A peek inside London's oldest magical bookstore… And favourite of Aleister Crowley, Atlantis Books
Published on 10 Dec 2017
Alexandra pays a visit to London's oldest magical bookshop, Atlantis Books, where she chats to owner Geraldine Beskin and her daughter Bali.
Set up 95 years ago, Atlantis Books is the longest-running bookstore dedicated primarily to Western magical traditions.
'It was set up by magicians for magicians,' Geraldine says.
Alexandra says Atlantis is 'an incredible library of Alchemy and Wicca… There's so much here.'
Also a popular venue for events, Geraldine says: 'We have workshops, talks, launches… strange things happen… all sorts of bits and pieces go on here… This is where modern-day witchcraft started. Our room downstairs is where Gerald Gardner, the grandfather of modern witchcraft had his first London coven. An dour founder published the book 'High Magic's Aid' as a way of beckoning people to the shop so they could be vetted to see if they would suitable to become witches and things like that. And so we have the Gerald Gardner room now which we are very proud of. And that's where our events happen."
"So you are the original Hogwarts?" Alexandra jokes.
"Yeah, for sure," Geraldine says. "It's Western and magical. It's not Eastern and mystical. Partly because we're too small… But there's such a rich history in Western magic, with Kabbalah, with witchcraft, with Alchemy, with ceremonial magic, with Astrology… we have everything you can think of and that keeps us quite busy enough."
From famous occultists, such as Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner to modern-day pop stars, celebrities and even royals, Atlantis has attracted all manner of colourful characters, coincidences and stories. This charming book shop is almost straight out of Harry Potter – it might even be thought of as the original 'Diagon Alley'.
Watch this video to find out more about the eclectic history and some of the strange goings on at this iconic London bookstore.
For more info on The Atlantis Bookshop, visit the website:
If you like this video, you might also enjoy Alexandra's visit to Stone Age in Glastonbury:
Check out author Tobias Churton's talk on Aleister Crowley here:
Many thanks for watching and sharing this video