Tag Archives: daily telegraph

Review: “The Divinatory Arts” by Papus

Papus (Gérard Anaclet Vincent Encausse, 1865 – 1916), was a leading figure of the French Occult scene at the turn of the 20th century. He authored “Tarot of the Bohemians,” and founded or co-founded the Martinist Order and the Order Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix. He was also a leading figure in Memphis Misraim and the Gnostic Catholic Church. He was even a member of the OTO, before Crowley got his mits on it.

He was also very briefly a member of the Golden Dawn, i.e. he only ever attended one meeting, and didn’t stay for the whole thing at that.

Despite being the very essence of “Occult,” Papus at one stage went mainstream by penning a series of articles published in Le Figaro, which is now France’s biggest newspaper, although back in 1895 when the articles were written, it had a more populist stance. Still, that would be like if you were to imagine me, Alex Sumner, being employed at a generous salary by The Daily Telegraph to write for it.

Hence, Papus ended up writing about Graphology, Palmistry, Physiognomy, as well as astrology. The content of these articles was necessarily only a brief introduction to the subject matter – understandable as they were intended for publication in a newspaper. This book, is the first time that these articles have been translated into English.

Although this is an interesting reference for someone researching Papus’ life, Papus’ own writing here is far from being the most interesting thing that Papus had ever done, given that he had lived such rich and full life. In that sense, the Translator’s own introduction is actually more interesting from an esoteric point of view. Nevertheless, I did find some merit in reading about palmistry and graphology, which were subjects I had never really touched upon.

I had to laugh at one point at Papus’ blatant chauvinism – he assumes, for example that the only reason a man would study Physiognomy is so that he can dominate any woman irrespective of her temperament. Nevertheless, the book as a whole is a curious piece in the larger jig-saw puzzle of the life of an otherwise great occultist.

The Divinatory Arts by Papus; translated into by “The Three Luminaries” © 2020, ISBN-13: 9798684181795. Available from Amazon.


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Real fairies? Decide for yourself, says lecturer – Telegraph

My attention was caught today by this in the otherwise reliable Daily Telegraph:

A university lecturer claims to have photographed fairies in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire

via Real fairies? Decide for yourself, says lecturer – Telegraph.

Yeah, I know it looks like a load of insects, but that’s what the man says!

Anyway, my novel, “A Fairy Story By Any Other Name,” is now available from Amazon, and is the story of a magician undertaking a perilous astral journey to save a girl whom he believes to Otherkin Fae. As such, as a work of fiction it is therefore more realistic than this so-called Fairy Story from Lancashire! Click here for more details of how to get a free copy.

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Foretelling the Future – How Not To Do It

Astrologer poking his head out of the sphere of fixed stars to see what lies beyond

“Help! I’m stuck!” 😉

In an article in the forthcoming Journal of Consumer Research, researchers report that the way people react to a prediction of the future (e.g. an astrological forecast), depends to a large extent on the extent to which they believe in fate. In some circumstances this may lead to seemingly counter-intuitive behaviour. (NB: this story was misreported in the Daily Telegraph today under a headline luridly suggesting horoscopes may be bad for you, despite the fact that technically speaking, no actual astrology took place during the study concerned.)

The gist of their findings is this: if you give a prediction of ill-omen to someone who believes fate is malleable, that person is likely to choose a “virtuous” course of action (i.e. in an attempt to avert the omen). However, if you give the same prediction to someone who believes fate is fixed, they are likely to just thing “F— it,” and just go do something self-indulgent. In such a situation, trying to use the prediction as a warning to them to mend their ways will end up having the opposite effect that which is intended.

This has potentially important implications for those of us who practice divination, either in the form of Astrology, Tarot, or some other method.

In order to make use of divination as an effective tool to help someone, it is necessary first to make them understand that their Fate is not fixed, that they still have free will and therefore the choice to either avoid or accept the message being given to them. There is an old saying: the stars impel, they do not compel. This rather goes back to the ancient Hermetic view of the universe, which was that it was possible to rise above the influence of the stars and the planets if one were to ascend in consciousness – to “free one’s mind,” in other words. Divination – typically in the form of astrology – was thus the key to achieving this freedom, as it enabled the individual to be fully informed of the route he or she needed to take in life – rather than be imprisoned in a deterministic, mechanistic universe.

