Fiction for Sorcerers

2015/04/02

(My local spirits postings will continue after this post)

Normally I’d be posting a book review here according to my schedule (did you even notice I have a schedule of when I post what?) but I decided this week to finally get around to doing the book meme. When I started this blog the “What 5 Books do you recommend as an occultist” posts were popular, but I never made one, it’s come and gone a few times, and I never bothered with it. What I always wants to talk about, and I will now is such a list with a twist.

What 5 fiction books do you recommend as a sorcerer?

This is pretty straight forward, we’re talking fiction here, not magick books, not mythology, not reference titles, but stories, novels, fantasy and fiction. What makes them required reading for a sorcerer?

Also, after my list, I’d love to hear your own, or if you agree/disagree with any of mine. Really I’m curious about other lists, cause I know a lot of awesome sorcerers read this blog (oh, and you read it too 😉 ) and I want to see what you’d recommend, if only to add to my never ending to-read list.

1. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

To those who know me this shouldn’t be a surprise. I’ve blogged about it before, specifically the scene with Grograman, my blog’s subheading “Going the way of your wishes” is taken from the novel, I’ve tweaked a tarot spread to more closely fit the book, and I read it once a year. Every year I reread The Neverending Story, while I might reread favourite books every few years, this is the only one I reread with such enthusiasm. Also, I tell people that it is one of the books they must read if they expect to be in a relationship with me. You want to understand me, read the book. (Books 2 and 4 are also on that list, but this list is about what I recommend for sorcerers, not for potential lovers, though it shouldn’t be surprising there is overlap)

Why The Neverending Story? I think if you’ve ever read the book (after becoming a sorcerer), you don’t need to ask. Also, let me make this perfectly clear…READ THE BOOK. The movie is a horrible adaptation and removes everything that makes the book relevant to sorcerers.

The Neverending Story is the novelization of The Great Work. I honestly think the book serves as an illustration of what the true sorcerer goes through. Atreyu goes through the dark night of the soul, confronts Chronzon at the Abyss, only to cross and encounter his Holy Guardian Luck Dragon. That’s just in the first section, the movie cuts out the entire second half of a novel, which is more important to us. Bastian learns the price of power, that wishes have consequences, he learns to create and destroy, and loses himself in the process becoming No One. Only when he has lost his identity is he able to find his true desire, his purpose, his Will, and reclaim his identity and place in the world.

This is really simplified, and there is so much more, every section has some hidden gem in it for the sorcerous folk to glean from it. I have pages, literally, of quotes from the book in the word file I type this blog in, because one day I want to write a full explanation of the magickal themes, but don’t expect it soon as it’s been on my to-do list for years.

2. wraeththuThe Wraeththu series by Storm Constantine.

While I suggest the entire series, I recommend people at least read the first three books (which are now published as one book, as the novels were slightly short individually, and it is this first trilogy I linked to above).

Brief synopsis: Wraeththu are a new species of humanity: stronger, intersexed, and more psychically/magickally aware. The novels follow their growth from random mutations, hunted as freaks, to finding their place in the world and understanding who/what they are.

Now, I admit, this suggestion might be a bit of a cheat, as Storm is an occultist, and has published a few books on magick. When you read Wraeththu there is a sense of realism behind it, even though the magick is over the top fantasy in most cases, there is something that is resonant with real magick. It’s as if the books show how fantasy novel magick would work, if it followed our rules in our world. When the characters do magick, sense things, talk about energy, as an occultist you can’t help think that it’s on the right track. When a character does magick, you almost feel like you could follow their steps.

The over-arching mythology of the books, explained in more detail outside of the original trilogy, is also something that is familiar. It has shades of the Bene h’Elohim of Enoch, of Faerie, and the otherworlds.

In fact, there is such a sense of resonance with the magick in the Wraeththu novels that people began working with the deities from the novels, and the techniques within. Eventually this developed into The Grimoire Dehara, the first of three planned books* that are real magickal texts using the language and mythology of Wraeththu.

*Admittedly I’m not sure if the last two books will come to fruition, as they’ve been put off repeatedly. But if you work diligently with the system, as I have, the spirits themselves will take you beyond what is published.

A bonus beyond just the magick and mythology, because the Wraeththu species are intersexed, neither male nor female but both and beyond them, the magick system isn’t as divided along a gender binary. As a genderqueer person that was part of the appeal of the system, there wasn’t anything about males do this, females do this, only X can deal with Gods while Y can deal with Goddesses. You’re something that is both and neither within that system.

3. vellumVellum, and inkInk by Hal Duncan.

Vellum and Ink are two novels. The storyline of Vellum and Ink is really really difficult to explain, even having just finished rereading Vellum a week or so ago and currently half way through Ink, I can’t give a clear synopsis. Basically it is a tale about the War in Heaven, but the “Angels” and “Demons” aren’t warring in some astral realm, but here on Earth, in mostly human bodies. It isn’t that straight forward though. The story is being told in multiple timelines and realities all at once. So the same character/soul/archetype may appear as a tribal priestess, tomboy daughter of hippies, cyber-hacker in the near future, a British girl during WWI, a princess in a post-apocalyptic hellscape, and a Sumerian Goddess. The story shifts back and forth between all of these perspectives (and a lot more) all following the same thread of action, but being played out in a variety of ways. Be warned, it is not an easy read, but so very worth it.

Much like Wraeththu there is a resonance, a reality to it. Not in so much what happens or how it is done, but how it is presented. Vellum and Ink take place in a multifaceted reality, where the same person is expressed in every potential variation, sinner, martyr, saint, human, god, satyr, but always the same person. There is something to this, that my explanation can’t touch on, and can only be read…in the same way as what it describes is only something that can be understood by the sorcerers who have pushed Beyond. The idea of our reality being a scratch on an infinitely large page, that what we experience is one simplistic model of an infinitely complex reality that rests below it, these are the elements in Vellum and Ink that really appeal to the sorcerer. It presents a multifaceted reality where more than one truth can exist, where paradoxes are part of nature, and time, space, and reality are interwoven and more complex than we can imagine. This is something I think a lot of magickal folk can read in the series and nod their head at. Even the most scientific and rational occultists can’t deny the paradoxes of reality and multiple realities/truths, and Duncan really hits on that idea and runs with it.

Another aspect, and perhaps this is more based on my experiences, but an important part of the series is the Cant, the language of the Angels. The universal language of power than underlies all things. The speech that does not describe reality, but circumscribes it, shapes it. The way Hal Duncan describes the language, and the written of it, just really hits me as something right. The descriptions of the letters being eerily close to the xenoglossic magickal tongue used by myself and several people I know.

4. siaslStranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.

Mama, don’t let your baby grow up to read Heinlein, and this book is one of the reasons why.

Basically the story is that there was a lone survivor of an expedition to Mars, a child who was born there. Everyone died, and he was raised to near adulthood by the Martians. Mentally he is not human, but Martian, and eventually comes to live on Earth and learn how to be human.

The thing that makes this a book for sorcerers, is the philosophy behind it. The Martian named Smith sees the world in a totally different way than the humans around him, and struggles to grok it. And yes, this is where the word grok originates from. He has totally different morals, and a different understanding of life, death, and religion. It’s refreshing to see an outsider look at our culture. This is why it is important, as sorcerers we should be critical of what everyone just accepts. We should challenge the reality we see, and experience, question it, test it. Don’t just assume it is right because it has always been shown as right to us. Sorcerers should push every boundary in their life, question everything, and seeing Michael Smith do that to our culture is a great example and reminder. Eventually the book gets into some spiritual stuff too, and becomes more interesting there. Also, I find the idea of grokking something being part of controlling it an important lesson for a sorcerer.

If you’re familiar with the neopagan group “The Church of All Worlds” that name, and basic ideology was taken right from this book by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

5. 51w-Wyp-wgL._SL250_[1]American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I feel this one is a bit cliché to add to the list, but necessary.

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the book, essentially it tells the story of a man trapped between a war of the gods. The war is between the “old” gods, the gods of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, India, the Nordic lands, and so one, versus the new gods of our culture, Internet, Data-based finances, Electrical systems, roads, and so one.

It has a bit of post-modern chaos flair to it, the idea that new gods are developing, that gods are sustained by belief and energy and attention, and shape our world as much as they are shaped by it. There isn’t much in the book I’d say is a must-learn for a sorcerer, but it’s more the cosmology and world it weaves that I find compelling for a sorcerer.

So what about you? What five fiction books would you recommend that sorcerers read?


Magickal Book Blues

2012/10/26

My eventual goal

On and off I have tried to condense my magickal notes into some form of book. Grimoire, Book of the Shadows, General Kal’s Little Blue Book, whatever you term it. I’ve also failed repeatedly. Part of my problem is I had the idea it had to be a physical text, which isn’t the problem in an of itself, but I’m very structured and a perfectionist. So my attempts often had lots of blank pages between sections for me to fill in, cause I couldn’t have anything out of order, but alas eventually one thing would grow too much and ruin the order.

So now I’m going to try shifting my notes into a digital format. At least this will make my notes in Tibetan/Sanskrit/Pali/Hebrew/Greek easier to put down as I can type in those scripts a lot faster than I can write. My challenge becomes though: how in the 136 Hells am I to organize this stuff? I could divide it simply with Western magick and Buddhist stuff, but they really aren’t that separate in my practice, a lot of my stuff draws on both things.

How do I divide what goes in? Cosmological theories? But those bleed into Angel/God/Spirit descriptions and various rituals. Sections on Spirits, but those are dependant in a way on how the Spirit is called. Different forms of evocation. Processes of meditation, ritual. But there in all of them there are the little tips that apply to every thing, but shouldn’t necessarily be repeated everywhere. How to properly dissolve a ritual space shouldn’t be listed in every ritual, but is it worth of it’s own spot? Chants, mantras, recipes, need-to-know facts, comments on astrology and timing.

Excuse me while I flail.

So for now I’m just digitizing stuff without order, and will hopefully organize it better later. But I want to ask my readers, whatever your path, however you store your information, do you have some advice? How do you categorize and separate all these things in whatever your favoured book of notes is? Any examples or ideas would be a great help for me.

And since I’m randomly away three hours into my sleep cycle (the Hour of the Wolf has been strong this week) another issue I have with organizing magickal stuff is my library. Another thing I have had trouble sorting out. My currently layout is more based on when I acquired the book than what it is about. Thankfully I have a remarkable memory for this sort of thing so while my books are in four different places I know what shelf and generally what section of the shelf any given book is on. That’s fine for me, but it’s problematic when I have a friend or student who wants to look at or borrow a book because they need me to guide them to a book. I’d much rather say “You’re looking for a book on summoning? Check out this area” and let them be. So for those of you who have an occult library of a size that needs organization, how does that work for you?

My current idea I’ve sketched out is:

Astrology – Divination – Tarot – Tarot Magick – Ceremonial Magick – Solomonic – Golden Dawn – Thelemic – Western Magick – Chaos Magick – Energy Model

Theravada – Mahayana – Vajrayana – Chöd – Buddhist Psychology – Taoism – Qi Gong – Reiki – Hinduism

Forbidden Archeology – Past Life Research

I’ve tried to group them in like ideas that bleed together, but this is always my problem: some books fit into more than one category, some more than two, and unfortunately my library is confined by three dimension space.

So while this is half rant, half ramble, half request, and half bad fractions, seriously I would love to know more about how others organize their personal magickal notes, and their libraries. Even if you think you organize it poorly it gives me another view to think about it from.


