Many of us love the limitless access to information that the Internet affords. But to think, muse, daydream and be inspired by someone else's thoughts, I want a beautiful book in my hand. During the long timeout caused by the Covid pandemic and three lockdowns, my wife Sally created something extraordinary, and now that it has been born I am thrilled to be able to talk about it.
Holythorn Press - www.holythornpress.com - was launched on 7 June 2021, with the publication of Florence Farr's Egyptian Rituals. This is a major publishing event in the field of Golden Dawn studies, the history of women's magic and the Egyptian Revival. These beautiful and powerful rituals had not previously been published and we have been privileged to enable their emergence into the light of day. I will be writing at length on The Egyptian Rituals and speaking in public about them in the current months, and I am sure that by then many readers will have steeped themselves in the rituals and felt their call.
One of the greatest thrills for any author or publisher must be the moment when they handle and peruse the hardcopy of their book for the first time. The conceptual and development stages for the book had gone well, and I was already excited to see how Sally's design would look in practice, but even so the sheer excitement of seeing 250 copies of the limited edition hardback gave me a childlike sense of glee. The Child was born!
I think this was because there is no substitute for quality publishing and the bookshops, and the look, feel and presentation of a book has historically played a major part in its impact and durability. As a lover of poetry, philosophy, esoteric studies and magic, I was fortunate to begin my reading journey in the 1980s and 1990s when there were still many bookshops, including larger chains such as Waterstone's and Borders, which carried large sections devoted to the books I wanted to read and buy.
As far as the London esoteric book scene goes, towering giants in niche areas of spirituality and high quality analysis like Compendium in Camden' Lock, with its legendary sections on academic studies of religion and philosophy, are long gone, but perennial fixtures of the esoteric scene such as Watkins, Treadwell's and Atlantis Bookshop continue to keep the culture of magical bookbuying alive.
Holythorn Press is currently hard at work on its next series of titles and I will keep you all updated.