What factors caused the occult revival of the late 1800s?

Answer by Alex Sumner:

1. Charles Darwin. His “Origin of the Species” caused a great undermining in traditional religion – but also caused people who did not want to abandon spirituality altogether to start exploring alternate belief systems.

2. The 19th century saw great advances in Egyptology – e.g. the translation of the Rosetta Stone – which raised the subject in people’s consciousness.

3. The death of the Duke of Sussex in 1843 caused, in England at any rate, an upsurge of interest in obscure masonic and quasi-masonic rituals. The Duke of Sussex had been the Grandmaster of the United Grand Lodge of England, and during his tenureship had fiercely resisted anything which was not the three Craft degrees or the Royal Arch. However when he died, Masons felt more able to explore. Some of the rituals which began to be practised are now fairly mainstream today: others however had varying degrees of esotericity, which in turn inspired the creation of deliberately esoteric orders.

4. The rise of Spiritualism from 1848 onwards caused a backlash from scholars of ceremonial magic, who claimed that the practices employed by Mediums fell short of the standards required by old grimoires. They also pointed out that Mediums tended to be a bunch of frauds, whereas real magicians were motivated by the noble ideals of Hermeticism and the Qabalah. One may argue that these claims may not entirely be justified, but it started a debate in occult circles which motivated a number of prominent writers to come out in favour of serious Occultism – such as Eliphas Levi, Paschal Beverly Randolph, Mme Blavatsky, etc. These in turn directly inspired the founders of the occult revival in the late 1880s.

What factors caused the occult revival of the late 1800s?


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Jeremy Corbyn is the only candidate the public actually likes – Labour or otherwise – Comment – Voices – The Independent

Your humble blogmaster is actually delighted that Jeremy Corbyn is heading the polls to become the next leader of the Labour Party. As long ago as 2010 I identified him as one of only a few MPs of all parties that I would actually have any time for (see: Britain’s Most Eccentric MPs). Also he gets props in my book for his quip “Tony Blair’s biggest problem is that we’re still waiting for the Chilcott Report.”

So good luck to Mr Corbyn! We may not get a Labour government, but at least we will get a Labour opposition which is more colourful than the last charisma-bypassed loser that they had! :P

Full story:

Jeremy Corbyn is the only candidate the public actually likes – Labour or otherwise – Comment – Voices – The Independent.

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Astrology and Intimacy

OK, somebody asked me a question about Astrology and Intimacy, to wit: “Where should each Sign go to have intercourse?”

Here therefore are summaries for each of the twelve Sun signs.



Anywhere, as long as it is nearby.

Aries Lovers are direct and to the point – once they have decided they are going to have sex, they will not want to waste time going about it. In fact, once aroused, they will be downright impatient! Be sure that the kitchen table is sturdy, and the cushions on your living room settee are washable!

More seriously, this gives a great strategy for planning a romantic break with an Aries – wherever you go, always make sure the bedroom is no more than a short distance away e.g. a luxury hotel, etc.



Somewhere cosy and homelike.

Of all the signs Taurus is the one who values domestic stability, but more importantly: they want to get married and stay married for life. Therefore, if you have a sexual encounter with a Taurus, you can bet they will be mentally judging your bedroom along the lines of “Would I want to live in this? Can I get used to this?” If you are serious about romancing a Taurus, you will arrange your room and your home generally to give the overwhelming message This is what you can expect all the time in the future when our relationship blossoms.

For planning a romantic break, it should be the sort of place that your Taurus will want to go back to every year, e.g. to celebrate your anniversary.



Somewhere stimulating. A Gemini is likely to be very impressed if you have a full home entertainment system installed in your bedroom!



Somewhere which affords privacy.

Cancers tend to be sensitive souls. As a crab likes to retreat into its shell when danger threatens, so a Cancer native will want somewhere where they can feel secure. Pick your venue where you are least likely to be disturbed by e.g. neighbours, house-mates, family members, fellow holiday-makers, etc.

Cancers also like photographs, antiques, and curios, so these would make ideal bedroom ornaments.



Somewhere with mirrored ceilings. ;)



Somewhere neat and tidy. It should be clean, well presented, with everything in its place. Make sure you do the housework thoroughly before entertaining a Virgo in your home!

Virgo-natives themselves tend to prefer the simple and down to earth touch when it comes to décor (so they are quite literally the polar opposite of Pisces – see below).



Somewhere which is both interesting and romantic. A bedroom decorated with works of art or other features which stimulate Libra’s sense of aesthetics. If, however, you asked a Libra’s opinion on the matter, they would probably say “Oh, anywhere, I’m not fussed.” Partly because they naturally like to avoid arguments, but more importantly they want to stop wasting time discussing, and get straight down to it!



Somewhere which affords privacy – but is fully equipped with satin sheets and even saucy toys. A red room a la Christian Grey, in other words.



Sagittarius-natives like travelling, so ideal places would be whilst on a romantic cruise, or in the middle of an expedition or camping holiday. Possibly also the Mile High Club or the back of a decent people carrier.

A Sagittarius also likes a good party, so somewhere with a party atmosphere would make an ideal date. Your humble author cannot say whether a Sagittarius is most likely to put out in the middle of a party itself, but he will attempt to take a straw poll of people’s signs when he next attends an orgy (all in the name of research, of course). :)



Somewhere with a fire-escape – so that their lover can make a quick getaway before the Capricorn’s spouse comes home!



Somewhere unconventional. Aquarius-natives like a lot of space, both literally and metaphorically, and don’t like to feel boxed in. Large airy rooms are therefore ideal, or even al fresco.



A fantasy location. When planning a honeymoon or romantic break – a Cinderella like castle. Or, on a more day-to-day basis, a bedroom decorated with a dreamy, romantic theme. Luxury jacuzzis or even a water-bed would not go amiss.


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New Short Story: “A Reverie On Thievery” out now on Kindle

A Reverie on Thievery © 2015 Alex Sumner

You can now get the new short story by Alex Sumner, “A Reverie On Thievery,” for download on Amazon Kindle.

This is the second of the series “Pilgrim’s Progress,” set in modern day Miami, Florida and continues the adventures of the characters introduced in “An Unpardonable Offence.”

Professional gunman known only as “Pilgrim” is sent by a crime-lord to retrieve a diamond-necklace from a master-thief – but he soon finds he has to take unusual steps to do so…

This is available from $0.99, exclusively from Amazon. To get your copy, head to one of the following links NOW:

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An Unpardonable Offence: Free On Kindle

An Unpardonable Offence © 2015, Alex Sumner

You are now able, for one day only, to download my short story “An Unpardonable Offence” to your Kindle device or reading app, absolutely free.

Set in Miami, Florida, A professional hit-man falls into a nightmare world when he agrees to do a “clean-up job” for a powerful gangster…

To take advantage of this offer, you either need an Amazon Kindle or a free Kindle app for you computer, phone or tablet.*

Follow this link Now to claim your free copy:



* Click here for Free kindle apps.

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Apologia Pro Angelis Caducis

fallen-angel 2

But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?

Mark Twain

It takes a certain amount of experience in evocatory magick to realise that not all “evil spirits” are either the same, or indeed “evil” per se – it is a philosophically redundant term anyway.

For example: take the spirits of the Goetia, and contrast them with (e.g.) the Qlippoth.

The raison d’etre of the latter is that they are unbalanced forces left over from the creation of the universe – but the former are “fallen angels” (at least – that is how they are described in the Lesser Key of Solomon). In practice this is a huge difference – the Spirits of the Goetia were once in Heaven, but now are not: but the Qlippoth were never in Heaven to begin with.

In other words, the Goetic spirits are the same sort of “creatures” as Angels – but in exile from the main body of the Angelic host. Moreover, despite being fallen, they are theoretically capable of redemption – which is to what, in fact, many of them aspire.

