Josephine McCarthy

Josephine McCarthy (born Josephine Dunne) December 1962 is a British born occultist,  esoteric author and founder of Quareia Magical Training School.

Josephine McCarthy in a Bavarian Forest - Photo by Frater Acher

Josephine McCarthy in a Bavarian Forest - Photo by Frater Acher

I was born in Bradford, and raised in various places around West Yorkshire, England. From being a small child, I was surrounded by various influences from mystical Christianity and Rosicrucian ideas from my father, to a deep connection to nature from my mother. I also grew up in a very multicultural community and extended family, and was exposed to Sufism and Islam from Pakistan, to Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism. As a child I was taken to all the religious festivals, to temples, churches and synagogues, and sat quietly in the background listening to debates my father use to hold on wide ranging subjects from religions and mysticism, to social justice. 

At school I was lucky enough to get a classical education on scholarship, and studied Latin, Greek philosophers, the Early Christian Fathers, Roman and Egyptian history, as well as studying classical ballet full time. I spent most of my childhood in libraries reading everything from history to medicine, from geography to Theology, and going from class to class in ballet. 

 As a child I was deeply and instinctively drawn to magic and mysticism, but there were no ‘occult bookstores’ in my town, and very little in the library on such subject matter. I was/am a natural psychic, and it was quickly realised in the community that I could ‘see’, and deal with various issues around hauntings, illness and attacks. I worked instinctively, made many mistakes, and learned a lot by watching, copying and analyzing. I learned tarot in my early teens, and drew as much learning as I could from the major arcana. In my late teens/early twenties, it was around this time that I met my first real teacher, a middle aged woman in the community who had a background in the Golden Dawn and who was also a natural medium. She spotted me and took me under the wing, teaching me ritual and visionary basics. She taught me how to cope with my natural ability, which had become feral with my rise in teenage hormones.

I spent my twenties raising babies, and it was during this time of utter mundaneness that I felt choked by the ordinary life of a mother, wife and ballet teacher. In depressed exhaustion one day, I called out, asking for the way ahead, for learning, for the opening of a magical life that I knew instinctively I was supposed to be walking.

I accidently crossed paths with an occult author who was a former student of WG Gray and soon after, married him. I spent the next few years working in magic: teaching, travelling, giving talks and lectures at conferences, and experimenting with and developing my own path. We moved to the USA to expand the teaching base, and we parted ways in 2000. I worked for US ballet companies as a teacher/ballet mistress and choreographer, continued to raise my children, and also continued teaching magic to groups, and working as a magician. I also worked seasonally for the Tribal Forestry Division (Bureau of Indian Affairs) in Montana and lived on the Flathead Reservation of the Confederate Salish and Kootani Tribe. I learned a lot about tribal magic during that time and learned how specific it is to family groups and particular land masses – a far cry from the romantic candy floss idea touted in New Age movements.

 I started writing in 1999, first with a very badly written magical novel, and in 2000 I launched a website with free texts of my magical work for other people to use. In 2005 my first nonfiction book on magic, Magical Training of the Initiate was published by Sun Chalice Books in the USA.

 I returned to the UK in 2008. I wrote The Exorcists Handbook, published by Apocryphile Press USA, and subsequently went on to write another seven books that were published through Apocryphile, and also through Mandrake of Oxford UK. I developed a small magical training group in Bath, UK, and spoke at various Occult Conferences in the UK. I struck up a friendship with the German adept Frater Acher in 2011, and was impressed by Acher’s mix of academic learning, intelligence and long term magical practice: he is a rare jewel indeed. He eventually convinced me to write a full course on magic - Quareia.

 The writing of the course started in spring 2014. I wrote full time every day, and I finished just before the end of 2016. I immediately went on to work on a magical translation of the Egyptian Book of Gates, providing the guidance for the translation, and the commentary for the book. Looking back, it was actually an adjunct to the course, I just didn’t realise it at the time.

I have been very lucky in my life in that I have always crossed paths with the right people at the right time and have had the chance to work magically with some wonderful elders and talented magicians. I never stop learning, and have never lost my curiosity, which often gets me into trouble.

 I see the rest of my life (I am in my mid-fifties now) to be spent helping people through the Quareia course by teaching, guiding, giving talks, mentoring and supporting new generations as they explore the mysteries.

If Quareia survives long enough for someone else to come along and do a better job, then it has served its purpose well, and I have done my job. 

She is revolutionizing esoteric teaching with her honesty, courage, and dedication to the work” – Greg Kaminsky Occult of Personality http://occultofpersonality.net/the-magickal-work-of-josephine-mccarthy/

Josephine lives with her husband, magical artist and classical ritualist Stuart littlejohn in the south West of England

Josephine's blog can be found here

Frater Acher

Frater Acher is the 'nom de plume' of a German adept and writer based in Bavaria, Germany. Frater Acher earned his magical title of Frater after ten years of training through IMBOLC under the watchful eye of his teacher, Agrippa.

With twenty years of magical experience under his belt, Frater Acher became known to the wider magical community through his magical blog at theomagica - a website rich in magical writings, observations, reviews, teachings and magical graphics.

His work has become well known and respected in magical circles around the world, and he is currently working on a series of books that will be published through various UK publishers. His current titles include: Cyprian of Antioch: a Mage of Many Faces (Quareia Publishing UK) and Holy Daimon (Scarlet Imprint). His blog is extensive and curates a variety of free Ebooks and in depth essays. Frater Acher's blog can be found here