A Small Selection of Book Reviews
Stephen Skinner & David Rankine
Colour Version Trade Version
** three entirely new versions of the Key of Solomon in one volume, never before published **
* Publisher : Golden Hoard Press
* ISBN : 978-0-9547639-8-5
* Price : £96.00 (UK) / Approx $144.00 (US) plus P&P of £10.00
Airmailed in its own protective document case.
* Pages : 448 pages 176mm x 250mm
* Published : September 2008
The Dawn of a New Aeon, January 5, 2009
Reviewed By J. Buterbaugh (Boston, MA USA)
A few months ago I pre-ordered a limited edition copy of The Veritable
Key of Solomon directly from the publisher, Golden Hoard Press http://www.goldenhoard.co.uk
after previously enjoying volumes I, II and III of their Sourceworks of
Ceremonial Magic series. Keeping with their aim Stephen Skinner and
David Rankine provide modern English translations of the choicest
grimoire manuscripts from the Renaissance as well as provide detailed
commentaries tracing the manuscripts contents and provenance.
During those months I looked forward to owning a copy of a very rare manuscript as well as enjoy the detailed scholarship. I just received my copy, number 90, this past Thursday evening. While the student of Renaissance magic has come to expect much from Skinner & Rankine, I must tell you I am deeply smitten with my copy. It was as advertised "Hand bound in black leather and maroon buckram, with marbled endpapers and hand gold stamped... with all the pentacles in color reproduced as they are found in the original manuscripts" but it was so much more. I have chosen to read in the early hours over the last few nights rather than sleep.
Volume IV of SWCM series includes:
* An introduction tracing the provenance of Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis) through time and space.
* An original English translation of French manuscripts by Paul Harry Barron. Previously a Hebrew text translated by Professor Morrisoneau into the French.
* Three separate versions of the Keys.
* Over twice as many talismanic pentacles then were included in S.L. MacGregor Mathers' 1889 edition.
* Richly detailed illustrations within the text and the introduction.
The Veritable Key of Solomon begins with a historical survey of the Key of Solomon. Much time and effort was surely taken by the authors to untangle the overwhelming history of this grimoire tradition.
* Traces and details the earliest existing manuscripts to Greek.
* Arranges the different families of manuscripts into a highly useful taxonomy.
* Details many of the manuscripts current homes within prestigious libraries and among private collections in Europe and America.
* Separates other manuscripts that are merely attributed to Solomon and explains why they should not be included or how they were incorrectly included.
* Includes many occult personalities throughout history and their relationship with Key of Solomon as well as a first had account of its use in the Renaissance.
* Identifies the many manuscripts S.L. MacGregor Mathers used to compile his 1889 edition. The only other English translation.
However, most of this volume is dedicated to the English translation of the Key of Solomon, One of the most popular Grimoire in history, which detailed the practices used to evoke angels and demons.
* How to construct the magic circle.
* How to determine the most auspicious times.
* What perfumes were most conducive to burn, How to prepare your tools.
* What prayers and conjurations should be used.
* How to make and use the pentacles.
Easily the most comprehensive version of any grimoire on the market, The Veritable Key of Solomon is truly indeed a work of art as well as a milestone in research.
* Publisher : Golden Hoard Press (Singapore and UK), Llewellyn (US)
* ISBN : 978-0-9547639-7-9 / 0738711640 (US)
* Price : $46.00 (US) / £30.00 (UK) Ordinary hardback edition
Limited (250 copies) signed, full bonded leather collector's edition $164.00 (US) / £96.00 (UK)
* Pages : 448 pages with 16 illustrations, 800+ Tables
* Published : May 2007
Reviewer : Alex Sumner on Amazon.co.uk (August 2007)
Brilliantly, Stephen Skinner has pulled off a rare feat indeed: creating a book which is demonstrably better than its counterpart by Aleister Crowley.
Up until now, Crowley's "777" has been the standard reference for the ceremonial magician, its tabular format neatly linking what was then all the known data regarding the occult to the 32 Paths of the Sepher Yetzirah.
