Panparadox – Vexior 218

panparadox vexior 218Panparadox – Vexior 218
Ixaxaar – 2009

This is a book of gnostic Satanic black chaos magic about the Greek god Pan and his counterparts, Loki, Grimalkin and Lucifer. It was a pretty enjoyable read.

I often mix up the details of the ancient Greek myths (the Greeks did too in fairness), and I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the mythological information on Pan in this book. That being said, most of it did sound like the kind of stories about Greek gods that I’ve read before. I wasn’t bothered comparing the stories in this book to the ones told by Ovid and his mates. Vexior, the author of this book, may well have twisted a few strands of information here to suit his own ideas, but realistically, that’s how myths work. Doing so does nothing but pump new life into Pan and his mythology.

panparadox baphometThis book contains some very cool art.

I breezed through this book in one day. It doesn’t get bogged down with Qabalistic nonsense, and there’s only a bit of magical instruction at the end. Most of it is mythology/philosophy. The philosophy stuff gets fairly obtuse though. Pan is a god of contradictions. He is everything while also being nothing. Therefore everything is nothing, and nothing is everything. Yeah, yeah. I’ve come across this idea in lots of other books. I get it, but whenever I read this kind of thing, I find it hard to take anything else in that book seriously.

Panparadox has awesome pictures, and it would look real cool on a bookshelf. Also, maybe I’m wrong, but I think there’s a couple of jokes in this text. This makes sense really – Pan’s Nordic counterpart Loki is a trickster god, but I wasn’t expecting jokes (however small) from an Ixaxaar book.

Pan is one of the coolest gods from the Greek pantheon. (Isn’t he the one who taught humans how to masturbate?) Reading this made me want to reread Machen’s The Great God Pan. I’d love to own a copy of Panparadox, but like most Ixaxaar books, it’s rare and rather expensive.

baphometic effigy

A Manual of Sex Magick – Louis T. Culling

manual of sex magic louis t.jpgA Manual of Sex Magic – Louis T. Culling
Llewellyn – 1971

I usually know how much attention I’m going to give to reading a book by the 5 page mark. I enjoy occult books, but most of them are written horribly. The authors, lacking in anything worthwhile to say, disguise their own uncertainty, confusion and ignorance with long, winding sentences, esoteric references and an air of arrogance. Occultism, in this way, is very, very similar to academia.

Anyways, when I come across a book that I feel is going to be like this, I don’t bother committing to a thorough reading – I’ll read the whole thing, but I’ll do so on the bus to work, listening to music and not worrying if some of it goes over my head.

This was my planned approach after a few pages of Louis T. Culling’s A Manual of Sex Magick. It’s a poorly written guide to the different degrees of Sex Magic. Unfortunately, it’s quite vague about the details of a particularly curious magical working, and this vagueness, together with the lackluster manner of my reading up to that point, has left me suspecting that friends of the author of this book rubbed cum into their dog’s fur.

Allow me to explain.

There are three degrees of Sex Magick. The first is Alphaism. This basically means that if you decide to do some sex magic with your partner, you’re not allowed wank or ride anyone else.

The second degree is Dianism. This is holding in your gip. You’re allowed shag indefinitely as long as you don’t cum. If you’re interested in trying this, I have a tip for you that isn’t mentioned in the book. A friend gave me this advice when we were 15. He told me that you can last longer in bed if you just give a sharp little tug to your sack whenever you feel like cumming. This will hold off the orgasm without killing your boner. I haven’t tried it, but the confident wink my friend gave as he explained this assured me that he knew exactly what he was talking about.

When you’re riding away for hours without gipping, you think of the magical outcome you want to achieve. Do this for a few hours a day, a few days a week, and all your wishes will surely come true.

The final degree of Sex Magick is Quodosch. (Is this where J.K. Rowling got the name for quidditch?) This level is for when you need a little extra power for your spell. After a marathon sex session, you finally allow yourself to blow your load and then use your ejaculate an a magic elixir. If you’re sending a letter to ask somebody for something, seal the envelope with your sperm, and this will doubtlessly result in your request being granted.

This gets confusing when the author mentions using this kind of magic on a dog. This book contains a story about a pair of Magicians who turn their dog into a psychic, but the details of the procedure are quite unclear. The author never outright says that the magicians came on the dog, but I can’t see how else it would work. Maybe the wizard gipped his load into a bowl of dogfood and then let his pooch chow down on his fine chicken alfredo. Either way it’s a bit gross. Leave that poor hound alone!

