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An esoteric guide to visiting London

 By Feòrag NicBhrìde

 (edited by George Knowles).

This walk is a circular stroll taking in some of the more interesting shops to be found in central London.  Most of the shops are bookshops, some specialising in occult materials, others simply stocking a good range of esoterica.  How long it takes depends on how much of a bookshop addict you are - it could be done in a couple of hours, but it wouldn't be much fun (if your like me, it could take most of the day  :-)

Starting at Tottenham Court Road tube station, take the exit which comes out on the north side of New Oxford Street and the east of Tottenham Court Road.  Walk along New Oxford Street until you come to the traffic lights.  Cross over Bloomsbury Street before turning left into it.  A few yards along at the junction with Streatham Street is "Unsworth, Rice and Coe" - (http://www.unsworths.co.uk/Unsworth).  This bookshop specialises in History and Humanities, and has an unusual selection of occult material (found under the heading of religious books).

Turn into Streatham Street and turn right then left around Pizza Express.  Take the next right into Museum Street, you will be almost opposite the now famous "Atlantis Bookshop" - (http://www.theatlantisbookshop.com/) a specialist in new and second-hand occult material.  As well as books across the whole spectrum of esoterica, they also sell a range of Pagan magazines and newsletters, (this is the famous shop that Gerald Gardner and other personalities used to frequent in the 1950's - early 60's, indeed the then proprietor was Michael Houghton, also known as Michael Juste, the guy who published Gerald Gardner's first book, an occult novel called “High Magic’s Aid” in 1949).

Since this walk was originally written, a couple of shops have sprung up in this area.  The small occult shop on Little Russell Street didn't last too long, but the shop selling Egyptian stuff on Bury Place was still there last time I looked.

Turn left outside Atlantis and take the next left into Bloomsbury Way.  The Tibet Shop, which sells books, tapes and crafts as well as providing up-to-date information on Tibet-related campaigns used to be here, but has now moved to St. James' Market, Noris Street, near Piccadilly.

Further along just beyond Southampton Place is the spectacular Sicilian Avenue.  Turn into here and a few shops on the right is "Skoob Books" - (http://www.skoob.com/) a mostly second-hand bookshop which also publishes some unusual occult material.  The occult books are tucked away in an obscure corner of the basement.

Upon leaving, turn right and then right again into Southampton Row.  Cross over High Holborn at the traffic lights and continue down Kingsway.  Take the second right into Great Queen Street.  There are a couple of Masonic suppliers on the right, and a huge 1930s edifice on the left - this is the Grand Lodge, HQ of the English Freemasons (http://www.grandlodge-england.org/), note the interesting symbolism on the building (I know this place well, I had the honour of being initiated here into my third degree as a 'Master Mason', indeed I still wear on my left hand a silver ring to commemorate my advancement, which I bought from one the shop's on the right).

Continue until you reach Endell Street and turn right.  Take the next right into Shelton Street, past the London Ecology Centre on the right.  The next right brings you into Neal Street and the left after that enters Shorts Gardens.  There is a small passage on the right just past Neals Yard Wholefoods which leads into Neals Yard itself.  Here you will find "New World Aurora" (http://www.tylwythteg.com/ukpagan.html), purveyors of all things twinkly including:  New Age music and Neals Yard Apothecary, who stock every herb and oil you could possibly want.  There is also various healing places and self-development centres situated here.

Leave Neals Yard by the passage opposite the one you came in by.  Turn right and you will find yourself at "Mysteries" (http://www.mysteries.co.uk/) - a huge occult and New Age shop selling books, cards, jewellery, oils, incense and periodicals etc.

On leaving, turn left and continue along Monmouth Street until you come to a junction with a monument in the middle.  Going widdershins, turn into the second right, Earlham Street.  There should be a couple of market stalls here.  A few yards on the left is the "Dover Bookshop", publishers of cheap, out-of-copyright books (http://www.doverpublications.com/).  Their range includes translations of books such as the Malleus Maleficarum, folklore and mythology and books of old woodcuts and illustrations, including special volumes of mythological creatures and witchcraft images.

Turn right out of the shop and go back to the junction.  Take the first right and continue down Monmouth Street, Upper St. Martins Lane and St Martins Lane.  Eventually you will come to Cecil Court on the right.  About half-way along on the left is "Watkins" (http://www.watkinsbooks.com/), a specialist occult bookshop.  The ground floor has new books and an impressive range of tarot cards; the basement contains a fascinating selection of second-hand and antiquarian books.

Continue along Cecil Court and turn right into Charing Cross Road.  About 100m past Leicester Square tube station on the right is "Silver Moon" - (http://www.silvermoonbookshop.co.uk/) a women's bookshop.  They have a wide range of women's spirituality and Goddess-related publications in the basement, plus jewellery of goddesses, moons, etc.  Some of the other shops on this row are also worth a browse.  Unfortunately, this fascinating row of shops is at risk because of excessive capitalist greed.

Continuing northwards along Charing Cross Road, you come to a number of huge bookshops.  "Books etc." is now called "Borders", and while I haven't found the occult section yet, it is sure to be there and have all sorts of hard-to-get American publications, especially magazines, plus nearly all of the Llewellyn range.  "Waterstones" - (http://www.waterstones.co.uk/) has it's occult section on the first floor.  "Foyles" - (http://www.foyles.co.uk/), has it's occult material again on the second floor but tucked away in a room shared with mythology and other related topics.  They also have a system where you hand your book to a member of staff in the department who gives you a bill.  You take this to a pay desk and pay there before retrieving your books (a recent visit suggests that this system is slowly being replaced with something a little more conventional).

