Watkins Books

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Watkins Books in Cecil Court Watkins Books.JPG
Watkins Books in Cecil Court

Watkins Books is London's oldest esoteric bookshop specializing in esotericism, mysticism, occultism, oriental religion and contemporary spirituality. [1] The book store was established by John M. Watkins, a friend of Madame Blavatsky, in 1897 at 26 Charing Cross. John Watkins had already been selling books via a catalogue which he began publishing in March 1893. [2] The first biography of Aleister Crowley recounts a story of Crowley making all of the books in Watkins magically disappear and reappear. [3]

Mysticism Practice of religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness

Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies, together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.

Charing Cross The point from which distances from London are calculated.

Charing Cross is a junction in London, England, where six routes meet. Clockwise from north these are: the east side of Trafalgar Square leading to St Martin's Place and then Charing Cross Road; the Strand; Northumberland Avenue; Whitehall; The Mall leading to Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace; and two short roads leading to Pall Mall.

Aleister Crowley English poet, mountaineer, and occultist

Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

Geoffrey Watkins (1896–1981) owned and managed the store after his father. [4] He was also an author [5] and publisher, with notable books including first publishing Carl Gustav Jung's 1925 edition of Septem Sermones ad Mortuos . [6]

<i>Seven Sermons to the Dead</i> book by Carl Gustav Jung

Seven Sermons to the Dead is a collection of seven mystical or "Gnostic" texts privately published by C. G. Jung in 1916, under the title Seven Sermons to the Dead, written by Basilides of Alexandria, the city where East and West meet. Jung did not identify himself as the author of the publication, but credited it to the early Christian Gnostic religious teacher, Basilides.

In 1901, Watkins Books moved to 21 Cecil Court where it has been continuously trading ever since. It publishes a magazine called the Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine, which has featured leading authors from mind-body-spirit and esoteric fields. Watkins Books has been owned by Etan Ilfeld since March 2010. [7] [8] Since then, a new website has been launched, and the store regularly hosts book launches and signings. Additionally, the Watkins website has integrated a spiritual map of London that everyone is invited to contribute to. Watkins Books has also published a free Mind Body Spirit app that is available on the iPhone/iPad and Android devices. [9]

Cecil Court street in London

Cecil Court is a pedestrian street with Victorian shop-frontages in London, England, linking Charing Cross Road and St Martin's Lane. Since the 1930s, it has been known as the new Booksellers' Row and it is sometimes used as a location by film companies. The shop fronts haven’t changed for over a century, so a walk through Cecil Court is like a trip back in time.

Etan Ilfeld American poker player

Etan Ilfeld is a London-based entrepreneur and the founder of Tenderpixel gallery, Tenderbooks, Tenderflix, Repeater Books, and the owner and managing director of Watkins Books and the Mind Sports Olympiad. Ilfeld is the inventor of Diving Chess and the author of Beyond Contemporary Art, an image-driven contemporary art book, which spans disciplines ranging from science, design and architecture to new media, film-making and performance art.

Watkins makes an annual list of "the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People," which is published online and in the spring issue of their magazine. [10] The three main factors used to compile the list are that the person has to be alive, the person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale, and the person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data and is actively talked about on the Internet.

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The occult is "knowledge of the hidden" or "knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to facts and "knowledge of the measurable", usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes taken to mean knowledge that "is meant only for certain people" or that "must be kept hidden", but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends pure reason and the physical sciences. The terms esoteric and arcane can also be used to describe the occult, in addition to their meanings unrelated to the supernatural.

Marion Jean Woodman was a Canadian mythopoetic author, poet, analytical psychologist and women's movement figure. She has written and spoken extensively about the dream theories of Carl Jung.

Subtle body

A subtle body is one of a series of psycho-spiritual constituents of living beings, according to various esoteric, occult, and mystical teachings. According to such beliefs each subtle body corresponds to a subtle plane of existence, in a hierarchy or great chain of being that culminates in the physical form.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to spirituality:

Alice Bailey esoteric, theosophist, writer

Alice Ann Bailey was a writer of more than twenty-four books on theosophical subjects, and was one of the first writers to use the term New Age. Bailey was born as Alice La Trobe-Bateman, in Manchester, England. She moved to the United States in 1907, where she spent most of her life as a writer and teacher.

