About the Author

Oliver St. John has dedicated his whole life to the theory and practice of magick and the occult, including related sciences of Tarot, Qabalah, ritual, astrology and divination, and is an acknowledged expert in these fields. He has written more than twenty books on these subjects and is the Director of Studies of Ordo Astri, Hermetic Order of the Star and Snake. He is also a musician, creates his own podcasts and writes and edits the monthly Journal Metamorphosis.

Oliver St. John: image from his Egyptian TarotThe image shown is a prototype from his Egyptian Tarot. It depicts an ancient Egyptian high priest and scribe, ‘opener of the doors of heaven’ at Thebes. Variations are used on the four princes of the Tarot, as according to the scales of colour.

There are two distinct phases to his life’s work. The first was focussed on developing a cohesive initiatic system of magick out of the considerable legacy of the Golden Dawn, as conveyed to him by its heirs among the previous generations of occultists. This meant taking a synthetic and more unified approach as opposed to the syncretism that sometimes renders disparate elements ineffective. Greater and ‘real’ emphasis is placed on the pre-religious Egyptian deities so they become central within a mandala of study and practice. Meditation is integral to operative theurgy and is not regarded as separate or mere adjunct. A high level of technical accuracy is encouraged; theoretical knowledge is indispensible, as is concentration of the mind.

The second and more recent phase concerns the universal and primordial gnosis. It is to apply the metaphysics of the Vedanta and Yoga-Sutras to construe the doctrinal knowledge of all traditions to a level beyond modern commentaries and translations of the last century and more. The practical application of such knowledge involves an adaptation of the yoga science of the Shankhya and Patanjali school that does not denature, reduce or over-simplify it. This is essential to preserving initiatic possibilities. It also provides a means of transcending the limitations imposed through the over-reliance on psychism that typifies neo-spiritualism.

Born in London, Oliver St. John currently lives near the rugged coastline of the Land’s End Peninsula, Cornwall. His background includes training and working with Mary Long, author and student of Dion Fortune, the late Gareth Knight and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, co-founder of Servants of the Light Association. He was one of the very few persons to complete a five-year course in Applied Qabalah then delivered by the latter group. He was also at one time active in the neo-pagan Fellowship of Isis, enjoying a voluminous correspondence with Olivia Robertson, the co-founder. He is a member of the Typhonian Order since over twenty years, and has contributed articles, including a short story within the Lovecraft genre, to Starfire Journal. He continues to teach students around the world and is working on several new book projects.

Books by Oliver St John
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