After reading the bit about the dog, I tried looking back over the parts that I had skimmed in the hopes that I’d understand things better, but it didn’t help.

A Manual of Sex Magic is a fairly rubbish book. The author spends most of it either talking nonsense or boasting about this sexual prowess. It gets a bit embarrassing. Also, Culling reveres Aleister Crowley, and even claims to have been penpals with the Great Beast. This makes his “straights only” policy on Sex Magick a bit weird. We all know that some of Aleister’s best work was very gay.

After a slow start to the year, I’m getting back to my reading and writing routine. I have a few more posts lined up for the near future, so check back soon.

2018, The Year in Review

In 2018, I reviewed books about Satanic Communists, intergalactic Nazis, Trump voting necrophiles, sodomaniacal vampires, Sado-shamans, and an another Alien Jesus – and that’s not mentioning the fiction. I published more posts, wrote more words, reviewed more books and saw more traffic this year than any year previous. I did best-of posts for 2016 and 2017, but for 2018 I’m going to go all out and indulge myself with a full post on this blog and its upkeep. I’ll post a new review early next week, so come back then if you’re only interested in the books.

paperback wall horror occult.jpg
Most of this year’s acquisitions have been trade paperbacks.

I read and reviewed far more fiction this year than ever before.  There’s two reasons for this. I became sick and tired of reading long, boring occult books. They’re expensive, they take ages to read, and they’re usually absolutely awful. The second factor was Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell. I’ve been reviewing horror fiction since 2015, but Hendrix’s book opened my eyes to the realms of trashy horror. I’ve long known that books like these existed, I just wasn’t sure which were worth reading. It turns out that it’s most of them.

Some of the Paperbacks from Hell I read this year.

I already had a few of the books featured in PFH on my to-read list, but PFH’s popularity made some of these books scarce, and I ended up shelling out quite a bit of cash to grab copies before they were impossible to find.

satan series brian mcnaughton starI had been meaning to buy copies of these for ages. Their inclusion in Paperbacks from Hell has made them rather difficult to track down for a reasonable price.

After enjoying the transition from classic Gothic horror to modern trashy paperback horror, I allowed myself to go even further and visited the strange world of Bizarro Fiction. I wasn’t sure if those books belonged on a blog like this, but whatever. I’ll post whatever I want. I’ve enjoyed wallowing in the trash swamp recently, but I’m planning on reading some more high-brow horror in the near future to even things out. (I’ve actually been rereading all of Lovecraft’s work since shortly after publishing this review. I didn’t think it was anything special, but it’s been one of my most popular posts this year. Expect more Lovecraft posts in 2019.)

Magical Books from the internet.

The past few months have seen me returning to occult literature. Instead of paying ridiculous money for awful books, I’m downloading pdf copies online, and instead of slogging through dense, arcane tomes of esotericism, I’m breezing through idiotic pamphlet length grimoires. It’s the same crap; it’s just easier to stomach when I’m confronted with 50 pages of nonsense instead of 500. This has allowed me to publish 2 posts per week for the last few months, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue at this pace. I have a few ideas for multi-book posts for the near future that will probably slow things down considerably. They’ll be worth the wait.

I usually do a top 10 posts of the year list around this time. It’s harder to choose this year because there’s more posts than ever before. I’ll just say that my reviews of Raped by the Devil, Marx and Satan, Ghoul, Space Gate, The Veil Removed, Masks of the Illuminati, Psychopathia Sexualis, Nox Infernus, Satanicon, and Don’t Make Me Go Back, Mommy are pretty good. Also, my short “splatterpunk” story, Kevin is worth a look.

Best of 2018

All that being said, the most important post of the year was doubtlessly on Spawn of the Devil by Aristotle Levi, an exceedingly rare work of occult erotica. If you haven’t read this post, please take a look.

spawn of the devil - aristotle leviDefinitely not a book that you’d want to judge by its cover.

Running this blog can be quite frustrating. I put in a lot of effort and often don’t see much of a response. You won’t find reviews of some of these books on any other sites, and lots of them aren’t even listed on Goodreads. Search engines don’t bring much traffic to these posts because nobody ever googles the names of these books. I could probably do a better job promoting this stuff on social media, but I’d far prefer to spend my time reading and writing about weird books. If you could share this blog with somebody you know who’d be interested, it would be super appreciated!

Happy new year!

 

Alembic – Timothy d’Arch Smith

alembic timothy d'arch smith.jpgAlembic – Timothy d’Arch Smith
Dalkey Archive Press – 1992

Alembic is a novel about alchemy, insanity, sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and  magic. If that doesn’t make you want to read it, this blog isn’t the place for you. Alembic is the only novel by Timothy D’Arch Smith, a name you might recall from my earlier posts on his bibliography of Montague Summers and Books of the Beast, a collection of essays about the books of Aleister Crowley, Summers and Austin Spare. D’Arch Smith is a pretty cool guy.

The plot of Alembic is fairly puzzling. The narrator works for the English Government’s secret alchemy department. While he’s taking some time off work to visit his famous rockstar mate, he bumps into his coworker’s daughter. He falls in love with her, and they have some adventures. This story is punctuated with flashbacks of the narrator’s days in the army. 

In truth, it’s not a very good story.

Most of the novels that I’ve read this year have been of the trashy horror fiction variety. That style of writing is usually fairly to the point, and the books are plot driven, focused on the tale, not the telling. Alembic is quite the opposite. It reads like a book written to showcase the author’s writing. D’Arch Smith uses his verbiage to great comic effect at times, but overall, the writing style is overwhelming. Several secondary characters get lost and blend into each other in the dense text.

cadaver tomb rene chalon richierThe cover image of the book is a drawing of this statue. Originally the statue held the actual heart of René de Chalon. Cool.

When I started reading this book, it reminded me of the early novels of Flann O’Brien. This might have been due to the fact that Alembic was put out by Dalkey Archives, a publisher named after one of O’ Brien’s novels, but the grandiose descriptions of the utterly banal definitely seemed a bit Flannesque to me.  The other influence that I couldn’t help but notice was Nabakov’s Lolita. Yes, unfortunately this is another book about a grown man falling in love with and raping a child. I didn’t like this part. The girl in here is 14. The male is in his mid twenties. Aside from one comically repulsive scene, this book isn’t sexually explicit, but it was still unpleasant to read the narrative of a diddler.

Timothy D’Arch Smith has also written a book about the Uranian poets. These were a gang of paedophiles who liked writing poems about little boys. Hey, reading/writing books about something doesn’t mean you like it, but why put it in your own fiction? I don’t mean to be accusatory, but I did wonder why he didn’t just make the girl two years older. 

One possible explanation might be the fact that the book revolves around a Led Zeppelin styled band named Celestial Praylin. I’m not a big enough Zeppelin fan to have been able to understand the similarities between them and the fake band, but the cover of the book and every review I’ve read of it has mentioned Zeppelin. D’Arch Smith used to be close with Jimmy Page. He was the guy who got Page all his books on Crowley, and he later dedicated his Books of the Beast to the rocker. Anyways, as we all know, Jimmy Page repeatedly raped a 14 year old when he was in his late twenties, so maybe it just felt natural to include a bit of child abuse in a Led-Zeppeliny book. Anyone wanting to play the “14 is old enough to give consent” or “times were different back then” cards can fuck right off. He knew it was wrong and he did it anyway. Page is a nonce.

aleister crowley signatureThe lettering of the title on the cover of Alembic is clearly based on the signature of Aleister Crowley although I’m not entirely sure why. It probably has something to do with the magical child/homunculus motifs that run through the book.

I was a bit surprised with Alembic. I really liked the other books that I’ve read by this author, and I had wanted to read this one for ages. There were several parts that made me laugh out loud, and there are some cool ideas in here, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected to. Given the role of alchemy plays in the narrator’s life, I suspect that there were levels of meaning in this book that went totally over my head.

The Necromantic Ritual Book – Leilah Wendell

wendell necromantic ritual book.jpg
The Necromantic Ritual Book – Leilah Wendell
Westgate Press  – 2005 (First published 1991)

Here’s a short and sweet grimoire of necromantic death magic. I was fairly surprised with this one. It’s probably the grimmest book of magic I’ve ever reviewed.

