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Amy Hale - book author

Amy Hale is the author of books: The Clairvoyant's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Mediumship, Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of The Fern Loved Gully, Within the Shadows, Fearless Public Speaking, New Directions In Celtic Studies, Raising Piran's Standard: Cornish Identity Politics and Economic Policy, Inside Merlin's Cave: A Cornish Arthurian Reader, Women's Voices in Magic, Taro As Colour, Journal for the Academic Study of Magic: Issue 5

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02
The first in-depth biographical study of the British surrealist and occultist Ithell Colquhoun, This book offers the first in-depth biographical study of the British surrealist and occultist Ithell Colquhoun, situating her art within the magical contexts that shaped her imaginative life and work. After decades of neglect, Colquhoun's unique vision and hermetic life have become an object of great renewed interest, both for artists and for historians of magic. Although her paintings are represented in such major collections as Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery, Colquhoun's rejection of both avant-garde and occult orthodoxies resulted in a life of relative obscurity. Her visual and written works have only recently received adequate recognition as a precursor to contemporary experiments in magical autobiography and esoteric feminism. After rejecting the hectic social expectations and magical orthodoxies of London's art and occult scenes, Colquhoun pursued a life of dedicated spiritual and artistic enquiry embodied in her retreat to Cornwall. Genius of the Fern Loved Gully balances engaging biography with art historical erudition and critical insight into the magical systems that underscored her art and writing.
05
The primary aim of New Directions in Celtic Studies is to focus on contemporary issues and to promote interdisciplinary approaches within the subject. Written by international scholars and practitioners in fields such as folklore, ethnomusicology, art history, religious studies, tourism and education, the book brings together in one volume a wide range of perspectives. It responds to the recent questioning of the viability of the notion of 'Celticity' and the idea of Celtic Studies as a discipline and points to a renewed vitality in the subject.
 
New Directions in Celtic Studies is divided into four sections: popular culture and representation; commodities and Celtic lifestyles; contemporary Celtic identity and the Celtic diaspora; Celtic praxis.
08
Magical cultures like all communities encode expectations about gender. Women are witches; men are magicians. Women use receptive energy, men use active energy. Intuitive women embody the moon, focus on dreaming and enjoy making things, while intellectual men embody the sun, focus on accomplishment, and enjoy doing ritual. The essays in this book explode gender stereotypes and survey the spectrum of women's experiences in magic. Women are witches, but also ceremonial magicians, Satanists and sex magicians. Women dream, use intuition and make magical tools but they also argue, create ritual, and fiercely contest their right to achievement. In these essays, pregnancy is an occasion for analysis, alchemy exists in the lab and in the kitchen, desire is a path to self-knowledge, and gender itself is a door to the deep contemplation of the meaning of magic. In this book women's voices whisper their secret experiences, narrate lives of women magicians in the past, speak of the usual and the unusual, roar their triumphal discoveries, and sing the joy of life.
09
In 1977, a series of 78 strange enamel works were exhibited in a small gallery in Cornwall. The vibrant images were modestly grouped together in five large frames. For the curious viewer the artist provided a page of explanation, affirming that these ‘psycho-morphological’ studies were, in fact, designs for a Taro. Within a few weeks, the exhibition was gone.

Such was the first and last appearance of Ithell Colquhoun’s revolutionary explorations of the Taro As Colour. The product of a lifetime of esoteric study and art practice, Colquhoun’s bold project seeks to dispense with the figurative narratives of the traditional tarot and re-imagines the forces behind each card as pure colour. Drawing from the pioneering work of Moina Mathers and Florence Farr in the 1890s, Colquhoun integrates the esoteric teachings of the Golden Dawn with Surrealist automatic techniques to produce a design for a taro deck that remains unique in Western esotericism. Setting aside the role of the tarot in fortune-telling, through the power of pure colour Colquhoun invites us to reach for transcendence.

Published here as a book for the first time, Taro As Colour draws upon newly commissioned photography to present Colquhoun’s magical designs in vivid colour. Printed using the latest techniques of six-colour offset lithography, the original cards are augmented with gold and silver inks and gloss coated to better emulate the original enamels. Colquhoun’s original essay is also accompanied by a scholarly introduction by Amy Hale, who explores the background, approach and theory behind this extraordinary body of work.
10
A multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed print publication, covering all areas of magic, witchcraft, paganism etc; all geographical regions and all historical periods.