Astral Messages uses poems and blog articles from my long standing blog - Asteroth's Domain - in a discussion of reality and magic. We are all magicians willfully creating our realities and this selection demonstrates how this touches all aspects of our lives - yes, even our socks!
Review by Gordon Strong
Here’s an interesting idea, to juxtapose prose reflections with poems. Of the latter, ‘A Dream’ and ‘Life’s Tapestry’ are gems of composition. The poems get my vote straight away because most of them rhyme, thus they have an inherent melody and rhythm. That is not to say blank verse cannot have these qualities, T.S. Eliot - for one - did pretty well on this score. It is a rare talent, however, and the experiment often misfires.
What is very endearing is the honesty of the writer. In a gesture of great affection he dedicates the book to his father. Gary is not afraid to reveal his fears, loves and his puzzlement about the world. Never maudlin or sentimental, he debates the pros and cons of an argument, and only goes slightly off beam when he has a mini-rant.
Could it be that the work reads best when the analytical and the lyrical complement each other, and are perfectly balanced?
Magic is mentioned, as one would expect from a recognised pundit upon the esoteric. The deep anxiety that may accompany exposure to the occult, the profound responsibility of owning magical power, and the nature of reality are all examined. The views of Dion Fortune upon relationships and the polarity of the sexes are given a welcome airing, all in the context of Gary’s own marriage.
The author despairs of the current evil of ‘dumbing down’ and the embracing of received opinion. For this sensitive and perceptive artist, ignorance is most certainly not regarded as bliss.
Gordon Strong. September 2013.