This approach can be applied by analogy to other forms of Divination, e.g. the Tarot, which releases intuitive insights from the consciousness of the reader. Instead of predicting the future, per se, the divination is in fact pointing out present causes: and, indeed, present opportunities. These only create a “fate” where the querent is unwilling to take responsibility for his or her own actions.

My tarot themed novel, Taromancer, is free until December 11th 2013. Hurry to download a copy now!

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The Age of Miracles

11 million adults in the UK are potentially interested in the Tarot! © Alex Sumner 2013

11 million adults in the UK are potentially interested in the Tarot!
© Alex Sumner 2013

News today that Britons still believe in miracles, angels and ‘spiritual forces’. From a sample of 2000 people, the following numbers were crunched:

% of the population who think spiritual forces have no influence on earth: 25%

% of Christians who think such spiritual forces can influence people’s thoughts or the human or natural world: 62%

% of non-religious people who think the same: 35%

% of people who said they or someone they knew had experienced a miracle: 16% – including 8% non-religious people.


More interestingly though (from my point of view), the full report also says:

Nearly a quarter (23%) of people say they have had their tarot cards read, whilst 17% have had their star sign read, and 12% have had a reflexology session.

  • Smaller numbers had experienced more esoteric spiritual experiences, such as having a reiki session (8%), having their aura read (6%), or healing with crystals (5%).
  • Women are considerably more likely than men to undergo these experiences (51% vs. 26%).
  • Interestingly, while 39% of the overall population admits to having undergone at least one of these experiences, so do 38% of the non-religious(compared to 40% of the religious). When it comes to these more obviously non-religious spiritual activities, there appears to be no difference according to whether someone is religious or not.


The United Kingdom is a nation of 63 million – including 49 million adults. Hence assuming that the sample reflects the nation as a whole, that means that 11 million adults have had or are likely to have their Tarot cards read. To those 11 million people I say: I can be contacted via this website and my rates are very reasonable. 😉

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Good Luck Rituals Actually Work!

Four Leaf Clover

Four Leaf Clover

News today that scientists have investigated various rituals to avert bad luck, and found that some of them actually work. There are, however, certain provisos, to wit:

  • The study assumes that “bad luck” is created by people believing they will have bad luck – thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; and
  • Only certain types of ritual work.

Specifically, if you make a “banishing” gesture (i.e. in the broadest sense of the word), one feels that one is banishing the bad luck, but not if your gesture consists of holding onto something or pulling it towards you. Hence:

Effective Ineffective
Touching wood, by pushing it way from you. Touching wood by just tapping it.
Throwing salt over your left shoulder. Limp-wristedly dropping salt over your shoulder so it goes down your back and looks like dandruff.
Holding on to a rabbit’s foot.
NB: needless to say it didn’t do the Rabbit any good either!

Etc etc etc.

This is important for magicians because firstly, it is yet another acknowledgement by conventional science that we have been right all along: secondly, it reminds us of the importance of incorporating dramatic gesture into ritual in order to reinforce its effectiveness.

Full story here.

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What Kim Jong-Un Has In Store For The Stars

Imagine a world where if you hear a song on the radio, and you hate it so much that you literally want the person who sung it to be taken out and executed. Well imagine no longer – it’s actually happening in North Korea! According to today’s Daily Telegraph, Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s answer to Mr Bean, has actually gone and done what other people only dream of doing, and executed a whole load of pop-stars. And he’s started off by executing one of his ex-girlfriends.

Now it would be churlish of me to say that must have been one hell of a bad break-up, so I won’t. Also, given that the stated reason was because she was allegedly involved in making a porn film, one might be sorely tempted to speculate the real reason as to why they split… but I won’t do that either. Instead, it is at times like these that I recall that I blogged about Kim Jong Un back in April, so it would be interesting to see what I predicted. I wrote:

Mars, however, does form a challenging angle with Mercury, suggesting that the current publicity KJU is generating is essentially posturing and rhetoric. More worryingly, though, it may also indicate the violent repression of freedom of the press, communication,  and writers in general – so don’t expect any of my books to be available in North Korea any time soon.

Violent repression of… communication. Mercury is, amongst other things, the planet of performers, including musicians. Thus, the current news from North Korea is an ongoing manifestation of the astrological forces I identified over three months ago.

Moreover: we should also note that in the chart I drew up for Kim Jong-Un’s regime, Mercury is conjunct the Moon’s True Node. Hence, these murderous outrages will actually characterise Kim Jong-Un’s rule all the while he remains in power.


