Occult Author Spotlight – Bill Whitcomb
Note: This is my last column for the Occult Author Spotlight. While there are many other authors to discuss and I hope someone will take over and write about those authors, the demands of several of my own ventures as well as some changes in my spiritual life prohibit me from continuing.
I was first introduced to Bill Whitcomb’s work when a friend bought me The Magician’s Companion for my birthday one year. I immediately saw the usefulness of this book as a compendium of information about various magical systems, symbols, archetypes and other information that could prove useful if you needed to quickly get information on a particular subject within occultism. I’ve used it on a few different occasions to improve the efficacy of my works, and it remains a book I consult on a regular basis. The book looks at both western and eastern systems of magic and discusses succinctly the elements of those systems, while also providing reading lists for people who would like to go more in depth with the materials. Another added benefit is that Whitcomb lists the systems by their use of numbers, so you’ll see a few systems with the number seven. Reading through the entire book can be quite novel and useful.
I met Bill shortly after I moved to Portland and became good friends with him. During that process, I learned about his second book The Magician’s Reflection, which had gone out of print some time ago and didn’t look like it would come back into print from the original publisher. With some wheedling on my part, he eventually got the rights back and decided to republish that book with Megalithica books.
The Magician’s Reflection is an instruction book in how to create your symbol system for magic, with an encyclopedia of possible choices you could make for that. Naturally you shouldn’t limit yourself to what is presented in the book, but the various examples that Whitcomb provides can provide useful inspiration as you develop your own system of magic. Whitcomb also includes the alphabet of dreams, a magical language with its own cipher, and an appendix about a system of time magic called Nar, written by a friend of his, which utilizes different patterns and colors to help a person manipulate possibilities in time. Both the alphabet of dreams and Nar provide some intriguing ideas about where a unique system of magic can be created and developed. The Magician’s Reflection provides you your own key for doing that as well.
Bill is currently working on the Dream Manual, which is a book with art and some phrases to be used for meditational purposes. If you go to his website you can learn more about this project. He and I are working on another book together, which is a best practices of magic book. It’s still very much in the rough draft phase, but will be available at some point in the near future.
- Whitcomb, Bill. (1993). The Magician’s Companion: A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications.
- Whitcomb, Bill. (2008). The Magician’s Reflection. Stafford: Megalithica Books.
©2009 by Taylor Ellwood
Edited by Sheta Kaey