Yet Skinner has now gone further, by incorporating all this and a lot of extra data which Crowley never got around to including in the original work: for example, material from John Dee's angelic experiments. Hence Skinner's new opus is now the definitive reference work, and the fact that it is in a nice new format is a bonus. This is the kind of book that a serious magician will want to buy once, and keep on referring to it for many years to come.
* Publisher : Golden Hoard Press
* ISBN : 978-0-9547639-2-3
* Price : $72.00 (US) / £40.00 (UK)
* Pages : 448 pages
* Published : May 2007
A 'Must Have' for Students and Practitioners, February 25, 2008
Reviewer : Thabion (Orange, CA USA)
This book is a "must have" for anyone who is seriously interested in Solomonic ceremonial magick, from either a scholarly or a practical point of view. It is on a par with Joseph Peterson's Lemegeton --- which it complements and amplifies with a wealth of previously unpublished authentic 17th century materials from the noted magician Thomas Rudd (see A Treatise on Angel Magic, McLean 1982). Rudd was no slavish follower of ancient texts. He had even attempted a synthesis of Dr. John Dee's 16th century Enochian system and the Goetia. In the interest of purity Joseph Peterson had declined any major use of Rudd's particular personal version of the Goetia (and the remaining books of the Lemegeton: B.L. Harley MS. 6483) because of Rudd's creative additions and modifications -- with the exception of the very important sample of the Shemehamphorash invocations and sigils Rudd had used to safety and control his Goetic spirits.
As Skinner and Rankine point out, Rudd also included material from the earlier Heptameron, attributed to Peter Abano, in his version of the Goetia. It also appears that Rudd may not have used a triangle in his Goetic operations even though he was conscientious enough not to delete any of the numerous instructions for its use in the texts he was employing. In this case the author-editors find significance in the absence of a graphic representation of the triangle in Rudd's version of the Goetia. (It is possible that Rudd simply had his own version of the triangle that he did not wish to make a record of, or that a folio of the MS. is missing.) The author-editors also suggest that Rudd used the Brass Vessel as a primary conjuration device. They prudently refrain from conjecturing how it might have been employed (see page 185, not 181) but quote Rudd's notes following the standard conjurations: "You may command these spirits into the brazen vessel as you do into the Triangle. Saying that you do forthwith appear before this Circle, in this Vessel of Brass in a fair and comely shape & etc. as is showed (sic) before in the conjurations."
We are left to our own ingenium as to exactly how this would be done but, based on past experience I would suggest that a buffer and a good grade of brass polish might be essential....
As a side note, Skinner and Rankine point out that Peter Smart's 17th century drawing of what I supposed to be the back of a mirror stand was in fact a drawing of The Brass Vessel. I think they are correct about that, but I was in good company with Adam McLean in this instance, so I don't feel too chagrined at the mistake. However, I'm not about to roll over and put my paws in the air on the issue of the positioning of the Triangle. In the first place the traditional placing of the Triangle is outside the circle in the quadrant of the working, not only in most versions of the Goetia but also in the Sepher Maphteah Shelomo. With that established let's consider the further instructions: the Triangle is to be mounted "two feet off and three feet over." However Skinner and Rankine state that: "In this context `over' means `across', not above, just as the word `coast' in that period meant `edge' or the circle." This sounds scholarly but unfortunately it is, in my very humble opinion, an attempt to justify a mistake made earlier by Mathers & Crowley in the 1904 edition of the Goetia. If we consult a good glossary of Elizabethan English usage, and David & Ben Crystal's Shakespeare's Words (2002) is so regarded, we discover that the meaning of `over' is over, and the meaning of `across' is across.