Turning left out of "Waterstones" or "Foyles", and right out of "Borders", brings you back to Tottenham Court Road station.

There is a variation to this walk which involves starting at Waterstones (formerly Dillons) on Gower Street, which is a continuation of Bloomsbury Street.  The shop has new occult books on the top floor and a few second-hand books on the floor below.  It can be found on the corner of Gower Street, Torrington Place and Malet Street, and the nearest tube is Goodge Street.  From here you would walk southwards along Gower Street to reach Unsworth, Rice and Coe.

(In addition to the above you can also add a visit to "Treadwells bookshop" at 34 Tavistock St , Covent Garden .  This is the current gathering place and centre of occult and esoteric knowledge in London (see http://www.treadwells-london.com/).  Their meetings and presentations are mainly academic, Christina Harrington PhD is the proprietor.  She regularly invites top academics from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to come in and give lectures and seminars, she also hosts book signings for many of the UK's top occult authors.  In the shop as well as new and contemporary books, she also has a good supply of old and hard to get books for sale).

Enjoy your visit  :-)

Source - Feòrag NicBhrìde (Edited by George Knowles)

 

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A Universal Message:

 

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About me:

 

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Wicca & Witchcraft

 

Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is WiccaWhat is Magick

 

 

Traditional Writings:

 

 Wiccan RedeCharge of the GoddessCharge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches ChantThe Witches CreedDescent of the GoddessDrawing Down the MoonThe Great Rite InvocationInvocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of ChivalryA Pledge to Pagan Spirituality

 

Correspondence Tables:

 

IncenseCandlesColoursMagickal DaysStones and GemsElements and Elementals

 

Traditions:

 

Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /

 

Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /

 

Other things of interest:

 

Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology)Esbats & Full MoonsLinks to Personal Friends & ResourcesWicca/Witchcraft ResourcesWhat's a spell?Circle Casting and Sacred Space /  Pentagram - PentacleMarks of a WitchThe Witches PowerThe Witches HatAn esoteric guide to visiting LondonSatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  /  Part 2 Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /  The History of ThanksgivingI have a Dream, the 1963 speach by civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King /  Auras by Graham Furnell - Part 1 and Part 2 /

 

Sabbats and Rituals:

 

Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)

 

Rituals contributed by Crone:  Samhain / YuleImbolcOstara /  BeltaneLithaLammasMabon

 

Tools:

 

Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron MagickMirror Gazing

 

Animals:

 

Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) /  AntelopeBatsCrowFoxFrog and ToadsGoat / HoneybeeKangarooLionOwlPhoenixRabbits and HaresRavenRobin RedbreastSheep SpiderSquirrelSwansWild Boar /  Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat

 

Trees:

 

In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow /  Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  ElderAlso see:  The Willow Tree (Folk Music)

 

Sacred Sites:

 

Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /

 

Rocks and Stones:

 

Stones - History, Myths and Lore

 

 Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:   / Apophyllite  / Amber AmethystAquamarineAragoniteAventurineBlack TourmalineBloodstoneCalciteCarnelianCelestiteCitrineChrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / FluoriteGarnet /  Hematite Herkimer DiamondLabradoriteLapis LazuliMalachiteMoonstoneObsidianOpalPyriteQuartz (Rock Crystal)Rose QuartzRubySeleniteSeraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodaliteSunstoneThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble

 

Wisdom:

 

Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakeningThe Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods

 

Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:

 

Murder by WitchcraftThe Fairy Witch of ClonmelA Battleship, U-boat, and a WitchThe Troll-Tear (A story for Children)Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-LanternThe Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark

 

Old Masters of Academia:

 

Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras

 

Biographies

 

Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)

 

Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)

 

Abramelin the MageAgrippaAidan A. KellyAlbertus Magnus “Albert the Great”Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” Alison HarlowAmber KAnna Franklin /  Anodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey  / Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite Austin Osman SpareBiddy EarlyBridget ClearyCarl Llewellyn WeschckeCecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey LelandCharles Walton /  Christina Oakley Harrington /  Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) /   Dion FortuneDolores Aschroft-NowickiDorothy MorrisonDoreen ValienteEdward FitchEleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” /  Dr. John Dee and Edward KellyDr. Leo Louis Martello /  Eliphas LeviErnest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry /  Fiona Horne /  Friedrich von SpeeFrancis Barrett /  Gerald B. GardnerGavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gwydion PendderwenHans Holzer /  Helen DuncanHerman Slater "Horrible Herman" /  Israel RegardieJames "Cunning" MurrellJanet Farrar & Gavin BoneJessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne John George Hohman /  John GerardJohn Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) /  John Michael Greer /  John ScoreJohannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg /  Karl von EckartshausenLaurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis Spence /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMarie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMatthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General”Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata /  Monique Wilson the “Queen of the WitchesMontague SummersNicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellersMrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-RavenheartOld Dorothy ClutterbuckOld George Pickingill /   Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsusPatricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPhilip Emmons Isaac Bonewits Philip HeseltonRaymond BucklandReginald ScotRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /  Rudolf Steiner /  Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & DruidsSabrina - The Ink WitchScott CunninghamSelena FoxSilver Ravenwolf /  Sir Francis DashwoodSir James George FrazerS.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  StarhawkStewart FarrarSybil LeekTed AndrewsThe Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather /  Thomas AdyVera Chapman /  Victor Henry AndersonVivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest

 

 

Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)

 

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