(NB: in the foregoing description, Heaven should really be thought of as “what humans believe to be heaven.” When one analyses their origin – as primordial deities – it becomes clear that their “fall” was not caused by their own disobediance, but by Humans’ increasing inability to relate to them.)

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World Tarot Day 2015

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate World Tarot Day! And by “we” I mean Tarot readers as I wasn’t aware that anyone outside Tarotdom actually knows about this international holiday. Anywho, I look on my shelf to see how many decks I have and I realise that I have acquired five new ones since this time last year.

One of those was the deck I created for myself, which I have described in previous blog-posts, and which I now use as my default deck when I am at home.

The other four, however, are commercially available decks, so I shall review them here. Incidentally, by coincidence these all came from Watkins Bookshop, which is the best place for buying tarot decks in London, and which I have previously argued is the model for Flourish & Blotts in the Harry Potter books.

The Hermetic Tarot

The Hermetic Tarot – created by Godfrey Dowson, published by US Games Systems Inc

This is a Golden Dawn tarot, or rather “Stella Matutina” – a true Golden Dawn tarot, which is authentic in its depiction of the trumps, is yet to be published. The artwork is black & white line drawings. Given that the Golden Dawn was renowned for its sophisticated use of shades and hues, this might at first appear ironic, although I wonder if the whole point is that it is meant to be like the BOTA deck – to colour-in as one learns the King-, Queen-, Prince- and Princess- scales?

Nevertheless, I would say that the Hermetic Tarot is the favourite GD deck which I have in my possession – ranking ahead of the Robert Wang version. What I found helpful was that Godfrey Dowson included not only the proper titles of the cards from “Book T,” which aids enormously in card memorisation, but also the full astrological and elemental symbolism, as well as divine and angelic names where appropriate. Clearly a deck for use not just in divination, but in GD style magical-theurgical operations as well.

Morgan Greer Tarot

The Morgan Greer Tarot (English Edition), created by Lloyd Morgan and Bill F Greer, published by US Games Systems Inc

What strikes me first and most importantly about this deck is the artwork. This is clearly based on the Rider-Waite deck: however, unlike so many Rider-Waite clones the artist has gone and created new versions of all seventy-eight cards. The result therefore is bright and colourful (apparently the artist owes some inspiration to Paul Foster Case in this regard). Also, the cards dispense with a border so the illustrations go right up to the edge, making the cards seem bigger than they are.

Given its visual-appeal, this is a deck which I like to turn to when giving tarot readings for other people.

The Steampunk Tarot:
Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine

The Steampunk Tarot, created by John & Caitlin Matthews, illustrated by Wil Kinghan, published by Tuttle Publishing.

NB: This is not to be confused with the similarly named Steampunk Tarot, which is a different deck and published by Llewellyn. This one however is created by British writers and artists. Not that I am saying that this makes it inherently superior – but it is inherently superior :)

This is a rather ambitious project, in that not only is the deck a major accomplishment in itself, but the accompanying “little white booklet” is neither little (160 pages) nor, being fully illustrated, is it particularly white. The milieu of the deck is another universe entirely, where Steampunk is the prevailing world view: and in order to fully get to grips with this tarot deck, one almost has to mentally enter that universe as well! Fortunately, it turns out there is a direct translation to their analogues in conventional tarot.

Thus the suits are Airships (Swords); Engines (Wands); Submersibles (Cups); and Leviathans (Pentacles) – by analogy with the elements. The court cards are Captain (King); Lady (Queen); Navigator (Prince); and Messenger (Princess). The Trumps meanwhile have fantastic names such as “Technomancer,” “Cyborg” and “Regeneration Machine”: although it is clear from closely examining the corresponding descriptions that they have the same basic meaning as their regular counterparts (the cards mentioned are The Magician, The Devil and Judgement respectively). One unusual feature of the book is that the authors have created a mini-spread for each trump, as well as four general spreads (“blueprints”).