With this minor quibble put by, I would like to mention some other very important contributions in this volume. The author-editors have done the best work yet in unraveling the snarling complexity of Goetic planetary and astrological attributions that have bedeviled serious scholars and magicians for centuries. Obviously we have Martian spirits (Earls and Counts) even though we have no iron-or-steel lamens for them. (Although not clearly stated in this book, we must assume that iron is not used because it traditionally repels and controls demons--especially in the Arabian tradition of the Ring of Solomon, which the authors do mention).
Rudd apparently does not use the traditional Goetic Secret Seal of Solomon to stopper his Brass Vessel. This device is familiar to all students of the art and is depicted on Peter Smart's drawing mentioned above. It shows the Brass Vessel in cross section stoppered with a layer of iron (Mars) and sealed with a layer of lead (Saturn). Iron controls spirits and Saturn is the outer planetary/sepherotic limit of the qabalistic universe the Goetic spirits inhabited before The Fall (down to Yesod, if you take our interpretation--down to the Klippoth if you follow Steve Savedow).
Rudd prefers to use another design which we find in Trithemius and Agrippa. The author-editors provide a wealth of extrapolated tables, appendices and copious footnotes. This is a very valuable work and, with my minor cavils noted, I am compelled to admire and appreciate their scholarship. As I stated at the beginning of this review. This book is a "must have" if you are serious about studying and/or practicing in the Solomonic school of magick.
Carroll "Poke" Runyon
Editor: The Seventh Ray
A Book All Magicians Need to Read and Own,
November 14, 2007
- Practical Angel Magic of Dr. John Dees's Enochian Tables
- Stephen Skinner with David Rankine
- Publisher : Golden Hoard Press * ISBN : 987-0-9547639-0-9
- Price : $65.00 (US) / £35.00 (UK)
- Pages : 292 pages with 5 illustrations
- Published : 2004
Reviewer: Mark Stavish, The Institute for Hermetic Studies from Wyoming, Pennsylvania
In publishing "The Goetia of Dr. Rudd" Skinner and Rankine have provided to the community of operative magicians an entrance way into traditional Medieval and Renaissance magical practices that until now had only been partially opened. While many books have been written about goetia, it is here, in this book, that we get insight into the actual workings of a magician who was a direct connection to Dee circle, and part of the continued transmission of those ideas in OPERATIVE form into the post-Renaissance period. The first section of the book is a general introduction into the world of magic, and an important foundation for understanding the significant differences between modern and traditional practices. There is also a discussion of 'why another book on goetia' and the significant details that sets this one apart from others - its being part of an operative diary of the work, as well as the inclusion of materials not previously seen with goetia, such as the Heptameron, suggesting a direct link between the two. While of interest to the armchair magician and academic occultist, it is practical magicians that will benefit the most from this work, as well as the previous two vols in the series - Practical Angel Magic of Dr. Dee's Enochian Tables, and Keys to the Gateway of Magic: Summoning the Solomonic Archangels and Demon Princes, also a rare Rudd manuscript. I cannot speak highly enough of these works and am indebted to the editors for making them available and look forward to future additions to the series.
A brilliant historical snapshot of the Lemegeton in action!,
Reviewer: M. Stone "Frater Iustitia Omnibus" from San Antonio, Texas
The first question that comes to mind when one sees yet another "Goetia" on the market, is obviously, "Why should I consider this edition?" In this case the answer is a little too complex to sum up in a single tag-line.
The first thing I want to make clear is, this isn't just the Goetia, as the title would suggest, but rather the entire Lemegeton! Further, it is based on the previously unpublished manuscript version compiled by Dr. Thomas Rudd. (Harley MS 6483)
While Joseph Peterson's Lemegeton is clearly the definitive version, Skinner and Rankine use this book as an operating table on which to discect how this material was used by actual working magicians of the 16th and 17th centuries. The process, according to the authors, is one of dualism, where the magician controls base entities by use of their matching divine counterparts. That is a concept that is alluded to, but never fleshed out in the Lemegeton itself. This volume goes into a great deal of detail on the use of the 72 Names of the Shemhamphorash to bind and control the 72 "demons" of the Goetia. This concept is not only spelled out, there are illustrated in these pages, the actual double-sided seals as employed by Dr. Rudd and presumably his contemporaries.
Other details that have not been previously published such as the proper use of the brass vessle and the breastplate, will be enough to get even armchair Goetic theorists off the fence, to make this purchase.
Enochian magicians may be interested in seeing Dr. Rudd's verion of Dee's Tabula Sancta cum Tabulis Enochi.
This massive 448 page work is heavily footnoted, and the student of Solomonic Magick will enjoy the ample back matter.
The contents are broken down as follows:
Front matter - 14 pages, including the introduction.
History and origins - 43 pages of it.
Evocation Methods - 24 pages exploring bindings, names, adversarial angels, invocations, equipment, and ceremony.
The Manuscripts - 241 page treatment of Dr. Rudd's full Lemegeton, which he himself called the Goetia for reasons that escape me. It should be understood that in actuality the Goetia is just one of the books of the full Lemegeton.
Appendices are broken up as follows:
Appendix 1 - Theugia-Goetia in Sloane 3824
Appendix 2 - Tables of demons from the Lemegeton (24 pages of tables!)This is a dream work of comparitive study on the Goetic entities, and their rank. Also included are Hebrew spellings of the names, alternate spellings, what if any stead ridden, other qualities, ruling angel, number of legions, planet (based on the metal associated with the spirit's rank) evoked appearance, and attributed powers.
Appendix 3 - Thomas Rudd's synthesis of Goetia and Enochia
Appendix 4 - Rudd describes 61 demons.
Appendix 5 - Sources for the material in the Lemegeton.
Appendix 6 - Seals from Sibley's Goetia.
Appendix 7 - Shem ha-Mephorash Angels
Appendix 8 - Ecclesiastical Planetary Hours
Appendix 9 - This is an odd piece but it really speaks to the 16th century mindset of Goetia and self justification. It is an explanation of names used in the Goetia, with some other random Kabalah thrown in. But if you ever need say, the consecrating prayer of Venus, well, there you go.
Appendix 10 - A study of some of the words used in evocation. This section is a Greek and Hebrew list of derivations of words used in Goetic evocations.
Appendix 11 - Narrative of Dr. Rudd, Sir John Heydon and a spirit "How a man may have the continual Society of a Guardian Genius"
Appendix 12 - Variant forms of Heptameron style circles.
Appendix 13 - Observations of metals and times of bindings.
Appendix 14 - Equipment diagrams. I was hoping for more here, but it serves its purpose.
Appendix 15 - Scot's form of commanding spirits
If you want to have a complete curriculum of Solomonic study, I suggest that you purchase this volume along with Joseph Peterson's Lemegeton. The Peterson edition is a scholerly comparitive work, while the present work is a snapshot of Solomonic Magick being put to practical work. These two volumes not only complement each other, but they are both equally vital to building an accurate picture of the scope and impact of this cycle of magick.
Mr. Skinner and I have discussed the theory of Goetic workings in the past. It should be noted that the authors not only report the dualistic model of Goetic workings, they champion the theory behind it. I myself have a different view, seeing the Lemegeton as a "Book of the Dead" for the living, moving High Shamanism into 16th century Europe (not to mention 21st Century Americas). Consider how many of these beings start out as a spirit-animal, only putting on a comely human form after a battle of wills with the exorcist of the Art. Never the less, I could hardly put this volume down. There are many pearls in these pages for any student of Solomon.
On a final note, the author pulls back the veil a bit on why there are no Goetic spirits associated with Mars, and raises the question as to there being a single demon attributed to Saturn. I had made a similar comment in my review of Runyon's reworking of the Goetia some time ago.
