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New Releases by SOL-Related Authors

  • The Wizard's Apprentice: Your Secret Path to Making Magic - by Herbie Brennan

New, from Herbie Brennan. Stay tuned for more details!


  • The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Relationships in the Minor Arcana - by Kate Warwick-Smith

Note from Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki:

Many congratulations to Kate Warwick-Smith, one of our senior Supervisors, on the publication of her first book pictured here and avaliable from Amazon.com.

Kate, who lives in California with her family has been working on this new concept of the Court Cards for a long time and although I only managed a brief look at the Mss when I was with her in September, I can tell you that it will make you sit up and take notice. Certainly it will take its place on the SOL reading list and I hope you will all find a place for it on your shelves.

Michael and I have seen many first class authors, artists, and presenters emerge from the SOL over its thirty years of existence, a fact that makes us feel very proud of them and of the School and Ernest Butlers teachings.


  • Inner Journeys - Explorations of the Soul - by Dr. Gary M. Vasey

When one enters a school for spiritual training there will always be a time of apprehension. What will it be like, what will I be asked to do, will I be able to cope? In actual fact 90% of students find all their questions answered within a few weeks and settle down to their studies with varying degrees of enthusiasm punctuated by the odd moments of boredom. Studying the occult is like any other study, you have good and bad days, some parts are interesting and others make you want to throw your papers out of the window.

But until now there have been few people who have actually sat down to write about their experiences, their hopes, fears, visions and disappointments while undertaking such a course. That is why this book is so important for both SOL students and those working in any spiritual school or Order.

The writer is a man whose life from an early age has been inexorably drawn towards spiritual study. Throughout the book you share with him the early days of family life and college and his struggle to pinpoint and control the psychic talents within him. He takes the reader through all his trials and tribulations, the highs and lows of his search, the training he eventually undertakes, and the way in which he finally found his path.

For those beginning the SOL or any spiritual course, read this before you start. It pulls no punches, it tells you frankly that you will find it often tedious and boring, but you will also find it at other times uplifting and exhilarating.

Those with no real insight have the idea that in ancient times every temple student lived a life of exciting ritual alternating with divine visionary experiences. In point of fact their lives were very like ours, full of humdrum tasks lightened by the relatively few exciting bits. A study of the occult is still like that and this book makes that clear. It is honest, down to earth, and very practical,and this makes it a valuable tool for those following in Michael’s footsteps as he makes his way towards his goal. I recommend it to all SOL people past, present and future. This is what you can expect from the course, and from your training. The author has my vote of confidence and thanks for an important addition to the SOL reading list.

Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki

Dreaming to Some Purpose - Colin Wilson

Many biographies are written to either praise or condemn the subject and require a lot of research. Most autobiographies on the other hand are written to bare one's soul and require courage and what my Jewish friends would call Chutzpah! For my money Colin Wilson’s autobiography has both, and to add spice to the whole thing there are moments of high drama and some great laughs. He has spared us nothing of the ups and downs, highs and lows of his life, or, for that matter his strengths and his flaws. He seems to attack life demanding that it gives him reasons for living it to the full, when reading it I felt he had lived several lives in the space of just one.

No one reading this ‘warts and all’ account of the life of this extraordinary man can fail to be struck by a) his self honesty and b) his sustained belief in his own ability to succeed. Gifted with an inquiring mind that won’t let up and an insatiable curiosity about the world around and within him he has changed many lives with his books on a variety of subjects so wide as to beggar belief. He was labelled one of the ‘Angry young men’ of his generation, but I disagree. He was not so much angry as determined to make the world sit up and take notice of him. We live in an age when many are able to go to university…and waste there time there. Here is someone who should have had that chance and didn’t get it, but who went on to prove that you don’t need a degree to succeed.

In his autobiography he holds nothing back, nor would we want him to do so, for by seeing how he sees himself we can see ourselves more clearly. He holds up a mirror to the dark and light aspects of his soul and… says it softly, revels in both sides of his nature. He doesn’t like it when he is wrong, but he will admit it. That alone is worth an epitaph!! He speaks frankly of the struggle to keep an even financial keel throughout his career. Contrary to public opinion writers seldom make enough money to live on.

The book is packed with anecdotes about famous people, (there are precious few he has not met) often with a tongue dipped in a little vitriol, the book then veers off into amazing insights into the works and minds of Husserl, Maslow, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Jung, as well as those of Auden, Elliot, Isherwood and their like. Along the way he has made enemies and trodden on toes but one gets the feeling that such things will not cause any loss of sleep. The human mind and its un-awakened potential is a recurrent theme throughout the book and one he has pursued most of his life, along the way taking in the Occult, Right and Left Brain, Atlantis, Sacred Sites, Television series, and University Lecture tours. Don’t forget the music, this is a man who can listen to a recording and tell you not just the name of the soloist, but who is conducting, and all without looking at the label!

When I read his first book The Outsider I found I was not as alone, or as crazy as I thought. For the first time I was able to believe in my self. To write a book like this, you have to know yourself very, very, well. To publish it you have to have a lot of faith in yourself. Colin Wilson has both. In my workshop and seminars I offer lists of writers I think will make my students and supervisors think, not just superficially, but in depth. Colin Wilson has always been in the top ten of that list which will take you from Historical Biographies to the Paranormal, from science fiction to hair raising trips through the minds of serial killers and books on aspects of sex you never knew existed.

This book is intelligent, caustic, enterprising, philosophical when things go wrong, funny, occasionally sad, often heart warming, daring and wise. It will at some points shock you, then make you see the funny side of it. I revelled in it. Throughout the whole book runs a golden thread, and her name is Joy Wilson. Without Joy I suspect we would never have had as much of Colin Wilson as we have been privileged to have. He writes of her and her unfailing support with a quiet affection that hides a deeper emotion.

A complex man who has lived a complex life. Read it, and when you have finished ask yourself this. Have you lived as fully as this man, and if not, why not? Get out there and buy it.

- Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki


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