There is also an ongoing conceit that the universe is entirely mechanistic – in the sense of technology from late 19th century science fiction. Most notable however are the cards themselves. The artist has re-imagined an entire 78 card deck whose visual cues are entirely divorced from conventional decks, and has done an amazing job in doing so.

The Transparent Tarot

The Transparent Tarot, created by Emily Carding, published by Schiffer Publishing

NB: this is not to be confused with the similarly named Universal Transparent Tarot which is a different deck and published by Lo Scarabeo. The creator of this deck, Emily Carding, however is British, and not that I saying that this makes it inherently superior …

Seriously though: what both decks have in common is that the cards are printed on transparent plastic, such that superimposing two or more cards upon one another can generate new layers of meaning. What sets Ms Carding’s deck apart, however, is that her tarot features completely original artwork: whereas the Lo Scarabeo version is a ham-fisted derivative of the Rider-Waite.

Thus, although Ms Carding keeps each card in itself to a minimalist aesthetic, the act of combining the cards produces a thankfully uncluttered composite. The very nature of the cards necessarily invites the reader to delve into a more personal interpretation of the symbolism.

The deck also comes with a 280 page book (again no LWB!), as well as a handy white tarot cloth (essential really, in order to show the artwork of the cards off to maximum advantage).

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General Election 2015: The Aftermath

With the results declared, the British General Election is over, and so it is time to see how my predictions fared against the actual facts and figures. I cannot help but think that the overall conclusion to be drawn is that the stars predicted the direction the result was going to go today – though not the precise details.

David Cameron / The Conservative Party

What I wrote:

Cameron (9th October 1966, London) has a lot of favourable influences going for him that day… The Conservatives will be the largest party in Parliament, but without an absolute majority. David Cameron will stay on as Prime Minister, this time of a minority Conservative government, not a Coalition.

What actually happened:

The Conservatives did get an absolute majority – but only just, to wit: twelve seats. However, in practical terms it’s actually sixteen seats because Sinn Fein boycott the House of Commons on principle. The prediction I made did seem to reflect the BBC’s exit poll published just as the polls closed, but not the final results! Still, we should remember that it is entirely possible that with by-elections, this majority may be wiped out and become a minority in the course of this parliament – that is exactly what happened to John Major in 1992.

Ed Milliband / The Labour Party

What I wrote:

Labour will be the second largest, but will experience a loss of seats, mostly to the SNP, but also to UKIP.

What actually happened

Labour were the second largest, and did experience a loss of seats to the SNP. However, due to a quirk in the UK’s election system, they lost a lot of seats not to UKIP, but because of UKIP. More about this anon.

Nigel Farage / UKIP

What I wrote:

…UKIP will see significant gains in the numbers of their seats… UKIP will go through a period of reform where they are forced to jettison the more extreme elements of their party.

What actually happened:

UKIP saw significant gains in their number of votes, not seats. According to a BBC poll, UKIP notched up 12.6% of the popular vote, becoming the third most popular party amongst the electorate, with only the Conservatives and Labour in front of them. However, because of the way UKIP voters are distributed throughout Britain, voting for UKIP divided support for the Labour party, allowing in many cases the Conservative candidate to get in. Had for instance, the same number of UKIP voters been concentrated in a small region instead of equally distributed across the country, the same number of votes would have translated into increased seats in parliament – but the constituency map is gerrymandered against them.

Still I was right about UKIP having to jettison the more extreme elements of their party – e.g. Nigel Farage himself! :P

Scottish National Party

What I wrote:

[T]he SNP … will see significant gains in the numbers of their seats. The SNP will find it difficult to hold the balance of power though, as the other parties will be reluctant to work with them.