* Publisher : Gaia / Hamlyn (UK) / Sterling (US)
* ISBN : 1856752623
* Price : £16.99 / U$24.95
* Pages : 160
* Published : November 2006
Reviewwer : David Pitt
American Library Association. All rights reserved
Skinner, credited with introducing feng shui to the West, continues his search for the underlying order of the world with this beautifully illustrated examination of the notion that some geometries reveal hidden truths about the way the universe operates. Beginning with the Greeks, such as Euclid and Pythagoras, who, Skinner explains, invented geometry as a means of constructing sacred buildings in a way that was pleasing to the gods, the text explores a variety of natural and human-made examples of sacred geometry, including the construction of Stonehenge, the shapes of crystals, and the idea of "living spirals" (the horn of a goat, the shell of a nautilus, or DNA). While some parts of the book are harder to accept than others--see, for example, the discussion of crop circles--Skinner argues persuasively that many aspects of art, architecture, and science are linked through mathematics to universal principles that govern the universe. The book's success depends entirely on how much stock one puts in this basic premise, but Skinner makes a remarkably elegant case.
Summoning the Solomonic Archangels and Demon Princes
Stephen Skinner & David Rankine
* Publisher : Golden Hoard Press
* ISBN : 978-0-9547639-1-6
* Price : £35.00
* Pages : 255
* Published : 2005
Reviewed by James (Synesis) 25/09/05
This is the second volume in the Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic series, a promising venture, and one of the few that lives up to its promises. It seems the vast majority of occult literature falls into two camps: banal, twee nonsense that represents a re-hashing of the same material with a mixture of half-baked authorial theories, or self-consciously spooky objets d’art obsessed with coining at least three grating neologisms on each page, and ending up lodged firmly in their trans-Yuggothian backsides. This is, thankfully, something different.
Skinner and Rankine operate on a different basis: researching into manuscript sources of ceremonial magic as actually practiced by magicians in the last 500 years, reaching back further than the sometimes muddle-headed redactions of Samuel Mathers, and releasing them so that modern-day magicians have a firm, experimental and practical base to build from.
One might well contend that other researchers, such as J.H. Peterson, Richard Kieckhefer, Claire Fanger and the like, have already done a lot in this field. In a way this is right, but it is also misleading. In the pursuit of a manuscript tradition, a scholar will rightly go back to the earliest traceable document. This is not always useful for a magician – who will want access to the most complete and developed text, refined through usage. This is what is being done in this series, while maintaining high academic standards in the approach to the MS material, noting major textual differences between the sources and so on.
On a purely aesthetic level, the book is as satisfying as its predecessor, in terms of paper weight, binding and printing. The Angelic seals are clearly reproduced throughout, and the jacket is graced by a stunning and tantalising illustration from the Clavis Inferni, which will be published in one of the forthcoming volumes of the series.
But on to more important matters – the content. The introduction is excellent, outlining the importance of the subject matter, and how it relates to the western tradition in general – explaining, for instance, the hierarchy of the heavens as mentioned in the text and the relation between the angelic choras as understood by the Renaissance and Enlightenment magicians and the traditional choirs of angels in the Qabalah, as well as the topography of the celestial and empyrean realms as understood by those magicians. The reviewer of the previous book who asserted that it demonstrated a lack of understanding of Dee’s cosmology will find evidence to the contrary here.
Those interested in the MS sources (predominantly Sloane 3825 and Harley 6482, with others), will find them traced clearly here, as well as a well-placed jab at psychotherapist pseudo-magicians, combined with interesting discourses on the nature of initiation as active and passive, and the complex relationship between magic and religion.
The MS materials themselves are divided into three parts. The first, Janua Magica Reserata, consists of a collection of discourses on various magical subjects, from the perspective of a Christian magician. Much of the early part of this collection is in the form of aphorisms, coloured by Christian pietism, but certainly worthy of reading. This part is somewhat reminiscent of the surviving first volume of the Arbatel of Magick in its aphoristic and pious nature.
This part of the text then goes on to explore the nature of and relationship between many varied spiritual beings, from the Archangels to Incubi and Succubi, to Hobgoblins and the like. This section is fascinating both historically and magically, and is also proof that awareness of Dee’s Enochian system did not lie dormant until the late 19th Century (see, for instance, pp 68-9).
