On Monday, March 17, 2014, Donald Michael Kraig passed away.
Mr. Kraig was the author of a number of books, including the seminal Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. I first bought the book in college, a few years after it was published. Though I read it cover to cover at the time, it would be more than a decade before I really delved into it.
I was saddened and shocked to hear of his passing.
I had the honor of meeting him briefly at the 2013 PantheaCon. I don’t think we said anything of great importance, but it was a pleasure to speak with him.
To give some idea of the influence of his work, in my crowd both he and Modern Magick are simply referred to as “DMK.” His is the first book passed on to serious students. Mr. Kraig’s vision and lucidity influenced a generation of practitioners. As Isaac Newton, the renowned scientist and devout alchemist said,
Mr. Kraig was one of those giants. We have all seen a little further because of him, and his gifts and clarity will be missed.
Safe travels, Mr. Kraig. And thank you.
©2014 by Christopher Drysdale.
We’re sure most of you have already heard about the sad passing of Dr. Dave Evans this past August. We may have been the last to know. Dave submitted several dozen of his pieces, under his own name, the name Francis Breakspear, and the name Kate Hoolu, before his passing. Rending the Veil will be making a supreme effort to publish these in 2014, so they can remain a part of our archives and accessible to everyone.
Rest in peace, Dave. You will be missed.
RTV practitioner Philip H. Farber (a longtime associate of Robert Anton Wilson) is offering several different options for personal training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in 2013. For information on how to register, visit the Facebook page here or the official registration page here.
Since it went so well last time (woo hoo!), Sheta is offering a new opportunity to attend a free class in perceiving spirits. This one will be Friday, February 1, 2013, and you can sign up at our brand new and spiffy appointments page! As mentioned, this class is free. It will run about two hours, but I am happy to stick around a while if anyone still has questions.
This class will only be free for a limited time, so sign up now. Spaces are limited to 25. This time, we’ll probably be meeting in a Google talk chat room.
Sheta Kaey, editor in chief of this struggling magazine, has recently come into focus for a pair of interesting interview opportunities. First, she was recently interviewed for the A&E network’s Paranormal State television show regarding a haunting in the Pacific Northwest. Though we aren’t sure yet if she’ll make the cut for the episode or when it will air, new episodes begin airing Sunday, October 17 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
On Monday, September 27, Sheta will be interviewed live for the Paranormal Noise internet radio show. You can tune in here, as well as join the chat room during the show, at 11 p.m. Eastern. Odds are this interview will be the first of several; Sheta will be discussing spirit contact and sex with spirits, and it’s possible that her spirit companion, Meridjet, will be featured on a future show.
Check it out and let us know what you think!
Famous comic illustrator, Jim Balent, and Hollywood actress, Tonya Kay, team up to create a story that will “break Medusa’s spell”.
Broadsword Comics (November 25, 2009) 34 pages The Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose comic series is the story of Tarot, a warrior witch, and her family, foes and Lovers. Featuring stories of fantasy action and adventure, frequent scenes of nudity have grown progressively stronger as the series has gone on. Each issue is backed up with interviews with actual magicians and spells written by actual witches, whom sometimes choose to pose nude themselves. One of the strongest aspects of the Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose series is the reader community which has developed around it. Community readers are often included in photographic as well as drawn-in publication.
In Issue 59, “Medusa’s Stare”, Tonya Kay, (featured in Stan Lee’s Who Wants to Be a Super Hero, and an actress and chaotic witch) finds herself trapped in a nether world of despair with Tarot. Queen Medusa rules in this underworld and intends to turn both witches to stone, preventing them from shining their inspiration and light to the waking world forever more. Surrounded by living stone serpents, the two witches must battle for their freedom or face eternity as statues by the magick of the Medusa.
Jim Balent, best known for his long run on Catwoman, only writes roles for unstoppable females. His popular comic, Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, challenges socio-sexual stereotypes with its artistic nudity, gender equality and pagan storyline. Jim Balent felt that Tonya Kay’s life was already heroic and would inspire his readers.
Twice in its 9 years of publication, Jim Balent, the author and illustrator, has selected real-life public pagans to star as heroines in his comic series. The first tribute comic starred Australian Wiccan/ author/ recording artist, Fiona Horne, and the second tribute comic stars Tonya Kay, chaote/ Hollywood actress/ raw vegan activist. Tribute issues are special to Tarot’s community-building focus, as readers value strong, female role models and visibly public witches illustrated as heroines in their favorite graphic art series.
“I want to see every woman daring to be her unique self. Whether it’s biased news, an unrewarding job, a mediocre relationship or destructive marketing, women and men both find themselves trapped in unfulfilled lives — essentially; turned to stone” says Tonya Kay, whose real life is a courageous example of daring to be unique.
When she is not volunteering with endangered wildlife or writing on raw vegan health and nutrition, Tonya Kay is a film actress and television personality in high demand. This year alone, you have seen her on The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien, ABC’s Criminal Minds, Comedy Central’s Secret Girlfriend, Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy, the History Channel’s More Extreme Marksmen and she just shot a role on the Hallmark movie of the week.
“My dreadlocks used to keep me from booking, but I knew it wasn’t as simple as ‘cutting my hair’,” says Tonya Kay. “My uniqueness encompassed my spiritual beliefs, dietary choices and dangerous hobbies as well. I decided long ago that there is nothing wrong with me being bold, but rather there is something wrong with the uninteresting roles women are expected to play.” Tonya Kay’s choice to stay true to her self has rewarded her as Hollywood’s go-to girl for what she calls “the fun” parts. “I want to see the archetype of the unstoppable woman written into roles — written into society.
“I am grateful for how my acting career has skyrocketed, though I am still looking forward to a film/tv writer to be a visionary, like Jim Balent, and write a breakthrough role for an unstoppable woman like me,” says Tonya Kay, who feels that art and performance affect world consciousness. Tonya Kay feels it is essential, now more than ever, for women and men to live their dreams. And she’s not afraid to show them how.
Email for inquiries and submissions: brandyeditor at gmail.com
Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for an anthology on women working in the magical communities, particularly in communities where women have not been extensively published or in which women face stereotyping and misunderstanding within and without the community. These communities include (but are not limited to) groups and individuals working in the Golden Dawn, Thelemic, Aurum Solis, Alchemy, Chaos, and Experimental Fields.
Women have been involved in traditional and ritual magic since the late Victorian era. However women are often viewed as tangential to these communities or as soror mysticae, assistants to the magician. Today women are actively involved in ceremonial magical groups and lodges, alchemy, chaos magic, and Experimental Magic, overcoming stereotypes and creating new visions of magic within the communities.
Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology.
What magical work are you doing now? How do you describe it? Do you work alone, in a group, or in several settings? (For example, I do is traditional Ceremonial magic, traditional Witchcraft, experimental Ceremonial in a group setting, and I create experimental Ceremonial work.)
Is your magical work centered in a community where women do not have a strong presence, or in which women face stereotyping? Does it matter to your work that you are a woman? Do you feel that you approach the work in the same way that the men in your field do, or does being a woman affect your magic? Is that affect biological, cultural, magical, or all three? Do you present yourself to the world as a magical worker (”I am an alchemist”) or as a woman in your field (”I am a woman alchemist”)?
Stereotypes and prejudice
Has anyone ever told you “I didn’t know women were involved in that?” (”You’re the first woman I’ve met in the O.T.O.!”) Do outsiders assume that only men do the kind of work you are doing? Do people assume that because you are a woman you are doing the work in a particular way? (For example, do people assume that because you are a woman, you are doing psychological alchemy, not physical chemistry?)
Do you actively encounter prejudice? Do people talk to the man standing next to you rather than you? Are you silenced in person or online when you try to speak about your own work?
How do you counter stereotypes and prejudice when you encounter them? Are they only annoying, do they actively hinder your work, do they prevent you from doing your work? How important is it to you that your work is understood by others?
Women’s history has been difficult to document. This is as true in the magical fields as in any other endeavor. Mary Greer wrote about the lives of some of the early women in ceremonial magic in Women of the Golden Dawn. Are you aware of stories about women in the traditional and ritual magical fields that have not been told? Are you involved in documenting women’s history in the magical communities?
Stage magicians sometimes have women assistants. This image holds true in the magical field as well; Renaissance alchemists spoke of “soror mysticae” or women who assisted their work. Do people assume that you are not primarily directing or benefiting from your work?
Do you work on your own, with a partner of your own sex, with a partner of the opposite sex, or with a group? Do the people you work with support your work? Do you yourself have assistants whose work you direct?
In your work do you study or interact with people in other cultures and traditional cultures? Do the gender roles in those cultures differ from those of your own culture? Are those roles more or less restrictive, or just different? In what situations does your gender come up, and how do you handle those situations?
Honoring the cycle
Women’s magic has been associated with women’s fertility cycle. Do you find that comforting and supporting, or angering and limiting? How does your menstrual, pregnancy, and menopausal cycle affect the magic you are doing – deeply, tangentially, or not at all? Do you do any specific magic to honor the cycles of the body?
If you are a feminist, do you present yourself as a feminist in the magical field in which you work? Are the others you work with in your field receptive to your feminism, or are they resistant or defensive around feminist discussion? Do you feel that feminism is central to your work, or do you see your feminism as social rather than magical?
Is there a sense of women’s community in the field in which you work? Are you actively involved in building women’s community? Do you encounter resistance to this work? Are women you work with excited by women’s community? Do you and the women you work with see women’s community as a way to socialize, a magical path, a parallel community to the mens’ community? What is your vision for the women’s magical communities of the future?
Rough drafts are due 18 May, 2009. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. Essays should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Do drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.
- Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
- Bibliography of works cited
- Prefer APA format
Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like. If your work entirely talks in the first person about your own experience, please include this also. There is a wide range in women’s voices, and we are interested in being as inclusive of style as possible.
Compensation will be ($25) (paid via twice-yearly royalties from book sales) plus a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributers. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays, not when they are accepted for editing. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.
The anthology will be edited by Brandy Williams. She is the author of author of several pagan/occult nonfiction books. She may be found online at http://www.brandywilliams.org and her email address for this anthology is brandyeditor at gmail.com.
Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine in 2003, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.
News in Magick appears as often as we receive press releases. If you’d like to send us a press release of potential interest to RTV readers, please email your materials to email@example.com and be aware of our issue publication dates.
©2009 Taylor Ellwood
Edited by Sheta Kaey