Day 2 of the 3rd Annual Occult Detective Awards — Esoterica

Today we delve into my picks for the Best Esoterica of 2012. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to pore over a lot of occult material. I’ve been a lifelong collector and have made a number of contacts that puts me in the position to review a veritable mountain of new releases from some of the top publishers in the field. Here are my selections of what was the cream of this year’s crop —

Best Occult Release

THE BEST OF THE EQUINOX, VOL. ONE: ENOCHIAN MAGICK by Aleister Crowley and Lon Milo DuQuette — Read my review HERE

Best Autobiography

IN THE CENTER OF THE FIRE: A MEMOIR OF THE OCCULT by James Wasserman — Read my review HERE

Best Paranormal Release

THE HAUNTED MANSION PROJECT: YEAR ONE by Rain Graves and E.S. Magill — Read my review HERE

Best Esoterica Review Site

FREEMAN”S REVIEWS — Freeman Presson is one of those rare individuals that mixes a warm sense of humor with a rapier-like intellect. We met via twitter, of all places, through our mutual following of Weiser Books, whose tweets at the time were helmed by the lovely and talented Lisa Trudeau (whom I miss terribly). Freeman and I both entered into the Weiser stable of book reviewers and I was immediately taken by his often entertaining and always brilliant dissection of the books they would send him. I strongly encourage you to visit Freeman’s Reviews often. His reasoned critiques will serve you well.

Best Esoteric Website/Blog

LAShTAL —, home of the Aleister Crowley Society, is a website devoted to the Great Beast’s legacy and the impact of Crowley and Thelema on media, news and culture. Shepherded by Paul Feazey, LAShTAL is the premiere website for all things related to Crowleyana, with a wealth of reviewable material and an active forum that is populated by an intelligent and diverse membership, including some very prominent Thelemites and Esotericists.

Best Esoteric Podcast

THELEMA NOW — I was never all that interested in podcasts and call-in shows, but Frater Puck’s Thelema NOW changed all that. Officially sanctioned by the OTO, Thelema NOW is the creme de la creme predominately because of Puck’s relaxed interviewing style, a parade of interesting and intriguing guests, and poignant, stimulating subject matter. Of course there are frequent discussions of Crowley and Magick, but Thelema NOW also tackles music, literature, art, and history with equal fervor.

Vulgo Adeptus

IBIS PRESS — This year’s Top Publisher Award goes to Ibis Press. With titles such as Wasserman’s In the Center of the Fire, Levenda’s Ratlines and The Angel and the Sorcerer, Slavenberg’s The Hermetic Link, plus historically significant rereleases of books such as Pythagoras: his Life and Teachings, Ibis has made a considerable contribution to esoteric publishing. Distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser, Ibis is based out of Lake Worth, Florida and has an enviable catalogue of available titles, many of which grace the shelves in my home library, such as Barbara Black Koltuv’s underrated Book of Lilith and Karen Ralls’ Sacred Doorways.

The Ghostbreaker Award for Excellence in the Televised Research and Investigation of the Strange and Unusual

DEALS FROM THE DARKSIDE — I’m a sucker for reality shows like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Storage Wars, and the like. What better then, considering my even greater interest in esoterica, a show that delves into dark relics? Exactly. Deals from the Darkside follows extreme escape artist Steve Santini, his pal Biker Bob, and researcher Stef, in their quest to authenticate and purchase everything from a pair of Houdini’s handcuffs to an authentic executioner’s sword. Toss in occasional visits to psychics, witches, and curators of the bizarre and you’ve got a hit show on your hands — at least in my house.

And thus ends Day Two fo the Occult Detective Awards. Be sure to tune in Wednesday for my top TV & Movie picks, Thursday for my favorites in Literature, and Friday… Well, Friday will be something altogether different.


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