say, was not by design but a mark of how prolific he was and how well his oeuvre matched my interests. I always found Michael so thoroughly genuine, something frustratingly rare in these circles where smoke and mirrors dominate and where people spend so much time shoring up their claims to some amazing lineage, or trying desperately to appear privy to some amazing knowledge or in possession of equally amazing skills and power.

He had such an obvious passion for the magickal milieu within which he lived. Witness his patronage of Bill Liddell and the claim that Essex cunning man George Pickingill was actually a grand master of nine covens who had direct influence on everyone from Gerald Gardner to the Golden Dawn.

And why not? Until Xoanon and Three Hands Press publish any of the unpublished texts they have in their archives, Liber Nox is the last major writing from Michael Howard and, in many ways, stands as a fitting testament to him. It consolidates much of what Howard has considered over the years in matters of traditional witchcraft, providing it in a format that prefaces everything with a lot of broad anthropological examples and explanations, and then concludes with a breakdown of the wheel of the year and a series of corresponding rituals.

As such, it contains more factual information than your average grimoire, or your bog-standard rituals-and-recipes book for that matter, and is all the more satisfying for it. In the first section, Preparing for the Rites , Howard explains the symbolism of various ritual tools, elements and procedures.

Rather than the usual cursory explanation one would expect in other books, this digression is a significant one that facilitates a wider exploration of the themes of witchcraft. A similar approach follows in the second section, The Wheel of the Year , where said wheel and its associated festivals provide an opportunity to consider in depth various folklore and witchcraft themes.

A discussion of Candlemass, for example, is able to embrace the goddess Brigid and her saintly incarnation as St. Bridget, as well as the Cailleach, goddesses of Sovereignty, and loathly ladies. Often the matters discussed for each festival seem almost tangential to the extent that you lose track of where it all began and which celebration is up for discussion.

Thus, this second section of folklore and festivals, which is easily half of the book, provides what is effectively a thorough consideration of traditional witchcraft, shot through this anthropological lens.

Howard prefaces his rituals with a consideration of the year which consolidates the mass of material from the previous section into a narrative of changing seasons, rising and falling deities, and elements waxing and waning.

He makes it clear that the rituals presented here are not from any particular tradition but have been written entirely for this book, incorporating aspects from various traditional witchcraft sources and obviously the folklore of the wheel of the year. There are certainly elements you can spot, with the imagery of the Clan of Tubal Cain, for example, coming through clearly in the use of dancing mills and castles. The first of the rituals is an all-purpose casting of the circle of arte, followed by instructions for a concluding houzel and a closing of the circle.

Many of the rites feature variations of circular dancing, often incorporating intertwining ribbons, while in the ritual for Midsummer Day, two additional stang are used to form a gateway to the realm of Fey through which celebrants visualise themselves passing. With its carefully considered structure of anthropology followed by, erm, ritualology, Liber Nox , makes for a satisfying read.

It incorporates so much of what Howard considered in his life as a writer, but distils it in a finely crafted manner, refined and shorn of the distracting spelling errors and generic formatting that marred his similar material in books published by the reckless Capall Bann. Liber Nox is available as a paperback of perfect bound pages, printed by Lightning Source. The formatting has a confident, effortless style, with the body set in Adobe Caslon at a nice point size with sensible leading; albeit fully justified.

Titles along with the chapter-leading drop caps are set in the rather lovely Newcomen face, while the subtitles are rendered in the scratchy scripty Cancelleresca. Liber Nox is illustrated throughout by the black and white illustrations of Gemma Gary, who also provides the stunning image of the horned god on the cover.

Her illustrations are often of familiar folkloric images, masks and masques, rendered anew in her stippled style. Your email address will not be published. Published by Skylight Press. ISBN Like our reviews? Take a second to support us on Patreon! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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Liber Nox A Traditional Witch's Gramarye

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