Various, XVI (Scarlet Imprint, 2010): A Book Review

Thanks to Frater Iskandar:

There is something distinctly apocalyptic about the collection of essays published by Scarlet Imprint under the Roman numeral title of XVI, associated with the 16th card in the Tarot deck, otherwise known as “The Tower,” or “The House of God.” Sixteen authors muse on the meaning of the card, taking it as the point of departure in order to discuss the perceived collapse of our present civilization, the ecological and economic crisis, and magical ways of coping with the end of the ‘age of exuberance,’ the breakdown of authority, and the initiatic experience of the dissolution of one’s own sense of separate identity. The writers and the writing are at the cutting edge of the contemporary magical current, informed inevitably and clearly by Crowley and Thelema. The opinions are diverse and the views often verge on disturbing: there is certainly nothing in the book that would be acceptable to everyone, and that is as it should be. The overall message is however clear: it’s the end of the world as we know it, whether we like it or not. In the words of Peter Grey, one of the two principal editors of the collection, and the co-owner of the Scarlet Imprint, “If there is one piece of alchemical arithmetic you need to take away from this entire book, it is this: for every one calorie of food produced, ten calories of oil are needed to produce it” (“Seeing Through Apocalypse,” 92; emphasis in the original). You do the math.

It would be inaccurate, however, to think that this is a volume of gloom. Quite the opposite, the bulk of the essays urge towards action: magical, political, ecological, erotic, you name it. To quote Peter Grey again, “In opposition to the Tower we raise the image of the maypole. A living symbol on a human scale. An image of resistance ” (“Forwarned,”

3 thoughts on “Various, XVI (Scarlet Imprint, 2010): A Book Review

  1. Pingback: First online review of XVI « Scarletimprint’s Blog

  2. Coolest Idea I have heard in a while.
    Bring on the eyes open bit.
    ARIES anyone?
    (Where can I order this book by the way? I’m in holland and have no credit card.)

  3. The book is available from the publisher, the link is provided in the review. They should also be able to answer the question related to the credit card issue. Good luck.

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