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Star.Ships: A Prehistory of the Spirits

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A defining text of the new magical renaissance, Star.Ships addresses the question of who we are now by tracing where we come from, and by drawing out the stories and the spirits that have journeyed and evolved with us. The goal is, as Gordon writes, the restoration of context.
To this end, White applies his globally-recognised data and demographics skills to realise a gro
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published October 28th 2016 by Scarlet Imprint / Bibliothèque Rouge (first published February 2nd 2016)
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4.54  · 
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 ·  194 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have lately been reserving 5 stars for books that rock my world. Star.ships did that. I've read a lot of the sources White used and have similar thoughts but he crystallized some things for me. Here are a couple of random thoughts.

It's interesting that he considers Austronesia to be an important cultural source. In the last couple of years since he wrote this, the Out of Africa model quietly died. The best current theory is that modern humans originated in Austronesia.

I've never been a practic
Joe Crow
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is my motherfucking JAM, yo. It hits roughly seventy percent of the intellectual goodie spots that make my brain say "Oh yeah, RIGHT THERE BABY..." My only real complaints are 1) that it's too short (of course); 2) Gordon coulda spent a LOT more time developing and expanding the final section about the Other Folks and the High Weirdness of our various examples of contact with their side, especially in comparison with spirit work and ritual magic entity contacts. There's a whole book or ...more
Jeanne Thornton
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only not a five-star for me because of the last full chapter in which speculation about the communication practices of nonhuman intelligences + NDEs and remote viewing starts to get into the act. This is my problem as a Debased Mostly Materialist Person, though, more than the book's. I kind of want everyone I know to read this so I can talk with them about it. Highlights: everything about Gobelki Tepe, the pyramids as ritual space rather than funerary space, climate change and the Vedic ...more
Greyer Jane
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magick
Love a Bibliography at the back of a book? I do! This book is so good and chewy I will need to read it again. I just say also that I love books that Make me think.
Chad Axe
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I needed this book..time to contextualize The Work...and download myself into the Prime Narrative! We at this time are finally nailing it down.
Callie Gardner
The majority of the book is closely argued and scholarly without being in hock to an academic regime in the field; although one feels the author has a more than one axe to grind, it's generally deeply informative. The last chapter, however, introduces some wild speculation which, although I'm perfectly willing to entertain it, doesn't hold itself to the same empirical standards as the majority of the book's argument. Overall it feels like an important, iconoclastic work of archaeology and anthro ...more
Gordon White attempts to trace the roots of Western Esotericism back past the end of the last ice age, and darn if he doesn't do an amazing job. It's part critique of modern archeology, part sweeping work of comparative mythology and part who knows what. From the ruins of Gobekli Tepe to the Sundaland, lost in the rising seas after the ice age, this is an epic book. This was my second time through and I will need a third sometime, if not more.
Oh, I had high hopes for this book - and boy, he delivers! Beloved Gordon puts all of his historical, quite diverse knowledge into between two covers and hopefully the reader can digest it the right way. In "Star.Ships", we're taken on a tour de force from paeolthic cultures to vedic india, to egypt of old. Gordon is clear in his intent, his critiqe and his own argumentation. For the experienced reader - you might still learn something. For the apprentice - read it carefully and don't despair! T ...more
Edric Unsane
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Informative and plausible, and unfortunately, not for everyone as Star.Ships seems to be more a thesis paper rather than most the easily digestible 101 books out there on the Occult/Witchcraft. It's damn good though, and I feel that although Star.Ships is an advanced read, that it really should be read by more persons in the Occult/Witchcraft communities.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Your microscope and your telescope always belong to you.
Go, burn a little incense, out under the Stars.
Dimitris Hall
We now consider it 'scientific' or 'professional' to describe cultural artefacts -- non physical objects -- in exclusively materialist terms. Only a functional analysis of the mythological process is allowed, which is like describing your grandmother's famous chicken soup solely by its molecular constituency.
This quote sets the tone brilliantly in my opinion.

Star.Ships is a prehistory of the world as seen through the unlikely lens of magic, crypto-archaeology and the history of star worship in
John Wright
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Star.Ships is a book I've been waiting to find--a complex, well-researched analysis of a growing body of evidence that the official story of human culture needs a dramatic revision.

Has the consensus worldview that all civilization began around 10,000 BC never quite seemed right to you? Does the progression from hunters and gatherers to small villages to the mathematically perfect great pyramids in only a few millennia seem like a stretch?