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Books: Saving the world from annoying music!


You have the power to get annoying repetitive music out of your head – simply by reading a good book! So say scientists at Western Washington University. Incidentally, this story was reported in the Daily Telegraph only today, so it’s probably so ancient it’s already been peer-reviewed.

Anyhow: the trick is to provide the brain with a sufficiently tough challenge to engage the intellect – such as reading an interesting novel. This apparently gets rid of the said “ear-worms.”

Needless to say: I have a whole load of publications which I cheerfully recommend to this purpose.

Alternatively, getting involved with trying to work out anagrams is also alleged to do the trick. Well, meck fu! 🙂


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Squatting In The UK: The Solution


These squatters are being made criminals…

You will become a criminal as of midnight tonight (31st August 2012) if you are squatting in a property in England. This is the result of a change in the law enacted by the current Coalition Government. Up to now, squatting per se has not actually been a criminal offence. The only crime for which you could have been convicted is if you had entered the property by Breaking & Entering. If however you had managed to enter peacefully, not only could you squat but also, if the actual owner of the property never took any legal action against you, you could even register legal title to the property on the basis of Adverse Possession – even upgrading this to Absolute Possession, if the owner somehow did not get round to pursuing you (admittedly a very rare occurence).

This, however, has now been knocked on the head by the Government. There is something very obviously immoral in the illegalisation of squatting – people are essentially being criminalised on account of their poverty. The only alternative to avoid criminality is to voluntarily become homeless: so in other words, there isn’t actually an alternative…

… Until now! For I, Alex Sumner, the World’s Greatest Expert On The Occult and sometime legal expert, have worked out a perfectly feasible and legal solution to the dilemma now faced by squatters. It is this:

Simply turn up at the Ecuadorean Embassy and claim political asylum. Then you will be given a free flat in Knightsbridge!

Yes indeed, according to this news report, Julian Assange is looking forward to at least six to twelve months living in the Ecuadorean Embassy. Presumably this is rent-free – being paid for by the people of Ecuador. So it strikes me that if the people of Ecuador are prepared to give free board and lodging to any old criminal, they must surely be willing to give it to those who have been criminalised undeservedly!

Julian Assange

… at the same time that this criminal is becoming a legal squatter!

So, squatters, turn up at the Ecuador Embassy at Flat 3B, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LS (nearest tube station: Knightsbridge) to claim your free accommodation today! 🙂

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Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

Time is running out. Everything’s coming to an end. I am not just talking about the end of life on earth in December 2012, I’m talking about the whole Universe!

Before you panic, however, you should bear in mind two things. Firstly I am referring to events which will take place billions of years after this planet has ceased to exist. Secondly this is all to do with a science story reported in the Daily Telegraph, so it is probably a load of bollocks anyway. No, apparently, an alternate theory of why the universe is expanding at an increasing rate has been put forward. “Dark matter” may not exist after all! Instead, the dimension of Time itself will apparently come to a stop.

This may not be so bad as it sounds. If the Secret Chief of the Golden Dawn can come through for us and grant us the power of time travel, we may yet be able to enjoy a Billy-Pilgrim-like existence within the time we have, but applicable to the whole Universe as opposed to the life of just one individual.


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Happy Birthday, Rest In Peace

A couple of years ago, an astrologer I know gave a talk in which he demonstrated the natal chart and death chart of the same person. Lo and behold the planets in the latter made a whole load of transits (mainly conjunctions) with those in the former! Curiously though these conjunctions were not to my mind associated with death in particular – it was just, so this astrologer claimed, the fact that there were a lot of them.

I scoffed. “If there were anything to this,” I said, trying to do a reductio ad absurdum, “that would mean that there is an increased likelihood of dying on your birthday, because that is the one transit with your natal chart – the Solar Return – which happens to everyone every year!” How I laughed…

… Until today when I read this morning’s Daily Telegraph, in which there was an article entitled We are more likely to die on our birthday than any other day.

According to the article,

Researchers who studied more than two million people over 40 years found a rise in deaths from heart attacks, strokes, falls and suicides.

There was a 34.9 per cent rise in suicides, 28.5 per cent rise in accidental deaths not related to cars, and a 44 per cent rise in deaths from falls on birthdays.

However the article also adds, rather disingenously,

…[R]isk of birthday death rose as people got older.

Well no shit Sherlock! That couldn’t be anything to do with old age, could it? Even so, it is nice to see science actually backing up astrology for a change.

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