The Book of Grimoires: The Secret Grammar of Magic, by Claude Lecouteux
Inner Traditions, 9781620551875, 264 pp., 2002, 2013 (English translation)
To understand a book it’s important to know the purpose for which it was written. Lecouteux states that his aim is to provide a historical account of the use of grimoires, and to synthesize a “universal grimoire” from numerous source texts, but I find this proposal problematic. I’ve read several academic books on grimoires and medieval magick as part of my degree, including collections of original articles or reproductions of sections from various texts. Lecouteux says the book “takes the approach of a guided tour,” and that the material is obscure and complex, so he will explain the material throughout the book in order to make sense of what is provided, and this, I feel, is where things falls apart. Continue reading
Techniques of High Magic: A Guide to Self-Empowerment, by Francis King and Stephen Skinner
Destiny Books, 0892813504, 228pp., 1976
This book brings together Francis King and Stephen Skinner to create what they believe is a beginner’s guide to High Magic. Their definition of magick was short and sweet; “the art and science of using little known natural forces in order to achieve changes in consciousness and the physical environment”. Though despite being a beginner’s book, they don’t discuss what magick can be used for, what reasons there are for magick, but after a bit of theorizing about magick jump right into it.
They discuss the first steps of magic on their path, which is Continue reading
The Book of Enoch the Prophet, translated by R. H. Charles
Weiser Books, 1578632595, 140 pp., 2003
The Book of Enoch is a book that was removed from the Bible and the Torah for many reasons. Once it was held as an important book by the founding fathers of the Christian Church, for it detailed events of the Messiah before his coming, as well as expanded upon parts of the Old Testament. The text was lost (or more properly destroyed) in the fourth century when it was deemed heretical, it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the book resurfaced from an Ethiopian source, and a very interesting part of Judeo-Christian scripture was brought back to life. Continue reading
Ceremonial Magic & The Power of Evocation: A System of Personal Power, by Joseph C. Lisiewski
New Falcon Press, 204 pp.
This books is a paradox in that it is both an excellent reference book and tome and at the same time illustrates what happens when a magician becomes inflexible. Lisiewski makes some excellent points about the new age movement of magic and the problems that can occur if you only visualization. Also his point about being as faithful as possible to the grimoires you work with is well worth noting in terms of the build-up of magic and belief that can make an evocation successful, or not as the case may be. Continue reading