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Arthur Waite Kindle books

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I noticed that quite a few titles of Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942) can be found in the Amazon Kindle store. Perhaps this is not that surprising. The titles are often over a century old. The author has been dead for over 80 years. Copyright is probably no longer an issue. On several places online you can now get digitalised Waite titles either free or cheaply available.

The publications are sometimes short. They were originally printed in magazines for example. Other titles do have some length. I have read through a few shorter ones such as What Is Alchemy?, Emblematic Freemasonry, Building Guilds and Hermetic Schools, Collectanea Chemica.

Many years ago I read some of Waite’s more famous works. He was an interesting character who wrote about a variety of esoteric and occult subjects while trying to be both scholarly and ‘occult’. He worked in a fairly new field about which recently large amounts of literature started to emerge, mostly from Theosophical circles. Interest in such subjects was booming. Waite was active in various organisations too. Even though many of the things he wrote (about) has been improved on after his time, his not-just-scholarly-approach still brings food for thought today. I do not lean much new in his books, so perhaps it is a good thing that these titles are available cheaply, so I can just scan them and see if there are any leads for further investigations and proceed from there.

2022 in books

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I do not often immediately buy a book when it is available. When I find a book that I want to read, it is usually pretty old. I did actually review three books published in 2022 this year. One about Freemasonry, one about Rosicrucians and one about Grufties.

I reviewed 22 books this year. This is the most active part of this website! Four out of five stars I gave The Magus Of Freemasonry, Universal Aspects Of The Kabbalah And Judaism and Zonder Blinddoek, respectively about Elias Ashmole, a compendium of texts of Leo Schaya (Jewish Traditionalist) and about Freemasonry. Most of the rest were 3.5 stars (good enough book). Disappointing were The Craft and The Kybalion.

Too bad all these books do not inspire me to write articles (at least not on


A while ago I had a period in which I did not really have any books I really wanted to read. But even when I do, I do not have unlimited supplies to spend on books. Besides, I try to only buy books that I think are a good addition to my library and not books that beforehand I know I will only read once. In the latter case I try to read the book digitally.Read More »Rereadings

An unreviewed book

It does not happen often that I get myself a book and decide not to review it. Hraftzer Asatru: An Introduction is one such though. I got the book because I never heard of “Hraftzer” and was curious what new kind of Asatru would have sprung from the USA. The book proved to be a serious A4 book of 267 pages. It soon became clear that “Hraftzer” sprang from the mind of an individual who came up with the term just because it sounds somewhat Scandinavian (but says as much too). I know this may sound like a blow under the girdle, but I do not mean this that dismissive, but the book reminds of a certain manifestoe that was launched in Norway five years ago. Like in that manifesto, the author is gravely disappointed by modern society and aims to refer it to a more ‘traditional’ makeup with parts of ‘different kinds of people’. The book is more a sociological or even political manifest than a heathen one. Actually, “Asatru” seems nothing much more than a very thin varnish to suggest a return to a more tribal, each to their own, way of living with a few rituals, but mostly a lot of reverence for the ‘elder’ of the organisation.

Not my type of literature.

No blog

At some point I thought it was a good idea to make a “blog” for every section so I could share other relevant information than reviews and articles. I see now that I have not done so in five years! It is not like I stopped reading books. Far from it! You also see new reviews frequently. So what exactly did I plan to use this ‘books blog’ for? I run into a publisher that I did not know every once in a while. A publisher may fold (such as Salamandar and Sons recently), I have longer running ‘projects’ (such as the 1800 page Manifesto of Breivik), but how interesting is all that? Oh well, it costs no extra effort, so I will just keep the “blog” open.

Free Rune journal

Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies
The scholarly annual journal Futhark has begun publication in december 2010. The periodical is published in digital form (Open Access), with a facility for print-on-demand.

The periodical is an independent journal, but has as its base of operations the Runic Archives at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, and the Runic Forum at the Department of Scandinavian Languages, Uppsala University.

The first issue can be bought in hardcopy, but also downloaded for free from the Journal’s website. It looks like an academic publication, connected to the University of Uppsala. I have not yet start reading it, but I thought you might be interested in hearing about it already.

Byebye Ritman library

The problems for the famous Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica get bigger and bigger. The magnificent collection of Hermetic, Alchemistic, Rosicrucian, Theosophic, Christian mystic, etc. etc. manuscripts used to be the private collection of Joost Ritman who became rich making airplane cutlery. For many, many years he bought ancient books and manuscripts, displaying them in a public library, a mouthwatering place to visit with 20.000 items. In 1993 Ritman’s firm almost went bankrupt caused by the airtraffic malaise. He was forced to sell his entire collection of art (including Rembrandts and many ancient and famous works) and to retire as director of his library. For some time, things got better. About 10 years later, the problems returned and it even went so far that the Dutch government spent 18 milion euros to buy a third of the “unreplaceble collection”. These books remained in the library. Now we are again 5 years further down the road, but this time it does not look like things can be overcome for a third time. Apparently Ritman (though no longer director) spent the money that he was supposed to receive from our government (but still did not receive?) to rebuild the library, it even seems that there were plans to move to another location. Because he did not have the money yet, Ritman got yet another loan with his bookcollection as collatoral. Then Ritman thought he again needed more money, so he decided to sell his most expensive book at Sotheby’s, a manuscript about King Arthur which raised 2.8 million euros. Naturally the back did not appreciate that Ritman was selling their collatoral, so they sent a bailiff to ensure what is theirs. Like I said, the problems are not as easily solved this time, so the goverment decided to withdraw their part to the (now closed) library and move them to the Royal Library in Den Haag. The library has been closed for a couple of month and by the look of it, I would say that bankruptcy is inevitable. That would mean the definate end of the most magnificent library in Northern Europe, perhaps even of the world…

Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte reprints!

I just accidentally found out that there are reprints of the legendary Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte of Jan de Vries!! There has been no reprints of it since 1970 and the secondhand copies are extremely expensive. De Gruyter, the original publisher, recently made available hardcopy reprints and an ebook versions (the latter are only available for libraries) of both the 1956 and the 1970 editions. The reprints seem to be a printing-on-demand and cost the staggering sum of 123 euros or 175 dollars per volume (I got my two-volume secondhand copy for that!). Hopefully when the costs of digitalising the book are earned back, the price will drop. More information here. (And use the search function to look for “Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte.)
I was curious if that title is available from Amazon Germany and there I saw the reprints for 175 euros per volume.

I am glad that there are reprints, but the price will have to drop drastically for this to become interesting.


It took quote some effort and a little luck, but I am very happy with the current states of the quotes section. In the navigation on top you can choose “quotes”, I am sure you knew. Since a few days there is one quote per “post”, because I managed to make a navigation similar to the “browse” function for the book reviews. As a matter of fact, I even managed to have quotes listed per author, with a link to the author’s book reviews. Theoretically this should also be possible the other way around, but I ran into some issues that are currently too serious for my coding skills.
Now I need to read ‘quoteworthy’ books!


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Ever since I started to read again (about 20 years ago) and especially when my amount of books started to grow I had the idea that when I got the room for it, I wanted a library. I met a bibliophile girl and a little over three years ago we bought a house. One of the first priorities was the library. My girlfriend has many more books than I do. Contrary to me she buys books without the need to read them (immediately). What you see below is a glimpse of one half of our library. It even has a couch and a radio and yet I am always never to be found in it. I prefer the living room where my music is and a descent audio installation… And ever since the library is finished it needs to be tidied up!