Review: Financial Sorcery – Jason Miller

2012/08/23

Financial Sorcery: Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth – Jason Miller
New Page, 2012, 224pp., 9781601632180

We’ve all encountered that person who asks if magick works, why aren’t we all rich? We all probably have our own answers too, but when we pause to think about it, it is a good question. Why do so many occultists of varying stripes have trouble with money? We summon lovers, find jobs in odd places, protect our homes, and yeah magick the money to get us out of trouble, but outside of that emergency most of us have trouble with money or money magick.

“[T]he magic itself is fine: our spells usually work … The problem is in the application of our magic … …The attitude for most people seemed to be that when everything was okay, it was better not to give much thought to money at all.” (14) As Jason points out when people try money magick outside of emergencies, it’s often for exceedingly unlikely goals like winning the lottery. I’m in that boat. I’ve experimentally tried my hand at the lottery to no notable success, and while I’ve done great with having enough money to get by while in school and then some when I shouldn’t have the money, it’s always been that survival emergency money magick mentality.

That’s not what this book is about. There are sections about it, a sigil for getting some money fast, and a chapter on emergency magick, but for the most part it’s about prosperity and abundance. Repeatedly the message Jason gives is cut debt and expenses, increase income, and grow wealth. Emergency magick, is bad magick. Strategic magick, is good magick.

In this book Jason introduces a wide range of information regarding financial sorcery. Drawing on various traditions we’re given a list of figures to work with, from Vajrayana to Ceremonial Magick, from Catholicism to Taoism to African Diaspora Religions. Frankly I never like the section in books where the author lists a bunch of figures and says go work with them, but they’re not offered “as is” but more as a sample of who is out there, and that we should find whatever figure of prosperity we can to work with and develop a relationship with.

In Jason’s usual manner this book is a mix of different traditions and technology, as well as heavily grounded in practical magick and real world activity. Most chapters that explain how to do something magickally also give some options for the mundane side. Looking to get in a bit of extra cash in a crunch? Jason gives a website to sign up for focus groups in your area. Needing to manage and understand your expenses better? Here is a website that tracks all your money so you know where it is going. Most of these resources are only for Americans, the Canadian version of the focus group site has five focus groups listed across the country since March for example, but can give you a starting place to work from, ideas to look into.

Jason sets out to analyze our perspective on wealth and wealth magick, and by intelligently understanding and strategizing from there help the reader build stable and lasting prosperity. He takes us through daily offerings to spirits to help keep the gears going, to 16 Lightning Glyphs of Jupiter –a collection of 16 sigils for financial magick with all sorts of practical and specific applications–, to understanding how we hold ourselves back from financial freedom, to killing debts, to getting jobs and promotions, to starting our own business, to investing. Step-by-step through big picture and little detail magick Jason works to get the reader to a more prosperous place in their life. While not an advanced book in regards to technique –anyone with basic magickal/meditation experience could make use of the book– it is advanced in the strategy and process. Whether you’re drowning in debt, just getting by, doing well, or just looking to do better this book will have techniques, technology, and ideas that are relevant to you. Unlike most things in life, money will always be there, and it is always something we must deal with, so I really can’t think of anyone this book wouldn’t benefit, and would recommend it to most anyone.

And of course, if you like this book or just want to know more about the author you can check out his blog here.


Review: Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy – Scott Michael Stenwick

2012/02/24

Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy – Scott Michael Stenwick
Pendraig Publishing. 2011. 178pp. 9781936922048.

“Dee’s obsession with scrying and communication has been picked up by many modern practitioners of Enochian magick, and from reading some accounts one might be led to think that this is all the system is good for.” (50) I admit, I was in this category, I wasn’t an Enochian magickian, but that’s what I thought the system was for, and my few experiments in the system with friends were for information. This book aims to dispel that idea, as well as the mono-focus on the Great Table which is even more prevalent in the magickal community.

The Heptarchia Mystica is a section of Dee and Kelly’s work that is often overlooked and separate from the Great Table. It is also closer in structure and usage to the grimoires of the time. If you’re a grimoiric/Solomonic magickian (like me) some of the mainstream Enochian system can see a bit much to get into, but the Heptarchia Mystica is more accessible and familiar in many ways. It gives a collection of planetary Kings and Princes, as well as the evocations for each figure, and how to work with them, in a style far closer to what you get from the Lesser Key than from most Enochian texts.

This book is more than just printing of the oft ignored text, but also a general book on how to work with it. It was written with the “intention that you as an aspiring magician should be able to pick up this book and begin working magick right away” (53). If not for the fact that it requires specific ritual items like rings and lamens, this goal seems to be hit. The reader is led through a cursory history of the system and then some preliminary magick. Stenwick takes the standard banishing 101 seemingly required in every magick book, and goes a step farther. Instead of just giving the standard LBRP, the reader is given to Enochian inspired banishing/invoking rituals based on the Pentagram and Hexagram rituals. These are not simple rewrites of changing a name you sometimes get in books where they replace a name and claim it is Celtic (or whatever), but actually fairly distinct rituals I found quite enjoyable. Also Stenwick mentions what he calls the various fields: the effects of combining the different invoking and banishing rituals of the pentagrams and hexagrams. I had toyed with what these combinations too, but he takes it a step farther and discusses each combination and what they are best used for. It was an unexpected inclusion, but I definitely got a lot from it. Aside from the meat of the text that is something I will definitely do more work with.

The Enochian system is Christian in inspiration, it is a fact you can’t really get around, as such a lot of the prayers and evocations are quite Christian. On the other hand Stenwick is not, he’s a Thelemite, so each prayer is presented in its original form and then followed by a more Thelemic form, which often didn’t require too drastic of a change. I really liked this modification, as my belief system is far closer to the Thelemic system in philosophy than the Christian, and I know a surprising amount of Ceremonial Magickians have issues working with an overtly Christian system.

The book had a few formatting errors that irked me. Many of the internal page references were off by a page or two, so when working from the book you have to mark it somehow so you know to turn to the right page. Also sections that were supposed to be italicized so the reader would know what to omit or change were not actually italicized. In the grand scheme these are minor, but interfere just enough with the text to be a gremlin in the book.

For seasoned Enochian magickians, grimoiric/Solomonic magickians looking to break into Enochian systems, or occults of any shade looking for something new to try, this book is a good place to start. Largely complete within itself, and focusing on an uncommon part of a popular tradition, this is an excellent book to explore.

Personally I’m going to harass friends and family to borrow some Enochian gear, and get to work. If you want to read more by Scott Michael Stenwick, you can follow his blog here or comment specifically on his forum post, which is a blog post that looks like it will be question and answer, and discussion with others who have enjoyed this book.


Review: The Dictionary of Demons – Michelle Belanger

2011/06/02

The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned – Michelle Belanger
Llewellyn. 2010. 362 pp. with appendices. 9780738723068.

For the sake of transparency before I start this review I will admit to two reasons why I could be biased toward the book.
1. Michelle is a friend of mine.
2. Jackie, the very talented artist who did the alphabet art and several seals and pieces of art within the book, is also a friend or lab partner.
Of course people who know me, know I’m not exactly easy on most of my friends…

From Aariel to Zynextyur (is he next to your what?) this book has a listing of over 1,500 demons from the grimoiric tradition. This book is an amazing wealth of information on the entities within. Michelle worked strictly from an academic perspective; personal experiences and ideas do not enter into the text, only what information Michelle could dig up from the grimoires. Dig up is a great way to put it, Michelle went through an extensive process of several years of cataloguing these demons and searching for more information, other translations, older manuscripts. The common and popular texts like the Lemegaton and the Book of Abramelin were used, as well as more obscure texts like Liber Juratus Honorii, Caelestis Hierarchia, and Liber de Angelis.

“This book is not intended to be a how-to book on grimoiric magick” (10) instead it is as the title says a dictionary of names that have appeared in various texts. Names, ranks, and powers are given, along with much more. The entries on a demon let the reader know what grimoire they appear in and in many cases the several grimoires they have lent their names too, as well as information like what their name may be derived and distorted from as well as showing how some demons are most likely the same figure but over the course of years scribal errors have pushed their names further apart. Michelle pieces together part of the puzzle of grimoires, by analyzing names and lack of names in different texts Michelle attempts to establish a connection and timeline between the various books. Interspersed with the different entries are small articles by Michelle and Jackie about various relevant topics to the text, such as the scribal process involved in medieval grimoires, the history of Jewish appropriation in Christian mysticism, and comparing different lists of what demon rules what directions.

While most of the book is written in a straight forward manner Michelle was not above the occasional humorous observation. “From the profusion of [love] spells in all the magickal texts, it would seem that practitioners of the black arts had a very difficult time find a date in the Middle Ages” (15) or pointing out that Pist, who helps you catch a thief, has a name that sounds like how one would feel when stolen from (247).

While reading it I only noted one thing that seemed off in that Michelle attributed Mather’s translation of The Sacred Mage of Abramelin the Mage to a 15th century manuscript, when I have always seen the French manuscript dated to the 18th century. All in all I was greatly pleased and impressed with the effort, resources, and scholarship Michelle put into this book. While not a practical how-to guide, this book is an invaluable resource of names and histories for those interested in the grimoiric tradition. I felt the plot was a bit dry, but it had a wicked cast of characters.

Also for those wanting a related, but simpler text, I recommend you check out Michelle and Jackie’s D is for Demon. It is a delightful (not for) children’s book of rhymes leading you through 26 demons. I, of course, got a copy for my two-year old niece to make sure she is brought up right.


Review: Hundred Thousand Rays of the Sun – H. E. Lama Tsering Wangdu

2011/05/25

Hundred Thousand Rays of the Sun: The Sublime Life and Teachings of a Chöd Master – H. E. Lama Tsering Wangdu, translated and edited by Joshua Waldman & Lama Jinpa
Lulu. 2008. 213pp. 9780557004096.

Finding and reading this book was an unusual and humorous event for me, my lama would probably read into it more -that I’m on the right path- I’ll just say it happened. So I saw the cover of this book from a distance and my first thought was that it looked like the various covers and handouts created by Lama Jinpa, only when I looked closer did I realize it was about our Lama and Lama Jinpa himself had helped with the book. That is all I needed to decide to get the book.

This book is an autohagiography of H.E. Lama Tsering Wangdu, a beautiful and gentle soul, as well as a wise and forceful ch‏‏ödpa. This tale follows him from the events of his crazy wisdom life from birth to the present day, including a meta-story section about being approached by Joshua Waldman to write the text.

Now as someone recognized as a master of his tradition it should not be surprising that parts of his story seem pulled straight from the tales of the Boddhisattvas and great yogis of the past. Born with a caul on his face and teaching his mother the mantra of Buddha Amitabha when first learning to talk (9) you can expect he would lead an interesting life.

In his youth he was transferred to a monastery and in his tale you see the political side of power in a temple that one might not expect. He came to age balanced between his family life and his religious life during the time of the Chinese invasion. Though lucky enough to be out of Tibet at the time you can read of the pain this caused him and his family.

Much of the book is focused on his wanderings as a chödpa performing chöd in the wilderness of Tibet, Bhutan, and India. The miracles, visions, and events he experienced were fascinating, if at times hard to believe. This section of the book proved to me very insightful because it showed me the role that chöd has in the life of the master I’m studying under; it takes it out of realm of the “classroom” and into his life.

The Dalai Lama said to Lama Wangdu “Padampa Sangye has no community of practitioners. It’s important that you establish one for the tradition” (164) and this book is part of that process as well as detailing the amazing events that led to Lama Wangdu founding his temple and then seeking out students to train in the dying practice of chöd. What surprised me is this book contains some basics on performing chöd, which in personal correspondence was warned against attempting without having received the blessing of Machik. None the less I will trust that the bare basics revealed in the text are nothing that could harm a practitioner if they did not have the blessing and that Lama Wangdu knew what he was doing.

While the story itself is quite engaging Lama Wangdu is not an author and the book doesn’t read like a story. In fact the best analogy I have is the type of rambling tale your grandparents tell you. It’s interesting, has lots of information in it, but doesn’t always follow a coherent narrative and occasionally a detail is lost. For example at one point Lama Wangdu mentions meeting his wife in a specific town, but we never hear of her or their relationship again. It took me a bit of time to get used to this style but once I did I found the cadence almost endearing.

For students of chöd and chödpas this is a great look into the life of one of the masters of our practice, but students of Buddhism in general it is still a great tale of a wandering yogi and his spiritual journey.


Review: The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot – Bill & Judi Genaw and Chic & S. Tabatha Cicero

2011/02/11

The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot: The Synthesis of Eastern & Western Magick – Bill and Judi Genaw and Chic & S. Tabatha Cicero
Llewellyn. 2004. 418pp. 0738702013.

“The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot is unique among all published Tarot decks” (1) it “is not simply a Tarot deck with a book of card descriptions. This kit contains a complete system for magickal and spiritual growth. It includes card spreads, meditations, exercises, and rituals that are provided for three levels of spiritual attainment: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.” (2)

This may sound like a grandiose claim but the Ciceros and Genaws managed to win me over to this point of view. It is definitely a unique deck. Rather than the traditional 78 cards this deck has 89 cards, and unlike the traditional Major and Minor Arcana this deck is divided into four elemental suits of 22 cards each, one Spirit elemental card, and the cards are double-sided. Honestly the structure is so different I wonder why they felt the need to call it a tarot deck rather than a divination deck. This deck also comes with a book more than four hundred pages long, just a small sign about how detailed this deck is.

This deck is probably the most complex deck I’ve ever dealt with. One side of the deck is composed of “Western Tattvas” or alchemical symbols, the others side is an intricate synthesis of various symbols and parts of the Enochian Golden Dawn tradition. The Ciceros and Genaws consider the traditional Tattvas and Western Tattvas as both equally valid, but feel that the Western Tattvas are more appropriate and accessible to a Western magickian studying Western systems. So instead of the traditional Tattvas and colours, the deck uses the elemental triangles and colours from the Western Mystery Traditions. The Western Tattva cards are composed of single element/Tattvas, sub-elements, and tri-elemental combinations. The Enochian side of the cards are far more detailed and difficult to explain. They match the elemental attributes of the other side of the card, and are composed of elemental sides of the Enochian pyramids, Enochian angels attributed to the appropriate section of the tablet, astrological correspondence, an Egyptian God, Major Arcana parallel, Hebrew letters, and geomantric symbols. There is definitely a lot going on with these cards.

As mentioned in their introduction the cards serve more than just a divinatory function but actually compose part of a magickal tradition. The Enochian side of the cards can be used to compose the elemental tablets for use in Enochian magick, and the book contains enough of the Enochian theory and Keys to get someone going. An obvious and major part of this is, as the title of the deck says, skrying. This book contains some of the best training exercises for skrying I’ve ever encountered, and I was very pleased and surprised with that. The book leads the reader through increasingly complex exercises to train the magickian for skrying and astral projection. What surprised me was that as a divination deck, that all of the skrying was consciously chosen. If you want to understand something, go through the deck and find the most appropriate card according to the meaning in the book and skry through that card. I don’t see why one couldn’t (or shouldn’t) simply shuffle the cards and draw out the most appropriate card to skry, after all divining gives us access to reasoning beyond our self. The book contains some fairly standard magickal exercises, as well as some unusual ones, such as the creation of elemental “energy balls.”

The only thing I could really complain about is that since the structure is so different from a standard tarot deck, lacking intuitive images, and just so complicated, that the deck will be exceedingly complicated to learn. Beyond this issue I think the deck and book are quite marvellous. What these cards lack in stunning artwork they make up in sheer information. Not a deck for everyone, but anyone seriously studying Western Traditions and/or the Golden Dawn then this deck would make a great addition to your magickal repertoire.


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