Book Reviews
The Return of the Goddess: Elizabeth Cunningham
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Return of the Goddess: Elizabeth Cunningham

The events in this great big (in every sense of the word) celebration of a book begin on All Hallow’s Eve, when Esther Peters, wife of the local rector, finds she has unthinkingly fashioned a primitive and sexually abundant figure of the Goddess out of play dough. Something huge has been set in motion, something […]

Miss Garnet’s Angel: Salley Vickers
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Miss Garnet’s Angel: Salley Vickers

A quiet, beautifully crafted story with great depth. The author’s intelligence and knowledge of the variety of themes explored are evident, as well as her familiarity with the city of Venice – a character in its own right – and its treasures. It’s a delight to put yourself in her hands and know that you […]

The Magick Bookshop: Kala Trobe
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Magick Bookshop: Kala Trobe

Reading fiction in which the main character’s name is the same as the author’s always has a strange effect, even though The Magick Bookshop is a tome already imbued with strangeness. Imagine if you will a supposedly fictional antiquarian bookshop in Oxford, whose proprietor is an ancient mage learned in esoteric religions and the occult, […]

Three Magic Women: Nell Grey
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Three Magic Women: Nell Grey

The prologue of Three Magic Women allows the reader a glimpse of Ellie, the main character from The Golden Web, at the beginning of a new life and needing some purpose and direction. These arrive somewhat disguised in the form of her grandmother’s letters. Chapter one rolls back the years, and the whole of Part […]

The Winged Bull: Dion Fortune
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Winged Bull: Dion Fortune

Picture this: London, some years after WW1, in the grip of a pea-souper such as we haven’t seen for goodness knows how long. Ted Murchison, ex-army officer, down on his luck, unemployed, disillusioned with God, finds himself communing wordlessly with the great winged bull in the British Museum. Outside again, the fog as thick as […]

Moonchild: Aleister Crowley
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Moonchild: Aleister Crowley

Lisa la Giuffria, friend of a famous dancer (shades of Isadora Duncan here), meets an enigmatic man at a party and is instantly smitten. Cyril Grey is a young magician in a magickal order involved in a struggle against the forces of the Black Lodge, a dark order that he all but destroyed some years […]

On Becoming a Fairy Godmother: Sara Maitland
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on On Becoming a Fairy Godmother: Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland is the author of an impressive list of non-fiction, much of which is religious in content, yet reading her short stories one could be forgiven for imagining her as a wise woman with distinctly pagan leanings. Her second collection of short stories, begins with a quotation by Dorothy Sayers: Time and trouble will […]

The Sea Priestess: Dion Fortune
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Sea Priestess: Dion Fortune

The Sea Priestess is the best known of Dion Fortune’s novels, said to combine a good story with magickal teachings. I came to it anticipating an interesting read, and on the whole wasn’t disappointed. The main character, Wilfred Maxwell, is pretty much physically and emotionally disabled, having asthma and being somewhat under the domination of […]

The Red Tent: Anita Diamant
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Red Tent: Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant goes where men were not only forbidden but feared to tread, and reveals the secret life of biblical women behind the walls of the tent to which they retired during menstruation at the time of the new moon. The story is told by Dinah, and begins with the histories she learned at the […]

The Moon Under her Feet: Clysta Kinstler
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Moon Under her Feet: Clysta Kinstler

An alternative imagining of Mary Magdalene as Priestess of the pagan Temple of Ashera, that weaves together a rich semi-historical tapestry and retells the times of Jesus as never before (although I haven’t read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, to which this story must owe something). The author teaches (or has taught) philosophy, religion and women’s […]