Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve: the wall between the earth and the Otherworld opens. Samhain: the Witches’ New Year, the first of the greater sabbats of Wicca. Día de Muertos: Mexico’s colourful celebration of the cycle of life and death. The hinge night approaches, a magical in-between place where time changes meaning, and past, present and future are one.
Many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals. Our Gift Guide reflects this practice of abundance, bringing together objects and experiences to enrich the lives of your loved ones (or yourself) in preparation for the darker months of the year.
You will find reading on ancient and emerging mystical traditions from compelling contemporary voices, artistic work channelling the non-human, as well as experiences and ritual supplies to enhance your daily practice.
Give generously to yourself and loved ones this Halloween, with our Halloween bundle, offering 30% off the Ignota Diary 2020 and Spells bundle until midnight on 31 October.
by Shannon Taggart
A photographic exploration of contemporary Spiritualism, an esoteric movement documented by Taggart over eighteen years. ‘Part documentary, part ghost story’, Taggart’s haunting images show Spiritualist practices in the US, England and Europe.
by Peter Mark Adams
A vivid exploration of the mysterious Dionysian-themed frescos of Pompeii’s ‘Villa of the Mysteries’, long buried by the eruption of Vesuvias in 79 CE. The esoterically significant frescoes that decorated private rooms were never meant to be seen by anyone other than the members of the all-female Bakkhic thiasos who conducted their secret rites within them. Adams captures their ‘interleaving of myth and ritual, of the natural and the supernatural, of the life-like and the imaginal’, presenting photographs alongside guides for interpreting the ritual activity of the participants.
Our Fatal Magic
by Tai Shani
A collection of feminist science fiction stories by the exceptional Turner Prize-nominated artist that anticipate post-patriarchal futures. Foregrounding explorations of sensation, experience, and interiority, these twelve fantastical prose vignettes refract their ideas through a series of curious characters, from Medieval Mystics to Cubes of Flesh, from Sirens to Neanderthal Hermaphrodites. For fans of speculative fiction writers like Marge Piercy and Octavia Butler.
by Erik Davis
An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson to present a new theory of the weird as a viable mode for a renewed engagement with reality. Examining the writings of these iconoclasts as well as their life-changing mystical experiences, Davis explores the complex lattice of the strange that flowed through American counterculture of the 1970s at a time of radical technological, political, and social upheaval.
From SURVIVOR (F) To The Escapist BHST (Black Hole Spacetime)
by Suzanne Treister
Artist Suzanne Triester explores imaginary scenarios of techno-human evolution over vast cosmological time spans in this vividly illustrated, consciousness-expanding, universe-redefining book. Alchemical diagrams, black hole portals, a comic strip from the cosmic consciousness of an unknown being, paintings of aliens and the holographic universe by CERN scientists all combine to inform traversals from the mystical to the scientific.
Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac
by Dorothea Lasky and Alex Dimitrov
The first great astrology primer of the 21st century, full of insight, advice and humour. Astro Poets and Spells contributor Dorothea Lasky and Alex Dimitrov introduce the depth of the astrological system with graceful lightness, interspersing profound wisdom with beautiful poetry for every sign.
by Rebecca Tamás
Rebecca Tamás’s incomparable debut poetry collection: a strange and visceral volume reckoning with witch trials, mysticism and the devil, gender, nature and sexuality. Every poem is a spell evoking the intimate, sensual power of nature, merging it with the revolutionary potential of women’s voices.
The Debutante and Other Stories
by Leonora Carrington
A skeleton goes on holiday; a debutante frees a hyena from the zoo so that it might take her place at her coming-out ball; an artist paints a portrait of a man’s dead wife, but finds she has painted herself instead; a woman makes love to a boar underneath a mountain of cats; a chicken is roasted with the brains and livers of thrushes, truffles, crushed sweet almonds, rose conserve and drops of divine liqueur; two noble sisters wonder whether anybody can be ‘a person of quality if they wash away their ghosts with common sense’. Leonora Carrington’s short stories create magical and macabre worlds.
Waking the Witch
by Pam Grossman
Pam Grossman explores the cultural and historical impact of the world’s most magical icon, reflecting the power and potential of women. Waking the Witch celebrates witches past, present, and future, tracing the critical role they have played—and will continue to play—in shaping the world as we know it.
by Jenna Sutela
Jenna Sutela’s sound project on interspecies communication and machine learning draws on the movements of the extremophiliac bacteria Bacillus subtilis—which according to recent spaceflight experimentation, can survive on Mars—and an early Martian language originally channeled by the French medium Hélène Smith. The record channels messages from proto-Martian entities that usually cannot speak, aurally manifesting a more-than-human language.
These incenses are suitable for a variety of ritual practices. Incausa (‘In cause of’) was established to facilitate the fair trading of indigenous artisanship and heritage, 100% of the proceeds received from the sale of indigenous products are returned to the artisans makers. These exceptionally crafted medicine bundles are like nothing you will have encountered before. On the night in which not all spirits that enter are entirely welcome, we can recommend both the Palo Santo and the Pure Breu Resin; extracted from the Almacega tree of the Amazon rainforest, sacred Breu is used in healing rituals to ward off dark spirits and invite good energy.
A blend of herbs to facilitate conscious dreaming and better dream recall. For journeying into the dark months of the year and summoning the necessary insight to carry you into the next.
by Sphere + Sundry
Talismans are useful for protection, balancing out birth charts, in spellwork or as altarpieces. These offerings from Sphere + Sundry’s Kaitlin Coppock are painstakingly handcrafted to precise specifications that include distinctive ingredients, limited timeframes, taking into account the precise reading of the stars in the moment of their making.
Events and experiences
Worth a trip for the regular bookstore alone, Treadwells’ in-depth Tarot readings are available seven days a week from approachable, experienced readers. Take a look at the rare book selection for a special, unique gift with its own history. When visiting take a moment to pay homage to the large fireplace in the basement, the hearth of Pamela Colman Smith, illustrator of the classic Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck.
by Maria Christofi
Maria Christofi, author of the acupressure guide in the Ignota Diary 2020 providing simple and effective practices to alleviate and rebalance, has been practising Traditional Chinese Medicine and massage for twenty years. Offering a range of acupuncture treatments at Triyoga studios, Maria specialises in women’s wellness and comes highly recommended for treating menstrual issues, anxiety, stress, exhaustion and burnout.
Gatherings and Workshops
by Wisdom Roundhouse
A sacred arts platform conducting ceremonial gatherings, music, art performances, and workshops in London. ‘Nurturing expansion of consciousness through creative expressions of the language of nature.’ Lani Rocillo, who led the ritual launch of Ignota in the crypts of Somerset House last Halloween, has a powerful and gifted ability to transform the space and consciousness for those who gather at her ceremonies. Often working with the powerful plant Cacao and gongs to renew cellular memory, Lani guides to a deep state of presence, inner sensitivity and calm.
by the Psychedelic Society
Ongoing event series by the Psychedelic Society in London, who continue the multi-thousand-year human tradition of using psychoactive plants for healing and spiritual development. Events also include ‘meditation, breathwork, sound healing, dance, yoga, time spent in the wild and nondual contemplation’.
Hour-long sensory-deprivation floatation experiences in central London, to reset the nervous system and provide deep rest from the stresses of city life. Housed in its own private room, each tank is a vehicle: consider taking inspiration from the inventor of the sensory deprivation tank John C. Lilly, and leaving planet earth for a few hours.
by Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens offers courses in botanical illustration, propagation, perfume-making, and more. To reconnect with plants this autumn.