) is the major publisher
of New Age
books in the world.
Its full name is Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
, and it was founded by an astrologer
name of Llewellyn George
as the Portland School of Astrology
in 1901. After
Llewellyn George's death in 1954, the company changed hands to a printer, and then
to the current owner, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
. Though it had rough times in the 1950s and the
early 1960s, the sudden interest in metaphysical interests in the late 1960s helped
the company survive and grow. In 1988 they purchased FATE Magazine
. They have lines
in natural healing
, personal transformation
even a Spanish
language series of books. Many of their books are written from an introductory
position, though there are exceptions. I am not a fan
So, what is the problem I have with Llewellyn? To put it one way, they are the anti-Mikey
of publishing -- they'll publish anything. Not every book from them is awful; they have
highly respected books on Wicca, such as Raymond Buckland's comprehensive book on Seax-Wica,
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft.
But many of their books appear to be clones of each other, poorly researched, or both. The infamous book
The 21 Lessons of Merlyn talks about "Old World" herbs like echinacea (among other glaring errors).
Others have commented that all of their introductory Wicca books seem alike, or that
books on the traditional magickal practices of various cultures all seem to oddly look a lot like
the semi-ceremonial magick of Wicca.
Naturally, the company is in business to make money, and I will not doubt that having every possible
vaguely New Age idea printed is one path to that. But I'd prefer quality of quantity, so that when I
see a book with Llewellyn's crescent moon symbol on the spine, I would feel good about picking it up, rather
than having to read online reviews about it. I don't mean going to Amazon either...if Amazon is to be
believed, just about every New Age book came down from above with angels singing around it. Guess what?