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An Introduction to “The Old Sod”

By Rebecca Elson

Excerpt from “The Old Sod: The Odd Life and Inner Work of William G. Gray” By Alan Richardson and Marcus Claridge. Skylight Press, 2011 (reprinted [at the link] with permission)

[Snip] William G. Gray was a real magician, a kind of primeval spirit who worked his magic as an extension of the Life Force, not as a sop to ego. No-one who met him had any doubt that he was in touch with supra-human sources of wisdom, or that from his home in a dowdy back-street of Cheltenham he was bringing through energies from other dimensions that would one day influence us all. He reeked of psychism like he often reeked of incense, could give you the uncomfortable feeling that he could see right through you and beyond, and had been to places in spirit that we could scarcely imagine. He had powers of low-key prophecy which he often demonstrated, which were often accurate, and he turned some of the convoluted magical systems that had endured for centuries inside-out and upside-down, thus making it simpler for the rest of us to work with Light. Many of the books on magic and the kabbalah which appear today owe a huge if unrecognised debt to his pioneering writing. If nothing else, he was a true original in everything he did. In some ways he was larger than life, and many people were fearful of him. In other ways he had exasperating and unapologetic human quirks which could make him seem very small, depending on where you stood – or sometimes rather appealing if you didn’t get blasted by his ire.

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