Mother Moon Monday November 28, 2011

Lunabar Moon Almanack for Monday, November 28, 2011
Waxing, New Moon Age: 2 ¾ days.
Ascending Node is at 14° Sagittarius. Moon in 15th degree of the Sign Capricorn, the Goat; in 19th deg. of the Constellation Sagittarius, the Archer. Moonrise: 10:07 morn. Midheaven: 3:18 eve. Moonset: 8:38 eve. ~ Granny Moon

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A History of Magick …in NYC

A history of Magick … in memory of Herman Slater

Memorial we remember you

(Born 1935 – Died 09th July 1992)

In the year 1992, Herman Slater – a Wiccan High Priest and well-known occult author, the proprietor of “The Magickal Childe” bookstore and Witchcraft supply shop in New York City, lost his battle against AIDS.  His death was a great loss to the magickal community.  We remember you Herman!!

The Magickal Childe, New York City’s oldest and longest running occult bookshop, started life as “The Warlock Shop” in Brooklyn Heights, situated on Henry Street, just off Atlantic Ave, during the early 1970s.  In 1979, Herman moved the shop to 35 West 19th Street in Greenwich Village, and with the move changed its name to The Magickal Childe.  The new shop soon became established.  Inside was an ever-flowing waterfall, and as the smell of incense invaded your senses, the sight of shelves stocked with jars and books filled the mind with intrigue.  This was where I first met Herman in about 1985.  You can get a glimpse of the shop in the movie “Vampire’s Kiss.”

The Magickal Childe in Greenwich Village, New York

Herman Slater’s Jewish parents hailed from New Paltz, a lower middle class suburb of New York, where he was born in 1935.  From the beginning he was in search of his own path.

In the 1970s – 1980s he published a newspaper called Earth Religion News.  I think my favorite book he had his pen on was:  The Magickal Formulary I & II.  He also wrote:  The Hoodoo Bible, Introduction to Witchcraft, Pagan Rituals and A Book of Pagan Rituals I & II.  This included the idea of pre-initiation into a Coven, and the concept of a Pagan Grove as an Outer Court extension of the Coven.

He also published his own version of H.P. Lovecraft’s:  Necronomicon, which was perhaps the reason some people started to call him “Horrible Herman”?  This body of work was rumored to have come from the Catholic Church, from a library text given to him by an Old Catholic Archbishop named Simon.  Another rumor was that a mysterious Russian Monk called Simon delivered it to his shop.  Those who knew about this unsubstantiated information; then dubbed the work Simonomicon.  The truth of this will never be revealed, as this is one of the mysteries that he would never deny or confirm.

Herman’s Necronomicon was published in 1977, with a publication of 666 copies. The next year another 3,333 copies were published, followed later by a third issue of an unknown number of copies.  The first books were all leather bound with a price of $75.00 each.  Then an elaborate “manuscript” was created and touted to be the manuscript that Herman received under mysterious circumstances, but no one knows the real story.  Herman created a beautiful work as his version of the Necronomicon with the help of Schlangekraft and James Wasserman as part of the layout team, and Khem Set Rising who designed the books raised seals.  In 1980 the rights to the book were then sold to “Avon Publishing”, who produced a paperback copy at a cost of $5.00 each.

Herman also produced his own version of the Gardnerian Wicca Sword created by Gerald Gardner, of which he sold replicas of the original given to him as a gift by Raymond Buckland.  Herman had a good sense of humour and was a trickster, but he could get you just about any candle, herb, potion, book, card-deck, charm bell or whistle you would ever want or need.

Herman was known as Lord Govannan in his Earth Star Temple, and was a smiling player of the “Witch Wars of the Seventies”.  The NY Welsh tradition came to be with the help of Herman and his partner Ed Buczynski, who founded the tradition in the 1960s.  Eventually Gardnerians, Welsh Trads, Alexandrians and Sicilian Trads all came to be seated around a table in the back of Herman’s shop.  Lady Rhea could often be found mixing oils there, as did many other prominent people from various traditions involved in the world of magick, meet and work together there.  People from different religious areas, from Voodooen’ to Wicca, to Crowley’s Magickal Order (the O.T.O.) also found a safe haven there.

