Our Failing Shadows


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These 25 spell-poems are otherworldly meditations on the themes of love, death, sin, redemption, ecology and nature, the ritual year, and the soul’s yearnings. Deeply mystical, they take the form of curses, hymns, incantations, evocations and invocations. Spirits and deities are called or given voice: Lilith, Woden, Babalon, one’s dæmon, and others unnamed. Readers have described the works as ‘delicious’, ‘beautiful and captivating’ and ‘powerful’.

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From a review by Haw&Thorn:

Our Failing Shadows is a twilight text, best read at dusk or dawn. Indeed, many of the poems call on themes of liminality, the unseen and the shadowy presence of the dead within the land. Few spirits are named, and those that are not draw power from their ambiguity. The poems vary in voice and style, some are invocatory, others bold statements of identity from the otherworld. The spirits are called and given a voice, and sometimes that voice whispers things uncomfortable to hear. The poet engages with concepts of sin, both religious and ecological. ‘Anticosmic’ and ‘A Curse (for Humankind)’ confront us with the fact that however much we other ourselves, we cannot escape our humanity…. It draws in form and style on ancient hymns, spells, psalms, charms and folk music. It is also a text that can be worked, including invocations to spirits and even a solitary rite, with full instructions. This is not a passive book about someone else’s spiritual experience, but one which the reader too may become involved in.

From the book’s introduction:

As works of magick are products of imagination, intent and gnosis, so are these poems. They have been reified through various occult technologies: dream incubation, trance, pathworking, automatic writing, possession. According to the poet, ‘Babalon’, for example, took on a life of its own in the writing; its words were moulded by another hand and emerged as an invocation of the Red Goddess. Can it be used as such? Try reading the Enochian version aloud 156 times and see what happens; to badly paraphrase Alan Moore: if you repeatedly declare yourself to be a slave of Babalon, then one day you are likely to wake up and discover that is exactly what you’ve become.

Additional information

Weight 0.15 kg
Dimensions 13 × 18 × 0.8 cm

50 printed pages, hard-bound in black bookcloth, with black end-papers and a full-colour dust jacket.
25 poems, each accompanied by a sigil designed by the author.


An incantation: the limen
An invocation: Babalon (Enochian)
An invocation: Babalon (translation)
An initiatory rite (for humankind)
A folk-song for Midsummer
The Deepest Myth
Wisdom of the dead
An enchantment: the World Hill
Night’s witness
A trance-poem: fever dream
The watcher
A spell: witching day
The spirit-ways
The night-soul
Rite of the Unseene Lorde
Psalm (original)
Psalm (translation)
An incantation: the Wild Hunt
A curse (for humankind)
Our failing shadows
Canticle: love of loves
Mortal life