Gordon's work is part of a larger body of emerging resea
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gordon White’s exercise in using data analysis to speculatively reconstruct ancient belief systems is a mind-bending journey through our most ancient history. In this book, he tracks our species’ first departure from what we now call Africa, and the beginnings of both the Laurasian mythological “novel”, as well as the Gondwana “grandmother myths” that came with us. It’s an exciting synthesis of historical accounts, research into genetic migration, and the more perplexing recent archaeological fi ...more
Travis Stacey Watson
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mind Blown

Gordon White is one of those people who makes me feel like I need an IQ infusion every time I read one of his books. I don't always agree with him but I can say that his thoughts are always well researched on both the academic and practical magic level. I am going to have to set this book aside and re-read it later just to begin to absorb the sheer volume of data contained in this tome. Please, please read this if you are at all interested in: advanced technology in ancient times, the
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comprehensive and critical look at prehistory, archaeology and comparative mythology, Mr. White's book is an excellent and thought-provoking read that spans the globe and 50,000 years of human history, providing workable alternative theories to ancient megaliths, celestial navigation and the mythological basis for all of Western esotericism. My only complaint applies to many occult texts--too much "[x], which is important now, will be discussed later..." or "as magical initiates know about [y] ...more
Nathan McNeel
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

This book really put the Spirits and the cultures that came before us in perspective. I can't thank Gordon enough for these great insights, connections, and research. I would recommend this book to anybody! Even if they weren't interested in magical/ritual traditions. Love it! I also would recommend his Chaos Protocol if interested in Chaos magic and how we can navigate the current world situation that's working against us. Write more books Gordon! At least I still have Rune Soup! Haha
Lindsey Beat
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent tome. It's a sort of comparative proto-myth/proto-cosmology. The only thing I didn't like was that, although the book was very well researched, there were several places where Gordon White gives a fact coming from research but doesn't cite where it came from. With that said, the bibliography is huge, and I suspect all of that outside information is findable therein. Sometimes I read relevant cited texts alongside the place I found them. I did not always have the opportunity here.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Do we even deserve Gordon White?

He has written a book that elevates the genre of cranky but delicious ancient aliens to a beautiful art form. Researched well and written in his distinctive voice, Star.ships was a mind opening journey to the ancient near east.. and the stars.
Tod Jones
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! Fascinating insights, and quite funny. My only criticisms are of the somewhat convoluted prose, and the clubby presumption of the author that his readers have read all the same books he has.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This work blew my uppity ceremonialist mind every two to three pages. It's worth it. You'll spend ten dollars on junk food, do yourself two favors at one and get this book.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this so much but found that I was missing background knowledge to really understand the significance of what was being told. Because of this it was a hard slog.
Yiannis Baboulias
I can't really describe this book. It's amusing and informing and thought-provoking at the same time. It will also freak your s**t out.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly researched, packed with information but somehow hard to put down. One of my favorites.
Katy Sisko
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, meandering book. In some places, White seems very erudite and others a little crackpot.
Pieter-Jan Beyul
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-shelf
Star.Ships is an ambitious journey with the astrolabe of the stellar tradition as a device to guide us to the origins of human spirituality.
Yet it's not an etiology of magic or an ontology of the spirits. What Gordon attempts to do here is the restoration of context of the magician's craft and of the magician him/herself. Early on in the book it becomes obvious magic and spirits have always been with us. They didn't show up, but the stories we tell about them did. And they differ greatly the fu
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A staggering re-contextualization of the spirit. If you're open to a plunging past the bedrock of modern spiritual practices, Star.Ships will send you deep into new/old truths. Gordon White is a fantastic voice.
Davida Temima
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply cannot state how excited I am that this book exists now
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books should be a must both for the scholar and the witch.
This is one of those.

A truly delicious read full of wonder and facts.
A book that has to be read and shared.

This has been the book I've always wanted to read.
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Gordon White runs one of the world's leading chaos magic blogs and podcasts, Rune Soup. He has worked nationally and internationally for some of the world's largest digital and social media companies, including BBC Worldwide, Discovery Channel, and Yelp.

Gordon has presented at media events across Europe on social and data strategy as well as the changing behaviors and priorities of Generation Y.
“As Patrick Harpur points out, we cannot ‘explain’ or ‘decode’ a myth. To look for the historic or scientific ‘truth’ of a myth is but to retell the myth, albeit in a less satisfying way. We render unto materialism the control of our most precious mythologies if we allow them to be ‘scientifically explained’ to us. A new language is required. New words.” 5 likes
“Over the last century, a new power narrative has emerged that warps archaeological data into a specific shape the way a magnet affects iron filings. It is the unspoken belief that humanity is on a journey from worse to better, from primitive to complex, uncivilised to civilised. Our civilisation of perpetual war, total surveillance, obesity, runaway mental illness, overmedication, environmental degradation, widespread unemployment and scientific materialism has nothing to learn from the past because it is better. Enjoy that smartphone made by suicidal Taiwanese slave labour. Continue shopping.” 3 likes
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