Occult Author Spotlight: William G. Gray

Occult Author Spotlight: William G. Gray

William G. Gray’s books on magic have been one of the foundations of my own practice since 1998, when I was first given his book Ladder of Lights by a mentor of mine. What I’ve found so fascinating with his work is its concise and thorough focus on the process of magic. Gray doesn’t embellish his writing or tell convoluted stories or leave information out to test his readers. Gray founded a magical order called Sangreal Sodality, which is focused on his interpretation of ceremonial magic and Hermetic Quabalah. In particular Gray developed the Rite of Light, which is a practice focused on accessing the innermost mysteries of esoteric orders without drawing on any particular religious affiliation.

My own familiarity with Gray’s work has primarily occurred through his books which discuss the process of magic and how it works, as well as through the book The Ladder Of Lights, which goes into great detail and depth about the Sephiroth in the Quabalah and the meanings, angels, godforms, and related concepts that are associated with each Sephirah. Gray’s books on the quabalah are very detailed. In Talking Tree he discusses the tarot on the tree of life and what the meaning of each trump is with the different paths on the tree of life.

However, my favorite books of his are Magical Ritual Methods and Inner Traditions of Magic. In Inner Traditions of Magic Gray discusses the basics of ceremonial magic, but also introduces readers to the power concept of Telesmatic images and questions the relevance of magic in the nuclear age, which can also be applied to some degree to the technology age we live in. In Magical Ritual Methods, Gray discusses zero, space/time concepts, invocation and other techniques which can be used to enhance the magic one is doing. Both books are essentials that will get any reader to think carefully about how s/he is approaching magic.

Recently, Weiser books started republishing Gray’s work, which had previously been out of print. I highly recommend picking the re-prints up while they are in stock, as his books can otherwise be hard to find. I was fortunate enough to get most of my copies right before they want out of print and to this day I still refer to them a fair amount, and find his books, along with Bardon’s, to be the most relevant to building a strong foundation for western ceremonial practices of magic.

Books by William G. Gray

There are more books written by him. The ones above are the ones I was able to find and have in my library.

Taylor Ellwood is the author of Space/Time Magic, Inner Alchemy: Energy Work and the Magic of the Body, and Pop Culture Magick, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://magicalexperiments.wordpress.com/ and his website at http://www.thegreenwolf.com/.

©2009 Taylor Ellwood
Edited by Sheta Kaey

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6 Responses to “Occult Author Spotlight: William G. Gray”

  1. It is great to see this wonderful assessment of William Gray’s writings. Being a spiritual successor of William Gray, I am currently the owner of most of the titles you listed. I was however greatly surprised to learn that Weiser is currently republishing the books. In fact, there is no agreement between Weisers and myself regarding this, and the Sangreal Sodality Press is currently bringing most of William Gray’s books back into print. I believe you know more than I do regarding this issue, and would greatly appreciate if you could supply me with more details before I confront RedWheel/Weiser. – Jacobus Swart

  2. Evrard Williams says:

    To whom ever it may concern. Preferably W.G. Gray
    I have been reading William Gray’s books for many years now. While in my youth I had the experience, while meditating, where I observe a white light which quickly came at me. I was young and inexperience and quickly came out of my meditation because the experience scared the hell out of me. I feared that the white light approaching me was death. Now that I am 67 years old and again doing maigical excersices again, I would like to know if it is safe to go through the white light or not.
    Please respond
    Evrard Williams

    • RTV Admin says:

      Hello Mr. Williams,

      I don’t think you have anything to fear. Fear should never stop us from doing what inspires us, whether that be magick or skydiving or whatever. It’s possible that the white light was a spirit guide or other helpful spirit; it’s really difficult to say. Unfortunately, Mr. Gray died over a decade ago, so he’s not available to answer you personally.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Meditation offers many wonderful benefits. You should definitely try it again.

      – Sheta, RTV ed.

  3. ben Baum says:

    Good stuff, I grew up just south of where Gray lived in England, I can imagine his temperament, that West country no nonsense approach to life, relaxed, wise…deeply profound and horribly busy all at once. The talking tree is an invaluable resource and I loved his memoir, pity there is much missing… I came to Gray through RJ Stewart, who like Jacobus was a former pupil.What I do love about his work is there are no blinds… but Gray was of his time….but certainly preferable to Uncle Al or many other “modern” writers…. perhaps for me, because I never had any doubt Gray walked in the path of light…..even I assume whenbdiscussing others with disdain ha ha

    But then thanks for one of the few Gray articles out there

  4. James says:

    Hi I’ve recently started reading some of grey’s work and I’m seriously impressed but could anybody suggest an order of which to read them? (I’m a bit of a beginner and would like to get the best out of his books)

    • Joe says:

      He’s got four books that are the basis of his system:

      1) Western Inner Workings

      2) The Sangreal Sacrament

      3) Qabalistic Concepts

      4) Sangreal Ceremonies and Rituals

      That’s their order from 1-4. The Ladder of Lights and Talking Tree have been mentioned. They are an exposition of the spheres and paths respectively. Temple Magic and Magical Ritual Methods are on ritual magic. Temple Magic might be the one to start with first. Gray makes Qabalah a big part of his system. Two other books I have are An Outlook on Our Inner Western Way and The Tree of Evil

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