Saturday, 28 December 2013

Scarlet Imprint 2013 review of the year

Dear friends,

We would like to thank all of our readers, authors, artists, poets, printers and binders for a successful 2013.

Our work over this past this year has been characterised by witchcraft, having declared some of our ideas on the subject publically through 2012 with presentations at our Pleasuredome event and delivering an exposition on the Sabbath by invitation to the Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft. Those who have followed our work since the inception of Scarlet Imprint in 2007 will remember that we have spoken frequently on the work and life of Jack Parsons, still a figure neglected by mainstream witchcraft,  have written essays on our practice in Devoted and XVI, and given presentations at pagan and magical events, but 2013 was marked by a definitive statement from us with the publication of Apocalyptic Witchcraft

We have been delighted to receive so much private correspondence regarding this book from experienced members of the witchcraft community, across all traditions, who despite the radical nature of the text have recognised in it the witchcraft that they were first drawn to. Many have been delighted to see the re-emergence of Paul Huson as a name to celebrate, the attention drawn to the work of Peter Redgrove, Penelope Shuttle and Ted Hughes; as well as responding to the call to arms and unity that it represents in the face of planetary ecocide. In celebrating the successes of the year it would be remiss not to draw attention to the terrible losses that our environment continues to suffer at the hands of modern industrial culture. Here we cannot ignore fracking which threatens to poison the water, soil  and air of our sacred landscape which is the living body of the Goddess. If the land is being posioned, witchcraft must respond ...

Apocalyptic Witchcraft may have been the most reviewed book on witchcraft published this year, and we know that the ideas which it contains are only beginning to make themselves felt. For those that have missed the debate around this, reviews can be read: here, here, here, here, here and here. We value the individual reactions that people are having to this work, with translations of the Manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft now starting to appear in other languages.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft was followed by Serpent Songs, an anthology of Traditional Craft. Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold assembled the widest possible collection of voices, showing the diversity and vibrance of modern traditional witchcraft. Essays on Cornish, Basque and Swedish practices sit alongside the personal struggles and journeys of those on the path. Without the personal contacts that Nicholaj has cultivated, this book would not have been possible. We have been afforded a rare glimpse of the work that is going on beyond the show-and-tell circus of the internet.

While we are discussing the work of Dr Frisvold we should also note that his books on Palo Mayombe and Exu and Pomba Gira are being read extensively by ATR communities in the United States. These books are performing an incredible service. We are proud to be able to enable this work to be known and through it honour the strong spirits of Quimbanda and Palo Mayombe. May they be treated with the respect that they deserve rather than the sensationalism and hostility they often face.  

The year would not be complete without mentioning Jake Stratton-Kent who has completed the final volume of his Encyclopaedia Goetica series with The Testament of Cyprian the Mage. Work on this manuscript has consumed much of our time this year. The preparation of a two volume work of this scope requires a phenomenal amount of input. This explains why we have only released two titles in this calendar year. Rather than playing dice with the Christmas Post and overburdened print schedules we are delivering this text to our printer on January 6. The pre-order has been very strong and we hope to ship books late January/early February, we will update our website, blog and twitter feed with rolling progress reports on this project. The book will be officially launched on March 1 with a party at the Atlantis Bookshop in London. We hope many of you will join us there.

This year has not been all work, with successful book launches and public appearances at all the major esoteric events in the UK. We have recorded what we can and uploaded to our youtube channel as we know that many of our readers are in Europe, the United States and beyond. The volume of work prevented us organising a festival this year, and it seems unlikely that we will in 2014, though we will be appearing at many events, which we have begun to update here. Physical events are very important to us, and our views on the limitations of the internet are well known. We are embedded in the witchcraft and magic community in the United Kingdom and we extend our thanks to those who put on physical events and festivals. If we do choose to host any events of our own in 2014, they will be intimate boutique affairs. We treat our readers as our peers and we extend an open invitation to those who have not ever attended an event to do so. 

We can announce that we are working with Paul Holman on a new title: Tara Morgana. His  work has appeared in both our anthologies of esoteric poetry Mandragora and Datura, and he gave a reading at our Pleasure Dome event in Brighton. Those in London may be interested to hear him recite at the Blue Bus poetry evening on January 7. We will be announcing full details and a pre-order in Feburary of this startlingly original work. 

2014 will see the publication of new writers, poets and artists in our growing body of work. We will continue to produce both fine and hardback editions of our titles and alongside them affordable paperback and/or digital editions. Our intent is to spearhead the contemporary magical resurgence.

Working on Scarlet Imprint is a labour of love.
We thank you for sharing our beautiful books and the journey with us. 

Our best to you all for 2014 and beyond.

With Love

Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech