Alan Chapman and Duncan Barford of The Baptist's Head and Open Enlightenment were kind enough to answer several questions I put to them.Did you formulate the Core Practice techniques immediately after attaining the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel [K&C], or did it follow your successful crossing of the Abyss? ALAN: I attained the K&C using a free-form ritual technique, but I came to develop a simpler method based on Father Thomas Keating's centred prayer as I persisted in invoking the HGA through the years.The bare-bones Core Practice described in Alan's essay bears a strong resemblance to vipassana meditation, and Duncan has mentioned a long-standing interest in Buddhism. In your work, each of you pay homage to Daniel Ingram and his fantastic work. At what point did you pick up the links between wisdom traditions and decide to adopt vipassana into your regular practice? Read More
Enochian Initiation: A Thelemite’s Magical Journey into the Ultimate Transcendence, by Frater W.I.T.
OutskirtsPress.com, 1598003720, 326 pp. (incl. appendices, bibliography and notes), 2006
Enochian Initiation offers a refreshing break from the glut of 101 books appearing on shelves each year. Rather than a strict how-to book, Frater W.I.T. provides entries from his magickal diary illustrating the effects each working has produced.
Frater W.I.T. spent ten years in two mystery schools and more than twenty years of ongoing practice informs the work – and it shows. He gives a lucid introduction to hermeticism, the qabalah, and gematria, describing these difficult concepts in clear, unambiguous terms, as well as providing one of the most unpretentious descriptions of initiation I’ve read.
He approaches the material from a psychological perspective, stating that “in all [his] years of experience in personal and group magick [he has] never encountered entities that could be considered objectively real”. Opinions on this may vary, and indeed in his reactions to many of the entities seem to call this into question, but as he states, his view is that “this sense of presence derives from the mind but then takes an aspect of objectivity when evocation takes place”.
The journal entries note the date and entity worked with and his personal insight and experiences. He comments several times on the “objectivity” of the effects of Enochian system, which I instinctively recoiled from at first, as I view magickal effects as being uniquely personal, however, I found that some of his difficulties with religion and the Air King echo my thoughts and experience in similar matters. This is one of the distinguishing features of such a work, in that it allows one to reflect and compare in a way that’s rarely possible with the average how-to guide or theoretical book of magick.
There are numerous footnotes which are appended to the end of the book, rather unfortunately, as it makes for awkward reading. Many are unnecessary and would have fared better embedded within the text (perhaps in reflective square brackets), with the remaining footnotes appearing at the bottom of the page rather than the end of the book to facilitate a smoother narrative flow.
The book also suffers from repetition, a common feature of magickal journals (I find this with mine as well), and additional editing to pare this down would have benefited the text.
Enochian Initiation will be of interest to any serious student of magick; I highly recommend it.