The second part is the magical core of the book – the invocations of Dr Rudd (a figure who will now hopefully become more widely renowned as a magician), designed to conjure the nine Archangels to visible appearance. It is interesting that this section is prefaced by entirely practical considerations, such as how to recognise the phenomena preceding manifestation and the exact period of time one should allow to elapse prior to repeating the invocation. These invocations are elegantly constructed, with occasional importations of phraseology that show the influence of Dee and other grimoire traditions, though substantially they are original compositions. Their unique feature is that they are essentially one three-page sentence, which reflects the way that the conjurations should be employed – as a continuous flow.
The third and final part – conjuration by the demon princes – is equally interesting. It employs essentially the same method to evoke various spirits adjutant to the four great kings familiar from most grimoires (Oriens, Paimon, Amaymon, Egyn), though many of the names of spirits are unfamiliar from other texts. It is interesting to note that the procedure for evocation is virtually identical for both Angels and Demons.
I hope the preceding has given a good idea of what is contained in the book – I recommend it unreservedly to those interested in the field, both as an interesting historical text and especially a complete and practical system of evocation. I end with the quote from Rudd that adorns the beginning of the book:
“He that is a true Magician, is brought forth a Magician from his Mother’s womb; and whoso is otherwise, ought to recompense that defect of Nature by Education.”
And this book is certainly part of that education.
Reviewwer : David Pitt
From two previously unpublished 17th century manuscripts on Angel Magic, with instructions for their use as used by Wynn Westcott, Alan Bennett, Rev. Ayton, F L Gardiner and other members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The authors have discovered what happened to John Dee's most important manuscript, his book of personal angeilic invocations which he kept in Latin, and how it was preserved and developed by 17th century magicians into a full working magical system. How only a small part of this material reached the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the 1880's. Even this was then suppressed by the chiefs of the Order, and it did not appear in Israel Regardie's monumental work on the Order rituals.
They have also traced how the classical techniques of invocation and evocation drawn from late mediaeval grimoires, were passed through John Dee's magic, via Elias Ashmole, to the aristocratic angel magicians of the 17th century, including some of the most powerful and influential figures in England.
In the 20th century many fanciful constructions were added to G.D. Enochian by writers such as Aleister Crowley, who were however all unaware of the completely developed system that already existed, and which is here published in full for the first time.
A little bit of history, December 1, 2004
Reviewer: lunamoore from Nottingham
"I have finally read this book which was a surprise gift from a GD friend of many years - and what a gift!
Stephen Skinner has long been regarded as one of the leading authorities on Enochian magic and this book follows in that great tradition. It might not be the book which was promised many decades ago, but then many other, often inferior books, have been published since then.
In addition to making available Sloane 307 and 3821 this book also contains many other gems. What excited me most was the excellent introduction to the book.
The information on Goodwin Wharton and Baron Somers of Evesham was particularly interesting. The fact that Wharton was working with fairies as well, should be of interest to all modern pagans who have considered that form of magic to be purely the witch and the cunning man.
Undoubtedly this book will open up many debates on Enochian magic, but these debates are necessary for the system to be brought fully into the 21st century - albeit through the availability of material from the 17th!
I myself struggled for years to make sense of some aspects of the system as presented by the Golden Dawn. With the availability of the material in this book it is clear that for some reason the Golden Dawn omitted source material and extrapolated the system now currently worked generating flaws and not being true to the original spirit of the work done by John Dee and other magicians of his time.
Personally I am looking forward to subsequent volumes in this series."
An exciting and welcome work on Enochian Magick, December 1, 2004
Reviewer: mialia111 from London and Sydney
"An excellent work presenting previously unavailable manuscript material on the Enochian system! The introductory chapters setting the context for the development of Angel Magic, and the transmission of the tradition through various members of the British aristocracy were both fascinating and useful for explaining how the Enochian system came into being.
It is refreshing to see authors putting so much emphasis on giving academic quality in their presentation of manuscript material, with Sloane 307 being used as the main document, as is appropriate for the earliest of the manuscripts treated. The textual differences between this and Sloane 3821 and Rawlinson D1363 are given in exact detail, even to minor word variations, as one would expect from such a noted scholar of Enochian as Stephen Skinner.
I was particularly interested in the comparison to the Golden Dawn's Book H, and by this demonstration of the number of minor changes that crept in to the text that the Golden Dawn did use (only a small part of the manuscript concerning the creation of the names of the Enochian beings). And of course the appendix giving Alan Bennett's version, written back into olde style English by Bennett, was an added bonus, as so little of this great magician's work is available to any student of magick - and it was nice to see that the books acknowledged him in this way by the dedication."
Ecstasy and Excitement and more, November 13, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Birmingham
"For a long time magickians have been talking about the lack of new talent, and how all the old school magickians seem to have disappeared. Well this book changes this and much more.
A collaboration between the legendary Stephen Skinner, famous in magickal circles for his work with Francis King producing classics such as Techniques for High Magic and for his work on Geomancy - with British magickian David Rankine, who has long been giving lectures and workshops on magickal subjects around the UK this book gives the reader, especially those with a genuine interest a fantastic body of material to digest.
The book is the first in a series planned by the authors, and contains previously unpublished manuscript material, with carefully researched footnotes, comparative research between similar manuscripts, a colour reproduction of the tables (from the original) and an excellent introduction.
As a limited edition and judging from the level of interest in the community around me at the moment, this book is going to be sold out soon!
This book is pure ecstasy and will provide the serious student with excitement for weeks and months to come!"
* Publisher : Tuttle Publishing
* ISBN : 0804834334
* Price : $ 18.95
* Pages : 239 pages, 25 illustrations
* Published : 2003
Reviewer : Sylvia Bennett in Feng Shui News
"Stephen Skinner ranks amongst the best known names in the feng
shui world today. He founded and published the Feng Shui for Modern
Living magazine and is author of a number of excellent books on the
Stephen has a strong academic background. A graduate of Sydney
university, he majored in English, philosophy and geography, on
which he subsequently lectured. His intellectual journey took his
research interests to magic and geomancy, then on to explore
extensively both the mysteries and factual attributes of feng shui.
Stephen has gained undisputed expertise through many years of
working in the field in collaboration with modern Chinese
practitioners and others in the Far East.
Despite its easy going sub-title-Change your energy Change your luck' , this is a serious book for followers of Classical feng shui. It contains the most comprehensive and useful information on the complex subject of flying stars and their analysis yet published. New Para Particularly of interest is the comprehensive information given on the underlying theory of the nine stars and the lo p'an. Unusually, Stephen also offers advice on cures which is often lacking from books on this subject.
The style of presentation is practical, concise and organised,
with tables for generating charts. The Appendices are superb, containing a series of clearly laid out
calculation tables and a typical site analysis. Of special interest is the source for and the description of the
mountain forms and the 9 stars. The Water Forms of the 9 Flying
Stars 'hints' at how to place water effectively at certain times.
Finally, Stephen offers a comprehensive glossary and resource
listing, which includes the details of various useful websites. This
excellent book will be of great value for the feng shui practitioner
and equally fascinating for a lay enthusiast of feng shui."
* Publisher : Dorling Kindersley
* ISBN : 0789481472
* Price : $ 20.00
* Pages : 368 pages with many full colour illustrations
* Published : 2001
Reviewer : Elizabeth Moran Biktashev from Los Angeles
"Kiss the competition goodbye! Energize your life with DK's KISS Guide to Feng Shui. Read about feng shui practices originally known only to ancient Chinese philosophers. Understand ch'i -- the energy that flows through our bodies and everything around us. Learn how to find a good feng shui practitioner, what to expect, and how much you should pay. Discover which remedies work best in particular situations. Improve your home and property with practical feng shui tips such as an auspicious position for your bed. Give any office space a feng shui makeover, from analyzing entrances to providing beneficial water features. The Keep It Simple Series is the new standard in how--to books! Written by leading experts, each book includes full--color photographs and illustrations throughout, making these the first and only truly accessible guides for beginners.
