Friday, 7 July 2017

Scarlet Imprint at 10

A personal recapitulation.

My first contact with Scarlet Imprint came from either an email, or a post on Lashtal (I can’t remember which), announcing the imminent publication of the first edition of The Red Goddess in 2007. Shortly after I was at fellow bookdealer Ben Fernee’s house and we discussed who these young upstarts might be who were confident enough to produce a limited edition book of 156 copies at an “above average” price (how naive that seems now). Needless to say, the book sold out in short order an was re-issued a year later. I still have my seal and rose petals which came with the book, though the simple cardboard slipcase has seen better days…

Having recently reread The Red Goddess on holiday in Devon (mainly on beaches), I was struck by the sheer exuberance of the writing. It is confidence born of practice. This is not a speculative enquiry into the nature of Babalon, THIS IS HOW IT IS, Babalon at last wrested from the chains of Thelema. Things have never been quite the same since (though there have been subsequent attempts to recompartmentalize Her).

A year later I finally got to meet Peter and Alkistis in the flesh at The Thelemic Symposium at Oxford (the notorious scout hut gathering). After their joint talk my partner and I went and said hello. I must admit to some trepidation at this initial meeting because even at this early stage it was obvious there was something different about them. They were making assertions that did not sit well with followers of the status quo. I like to think we instantly bonded over our mutual outrage at asinine comments by another speaker (something to the effect of “All this Babalon business is well and good, but your views will change when you have children…”)

Since that first encounter we have become friends and I have no hesitation in saying that the Scarlets are my favourite people. I love Alkistis. I love her fierce intelligence, her ‘oh so polite’ way of destroying someone’s weak arguments. An accomplished writer and editor, a butoh performer of increasing renown and a typographer par excellence (Gods, I’ve not even raved about the quality of SI books yet! Paper gsms that make other publishers weep for their mommas, fonts that will make you come, an understanding of form and content that got a least one of their titles nominated for a national award…) Do I have a man crush on Peter? Well, I like to be in his company as much as possible and I aspire to be like him, is that the same thing? Peter wrote one of my favourite books (see below) so of course he’s a hero. Whenever I get to meet and talk with the Scarlets, my note to self is always “raise your game.” To steal a quote from some Jack Nicholson film “The Scarlets make me want to be a better occultist.”

At this point it would be a trite to say Scarlet Imprint changed my life…but Scarlet Imprint changed my life. Over the last 10 years their 26 titles have pretty much reframed both my personal practice and the wider esoteric landscape. The anthologies Howlings, Devoted, Diabolical, At The Crossroads, Reasonances and Serpent Songs are go to sources for a snapshot of current magical thinking. Jake Stratton-Kent’s masterful Encyclopaedia Goetica trilogy has single handedly redefined how magic should be contextualised, in this instance firmly placing the roots of Goetia in the Ancient World. Peter Mark Adams The Game of Saturn and Gordon White’s Star.Ships perform a similar function. If we what to understand where we are now and where we should go we have to look at where we’ve been and reconnect to it. Politics features in many of their titles but more specifically in The Blood of The Earth and XVI. The argument that “I practice witchcraft but I don’t do politics” seems increasingly redundant (I carry a copy of The Manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft in my back pocket). Nicholaj Frisvold’s 4 titles (Palo Mayombe, Pomba Gira, Exu and Ifa) have done much in bringing the ATRs to a wider audience. The poetry and play collections (Mandragora, Datura, Tara Morgana, Seeking Faust, Babalon) have shown that occultism is not a disconnected ghetto (as someone once told me) but feeds into every part of life and culture (occulture). Then there are Peter Grey’s 3 books. The Red Goddess started it all. I stand by my contention that Apocalyptic Witchcraft is the most important work on witchcraft in the 21st century. (Want more gushing? Go here. Lucifer Princeps is of course about Lucifer but so much more, an explosion of information; Divine Kingship, Sacred mountains, the Rephaim, the Nephilim, Azazel, the sacrificial goat, magical horse bits, marrow as kundalini… Lucifer Praxis is forthcoming.

There’s also the talks. Something I noticed after the third or forth event I attended is that the Scarlets never give the same talk twice (and I have sat through enough mind-numbing retreads to last a lifetime) Each talk is crafted to be relevant to the event being held and stands as an essay in its own right, but then most of you will know that because the talks are subsequently posted online, for free. If you want to see them speak, check out their youtube channel which has several talks, including ones from the two conferences they organised in Brighton. I only managed to attend the first one, but have fond memories of Luciferian attire, my first viewing of a Butoh performance and honey, lots of honey….

