Magick and Me


This is the tentative, first-effort, simple-simple Web Page of Alan Richardson. There are loads of Alan Richardsons of course (it's not a name I like, actually), but I'm the one who writes dodgy books on Magick, whose motto is probably: "A little inaccuracy can save tons of explanation," and whose dying words will certainly be: "Glastonbury is for Cissies." I live with my perfect wife in a small house in a large troll-haunted town on the edge of Wiltshire, somewhat equidistant between Avebury and Avalon.

I'm quite normal really, but there is this 'Other Self' of mine which writes those odd books on Magick. I see him in the distance sometimes: He's a dark, clever bastard make no mistake. But although I have to meet up with him now and again I don't particularly like him. He's far smarter than I am, can be acid, sometimes cruel, and a real poser who (I'm told) can give brilliant lectures. But sometimes when I glimpse him I think: What a tosser!

To me who writes this, however, the thought of spending an evening in company with people who want to talk about nothing else but deep esoteric issues, and have no interest in the warm human things of life, is the most dreadful and boring thing I could imagine. So although the magick is in my head and heart all the time it's a very private thing, and writing books on magick embarrasses me. If I had my time again I'd rather be a plumber.

Y'see at very heart I can only - proudly - describe myself as a miner's son from Ashington. You can't have inflated ideas about yourself when you come from a place like that. They wouldn't let you. I've travelled all over the world but the people of that town are the toughest, gentlest, funniest, kindest I've ever known, or ever will know, with a wonderful sense of self-mockery and an instinctive talent for smelling bullshit. I haven't lived there for over 40 years, but a large part of me has never left. If the concept of 'Spirit of Place' has ever figured in my writing, then it's because of where I grew up, and first grew inward. I'd rather be an Ashington Lad than a mighty Adept.

(Although I must confess that I'm so suffused by the county I live in now that if it came to a civil war between Wiltshire and Northumberland I'd take up arms for the former. Just don't tell my sister.)

But listen, I suppose I was a weird child. Just ask me Mam. When others were jotting down train numbers, learning to smoke, or starting to show a bewildering interest in the curves and cavities of the opposite sex, I was collecting details about chakras, auras, astral projection, earth-bound spirits, yoga asanas, clairvoyance, exorcisms, past lives and all of those lurid topics which became lumped under the dreadful word 'occult'. In a completely solitary way that I would never recommend to my own supremely well-balanced kids, I became deeply, practically involved in all of these things. As I got older (and we're talking mid-teens here) I realised that not many people could cope with this, and those who could seemed even weirder than me, so I kept my distance, and kept my mouth shut, and tried to live a normal life on the surface, doing all the usual things involving sex, drugs and - well, not rock 'n roll exactly, but some really lively songs by Simon and Garfunkel. God was I bored.

So I started writing to people whose books had impressed me, and secretly getting their replies before the Mam found out and destroyed them. I wrote to: Lobsang Rampa, Gareth Knight, William G. Gray, Francis King, W.E. Butler, Israel Regardie, Christine Hartley, Doreen Valiente, Pat Crowther, Kenneth Grant and a veritable host of others. These are biggies you understand. Some of them were adepts within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Some of them more or less created the modern Wiccan movement. And even when I found out that Lobsang Rampa, the wonderworking lama from Chakpori Monastery in Thibet was really Cyril Hoskins from Thames Ditton in Surrey, I didn't lose my psycho-motor functions for more than a few days. I've still got their letters, nearly 50 years on. And one way or another they triggered off all sorts of things in my psyche. I've never been a great Magician - although sometimes I pretend I am - but I've had some astonishing adventures in Magick, on all levels, thanks to them and others like them.More about me? see the interview by Skylight: