Skinner, Stephen 1948–
Skinner, Stephen 1948–
PERSONAL: Born 1948. Education: Attended Sydney University; studied feng shui under practicing masters in Hong Kong and Singapore.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England; and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Tuttle Publishing, 153 Milk St., Boston, MA 02109. E-mail—[email protected].
CAREER: Writer and consultant. Formerly a lecturer in geography; writer, consultant, and lecturer on feng shui; frequent guest on television and radio programs; publisher of Feng Shui for Modern Living (magazine), 1998–2000. Organizer of London International Feng Shui Conference, 1999.
AWARDS, HONORS: Publisher of the Year nomination, PPA Awards, 1999, for Feng Shui for Modern Living.
(With Nevill Drury) The Search for Abraxas, Spearman (London, England), 1972.
(Editor) Lapidus, In Pursuit of Gold: Alchemy in Theory and Practice, Spearman (London, England), 1976.
(Editor and author of introduction) Aleister Crowley's Tao the King: Liber CLVII, Askin Publishers (London, England), 1976.
(With Francis King) Techniques of High Magic: A Manual of Self-Initiation, Destiny Books (New York, NY), 1976.
Terrestrial Astrology: Divination by Geomancy, Routledge and Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), 1980.
The Living Earth Manual of Feng-shui: Chinese Geomancy, Routledge and Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), 1982.
The Oracle of Geomancy: Divination by Earth, Prism Press (San Leandro, CA), 1986.
(With Francis King) Techniques of High Magic: A Guide to Self-Empowerment, Destiny Books (Rochester, VT), 1991.
Millennium Prophecies: Predictions for the Year 2000 and Beyond, Carlton Books (London, England), 1994.
(With Francis King) Nostradamus: Prophecies of the World's Greatest Seer: Prophecies Fulfilled and Predictions for the Millennium and Beyond, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.
(Editor) The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley: Tunisia 1923, S. Weiser (York Beach, ME), 1996.
Feng Shui: The Traditional Oriental Way to Enhance Your Life, Diane Publishing, 1997.
Feng Shui, Smithmark (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Mary Lambert) Feng Shui for Modern Living, Trafalgar Square (North Pomfret, VT), 2000.
Feng Shui Before and After: Practical Room-by-Room Makeovers for Your House, Tuttle Publishing (North Clarendon, VT), 2001.
KISS Guide to Feng Shui ("Keep It Simple Series"), foreword by Wu Hsien Sheng, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.
Feng Shui Style: The Asian Art of Gracious Living, Tuttle Publishing (North Clarendon, VT), 2003.
Flying Star Feng Shui, Tuttle Publishing (Boston, MA), 2003.
(With David Rankine) The Practical Angel Magic of John Dee's Enochian Tables, Golden Hoard Press (London, England), 2004.
Tibetan Feng Shui Oracle Pack (includes pack of 60 cards), Carroll and Brown (London, England), 2005.
(Editor and author of introduction) Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, translated by Robert Turner, Ibis Press (Berwick, ME), 2005.
(With David Rankine) The Keys to the Gateway of Magic: Summoning the Solomonic Archangels and Demon Princes, Golden Hoard Press (London, England), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Stephen Skinner is the author of numerous books about mystical and spiritual topics, including feng shui, sixteenth-century French prophet Nostradamus, geomancy—a form of divination using the Earth—and several varieties of magic, including alchemy, invocation, evocation, high magic of the Golden Dawn school, and Enochian magic. While his early books focus on magic and geomancy, Skinner has become known as an international expert on feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of arranging design elements within a home, office, or other building to optimize the flow of energy, or chi, through the space. As he explained to Avalonia UK online interviewer Sorita, "My initial interest in feng shui came not from an interest in interior decorating, but from an effort to see if it is related to Western geomancy." Although he found out that it is not, Skinner continued, "I then discovered that sigils that are used in Western magic … are also used in some of the more esoteric parts of feng shui and in Taoist sorcery. After that I got immersed in feng shui."
Skinner's first book on feng shui, The Living Earth Manual of Feng Shui, was the first English-language book on the subject to be written in over seventy-five years, and because of this Skinner has taken credit for the substantial Western interest in feng shui that has since arisen. He was also the publisher of the magazine Feng Shui for Modern Living, which had a very successful, if brief, run from 1998 through 2000. Feng Shui for Modern Living was published in thirty-four countries, including Taiwan, where it became the bestselling Chinese-language periodical on feng shui. "I was nominated Publisher of the Year in London in 1999 for this little effort," Skinner told Sorita, "but I found it more amusing to have exported feng shui back to China, so like 'exporting coals to Newcastle.'"
Skinner's many books on feng shui include Feng Shui Before and After: Practical Room-by-Room Makeovers for Your House, Feng Shui for Modern Living: Bring Harmony, Health, Wealth and Happiness into Your Life, and Feng Shui Style: The Asian Art of Gracious Living. The first volume provides helpful hints about decorating to maximize the flow of chi through a room, with specialized tips for nurseries, kitchens, and other specific rooms. Feng Shui for Modern Living goes beyond architectural and interior design to discuss other traditional Chinese strategies for achieving health, including herbal cures. Of particular interest, in the opinion of Booklist contributor Barbara Jacobs, are the "elegant color photographs" that indicate how to decorate with the principles of feng shui. Feng Shui Style is another illustrated volume, this one filled with "real-life examples of how feng shui has been employed and interpreted," as Gayle Williamson explained in Library Journal. Feng Shui Style reports on various public and private buildings located around the world, from the mansion of a nineteenth-century Chinese mandarin to modernist designs by contemporary French-born architect Philippe Starck, that illustrate feng shui in practice. Many of the buildings described in the book were built with input from feng shui experts, but other structures, including London's Daily Express Building, were only discovered to be in harmony with feng shui principles after they were built.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2000, Barbara Jacobs, review of Feng Shui for Modern Living: Bring Harmony, Health, Wealth and Happiness into Your Life, p. 2078.
Library Journal, September 15, 2004, Gayle Williamson, review of Feng Shui Style: The Asian Art of Gracious Living, p. 57.
Publishers Weekly, September 25, 2000, review of Feng Shui for Modern Living, p. 55.
Avalonia UK Web site, http://www.avalonia.co.uk/ (March 31, 2005), Sorita, interview with Skinner.
Golden Hoard Press Web site, http://www.goldenhoard.co.uk/ (March 31, 2005), "Stephen Skinner and David Rankine."
Stephen Skinner Web site, http://www.sskinner.com (March 31, 2005).
Tuttle Publishing Web site, http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/ (March 31, 2005).