Thursday, January 15, 2009

70's Magick


Ok I wasnt doing magick in the 70's, but I was doing it in the mid-eighties which means I had lots of exposure to 70's magick books. I found an LJ today from several years ago called "That 70's Magick" and it really sent me back. Back to the days of Chant-o-matics, the Modern Witchces Spellbook and all those wonderful Parker press books, where every spell was followed up by cheesy testimonials. I still have my hardcover "Magic Power of Witchcraft" from the Frosts, with headings like "LEAVE YOU BODY AS WITCHES DO" "ANDY DISSOLVES A GALLSTONE" and "WITH MAGICK WITCHCRAFT POWER YOU CAN BE A PAGAN AND WIN". 

Of course the king of Parker press was Al G Manning, otherwise known as "Astral Al". If you were reading a book that was titled "Helping yourself with..." chances are it was Al. I had Helping yourself with White Witchcraft, Helping yourself with ESP, and my personal favorite Helping Yourself with Psycho Cosmic Power. I remember Don and I laughing our asses off in the library at the table of contents which abreviated Psycho Cosmic Power, so chapters read as "Win new friends with PCP", "Visit other worlds with PCP" and so on. 

I loved those books. Why? Because for all their cheesyness they gave easy exercises that would generate results without using a lot of equiptment and without being inexorably tied to a philosophical or religious system, nor are they overly weighed down with ethical absurdities that became so predominant in the late 80's and early 90's. In other words, at the age 15 they were doable. I was doing LBRP's, BRH's, and Middle Pillars every day at 16, but if I needed to get something done with magick, there is a good chance that I opened one of these books. 

I recently grabbed Modern Witches Spellbook to read on the toilet with me one day, and you know what? It's still good. Some of it is lame for sure, but I would bet that you could get more done with it than most ofthe pagan books on the shelf today. 

If you have any of these laying around, grab one and take a walk down memory lane. Maybe even take one of them for a test drive, just for fun...


4 comments:

Don said...

haha...
I was talking about "helping yourself with PCP" the other day. I wonder what became of that book.

onespider said...

My mother has a copy of The Modern Witch's Spellbook. I used to leaf through it as a kid - I only vaguely remember some things about Lucifer and giant, looming clovers. I think I'll take your advice and look through it again!

My Gal said...

I will have to pick that up. When I read the title I immediately got a flash of my grandmothers lava lamp, she just loved that thing. My mother at the time was into macrame and those aweful swag oil lamps. She still has the carpet to match! Thanks for the memories :)

Though I have a few vintage books and I do like the just do it method. Trust me my just do and it figure out the parts later approach to magick often drives the good Frater to drinking :)

yuzuru said...

I just got the "New Avatar Power". It costed me a fortune, but I liked the book, even with the cheesy testimonials... they give the reader a sense of "let´s work this thing out " instead of just "oh, let me start doing the Middle Pillar three times a day for a year"