It’s not too late to join the party. The vast majority of their titles are available in bibliotheque rouge paperback editions at more than reasonable prices. Scarlet Imprint’s stated goal is to inspire “an artistic and intellectual revivification in modern magical practice” My view is that we wouldn’t be having the dialogues we are today if it wasn’t for Scarlet Imprint. It seems the next 10 years are going to be significantly tougher than the previous 10, but I believe they are up for the challenge. Scarlet Imprint make beautiful books for the end of the world.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

January 31st

Saint of the Day - Saint Marcelle
Devil of the Day - Dueme
Woman of the Day - Cantianille
Talisman of the Day -The Harlequin coat
Book of the Day -The Apparition of Spirits

Aquarius - Sun rises at 7.22am

31st January 1547 – Discovery of numerous witches in Navarre
31st January 1620 – Apparition of a procession in the sky at Bellac
31st January 1969 – Numbing of the Powers

To find treasure
Take an agate and make it red-hot on the iron of a lumberjack's axe. Then, lay the ax on the floor in such a manner that the cutting edge is turned to the sky. Place the agate on the axe edge; if it rests, there is no treasure. If it falls; let it fall and repeat 3 times. If it rolls three times in the same direction, it’s a certain sign that a treasure is is buried in the ground at that spot. If it takes each time a different route, it’s a sign that there is a treasure but you will have to search elsewhere.

Council of a doctor of the poor
You can stop a haemorrhage by placing a bouquet of heliotrope on the affected part.

Secret of a Goetic Bird
You can cause the death of someone by shaking your hat three times and shouting “BUZZ”

Axiom of the Immortal
God has sent us the meat and the Devil cuisine

Saint Marcelle Lived in a cave a life of virtue and prayer when she was discovered by a troop of foreign soldiers who raped her many times. She succumbed under the sheer number. But this act did not go unpunished because none of those lustful men returned from war.

Deume is a Deviless from Malabar. Her horrible aspect inspires terror. She sucks blood of virgins whilst they sleep. Not to be confused with the Brancolaques.

Cantianille Possessed by the Demons Vert-Joli and Joli-Bois. Was exorcised unsuccessfully and died under the surgeon.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

January 30th

Saint of the Day - Saint Martine
Devil of the Day - Astarte
Man of the Day - Denizelle De Douai
Talisman of the Day -La Licacienne
Book of the Day -Justine

Aquarius - Night falls at 16.44

30th January 1652 – Death of George De La Tour
30th January 1796 – Orgies at Montgon
30th January 1837 – Authorisation of the public cult of Saint Philomena
30th January 1914 - Death of Paul Deroulede
30th January 1954 - Creation of “The Night of Proverbs”

To see naked, in a dream, the woman you want
Make a powder composed of calcinated deer penis, nutmeg, comfrey and tragacanth. Add to it an equal measure of bear grease and five ounces of whale oil. Boil the mixture for a quarter of an hour and pour into a glass vase which you leave exposed to the sun for forty days of summer. Before you sleep, rub this ointment into the soles of your feet, the pit of the stomach, navel and neck.

Council of a Goetic Bird
If you want to talk to a sleeping woman, place the heart of an owl between her breasts.

Secret of a good fortune teller
Offer a bushel of oats to Saint Radegonde and you will heal your seizures and prevent yourself from becoming overweight.

Thoughts of Jacques Prevert
We must give to the fine arts what belongs to the fine arts

Sainte Martine only exists in the minds of some gullible people who take bladders for lanterns and, thus, give weapons to the enemies of the true faith.

Astarte The wife of Astaroth. This very ancient Phoenician divinity was ranked among the devils because of the crescent moon she wears on the forehead that some simpleton monks took for horns.

Denizelle de Douai Girl with a crazy life, a witch at times, the whore of the Abbe de Peu-de-sens.

Friday, 29 January 2016

January 29th

Saint of the Day - Saint Serapion
Devil of the Day - Shaitan
Man of the Day - Montgolfier
Talisman of the Day - Sea Anomene
Book of the Day -The Devil’s Hair

Aquarius - Sun rises at 7.23am

29th January 394 – Death of the hermit Macaire
29th January 1393 – Burning Balls
29th January 1795 – The Cardinal of Rohan buys his collar
29th January 1889 - The Mayerling Drama
29th January 1892 - Death of Captain Nemo

Recipe to obtain the hen that lays golden eggs
Procure a black hen and, at midnight, go to a place in the woods called “Cross of…” Make a hole in the earth and begin the invocation. Kill the black hen on top of the hole, taking care that all the blood runs into it and cover the hole. Go back to your home without looking back under any circumstances. That same night, the Devil will give you another black hen which will be the hen that lays golden eggs.

Council of a Deacon’s Cat
Demons will never annoy you if you keep in your wallet a fragment of the bed sheet of a holy saint.

Secret of a good fortune teller
The one born under the sign of Aquarius will be delightful but hard by twenty-three. They will fear the oceans and beasts. They will live seventy-two years.

Thoughts of a sleepwalker
"Anoint a villain, he will prick you: prick a villain, and he will anoint you."

Saint Serapion was one of seven Christians who, locked in a cave by order of Decius, slept three hundred and seventy-two years. When discovered, no-one believed them and they were taken for grave robbers. Their adventure strengthened the dogma of the resurrection. They are revered as the seven sleepers.

Shaitan Oriental Demon, perhaps an orthographic alteration of Satan.

