Saturday, March 14, 2015

INITIATIONS by Paul Sedir


The first review of my new translation of Paul Sedir’s important and fascinating book has just dropped onto my desk – courtesy of the Inner Light Journal. Here it is:

This is the distillation of a work 25 years in the making, written by Yvon le Loup who was born in 1871, and who adopted the pen-name “Paul Sedir”. As a young man he worked under the patronage of the famous occultist “Papus” and rose through the ranks of various esoteric fraternities in Paris. He lived in Montmartre during the fin de si├Ęcle period in Paris, interesting times, and was well known for his “exceptional knowledge and powerful presence.”

This is an exceptional book, and we are grateful to Gareth Knight for reintroducing it to a modern audience. Mr Knight is well known for his translations of French esoteric texts, and he has helped to bring to life that particular sensibility that is uniquely French. Paris is brought to life, the Paris of gas lighting and horse-drawn carriages, a city undergoing great changes during the time the book was written.

It is seemingly a simple enough tale, the tale of a doctor and his group of close friends, of meetings, discussions and conversations; much of what occurs is factual, although that is hard to believe at times. However, “Initiations” has hidden depths, and much may be revealed if time is allowed for concepts to germinate in the mind of the reader. As Gareth Knight says in his excellent introduction, the book can have a powerful impact on the reader, “Initiations” creeps up and lodges itself in the heart, with echoes that last long after the final page is closed. It is a book that richly rewards re-reading and we would recommend it highly as a classic of its kind.

Skylight Press  ISBN 978 1 908011 99 2  210 pages £12.99  $19.99

“Initiations” by Paul Sedir, translated and introduced by Gareth Knight

I only came upon Paul Sedir comparatively recently and the effect upon me was as great as that which I experienced when first coming upon the works of Dion Fortune back in 1953.  Still it is never too late to make amends and I am now working on a couple of books to bring this remarkable and neglected occultist and mystic to an English speaking audience. Sedir deserves a much wider readership and why should the French have all the goodies?  Titles not fixed upon yet (usually the last thing in a book to be decided!) but one is a translation of another of his books and the other my evocation of Paul Sedir and his friends in that incredibly rich period of occultism in Paris at much the same time as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was getting under way in England.

 For more details – watch this space and the web site of Skylight Press. www.skylightpress.co.uk