The first part of the book deals with “getting comfortable in Death’s presence”. It explains how the prospective necromancer must spend a night of contemplation in contact with a corpse. At this point, alarm bells were going off in my head. If this was just the preparation, what would the more adept rituals entail?

A lengthy portion of the text is spent describing how to make “a sculpted talisman for necromantic rites”, basically a physical body for a magical entity. Unlike the “anchoring base for an artificial spirit” from The Dark Arts of Tarantula, this talisman must be physically made by the magician; a Dungeons and Dragons figurine will not do. And unlike the Genies created in The Hallowed Genie, Wendell’s talismans must be composed of as much dead matter as possible. Oh, and they’re supposed to be life sized too, so Wendell suggests using an actual human skeleton as the frame. This frame is then to be covered in a thick paste of festering dead matter. Pulped roadkill and hideously rotten human remains are to be ground up with graveyard dirt for this task. Once this is done, the stinking mass of death sausage is to be wrapped tightly in a winding sheet that has been soaked with glue. This putrescent monstrosity is to be kept hidden, presumably in the shadows of the magicians house.

I mean, that sounds like the beginning of an amazing horror story, and I wonder if anybody has ever actually gone through with it. Imagine the stench. You’d probably contract all types of horrid diseases from in the process. Imagine having friends or family over and one of them finding your stinky friend. You’d end up in a mad house.

wendell necromancy angel of death
Ok, so after the creating a rot-golem section, I knew that Leilah wasn’t just your average witchy magician. She was clearly a real freak, but I was still a bit surprised at the end of the book.

In describing the culmination of an act of “high necromancy”, she explains that the magician will experience “an erection (in males) or sensuous expression (in females)”. She then instructs the magician, “At this point, do not suppress your desires. Give into them and follow their lead.” I ask you, my dear reader, how do you interpret that advice? It sounds very much to me like she is advocating necrophilia. In the following pages she seems to issue a solemn warning against doing so, but if you read this passage carefully, you’ll see that she only warns against having sex with a corpse if you’re not in love with death. She never says that it’s wrong for a true death lover to love the dead. Also, at the end of this book, there is an advertisement for another book of hers titled “Love Never Dies – The Journey of a Necrophile“. This book is described as “a collection of Leilah’s “personal” encounters with Death, via the dead.” It contains “necrophilic erotica, not for the squeemish” (sic). I found an interview with her in which she says that she draws the line at full-on intercourse with the dead, but she might just have been saying that to protect herself. Draw your own conclusions on whether or nor ol’ Leilah has ever ridden a corpse.

I didn’t expect the darkness and depravity of this book. I thought it would be a witchy manual for drawing magic circles in a cemetery. I’d like to read more by Wendell, but her books seem fairly rare, and I’d worry about ordering copies of her work to my house. I don’t know about the legality of owning necrophilia porn, and I’d be a bit apprehensive even looking up the details.

It just occurred to me that over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve published reviews of books on necrophilia, Satanic Ritual Abuse and Sadomagical techniques. I’ll be in big trouble if my mom ever finds my blog.

The Hallowed Genie – Basil Crouch

The Hallowed Genie – Basil E. Crouch
Finbarr International – Publishing date unknown

It seems that the standard of books being reviewed on here recently has declined in a pretty serious way. It’s sad to think of the few people who are dumb enough to buy this kind of rubbish, but it’s more depressing still to think that more than a couple actually put this crap out.

First off, this author’s name is Basil Crouch. That sounds far too similar to Basil Brush for me to be able to read this book without imagining the text being narrated by a snooty English fox. This was doubtlessly the reason for the author’s adoption of the slightly more mysterious pen name ‘Basil La Croix’ for some of his other works. 

basil brush

Anyways, ol’ Basil was either a moron or a swindler. The spells/rituals in here are so stupid that I hope he only put them to paper to relieve idiot Occultists of their expendable income. It’s either that or he was a mentally deficient teenager.

Build a little monster out of clay and then put him in a circle of candles. Tell him 10 times that you need some money, read him some Bible verses, and in no time at all, you’ll be a millionaire. The key to this ritual is the word ‘need’. Telling a Genie that you want something is useless; you have to tell them that you need it.