Montgolfier Illustrious flying man, invented a way to elevate into the air and dared to equal angels and eagles more so than even Simon Magus.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

January 28th

Saint of the Day - Saint Charlemagne
Devil of the Day - Essas
Man of the Day - Gerbert D’Aurillac
Talisman of the Day - Steel
Book of the Day - L’Avesta

Capricorn - Night falls at 16.30

28th January 193 – A vision announced the death of Emperor Pertinax
28th January 1120 – Saint Norbert tames a wolf
28th January 1342 – Bursting of a fiery globe in the sky over the archipelago
28th January 1886 - Birth of grand jacques
28th January 1905 - Invention of the Prix Femina
28th January 1910 - The flooding of Paris
28th January 1957 - Tribulations of the angel Cyclamen

To charm a savage beast
Put in your mouth in a small topaz wrapped in an auronne leaf. When you see the savage beast, spit what you have in your mouth into a piece of silk cloth and bind tightly. Then throw it against the beast, saying aloud “Grabaton - Union - Adonay” Say this three times. The animal will not move and will remain on the spot as if petrified.

Council of a doctor of the poor
You will stop menstrual flow by applying boiled crushed red slugs on your navel.

Secret of a good fortune teller
The cry of a mouse is a pretty bad omen

Council of a peasant soldier
You shall drive the flies away from any place you want by burying the tail of a wolf

Saint Charlemagne Patron of students, received from an angel the marvellous jewel of the holy prepuce. This prestigious relic was for a long time the glory of Cologne and is now the ineffable treasure of Saints Corneille and Cyprian of Calcutta.

Essas Devil with the face of a hare, has the lower abdomen in the shape of hand. He presides over the solitary pleasures of both sexes.

Gerbert D’Aurillac was a celebrated necromancer. They say he had knowledge possessed of the devil and a dragon that devoured six thousand people daily. He was elected Pope in 999 under the name of Sylvester II. When his bones stir in the tomb, it is a sign that a pope will die.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

January 27th
Saint of the Day - Saint Chrysostome
Deviless of the Day - Issacharon
Woman of the Day - Zedechias
Talisman of the Day - The Crab
Book of the Day - Les Diaboliques

Capricorn - Sun rises at 7.24am

27th January 1002 – Poisoning of Othon III by the sorceress Stefania
27th January 1732 – Closing of the Saint-Medard Cemetery
27th January 1832 – Birth of Lewis Carroll
27th January 1925 - Declaration of 27th. January

Virgilian way to arouse love
If a woman wants a man who is indifferent in love, she will model a wax figure with the appearance of this man. Then she will go to the foot of the altar and, surrounding the simulacrum with three bands of different colours she will conjure the priestess as she ties three knots in the bands whilst she recites incantations dear to Venus.

Council of a peasant soldier
To prevent a sentinel falling asleep at his post, he must tie to his right arm a head of dried bat.

Secret of the Swabian hermit
If you have the mumps, invoke Saint Tympan.

Recipe of a gallant apothecary
You will make 50 litres of excellent “Verdoline De Turin” by mixing 4gr. Tonkin beans, 15r. of Myrrh, 60gr. Ceylon cinnamon, 80r. cardamon, 60r. caraway, 30r. of Mace and 40r. Genepi in 10 litres of three-six.

Saint Chrysostome was violent and arrogant in defence of his faith. He spent all his life fighting the heretic minions of Arius, overturning the idols and annoying the Empress Eudoxie who he addressed from the pulpit as Herodias delirious. He was denied martyrdom. He died in isolation, in exile, in the arms of his faithful eunuch Brison.

Issacharon Assistant of Leviathan, possessor of one of the nuns of Loudon.

Zedechias Learned cabalist from the 8th Century, commanded elemental spirits to take a visible form. The sky, the sea and the forests were then peopled by perfect creatures who Charlemagne and his people took for witches and had monks excorcise.

Monday, 25 January 2016

January 26th
Saint of the Day - Saint Paul
Deviless of the Day - Lilith
Woman of the Day - Morgan
Talisman of the Day - The Dragon
Book of the Day - The Ritual of Malines

Capricorn - Night falls at 16.34

26th January 1589 – The Catholic League bewitch Henri III 40 times at 40 Masses
26th January 1855 – Gerard De Nerval hangs in the Rue De La Tuerie
26th January 1938 – Burning of the sky at Fatima
26th January 1949 - Athenagoras installed in Byzantium

Perfume knowledge
Take the curdled blood of an ass, the fat and the breast of a lynx, in equal parts. Make of this a powder with which you perfume the house. Sleep and you will see a ghost that will tell of the good and evil that must happen to you.

Secret of a Goetic Bird
If you take a hangman’s rope and put it in a clay pot with a little straw, a whirlwind will rise instantly.

Secret of a doctor of the poor
You can stop the involuntary flow of your semen by attaching lead sheets to your loins.

Thoughts of Carzou
There is not a table with recipes or formulas.

Saint Paul did not resist the ravages of time; the relationship of his life were destroyed by wars, fires and vicissitudes. it is believed he lived in the desert, knew Theodosius the hairy and was fed by a raven.

Lilith is the princess of Succubi. She has the aspect of a beautiful woman and destroys newborns. Some allege that she was the first creature on the earth, well before our mother Eve.

Morgan was the sister of King Arthur. She studied magic with the Wizard Merlin and became one of the most powerful fairies in Britain.