What actually happened:

The stars were generally correct about the SNP’s fortunes – also vindicating my decision to examine the horoscope of Angus Robertson, their campaign director. The SNP did see a significant gain in the number of its seats – mainly because, unlike UKIP, they are concentrated in one (demographically) small region (i.e. Scotland), where the average size of each constituency in terms of voters is smaller than the rest of the country. The system, in other words, is gerrymandered in their favour.

The SNP also failed to hold the balance of power, though for different reasons entirely – i.e. the  Conservatives winning an outright majority. However: as I said above, it is still within the realm of possibility that the Tory majority may diminish within the lifetime of the parliament, so the dynamic of power between the parties may yet change.

Natalie Bennett / The Green Party

What I wrote:

[S]he will be disappointed by the result of the election. The day will be pretty much a non-event for her… The Green Party will be neither better nor worse off after the election than before.

What actually happened:

Unfortunately, this is precisely what occurred. The Green Party held on to its one seat in Brighton, but won nothing else.

Nick Clegg / The Liberal Democrats

What I wrote:

Clegg will be the subject of much anger, also the forces of change will be proving difficult for him to make any headway… [I]t will be a good time for Clegg to be alone, and to realise his flaws and weaknesses… The Liberal Democrats in general, and Nick Clegg in particular, will collapse.

What actually happened:

I so totally called this one!!!

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What the Stars have in store for… HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and fourth in line to the British throne, was born at 0834 British Summer Time on the 2nd May 2015, at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, England – 51°31′2″N 0°10′23″W. A horoscope calculated with these data gives the following:

2nd May 2015, 8:34 am (British Summer time).   Sun Taurus, Moon Libra, Asc Cancer.

2nd May 2015, 8:34 am (British Summer time).
Sun Taurus, Moon Libra, Asc Cancer.

What immediately strikes me in this horoscope is that there is so much militating in Princess Charlotte’s favour to grow up, fall in love and have a happy and successful marriage.

Taurus (Princess Charlotte’s sun-sign) is the sign of people who tend to get married for life: moreover, Moon in Libra suggests she will feel romantic and personable. Of this Sun-Moon combination, other astrologers have said:

[This combination]… produces one of the most likable personalities in the Zodiac. Others may have more wit, ambition, or intellect, but none equal the charm and appeal of this combination. A nice home and a close family are your first loves; social contact and involvement, a close second. Your keen social personality is aided by a fine sense of humor and an easygoing outlook. This personality is marked with optimism, even if you’re up to your ears in private woes. Anyone that doesn’t like you is probably motivated by jealousy. You are expressive and idealistic, your nature is inclined toward the dramatic and the artistic.

Sun and Moon Combinations by Michael McLain.

Other famous people with this Sun / Moon combination include: her own first cousin once removed Zara Philips, Catherine De Medici, William Shakespeare, Bertrand Russell, and many more.

More tellingly, Princess Charlotte’s Moon is in the Fourth House – the house of the home and family – signifying that a secure family and home-life is what will make Charlotte most comfortable. Her Caput Draconis (signifier of destiny) is also in the Fourth house, implying that this is the direction she will want to seek in her life as an adult.

With Cancer as rising sign, she will appear to be a sensitive, slightly shy person… but only outwardly. In reality she will actually enjoy a life of public engagements, and draw great strength from being in charge of whatever situation she might find herself in (Sun in 10th House / Cauda Draconis in Aries also in 10th House).

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An Unpardonable Offence: New Short Story

Cover image to "An Unpardonable Offence" by Alex Sumner

An Unpardonable Offence – new short story by Alex Sumner

My new short story, An Unpardonable Offence, is out now on Amazon Kindle. This is a venture into the realm of crime fiction, set in Miami, Florida – and features a professional hit-man who falls into a nightmare world when he agrees to do a “clean-up job” for a powerful gangster…

An Unpardonable Offence is available for $0.99 in Amazon Kindle format. To start reading it, CLICK HERE NOW!

You don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle books! CLICK HERE FOR A FREE KINDLE READING APP!

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