Herman studied Business at NYU, and Liberal Art’s at Hunter Collage in 1969 until ill health caused him to stop working.  He had TB (tuberculosis) of the bone.  While he was recovering he began to explore the Occult and Psychic Sciences.  During his stay in bed, and after a year or so in casts, they managed to cure him of TB, but it cost him a hip replacement.  Science was not as progressed then and hip replacement was not what it is today.  His interests in psychic phenomena began with levitation, which no doubt was due to the fact he was unable to get around in a body cast.  He also gained an interest in divination and the tarot.  He studied the occult sciences for many years after his recovery, and insisted that he had on a few occasions been able to levitate.  You could never tell when he was serious or when he was joking, so one never knows, perhaps he did?

At the end of his life Herman owned 3 of his beloved dogs, Salukis, but as his hip prevented him from walking the dogs, he always maintained someone to serve as a “dog-walker”.  He also had a cat and a boa constrictor, and at the end, he spent some of his time at his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and some of his time in NYC where he lived on 16th Street.  For a while after his death, loyal fans, friends and employees tried to keep the shop open, and for a while it stayed open, but debts, taxes and bills left unpaid, all took there toll and sadly it was closed in 1999.

There were times when the shop did not keep regular hours, it was open when it was and closed when it was not.  I remember many times in the 80s and 90s going there during normal hours only to find it was closed.  Herman’s Magickal Childe was an institution to East Coast Pagans of all paths.  Curiosities stacked on dark wood shelves and in glass cases, still causes one to recall the combined smell and aroma of books, candles and large glass jars full of herbs to ones memory.

I can still remember the first time I opened the door to that fragrant shop and came in out of blinding sunlight.  The first person I focused on when I could see again was Herman behind his counter.  He was counting bones or some other items for display.  I looked around and there was colored books, oddities and flyers all over the place. He was both friendly that day and none committal, like he was curious and could care less.  At the same time he was a man of many contradictions, and was from that first meeting my strange and totally interesting friend.

Copyright © June 2010 by SilkyRose

Sources:

A remembrance of a Friend and Magicakal source of fun and supplies many books in my library, and back in the days, all my Venus Incense!

George Knowles at Controverscial.com

The Witch Book – The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism  –  By Raymond Buckland

Plus many other personal sources.

Good evening~

I was just outside,  in the dark of night, its quiet like the world was asleep except for me and my two dogs running in the dark grass ever looking for critters or something exciting in the corners of the darkness. I was looking up at a soft blanket of bright stars in an inky dark night sky, the tags on their collars telling me what corners they were exploring, the solar lights dimmed from the night’s glow and needing another solar re-charge to brighten them again, giving an eerie glow to the corners of the expanse of yard inside the cedar fortress like walls, the stones from my Stonehenge glowing in the darkness, just the shapes of the outline of the lighter stones. The air is filled, with a crisp snap and scent of fall, the air is a little cold but refreshing.

It gave me a sort of excitement, to be out there standing in the darkness, looking up at the all stars in the inky darkness, and thinking that, in a very short time my whole world will be different out outside with the coming of the blanket of leaves, and then the snows and that then “Witch Way Creek” will perhaps turn to a frosty ice rink, but tonight it was clear and crisp and beautiful and for some reason made me think of fresh picked apples.

Note to self: Fill the bird feeder.

Look to your surroundings and be present in the moment, I send my Blessings to you this day,

SilkyRose

Z/n 2oo1 c.

Magick & Magickal Things ~ SilkyRose

Magick & Magickal Things ~ SilkyRose

Greetings~

Blessed Mabon!!!

Mabon can be thought of sort of as the Witch’s Thanksgiving. It’s harvest time and time for the turning and changing of the seasons and the wheel of the calendar year. Its our time to praise God and Goddess and give thanks for bounty and the abundance of the harvest a time of joy and celebration. We sweep our hearth and home and ready our house for more time spent inside as the seasons change brings the light less each day and leaves start to fall upon our walk, we ready house and home for our winter retreat and plan projects to do over the winter and put up our gardens bounty of herbs spices, fruits and vegetables from our gardens. The  broom or bessom and the corn dolly are the objects that signify this season that and seeds for next years crops. We decorate with our pumpkins out squash gourds and our house smells like spicy nut breads, and fresh vegetables are on our table and in our freezer. Time to make apple cider and ready the hot chocolate for the cooler nights on the patio taking advantage of the last nights outside on the patio watching the clear night time sky.

Enjoy each day and night as the wheel turns once again.

Till next time,

SilkyRose

.Z/n 2011 c.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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