The Keep it Simple Series distinguishes itself from other series like the Idiot and Dummy Guides by its extensive use of color and photographs. However, the superior content far outweighs the appealing cosmetics of the book's layout and design. In a nutsell, Stephen Skinner knows what he's talking about. In fact, he's a world renowned expert in the field as well as the author of one of my favorite feng shui books, The Living Earth Manual of Feng Shui. In his KISS book, Stephen provides an excellent overview of what feng shui is and how it can help you maximize your health, wealth, and relationships. It's well-organized and easy to read. Implement his practical advice and you'll witness first hand feng shui's power. A thousand kow tows Stephen for elevating this Chinese practice!"
The Chapters Include:
What is Feng Shui? - Wind Water, a connection to natural elements. "Flow"
Who Does Feng Shui and Why?
A Look at Feng Shui's History
Gods, Graves, and Feng Shui Masters
Ch'i and Alignments
The Building Blocks of Feng Shui
The Trigrams and the Lo Shu
Feng Shui Inside Your Home
Living Rooms, Dining Rooms and Bedrooms
Bathrooms, Kitchens and Corridors
Business Feng Shui and Color
The Four Celestial Animals
Feng Shui Outside Your Home
Water Dragon Feng Shui
The Feng Shui Garden
The Eight Mansion Formula
Feng Shui Remedies
Symbolic Feng Shui
The East Life/West Life Formula
Time and the Calendar
Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches
Compass School Feng Shui Tools
"If you are serious about Feng Shui or extremely curious, this book has more than you will ever want to know."
* Publisher : Trafalgar Square Publishing
* ISBN : 1570761612
* Price : $29.95
* Pages : 160 pages ; Dimensions : 0.92” x 11.15” x 8.50”, Hundreds of colour photos
* Published : 2000, 2005
Reviewer : Barbara Jacobs
"It is a tall order to bring harmony, health, wealth, and happiness into a home and family. Still, magazine publisher Skinner, who claims to be the first 20th century English writer to document and explain feng shui, insists that the application of "wind and water" can indeed change your life. As proof, topics expand beyond the placement of furniture, decorating elements, and the assurance of unhampered positive energy flow; of the greatest interest to readers will be the elegant color photographs illustrating both room scenes and individual decorating elements--chairs, tables, flooring, and the like - that will make or break a harmonious vignette."
Reviewer : Ronan from Wilmington, DE
"Contrary to one of the commentaries on this book, I loved it. I have read over 25 Feng Shui books and felt Mr. Skinner's version was put together very logically, with beautiful pictures, and is easy to follow. I would recommend this book for both beginners and knowledgeable people. I just brought it home from a Thanksgiving vacation and used to it help my mother understand Feng Shui as we worked on her house. Great Book!"
Reviewer : Midwest Book Reviews
"This colorful guide shows how the concepts of feng shui can be integrated with contemporary home style, packing in over 200 color photos to illustrate the point. The focus not only on explaining feng shui but associating it with modern home interior design style makes for a revealing and involving guide."
* Publisher : Paragon
* ISBN : 0752523856
* Price : $25.00
* Page : 96 pages, many colour illustrations
* Published : 1997, 2005 (Boxed set published 1999)
* Alternate edition : This title also comes as a boxed book (ISBN 0752532375) incorporating the first ever working lo p'an compass to be incorporated with a book set
"This highly illustrated book, leads you 2 pages at a time through Traditional Form & Compass feng shui. Each 'doing page' gives you a place to enter your own results so that you can refer back to them every time you want to check you own feng shui. No BHS feng shui however. Very clear, very simple to intermediate, written by the guy who introduced feng shui to the non-Chinese world back in the the mid 1970s."
(Many editions with over 100,000 copies sold)