Basil blames wants for a great deal of the world’s ills. He claims to have medical evidence to show that women who experience an unsatiated desire during pregnancy are likely to give birth to a mutant.

medical curiositiesThe above “medical curiosity” was actually a woman named Rosa Plemons. She suffered from muscular atrophy. She was supposedly kidnapped when she was 19 and put in a freak show. Her tale is more tragic than curious, and I don’t know why she was included in here. I don’t know anything about the bendy lad at the bottom.

Basil makes his ridiculous claim about wants and needs halfway through the book, but it’s only on the last page that he includes images of the resulting ‘medical curiosities’. This is just one of several examples of how disorganized this text is. Certain paragraphs explain that the next section of the book will discuss a certain issue, but that issue won’t actually be mentioned until pages later. Also, it seems as if Basil decided to pad out his text with a few lengthy Biblical Psalms in order to reach his desired page count.

the book of knowhowMe on the bus to work in the morning.

When I started this blog, I read just about any occult-related material I could get my hands on. I quickly realised that most of it is airy-fairy, white-people-with-dreadlocks nonsense. I then focused my attention on black magic and Satanism. I haven’t read or reviewed much that doesn’t at least touch on the darker side of Occultism, so I must have been expecting something of that ilk when I decided to read this. Unfortunately, this book has no badness in it. There’s nothing interesting about it other than the author’s sheer incompetence. This is pathetic.

Note: Since writing this review, I came across a thread about Basil Crouch online. Apparently he was a well respected magician, and there’s curious tales about people destroying his books because they were too “tempting and Dark”. I have managed to track down pdf copies of a few more of his texts, and even though the Hallowed Genie is absolutely awful, I have grown curious and will doubtlessly read and review his other works at some stage. Stay tuned.

Carnal Alchemy – Sado-Magical Techniques for Pleasure, Pain and Self-Transformation

carnal-alchemy-flowers
Carnal Alchemy – Sado-Magical Techniques for Pleasure, Pain and Self – Transformation
Stephen E. Flowers and Crystal Dawn Flowers
Inner Traditions – 2013 (First Published 2011, I think)

I’m interested in sadomasochism and Occultism in roughly the same way. I don’t practice either, but I find them both rather intriguing. On seeing the title of this book, I knew I’d have to read it.

The main idea in here, as far as I can tell, is that S&M can be used for magical purposes. That seems very peculiar until you understand the kinds of magical purposes that the authors are talking about. Don’t expect to able to levitate after a good caning. That’s not the kind of magic we’re dealing with.

old orgyParty time!

The book is titled “Carnal Alchemy”. Alchemy is the science/art/ practice of changing one thing to another, the obvious example being lead into gold. The authors of this book claim that Sadomasochist magicians can transmute themselves/each other from total losers into successful individuals through the practice of sadoshamanism. I’m very sceptical when it comes to promises of magical powers, but I can accept this idea.

For an S&M freak, the pain/torture/humiliation is part of or at least powerfully linked to the sex act. I don’t go for that stuff myself, but who doesn’t feel like a success after a good shag? If somebody who gets off on pain is in a safe, loving, sexually active relationship with a person with complimentary interests, this could certainly have beneficial effects on their self esteem and general success. Is this magic? Sure.

My only issue with this idea is that it’s a bit self aggrandizing. Any sexual fetish is potentially empowering in this way. If a person likes something (safe) and they get it, they will be happier. There’s no need to write a book about it. This whole book has a bit of a “We do S&M. We’re magicians. We’re so cool’ feel to it. The authors do seem to suggest that any sexual act has magical potential, but that the ritualistic nature of S&M makes it particularly effective. I don’t know guys. I think you just wanted to write a book about the things you like.

The rest of the book describes the depraved proclivities of several famous occult practitioners, including Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey and my ol’ buddy Willie Seabrook. There’s also a short section describing basic S&M techniques and a bit about the order of the Triskellion, Sadomagical group run by the authors.

seabrook maskWillie Seabrook and his babe.

The Order of the Triskellion takes its name from the Story of O, a classic of erotic literature. I remember reading that book at work years ago. I had a shitty office job, and I would download PDF books and read them instead of working. It makes me very happy to think that the dickhead owner of that company unwittingly paid me to read kinky erotica.

Anyways, this book is fine. I read it out of curiosity, and reflecting on it now, I didn’t really learn very much. At the same time, if you do enjoy dressing up as Hermione and having your bum spanked, this is doubtlessly the book for you.