Sixteen Essays on Magick and the Politics it Implies
Stephen Mace, 166pp, A4. Available from Dagon Productions
Addressing Power is a collection of essays by Stephen Mace, many of which have been previously published in journals such as Chaos International, Nuit-Isis, and Widdershins. Stephen Mace is probably best-known in the UK from his regular contributions to Chaos International and Pagan News, and his works have achieved the 'cult' status of being much sought-after - and deservedly so.
The first section, "Magick" includes some of Mace's best works - dealing with the Holy Guardian Angel, Power Spots, Astral Projection, omens, and practical sorcery. There is much food for thought in these essays, and I particularly like the way he blends aspects of the work of both Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley and takes them further. Although Spare's work has received much attention of late, there seems to be relatively few works available which take Crowley's ideas one or two steps further rather than simply (as is so often the case) restating it. Mace's ideas are eminently applicable and his methods for 'sorting out spirits' for example, are arguably a replacement for that classical magical retirement, the Book of Abra-melin.
As Mace says in the introduction, this collection gives an insight into the progression of his magical work over the last ten years or so - and he ably demonstrates that rare talent of mixing erudition with down-to-earth practicality.
Part Two of the collection is five essays under the heading of "Politics". Mace makes some pithy observations about modern culture as seen through a magical lens. Again his erudition shines through when he expounds his ontological speculations and when he presents a critique of the ideas of Hakim Bey.
Overall, this is an excellent collection of ideas & observations about magic and is well worth acquiring. It has often been remarked that modern Chaos Magic is founded on the works of Crowley & Spare, and Mace's work demonstrates this point. Any magician, regardless of affiliation, should find this collection fascinating. Magic at the cutting edge indeed! - Phil Hine