Friday, February 18, 2011

The Old Sod

Anyone who is interested in seeing what the life of a dedicated magician is like could be recommended to take a look at the recent biography of William G Gray just published by Skylight Press, written up by Alan Richardson and Marcus Claridge (W.G.G.'s godson) from the old boy's unpublishable and allegedly libellous autobiography. There they will find the reason for the choice of their somewhat startling title, (which was largely chosen by W.G.G. himself), and it  may also explain the reason why, as an enquiring friend of mine put it, ritual magicians sometimes seem such rather irascible folk. I don't know that we all are, but a lot can be put down to what pioneers like W G Gray had to put up with in previous decades - his main interest in life being completely ignored and misunderstood. He was a great pioneer and creative thinker who moved things on in a very substantial way that is still little realised by those who benefit from them. He had to wait until his late fifties before he received any public recognition and I count it as one of the better achievements of my life that I first published him - with The Ladder of Lights and Magical Ritual Methods, ground breaking works on the Qabalistic Tree of Life and on practical magic - and then later with the remarkable Rollright Ritual which did much for traditional pagan ways of working. This is shortly to be reissued by Skylight Press, along with Working with Inner Light, notes which he made when I was working with him in 1965/7 that formed the basis for his early books. You can read more on the Skylight Press website or blog which are easily linked from here.

No comments: