Today I’m delighted to be able to introduce Peregrin Wildoak an author whose book By Names and Images is published by Skylight Press, who are due to publish my novel Song of the Sea God in October this year. Thanks very much to Peregrin for a fascinating insight into his life and his work as a writer.
I was born in Warwickshire in the mid 60s and emigrated with my family to Western Australia when I was 12. I have always been affected by the spirit of place, history and ancestors, so that even now I feel I am both English and Australian, moved by the people and land of both countries.
Early in my life I entered the practice of esoteric spirituality, seeking to understand and serve the universe, the One (God) and myself. This has been my motivating force ever since, expanded and refined by the birth and parenting of my now nearly-adult son.
I see a seamless thread existing between all aspects of life, personal, political and spiritual – each sphere informs the other in my life, and I try to live with as much integrity as possible among the manifold distractions within and without.
Professionally I work providing information to counsellors and others assisting refugees who have experienced torture and trauma.
Tell me about your journey as a writer – how you started and how you have developed?
It is funny, when I was a kid I wanted to be a writer – just the idea you know, and I enjoyed and excelled in it at school. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but have never developed my craft or discipline enough to produce quality fiction writing or poetry. This writing is just for myself at present 🙂
I chose to write the book I did because there was a glaring need for it – there was simply a gap in the available knowledge which I experienced as a young man, and I did not want anyone else to experience. So, I learnt and developed my skills for many years before even thinking of starting on a writing project, though the intention was always there. The motivation for sharing the knowledge, to fill the gap, was strong enough to help me find the discipline to write and craft my book. If I had the same motivation for my fiction and poetry I would (hopefully) be published in those genres as well. My partner is a published and awarded novelist and poet and I have learnt much from her and her writing community.
How would you describe your work – it‘s themes and the important things about it?
My work, written and oral teaching centres on the inner dimensions of life. Writers, artists and poets know exactly what I mean when I talk about this, but the esoteric traditions work with the concept as an objective, as well as a subjective reality. So my work is about how our inner, subjective worlds are influenced by and also inform the greater inner world of the spirit – spirit of time, spirit of place, spirit of country and spirit of people.
The importance of this inner dimension seems to me more and more crucial as our western culture develops the cult of the outer, the appearance and the superficial to a greater and greater degree.
‘By Names and Images’ is about a particular kind of ritual spiritual magic, that of the Golden Dawn, originally a group in Victorian England inspired by the mythical Rosicrucian brotherhood, a 17th century group of Christian-Hermetic mystics.
The Golden Dawn tradition included as members many significant and important people, including the poet WB Yeats, the novelists E. Nesbit and Charles Williams as well spiritual pioneers like Pixie Colman Smith the artist of the most popular Tarot deck in the world.
‘Magic’ is an odd word, with many meanings that have changed over the centuries. It was once seen as a divine science with nothing but the highest spiritual connotations, far removed from today’s association of disrepute and outdated, psychologically dubious modes of thought. However, the best definition of magic I feel comes from Golden Dawn adept Florence Farr when she wrote, a century ago, that magic “unlimits” us. It takes us beyond regular everyday existence into the presence of the sacred, the numinous and the unknowable.
My book describes exactly how to do this, by providing the hitherto unpublished keys to the inner dimensions of the Golden Dawn, the inward visualisations, methods of meditation and breath control and prayer that makes the magic work. So, it’s a very good read – giving something alive and real on each page! I am glad to say all the experts in the field seem to like it, even though it’s written for a wide audience; if you have no previous exposure to the subject you’ll be able to work through it easily.
Where can I buy a copy of your book?
Well, it’s on all the usual online sites, and in a few esoteric and general bookshops around the place. So, have a look at Book Depository or Amazon – or you can get it from my wonderful publishers, Skylight Press. You can find links to all of these sites, previews and reviews at www.bynamesandimages.com. Thanks 🙂