Left-hand path and right-hand path

In Western esotericism the Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path are the dichotomy between two opposing approaches to magic. This terminology is used in various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious black magic and the Right-Hand Path with benevolent white magic. Other occultists have criticised this definition, believing that the Left–Right dichotomy refers merely to different kinds of working and does not necessarily connote good or bad magical actions.

Kenneth Grant British occult writer

Kenneth Grant was an English ceremonial magician and prominent advocate of the Thelemic religion. A poet, novelist, and writer, he founded his own Thelemic organisation, the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis—later renamed the Typhonian Order—with his wife Steffi Grant.


Azoth was considered to be a universal medication or universal solvent, and was sought for in alchemy. Similar to another alchemical idealized substance, alkahest, azoth was the aim, goal and vision of many alchemical works. Its symbol was the Caduceus. The term, while originally a term for an occult formula sought by alchemists much like the philosopher's stone, became a poetic word for the element mercury. The name is Medieval Latin, an alteration of azoc.

The mental body is one of the subtle bodies in esoteric philosophies, in some religious teachings and in New Age thought. It is understood as a sort of body made up of thoughts, just as the emotional body consists of emotions and the physical body is made up of matter. In occult understanding, thoughts are not just subjective qualia, but have an existence apart from the associated physical organ, the brain.

Richard Kaczynski is an American writer and lecturer in the fields of social psychology, metaphysical beliefs and new religious movements. He is known for his biography of the occultist Aleister Crowley, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley, described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the major biography to date", and by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten as the best biography of Crowley.

Andrew Phillip Smith British writer

Andrew Phillip Smith is a Welsh writer who has written books on Gnosticism, Cathars and Mandaeans.

Gary Lachman American writer and rock musician

Gary Joseph Lachman, also known as Gary Valentine, is an American writer and musician.

Eroto-comatose lucidity is a technique of sex magic known best by its formulation by English author and occultist Aleister Crowley in 1912, but which has several variations and is used in a number of ways by different spiritual communities. A common form of the ritual uses repeated sexual stimulation to place the individual in a state between full sleep and full wakefulness as well as exhaustion, allowing the practitioner to commune with their god.

Madeline Montalban English astrologer and ceremonial magician

Madeline Montalban was an English astrologer and ceremonial magician. She co-founded the esoteric organisation known as the Order of the Morning Star (OMS), through which she propagated her own form of Luciferianism.

Steve Taylor (author) author

Steve Taylor, Ph.D, born 1967, is a British author and lecturer in psychology who has written several books on psychology and spirituality. He is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University.

Atlantis Bookshop bookshop in London

The Atlantis Bookshop is an esoteric bookshop in Museum Street, London. Established by Michael Houghton in 1922, it is currently owned and run by Bali Beskin and her mother Geraldine.

Treadwells Bookshop specialist bookshop

Treadwell's Bookshop is a shop in Store Street, London, in the Bloomsbury area, which sells esoteric books as well as occult supplies. It originally opened in Covent Garden in 2003.

Dianism sexual practice consisting of "sexual satisfaction from sexual contact" but without ejaculation

Dianism is a 19th-century American spiritual sexual practice consisting of "sexual satisfaction from sexual contact" but without ejaculation. The practice was named for Diana, the Roman goddess of chastity, by American court reporter and astronomer Henry M. Parkhurst in his 1882 pamphlet Diana. In the 1890s, sexual mystic Ida Craddock included Dianism as part of her teachings. In the 20th century, the practice found favor with American followers of Aleister Crowley, most notably C.F. Russell.


  1. "US film producer supplies the magic to save occult bookshop". West End Extra. 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  2. Watkins Review, Issue 24, June 2010
  3. Page 268, 1952 edition of The Great Beast by John Symonds
  4. "Geoffrey Watkins: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  5. "Watkins, Geoffrey (1896-1981)". Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. The Gale Group Inc./Encyclopedia.com. 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  6. "The automatic writings of Jung". Philipcoppens.com . Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  7. Gallagher, Victoria (March 15, 2010). "Deal agreed over Watkins Books". The Bookseller . Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  8. Kindred Spirit, Issue 109
  9. "App Store - Mind Body Spirit Books by Watkins". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  10. "The Spiritual 100 - Watkins' annual list of the 100 most spiritually influential living people!". Watkinsbooks.com. Retrieved 2012-12-09.

Coordinates: 51°30′39″N0°07′40″W / 51.5107°N 0.1277°W / 51.5107; -0.1277

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.